Analyzing a Future: Our Speculation on What’s Next for Nintendo

on October 29, 2011 5:00 PM

The talk of the town lately has been Nintendo’s financial loss not just within the gaming community, but it has also been picked up by major news outlets and sites. This has been made and set up to be a big deal. So what the heck to going to happen now and what’s next for Nintendo. Lots of gamers, journalists, industry folk and even financial experts have been chiming in on what their thoughts are. Heck, just type in Nintendo right now on twitter and you’re bound to read something on the matter.

So what do we here at DualShockers think? Obviously, if you did not already know, the DualShockers staff is a very opinionated bunch and we want to wholeheartedly share that opinion with you guys. Check out what each of us had to say after the break.

Analyzing a Future: Our Speculation on What's Next for NintendoYaris: Nintendo taking that recent hit is definitely a bad look for them, and probably something that needed to happen in order for them to get a proper wake-up call (hopefully). Nintendo was safe with the Wii for a moment because of the crowd they were catering to, and who, for a while, accepted their mediocrity in games. Not only did it dent their reputation with the hardcore gaming crowd, but it also instilled a lack of trust which many of us are weary about even with the release of the Wii U.

Is the company screwed financially? Absolutely not. I think the area that they are struggling with is the market of hardcore gamers who have already taken sides with Microsoft and Sony. I’m in no way concerned with Nintendo’s finances because, at the end of the day, they have more than enough to fill their pockets. What I am worried about is Nintendo’s ability to essentially attract the hardcore crowd when they [the hardcore folk] have already established their alliances. The Wii U looks and sounds amazing. I just hope Nintendo has the balls to push games, rather than their own IPs, so that it can genuinely charm the hardcore crowd they once had and helped establish. And it definitely doesn’t help when they pull off douche-bag tactics like, you know, dropping prices a few months down the line after initial launch of something. Tut, tut, Nintendo.

Analyzing a Future: Our Speculation on What's Next for NintendoFrancois: Nintendo has had its fair shake at ups and downs. No time was there a bigger threat that I can remember than with the Nintendo GameCube during the early 21st century. The GameCube had a rough start, but got buried even deeper once the Xbox and PS2 started venturing into the world of online gaming. Nintendo refused on going the online route and insisted people didn’t want it. It seemed like the Nintendo’s stubbornness was finally going to catch up to them, but then arrived the Wii. Without the most robust online functionality and another instance of stubbornness to not include HD, it was still able to come out on top.

So we have Nintendo being stubborn failing them and then them being stubborn offering them great success. What do they do now? The obvious choice would be to do A, B and C, but Nintendo never listens to logic. Can’t blame them though, it has worked out so well for Wii and DS. I think Nintendo has enough power to get out of any situation because of the brand and the franchises they own alone. So whenever the situation becomes too dire, they’re one new Smash Brothers game away from getting out of the mess.

Analyzing a Future: Our Speculation on What's Next for Nintendo

Alexa: If you look at Nintendo’s Semi-Annual report, Iwata keeps reiterating Nintendo’s greatest hope: that the lineup of 3DS games coming out in the next few months will bolster sales as well as individuals sales for the 3DS. I don’t think it’s far-fetched to say that this is what will happen. When the 3DS came out there were so few games it deterred people from purchasing the system until more were announced. It’s been a slow trickle since then, with all the fun bits coming to us in the form of downloads or 3DS-exclusive applications and functions (augmented reality, downloadables like Legend of Zelda: Four Swords, StreetPass and Mii Plaza game).

But now we’re looking at Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land coming at us in within the next month — a franchise that has held solid since the company’s beginnings is putting out two new games and of course every Mario lover in the freaking universe is going to grab them before now and Christmas. That coupled with Skyward Sword less than a month from our grasp is sure to bolster overall sales. As much as we want to roll our eyes as “not another Mario game,” it’s what sells, and both Nintendo’s numbers and our wallets and constant gamer chatter has proved it. Not to mention the line-up of third-party games on the horizon include Theatrhythm Final Fantasy and a new Kingdom Hearts title, and diehards of those series’ won’t be caught dead as the only kid on the playground who didn’t play them.

