Editorial

Can Nintendo be saved?

A popular Japanese-based game console company is facing new competitors as well as old adversaries in the game industry. It releases a new console product with with some revolutionary features. But despite the superiority of the product, the general public decides to move to other platforms, even when the company cuts the price of the console drastically.

This is not the story of Nintendo and the 3DS console. This is the story of Sega and the Dreamcast. As most of you know, the Dreamcast finally shut down production in early 2001 after  declining sales, the rise of Sony's Playstation 2 console and the promise of another advanced game console, Microsoft's first Xbox, that would be released later in 2001.

This week, Nintendo announced that it had lost nearly $1 billion in the first half of its fiscal year and could end up with its first annual loss in at least 30 years, before the 122 year old company released its first NES game console. The news shocked the game industry as a whole. While Microsoft and Sony have had years when their games division had lost money for their parent companies, that was never the case for Nintendo.

It didn't used to be this way. The leadership team at the game console publisher made decisions that in the end always made money from the releases of its various consoles, even at their launch. Nintendo still has a number of well know game franchises that generates tons of console software sales. Super Mario, Zelda, Metroid and many others helped to make console gaming a mainstream activity. In 2006, Nintendo launched its Wii game console with its revolutionary motion controller the WiiMote. The console and the WiiMote was an instant hit and Nintendo literally couldn't keep up with the demand for the Wii for several months after its launch.

But now it's just five years later and Nintendo seems to be on the ropes as the Xbox 360 outsells every console in the US while the PS3 is doing well in Europe and Japan. What happened and can Nintendo recover from it or will it suffer from the same fate as Sega and be forced to get out of the hardware console business?

The 3DS: A study in overconfidence

In February of this year, Nintendo released its 3DS console in Japan, with the US getting the company's latest portable console a month later. The 3DS's biggest feature was being able to create 3D graphics, with no need to wear glasses to see the effects, on the top screen of the two screen device for games made specifically for the 3DS.

Nintendo has always been the leader in portable gaming; Sony's PSP console was its only serious competitor in the last decade but sales of the PSP were far behind those of Nintendo's various DS versions. But the release of the 3DS console showed that Nintendo executives were perhaps too confident that they could continue their dominance of the portable gaming business.

In hindsight, there were a number of things that Nintendo could have done differently. One was the 3D features. Having such visuals was certainly a big bullet point for the console but many gamers felt that they added little to the games that were made to use the features. Other gamers complained that the 3D graphics hurt their eyes after prolonged gameplay use (the 3DS allows uses to turn down the 3D visuals or turn it off completely).

Another problems was the high price for the console at launch; $249.99 for the US version. In this economy, people were unwilling to pay that much for a console that was primarily for gaming. This lead to yet another issue which is the smartphone industry was embracing gaming for their devices, most of which could be downloaded and played either very cheaply or for free. The success of Angry Birds, a game which would have felt right at home on a Nintendo game console, is a testament to this shift in portable gaming habits.

Other issues with the 3DS included a lack of major launch titles for the console, something which Nintendo executives have since admitted. Finally the overall design of the 3DS, while having some cosmetic differences to the DS line, was considered to be too similar to the older consoles and perhaps even old fashioned in the face of the full touch screen interfaces that many smartphones now have.

In the end, Nintendo realized that the 3DS had some issues and cut the price of the 3DS down $80 back in August to just $169.99. Sales of the console got a boost after that price cut. Also, major Nintendo franchises like Mario Kart, Zelda and Super Mario started appearing on the 3DS. But will it be enough for Nintendo to recover its crown as the portable game leader?

The Wii U: Shown off too early?

In June at its E3 2011 press conference, Nintendo announced that the next version of its major console franchise would be named the Wii U. Furthermore, the console would yet again offer gamers a new way to control games via a tablet-like two handed controller with a large 6.2 inch touch screen that could be used to link to the main game and perform various gameplay actions. One demo showed the screen firing ninja stars that appeared on the Wii U's main TV screen in order to hit its targets.

Nintendo showed off the Wii U's controller at E3 via a number of game demos but Nintendo said that these demos were not going to become games in their own right. That may have been the first error Nintendo made; showing off interactive demos of the Wii U instead of full games disappointed many gamers. Another problem came when Nintendo showed videos of third party games that would be made for the console, including Rage and Aliens: Colonial Marines. But Nintendo later admitted that those videos didn't show those games running on Wii U hardware but came from the PS3 and/or the Xbox 360 versions of those games. That showed that the Wii U's main hardware was not yet ready.

