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Nintendo's decline could be detrimental to the market, says Sony
Nintendo's decline could be detrimental to the market, says Sony
February 3, 2014 | By Mike Rose

February 3, 2014 | By Mike Rose
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    9 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



"[The decline of Nintendo] could be detrimental to the market, unless people like us raise our game and help tap into the younger consumer group that they serve rather well."
- Fergal Gara, managing director of Sony Computer Entertainment UK, says that Nintendo's current problems aren't good for anyone in the console market.

Nintendo has been having financial problems recently, earlier this month reporting that it will now see losses for the current fiscal year.

Talking to TrustedReviews, Gara said that Nintendo's decline may well end up impacting the video game market as a whole, and that Sony now needs to work out how to engage better with younger consumers to pick up that slack.

"That is the challenge to us," he added. "We need to bring maybe more family-friendly, more casual experiences into the market. I think there’s a big market segment there that we should take the challenge to engage and I see lots of potential to do that."

He noted that the continued success of the Nintendo DS and 3DS handhelds hint at the markets that Sony still needs to crack. "The DS family was the bestselling format last year," he said. "Despite the stellar sales of the PS4 for the last four or five weeks, [the 3DS] was still the best selling console or console family."


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Comments


SD Marlow
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Yeah, handheld is not the same as console (something they should fundamentally be aware of). I did get a chuckle from this as on one hand they are saying a "loss" of Nintendo from the marketplace would really shake things up, and on the other, how they are already thinking about grabbing as much of the Nintendo segment as they can (even while Nintendo is still alive).

Jeferson Soler
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@ SD Marlow - "I did get a chuckle from this as on one hand they are saying a "loss" of Nintendo from the marketplace would really shake things up, and on the other, how they are already thinking about grabbing as much of the Nintendo segment as they can (even while Nintendo is still alive)." Well, Sony has been grabbing that segment for a long time and been trying to grab some of that segment even more in the last couple years. Having said that, that still doesn't change that even a managing director from Sony sees the importance of Nintendo's existence in the videogame industry. If you consider what A W said, Nintendo is important to Sony in more ways than one. Moreover, Nintendo is key to bringing in customers (especially new customers) to play games, which tends to benefit Sony in turn as the company can show those customers that Sony also has its own games that people might be interested in. As for the handhelds, what you say is true, but keep in mind that some people tend to lump the different devices (including mobile devices) into the same mix.

Ron Dippold
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Nintendo is definitely a gateway drug.

Joseph Pizzo
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I disagree with Nintendo's entire marketing strategy. They need to learn more about their audience. A console can play any type of game. Why limit your audience when you are hurting for revenue and market share? A successful strategy for handheld may not be correct for console.

Because of Sony, Microsoft, Steam, iTunes - Nintendo is no longer the 800 pound gorilla. Nintendo needs to play nice with all software publishers, especially independent studios. An "independent small studio" today could produce the next "big thing".

Jeferson Soler
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@ Joseph Pizzo - I agree with you about Nintendo's entire marketing strategy and that's something that has been talked about before on Gamasutra. In case of Nintendo of America, the current marketing team is not that good, in my opinion, and the group tends to put Nintendo in the pigeonhole that it has been trying to get out of.

Marvin Papin
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In an era of digital market, nintendo and it's massively know IPs are a good way to show people that video games are here. However, when you take a look at price VS quality of video games on wii/wiiU and the massive amount of unused wii, that's not dramatic for the rest of the market.

A W
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Let us not forget that they need a product of which they can assimilate into their own DNA. It's how they survive.

When people have called Sony a copycat, it begs to question if that is in fact what they do. They play a "Me Too" card with every piece of gaming tech that comes alone so that if it fails in the market they can site that they did try it. Look at the middle to last years of the PS3. Sony spent the middle years assimilating an Xbox 360 like service into their own device, the results of that service is the PS+. Now that they have this service as a PS4 standard, what would be the next tech to assimilate? How about Kinect and The Wii U Game Pad. Don't think they haven't tried this already? Vita is suddenly an option for PS4 remote play, and the eye toy which was removed at hardware launch to bring the price down was positioned (and still is if you are willing to pay the extra cash) to steal some of the thunder of both the Wii Mote and Kinect. Something it failed to do for the PS3.

Now the next tech they are looking to assimilate...? Oculist Rift. They aren't even going to wait around for the tech to prove itself in the market, they just keep teasing the VR solution every once in a while to let everyone know that they are doing it too should the service become a hit. Sony has survived really well off of assimilation while only bringing specs to the table. The last innovation they make was a natural evolution rather than a complete new directional move, and that was CD-DVD-Bluray. Other than that nothing from them that indicated new ideas apart form their competition.

I hate this post to sound like a rant of hate against Sony and their products in the gaming space, but its not really that. It's just an acknowledgement of what they are the best at. They really need those companies that do not do what the can't think of to survive or they will not have the ability to assimilate their ideas into their own regardless of its acceptance or failure in the market place.

William Collins
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Indeed! One could argue that the "Me Tooing" began with the PS1 gamepad, which to me is exactly the same as the SNES gamepad (and probably why I love it so much). Their purchase of Gaikai may have been a really good move and will really pay off big when technology like Google Fiber becomes more widespread. I thought the acquisition may have been expensive at first, but the money they'd save producing less physical copies of a game and less hardware (for those who'd prefer the streaming option, exclusively) coupled with a subscription fee for PS Now would do much to boost their bottom line.

I do wonder who'd benefit from the streaming future more, though. Assuming that porting and programming for hardware is no longer an obstacle this would mean third party releases have a much higher chance of appearing across all of the "Big 3"s services and that one of the biggest draws/differentiators between them all will be their first party lineups and the type of controller you use to play - areas where Nintendo excels. I'm surprised more studios/nomadic Japanese talent haven't been acquired (by Nintendo, especially) as having more exclusive IP (across all genres) would add much to any of the Big 3's value proposition. What would a Mighty No.9 or an RPG from Mistwalker being exclusive to one of the three do to raise the attraction to a system?

And let's nip the whole "Video game streaming will never be practical" argument in the bud before it's raised as we all know that technology only improves over time and the other argument about Nintendo not pioneering a lot of their tech as we refer more to Nintendo's popularization of technologies in the console space. Pardon the long, tangential response :)

Bob Johnson
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videogame streaming won't be practical anytime soon if ever.


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