The Death of Nintendo


Apr 16, 2015
Virtual Boy
Will the NX be the last stand for Nintendo in the home console market? I for one hope they don't. I thought they had an impressive line up back when the Nintendo 64 was selling like hotcakes. But things have changed since then. They don't compete hardware wise and have held stern to the belief that their mascots will save them and it's not about having the muscle under the hood.

Game developers can't port over their titles because of the hardware, low sales means a great chance of your title not getting bought. It seems that things are piling up here. What can Nintendo do to turn things around here?
Tbh the graphics race is kind of a rat race at the moment, and Nintendo is wise not to get into that. The SNES, Nintendo 64 and Gamecube were among the most powerful systems because the power was needed in order to pull off a seamless gaming experience. Now the graphics have improved dramatically but the gameplay has stayed relatively the same. I don't give a rat's ass whether my character's hair flows naturally or not, as long as his controls are not glitchy and his face doesn't unexpectedly glitch out. Even a decade ago you could come out with a console that is the most powerful thing on the market and it stays the most powerful on the market, but nowadays even Microsoft and Sony are finding that you can spend a fortune in R&D on a console only to find you need to make a Neo or Spectre as your system is not enough. And those systems still don't capture the enthusiast market which has moved onto $1,500 gaming PCs. Microsoft and Sony can afford to fight in that race, as they have their software and hardware sales to prop them up. Nintendo is solely a gaming company, and so cannot take the risk of tying up all their finances in the next Dreamcast.

The Wii has proven that Nintendo can be successful with a cheaper system that people buy alone or alongside a more expensive console or PC, and I believe it is in Nintendo's best interest to maintain that niche.

Besides, hyperrealistic graphics would only be a detriment to Nintendo.
I think predictions that console gaming is going away have been around for.... as long as consoles have been on the market. Lets not forget out of the "big 3" in the market today, Nintendo is the oldest company, and the oldest video game company still in the hardware game.

An observation: What I find fascinating, is that Sony and Microsoft are effectively selling PCs today, with essentially "N64" controllers (generally iterations on that formula, and theres nothing wrong with that). The one advantage that consoles had/have over PCs is the fact that the specs are nailed down for consumers and developers for ~5 years. So Sony and Microsoft have been able to shift away from more exotic hardware(processors, RAM, CPU, storage) to "off the shelf" components and still retain that advantage. (If they release upgraded hardware mid-cycle, or even after every 4/5 years....are they still in the hardware console biz? or just in the rebranded PC as a console biz?)

Game developers(third parties) are a funny bunch. When the Wii sold roughly as much as the PS3+XB360 (marketshare) and required a fraction of the development cost, they still didn't put their A-teams to work on the Wii. With the WiiU, I can understand that marketshare is an issue. But last gen we saw developers shun the Wii in favor for consoles with much smaller marketshare and much higher development costs. Is it just a coincidence that so many console developers and publishers disappeared last generation? (There were other factors at play as well not only the Wii/PS3/XB360; but im convinced that this "pig headedness" of devs towards the Wii contributed).

Nintendo has a stable of franchises comparable to what Disney has, and the ONLY reason people buy hardware is for the software. The WiiU, didn't have any (at least for me, and apparently for the wider market as well).

What can Nintendo do to improve its chances for success? IMHO...
1. Second parties. Foster closer relationships/partnerships, such as they had with Rare in the N64 days, Factor5 in the GCN days and Retro that they've had since the first Metroid Prime.

2. Get unique exclusives from third parties. Getting developers to "target" the Nintendo hardware first with some key titles, kinda like they did with Resident Evil 4(GCN) and Bayonetta2(WiiU). Get exclusivity for a fixed time, and make sure the publisher&dev cannot even hint at the game going cross platform during that exclusivity period.

3. Improve developer relations. They probably need to create a new team to liaison with the big developers to address issues they are having. They can also improve the development environment for indie devs like they started to do with the Wii (WiiWare).

4. Focus. I rewatched the 2006 Nintendo E3 keynote. And i saw focus. The WiiU reveal was too complicated and all over the place.... (tablet controller with every possible input, "asymmetric gameplay", mix controllers in play sessions, TiiWii(or whatever), use the gamepad as the primary screen, etc...) It almost seemed like they didn't know what to make, so they just put everything they could think into it, hoping something would stick. Their recent announcement of the "health" stuff and movies has me worried in this regard.

5. Better marketing than what they did with the WiiU. The name was a disaster with the wider public, the controller is overly complicated for the general public (The Wii simplified the controller, and i think that was part of why it appealed to the wider public; it sold itself).

Relatively minor suggestions:
-Iconic industrial design
-Under $300
-Bundled game
-One SKU (expandable with SDHC/USB if needed)

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Well that was well thought out and written. I'll sum it up real quick. The Wii outsold both Sony and Microsoft console combined in that generation of consoles. They should of had a bigger share of the market (games sold) but I guess the third party games just weren't there as most wanted to push the boundaries of gaming. The hardware for the Wii could not do that and they only thing that made it so popular was the innovative controls and overall price.

Nintendo tried it again but gamers never caught onto the tablet and third party software wasn't supporting it because the trend is to set new standards in gaming and the Nintendo Wii U couldn't do that.

