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'It's not as simple as enabling Mario to move on a smartphone'
'It's not as simple as enabling Mario to move on a smartphone'
January 17, 2014 | By Alex Wawro

January 17, 2014 | By Alex Wawro
Comments
    81 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



"We are thinking about a new business structure...Given the expansion of smart devices, we are naturally studying how smart devices can be used to grow the game-player business. It's not as simple as enabling Mario to move on a smartphone."
- Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, speaking about the company's plans for the future during a press conference, as reported by Bloomberg.

President of Nintendo Satoru Iwata held a press conference today in Osaka, Japan to address news that Nintendo has been forced to revise its previously optimistic forecast for the fiscal year to project significant losses, rather than profits.

Bloomberg reporters were in attendance and published a story suggesting that Iwata is continuing to speak openly about the need for Nintendo to embrace the booming mobile market.

"We cannot continue a business without winning," said Iwata. "We must take a skeptical approach whether we can still simply make game players, offer them in the same way as in the past for 20,000 yen or 30,000 yen, and sell titles for a couple of thousand yen each."

A report from The Wall Street Journal claims that Iwata admitted to "misreading the market" and failing to guide Nintendo towards change that would surprise and satisfy its customers.

"The way people use their time, their lifestyles, who they are have changed," said Iwata. "If we stay in one place, we will become outdated."

Sales of the Wii U, Wii and 3DS were far less than Nintendo expected, though the NPD reports more 3DS units were sold in the U.S. in December 2013 than any other console.


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Comments


Lance McKee
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I hope this "new business structure" still follows Nintendo's usual concern for long-term stability and growth rather than chasing trends and stuff like you sometimes see.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Lance McKee - Agreed! I personally prefer Nintendo to set trends instead of trying to follow trends, especially if trends turn out to be a fad in the end (which was the case with the LaserDisc games). Perhaps, Nintendo should consider doing something with the eShop on the mobile front and go from there. After all, there are people that still want to play games from NES, SNES, Genesis, etc., but they would love to have more accessibility those games. Nintendo just has to make sure that the system is secure for purchases and make sure that the strategy doesn't hurt the company and its allies in any way.

Ryan Christensen
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Embracing change and using it to your advantage is a winning strategy. Nintendo does everything game related with quality, I am sure any change will continue that. They may kick the game up a bit if they enter other platforms and devices in addition to their own. Who knows maybe Super Smash Bros could become a crazy new F2P model that works for players and the game company like Valve style. Or how about this, Nintendo driving Apple TV console sales, or Steam OS sales in exclusives. Sounds crazy, could happen, any platform (Apple, Samsung, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Sony, Steam etc) would LOVE to have Nintendo exclusives, early launches and games on their platform. You don't have to worry about Nintendo messing this up, they make Nintendo quality.

Michael Pianta
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Speaking selfishly, as a consumer, these comments worry me because I actually really like what Nintendo does and I don't want them to change too much. But, looking at it dispassionately, from a business perspective, it does appear that major changes are necessary.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Michael Pianta - I agree with you, which is why I believe that Nintendo should strike a balance. The eShop (more specifically, the Virtual Console) could be an option for the mobile strategy.

Jake Norris
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Seems like the obvious solution is for Nintendo to start releasing its games onto other platforms. Don't let the failing part of your business drag the good parts down.

Bob Johnson
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It isn't the obvious solution. It is the obvious reaction though.

Turning around and selling games on other platforms means never going back.

And some of their biggest successes came very recently when making their own hardware.

It allowed them to do new things. They would be much more hand tied making games on other platforms in this respect.

Also making games on other platforms doesn't automatically mean making money. EA has lost billions the past 7 years making games on all platforms.

And to put the console business into perspective, Sony and MS, as console manufacturing competitors, haven't made an overall profit in the last 7 years. Should they stop making consoles?

It isn't that simple.

Benjamin Quintero
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Yeah because Sega did this and they turned out to be a real force to reckon with. They must be bigger than Nintendo by now, right?

Bob Charone
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By revenue, Sega is still one of the biggest game companies in existance even if they don't have as good a brand as Nintendo

John Flush
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Nintendo needs to be careful. Releasing Nintendo items onto other platforms could pretty much kill the need to buy their hardware altogether. And while people say they love Nintendo games I worry that one of the reason 1st party games sell so well is people buy the hardware and then buy Nintendo games because it is the only thing of quality on the hardware most of the time - their production values are clearly heads-above 3rd parties.

If they move to other platforms they would then be in direct competition to the best 3rd party software out there. And yet other Mario platformer or Zelda game just isn't going to cut it. They would have to quickly become an amazing AAA shop that sticks to a much smaller set of franchises that constantly sell - Pokemon, Smash Bros, Mario Kart and... hum... that's the problem isn't it? the hardware and the software just isn't selling as good as it use to and Smash Bros seems to fit the bill exactly with what I was saying in the first paragraph. That is 'the fighter' for Nintendo hardware, but on any other hardware would anyone really care?

Tread very carefully Nintendo and remember most of the noise saying to put your stuff on other platforms are from the people that wouldn't actually buy it anyhow. You know the people that are sick of being left out because they don't buy your hardware or wouldn't mind saving $200-$400 to maybe play the games but probably wouldn't buy them in the end anyhow because they don't do it now.

----
On a related note but different note, I still can't figure out why they haven't got a really good VC option available for their amazing library. Everyone I know has emulators and such for the games - they play them already, make it legal and make it reasonable. My beef with games on the VC is they still charge $5 for them, but put them on a phone for $.99 and they might sell like hotcakes... then again, customers will probably expect it to be Free-to-Play and would look at it as $.99 is breaking the bank. Ugg, I hate the 'mobile' attitude sometimes.

Anyhow, good luck Nintendo...

Jeferson Soler
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@ John Flush - I agree with you about Nintendo needing to be careful. In fact, I wouldn't recommend Nintendo to do new titles for other consoles at all. That's why I feel that the eShop should be the key to Nintendo's mobile strategy as the eShop has the Virtual Console with all the classic games that people would love to play on the go and for old times sake. The eShop has untapped potential. Of course, even with the eShop, Nintendo will have to be careful.

Kyle Redd
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The Virtual Console on mobile could only work with Game Boy or NES games, though. Any game designed for a platform whose gamepad had more buttons than those two did would be nigh impossible to control on a phone or tablet.

Possibly a few SNES games that only used a couple of the pad's buttons could work, like Super Mario World, but there aren't many of those.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Kyle Redd - Those are good points. One of the biggest criticisms that I have seen on Gamasutra in regard to mobile gaming has been about the problem with the controls. That's something that Nintendo would have to take into account as the company thinks about its next move.

Javier Degirolmo
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From what I've been reading, the new controller interface supported by iOS has enough buttons to recreate something similar to the SNES controller, so it may not be that far off (of course the question is who's gonna bother getting those controllers in the first place).

John Flush
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@Kyle - The amount of games definitely would be limited until the control scheme was worked out, I will agree with you there. But Pokemon, Fire Emblem, Advance Wars, and any other puzzle game or TBS game wouldn't require any special controls.

