Nintendo Mulls New Business Model … games.html

Speculation: I think we’ll start seeing Nintendo games on iOS and Android sooner or later, but perhaps as a secondary strategy rather than instead of the Wii U/3DS.

The nPhone? I wouldn’t put it past them.

Sometime close to the Wii U launch and I already had some sense of the writing on the wall, it occurred to me how their whole direction seems to be leading towards some kind of consolidation of their handheld and console ecosystems. We’ve already got things like Ouya and nVidia Shield out there, Nintendo is in a much stronger position to make something like that work than anyone.

They’ve already made the statement that graphics power isn’t important, they’ve already sold options for playing their Gameboy / DS games on a TV many times before… dropping the last pretenses seems only logical and probably more profitable at this point. If they manage to package it as a viable alternative to other tablets and phones as well, why not?

I don’t think they can compete anymore. Their market has become niche compared to the mass market it seems. They might not perceive it as profitable enough even if it is still profitable.

They just don’t seem relevant anymore IMO. I don’t see them making a true next generation console so I guess they are going to downsize their business model.

It feels like the end of an era.

You honestly think the company with the best selling gaming system of the year as well as monthly up to the previous month, regionally as well as worldwide (well, mobile phones etc not withstanding, but this time frame includes next gen conosole launches), is irrelevant? I mean, I don’t even consider the 3rd of the three (or a hypothetical 4th if it happened to not be so damn far behind you couldn’t see it)irrelevant but alright.

Nintendo gets one (well, another, it happened with the Virtual Boy too, perhaps GameCube to a lesser extent) dud on their home system (which has not been their primary market since what, the Game Boy?) and it’s doom and gloom all over again. Not that it wasn’t all about doom and gloom even during their absolute highs. The narrative pushed by certain segments of the media got tiring in the 90s but I guess for some it’s still going strong. Weird they don’t see the same with, for example, Sony given the Vita’s situation (not to mention the whole company’s situation if we don’t only look at their gaming side). That one’s just ignored as the irrelevant norm or something, never mind it’s not only doing badly compared to its direct competitor but also its predecessor that did badly compared to its own competitor (but not as badly, and all things considered it did well enough, library and sales wise). I suppose you can say the 3DS isn’t doing anywhere near as good as the DS (as if any other system is doing that) to reasonably put it down a little but then I doubt Sony will get to PS2 sales any time soon either (launch hype means little, launch aligned the 3DS was doing better than the DS for a time until recently). The industry has changed. Not only in general but also per region, for example how Japan rapidly converted to a handheld land last gen.

Edit: I was speaking for the usual regions, in total this situation might change actually, with China potentially opened wide as another market, though I imagine this will benefit all companies to an extent, when the time comes. But it will probably need to be with some cheap older system or revision (2DS?) rather than the latest and greatest offerings from any of them. Well, I have no idea, we’ll have to see how things develop. I could see some systems surpassing the previous all time best sellers easily if things go well on that front.

At least Nintendo is not firing people left and right in an attempt to cut expenses (where does this downsizing guess come from?). The intent to restructure has been clear for a time now, from merging handheld and home divisions under one roof that was completed recently with their new buildings (once more indicating they’re not in as tight a spot as people like to claim, given such immense investments) for example (mind this move doesn’t mean they’re actually intending to merge future products, it could just be for better communication and extra feature parity between the two segments, for example a 4DS could be much more connected to the next home system with a more similar OS, account connectivity, acting out as a controller, and so on, for a more unified experience across platforms that is a result of the original design rather than shoehorned patching like we see with Miiverse and the like on the 3DS). But obviously these are all long term procedures, nothing that is meant to or could suddenly fix the WiiU’s currently dire and seemingly unsalvageable situation.

Hopefully they will be able to turn things around enough for Wii U to struggle roughly afloat GameCube style (rather than a discontinuation Virtual Boy or Dreamcast style) then make a better comeback next gen (not that i think their next gen system will be the same as the competition but with Mario on top like some seem to pine for, nor would I want such a boring development, it’s nice to be surprised whether that results in success or failure) while maintaining a great enough handheld market throughout the transition (on a personal level I also wouldn’t mind if Nintendo only provided a handheld system, that way you could get all their games on one system and suffer less droughts between first party releases, as long as it was TV output and local multiplayer capable, but I seriously doubt they would do that).

