Why Nintendo Is Falling Behind in The Game Wars

The Washington Post examines why the GameCube isn't performing so well, and what has happened to the once almighty Nintendo:

At the industry's main trade show this year, Nintendo executives "talked about how they wanted to be cutting edge and create great new games," said P.J. McNealy, an analyst at American Technology Review. "Then they rolled out a new version of Pac Man, which is about as old school as it gets, besides maybe Pong."

The lack of new offerings has some analysts wondering if the once-dominant Japanese company may be waning, the next Sega, consigned to make video games instead of selling the machines that play them.

Tried-and-true titles from Nintendo are still selling, but they are seeing diminishing returns. The most recent game in the company's popular Zelda series, called The Wind Waker, was one of the year's best-selling games. Since it became available in March, 1.3 million units have sold to date, according to research firm NPD. Not bad, but the 1998 release in the series, called Occarina of Time, sold more than 2 million copies in less than two months for Nintendo's last console, the Nintendo 64.

After a year of mostly lackluster sales for the GameCube console (save a recent spurt following a recent price cut) and declining support from game developers, it looks as though Nintendo may have miscalculated. In the United States and Europe, the $99 GameCube is No. 3 in sales, behind Sony's $180 PlayStation 2 and the similarly priced Xbox. In Japan, the GameCube is No. 2, behind PlayStation. The actual numbers are more telling; Sony has sold about 60 million PlayStation 2s around the globe so far, compared with roughly 10 million each for Nintendo and Microsoft.

View: Washington Post Article

News source: VE3D

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