A Perfect Storm: Is Nintendo Burning Next?

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alienzander76

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I agree. The kiddie sector isn't enough to hold them afloat anymore as there are sharks in those waters now. I wish they would produce a gaming system that has decent graphics as well as serious titles and ditch this lame-o title catalog and get into the modern era. This isn't 1987 anymore guys
 

reprotected

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Kids are too stupid and arrogant to buy Nintendo products now. Nintendo has two options now: either become Disney, or stick to what they are and still win. Nintendo didn't do so well with the GameCube, but they still managed to live. Also, if you look at how many Wii's were sold this holiday season, it pretty much beats the PS3 and Xbox 360 sold combined (surprisingly).
 

jprahman

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Yeah, every since the N64 Nintendo console games have really sucked outside of one or two select franchises. Nintendo tried to take a family game line, but all the games have had extremely poor quality. Just go down to your local game store and look at the Nintendo games. None of them look slightly interesting, from the downright strange games, to the poor graphics and production quality overall.

They had some great games in the past, but the N64 was the last good console they had, everything else since then just sucked.
 

vertigo_2000

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The problem as I see it, the genres have blurred and Nintendo doesn't know what to do.

You used to have mobile phones, portable game consoles, portable music players, living room game consoles, living room entertainment centres, computers, laptops, TV set top boxes, cameras, video recorders and media players (DVD/Blu-Ray).

All those are starting to merge or have already merged into one and those companies that had the foresight to position themselves and their products in as many of those catefories as possible are going to reap the rewards. Nintendo has mainly limited itself to home and portable gaming.

I have to say, to the chagrine of many regulars here, I think Apple may have done the best job in positioning themselves, so far. Many companies are very close, but IMO, Apple holds the edge.
 

Yuka

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Well, your first assumption is that Nintendo ain't doing much with the money they got from the Wii and DS... You really believe that? Really?

Anyway, even if they actually were thinking about burning money in women and booze, Nintendo is still Nintendo. Just like Nokia is still Nokia. Dumb phrases behind, my point is they have great expertise in both "markets" (hardcore and family/kiddies) of gamers and they can still get a decent monster console just like Sony or MS, but they just try out new stuff.

So, I half agree with you, Mr. Wolfgang: competition is already here and munching their market. The other half says that u're misjudging Nintendo awfully wrong.

Cheers!
 
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I don't really know what they mean by "lost this generation". Sure wii may not be selling as much now, but it as a whole has sold very well and unlike their competitors, nintendo actually makes money selling the consoles.
 

rooket

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There you have it, posters have said it. The kid sector. This is where they rake in tons of cash. No other console is even making a solid attempt at what us adults call shovelware. As long as Nintendo can cash in on shovelware and kiddie TV shows on a portable, they will make a killing. I don't believe this article was so bold to compare Nokia to Nintendo. You're comparing apples to oranges. Let's compare apples to apples. Or the apple iphone. That device costs $600 without contract and does not have many full features in games as even a Nintendo DS or rather even a Nintendo original B&W gameboy. Nintendo will prevail, beyond a doubt, even if you aren't a fanboy everyone knows this. Brand recognition, a plethora of mothers buying shovelware and craptastic tv shows, and an updated graphics engine with 3D requiring now glasses. Now this is a powerful product. I guess this negative article is some sort of reverse psychology hype because otherwise it is very unfounded especially where Nintendo's handheld gaming history is concerned.
 

rooket

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Oh and speaking of shovelware, I forgot to mention the following games: Pokemon (this is a rather crummy game but it rakes in scores of tens of millions of dollars and quite possibly is the best selling game of all time), Zelda (how many of these do we need? oops... they sell a lot of these as well), Mario (this is a no brainer even if it doesn't sell they would still make it based off the fact that their other franchises most importantly the handheld itself has floated the entire company ever since the Nintendo Gameboy Color system), Megaman (although a 3rd party title, how many of these do we need? I was done after Megaman X4 quite frankly but they have a very strong following).

I guess if you count on Nintendo changing their entire corporate structure and franchising, yeah they could fail. But they aren't doing that and that is why this new console is going to score so much cash and give Sony and Apple a run for their money.
 

jfby

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I'm not a Nintendo hater or fanboy, but I do own one. I don't think Nintendo is nearly at the 'burning' level, and I don't think what Nintendo needs is a new console by itself.