Perhaps you meant to say they’re irrelevant to you (rather than just in your opinion), that’s fine by me (kind of how Microsoft is becoming irrelevant to me, but clearly not to the market so I wouldn’t say they’re irrelevant to that), not everyone enjoys masterfully crafted 2D and 3D platform games, innovative JRPGs like Xenoblade (and its coming successor, code named X), great SRPGS like Fire Emblem, unique action titles like Kid Ikarus, niche titles only Nintendo funds like The Wonderful 101 and Bayonetta 2 and so on and so forth. Or a number of popular third party exclusives, from Monster Hunter (yes, yes, Frontier is on almost everything out there, it’s hardly a new mainline title in the series like 3U, 4, and the future), to Shin Megami Tensei (Persona is a spin off of that series). But as far as I’m concerned they’re part of what makes gaming great and I’d hate to see them go like SEGA. At the same time, desires aside, I see next to no reason to think they’re about to pull that. Some of the media need to be more rational and less sensational, kind of like Sony’s Jaffe perhaps instead of playing armchair CEO and pretending they know best what should be done or think throwing money at problems solves them instantly without a time requirement (not that I agree with all his statements, like Disney buying Nintendo, lol).

It’s just my opinion. Nintendo just doesn’t seem very mainstream anymore. They fill a large niche in the market. Nintendo have always been perceived as childish because they seem to make mostly colorful childish and family-oriented games.

Again, that’s just my opinion. Japan is a very insular market as well. I’m sure Nintendo will survive but they just won’t be able to compete with Sony and Microsoft unless they upped their game and broadened their target audience, but even if they did do that, I still don’t see Nintendo competing with those giants. Sony and M$ are too settled now and have too much brand recognition.

Family friendly games for everyone, doesn’t equal childish. Currently having the top selling gaming hardware up to now and a market capitalization rivaling (very recently surpassing, but I think the latest stock price adjustments brought them a bit lower again) Sony’s despite the fact they only primarily deal in a single market (video games, rather than the “giant”‘s movies, music, all sorts of hardware, phones, tvs, cameras, etc) and the fact they’re in their worst position in ages, doesn’t equal irrelevancy (for the record only, Microsoft’s market capitalization is like 10 times both of these combined, or something, for obvious reasons). Games for everyone isn’t just a large niche vs other companies’ intent to primarily cater to the 18-35 year old male gamer and throw a bone to the rest. But sure, opinions and all that.

I just perceive them as childish and non-serious. It’s a bit hard to take Mario seriously. Let me put it this way: if you could only buy one console which would it be?

I would buy the console with the most games and the most mainstream games because I know it will survive and thrive. Basically a console that has everything. Nintendo doesn’t have everything, and that seems to be more or less how they have wanted it.

Nintendo is too niche for the mass market IMO.

Like I said, they will survive but we both know they can’t compete with Sony and Microsoft.

Again, I don’t mean to offend you or anything, but IMO, Nintendo had its time. In order to stay truly relevant they’d have to make a next generation console and broaden their software or make games for the existing ones.

Time will tell.

My problem with Nintendo is the same problem I have with Apple, they charge too much for what you get compared to competitors. If Nintendo doesn’t want to compete on specs, I think that is okay. Catering to a casual crowd and Nintendo fans is fine.

They just need to release a system that is priced to satisfy this market. While the tablet controller is a great idea, utilization is poor and the cost is high. I would rather they release a system that costs max $200, supports all the Wii accessories and games if possible, has a standard controller for the games that would be better with that. Make it all as cheaply as possible. Ensure that you have multiple core franchises ready to go at launch, not 6 months later, and there you go.

The 3DS is successful, but honestly, I don’t particularly care about the 2nd screen or 3d effect. I would like an inexpensive handheld with some horsepower and some good games. Touchscreen is fine. Just keep the costs low, release good games on it, etc. Now if they have some crazy idea that is actually innovative and people are actually excited about, great.

I honestly just think that they are run poorly. I think the Wii was a fluke, but good for them. It did well. I still think they charged too much for it. Ah well, ranting now.

Your personal opinion of what constitutes childish or serious aside (though it’s rather disappointing to see an old timer gamer care about cartoony apperances over gameplay, as if mascot platform games by default are childish because they aren’t grimdark cinematic action adventures with auto pilot terrain traversal and gameplay consisting of mostly shooting and QTEs) I still don’t see how you can say they can’t compete when they still have the top selling gaming hardware worldwide and in most regions separately as well.