The biggest problem is with the Wii U's controller. Investors were concerned that the costs to make the controller would make the Wii U more expensive than the original Wii, which had a big sales success at first due to its low price compared to the PS3 and Xbox 360. Also, the Wii U will only be able to use one of these tablet controllers at a time, rather than allowing for multiple controllers like other consoles have support for. Finally the tablet controller, despite some interesting features, didn't seem as advanced as the Xbox 360's Kinect motion controller camera which allowed for some Xbox 360 games to be operated with no physical controller needed in the player's hands.

Since E3 2011, Nintendo has not shown off the Wii U but has promised a full reveal at E3 in June 2012. That would seem to suggest that Nintendo plans to officially launch the console in time for the 2012 holiday season.

The Wii: Showing its hardware age

Nintendo also has an immediate problem that it may not be able to fix. The original Wii console is starting to show that its hardware specs, in comparison to the PS3 and Xbox 360, are lacking as customers gravitate to high end games such as the Call of Duty series, Battlefield 3 and more. Once more, both the PS3 and the Xbox 360 are much more affordable than they were when they were launched.

It doesn't help that third party game publishers are starting to abandon the Wii console. While there are exceptions, such as Ubisoft's Just Dance series, both the hardcore gamer and the casual gamer can both be served very well with the PS3 and the Xbox 360, particularly the latter console thanks to its Kinect controller-camera which can let gamers participate in the kinds of party and casual games that the Wii used to serve very well, but without the need for a controller to be held in the hand.

Nintendo's big fall 2011 game release for the Wii will be The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. But while that game, due out in November, will certainly be a big hit for Nintendo fans, it remains to be see if it can compete in terms of sales with the big hardcore game sales of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, Uncharted 3, and other major titles due out in the same month.

All is not lost

So what can Nintendo do to turn the tide and make itself able to compete once again with Sony and Microsoft? Nintendo's leadership needs to go back to the lessons it learned from the Wii and its DS titles. Thankfully, Nintendo has the time to do just that.

Create a new kind of portable game console

Nintendo needs to let go of its past and embrace the future. When the original DS console came out in 2004, it was unique looking and the use of the touch screen was revolutionary for its time. Nintendo forgot to innovate with the release of the 3DS which looked too similar to the DS consoles that came before it. The 3D visuals were a parlor trick; cool to see at first but boring on repeated viewings.

Nintendo needs to lead, not follow or go down the same steps, in its next major portable console. It needs to come up with hardware that will have features that no other portable game console has and that really enhance the gameplay experience for both game developers and game consumers. It also needs to take a few lessons from smartphone makers who are coming up with new features and user interfaces that are attracting more and more game players.

Make the Wii U games spectacular

Nintendo will launch the next generation game hardware with the Wii U in 2012. We have yet to see what the hardware can truly do, thanks to an ill-timed pre-reveal by Nintendo at E3 in June 2011. Nintendo needs to bury itself into making the Wii U first party games the best that they can be. When the Wii launched in 2006, Nintendo was smart enough to give players a free game, Wii Sports, that showed gamers how to use the WiiMote controller while also making a fun and addictive game in the process. It needs to do the same for the Wii U and its tablet controller.

Back in the day, Sega's release of the Dreamcast brought gamers the best graphics it had ever seen but those visuals were topped quickly by the PS2 when it was released a year later. Nintendo can't make that mistake twice. Not only do the graphics of the Wii U have to be better than the PS3 and the Xbox 360 but they also have to compare well to the visuals of the next generation consoles that Sony and Microsoft are almost certainly planning to release after the Wii U comes out.

It wouldn't hurt for Nintendo to also embrace the idea of the Wii U as more than just a game machine. The Wii does have some non-gaming elements such as a web browser and Netflix support. But Nintendo has always felt uncomfortable, for whatever reason, of making their consoles into full entertainment set-top boxes like the Xbox 360 and the PS3. It needs to let go of that attitude in order for the Wii U to offer its users more than just games.

Nintendo is still a company that likes to travel on its own path and that's part of the reason why it has been so successful. But now it also needs to see that traveling its own path has risks if gamers don't want to follow them on the journey. If it can remember the lessons it learned from the successful launches of the Wii and the DS line, it can compete again with not just Sony and Microsoft but the other growing part of the game industry, the smartphone game community. Nintendo's executive team are no dummies and we feel that it will make the right choices to avoid a second year of losses.

Image via Nintendo

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Motion control worked for the Wii. It was a huge success. Their latest tablet controller seems extra gimmicky to me... I never thought much of the 2nd screen on my DS and felt like most games used it just for the sake of using it (for instance StarFox). I always like the catlevania games that didn't overly use the second screen, just a map... but then what is the point of even having it?

