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Why Nintendo is failing and will likely replace both of their consoles earlier than expected.

Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Why Nintendo is failing and will likely replace both of their consoles earlier than expected.

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RolStoppable said:

I remember your "OSes are the future of consoles" thread and told you that you are setting yourself up for an "I was wrong all along..." thread. I stand by that.

You are right about one thing: Consumers have certain expectations when it comes to certain products and companies (begin to) fail when they don't meet these expectations. Consumers do not expect the same things from every dedicated video game system, just like they do not expect the very same things from every car. So while I don't disagree with your assertion that people expect a dumbed down PC as a Microsoft video game console, I sure don't believe that this is what people want from Nintendo. What people expect from Nintendo:

1. Quality, durability and affordability, for both the hardware and software.
2. Games that are easy to learn, but hard to master.
3. A good gift/product for kids. Something that can be bought safely.
4. A sense of continuity, i.e. strengths of one system being carried over to the next and improved upon.

There are other things you could add (like long battery life for handhelds), but the things above universally apply to home consoles and handhelds. Now if Nintendo manages to meet all of the above requirements and their video game systems still don't sell, then you can start to look for other reasons, like the OS stuff this thread is about. But let's see how well the 3DS did at launch:

1. Expensive hardware ($250), game prices went up, lack of quality software for many, many months.
2. Lack of software means that this wasn't fulfilled by default.
3. Stereoscopic 3D can damage the eyes of children aged 6 or younger. Huge red flag right there. 3D can be disabled with parental controls, but if you, superchunk, weren't aware of this, we can't really expect the average consumer to know about this.
4. Lack of software also hurted immensely here.
5. Battery life took a nosedive.

In summary, the 3DS launch was a recipe for disaster. Some of these issues have been fixed by now, but others will most likely exist for the entire lifecycle. The 3DS would have struggled even in an environment without Sony handhelds and smartphone games, simply because it wasn't a compelling product. Now let's move on the Wii U:

1. Expensive hardware ($350 with a game), game prices went up, lack of quality software for many, many months. Or at least that's how the latter looks, because Nintendo has refused to announce games.
2. Nintendo Land and NSMBU fulfill this, but the price of the hardware is too much of a hurdle; also see point 4.
3. The thing is notably more expensive than previous Nintendo home consoles which topped out at $250, including a game.
4. This is potentially the biggest red flag for the Wii U, because it has no clear message. Will Nintendo improve upon the Wii? It's hard to say, because nobody knows which games will launch when; and what is there is no progress at all, the system uses the same Wiimotes and Nunchuks as the Wii. The Gamepad is an improvement over the conventional controller, but knowing that the GameCube left people cold, this isn't going to make people buy the system.

There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the Wii U and a console is an investment for several years. People would like to know what they can expect before they commit to a purchase, but Nintendo doesn't tell anybody. People can wait until Nintendo puts their cards on the table, so for the time being the Wii U won't sell well at all. Will Nintendo make this a better Wii or are they trying to bait people into buying a console that is more like the GameCube?

There is a common problem between the 3DS and Wii U: Nintendo invested in technology that consumers do not value (stereoscopic 3D and Gamepad). The hardware prices went up completely unnecessary. Is this is a problem that could be fixed with a good operating system and multimedia applications? Of course not. It's all about the games and dropping the price of the hardware to an acceptable level.

I can't really argue on your comments. You have very valid points and those are clearly issues with Nintendo's current crop of platforms.

However, I do think OS features well beyond games would add a lot of value and desire for the general consumer. I think if marketed correctly, a Nintendo WiiU that also was a fully fleshed out Android app supported device that could sync with your phone/tablet would be selling a lot better and that is all software, so its not a large hit on the total costs of the device. Thus, it wouldn't have largly affected anything else.

Of course the single biggest part of this is the perception of these game consoles (the point you touch on with Nintendo directly) and the challenge is if the company correctly advertises and promotes all these expanded features beyond just gaming. MS of course can do this easier as they are already perceived as a PC company where as Nintendo is really only ever thought of as a games company.



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Problem with the 3DS right now isn't the hardware but software price. Hardware is selling fine but software numbers are still pretty low. Nintendo needs to realize that with so many free games available on smartphones and tablet people aren't going to pay $40 except for the top notch titles.

In addition to that Nintendo has become a formulaic company, they think they just need to stick a gimmick with each game console/potable and call it a day. And no new franchises since Pikmin (that is before Iwata took over). Wii Sports, Nintendogs, Brain Age, etc don't count, as the 3DS proved (with Nintendogs and Brain Age), those super casual titles don't sell beyond their fads.

And seriously, who thought the Wii U could succeed anyways? Too expensive for the casual, it was clear the gamepad wasn't attractive enough, too underpowered to attract the enthusiast. Unless they can pull off a major hit like Wii Fit was last generation, I don't see this thing selling beyond GC levels, at least in the West. In fact I don't think it would be a major hit even if it was priced at $200, with 140 mil PS360 consoles already sold, who but the most dedicated of us Nintendo fans would care.

And I will keep saying this, Nintendo needs a big change in management. They need new blood more in touch with modern times.