And to answer Javiers question, few people will buy those controllers.

Bob Johnson
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There really isn't any new news here. Just official confirmation that yes the Wii U hasn't been selling.

IT is funny the same articles talk about smartphones eroding the console business while also mentioning that the PS4/Xbox One both had no trouble selling millions during the holidays compared to the Wii U.

Also ironic that the Wii U is Nintendo's platform in trouble. Dedicated gaming handhelds were supposed to be the first to go after smartphones were everywhere.

The official confirmation does mean Nintendo will soon make a move to further try to save the Wii U. The quick fix is a Gamepad-less Wii U. Something they probably thought about before it even launched.

Matt Heinzen
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Bob, I think that in hindsight skipping the Gamepad would've been a much better business move. If the Pro Controller was the Wii U's standard controller they could've saved at least $50 in manufacturing costs, and if they had used those savings to beef up the GPU and CPU a system could've been created that easily outclassed the 360 and PS3, which would've made multiplatform releases on Wii U much more palettable, because less work would have been necessary to ports running smoothly.

However, I don't see that as a solution now. Releasing a Wii U without a Gamepad would cut costs significantly, but would also eliminate at least half of the existing game library. I don't think existing games aren't labeled to inform customers that the Gamepad may be necessary for play, since it is the one controller that is assumed to be available on EVERY Wii U console.

The quickest and easiest attempt at a fix that I can see would be to slash prices on all Virtual Console titles, followed shortly with an account system that ties purchases to the account rather than the hardware. These are the sticking points I read about the most often, and increase the value of the Wii U console significantly without actually increasing the cost to Nintendo or customers.

Bob Johnson
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@Matt,

None of the game library would be eliminated as far as I can tell. There are straight forward work arounds for virtually everything. Most games already have an option of control methods. The system allows for patching. SMB was patched even.


They could easily sell the Gamepad as an accessory with Nintendoland packed in. They could also still have deluxe Wii U sku with the Gamepad packed in on store shelves.

Games would still be made with Gamepad features to help sell the accessory and appease current Wii U owners. The only difference is games now would be required to also be played without a Gamepad. Not a big stretch for virtually everything I've played on the system.

Given how bad sales are I can't but think this is now a strong possibility. Of course this is only a strong possibility if the price of the Wii U can be reduced by $100 or more by not including the Gamepad.

I'm afraid slashing VC prices or tying VC purchases to accounts wouldn't set the world on fire. For a user on forums like this it might be a big deal. For the general consumer it is fairly meaningless. The general consumer wouldn't notice a difference if their purchases were tied to an account or to the hardware. And the general consumer isn't buying a Wii U to play old games. Don't get me wrong. I do think their VC games are mostly overpriced. And it would be nice if the accounts wouldn't be tied to hardware especially for their handhelds where a family has more than one and which tend to wear out faster than consoles.

Tyler King
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Shame on Nintendo if they ever release a gamepad-less wii-u, because at that point it truly just becomes an HD Wii. Which is what they have been trying to avoid this whole time. The game pad is what makes it unique and if they ever do that it will just show they gave up on their original vision.

Bob Johnson
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Oh and next-gen it seems obvious now that you won't see both a traditional console and handheld. I see them doing something different and quite possibly just having one platform. One platform thinking has some flaws in it like the fact console games and handheld games each have their own set of requirements.

But it sure would keep Nintendo from spreading themselves too thin. It would make your one platform more attractive because it would have more games. It would be easier to maintain from a support perspective and easier to market etc. Your developers would have just one platform to work on. Customers wouldn't be asked to buy 2 platforms making it easier for customers to get access to all your games. Also, since graphics are not the focus of Nintendo any longer, having one platform would seem to be easier than ever to accomplish.

Bob Johnson
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I still like Nintendo here. I think their games are of high quality. And generally well received. I think they have big opportunities in digital yet that hopefully are even more profitable than retail and allow them to more easily bring new ideas to market. I still believe they have world class game design talent and perhaps the largest corporate culture built around that. And I think they will manage this this downturn well and go back to the drawing board.

They have to change with the times. But that doesn't just mean doing what everyone else is doing. I think for them it means how exactly are the times changing and what new product can we do that is for these new changing times. Instead of just, "ah hey, yeah ok, we'll put Mario on phones. Um yeah and yeah $.99. Yep that will the price. And ah, if you want more lives than 3 you can buy them for real money instead of collecting coins. Touch to jump and um, the dpad will be whereever you place your left thumb. Have fun. "

SD Marlow
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I get the whole idea of taking your games to the people, even if it's not your own platform, but Nintendo games (and the Nintendo image) is already at the saturation point. Basically, 95% of potential customers for what they offer are already customers. If they want to grow (regardless of platform), they need to bring something new to the table(t) <- see what I did there. If Disney can create new and interesting characters (Toy Story, Monsters Inc, Cars, WALL-E, Brave, etc), so can Nintendo.

Oh, wait... those were all done by Pixar. Oops.

Tomorrows headline reads: Nintendo buys Pixar for 100 billion dollars!

Bob Charone
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Pixar was bought by Disney many years ago, when Nintendo was still worth a fortune.

Also Nintendo doesn't have near that much money, they have $9B in cash+short term investments, down from $14B 3 years ago, still a pretty good amount for a medium size company. (for comparison Activision have $7B, Sony have $15B, Microsoft have $81B)

Terry Matthes
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Nintendo is slow to change. Too slow. I feel like they need a drill Sargent in their offices screaming at them to be relevant. I can't remember the last time I gave a crap about any game that came out for Nintendo and that's sad because I started playing the NES when I was 3 in the early 80s. They hooked me on the video game smac and I tried to keep them on as my "guy", but there are other people out there with better "stuff" and now they aren't even third or fourth in my book.


"we will become outdated." - Satoru Iwata
You already are :(

It's like they're oblivious to how irrelevant they are because they've been drinking their own kool-aid for far far too long. Time for a cold shower and some harsh truths Nintendo.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Terry Matthes - "I have been saying this for some time, but customers are not interested in grand games with higher-quality graphics and sound and epic stories. Only people who do not know the videogame business would advocate the release of next-generation machines when people are not interested in cutting-edge technologies." - Hiroshi Yamauchi

To be honest with you, Yamauchi was right. Otherwise, the Wii, the DS, the 3DS (after the price cut), Minecraft and Angry Birds wouldn't have been successful. Granted, Nintendo did overestimate the sales number target for the 3DS in the US, which was something that Nintendo should have been more careful with, but the 3DS is still doing good as far as I have noticed. As far as I'm concerned, the ones that are becoming outdated are the ones that are still living in the past and still hanging on to their issues with Nintendo for whatever reason, even going as far as believing that they are more ahead of time than Nintendo. Following trends doesn't make one ahead of time. Setting trends is the best way to go and that's what Nintendo has been doing. Nintendo may not be perfect, but it does its best to do quality products. As for the kool-aid comment, that's rather a delusional comment, in my opinion. Nintendo is more of a perfectionist than I am and the company takes it very seriously when things go either right or wrong, especially with their projections.

