Forums - Nintendo Discussion - I've noticed a pattern with Nintendo's in-house release pattern

Regarding the internal teams within Nintendo, I've noticed a pattern with how they release games for Nintendo systems, at least for most of the newer ones. Traditionally, Nintendo makes sure to get it's big titles, IE, ones that can move consoles, out on the system within the first 2-3 years of the platforms life. Nintendo typically starts software development for its next system, about a year or two before it releases. This gives them enough time to prepare launch games, and have some footage ready for future titles to drive up hype for the system. Notice how Nintendo's cash-cows like Mario, Mario Kart, Smash, and Zelda are announced as early as possible for the system. 

Within the first 2 or so years of the platform, Nintendo makes sure the big guns are out as soon as possible. Then once the system sellers are out of the way, smaller teams are then assembled to create more experimental software, or in the case of Zelda, work on a sequel. You notice that as we get further into the life of a Nintendo system, you start the in-house first party releases become a bit more niche and smaller in scope. It especially rings true for their handhelds, after the big budget games teams expended their projects, the smaller teams come in and work on games with a quicker turn around. So while the early period of the 3DS for example, you may see the big Mario, Zelda, and Animal Crossing releases, by year 3 you start to see odd-balls like Miitopia and Happy Home Designer become more common. 

If that format still holds true, the same will probably happen to the Switch. Now that all of Nintendo's system selling properties are out with game releases, the only path now is spin-offs, experimental niche games, plus maybe a big Zelda Sequel. 



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Well, on Wii U they didn't release a Zelda game within the first years (but it wouldn't have helped the system though). During the Wii era they moved more SKUs with Wii Sports and Wii Fit than Mario & Zelda, but usually your mentioned pattern is correct for any new Nintendo system. I mean, it's obvious to release your system sellers quite soon to move some units, because a large install base is the key for selling software.
On the other hand, Sony doesn't seem to have such a concept.



I think every console manufacturer wants to get at least some of their biggest system sellers out in the first few years, because of momentum. But some games have so much going into them, whether it's photo realistic graphics or motion capture, etc, that they take a lot longer to finish than some other games.

Last edited by Hiku - on 17 August 2019

Hiku said:

I think every console manufacturer wants to get at least some of their biggest system sellers out in the first few years, because of momentum. But some games have so much going into them, whether it's photo realistic graphics or motion capture, etc, that they take a lot longer to finish than some other games.

True, Sony and Microsoft do a similar thing. But I think it's especially noticable with Nintendo since most of their main series are only one per system, whereas Sony or Microsoft may try to put out sequels on the same system, at least that was the case last generation where Naughty Dog managed to put out 3 Uncharted's in the span of 4 years.



siebensus4 said:
Well, on Wii U they didn't release a Zelda game within the first years (but it wouldn't have helped the system though). During the Wii era they moved more SKUs with Wii Sports and Wii Fit than Mario & Zelda, but usually your mentioned pattern is correct for any new Nintendo system. I mean, it's obvious to release your system sellers quite soon to move some units, because a large install base is the key for selling software.
On the other hand, Sony doesn't seem to have such a concept.

It didnt even get a "real" 3D mario... (I dont count Super Mario 3D World as one).
(its like a isometric (kinda) from the side, 2D ish 3D)

BoTW came to the WiiU but basically by the time it was dead already.

Nintendo shouldnt underestimate how big demand is for these two titles on their systems.
3D mario + good Zelda game, is basically the minimum that needs to be done for a nintendo system, going forwards or it ll end up another WiiU.

I dare say that any Nintendo System, that gets a fantastic 3D mario + Zelda, early in the gen, is going to do fine.

Last edited by JRPGfan - on 17 August 2019

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Hiku said:

I think every console manufacturer wants to get at least some of their biggest system sellers out in the first few years, because of momentum.

Sony is the only one that does it differntly.
Brand trust is there, they can sell them without their big bangers out... they instead like to end a gen on a High Note.

PS4 first ~1,5 years its 1st party wasn't as strong as the Xbox's (gens last 7years+ though).
The thing is after that 1,5year its been PS4 > XB1, in terms of software output.

TheMisterManGuy said:
Hiku said:

I think every console manufacturer wants to get at least some of their biggest system sellers out in the first few years, because of momentum. But some games have so much going into them, whether it's photo realistic graphics or motion capture, etc, that they take a lot longer to finish than some other games.

True, Sony and Microsoft do a similar thing. But I think it's especially noticable with Nintendo since most of their main series are only one per system, whereas Sony or Microsoft may try to put out sequels on the same system, at least that was the case last generation where Naughty Dog managed to put out 3 Uncharted's in the span of 4 years.

Sony usually ends strong instead.

How many new successfull IP have Microsoft had this gen? How many Sequels to them on the same system?
I dont agree with you on this part.... that isnt Microsoft.... well theres a New Forza every year... too the point its probably hurting the IP.