Anyway, one of the things people liked about the Wii was the in-room multiplayer experience that many "hardcore" games don't do very well. If their tablet controller turns out being a 1-player only deal I doubt it will be very successful.

I think if they would have just refined their motion controllers to be more accurate, and boosted up the hardware to something more relevant for today's games they could make a killing once again.

As a national dynasty within Japan, I'm confident that the company will always find a way to profit.

Remember, they could always go back to running brothels.

I became a Nintendo user the day I bought a 3DS, wasn't attracted at their product before that.

In fact I received a Wii for Christmas 2 years ago and sold it 3 months after. Didn't have time to put on something I wasn't interested in.

But I love 3D so much. Thanks for the 3DS.

Nintendo need to be saved? It's not like they don't have money anymore. They still have the chance to release something interesting.

With the price cut, the 3DS sold very well. They still sell the DS like crazy.

I'm not scared for Nintendo.

face it people - we now live in a world where we have no patience and everything has to be instant. so, today, Nintendo posting a loss instantly means it's going out of business tomorrow. the 3DS didnt sell 15 million units in its first month so it's instantly a bad product.

in a world of instant gratification and instant everything, we've grown inpatient to everything. we must have information and gratification today, now, right now.

MASTER260 said,
You know what's sad? 1st with the Virtual Boy, & now w/ the 3DS, Nintendo's probably never gonaa try 3D gaming again...

and yet the 3DS has sold over 6mil units worldwide in 7 months...

People are saying that Apple wouldnt release a game console....

Look at the Apple Newton.......and its current "form" the iPad.

Dont count them out. They would sale like hotcakes and kill another company.

HD wasn't important when Wii was out. It is now the most important thing. Blame iPhone Retina Display, even my friend's, daughter, my girl friend and all other ladies thought Wii's games looks ugly. And Wii was the first console that actually had female fans. And you know what to do when you girl friend wants a Wii, or you want a painful argument for breakup?

Not having an Wii Successor was their Biggest Mistake. It could have save them if there was one a year ago.

When an iPhone, PSP Vita has MUCH better hardware then your console. You have a problem. I am not saying hardware spec means everything. But we are talking about GENERATIONS behind an MOBILE devices!

When Graphics, And Sound Quality reaches a point where you cant see much of a different, i.e 1080P with Crysis 2 Graphics possible on a console, you can start playing with your Game Play and New Thinking.

Hardware AND software works together. That is what Nintendo used to do really well, it has now fallen behind in BOTH areas. Sony has worked their ass off to bring the power of Cell to the developers.....

Strict Games publishing was also another point. Someone mentioned earlier that SNES was way more popular then N64 or Gamecube. Nintendo has great control on what is allowed and what's not allowed on their console. And some of those decisions were really bad. Nintendo has become a Toy Games level, no decent teen age games on it

iwod said,
HD wasn't important when Wii was out. It is now the most important thing. Blame iPhone Retina Display, even my friend's, daughter, my girl friend and all other ladies thought Wii's games looks ugly. And Wii was the first console that actually had female fans. And you know what to do when you girl friend wants a Wii, or you want a painful argument for breakup?

Not having an Wii Successor was their Biggest Mistake. It could have save them if there was one a year ago.

When an iPhone, PSP Vita has MUCH better hardware then your console. You have a problem. I am not saying hardware spec means everything. But we are talking about GENERATIONS behind an MOBILE devices!

When Graphics, And Sound Quality reaches a point where you cant see much of a different, i.e 1080P with Crysis 2 Graphics possible on a console, you can start playing with your Game Play and New Thinking.

Hardware AND software works together. That is what Nintendo used to do really well, it has now fallen behind in BOTH areas. Sony has worked their ass off to bring the power of Cell to the developers.....

Strict Games publishing was also another point. Someone mentioned earlier that SNES was way more popular then N64 or Gamecube. Nintendo has great control on what is allowed and what's not allowed on their console. And some of those decisions were really bad. Nintendo has become a Toy Games level, no decent teen age games on it


Not having HD is what put them in this problem to begin with. Had they just gone with HD and a dvd/bluray from the start there would not be a need for a new console to save them. Second the issue is all the ****ty games they need to not allow such shovel wear to be put on their systems to begin with. High quality games or no games at all. Create a system for online play similar to xbox live or ps3 network (minus the hacking of course) where players can chat and such. Lastly allow the Wii U or Wii Pad as I call it to upscale to HD all existing Wii games or at least the nintendo ones.