James Yee
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I'm a bit confused here, in what ways are Nintendo "Ahead of time" or "setting trends?"

3D on portables? Then they go and release a 2D version removing that aspect?

Motion controls? That was the Wii and that's done in a lot of ways.

The "Second Screen" thing isn't catching on. COULD it be the "next" thing? Maybe, but I'm not seeing anyone really pushing a good reason for it to be.

Honestly I'm with Terry in a lot of ways here. Nintendo was interesting to me once, but I have long since moved away from them and that's fine. Tastes change, and there is obviously a market there for Nintendo, but a smaller one than they thought. Adjust accordingly.

Jeferson Soler
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@ James Yee - "3D on portables? Then they go and release a 2D version removing that aspect?" 3D is still an important component to the 3DS. The 2DS was more for the kid audience due to concerns from adults about how the 3D function would affect the kids (some adults may not believe that the 3D switch was enough), so that's part of the reason that it was created. However, there may have been other reasons for the 2DS to have been created, considering the look, the structure and the design of the system. Still, even some adults like to get the system for themselves due to it being low-priced in comparison to the two 3DS models. The situation with the 2DS and the 3DS is similar to the situation with GBA and GBA SP but in reverse.

"Motion controls? That was the Wii and that's done in a lot of ways." And Sony and Microsoft followed up on creating their own motion control devices, even when they didn't have to or needed to do so as Nintendo wasn't even competing against them.

"The "Second Screen" thing isn't catching on. COULD it be the "next" thing? Maybe, but I'm not seeing anyone really pushing a good reason for it to be." The idea of the second screen is nothing new for Nintendo. Aside from the GameCube/GBA connectivity, there are also the DS and the 3DS. The two portable systems use a second screen, and from what I noticed, they caught on very well. If Nintendo (especially NoA) would point out that the Wii U turns into a giant DS and really show what the system is capable of, then things would have been different.

By the way, I have seen your comments in the past, so I already know that you are not that much of a fan of Nintendo in the first place. Nintendo is not limited to just one genre (especially thanks to the different teams that work for Nintendo) and the audience for Nintendo games as well as games that are similar to Nintendo games are not that niche at all. Not to mention, there are more people that would rather play simple games (like Angry Birds and Solitaire) than there are people that want to play FPS games. The real niche audience is the one for the FPS genre and the only reasons that some franchises even still sell are because of heavy marketing and name recognition.

James Yee
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Glad you're reading Jeferson. :)

Yep, I'm not a fan, but I'm not a hater either. They're just "not my thing" and that's perfectly fine just as those who really like their stuff are perfectly entitled to their opinion as well.

My point is, the sales are obviously reflecting this, that as far as their market is concerned they seem to be pretty much meeting that market. Even 50 Million is a "niche" mate, just a rather large one. :)

I once again bring up just because people are doing "motion controls" doesn't mean anything is currently actually coming of it. Yes, the big three have it, (Hell even the PC has a few motion control options) but honestly what is being made that really uses it to any great effect? We get maybe what? A dozen games? That's not a trend that's a blip. Sure, you can name lots of games that have motion controls, but that actually couldn't be done better without those controls? Not so much.

The dual screen experience works on portables because they're both right there. You even say yourself " If Nintendo (especially NoA) would point out that the Wii U turns into a giant DS and really show what the system is capable of, then things would have been different." You basically admit it yourself that it's not being pushed or even used well on the Wii U and to me the fundamental difference is where those screens are located. The one in your hands is, in normal comfortable play position, well outside of view of the main screen (the TV) meaning you have to remove your eyes from the main screen to see it versus on the DS (which it works well in) you can see it at a glance much easier and more readily. As I said, it COULD work, but so far it isn't in the TV market.

Again, I'm not a Nintendo hater and I full admit, as Bob Listed, there are good things coming from them in the past. I argue that their CURRENT stuff isn't all that ground breaking or trend setting, merely continuing what they're already doing. DS came out in 2004 and Wii 2006 which means it's been over a decade since they started dual screen stuff and 8 years for motion controls. Unfortunately for many it's not what you "did" for us, it's what you've done for us lately, and I'd argue not much.

Bob Johnson
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I think Nintendo set a lot of trends and/or were ahead of the curve. Or at least they attempt to. Not all of it is or will be a lasting standard or a big hit.

Wireless controller. Wavebird.

touchscreen in handheld. DS

Stylus. DS

2 screen handheld. DS.

motion controls. WiiSports.

avatars. Miis on the Wii.

3d. 3ds.

2nd screen console controller. Wii U Gamepad

Jeferson Soler
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@ Bob Johnson - Good list and you are right in that not all of it is or will be a lasting standard or a big hit. In case of the Virtual Boy, that wasn't big hit at all and for couple good reasons (especially its structure and design). Although, there are people that would love to see Virtual Boy games on the 3DS VC as the 3DS tech can make the virtual boy games possible on the system.

Muir Freeland
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Nintendo invented, or at least popularized, the d-pad, the analog stick, rumbling controllers, motion controls as we know them, and on and on. They constantly experiment with and try new things. Not everything they do catches on, but when something sticks, it sticks -- and everyone tries to ape it. They're far from irrelevant.

Jeferson Soler
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@ James Yee - "You basically admit it yourself that it's not being pushed or even used well on the Wii U and to me the fundamental difference is where those screens are located." Just for the record, I never said or implied that the second screen set-up wasn't used well on the Wii U, but I was implying that Nintendo failed to tell the public that the Wii U turns the TV into a giant DS for the most part. In other words, I was pointing out more of the problems with the lack of marketing for the Wii U and with Nintendo's poor messaging about the Wii U. At least, that has been the case in the US. I like Nintendo, but I'm not going to be shy about saying things that have gone wrong with their strategy at times and the one thing that I'm most frustrated with in regard to Nintendo's strategy has been the marketing (or the lack of it), which is pretty obvious as I have been talking about the issues with the Wii U marketing on just about every single comment that I typed on this article and on another article. In any case, I appreciate your comment. I don't agree with everything that you said on it, but it was very constructive. Thank you :)!

James Yee
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You're welcome and I agree with you completely there Jeferson on how poorly Nintendo US has done on marketing. How is the Marketing for the Wii U been int eh EU and Japan? I wonder if it's any more effective there.

Jeferson Soler
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@ James Yee - I don't believe that it has been that good in Europe and Japan, either, but at least, the marketing from Europe and Japan did a better job on telling people that the Wii U is a whole new system, unlike US marketing. Here are the commercials from Japan and UK that were used for the Wii U launch:

- Wii U commercial from Japan -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJuVSdbjU-Q

-Wii U commercial from UK -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=choXYYvjMMY

Now, look at the US commercial at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3VSM9iQeDA. With the way that the US commercial was done, some people would even think that the Wii U was the Gamepad and that was an add-on for the Wii. In my opinion, recent US commercials for the Wii U are not exactly that good, either. They may seem somewhat better on explaining to the public that the Wii U is a whole new system, but the commercials are too focused on the kids and parents audiences, which is huge 180 degrees from past Wii marketing and early Wii U commercials. If the Wii U commercials don't target every single demographic as well as really tell them why they should buy the Wii U (starting with the games that the Wii U offers), then it will never sell big.