A console is primarily for gaming though. Whatever console has the best collection of games and most fun experiences will come out on top. That's how it's always been.

Who knows what innovative games Nintendo have planned for the gamepad. Who knows what great experiences will come from Kinect 2.

I agree with all the OS stuff but it really plays a small part in what gaming console someone buys.



opcode said:

And no new franchises since Pikmin (that is before Iwata took over). Wii Sports, Nintendogs, Brain Age, etc don't count, as the 3DS proved (with Nintendogs and Brain Age), those super casual titles don't sell beyond their fads.

I confess, I've never for the life of me been able to understand this sentiment.



noname2200 said:
opcode said:

And no new franchises since Pikmin (that is before Iwata took over). Wii Sports, Nintendogs, Brain Age, etc don't count, as the 3DS proved (with Nintendogs and Brain Age), those super casual titles don't sell beyond their fads.

I confess, I've never for the life of me been able to understand this sentiment.

Count me in. How are those not new franchises. The reasoning used againt them is even bizzare. 



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green_sky said:
noname2200 said:
opcode said:

And no new franchises since Pikmin (that is before Iwata took over). Wii Sports, Nintendogs, Brain Age, etc don't count, as the 3DS proved (with Nintendogs and Brain Age), those super casual titles don't sell beyond their fads.

I confess, I've never for the life of me been able to understand this sentiment.

Count me in. How are those not new franchises. The reasoning used againt them is even bizzare. 

Not to mention that Animal Crossing 3DS counters the reasoning used.



noname2200 said:
RolStoppable said:


There is a common problem between the 3DS and Wii U: Nintendo invested in technology that consumers do not value (stereoscopic 3D and Gamepad). The hardware prices went up completely unnecessary. Is this is a problem that could be fixed with a good operating system and multimedia applications? Of course not. It's all about the games and dropping the price of the hardware to an acceptable level.

Not only do I agree with these points in particular, I'd argue that the 3D and Gamepad are additionally harmful to their respective systems because those two, largely-unvalued qualities are also the same ones that Nintendo is pushing (or had pushed, in case of 3D) as the system's core strength. In other words, not only did this unnecessarily jack up the price, it also turned off people who saw these as the systems' central features and unsurprisingly responded with indifference to the hardware as a whole.

I don't know if yall have been asked this question before, but what kind of home/handheld consoles yall would have released if yall had your way with Nintendo(slightly leaning towards the hardware aspects) so they could repeat NDS' and Wii's success?



My 3ds friendcode: 5413-0232-9676 (G-cyber)



Player2 said:
green_sky said:
noname2200 said:
opcode said:

And no new franchises since Pikmin (that is before Iwata took over). Wii Sports, Nintendogs, Brain Age, etc don't count, as the 3DS proved (with Nintendogs and Brain Age), those super casual titles don't sell beyond their fads.

I confess, I've never for the life of me been able to understand this sentiment.

Count me in. How are those not new franchises. The reasoning used againt them is even bizzare. 

Not to mention that Animal Crossing 3DS counters the reasoning used.

Animal Crossing was released on the N64. Again before Iwata....

Have you checked how many copies Nintendogs and Brain Age sold on the 3DS? I think that answers why those aren't real franchises that they can keep milking from. And honestly, is that really the kind of innovation we expect from Nintendo?



Threads like these are becoming tiresome. Their will always be a market for gaming first of all. And second of all 3DS is doing great. The Wii U ain't doing to hot, but once the software starts coming it'll catch on.



cyberninja45 said:

I don't if yall has been asked this question before, but what kind of home/handheld consoles yall would have released if yall had your way with Nintendo(slightly leaning towards the hardware apsects) so they could repeat NDS' and Wii's success?

For their DS successor, I would not have felt the need to include the stereoscopic 3D at all; I feel that feature does far more harm than good. I agree and agreed with Nintendo's call to not have dual analogue sticks, but would have put more focus into practical concerns such as battery life. I'm also ambivalent about the placement of the analogue stick; generally, the games that use/demand it seem to be closer suited to home consoles than handhelds, a lesson which the PSP should have taught Nintendo.

The spotpass feature has a ton of potential as well, although I would have investigated how to make it more useful for regions outside of Japan; the idea of encouraging more local play is a good one, and handhelds generally would be well served by offering more encouragement to keep the system with you as much as possible. The execution leaves much room for improvement, but I find the idea to be quite sound.

I confess, I generally have difficulty thinking of anything but the most banal and obvious ways of improving upon the DS' hardware (software, another story). I mostly have criticisms for the changes that they did make. But even with those mistakes, I believe its fortunes can still turn around if there is more focus on the software (and software prices); I do not find it coincidental that its performance in Japan coincides with the fact that Japan has seen a much larger volume of releases to date. I will reevaluate this position though if 2013 does not have a marked improvement in the 3DS' (hitherto lackluster)Western performance.

I have a difficult time finding many good things to say about the Wii U, though. The Gamepad does lend itself to some neat concepts, and I fully anticipate there will be some good (Nintendo) games coming out based on the Gamepad. But overall, it just seems like a camel at best.