Gotenks98 said,

Not having HD is what put them in this problem to begin with. Had they just gone with HD and a dvd/bluray from the start there would not be a need for a new console to save them. Second the issue is all the ****ty games they need to not allow such shovel wear to be put on their systems to begin with. High quality games or no games at all. Create a system for online play similar to xbox live or ps3 network (minus the hacking of course) where players can chat and such. Lastly allow the Wii U or Wii Pad as I call it to upscale to HD all existing Wii games or at least the nintendo ones.

Amongst other things I find funny about the above two posts: "High quality games or no games at all."

Despite having really good games, does anyone remember how many horrible games the PS2 had? That console was a magnet for shovelware since it had the largest user-base and the Wii is the same. This is not even mentioning the loads of bad games the PS3, XBOX 360 and PC has.

Also, I feel the Wii would not have been the great success it has been if they released it with HD graphics. Having a game run 760P or 1080P does not instantly make a game look better. In fact, it highlights imperfections. You need more graphical horsepower to make a game look good in HD and that would have increased the price of the Wii above what the "casual" market would have payed for. In regards to the OP who said his "girl friend" and other women said the Wii looks ugly, I think it really depends on what games you play. For example, I think Muramasa, The Demon Blade is a great looking game, just from the artistic quality.

Before you call me a fanboy, I own a Wii, PS3 and gaming PC. I, primarily, play games on the PC.

Senlis said,

Amongst other things I find funny about the above two posts: "High quality games or no games at all."

Despite having really good games, does anyone remember how many horrible games the PS2 had? That console was a magnet for shovelware since it had the largest user-base and the Wii is the same. This is not even mentioning the loads of bad games the PS3, XBOX 360 and PC has.

Also, I feel the Wii would not have been the great success it has been if they released it with HD graphics. Having a game run 760P or 1080P does not instantly make a game look better. In fact, it highlights imperfections. You need more graphical horsepower to make a game look good in HD and that would have increased the price of the Wii above what the "casual" market would have payed for. In regards to the OP who said his "girl friend" and other women said the Wii looks ugly, I think it really depends on what games you play. For example, I think Muramasa, The Demon Blade is a great looking game, just from the artistic quality.

Before you call me a fanboy, I own a Wii, PS3 and gaming PC. I, primarily, play games on the PC.


While I cant speak for everyone else but I know for me having HD graphics makes a huge difference on whether I can sit through a game or not. I will admit the ps2 had alot of ****ty games as well but they had some awsome 3rd party stuff where as nintendo has like 1 freaking game thats 3rd party worth buying on their system and that was resident evil 4. Thats a pretty huge difference 1 game vs a ton.

Gotenks98 said,

While I cant speak for everyone else but I know for me having HD graphics makes a huge difference on whether I can sit through a game or not. I will admit the ps2 had alot of ****ty games as well but they had some awsome 3rd party stuff where as nintendo has like 1 freaking game thats 3rd party worth buying on their system and that was resident evil 4. Thats a pretty huge difference 1 game vs a ton.

The thing I find really funny is that PC gamers have had "HD" graphics for years before TVs and consoles had it. Of course, we didn't call it that; 1024 x 760 and 1920 x 1080 were just resolutions out of the many we could use.

Like I said before, there is a lot more to making a game looking good than just bumping up the resolution. Things like texturing and AA, along with artistic quality are very important. Simply changing to a higher resolution without improving graphics just makes bad visuals worse.

There was more than a few good 3rd party games on the Wii. Not as many as the PS2, of course, but saying there is only 1 proves you never played the Wii much. It sounds to me like you base your opinions on hearsay and an hour session of wii sports.

launch day wii owner here and my wii is now collecting dust.

most of the games were gimmacky and cheap feeling.

very few hardcore games were made for the wii. I own 8 games and I have no interest in playing them anymore. they wore out quick,

the one I got the most enjoyment out of was elebits and zelda twlight princess. the rest I didn't care for that much.

sonic and the secret rings was fun but tiring... the motion controls were broken on it and it was rushed I think. had great music and visuals though.

dewy's adventure was very cute and nice but it felt like a pinball game and just got annoying.

super mario galaxy was awesome too but i'm tired of mario games. too predictable for me.


I think if nintendo would have made the wii in HD and had better games as a result they wouldn't be faced with these financial issues.

also nintendo is very closed with thier deve platforms the devs don't have full access to the hardware and software as much as nintendo themselves does. they lock things down quite a bit.

also if nintendo would make a gaming tablet that would help them out. it would have the motion features, nvidia tegra hardware or better, and run android or a custom version of windows 8 or something it would be nice. but android would be better, as they can get into more devices that way since lots of people have droids. I would get a gaming tablet if one had as good graphics or better then the machine I have as well as good battery life.

With everything you wrote, tell me how the Wii HD could have made all those games better. Having HD graphics would have probably enhance the motion control problems.