And yes, I’m sure many people when faced with the choice of only one system would buy the 3DS. Hence the 3DS being the top selling gaming hardware as mentioned. It’s not to original DS levels (just as the PS3 didn’t reach PS2 levels, neither is the PS4 likely to do that) but it’s still doing damn well, not only in sales but in the immense variety and breadth of software available (as it has actual third party support with RPGs, dungeon crawlers, action games, adventures, even cinematic ones like REvelations and whatever else, but also new experiences from Nintendo like Kid Icarus which is far from the same old Mario, not that I agree they aren’t constantly innovating within that series, 3D Land was unlike any).

Sure, the WiiU is doing abysmally and they’ll be posting losses for the last year (mostly due to exchange rate changes and the hefty investments they’ve been doing recently, as well as the failing WiiU, but again unlike some giants out there they aren’t cutting costs and jobs, but are instead expanding), nobody would argue against that. The GameCube didn’t do so hot either, that didn’t stop the Wii from doing well and I don’t see how the WiiU suddenly condemns them for all of eternity in the market, in the same paragraph where the Vita’s equally rough situation doesn’t condemn Sony that somehow remains a giant towering over Nintendo, by what measure I have no idea since again their market capitalization is roughly equal to Nintendo even though by all accounts they should be the far larger company given how many different things they’re doing over just video games.

Your argument has been to ignore market reality, to set Sony and Microsoft on a pedestal and to put your opinion of what’s childish and what isn’t as the primary measure that truly matters. That’s not offending me, it’s just silly. On one hand you’re talking about them not being mainstream because of their home system on the other hand you’re ignoring how mainstream their handheld is or proclaim this or that valuable IP doesn’t count as mainstream because to you it’s childish (and their non childish IP like Fire Emblem doesn’t count because it’s not as mainstream either I guess, lol). That’s just childish itself.

Sorry but I just don’t see Nintendo competing with the PS4 and the new Xbox.

Do you?

Like I said before, Nintendo fill a very large niche and have positioned themselves very cleverly to not really directly compete with them and profited from it.

Different markets are important no doubt but I’d rather own a console that has everything. I’ve supported non-mainstream consoles/games before and have been burned too many times to support an underdog too much. Nintendo are still semi-mainstream but not in the same league in terms of games and diversity.

You don’t have to like my opinion but you can at least respect it. I’m being reasonable. I could be an immense dick and not listen to anyone instead but that would be immature.

When people have discussions or debates it doesn’t help when they see someone they disagree with as the enemy. But it happens time and time again so I wonder why I even try.

So we will have to agree to disagree Alex and not take it personally.

I see them competing in the video games market and doing rather well with tons of exclusives and support from all sorts of popular third parties, from Capcom to Square Enix, and a great first party output that doesn’t only rely on Mario. That it’s with their portable rather than their home console doesn’t change this. It’s not like Sony and others didn’t try to compete in that space (once again you ignore Sony’s failings) and it’s not like games there are lesser (port begging is in no short supply in all the bigger games’ threads on the most popular forums and many of these games are as critically acclaimed as any console title, if any of that means much). But once again, that’s one failure. Yes, after the highs of the Wii it stings (/stinks and I personally was disappointed and saw the failure coming seeing they gave up on rather than improve on motion controls that still had potential to offer but that’s for another topic). Just as the PS3 stung after the highs of the PS2, especially given how long it took to even become a profitable venture for Sony. No one console has everything so once again by everything you only mean the few things you happen to currently care the most about on a very personal level that, sure, a given range of gamers agrees with but that’s no less of a niche so I don’t see how that range of gamers is suddenly more important than the millions of gamers that bought a 3DS and the millions more than will buy one in the future. The money of either group works the same. Sure, you can settle for one console’s output alone (most people do), I still don’t see why you need to push your own opinion as the gist of the market and pretend I’m taking it personally when I simply make a few broad statements backed up by facts (market capitalization of the so called giant - which incidentally just got its debt rating downgraded to “junk” status by Moody’s - vs poor little unable to compete Nintendo’s, sales numbers of the so called irrelevant company’s hardware and software, etc) against that idea. Again, nowhere did I argue the WiiU is doing well, again, you can’t prophecise that’s the end of them as an influential company in the market as if your favorite giants haven’t ever had a dud (and all this just a few years after they pretty much shaped the whole market by the popularity of the Wii and the other companies’ attempts to follow it with the likes of Kinect that continue even today) based on merely your opinions of what’s childish and what isn’t and what’s a niche and what is mainstream, and no, you can’t ignore how well they’re doing with their handheld just to call them irrelevant and move the goalposts of what irrelevant means to simply mean currently lacking an equivalent to the PS4 machine. Well, okay, you obviously can do that, just don’t expect people to not find it silly. Sure, let’s disagree, that’s what I’ve been doing.