@ Muir Freeland - Now that I'm thinking more about it, if I remember correctly, the D-pad design as well as the dual screens used on the DS/3DS models originated from some of the Game & Watch games and those games were done by Nintendo.

bukan iJam
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I believe there are 2 reasons why Wii U flop.

1. Customer dissatisfaction on the older Wii
Compared to other consoles(xbox 360 and ps3), wii feels really cheap(my balance board is broken after few months of no use), no built in lithium ion battery, low resolution(one of my reason why playing on Wii is a pain) and motion control is really just a gimmick for most games, motion control hurts your hands after prolonged usage and most games released on Wii are really crap. Its true that Wii console sales number are huge, but those actually translate to as the number of unsatisfied customer. GTA 5 sales are extremely impressive after few months of release not because the games are great(im not saying that its not) or because the game got good reviews(how many good games that got good review have very little sales), its because GTA 4 is so good, people trust Rockstar and these satisfied customer simply blind purchase GTA 5. The point is, business is all about trust. Trust is lose when the customer is unsatisfied.

2. Not enough innovation
I dont believe people bought Wii because its by nintendo(not all nintendo stuff soars in sales and some people bought wii as their first nintendo console). People bought Wii(me included) because they want to know what the fuss is all about(motion control). Once the gimmick is over, Wii started collecting dust. When Wii U is release, the unique innovation that it brings to the table is the tablet. People have been playing tablet games for years, so the gimmick wears off at the time of Wii U release. So what other reason for Wii U purchase? Games library? Extremely minimal. Graphics? No next gen graphics here. Actually, people dont really need innovation to play games. Just give us a high quality console and good games library. The reason Nintendo aiming for innovation in control for its console is because there are no reason for people to buy nintendo console except for these innovation motion control. when these motion control innovation fails, no one would want a nintendo console.

Having said that, here are my thought
1. Nintendo makes great games. Really great games.
2. Nintendo hardware feels really cheap in terms of build materials(cheap plastic, easily broken balance board) and technology used(bluetooth drains battery, no lithium ion rechargable battery, imprecise motion control tracking, graphics always few steps behind)

If wii u hardware quality is on par with ps4, then people have no reason not to buy wii u. if enough people bought wii u, third party games dev will come to wii u platform.

rafael moura
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I have been dreaming with games that allow me to interact with 3d objects in a realistic manner, in a way that i think only motion controls would allow. So i don they are a gimmick but a nescessary device to interact with the games of the future and i believe the wii u will realize this potential...Miyamoto has alreadt hinted about a game of this kind, a first person game about interacting with objects. If this game exists, i believe its going to revolutionary, like playing mario 64 for the first time and people will finnaly understand the inevitability of motion control...at least until we are able to control games with our brain waves ;)

Jeferson Soler
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@ bukan iJam - First of all, the Wii U didn't flop and it is too soon to say something like that as the system hasn't even gone through year 2. Second of all, the Wii U didn't do well with sales due to poor marketing. Nintendo (especially Nintendo of America) didn't do a strong and aggressive marketing to convince people to purchase the Wii U. Nintendo should have done marketing to help justify the original price points for the two Wii U SKUs in order to motivate people (especially the ones that tend to be more casual and money conscious) to give the Wii U a chance. The sales did get better thanks to the recent price drop and new bundles, but there are expectations for there to be another price drop later in the year and some people are waiting for that to happen before deciding to buy the Wii U. If the price drop does happen later on, then Nintendo should do different Deluxe bundles to cater to different player preferences (namely, a Super Mario 3D World bundle and a Bayonetta 2 bundle).

Robert Gill
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>Wii U didn't flop

Jeferson, a lot of this is wishful thinking. Facts are facts, and the Wii U is not doing well. I want Nintendo to succeed, but they need to change out the management. It's nice to take risks with hardware, but they've yet to really innovate in the game department, and there is always the fact that Nintendo is the rooftop garden amongst walled gardens in the industry.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Robert Gill - It's not wishful thinking as the Wii U hasn't even gone through a second year, yet. It is too soon to know if the system will be another GameCube or do better or worse than the GameCube, so one can't say if the system is a flop until the 5+ years are up (N64 is the evidence of that). However, I do agree with you that things need to be changed and the management that needs to be changed the most (in my opinion) should be the marketing management. Iwata admitted in his own way that a different strategy would be needed when it comes to the west (particularly, US and Europe), so he and Reggie need to take in someone that knows marketing and that knows and understands the videogame industry and even more. That someone has to be a person that cares about game playing and that gets that all audiences and not a select few audiences as well as that is willing to take risks when it comes to marketing. That person has to be the one that can help bridge a gap between the two cultures and help Nintendo of Japan understand what the people in the west are thinking. If there's anyone like that around, then he/she should apply right away as Nintendo could use some help with the marketing about now.

Benjamin Quintero
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I could see the virtual console on select phones, ala Playstation Mobile, but Id rather see a harder push of first party on WiiU. Its not like their modal is wrong, they just arent making the right games or enough of them. Lack of meaningful 3rd party is destroying their throughput of games. They need to stop with the kiddy family games and realize their core fans are probably 30-something.

harlim fash
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because being an adult you have to spent 24hrs a day watching blood and core snd nudity....or else you're a kid....

right......guess what mature games are being played as we speak by five years old,check out any matures game pre launch event and take a look on the kids in lines....

and by the way wii u has enough mature games as it is by 3rd support and they will launch bayonetta 2....

Jeferson Soler
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@ Benjamin Quintero - "They need to stop with the kiddy family games and realize their core fans are probably 30-something." Actually, they do realize that, which was why part of the strategy for the Wii was to bring back game players that gave up playing games due to control complexity and to not just bring in hardcore game players, casual game players and other kinds of game players that were/are out there. However, I'll admit that the marketing team under Scott Moffit do seem to believe in that typecasting that people have on Nintendo, which is why recent Wii U commercials tend to target kids and parents. In my opinion, that's wrong as all audiences are important as the Wii U is for everyone and not just to select target audiences. Wonderful 101 would have been the perfect game to break more barriers as that game is a game player's game, but Nintendo didn't do a strong TV marketing to let people know how good the game really is (at least, that's the case in the USA). As for the games that you refer as kiddy family games, if you are talking about Super Mario 3D World, then I have to say that the game is not bad, in my opinion, and there teens and adults that play the game. There's no shame in that, just like there's no shame for teens and adults to like Disney animated films. Having said that, Bayonetta 2 will be coming out for the Wii U as a 2nd-party title, and if Nintendo of America does a good marketing for the game (just like it was done for Perfect Dark for the N64), then the game will do well on the Wii U and it will show that the Wii U is for all audiences and not to just select few.

