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Nintendo plans to release movies within a few years

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Nintendo is in talks with various partners about developing movies and other video content based on its popular IP. In an interview with the Asahi Shimbun, CEO and president Tatsumi Kimishima says the company needs to invest in video production and wants to be successful on a global scale. Discussions appear to be in the early stages, but Kimishima wants films to be produced sooner than five years away.

It wouldn't be the first time Nintendo has gotten involved in the world of film production; a much-maligned live-action Super Mario Bros. movie came out in 1993, and Japan saw the release of a somewhat more successful Animal Crossing CG-animated film in 2006. Kimishima notes that the Super Mario Bros. project didn't do very well, and says Nintendo is unlikely to pursue live-action films as part of this initiative.

"I can't say 'it'll be Mario.'"

The Wall Street Journal reported over a year ago that Netflix was working on a live-action series based on The Legend of Zelda, but Nintendo denied the report and nothing's been heard on the subject since. When asked whether Nintendo would use Zelda or Mario in upcoming movies, Kimishima said, "We'd like to use IP that is popular with everyone. I can't say 'it'll be Mario' — just that we'll do things that people will be familiar with." The CEO uses similar language to talk about Nintendo's future smartphone games, though it's confirmed that the next two will be based on Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing.

The most pressing launch in Nintendo's immediate future is the upcoming NX console, however, which is coming in March but remains shrouded in mystery. "It's something new," according to Kimishima, who describes it as neither a Wii U or 3DS successor. "The hardware, the software lineup — it's something I think I'd like to be able to play myself for the first time."

Although the console will miss this year's holiday shopping season, the March release date is designed to ensure that there's enough software to play throughout the months following the launch, avoiding the drought that afflicted the Wii U's first year. "[The NX offers] a new style of play, so I think it will have a bigger impact than the Wii U," Kimishima says.