As for the Wii U… I’m hesitant to throw my chips in on this way. Yes it looks amazing and maybe it means that we’re in “the future,” but I’m hoping that Nintendo won’t make the same mistake of pushing out a hardware and then having no software to enjoy on it. Once we get more specs and a price, then I’ll run my mouth off.

Analyzing a Future: Our Speculation on What's Next for NintendoChad: Is this a big deal and a blow to Nintendo? Yes. Is this going to spell doom and gloom for the company? Absolutely not. However, I do feel in a way this is a reaction to Nintendo not really having that great a focus since the Wii started its decline. However, like an MMORPG between expansions, Nintendo is now “between” major consoles, and I do think things will pick up once the Wii U gets rolling.
That being said, I really think Nintendo – who straight up said they want to get into the hardcore gaming scene again – needs to, you know, actually focus on hardcore gamers, and their track record in that regard is not promising, especially when they repeatedly ignore localizing those very types of games. It’s better to play nice to the “hardcore” market now, even while the Wii is still their primary console, than to ignore them (making them feel like they will be ignored in the future) and practically drop the Wii off people’s radar almost completely, like they are doing. But, do I think people should be spouting doom and gloom? Absolutely not.

 

Analyzing a Future: Our Speculation on What's Next for NintendoEder: Well, the DS had to stop printing money at one point or another — Nintendo’s sales and rate of growth from 2005-2009 were wildly unsustainable — and we’re seeing the end of a cycle for the gaming giant.Remember, nearly half the losses Nintendo is posting stem from currency fluctuation in foreign markets, which account for 80 percent of their business. They’ll always be up or down, but never down and out.

My advice for Nintendo: For the last six years you’ve tried to be the Apple of the video game industry and your target was the casual audience. Well, the casual audience values simple gameplay — and that is in no way a bad thing — as well as convenience. You’re not convenient anymore, Nintendo. When your customers can choose between buying a dedicated $150+ handheld or downloading a 99-cent app, guess what they’ll do (especially in this economy)? Being oppressive in your dealings with third parties — another Apple tendency — isn’t getting you anywhere, either. So come up with a new approach and brand it the Orange Strategy.

Analyzing a Future: Our Speculation on What's Next for NintendoIsshak: Nintendo is out of its mind. The way they handled the launch, the way they are handling the eShop releases, nothing screams “we know what we are doing, we have a plan” and they are paying for their mistakes. I don’t think it means Nintendo is doomed however; I mean all they need is a Zelda and a Mario and the system will sell. They need to start being smart though. Mario on a smartphone would sell like nuts and they can’t start ignoring such an obvious and easy stream of revenue like that. Call me a pessimist, but I still feel like nothing is going to change. Of course, not under the current management. We’ll see!
Analyzing a Future: Our Speculation on What's Next for NintendoScott: The hit Nintendo took was huge. For years it seemed like they were taking their consoles for granted.  The Wii release schedule is proof of that, with maybe one game in 30 or so worth even considering.  The first party titles were great, but even those at some point just turned into rehashes.  They realized that they are losing their core markets, who are either growing disillusioned or are growing up and want more mature oriented games.  While I do not think the 3DS will fail, its outlook does not look nearly as good as the DS’ was.  Apple and Android already have a foothold here, and the Vita is right around the corner that touts an actual home console experience away from the console.Further, I still think the Wii U is a joke.  It is a system released nearly 6 years after it should be, and aside from another gimmick, has no real reason for existing other than so Nintendo can say “Look at us!  We have an HD console with M rated games!”  The problem here is that Sony and Microsoft have already established this market, and I don’t see a controller with a screen challenging their marketshare anytime soon.  I think Nintendo is in trouble here.  Maybe they will survive again like they did through the previous generation, but they took a huge loss and their outlook does not look promising.  They have adapted too slow in more than one facet of the industry, and the competition already has a strong foothold in the markets they seek.  I hope they don’t fail.  I hope they learn from their recent mistakes and start making great, original games again.  Competition is good for the industry and it would be a shame if they failed.
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