Emmanuel Henne
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It might be that Nintendo has not a problem with the Wii U, but with levelling up from their carefree Wii success. Suddenly, tennis and bowling arent selling the console anymore. Suddenly people dont need a new console for tennis and bowling, as the Wii still works JUST FINE. Suddenly 85% of the Wii owners arent interested in HD graphics. With the inevitable launch of the real next gen consoles, the other gamers, the core gamers, couldnt be bothered with buying something slightly better than their 7 years old xboxes and PS3s. The gamepad didnt have the impact the wiimotes had, and even to me it looked as if Nintendo had given up on motion controls and sent back people to their couches again. There is a huge misconception that Nintedo failed to clear up.
What really was required was to add BETTER MOTIONCONTROLS and follow through with that vision. The Wii wouldnt have sold if it didnt have Wiimotes, fact, as the rest of the hardware wasnt just interesting or capable. The Wii U is capable, but except for Sports Club and Fit, there is no game that uses clever motion controls. Looks like the engineers and management at Nintendo had a HUGE misunderstanding of the image the Wii and Nintendo have.

Bob Johnson
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@ Emmanuel

I think you're pretty spot on.

They sort of ended up in no man's land with the Wii U.

The Wii brand was about getting up off the couch. And then they used the same brand name to market a console with a traditional core gaming controller with a screen attached.

And yet this console didn't have the horsepower to court western AAA developers who previously showed they weren't interested in designing games for anything other than consoles with cutting edge processing power.


Then on top of it they do have some sort of new WiiSports (Sports Club,) but what it exactly is is pretty confusing. Part of it looks like the same thing I played on the Wii. And yet I see an option to pay $5/day (or month?) to play. Plus no new improved wiimote to play it with. Also there's no need for the extra horsepower of the Wii U for this game. And not much advertising of this product. Confusing.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Emmanuel Henne - I agree with most of your comment. I like that you cover all the key perspectives from different customer base, especially the ones that currently own the Wii, and I'll admit that Nintendo should have included a Wii Remote with the Wii U to show to customers that the Wii Remote is still very important to their plans and strategy. Because of the lack of proper marketing, not too many people would know that the Wii U can even play Wii games (let alone, use Wii accessories). Nintendo in Japan did new bundles that do include the Wii Remote, but Nintendo of America didn't do that, yet. Hopefully, that will change soon for the ones that don't have a Wii U, yet, but Nintendo (especially NoA) need to make a compelling case to the people to consider getting a Wii U. A marketing strategy similar to the one for the Wii from years ago would be needed. As for the whole technology thing from the "real next" gen systems, not only just a small of portion of the audience would be interested in that, but also a PC machine with the right tech tends to be more powerful than either the PS4 or the Xbox One and either of those systems will be more like a low-tech PC. In other words, if I had any desire to buy a game that's coming out for either the PS4 or the Xbox One and that's also coming out for the PC, then I would just get the PC version of the game and save my money from buying either of those machines. Having said that, I applaud Sony for its direction with the PS4 and the only reason that I'm not getting the system to complement the Wii and the Wii U is because it is not backwards compatible with PS1 and PS2 games (I don't have too much space in the room, so I would have considered selling PS2 to have PS4 as a replacement for PS1 and PS2). That's why I have to say that Sony should do the same thing that Nintendo did and go in its own path. They both can coexist as Nintendo would be all about game playing, while Sony would be about multimedia and fulfilling Ralph Baer's dream (http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/175505/Video_game_inventor_dem
onstrates_multimedia_boxin_1973.php). Let Microsoft fight against Steambox to see which system that plays PC games on the living room has more drive to succeed!

rafael moura
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Agree with you, but we shouldnt forget that we dont know what nintendo is cooking behind the scenes, so there might be many new interesting experiences being developed that werent made available so far...and that could even, perhaps, explain their lack of marketing...

Maybe they thought it wasnt the right moment to advertise the console that still didnt have wii sports new modes, wii fit, nintendo tvii, was running slow and required many updates, and still had to go against peoples fantastical expectations regarding xbone and ps4. Now this consoles are a reality and not part of our dream world so they start showing the wii u really has to offer...anyway, 2014 is the year we will have those answers.

Axel Cholewa
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@Emmanuel: I agree. The Wii U doesn't even come with a remote!

Among all the things they did wrong, they should've added a remote to the deluxe SKU and push the (asymmetric) couch multi player component. MS and Sony are about online multiplayer, Nintendo is about gathering people in your living room. Anyone played Close Knit in Wii Party U? This was what the Wii was about, and neither mobile nor tablets took it from them ... well, the iPad maybe a bit.

Of course, Wii Party U doesn't sell a system. But think about it: sell the Wii U with a remote, release Wii Party U with a remote and then go for DLC for Wii Pary U! Could be a goldmine, if cleverly executed...

Jeferson Soler
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@ Axel Cholewa - I agree with everything that you said. I also wondered why the Deluxe Set never came with the Wii Remote as the Wii Remote is still important to Nintendo's plans as well as to the plans of some 3rd-party companies. At least, the new bundles in Japan come with a Wii Remote, but outside of Japan is another story and it seems like that the Wii U games that do need the Wii Remote come packed with a Wii Remote to make up for the Deluxe Set not coming with one.

Jim Thompson
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Nintendo has been a software company for years.

They need to realize the same margins as their competitors, which means saying goodnight to the hardware.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Jim Thompson - Bad idea! John Flush spoke a huge truth earlier about the software side of things. It is not because that people say that they will buy a Nintendo game on another system it means that they will actually do so. In reality, they may not do so at all. Nintendo would struggle even more than Sega if it went software only.

Carl Chavez
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Your statement doesn't make sense. Nintendo makes a profit on their hardware (except the Wii U, which still has a better margin than the PS4 or Xbone).

James Yee
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Honestly I think Nintendo can just "keep on doing it's thing." There's nothing wrong with being a smaller, more specialized company that's focused on "its market."

I'm not part of it's market though. I haven't thought Nintendo games were "great games" for a LONG time. At the same time it's because their games are not in my genre. (The two franchises I do like are on the portable: Pokemon and Fire Emblem) Fair enough. I'm not going to ask them to make sci-fi space first person shooters any more than I would ask Bungie to make a side scrolling platformer. :)

There's nothing wrong with specializing and catering to their niche. I think a part of the yelling comes from those who wish Nintendo would continue to cater to them, instead of the younger them they once were.

I mean honestly do you complain when [Insert Car Company here you don't buy here] loses or gains money based on whatever they're doing? Probably because you're not personally invested in that brand anymore or ever. Same goes with Nintendo. I think most who are complaining actually cared for the brand/company at one time and are annoyed/sad/disappointed that things aren't going well even if they've moved away from the brand.

Bob Johnson
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Good point. That's how I look at it too.

Except I can see the quality in Nintendo's games even if many of them aren't trying to appeal directly to me.

Adam Merkel
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From what I've seen, Nintendo needs to prioritize third-party developer and publisher feedback when they create a new console. I can't count how many times I've seen a developer or publisher say they weren't going to port to the Wii U because of the lack of a playerbase or the Wii U couldn't support the technical demands of the game. It might sound like giving in, but next generation Nintendo should consider having a console that multiplatform devs can port their next-gen games onto with ease, along with the option to use a "typical" gamepad for controls (an option players also want, as they are too exhausted to mess with motion controls sometimes). Innovation can push a console, but it can also lead a console astray if nobody has a good idea what to do with the innovation.

