Is Nintendo’s Quality of Life Project Dead? Analysts Seem to Think So

In the wake of Satoru Iwata’s untimely death this past July, many of his initiatives at Nintendo are up in the air. Most prominently at risk of disappearing is his QOL (Quality of Life) project first introduced to investors in January 2014. In recent times, not much has been heard of the project. Fortune has collected quotes from analysts who think the project has been put away for now.

Lewis Ward of IDC thinks that while QOL is gone for now, Nintendo’s interest in the ‘Blue Ocean’ strategy means it will likely come back someday.

I think it’s been pushed to the back burner. It’s supposed to be released in the U.S. by the end of March [2016], but I haven’t heard anything. … [However,] I do think Nintendo has always had an interest in ‘Blue Ocean’ markets and health care and the intersection with their hardware and their software is something they’ve viewed as an opportunity.

Famed analyst Michael Pacther thinks the project is absolutely done with, with concerns that Nintendo doesn’t want to hemorrhage money on new hardware. Mobile, he believes, is the company’s top priority.

I think it’s probably dead—just like the Wii Vitality Sensor was before and they didn’t tell anybody. They have been completely invisible as a company since [Iwata] got sick. The whole point of helping with lifestyle was getting people to buy more Nintendo devices—and I think they’re hurting so badly in devices that they’re trying to [stop] the hemorrhaging there. …I would say they’re probably focused on just getting their mobile initiative working. That’s far more important than [QOL].

If dead in the water, QOL would not be the first health-driven initiative that Nintendo canceled. Satoru Iwata introduced the Wii Vitality Sensor back at E3 2009, an attachment for the Wii Remote that was designed to read a user’s pulse. The project was cancelled because it was not accurate with 100% of tested users.

The QOL was last discussed in October 2014. The first product under the line was to be a sleep sensor to help the user sleep and track their heart rate. It was to debut by March 2016, but nothing has been seen of it. Only Nintendo knows if the project will continue without Iwata’s leadership.

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