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Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Is Nintendo's current first party strategy more like Sony and Microsoft's?

If there's one thing Nintendo is known for, it's their games. With an army of beloved characters and properties at their disposal, and a powerhouse software R&D division, Nintendo can single handedly sell consoles on the sheer strength of their first party productions alone. But with the Switch, It may just be me, but the Entertainment Planning & Development Division seems to have taken a few cues and strategies from the software arms of other Platform holders. Specifically SIE Worldwide Studios, and Xbox Game Studios. Now, Nintendo is still Nintendo. They're still the tinkering Apple-like toy maker we know them to be with products like Nintendo Labo and Ring Fit Adventure. But Nintendo has seemed to have paid attention to what Sony and Microsoft get right with their first party content strategy, and applied some of those lessons in their own Nintendo-like fashion.

Chief among them is encouraging more creative autonomy within their teams. Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa, and Head of EPD Shinya Takahashi have both openly stated that Nintendo's Production Groups should have the freedom to peruse new ideas and concepts however they want, and not constantly be told what to make and how to make it. This is the strategy Sony has embraced for years with Worldwide Studios, and what Microsoft is focusing on with Xbox Game Studios. Letting the teams make what they want, how they want, and support their vision by working with marketing, sales, and focus groups to deliver games that not only sell, but ones that the developers can also call their own. Nintendo's been moving towards the same direction for a while, resulting in what could be the most varied software lineup the company has put out. From tried-and-true Nintendo classics like Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, to newer faces like Splatoon, ARMS, and Ring Fit Adventure. To collaborations with independent developers in the west like with Snipperclips and The Stretchers. In the past, Nintendo's primary Software Division, EAD was dictated almost solely by whatever creative mood Shigeru Miyamoto was in at the time.

Another key change, is Nintendo's willingness to encourage "darker" games, and in general, including darker elements in many of their games. Sony and Microsoft have always defined themselves by offering more "Adult" titles to distinguish themselves from Nintendo's largely family-friendly roster. Nintendo's dabbled in this area several times before, but with the Switch, it seems to be a vital part of their first party strategy for the console, and not just experiments, or token titles. You have games like Astral Chain, where Nintendo went as far as to toss out the original fantasy pitch, and encourage Platinum to try something darker and more original, hence the dystopian sci-fi setting. Bayonetta 3, which even after the underperfomance of Bayonetta 2, still got a huge reveal and is a game Nintendo seems to have a lot of faith in. Famicom Detective Club, an IP that NOBODY expected Nintendo to revisit, is getting full on remakes of the two games from Mages. Splatoon 2 Octo Expansion, which contains a darker tone and story, rarely seen in an in-house Nintendo game. And the triumphant return of Metroid with the big reveal of Metroid Prime 4, where they even went as far as to publicly admit that the original build wasn't very good, and will be rebooted with Retro Studios taking over development. While all-ages content still makes up most of Nintendo's annual roster, there seems to be a more confident attitude in promoting darker, more edgy elements.

Lastly, there's production values and budget. Sony and Microsoft studios often go all out on R&D budget for various games, which result in massive worlds, and impressive technical feats. Nintendo was always and in some ways, still is, more conservative with game budgets. Sometimes, to the point of only including the bare minimum, for better or worse, to cut costs, believing that quality gameplay wins over graphics and set-pieces. The Wii U was where it got really bad, as Nintendo didn't know how to handle the change of HD development. But with the Switch, while Nintendo still isn't interested in reaching Naughty Dog level budgets, they appear more willing to splurge a bit more on the budget of several titles to help reach their full potential. Of course, there's Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey, filled with ambitious concepts and technology that's impressive, even on the under-powered Switch hardware. Even games like Ring Fit Adventure, are generally receiving more money and marketing put into them than they would've gotten on the Wii U or 3DS.

In terms of software, Nintendo, their games, and their unique ways of making them haven't changed. But, the overall marketing, production, and content strategy these days is much more in-line with Sony and Microsoft's than it was back in the Wii U days.

Last edited by TheMisterManGuy - on 02 January 2020

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All of what you is wrote is reaching, but I still stay to the end and read everything.

Nintendo was doing all of these things way before now.

The only new things Nintendo is doing now compared to their past is allowing others to make more games with their franchise, cadence of Hyrule, Metroid other M which came out for Wii I think and etc. The last thing they change up was adding both their handheld and console team together to make games. Everything else still follow Iwata blue ocean strategy including the RPG exercising game. Nintendo had dark games in the past Mad world and etc.

Nintendo still do not spend like crazy to make games so they games always come back profitable compared to Sony and Microsoft games.

Nintendo competition is with themselves and 3rd party games, since Switch came in 2017 they been the number 1 first party seller, the only company that beat them for number 1 publisher is 3rd party companies. As of now they have no competition with Microsoft and Sony first party games.

Nintendo games like any other publisher gets better with time they growing with the world trying new things out all the time which they started with the Wii

Marketing change for Switch compared to the past because it’s a different system, it do not always stay in the house so you cannot use same marketing to show the system as something you play with all your family members, the switch at its core is a system for one person even tho it can be played with more than one person, this is why marketing when it came out showed one person playing with it before they started playing with others

This is also why Nintendo target marketing when they sold the system was to adults, who are also the majority owners of the switch right now. They the only ones who have the cash to get a system at that price with all the accessories and etc.

They started adding more teenagers later on and then started adding a lot more teenagers and kids when the Switch Lite came out. I think they assume the Switch Lite like many on videogame website to be a big seller, but from reports In japan and all over people prefer the Switch that can be docked and this why many Lites are still in stock for the holiday period

Astral chain was told to switch to cyberpunk because there were too many games set in that time period

There’s nothing darker about cyberpunk over a fantasy era game if anything fantasy era time game can be darker than a cyber punk game they did a lot of things in medevil times to punish people that are seriously crazy and make me never want to live in one of those time periods

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Nintendo being the same Nintendo that Iwata started and Switch his last device before he died........after the switch is when we will start to see a new Nintendo where none of the plans come from Iwata but for now enjoy what Iwata envision before his death

The only big difference is both handheld and console team as one and with them as one.......for first party Nintendo have no competition and I do not see Sony or Microsoft beating them to be second in publishing after a 3rd party company even with ps5 and Xbox one series X coming out the only thing people buy on Sony and Xbox systems is 3rd party games at the end of top 10 chart for Sony or Microsoft games you will only see one or two first party games at the end of the top 10 list

Look at VGChartz look at NPD and European charts and look at Sony and Microsoft numbers without other systems just games for those two systems and you will see 3rd party dominate their list with only 1 or 2 first party games on the list

Point is as much as people say first party games bring them to either system their Wallets prefer 3rd party games

I went With ps4 8th gen and Switch 9th gen but for my 9th gen console that stay always at home I may go Xbox if it’s the most powerful because all the games I have for my ps4 is 3rd party and I can play those on Xbox new system and with crossplay being a bigger thing going towards the future I can safely be safe with Xbox and switch for my two 9th gen systems and be able to play all the games I want when I went ps4 and of duty went crossplay with ps4 and Xbox so you already know others will follow next in new 9th gen

I seriously can’t wait for other two 9th gen systems to release