All in all, Nintendo's problem is that it's too focused on its own interests, and paid too little attention to the interests of its cohorts.

Phil Maxey
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The Nintendo situation is very simple and has been for a while...

The Wii was a gimmick, it had its moment in the sun and then quickly faded.

Nintendo's target audience moved first to Facebook and than to mobile which is where they pretty much still reside.

They launched the Wii U at the worst possible time, right when everyone was gearing up to the launch of the new MS/Sony machines, they also it seems launched it without most of their heavyweight brands to back it up.

The "gimmick" for the Wii U looked to everyone like a DreamCast controller, together with the fact that it was a "tablet" except it wasn't.

So all the mistakes are easy to point out.

Now let's talk about what's gone right and everything else.

Some of the best (favourite) hardware I've owned over the years have been Nintendo's, with the SNES probably being my favourite console of all time followed by the Cube. Their hardware was always unique and interesting and up until the Wii had at least market standard visuals. To me anyway "cutting edge visuals" should be your baseline and then everything else (i'e gimmicks) go on top of that.

I'm fairly sure Nintendo could have launched a machine, but with next gen graphics hardware, without any weird tablet/non-tablet gimmickry and it would of been a huge success, especially with their major brands available at launch. So I think they have innovated in the wrong direction.

Nintendo have always done their own thing when it came to the media the games where on, why not do the same thing again? does the whole world have to use blu rays? to me the cards that the PC-Engine use are still super cool :)

The 3DS is obviously a big success for them, but again I kept seeing games being launched on the 3DS that I actually liked the idea of playing on the Wii U. Again, if they release a game it should be available across all their hardware when launched.

I actually don't like the idea of them just becoming a software only company I think that will be a hugely disappointing event for the gaming industry as Nintendo have always offered the more interesting of the consoles on offer, I just think the Wii U was mis-judged in a lot of ways.

If I were them I would focus on the 3DS. I would release a proper 3DS tablet (dump the 3D), the iPad mini has sold like hot cakes for Apple, but allow this new tablet to plug into the TV (which is the direction mobile is trying to go in). I can't see that being hugely expensive for them to manufacturer.

Can you imagine just how cool a Nintendo styled 3DS tablet would be? being the only mobile platform to have all their brands on it?

Jeferson Soler
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@ Phil Maxey - "Can you imagine just how cool a Nintendo styled 3DS tablet would be? being the only mobile platform to have all their brands on it?" Who's to say that Nintendo isn't thinking about that strategy, especially if you consider the design behind the 2DS? Even though the 2DS was mostly aimed at the younger audience, Nintendo may still have done the tablet design for the system as a test. As for the Wii Remote, I personally don't see it as a gimmick at all. It is true that the genres that tend to best benefit from that controller are the sports, FPS and dance genres, but any game when done right (especially VR-type games) can take advantage of the Wii Remote tech and the same is true for the Wii U Gamepad. I believe that Emmanuel Henne made a very compelling comment and explanation on what happened with the Wii U sales, and if you add the poor marketing into the mix, there's no way that the Wii U was going to sell by much from the beginning. It is not too late for Nintendo to turn things around, but the company needs to do a huge 180 degrees with marketing before its next big games are released. If Nintendo must do so, team up with Ubisoft to do a big promotion for Watch Dogs, but something has to be done for marketing. By the way, I do agree with you on the idea of using cards instead of optical discs. In fact, I thought about that at times in the past, and thanks to today's technology, SD cards and similar cards can be great alternatives to optical discs for containing games. The DS and the 3DS already proved that to be the case. In my assumption, one of the reasons for the Wii U to not have taken that approach was more to allow the Wii U to be backwards compatible with the Wii games, but that may change in time with the help of the eShop. By the way, I don't like the idea of Nintendo becoming a software-only company, too.

Jeferson Soler
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I was going through Siliconera and I found a blog article (http://www.siliconera.com/2014/01/18/nintendo-misread-market-cons
idering-new-business-structure/) that talked about what Iwata recently said. The blog article was about what was reported on a Wall Street Journal article (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB100014240527023034650045793
25760899958956), and in that article, there were more details on what Iwata was talking about. Iwata does point out that the sales were better in Japan, but that he and Nintendo needed to do a better job of knowing the situation with US and Europe. Pretty much, Iwata points out that he can be his own antenna in Japan, but abroad, that doesn't work.

wes bogdan
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The gamepad screen size is fine but the xbox hamburger sized dukepad has nothing on it's now the largest standard pad put in a box. I hate the position of +,- and believe if they shrunk the form factor and used either a dualshock or xbox layout trimming the fat - we all know how big nes game carts vs what was inside are the gamepad wouldn't come off as a my 1st tablet pad.

While the screen is a great idea watching nsmb u on a 60 inch hdtv and still seeing the same exact thing on my gamepad screen was lazy.... if i'm playing wii u on a hdtv then either use the second screen like in nsmb for ds
to swap items,map or whatever but streaming the same thing wasted opertunity.

nintendo network is in name only rather than cloud pokemon service why not grow it out to a xbl,psn class nintendo network where game saves can be uploaded and downloaded and those with multiple 3ds or wii u systems can play on 1 make progress and download the new save to another system which is regestered with club nintendo.

Nintendo makes great games though if ever they were to release any to xbox or playstation they should be much better off than sega and be more ubisoft class.

As for vc it's truly stupid of ninty to charge $5 for zelda nes and expect another $5 for either wii u or 3ds version whichever you didn't buy of course they're still back in gcn era with serial # as master loose the system,have it stolen or if it breaks hard work all gone-SORRY!!

Evolve or become extinct and i wouldn't want to loose ninty.

Robert Gill
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The problem isn't so much hardware or marketing.

It's the fact that management in Nintendo is beyond stale, and cannot actually look over their stock reports and see what is going on in the vidya gaemin' world.

Nintendo has so much talent and opportunity to succeed and beat out both the Xbone and PS4. Have free online, lower your Virtual Console prices, etc etc etc etc. I can write out a wishlist, and while everyone has their own vision of what Nintendo should be, maybe what they should do is go back to basics. It's cool to make new hardware...but they have never really had a game that really wows people with it.

On the DS, Wii, or Wii U, what game has taken use of their respective gimmicks and made people go, "OH I NEED THIS SYSTEM!" other than Wii Sports, which proved ineffective for the Wii in the long run.

Nintendo needs to push a Super Nintendo like philosophy: Open up their system, have some top notch specs in it, and a basic controller. Cheap retro games, and free online with a friend and chat system.

Miyamoto has stated that he wants to retire; let him. Iwata has brought the company down over time, and he needs to be replaced soon. Like an oil change, new blood and new games is what is needed for Nintendo to be revitalized.

Peter Eisenmann
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Peple get their “cheap retro games“ for free by emulating them. Basically everything that made Nintendo big can be played for free with very little effort.

John Flush
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@Peter: "for free with little effort" ... and ethics. However as gog.com has shown make something actually legitimate and with a valid price point and people will finally behave ethically again (unless they are poor or view themselves as poor - think College kids and viewing it as an 'acedemic' license).