HD is not the cure for bad games or bad controls.

TruckWEB said,
With everything you wrote, tell me how the Wii HD could have made all those games better. Having HD graphics would have probably enhance the motion control problems.

HD is not the cure for bad games or bad controls.

the wii could have had oblivion or games like that.

They went after a fickle market (casuals) and while they enjoyed initial success its starting to bite them in the ass.
They shouldnt have ditched their core audience.
Something MS really need to take note of.
The casual audience do not buy games, hence selling to them is unsustainable.

Just to add, we all know that when you buy games in the store, that the store doesn't make barely anything off of the games. Which means that money goes where?

The primary issue with the 3DS for me was the cost of the software. £35 for a game with not much more depth than a 1.99 iPhone game. Their eShop won't help after seeing the quality of what they are releasing.

ok this is the current info we know on the specs of the Wii U hardware


Technical specifications
Nintendo released technical specifications of the Wii U hardware, noting that aspects are subject to change.[57]
Processors:
CPU: IBM Power Architecture-based multi-core 45 nm microprocessor based on the POWER7 architecture found in the Watson Super Computer.[3][58]
GPU: Custom-designed AMD Radeon HD[5] similar to the R770 chip.[6]

Those specs alone makes the thing far more capable then the PS3 and xbox 360 combined and does so not just marginal but by a huge leap the 360 hardware and Ps3 is 6 old while the Wii u is using the latest IBM power PC and a far more advanced newer AMD GPU

notuptome2004 said,
Those specs alone makes the thing far more capable then the PS3 and xbox 360 combined and does so not just marginal but by a huge leap the 360 hardware and Ps3 is 6 old while the Wii u is using the latest IBM power PC and a far more advanced newer AMD GPU

Yeah. It might keep that lead for a year. Maybe a year and a half. Then it'll be stomped.

They'll get sales for the early lead, but it won't mean much if their specs are stomped on by the other manufacturers.

Edited by TheExperiment, Oct 31 2011, 1:02pm :

Nintendo likes to be a step behind or lazy or cheap with pretty much everything recently so I don't plan on getting the Wii U (even though I enjoyed the Wii during earlier college years). They do the bare minimum. That's their "thing" though. They are the affordable choice and it's reflected in the features. I can't really hate them for it, but I think they're learning that they can't keep doing that.

Content is King. Release AAA titles that are unique (Portal, SuperMarioGalaxy), easy to obtain (Angry Birds) and recognisable (Mario, Zelda) and the hardware will sell on those premises. You don't have to have an all-in-one machine, just a cheap one that can produce great visuals, but make the games themselves the star.

I'm all for new franchises and characters that appeal to the average gamer which is alot older than you think these days.

I think that its time for Nintendo to expand their horizons and thus their offerings.
Nintendo should look into making games that run on other devices, such as phones and tablet PC's. Nintendo could even do like how Zynga has online internet flash games.
Nintendo could even license out their character brands into different arenas.
Personally, I think it would be cool to have Portal 2 for the Wii and Metroid: Other M as a playable PC game.
I'm hoping this kind of out of the box thinking can help save Nintendo.

I don't think they listen to their customers. They are too confident that their gimmicks will sell. Everyone wants HD but they still do not have it. There consoles are weak and yet expensive. They need to get some more big titles not everyone wants to play Mario. They come out with a DS so often that it becomes a pain in the butt. The 3D DS hurt too many peoples eyes. The WII U is stupid. How can you play a game looking at the controller screen and TV. Just stick with what works. A controller and the TV. That will also keep the costs down. I don't think they are going to make it this time around.

I don't think so. The Wii U is supposed to be only marginally better than the Xbox 360, and will likely come in quite a bit more expensive. The 360 Arcade comes in at $200. A lot of people already have a PS3 or 360 (or, for that matter, a computer with specs to easily run the same type of game). The 360 already has a massive software library with tons of games that are after a few years very cheap. The Wii U will come in more expensive, with fewer games, and with those games costing more. I don't see why anyone would go for that.

There's the gimmick of the tablet controller, but plenty of people already have iPads and smartphones, so there isn't even that much of a novelty. Not to mention the lack of 3DS success has shown that the gimmick of the Wii is really a one hit wonder, and that people are probably soured to trying out new gimmicks.

3DS sales aren't really going to pick up, as getting a smartphone with much cheaper games is a lot more appealing.

Wii U sales are definitely going to be less than the Wii (arguably a lot less), and there's rumours Sony and Microsoft are working on their next gen consoles that'll be significantly more powerful.

