According to analysts, the irrelevance of Nintendo is imminent. Michael Patcher, among others, claims that Nintendo will fail to be relevant from here onwards. However, I beg to differ.
1. Nintendo has positioned itself to be the early market leader for the eight generation console
Nintendo being the early bird in the console race is crucial as in order to attract third-party developers, one needs the necessary install base to justify the investment. One has to remember that the PS3 had little support during launch as developers were still flocking towards the more popular gaming system and safe investment, the PS2. History is repeating itself once more as developers are being cautious and want a return on their investment. Hence why Nintendo positioned itself to be first on the market, grow the initial install base and offer third party developers a more attractive investment opportunity compared to once Durango and Orbis hits the market in late 2013.
Contrary to popular opinion, Wii U’s first week sales were favorable. For comparison, according to industry tracker NPD, the Xbox 360 and the PS3 sold 326,000 and 197,000 units respectively in its first two weeks on sale and doing so, prior to the recession. The Wii U achieved that feat in less than a week (425,000 units in one week). - http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2012/11/wii-u-first-week-sales-lag-original-wii-but-better-than-xbox-360-ps3/
Thus, calling the Wii U a failure is evidently false.
2. 3DS is growing rapidly
For starters, the Nintendo 3DS is no longer being sold at a loss. Furthermore, the 3DS is the current market leader for the handheld market and is selling at a decent pace, even more so in Japan. 2013 will be the year where the 3DS expands greatly, let me explain why:
In Q1 of 2013, Monster Hunter 4 will be released in Japan exclusively on the 3DS and will most likely set records for the 3DS much like previous titles did for the PSP. In Q1 of 2013, Fire Emblem, Castlevania, Etrian Odyssey, Monster Hunter and Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon will be released in North America thus helping move both software and hardware sales. Furthermore, Animal Crossing New Leaf will also be released in Q2 of 2013.
One can also expect a Pokemon title from Nintendo (Ruby Sapphire 3DS remake), Bravely Default, Monolith 3DS game, Super Smash (maybe), new 3DS colors - bundles and a new 3DS model (maybe), and much more to come.
Hence, I can see the 3DS moving many units in 2013, much more than 2012.
In conclusion, although there is a cloud of uncertainty that seems to follow Nintendo, the big N has positioned themselves well for 2013.
I would like to hear your thoughts, what do you think of Nintendo’s prospects in 2013?