Jeferson Soler
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@ Robert Gill - "Miyamoto has stated that he wants to retire; let him. Iwata has brought the company down over time, and he needs to be replaced soon. Like an oil change, new blood and new games is what is needed for Nintendo to be revitalized." To be honest, I disagree with the idea of replacing Iwata (who was chosen by Yamauchi), especially since Iwata has done a lot more good than expected for Nintendo and even more. If anything, the management in the west (particularly, the marketing team) needs to changed. Iwata himself admitted that the sales in Japan are doing good and that he is his own antenna in Japan, but when it comes to abroad, it doesn't work that way. In other words, Iwata needs someone to relay him about what the western people (especially fans) are thinking. That would especially help with getting the Metroid franchise back on track as the Metroid franchise is most popular outside of Japan. As for Miyamoto retiring, I believe that has been in the making for quite sometime now. Miyamoto practically passed the torch to Aonuma for the Legend of Zelda franchise and it looks like that Miyamoto is passing the torch to Koizumi for the Super Mario franchise (Super Mario 3D World was produced by Koizumi and it was his idea to include Peach as a playable character, so that the game would appeal to female game players and not just the male game players). From the way I see, Miyamoto is preparing for the long term strategy in case anything happens to him, so I wouldn't be surprised if he retires in the next couple years (especially since Aonuma and Koizumi have been doing a good job with their work, in my opinion).

John Mascarenas
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Iwata was quoted “We must take a skeptical approach whether we can still simply make game players (consoles), offer them in the same way as in the past for 20,000 yen or 30,000 yen, and sell titles for a couple of thousand yen each.”

It makes me wonder, perhaps a strategy of Nintendo getting into the micro-console business makes sense. If they released something like the Ouya but way better (they have the resources to make it so) and sell it for $99, it may attract legions of game players. They would still control the platform so they can take their cut of 3rd party titles, they could sell optional add-ons like wii-fit board still, and they could really start to attract indie and mobile devs if they opened it up a little more. Its so crazy it just may work.

Jeferson Soler
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@ John Mascarenas - Originally, I felt that it was more feasible for Sony to get into that arena as the company's micro-console strategy (Vita TV) was very promising, in my opinion (unfortunately, it hasn't been too well received in Japan at the moment), but the more I think about, the micro-console strategy might work for Nintendo. Of course, the eShop would have to be key for Nintendo's micro-console strategy to work.

jin choung
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their hand held gaming sales indicate that they DON'T need to move their properties onto smartphones. although if they do, i really hope that they get together with apple to release a first party apple controller to do games like super mario justice - that would be a genius partnership.

but they do have to get their head in the game with their main consoles.

especially now that the consoles have more or less standardized to glorified x86 boxes, they have no excuse to not put out a powerful, competitive console in the next generation... only problem is, waiting for that next generation may be too late.

i wonder how feasible it is to just cut the wii-u off right now and call a do over. that would piss off a helluva lot of wii-u owners but hey, howabout offering all of them a rebooted next gen console for a gigantic discount?

Jeferson Soler
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@ jin choung - I wouldn't recommend Nintendo to cut the Wii U loose nor to create a super power machine. Believe it or not, the Wii U itself is quite powerful to begin with, but most people tend to be either casual players or non-gaming people, so good games (even simple ones) would be on top of their list and powerful tech would be on the bottom of their list. It is true that we are seeing people buying mobile devices, but regardless of the price and of the sophisticated software for those devices, the mobile devices are still technically not that powerful and people are buying them because of the hype and of the "benefits"/convenience behind them. Also, with mobile devices, people gain easy accessibility to a lot of things. Easy accessibility is a huge risk for several reasons, but it is the direction that is going for the time being. That's why I made the suggestion that Nintendo should consider doing something with the eShop as far as mobile services go. Thing are going well in Japan, but in the West, there are people that keep on insisting on seeing something more with the eShop and the Nintendo Network account. People want easy accessibility to eShop and to their Nintendo Network account and use them on-the-go. As for the Wii U, Nintendo can still turn around with the system, but a new strategy may be needed when it comes to the western market, starting with a better marketing campaign. And about the idea of Nintendo teaming up with Apple, that would be a double-edged sword, especially if you consider to the whole issue between Nintendo and Sony from years ago that lead to the creation of Playstation. Granted, times have changed as far as Nintendo goes, and if Apple can be trusted, then Nintendo and Apple could strike a partnership without screwing with each other. Until then, I rather see what Nintendo can do on its own.

Terry Matthes
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Halo, Mass Effect, Dota, GTA... Nintendo could do games like these and I think they would be amazing, but they seem to pigeon hole themselves creatively. I feel that their games don't have a wide enough appeal and there's no reason they can't fix this.

I've felt for years that Nintendo needs to really create a title that makes gamers go "Holy shit! That's a Nintendo game?"

You can call it evolving, growing up, whatever you want but their software development needs to mature.

This is a bit of a strange analogy, but I feel like Nintendo makes apple juice, and that's great lots of people myself include love apple juice. Meanwhile we have Microsoft and Sony making pop, juice and in some cases even whiskey. These drinks cater to a wider demographic and get market traction because of it. What I'd like to see from Nintendo is some fine Wine.

On a side note their marketing in the West seems to be beyond poor. I have to admit though that I found their marketing presence to be quite strong in Europe, particularly France. I live in Canada though, so maybe it's stronger in the USA.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Terry Matthes - I'll agree that the marketing in the US has been very poor and there are Wii U games (like Pikmin 3 and Wonderful 101) that would have done much better if the marketing for those games were stronger. In case of the current marketing team from Nintendo of America, it does feel like at times that the group is pigeonholing Nintendo as exclusive to kids and parents and not to all audiences. When the Wii was released years ago, it was different and Nintendo marketing made an effort to make the Wii appeal to everyone, but now with the Wii U, things are different. In case of Wonderful 101, that game is more for the older audience, especially hardcore game players as that game is a game player's game, but NoA made no major effort on doing a strong TV marketing campaign for the game. It is a huge shame as the game is excellent (in my opinion) and it took a lot of advantage of the Wii U Gamepad functions and even more.

"Halo, Mass Effect, Dota, GTA... Nintendo could do games like these and I think they would be amazing, but they seem to pigeon hole themselves creatively. I feel that their games don't have a wide enough appeal and there's no reason they can't fix this."

With the help of the different game development teams, Nintendo can make games that appeal to different demographics, especially older demographics. I personally believe that Nintendo doesn't need to do something like another Halo or GTA, but having said that, Nintendo has shown that it is capable of doing titles for teens and up that would be fun to play. When Rare used to be part of Nintendo, Nintendo did have Perfect Dark as one of its games and even did a commercial for the game that was aimed towards an older audience. The next Xeno game (codenamed X at the moment) and Bayonetta 2 are the next upcoming games from Nintendo (latter being done by Platinum Games), and with proper marketing, Nintendo could get out of that pigeonhole, but that would be up to the NoA marketing team. Also, the Metroid franchise and The Legend of Zelda franchise are other products that would be key to appeal to the older audience, and in case of Metroid, there was the Metroid Prime trilogy that used FPS mechanics to it.

