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Is Nintendo In Trouble

themadlionsfanthemadlionsfan Members Posts: 9,134 ✭✭✭✭✭
WHY NINTENDO IS IN REAL TROUBLE
Share. ...and how 2017 could turn it all around.

BY JUSTIN DAVIS I love Nintendo.

But there’s no denying that the company is in real trouble. Although it’s only April, it is now looking increasingly likely that 2016 will be remembered as the worst year for Nintendo since it first shifted its focus to video games in the 1970s.

2016 itself may be a lost cause, but it’s clear Nintendo is positioning the year as a rebuilding period. “Let’s take a beat, take some deep breaths, and come out swinging in 2017” the company seems to be telling its most diehard fans (and likely its internal teams and investors).

If Nintendo’s plan works, 2016 will be remembered as the year the company laid a foundation for long term growth and prosperity in both the console and mobile game industries. If it doesn’t, the Nintendo of 2016 might begin to look a lot like the Sega of 2001 - a powerful and beloved company muscled out of the home console space.

How We Got Here

The Wii was a massive gamble Nintendo was forced to make.

The Wii was an overwhelming, unqualified success. Nintendo sold over 100 million Wii consoles, making it the company’s most successful home console by a huge margin.

But the Wii was also a massive gamble - a gamble the company was forced to make, thanks to an inability to keep up with the pure power of competing consoles. The uncomfortable truth is that before the Wii took the world by storm, every new Nintendo home console was less successful than console that came out before. Nintendo home console sales had essentially been dwindling for more than 20 years, before the Wii bucked that trend. And now the Wii U has resumed this decline in console sales.

Of course, during this period of declining console sales Nintendo continued to enjoy unprecedented dominance and success in the handheld space. The overwhelmingly successful Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo DS were a large source of stability (and money) for Nintendo while it increasingly struggled to compete in the home console business.

For more than three decades Nintendo has been one of the most prolific and consistent game developers. Its games topped IGN and other critics Best Of lists year after year, and also topped the sales charts.

But it managed to experience this critical and commercial success despite relying hardware that was less powerful than its competitors. Nintendo hardware has always faced significant challenges competing with the more powerful console competition from deep-pocketed companies like Sony and Microsoft.


Nintendo hardware has won the console wars In a few specific ways over the years. The Super Nintendo’s support of the Super FX Chip allowed late SNES games to surpass the visuals of competing Genesis games. The N64’s four controller ports and very fast load times trumped the PS1. And of course the Wii took the world by storm thanks to its innovative controller.

But broadly speaking, Nintendo hardware has always been playing catch-up with its competitors, and Nintendo has always faced an uphill battle selling gamers on why buying their unique game box and not one of the more powerful options was the right decision.


The Wii U is a significant failure...

This uphill battle finally came to a head in 2012 with the launch of the Wii U. Nintendo made another Wii-sized gamble by releasing another graphically inferior console with a unique twist - this time a GamePad with an embedded touch screen - hoping this new gameplay experience would lead to another wave of Wii-like success. Nintendo was undoubtedly hoping this innovation would replicate the success of the two-screened DS, which is Nintendo’s most popular piece of hardware ever, with more than 154 million units sold.

But despite excellent games like Mario Kart 8, Super Mario 3D World, and Super Smash Bros., core and casual gamers alike just didn’t respond to the Wii U’s innovative approach. As of March 2016 Nintendo has sold a dismal 12.8 million Wii Us, all-but guaranteeing it will end up an Nintendo’s lowest selling console - a significant failure for the company.

The 2016 Low Point
For many years, even if you weren’t personally a fan of Nintendo’s family-friendly approach to game development, there’s no denying that the company released rock-solid, high-quality games year-in and year-out.

Many gamers recognize this to be true through their own anecdotal experience, but the data also reflects this truth. Review aggregator Metacritic consistently ranks Nintendo one of the highest-scoring game developers in the world, with the annual review scores of all Nintendo games averaging out to around 75% or more. But by 2015 this average dropped to 71.7%, and it seems unlikely at this point to expect 2016 to turn out much better.


The excellent Fire Emblem Fates aside, Nintendo’s tentpole 2016 releases, while not exactly critically panned, have also failed to live up to their high expectations. Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, Pokken Tournament, and Star Fox Zero all received moderately positive receptions from critics, but all failed to break an 80% review average.

Nintendo is releasing far fewer games, too. In 2015 the company released 31 unique titles, which was already down from the level of 35+ annual game launches that is more typical for the company.


In 2016 Nintendo is releasing fewer games, and those games aren’t as good.

So far in 2016 Nintendo has released 11 games, two of which are ports or remakes, and just six more are announced for the rest of the year. It’s likely that more 2016 games will be revealed this year at E3, but even accounting for these announcements, it seems that Nintendo will release fewer games in 2016 than any other year in recent memory.