I have a Wii but I haven't bought a game since Twilight Princess; the games are unispiring and I don't see that changing in the near future. Nintendo went crazy with the Wii _______ games and hasn't had anything really good in the last few years that has inspired people en masse, hence why the Wii sales has been tapering off. The first 18 months it was out you couldn't find a Wii, but now you basically trip over them when in a store.

On the other fronts Nintendo should consider developing a broader ecosystem and get on the Android train, if possible, and develop a Nintendo Phone. This would help keep Nintendo 'in the game' against Microsoft and Sony.

In the end, in the foreseable future Nintendo's future is in console gaming. A new Wii (Wii2 I guess) would be a great idea IF they could develop games that are unique and people love and offer graphics that are better (or at least on par with) PS3 and XBOX 360 levels.
 

TheViper

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There is so much fail in this article, I'd have write my own article just to refute all the ignorance.

Tom's, if you don't fully understand the market or subject you are writing about, consult someone who does first.
 
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I am confused and kinda amused. I think it is funny that so many people still see Nintendo as a kiddie company when just as many Adults and Hardcore games own and play both a Wii and DS. Also look at the Preoders for the 3DS... It's selling out even before the system has been released and FYI it is not kids that are buying a majority of them it is adults. Nintendo as a company has been around since the late 1800's and has been making games of one kind or another since it's start. I am pretty sure no other game/smartphone company can say that. Nintendo has survived over 100 years because they know how to adapt and take risks... I am pretty sure in another 50 to 100 years they will control out brains as well with the first brain game implant while Sony and microsoft switch to making shoes...
 

lazymangaka

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Wait--what? Let me get this straight: You're saying that Nintendo--who produced two of the three best-selling systems of the last decade--needs to do something drastic or else face certain doom. Actually, you seem to suggest at one point that there's no hope for Nintendo this generation, by which I'm not sure if you're referring to the DS/Wii generation or 3DS/Wii2 generation with, with either choice being, frankly, dumb suggestions.

I'm not going to spend all day here in specifics, but as a generalization look at this: Nintendo made it through back-to-back console failures with the N64 and Gamecube (back-to-back-to-back if you count the Virtual Boy) and lived to tell the tale. We're not talking about a company run by chimpanzees funded by an Amazon.com credit card with a $300 limit. Nintendo has vast resources, both in people and in funds, and will be here for many, many years to come.
 

kinggraves

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Nintendo falls back a bit after dominating the market for the past several years and the vultures start circling. Remember that unlike Sony and MS, Nintendo gave no promise that their system would "last 10 years" so they're free to toss out a new console at any time they please, and the DS is going into this next generation still by far the dominating property.

Smartphones have only taken a small chunk of any of the major handheld's shares. Good developers aren't rushing to develop on iOS or Android. What does that leave them losing, the shovelware, games that will last at best 5 hours, Activision? They can have them. You get what you pay for with 99 cent gaming.

Ever since the n64 era, people have been telling Nintendo they're doing it wrong and this will be their last generation. They continue to stick to their beliefs of putting out gaming-only, affordable systems with interesting twists and it's still working out for them.
Meanwhile Sony is trying to directly compete with smartphones with their NGP. Who's going to win that fight, the established Apple, MS, and Android, or Sony who's bringing nothing new other than maybe being able to pay to play their old games. Within the year there will be smartphones that can match or beat NGP's hardware, what are they going to have to offer then? I think Nintendo is making the better choice, as long as the 3D turns out to be as useful a gimmick as dual screens and motion controls were.
 

Gazornenplat

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wow... this has to be one of the most personally biased articles I've read on Tom's. I'm really surprised at this. I recall Iwata mentioning before the launch that the Wii was neither designed nor intended to compete directly with the XBox 360 or PS3 and I believe that has really panned out. There's no competition with those systems with hardcore games, the Wii loses. But do all the 5-9 year olds and their moms play an XBox 360 or PS3? No, they play Wii. Perhaps if the context of this article is Nintendo is going to lose whatever grasp it has on the seriously dedicated gamer, then perhaps, but in no way are they in a failing state. Shouldn't you expect the sales have to slow down if they've already substantially out-sold the other systems?

3DS? I don't know. Never played one. It may be presumptive to assume that the games developed for it will just be the same generation of games but with a 3D screen. We'll see. I'm not big on handhelds anyways.
 

maestintaolius

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Honestly, I think so much of the 'Nintendo is obsolete' view point is disgruntled adults that grew up and realized Nintendo is no longer focusing on selling stuff to them (as adults). It's like being upset with Hasbro that they don't make an adult version of Play-Doh. Nintendo has always focused on the marketing to kids (and parents/casual players) and I would say it's been pretty successful for them, I see no reason for them to change that strategy. PS3 and 360s market towards adults but don't really have squat for kids.

