Nintendo's fiscal year wrapped up in March, and tomorrow the company will announce its earnings and hold a meeting to discuss what they mean and the company's future plans.
Typically, tidbits of news pop up out of these regular analyst meetings, but Nintendo has a lot going on heading into this earnings report and a lot to prove.
At the top of that list is the expectation, according to a Thomson Reuters poll, that while still losing money, Nintendo will reduce that loss.
Much more interesting, though, are all of the ideas that Nintendo has been working on to try and dig itself out of the hole created by less-than-stellar Wii U sales.
A different way of doing things
Nintendo spent the past year lining up a slate of new approaches to gaming and a new willingness to see its titles on other platforms. Now the company has to explain how all of these new initiatives are going to work together.
Those initiatives include news just last month that the company is teaming up with DeNA to make games for smartphones. Not a lot has been released since Nintendo published a Q&A stating that the first game out of the partnership should hit by the end of the year.
This first leap into the mobile market sounds more like a marketing plan than a genuine interest in mobile gaming, but solid sales could change that way of thinking for Nintendo.
Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata also announced last month that the company is working on its next console, codenamed NX. Very little is known about the Wii U successor other than the fact that it is desperately needed. Plans for a new console from Nintendo aren't surprising, but the fact that they discussed it openly this year does raise eyebrows.
Finally, Nintendo hasn't said much about its quality of life initiative since announcing it last year. We know it's aimed at health and that initially it will include software used to monitor sleep, but that's it.
This first leap into the mobile market sounds more like a marketing plan than a genuine interest in mobile gaming
Taken together — Nintendo's willingness to put games on mobile, the health initiative and acknowledging work on a new console — it could mean that we're starting to see some of the loose plans for a next-gen console aimed at a broad market as interested in wearables and smartphones as it is game consoles.
And it's not just the new initiatives that are likely to come up during tomorrow's meeting. Nintendo still has to walk everyone through how its 2DS and New 3DS platforms are performing, and how the Wii U is doing in the wake of a strong slate of big titles hitting the systems.
Nintendo seems to have had a solid quarter, but that was driven by a slate of games unlikely to be replicated as frequently as needed to keep Wii U sales improving. It's just as likely that Nintendo could already be considering which titles to hold for its next system, depending on the timing of its release.
Amiibo have been a standout hit since they started selling at retailers
It's also likely that the company will discuss the amiibo toys. Earlier this week, Nintendo released a statement acknowledging their mishandling of distribution for the toys and promising to do better in the future. The letter also said the company would start reissuing some toys that sold out. Sales and future plans for the toys are sure to be a big part of the presentation tomorrow.
Amiibo have been a standout hit since they started selling at retailers and it's likely Nintendo is going to ride that success with more figures and more ways to use them that require the purchase of a game.
Tomorrow will also be Nintendo's last chance to talk to analysts in Japan before E3 hits, and it's likely the company will in some way address how it plans to handle this year's big show.
Nintendo has been experimenting with different ways to get information out to the public at the show, including forgoing a big press conference for a Nintendo Direct, partnering with retailers to show off games and even hosting a massive Super Smash Bros. tournament during the show.
With so many factors at play, so many initiatives in the works, this could be a chance for Nintendo to garner a lot of interest in the months leading into the year's big show. Unfortunately, Nintendo is famously tight-lipped about unreleased concepts, so hope for fireworks, but expect deafening silence.