In other words, in 2016 Nintendo is releasing fewer games, and those games aren’t as good.

Today’s announcement that Nintendo has pushed The Legend of Zelda out of 2016 and officially dated their next console the NX for March 2017 looks an awful lot like an admission that the company needed to hit the reset button.

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Comments

  • themadlionsfanthemadlionsfan Members Posts: 9,134 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The Turnaround Plan
    Nintendo fans are right to be concerned about the future of the house that Mario built, especially after the Wii U’s considerably shaky run. But there are still plenty of signs of light. It’s never fun seeing a game company choose to essentially sit out a full six months of the year, but there are already some indications that this was the right call.

    First, the early signs are that Nintendo is tackling mobile in exactly the right way. Miitomo isn’t making crazy bank, but it proves that Nintendo “gets it” when it comes to smartphones and tablets, and the app successfully laid the foundation for a social infrastructure that Nintendo can apply to all its future mobile games. Today’s announcement that Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem are coming, and that Animal Crossing mobile will communicate with future console and handheld Animal Crossing games, is exactly the right way to tackle an expansion into mobile.


    There’s a large number of talented teams working on secret projects...

    The Legend of Zelda being Nintendo’s only playable game at E3 2016 says a lot about the company’s confidence in how the game is shaping up, too. A huge E3 booth for a single playable game is a big statement to make, even if you didn’t have too much else to show off to begin with. The game is absolutely gorgeous and more than five years in the making, with Nintendo dropping plenty of hints that it will be more open and Western-feeling. Nintendo seems confident that this entry in the long-running franchise will truly be something special. Of course, it’s always possible despite today’s announcement that Nintendo will surprise us at E3 with more 2016-bound games than we’re expecting, too.


    Regardless, the majority of Nintendo’s development teams, including the talented teams behind Mario Kart 8, Super Mario 3D World, and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, have not released a game since 2014, and have since moved on to unannounced projects. There’s a very large number of very talented teams with proven track records working quietly on projects that won’t see the light of day until next year, likely to help ensure the NX has a stronger Year One lineup than the Wii U received.

    As for the NX itself? That’s the big question. The console is the crux of any 2017 turnaround plan. If its combination of pure power, an extensive software lineup, and unique vision for the future of gaming can convince the masses to buy in, Nintendo will be in a great position. After weathering 2015 and 2016, the company will have an ever-growing toy division powered by the continued success of amiibo, a solid console business, and a growing mobile presence that supports and augments that core console business.
  • TurfaholicTurfaholic It's not too complicated, but you're gonna need a bulletproof soul The Bay 2 Sin CityMembers Posts: 20,428 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Better release a couple of open world & 3D generation Pokemon games ASAP.
  • LUClENLUClEN Absence makes the heart grow fonder of someone else Members Posts: 20,559 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Turfaholic wrote: »
    Better release a couple of open world & 3D generation Pokemon games ASAP.

    Why tf haven't they done this yet? That 🤬 would be huge.

    GTA with pokemon.
  • PaprikaPaprika Members Posts: 2,475 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Terribly written article. Using reviewers scores to dictate the success of games and misrepresenting Playstation blowing out the N64.

    People will buy Nintendo systems for Pokemon, Zelda, Mario and Smash Bros, but ask them what else. The secondary market for the Wii systems are booming. And that's where they'll end up.

    Which brings me to the next point, parents are buying these systems for kids. Wii and Wii-U shouldn't have similar names parents get quite confused.

    Gamers are able to use their PS4 and One's for more than gaming. The Wii-U is strictly a gaming system in an entertainment world. Nintendo's archaic formula of producing a console and releasing their flagship titles is killing their consoles.

    The Pad for the Wii-U was one of the most creative designs that came out of their heads. Imagine using that to watch TV, Skype, but they didn't utilize it for entertainment value.


    Their online infrastructure is embarrassing for a console released in 2012. The Dreamcast, a 18 year old system had a more active and user friendly online interface. Adding friends, talking to them is seemingly impossible. The removal of their note application further reduced capability to connect with others through the Wii-U itself.

    Nintendo lives in the golden age, a time where gamers owned one or two consoles and all of your friends did as well. Everyone would come over and watch or play together then call it a day. Now these friends are cities away and can't communicate unless it's through video chat using the pad. With no outstanding features, the Wii-U and future Nintendo Consoles continue to lose to more future thinking systems already released.

  • Neophyte WolfgangNeophyte Wolfgang Members Posts: 4,169 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Nintendo needs to grow up. Never seen a company that had the industry in a chokehold and lost it. They are sturborn and need to get on the level of Sony and X-box, adult and family friendly video games are fine. They can keep Zelda, Mario ETC, but time for some new adult games, creative stuff not this redudant stuff
  • StoneColdMikeyStoneColdMikey mikeyismod CHITOWN THE BEST TOWNMembers, Moderators Posts: 33,543 Regulator
    They're actually doing goo
  • vagrant-718vagrant-718 Members Posts: 4,569 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2016
    Kudos on Nintendo being stubborn. Ppl been saying for years how Nintendo would've been a force in the mobile space if they had release games there.