Mobile phones will probably chip away at Nintendo's casual adult gamer market share, but I just don't see that happening to their kid market share. The fragility of most mobile devices compared to how sturdy Nintendo handhelds are just makes them more kid friendly. I abuse the heck outta my DSi and it still runs just fine (and I really beat the hell outta my old NES and gameboy) yet dropping an iPhone4 on a hard surface a few times shatters the glass. Also, didn't we just have an article about iPhone/Android apps that were being used by kids racking up huge bills for the parents?
 

nottheking

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I concur with a lot of the comments suggesting that this article is incredibly biased. Overall, it reeks of the doomsaying I've mentioned before. Smartphones and ap stores, be it from Apple, Nokia, Blackberry, or even the mighty Google's Android, are NOT going to wipe out portable hand-held consoles. Simply put, it's not profitable to put real gaming interfaces in a phone. To draw a parallel here, mobile phone gaming is kinda like browser-based gaming: sure, there's MILLIONS of the games, and they're available at minimal or no cost. Yet they didn't even put any sort of dent in console or PC game sales, now did they? With smartphone games, they NEVER make the multi-million sales numbers that rake in a good fraction of a billion dollars. They're not the market of big-budget games for huge audiences. They're small-time stuff, and that's where it will stay.

In short, smartphone gaming is an ENTIRELY different market. Sure, it's growing, and making lots of money: but that growth is NOT being taken from elsewhere: markets are NOT a zero-sum game. This "new devices heralding the doom of an existing one" has been an oft-repeated story. And each time, the new type simply found a place alongside the existing favorite. The laptop computer did not replace the desktop PC: in fact, those who own a laptop (or netbook nowadays) also tends to own a desktop, too.

As far as Nintendo's next moves... Anyone who's paid ANY attention at all know that consoles and handhelds come in very distinct generations, that last typically 5-6 years, enough for Moore's law to allow for a significant, massive upgrade that can be used to justify a replacement of the old.

Yes, that means that we're reaching the end or so for the current generation, initially launched in 2005 with the Xbox 360. That means that graphics-wise, Nintendo's successor WILL be superior: that's just the way it is; the highly conservative Wii did manage to thump the over-the-top original Xbox, did it not? Even the 3DS surpasses the Wii, and looks nearly as good as the 360 and PS3; similarly good looks are coming from Sony's NGP. The wider audience, dedicated gaming controls, lack of high costs of buying a pricey 2+ year wireless contract, and bigger budgets for games ensure that Nintendo (and Sony: why the heck has the author neglected to mention any of this threatening THEM?) staying well into the foreseeable future. If either or both go down in this market, it WON'T be to some silly 99 cent smartphone games.
 

tntom

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I keep saying Nintendo and Apple need to either partner or merge. They would be a good fit. They both push for gaming and content on the general audience side.
 

rooket

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[citation][nom]dcj91x[/nom]I am confused and kinda amused. I think it is funny that so many people still see Nintendo as a kiddie company when just as many Adults and Hardcore games own and play both a Wii and DS. Also look at the Preoders for the 3DS... It's selling out even before the system has been released and FYI it is not kids that are buying a majority of them it is adults. Nintendo as a company has been around since the late 1800's and has been making games of one kind or another since it's start. I am pretty sure no other game/smartphone company can say that. Nintendo has survived over 100 years because they know how to adapt and take risks... I am pretty sure in another 50 to 100 years they will control out brains as well with the first brain game implant while Sony and microsoft switch to making shoes...[/citation]

I have to agree with this. I thought I'd come back here seeing a lot of thumbs down on my posts and people ranting about how I am wrong :)

But I, too, have preordered the 3DS and it is awesome. You don't see me standing in line at an iPhone launch, let alone buying one later. $600 for what? It barely has any full games and it has no controller besides the tedious touch screen. 3DS has a touch screen, a D-Pad, and an analog thumb stick. Shoulder buttons and right hand buttons are still there.

I don't need a phone that plays apps labeled as games. If the iPod touch was $120 and looked like an iphone, sure I would have bought one. But doesn't...and it costs more than $120.. and imho it is a rather stale device.

3DS plays MP3s too. And it more than likely is simple drag and drop to the included 2GB SD card.

I think the bottom line here is that Tom's Hardware editors are as sold and biased on Apple products as engadget. LOL!
 
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