Terry Matthes
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You made a good point with Perfect Dark and I suppose you could throw in GoldenEye as well, but both those games are are over 14 years old.

I miss Rare a lot and speaking of Rare, what about Killer instinct? Boom! Another mature Nintendo game I thought was done very well and the reincarnation is coming to XBox One... Whaa?

I personally don't feel Zelda appeals to an older audience. I think that people who played Zelda when they were younger still like it, but that's as far as I would go.

I suppose it's just a pipe dream of mine to see Nintendo broaden their software to a more mature demographic. As you mentioned Nintendo "could" get out of the pigeon hole they're in, but they have to want to and I just don't think they do.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Terry Matthes - In case of the Legend of Zelda, Twilight Princess was dark and was more for the older audience (it got rated T for Teen in the US), so it is not impossible for a Zelda game to appeal to the older audiences if Aonuma and crew do a Zelda game with a very dark mood. Also, I don't believe that what you have is a pipe dream at all. Monolith Soft, one of the companies that works for Nintendo, will tend to do games that are more for the older audience (like the Xeno games), and if Nintendo starts to have Mistwalker and Platinum Games as their 2nd-party game developers, then there could be even more games for the older audience. Having said that, I'll admit that I'm concerned about marketing in the US when the time comes to promote the release of Bayonetta 2. NoA didn't even do a strong TV marketing for Pikmin 3, which was supposed to be one of the big titles for the Wii U and rightfully so as the game is good (in my opinion), so I don't have too much trust on the current marketing team as far as promoting certain Nintendo games goes. At times, it feels like that there people inside NoA that's really trying to help Nintendo get away from the typecasting that it got thanks to the whole Mortal Kombat fiasco from the 90s, while at the same, there other people inside NoA that seems to want Nintendo to remain pigeonholed or that seems to actually believe on some of the typecasting that's been placed on Nintendo (kind of like a self-fulfilling prophecy). Considering that Iwata admitted that a different strategy is needed for abroad (US and Europe), he and others should bring in people that are good with marketing, that love videogames and that have a grasp of the western scene as well as bring different focus groups to give their input on their preferences as far Nintendo goes. In case of the US, NoA should visit each state and couple of major cities from those states and hold special meetings about what they want to see come out of Nintendo.

Dean Boytor
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@Terry

Reason is Rare is a subsidiary of Microsoft, which is probably while its kept away from Nintendo.

I personally don't think we can gauge the success or failure of the WiiU just yet. As Jefferson Stated, it has not reached its 2nd year yet.

The fact is they are not making as much as they thought but at the same time its odd that we still use the success and fails of the competing consoles as a console's fate.

Hypothetically if the other consoles did terribly(hypothetically!), then the opinions of the wii U may not be as harsh.

Truly though, Nintendo is going to have to make some magic happen, judging by their past, we should see something interesting very soon.

Chris Moeller
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Even though it isn't "safe", I think Nintendo seems to better with "innovative and new", over "outdated and safe", or even "slightly improved.

The wii seemed to surprise everyone - I had loved virtual reality for a long time, and even though the system was underpowered, the controls allowed for increased immersion into games, bringing them one step closer to "life like" (even while neglecting better graphics).

Eventually Microsoft and Sony jumped on the band wagon, and hacked their devices to support some sort of motion control.

3ds- they brought in 3d gaming, without glasses, which I had never heard/ experienced, which I think is their one bullet point (aside from the stylus /touchscreen) for offering a unique experience.

With the wii U- it just seemed to be a wii with updated hardware, and a phone like extra controller. But I had expected a new level of immersion (occulus rift maybe? ;) ).

I enjoy most of Nintendo's games, but they seem to overwhelm the market when they introduce "surprise and delightment" into their hardware capabilities.

Phil Maxey
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That would be something, Nintendo buying Rift, in a way it seems like the logical next step for them. Imagine full immersion in a Mario world, or Mario Kart with Rift?

Terry Matthes
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I like how you think Phil Maxey!

James Yee
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I'd say no on Mario World mainly because platforming in first person doesn't sound fun.

Mario Kart with the Rift now THAT sounds cool.

:)

Cordero W
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Bleh. All Nintendo needs is another Rare.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Cordero W - Retro and Platinum Games should be on top of the list for that, in my opinion. Retro shows great understanding of the Nintendo franchises and Platinum Games can do unique games for different demographics (especially teens and up).

Cordero W
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The problem, Jeferson, is that Retro and Platinum are only releasing one shot games that come out every so many years. Their releases aren't consistent enough to make their rep good enough yet. And yet they have just as many employees as Rare did. What's going on that no one at their studio isn't churning out little games on the Wii U eshop or the 3ds? Is the salary job so cushy that everyone at these studios are too lazy to make a game? They just work on whatever project is thrown at them next? Why is no one at these places motivated to bring out a consistent library without anyone to tell them?

Rare had been with Nintendo for a very long time, and they released games every year since they became a developer for them. EVERY YEAR. Even when making games for the N64, which takes a good longer than making a NES or SNES game, they still managed to deliver. Nintendo's consoles thrived on third parties ever since back in the day. Nintendo always released their games, but it was the third parties that helped fill up the gaps. Nintendo does have third parties, don't get them wrong, except they are devving for their 3ds rather than the Wii U because it's cheaper to do so. It's exactly why you're not seeing the same explosion of games on the other consoles, especially the new consoles Sony and Microsoft released. No one has that kind of money to make such high budget movie games but the biggest companies. So you get this unfortunate perception of the industry through the eyes of these big budget games. Consoles like nintendo's are suddenly underminded by people who believe this is what the game industry should be, and scorn Nintendo as if they should "get with the times."

I apologize for going off a tangent here, but I wish people would spend more of that time and energy making games rather than complaining about them or that there isn't enough of something.

Excuse me while I make use of my new Nintendo developer license to develop a wii u game.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Cordero W - You have valid points and I agree with what you said! As for some of the people saying that Nintendo should keep up with times, I believe that they are the ones that should keep up with times and should pay attention to what most people want. Most people are not even worried about super technology and the mobile devices that a lot of people tend to buy are not super technology at all (the software, the apps and the "benefits"/convenience behind the devices are the difference maker to people). The biggest mistake that can be done and that is being done by several people in the videogame industry as well as game players is to assume that most people (including non-gaming people) thinks the same as them and will want the same games as them. Nintendo used the Blue Ocean strategy to get away from that way of thinking and that's what Nintendo will have to reinforce in order to help with the Wii U sales and that's just for starters.

Seth Strong
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I view Nintendo as the most risk taking hardware producer out there. I hope they never stop. They will make mistakes. They did launch their system ahead of their library in my view. But I like their systems and their games. I think most people just haven't actually sat down with the systems.

Dean Boytor
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The Wii U still has some great potential if they attract the right developers. The possibilities with the tablet controller are quite unique. The current games that stand out are the ones that utilize it for a great feel and experience.

Anyone who has played 20 mins of Ubisoft's Zombi U will know what I'm talking about.


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