Now here we are looking at the Nintendo NX and pondering over previous mistakes and what they can do to be more successful. It's obvious that they need third party support but the trend for game makers is to push the envelope and not be held back by hardware limitations. I think that is the deciding factor. Games make the console and not the other way around. If the console is short on the processing and graphical prowess, then game makers will be gun shy and not pull the trigger.

I think all game makers and developers want to make exciting and forward thinking games. It is a business and selling games is what it's all about, but most if not all want to bring gaming and game designs to the next level. Making games for a popular console would sell more, but I think at the core of game makers, they want something exciting, fresh, and forward thinking.
A lot is also going to depend on what's actually meant by the death of Nintendo as well. As we have seen just recently with the popularity of Pokemon GO, Nintendo are nowhere near finished when it comes to coming up with an idea that will make them a lot of money, and with that kind of innovation then the death of Nintendo will be a long way off, if it ever even happens at all.

AS for the NX being the last actual console they will develop, then I think only time will tell, and if it flops then I can see Nintendo looking at other areas to invest and they may then decide to leave the home console market to Sony and Microsoft to battle it out, just like Sega did all them years ago.
I made this thread before Pokemon Go was released. Several billion dollars in a week or so and Nintendo is riding high. they won't be going anywhere, but yes, their console is under performing compared to the original Wii. We need a third party in the console wars to keep the other two in check and keep competitive prices down.
The worst thing that can happen to any sector and more importantly the gaming industry, is that one company gets a monopoly, the others pull out leaving them to practically rule the roost. Imagine if Nintendo and Sony decide to call it a day and invest in other areas leaving Microsoft for example to be the only console maker out there? Doesn't bare thinking about really does it?
Well that was well thought out and written. I'll sum it up real quick. The Wii outsold both Sony and Microsoft console combined in that generation of consoles.
360 sold 85 million systems. PS3 sold 80 million systems. Wii sold 101 million. Wii did not sell more than them combined. PS3 and 360 equal 165 million sold put together. Also as long as Nintendo makes profit in hardware they are here to stay. Wii U still made profit. Wii U didn't hurt them much. When Zelda and Bloodstained release next year Wii U will be in it's 6th year getting support. Wii had a 6 year cycle. If you want to get technical Wii U had 5 year cycle which is the same as Gamecube. Nintendo is in better financial shape than Sony. Financially Nintendo is very cozy.
The figures are that Nintendo is worth around $18.4 billion and Sony is worth $17.7 billion but a lot of that is down to the success of Pokemon GO and Nintendo's worth as shot up in the last few weeks. If we are talking about in the longer term, Sony was the more profitable company but neither are exactly on the verge of calling in the receivers to be honest.
I'm not a huge fan of Sony as a company (I like their products, it's just the company itself that irritates me) but I certainly don't want them to go anywhere for the same reasons @pwarbi talked about. Competition is good, and at three consoles we probably have the best amount we can.
Sometimes competition can cause issues. It can force a company to make dramatic changes to their product too quickly instead of focusing on their strengths. When the iPhone came out RIM had rushed out the Storm series which was slow and buggy and relied on an OS that was not designed for touchscreen interfaces. Eventually they got things right with BB10 and have actually exceeded iOS in terms of design and quality, but it has now been blown off due to the impression left by BlackBerry OS 6.
Very true, which is why if Microsoft had went through with their DRM policies with original Xbox One concept, had it succeeded, Sony and Nintendo very well probably would have followed suit and that would not have been good for anyone. However, lack of competition could be absolutely abhorrent as well. That's why so many people really like the PC gaming market, because there are multiple places to buy digital games where as with consoles you're stuck with the console manufacturer's ecosystem whether it be Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo.
When WCW went out of business The WWF became the WWE and stopped hiring bookers and hiring bad TV writers and aimed the show at toddlers. Now they can't figure out why ratings are very poor. That's the miracle of zero competition.
Competition can be good and bad, but I think there is a lot more good that can come from a sector having companies competing against each other than having just one that controls the market. While it is true that sometimes the amount of competition can make brands bring out devices or updates that aren't ready, competition is generally a good thing and can be beneficial to the consumer as it keeps the brands coming up with newer and better ideas and keeps the sector from becoming stagnant.
360 sold 85 million systems. PS3 sold 80 million systems. Wii sold 101 million. Wii did not sell more than them combined. PS3 and 360 equal 165 million sold put together.

You're right, my bad. However, wasnt the Wii close to XB+PS early in the lifecycle?

From what i remember, devs were flocking to XB360, even though the Wii, despite being released a year later, outsold it pretty quickly. That never made sense to me.
If the NX fails, I can picture them focusing on the handheld market cause even the 3DS is doing well. Not as well as the DS but still doing atleast far better than the Vita.

I honestly can't see them gone right now. Keep in mind that Sony and Microsoft have more things to offer than their consoles such as Windows, TVs etc.

Nintendo right now is beginning to do just that starting with Amiibo which is already doing them wonders btw.
Sony has little else going on. Entire divisions been closed down and buildings sold and cut 18000+ jobs in the last 4 years. Sony literally rests on the success or PlayStation now. Their film division is doing them no favors. MS has sort of given up with all Xbox games on Windows. Xbox as hardware days are numbered. PS4 essentially a PC. Console gaming's future is up in the air. Nintendo has been around since 1889 because they keep adapting. They honestly are the most secure of the three.

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