There really isn't a positive outlook for Nintendo - they're sliding, and if Apple decides to go for a home game console, they'll be able to take Nintendo out on both ends.

migo said,
I don't think so. The Wii U is supposed to be only marginally better than the Xbox 360, and will likely come in quite a bit more expensive. The 360 Arcade comes in at $200. A lot of people already have a PS3 or 360 (or, for that matter, a computer with specs to easily run the same type of game). The 360 already has a massive software library with tons of games that are after a few years very cheap. The Wii U will come in more expensive, with fewer games, and with those games costing more. I don't see why anyone would go for that.

There's the gimmick of the tablet controller, but plenty of people already have iPads and smartphones, so there isn't even that much of a novelty. Not to mention the lack of 3DS success has shown that the gimmick of the Wii is really a one hit wonder, and that people are probably soured to trying out new gimmicks.

3DS sales aren't really going to pick up, as getting a smartphone with much cheaper games is a lot more appealing.

Wii U sales are definitely going to be less than the Wii (arguably a lot less), and there's rumours Sony and Microsoft are working on their next gen consoles that'll be significantly more powerful.

There really isn't a positive outlook for Nintendo - they're sliding, and if Apple decides to go for a home game console, they'll be able to take Nintendo out on both ends.

After the Apple Pippin I don't believe Apple ever wants to get back into the home console business.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Bandai_Pippin

migo said,
I don't think so. The Wii U is supposed to be only marginally better than the Xbox 360, and will likely come in quite a bit more expensive. The 360 Arcade comes in at $200. A lot of people already have a PS3 or 360 (or, for that matter, a computer with specs to easily run the same type of game). The 360 already has a massive software library with tons of games that are after a few years very cheap. The Wii U will come in more expensive, with fewer games, and with those games costing more. I don't see why anyone would go for that.

There's the gimmick of the tablet controller, but plenty of people already have iPads and smartphones, so there isn't even that much of a novelty. Not to mention the lack of 3DS success has shown that the gimmick of the Wii is really a one hit wonder, and that people are probably soured to trying out new gimmicks.

3DS sales aren't really going to pick up, as getting a smartphone with much cheaper games is a lot more appealing.

Wii U sales are definitely going to be less than the Wii (arguably a lot less), and there's rumours Sony and Microsoft are working on their next gen consoles that'll be significantly more powerful.

There really isn't a positive outlook for Nintendo - they're sliding, and if Apple decides to go for a home game console, they'll be able to take Nintendo out on both ends.

The wii u's specs still have yet to be offically released, last i checked. Meaning making random guesses is a waste of time. The Xbox 360 without the harddrive is a borderline useless machine. Obviously a system that's been out longer will have more games available than one that's just debuted, Anyone with a brain would know that. I'd also wager it's more than safe to assume that the price of new games for the wii u will be no higher than the price of new games for a 360 or a ps3. As there's no reason for them to go higher.

What does the 3ds's sales being less than nintendo expected have to do with the wii? They're completely separate devices and markets. it sounds like you're just adding in some filler just to make a paragraph. But if you wanna tak about gimmicks, nothing is a bigger (failed) gimmick than kinect.

3ds sales will pick up, and in fact they already have since the price drop. And sure, games on your phone may be cheaper, but they're also shorter, have less content, have lower replay value, have pretty much no means of being controlled properly, and not to mention your phone battery will last even less time the the 3ds if you actually try to game on it. At which point you won't have a phone available when you really need it.

Edited by Blackhearted, Oct 31 2011, 6:24am :

Blackhearted said,
The wii u's specs still have yet to be offically released, last i checked. Meaning making random guesses is a waste of time. The Xbox 360 without the harddrive is a borderline useless machine. Obviously a system that's been out longer will have more games available than one that's just debuted, Anyone with a brain would know that. I'd also wager it's more than safe to assume that the price of new games for the wii u will be no higher than the price of new games for a 360 or a ps3. As there's no reason for them to go higher.

What does the 3ds's sales being less than nintendo expected have to do with the wii? They're completely separate devices and markets. it sounds like you're just adding in some filler just to make a paragraph. But if you wanna tak about gimmicks, nothing is a bigger (failed) gimmick than kinect.

3ds sales will pick up, and in fact they already have since the price drop. And sure, games on your phone may be cheaper, but they're also shorter, have less content, have lower replay value, have pretty much no means of being controlled properly, and not to mention your phone battery will last even less time the the 3ds if you actually try to game on it. At which point you won't have a phone available when you really need it.

I'll ignore pointing out that it's "talk" not "tak"... But I digress....

I'm kind of curious why you would think that a device like Kinect, which is selling boat loads and breaking records would be failed in any way, shape, or form...? Seems an odd position honestly. I know that if I was counting all the money rolling in from Kinect sales, the LAST thing I'd be considering it is a failure...

