of the 3 console makers, nintendo is the only one completely dependent on gaming. sony and MS are obviously gigantic, and as they pursue their own home hub strategy, nintendo seems to have found a crack in their armour and surprised everyone with the wii, and the wide appeal of the DS.
iwata has done a tremendous jobs as CEO, his vision such as expanding the target audience and focus on fun is reflected in the success of DS and the Wii.
the marketplace changes fast, other companies will innovate and it's far from a sure bet that nintendo's fortune will ride so high a couple of years from now. though it has remain profitable the past couple of decades, nintendo HAS been on a roller coaster ride and certainly that is not something they want.
with its stock price at a multi year high (market value $40 bln) and a big cash stash ($7 bln), perhaps it's time for nintendo to hedge against that risk. if you're the CEO of nintendo, what would be your vision and what would you do? will you venture outside of gaming, or solidify your position as the #1 gaming company in the world?
nintendo is already courting 3rd party M rated titles.
i personally would like to see nintendo enter some kind of alliance with disney, which is expanding its interactive entertainment division (i.e. gaming) and would welcome nintendo's expertise in the area, and nintendo will benefit from the disney's huge presence in family oriented entertainment. movie games have in general sucked; i'm sure miyamoto has some ideas that he is eager to try out, and disney (which has acquired pixar) franchises would be perfect. it'll probably truly usher in the era of more than just movie-games, but true "interactive" entertainment.
and now that steve jobs is disney's largest shareholder, it would also have interesting implications with apple's home hub strategy.
in the really, really, really long fun, i find it hard to see nintendo as an individual entity, unless it becomes a sega and only publishes titles, which would be a huge step down. so when it still has the reputation of being one of the more innovative companies in the world, better start making alliances or even enter mergers. buying up small movie studios would also be interesting. dreamworks animation (market cap $3 bln) would be a very interesting proposal, though nothing beats the disney/nintendo tandem.
the Wii is an epidemic.