Now I know doom threads have been done to death latily, but I really don't see that many people bringing this up: Nintendo is about to face a massively uphill battle in the next 10 years due to a complete failure to lay any groundwork for the future:
Terrible Online:The evidence is everywhere! I have seen about a dozen polls on VGchartz asking Sony/MS fans if they would buy a Wii U if it had no tablet and similar hardware. The answer is always arounf 80% no because simply put it isn't just the graphics. Nintendo's network is 2 generations behind. I don't think I have ever seen a game with more than 12 players on a Nintendo console and the PS2 even had 32 player games. Heck the PSP did!
Very Few Games to Play:In addition to this, they have completily alienated 3rd parties. Generally speaking, Playstation has been the home of Ubisoft games and COD was better on Xbox. However it is nearly fact at this point that 3rd party games are lazy ports on the Wii/Wii U, and Nintendo fans are lucky at this point if they even get any good third party games. It can not be understated how terrible for nintendo it is that these games series are never coming to a Nintendo console: GTA, Bioshock, Battlefield, Far Cry, Dark Souls, MGS, Tomb Raider, Borderlands, Metro, Crysis and the list goes on and on.
But if you own a Playstation or Xbox, you can sleep easily knowing that you will be able to play the next big game. A couple Nintendo games released every year that we've seen a dozen times before does not make up for this. (Whether you believe the games justify being called "Rehashes" or not is up to you). But the very real and prevalent perception is there.
It's Already Too Late: So how about Nintndo just fixes these things? Well problem is that these things take time. Time Nintendo doesn't have.
-Microsoft's Asure and Sony's Gaikai cloud tech can not be set up overnight.
-Third party relations have been spited too many times in a row by Nintendo for them to think second about going back; especially when Steam/MS/Sony are sitting right there with massive install bases.
-Already people think twice about switching brands in order to keep their Trophies/Achievements, DLC, and gaming group of friends. Many people have grown up at this point with out ever using a Nintendo console more than their PC/PS2/360 etc. The people raised on the NES no longer makes up the core market. Nintendo has spent all of their loyalty points.
Or is it?!: Could Nintendo come back? Absolutily, I never say never! But I feel the great majority of people are underscoring just how hard a comeback would be for Ninty. In order to have the market presence they had in the good ol days of the NES (The Wii was clearly an outlier), they need to make a comeback greater than the PS3->PS4. No wrong moves, all right ones.
Please do not bring up the PS3 btw. Sony was coming off of the BIGGEST market share domination of all time, and they still didn't come in first. Meanwhile the Wii U is tracking below the Dreamcast.
Their only option: At this point I think they really only can follow this path if they want to succeed:
-Hold on for dear life in the short term, and prepare for the future. Right now they have a good 2 years before they need to launch a new main console. In that time it is imperitive that they form a network that beats PSN. Prepare their next console.
-Launch a new conservative console in 2016. It needs to be priced reasonably while also beating the PS4 in performance by at least a factor of 3 (In order to not be completily obsolete the following generation that will shortly follow), selling at a minor-medium loss should be acceptable. The Network must be competitive with PSN while also being free. They use the next 4 years to slowly claw back third party support and fans. New mature IP's are a must!
-After getting an install base of 40-60m, they pull out their big guns. In 2020 they launch a brand new console with the best online (Paid) and massive 3rd party support. It would have the best party/family friendly games while also offering all of the hardcore gaming Nintendo's lost fans came to expect. With it they could really have a chance of outselling the Wii.
P.S. If you made it this far: Good job and thank you! Please keep in mind that I am not saying Nintendo's current offerings aren't good enough for YOU, I am saying they aren't good enough for most people to make the Wii U their main console.
Current PC Build:
i7-4770K @ 4.625 GHz, Sapphire 7970 at 1215/1830, 4GBx2 2133MHz RAM, 500GB SSD + 1TB HDD, Blue Ray Drive, and an awesome little case.