Lets face it the Wii U is just a week console compared what sony and microsoft are going to put out. I don't see them doing well the next generation.

Melfster said,
Lets face it the Wii U is just a week console compared what sony and microsoft are going to put out. I don't see them doing well the next generation.
Oh really? You know the exact specs of the wii u, as well as the exact specs sony and microsoft are planning to put into their next consoles? Yeeeaaahhh... i doubt you do.

Also, if you're gonna comment(without knowing any facts) on how powerful something is, atleast learn how to spell "weak" first.

Melfster said,
Lets face it the Wii U is just a week console compared what sony and microsoft are going to put out. I don't see them doing well the next generation.

Just because Sony's will likely be the exact same thing with slightly different hardware and a light ball on top.

Blackhearted said,
Oh really? You know the exact specs of the wii u, as well as the exact specs sony and microsoft are planning to put into their next consoles? Yeeeaaahhh... i doubt you do.

Also, if you're gonna comment(without knowing any facts) on how powerful something is, atleast learn how to spell "weak" first.

First off, I think you stumbled across Neowin by mistake. Were you looking for the Spelling Bee Discussion Forum? If you want to argue someone's position, fine, but arguing that they spelled something incorrectly hardly wins you points... It's silly.

Second, Nintendo has a reputation for releasing lower spec'd hardware that targets a lower price point. Could they break this trend with the Wii U? Perhaps, but it certainly would be no surprise if they continued to target their budget conscious demographic... It certainly served them well during the early years of the Wii...

the problem is it was revolutionary when it was released but they didnt upgrade when it was needed but only when the popularity went down.

Because of Japan's notorious xenophobia, I can see Nintendo continuing to be strong there but interntionally they will fade away compared to Microsoft & Sony.

KingCrimson said,
Because of Japan's notorious xenophobia, I can see Nintendo continuing to be strong there but interntionally they will fade away compared to Microsoft & Sony.

I dunno. Sony is the problem there. Why buy Nintendo when you could buy Sony? There are several Japanese smartphone manufacturers, so buying a smartphone instead of a 3DS makes a lot of sense, and for home consoles, you could get the cheaper PS3 or the much more powerful PS4, maybe only a year later.

adam7288 said,
Buy them with your cash stockpile apple! Mario on iOS FTW!
Mario isn't angry birds. You actually need buttons to play a proper game like mario. Mario on ios would be virtually unenjoyable.

Blackhearted said,
Mario isn't angry birds. You actually need buttons to play a proper game like mario. Mario on ios would be virtually unenjoyable.

Well, that's not what Nintendo thinks with the Wii U

CronicHazel said,

Well, that's not what Nintendo thinks with the Wii U

You're aware that the Wii U does have buttons and sticks, right?

adam7288 said,
Buy them with your cash stockpile apple! Mario on iOS FTW!

I don't think Apple could afford Nintendo honestly. Nintendo has a LOT of money in the bank... It's not particularly easy to purchase companies that have that kind of capitol...

Blackhearted said,
Mario isn't angry birds. You actually need buttons to play a proper game like mario. Mario on ios would be virtually unenjoyable.

No you don't.
You just need some smart devs who can use the accelerometer/gyro for input.
Tilt for walk, tilt more for run
shake for superpower activation

rotate up for jump

So Nintendo is having the first bad year in 3 decades, big deal. It's not like they are going bankrupt. Stop overreacting.

Ugh... We're even doing this "nintendo going to pull a sega" **** on the front page now? I would have thought staff of this site would be smart enough to see that their first loss in 30 years DOES NOT mean they're instantly going to leave the hardware biz like sega did. But i guess i expected too much from neowin these days. Anyway... One big reason as to why sega stepped out is cause they had numerous fails BACK TO BACK over several years. Nintendo on the other hand have, aside from this year, been pulling in mountains of money with SUCCESSFUL devices for several years. They're not even close to the bad spot sega was in yet.

Blackhearted said,
Ugh... We're even doing this "nintendo going to pull a sega" **** on the front page now? I would have thought staff of this site would be smart enough to see that their first loss in 30 years DOES NOT mean they're instantly going to leave the hardware biz like sega did. But i guess i expected too much from neowin these days. Anyway... One big reason as to why sega stepped out is cause they had numerous fails BACK TO BACK over several years. Nintendo on the other hand have, aside from this year, been pulling in mountains of money with SUCCESSFUL devices for several years. They're not even close to the bad spot sega was in yet.