We have different definitions of a console that has everything. Like you said.

I’m sure Nintendo will survive but they won’t have the same market penetration as the PS4 or new Xbox. That is what is relevant to me because that’s new hardware which helps games evolve. The next generation consoles have a far far bigger ripple effect on the mass market and PC gaming than Nintendo.

That’s why they seem irrelevant to me. Nowadays, even Japan seems irrelevant to me even though that’s not true. Japan is just a way more insular market. In other words, tastes differ.

My thought on the WiiU is that the WiiU gamepad, even for first party titles, is largely unused(though I don’t own one, but that is what I hear). The new DKCU title doesn’t seem to use the screen much. Nintendo really screwed up here. They release this new peripheral that even they don’t know exactly what to do with that only drives up cost. So one is only paying extra for a piece of hardware that isn’t utilized. I agree with some of the above posts. They shoudl have focused more on making their existing motion controls more accurate, improving their traditional controller to appeal to 3rd party games, and rather than spend so much dev dollars and cost on the controller, should have beefed up the specs a bit more to appeal to traditional gamers. They also should have called it something other than WiiU. The name is probably one of the biggest reasons why there is confusion over the fact that the console is not just a regular Wii variant.

What some people forget though in business and marketing is that momentum is key to success. Nintendo had momentum and threw it out the window by releasing this console without clear direction nor core games that would drive early adoption. I don’t think Nintendo is done for, they are very solvent, but the idea of scrapping the WiiU might not be a bad idea at this point because they obviously don’t have much in the way of 1st party games coming and 3rd parties are treating it like a disease. It is now effectively a money pit and it hurts their chances of recovery.

PS. Having the chance to live in Japan for a year, the sooner game companies stop relying, catering for this country the better. Japanese are just f’n wierd, and their games really don’t appeal to the mass market anymore. Their time of influence has passed. It is a niche market that is also moving away from traditional handhelds and consoles. They too are becoming more phone centric.

Not to say I didn’t have fun while I was their mind you, but the culture is an acquired taste and a year there was plenty for me.

Again, how do they lack the market penetration of PS4 or Xbox One when they have a system that is very likely to sell more than either? Again, falling back to your opinion doesn’t change hard facts like sales, or is market penetration and mainstream appeal judged in some way other than in how many people’s hands Nintendo hardware and software ends up in? Your posts just make no sense regardless of your personal opinion and gaming tastes. Even if by some miracle the PS4 or Xbox One sell more than the 3DS it won’t be by much.

Frelled, I’m not sure what you mean by stop catering to Japan (I don’t think Nintendo’s in house games were ever particularly Japan centric but speaking in general here). Very Japanese games like Monster Hunter’s action gameplay and Dragon Quest’s classic JRPG style do sell amazingly there (and why shouldn’t they, they’re quality titles and they do OK here when backed enough like Dragon Quest IX) but at the same time blockbuster FPS like Call of Duty and sandbox action games like GTA do very very well there too, now that they’re actually pushed decently enough. Next gen they’ll probably equalize even further in success.

But I’d prefer Japanese companies to stick to what they do best (not that they should never try to do other things, Vanquish was a great first attempt at a third person shooter for example) as Western companies already do that themselves (and they suck at making things Japanese studios are great at like tight platform games, character action games a la Bayonetta, shmups, fighting games, etc, with rare exceptions going either way). If you’re gonna mention some crazy dating sim or otherwise explicit games, while perhaps hard to ignore due to their abundance they also don’t exactly sell anywhere near as much as the traditional genres mentioned here, they’re clearly just an extreme niche.

Anyway, again, hopefully they will keep doing their thing rather than attempt to Westernise themselves like Capcom tried at various times, from how they’ve changed Resident Evil to all the collaborations with Western studios, whoring their valuable IP to make generic shooters (like that Raccoon something Resident Evil spin off, Bionic Commando and Lost Planet 3). They’re far more successful when they stick to what they do well (like Street Fighter, Dragon’s Dogma, Monster Hunter and Resident Evil before the Western influence which was silly to begin with as Resident Evil 4 popularised the third person cinematic shooter and influenced the market, yet now it’s been influenced by Gears of War, complete with cover shooting).