Last edited by JRPGfan - on 17 August 2019

TheMisterManGuy said:

Regarding the internal teams within Nintendo, I've noticed a pattern with how they release games for Nintendo systems, at least for most of the newer ones. Traditionally, Nintendo makes sure to get it's big titles, IE, ones that can move consoles, out on the system within the first 2-3 years of the platforms life. Nintendo typically starts software development for its next system, about a year or two before it releases. This gives them enough time to prepare launch games, and have some footage ready for future titles to drive up hype for the system. Notice how Nintendo's cash-cows like Mario, Mario Kart, Smash, and Zelda are announced as early as possible for the system. 

Within the first 2 or so years of the platform, Nintendo makes sure the big guns are out as soon as possible. Then once the system sellers are out of the way, smaller teams are then assembled to create more experimental software, or in the case of Zelda, work on a sequel. You notice that as we get further into the life of a Nintendo system, you start the in-house first party releases become a bit more niche and smaller in scope. It especially rings true for their handhelds, after the big budget games teams expended their projects, the smaller teams come in and work on games with a quicker turn around. So while the early period of the 3DS for example, you may see the big Mario, Zelda, and Animal Crossing releases, by year 3 you start to see odd-balls like Miitopia and Happy Home Designer become more common. 

If that format still holds true, the same will probably happen to the Switch. Now that all of Nintendo's system selling properties are out with game releases, the only path now is spin-offs, experimental niche games, plus maybe a big Zelda Sequel. 

The games also have long tails, so they can still help sell even as Nintendo decides that this is the time to release....Ice Climbers Uprising or something.



The Democratic Nintendo fan....is that a paradox? I'm fond of one of the more conservative companies in the industry, but I vote Liberally and view myself that way 90% of the time?

JRPGfan said:
siebensus4 said:
Well, on Wii U they didn't release a Zelda game within the first years (but it wouldn't have helped the system though). During the Wii era they moved more SKUs with Wii Sports and Wii Fit than Mario & Zelda, but usually your mentioned pattern is correct for any new Nintendo system. I mean, it's obvious to release your system sellers quite soon to move some units, because a large install base is the key for selling software.
On the other hand, Sony doesn't seem to have such a concept.

It didnt even get a "real" 3D mario... (I dont count Super Mario 3D World as one).
(its like a isometric (kinda) from the side, 2D ish 3D)

BoTW came to the WiiU but basically by the time it was dead already.

Nintendo shouldnt underestimate how big demand is for these two titles on their systems.
3D mario + good Zelda game, is basically the minimum that needs to be done for a nintendo system, going forwards or it ll end up another WiiU.

I dare say that any Nintendo System, that gets a fantastic 3D mario + Zelda, early in the gen, is going to do fine.

It wasn't the games totally that failed Wii U.  Most people put blame mainly on marketing and confusion over system name.  In ten years these games will be known as gems.  That's when I'll cash out...  Hell who am I kidding give me 20 years if  I'm still alive.

Lack of 3rd party support didn't help.  But who are we kidding?  Fuck third party



sethnintendo said:
JRPGfan said:

It didnt even get a "real" 3D mario... (I dont count Super Mario 3D World as one).
(its like a isometric (kinda) from the side, 2D ish 3D)

BoTW came to the WiiU but basically by the time it was dead already.

Nintendo shouldnt underestimate how big demand is for these two titles on their systems.
3D mario + good Zelda game, is basically the minimum that needs to be done for a nintendo system, going forwards or it ll end up another WiiU.

I dare say that any Nintendo System, that gets a fantastic 3D mario + Zelda, early in the gen, is going to do fine.

It wasn't the games totally that failed Wii U.  Most people put blame mainly on marketing and confusion over system name.  In ten years these games will be known as gems.  That's when I'll cash out...  Hell who am I kidding give me 20 years if  I'm still alive.

Lack of 3rd party support didn't help.  But who are we kidding?  Fuck third party

Wii U actually had okayish 3D party support... because it launched so far behinde the XB360 + PS3, that it was able to play those games.
There was some multiplats ported to the Wii U (from that gen).

Imo..... the games kinda did fail the Wii U.

Their 3D mario wasnt nearly as good as Mario Galaxy / 64... or Mario Oddesey.
Their 2D mario wasnt as good as the first New Super Mario Bro's (wii)
Their Zelda, game came when it was too late, though fantastic.
Paper Mario - Colour Splash was a joke....... Nintendo havnt treated Paper Mario IP well.
StarFox Zero (remake of the first game).... kinda poorly done too, with the whole cockpit vision thingy.
Animal Crossing - Amiibo festival.... again kinda a joke poor taste, on their IP.

What Nintendo did right/well on the Wii U was mostly just:
Donkey Kong Country - Tropical Freeze
Splatoon
Mario Kart 8

It wasnt just bad marketing, or the hardware being poorly designed or such... (price vs performance).
They had game issues, and droughts that ran for years.

The Wii U had 1st party games issues.

Honorable mentions (great games for the Wii U):
Xenoblade Chronicles X
Tokyo Mirage Sessons #FE
Bayonetta 1 & 2
Captain Toad Treassure tracker
Rayman Legends
Yoshi's Wolly World
Citizens of Earth

Last edited by JRPGfan - on 18 August 2019

Hiku said:

I think every console manufacturer wants to get at least some of their biggest system sellers out in the first few years, because of momentum. But some games have so much going into them, whether it's photo realistic graphics or motion capture, etc, that they take a lot longer to finish than some other games.

^This.