Have to agree with this. Nintendo after 30 years has a bad year it's not a big deal I would start to worry if it happened 2+ years in a row is when I would start wondering what was going on and what might be wrong. But yet again this is another poor quality piece from Callaham worst writer on this site hands down.

Blackhearted said,
Ugh... We're even doing this "nintendo going to pull a sega" **** on the front page now? I would have thought staff of this site would be smart enough to see that their first loss in 30 years DOES NOT mean they're instantly going to leave the hardware biz like sega did. But i guess i expected too much from neowin these days. Anyway... One big reason as to why sega stepped out is cause they had numerous fails BACK TO BACK over several years. Nintendo on the other hand have, aside from this year, been pulling in mountains of money with SUCCESSFUL devices for several years. They're not even close to the bad spot sega was in yet.

Absolutely. Sega hadn't made money in quite some time. It wasn't a single loss that shut them down. It was YEARS... I mean, if we're going to compare Nintendo to Sega, why not compare Sony to Sega too? They're losing money too...

Stop putting out so many versions of the DS. People are afraid once they buy a DS there will be a new version next month.

Stop putting out gimmick products. Yes I'm looking at you wii and wii u.

Start investing in a console that also caters to proper controllers and proper online support and I'm sold. I love Nintendo's characters. I really don't enjoy motion control games.

I believe the only reason the Wii sold so well was the price. I was even suckered in.

Non-Active-Account said,
Stop putting out so many versions of the DS. People are afraid once they buy a DS there will be a new version next month.

Stop putting out gimmick products. Yes I'm looking at you wii and wii u.

Start investing in a console that also caters to proper controllers and proper online support and I'm sold. I love Nintendo's characters. I really don't enjoy motion control games.

I believe the only reason the Wii sold so well was the price. I was even suckered in.

i think it was price/it was something different but after that wore off everyone realized it just can't hold up to the time proven regular controller games. plus all the serious gamers play on XBox360/PS3 and like the article said the 360/PS3's console prices are much more affordable now.

Nintendo's been here before - after the success of the SNES neither the N64 or the Gamecube set the world on fire sales wise, but they got their act in order with the DS and the Wii. Hopefully they can do so again.

Pygmy_Hippo said,
Nintendo's been here before - after the success of the SNES neither the N64 or the Gamecube set the world on fire sales wise, but they got their act in order with the DS and the Wii. Hopefully they can do so again.

Yes, but in no moment they had a loss of 1 billion. That'd actually probably had bankrupt them back in the day, I'd guess.

Lucas said,

Yes, but in no moment they had a loss of 1 billion. That'd actually probably had bankrupt them back in the day, I'd guess.

Nintendo has a TON of cash in the bank. No company wants a loss, but they're hardly now, nor would they have been then, close to bankrupt.

M_Lyons10 said,

Nintendo has a TON of cash in the bank. No company wants a loss, but they're hardly now, nor would they have been then, close to bankrupt.

Yes, Nintendo can endure about 6-7 years of these losses before they run out of cash. But that's assuming that the losses don't get worse.

Their main problem is the US market. Sales in the Americas dropped by more than it did anywhere else -- by 54% year-over-year. The combined punch of iPhone and Kinect has absolutely *gutted* the casual gamer customer base that made Nintendo so successful in 2007-2010.

Nintendo is a feast-or-famine kind of company. They've been through some hard times before. But 1995 and 2004 were nowhere close to being as bad as 2011.

Two main issues with the drop off in popularity with the Wii.

First, it didn't focus on what people expect and want. No HD in a time when the only TVs you can buy are in HD is a huge step back.

Second, the game selection is awful. I'm not saying it doesn't have great games, it does. But it doesn't get all the games that people want. No BF. Bastardized COD's. Nothing that can compete with series like Halo and Uncharted.

Thats what people want.

ew2x4 said,

Second, the game selection is awful. I'm not saying it doesn't have great games, it does. But it doesn't get all the games that people want. No BF. Bastardized COD's. Nothing that can compete with series like Halo and Uncharted.

Thats what people want.


No, that's what some of the existing market wants. The Wii, to some extent, did for consoles what Portal did for PC gaming - it brought a whole new demographic in that weren't previously interested. The simplicity of the Wii, and its pricing, made it very attractive.
The lack of HD would have been more of an issue if it had been pushing more BF/CoD-style games, but as it stands it's not a dealbreaker for the Wii's target audience.

I think Nintendo are stuck in the same position Valve were in after the success of Portal, the "Well how the hell do we follow that up?" problem - they have to try to please everyone, the old fanbase and the Wii-era newcomers. Valve (IMO) absolutely nailed it with Portal 2... Nintendo don't seem to be getting themselves out of that hole so well.