They just need to budget and manage better but that goes for the West too with how companies were/are bleeding money. In the West we have a shooter (third or first person) craze going since the Xbox anyway, along with cinematic blockbuster games a la Tomb Raider. It’s just that such shooters weren’t prelevant on consoles but mostly were PC only before the Xbox so they’re fresher by a few years for console only gamers, even if they aren’t fresher than the so called stale Japanese productions in reality.

But if or when that finally quiets down a little (on the other hand with the genres just opening in Japan the effect could be prolonged by that, sadly) with player fatigue kicking in (how long can Call of Duty keep selling ~20 million copies a pop with next to no gameplay changes or any unique new ideas) I think quality Japanese games could recover some ground as people once again could start valuing variety and more unique ideas (and realizing all over again that not every JRPG or other genre game is identical to the next). I don’t think that they’ve dropped in quality as some claim, outside some glaring examples like Final Fantasy at least, which I don’t think represent the country.

But even if not, whatever, just lower budgets accordingly. If lesser names like the Tales of series can do so well and thrive by selling primarily in Japan alone then worldwidely released niche titles should be viable also. Spending a ton to bank on big returns isn’t going to work every time and when it fails it hurts that much more as proven many times in the past (so I really don’t get why we’re seeing this go big or go home argument this generation with everyone claiming the mid budget production is dead, as if it’s either do extreme high budget titles or on the other end do mobile freemium shovelware (and indie games which as good as many are don’t really replace a veteran studio with a modest budget - although Kickstarter kinda does this at times nowadays).

The official English translation of the Nintendo Q3 investors meeting is up so ignore second hand reports and just read it. It’s relatively short and mentions things I didn’t see in any other translation prior to this upload, like the Quick Start menu they plan to implement on the WiiU to reduce the time needed to choose and launch a game (a mock up video is included) and the DS Virtual Console for WiiU.

The 10 year long Quality of Life platform goal is outlined in the last two pages and the images do seem to indicate it’s a wholly separate endeavor that they’re partnering with another unnamed company for, although it may interact with their gaming side in various ways (offer some games, potentially unified accounts, interaction of different products and so on).

Other than that they’ve vaguely highlighted what they’ll do in the short term as they try to recrtify the WiiU situation and strengthen the 3DS further (basically via marketing, reaching out to other demographics like smart device users and kids they’ve failed to attract the way they used to, releasing games that utilize the GamePad in a more inspiring fashion and enriching the amount of releases by lending their IP to even more third party studios).

In the long term they will keep investing in R&D, foreign market research, improve on their weaknesses (online? OS?) and bring their future handheld and home business closer together as “brothers”.

They also outlined what they won’t do, which is to abandon their gaming hardware market or make games for other platforms (although the “small, select team of developers” involved in the smart device efforts isn’t actually barred from making games if that’s what it takes to keep the users engaged and checking in on Nintendo offerings).

Merchantising and other licensing deals will be done for products that don’t compete with them resulting in a win win situation used to further spread Nintendo’s mindshare.

It’s clear they’re not considering abandoning the home console market in the long term or cutting support for WiiU (or dropping the GamePad, lol) in the short term, instead riding it out whether they’re successful in rectifying the situation or not, while working on their long term goals and perhaps making the company an overall lifestyle icon, from video games to merchantise, media, health and beyond, assuming any of it could work out.

The investor Q&A will probably be translated in the coming weeks.

That wall of text makes my head hurt, Alex. More paragraphs, please.

Just read the link.

Its simple Solo in the home console market Nintendo have truly lost it: Nintendo have been found wanting selling off last hen Hardware with a poor gimmick and inept software support and wheere so far behind the times on On-Line, what it takes to make High Def games , 3rd party support its untrue … T Wii U is doomed to be nothing more than a distant 3rd place and a flop .

Some of us have been saying this for years mind.

Oh look, it has returned, with the same old trolling and all. Hello! Yes, the WiiU is a flop, no, knowing that (how very perceptive of you!) doesn’t mean Nintendo’s investor meetings are no longer worth checking out for those who are truly interested in this hobby and its industry as a whole, just as Sony’s would still be interesting even if the Vita (like many of their other business ventures in recent years and despite being all high tech, fancy and what not) is also a flop. That’s not all of what they’re about, obviously. Seriously, welcome back you, lol.