    I don't play too much mobile games but if u tell me I can d/l Mario world, donkey kong country, fzero, Mario party etc on my mobile I'm in there. That right there is like a million downloads day 1 but nooo Nintendo go ahead and release miitomo
  • Co_Town_MichaelCo_Town_Michael Bruh. TexasMembers Posts: 5,551 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2016
    NX is doomed to fail.
    They're gonna bank on a bunch of 🤬 and LOZ as a launch title, hoping people buy it.
    The problem with Nintendo is only half explained though imo.

    The other half of the problem is that Nintendo owns so many IP's and they've either kept them dormant for years or have done nothing but the same old rinse and repeat 🤬 with them.

    It's crazy to think that the Wii U won't get a LOZ game until the very end of it's life cycle.
    This literally could've saved the console if it was good.
    It's crazy to think that Nintendo hasn't put out a new Metroid game in 6 years and aren't currently making one that's actually canon to the series
    It's crazy to think that Nintendo hasn't put out a new F-Zero game since 2004.
    It took 🤬 forever to get a new Star Fox game. Same with Kid Icarus.
    What about Mother (Earthbound)? Will we ever get Mother 3 localized?
    What about making a new game based in the Mario universe that doesn't suck?
    Then you have minor stuff like Nintendo of America doing all that nonsense censoring 🤬 .

    Nintendo has all the assets in the world to make good games but would rather lose money with their old formula than try to even kinda appeal to the people who grew up on Nintendo.
    The older audience can save them from being a failure but they ain't having it.
  • BroddieBroddie just me and my bitch NYCMembers Posts: 11,750 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2016
    These type of articles are hilarious cause they've been profiting for the past 2 years and literally have a war chest of cash so deep that they could brick for 2 generations in a row and still be standing.

    http://attackofthefanboy.com/news/nintendo-4-6-billion-bank/

    I guess that's why they're so confident about launching the next platform in March 2017 and not that holiday season.
  • themadlionsfanthemadlionsfan Members Posts: 9,134 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • Lou CypherLou Cypher Make Reasonable Choices. H. E. Double Hockey SticksMembers Posts: 52,519 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Nintendo has so much money they can fail for another 10 years and still be ok. It would hurt them of course, but if they took their time and worked on a console that can compete performance wise with playstation and Xbox then they could pick rigjt back up. They have 🤬 fans and if they started releasing games aimed towards older gamers instead of putting Mario and friends in different games then I think they would pick back up. Didn't read full article but there is still hope from them and they could take a few years off and be just fine.
  • BroddieBroddie just me and my bitch NYCMembers Posts: 11,750 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Some of Nintendo's all time greatest games have come out in the last 6 years so I can't complain. But I do want Nintendo sports games back like anothe Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball type game or a 1080 joint would be nice. They got something for every other genre including shooters and fighters but nothing for sports anymore outside of Mario Tennis.
  • CeLLaR-DooRCeLLaR-DooR Members Posts: 18,880 ✭✭✭✭✭
    NX is doomed to fail.
    They're gonna bank on a bunch of 🤬 and LOZ as a launch title, hoping people buy it.
    The problem with Nintendo is only half explained though imo.

    The other half of the problem is that Nintendo owns so many IP's and they've either kept them dormant for years or have done nothing but the same old rinse and repeat 🤬 with them.

    It's crazy to think that the Wii U won't get a LOZ game until the very end of it's life cycle.
    This literally could've saved the console if it was good.
    It's crazy to think that Nintendo hasn't put out a new Metroid game in 6 years and aren't currently making one that's actually canon to the series
    It's crazy to think that Nintendo hasn't put out a new F-Zero game since 2004.
    It took 🤬 forever to get a new Star Fox game. Same with Kid Icarus.
    What about Mother (Earthbound)? Will we ever get Mother 3 localized?
    What about making a new game based in the Mario universe that doesn't suck?
    Then you have minor stuff like Nintendo of America doing all that nonsense censoring 🤬 .

    Nintendo has all the assets in the world to make good games but would rather lose money with their old formula than try to even kinda appeal to the people who grew up on Nintendo.
    The older audience can save them from being a failure but they ain't having it.

    What Mario games sucked? Galaxy 1 and 2 and 3D World were all among the highest reviewed games of the year

    Anyway Nintendo been makin' odd decisions but you 🤬 wantin' (or thinkin' they have to) compete performance wise with the other guys have it wrong.

    The Wii U is too underpowered and was awfully marketed. This LoZ 🤬 they're pullin' is 🤬 man smh stuff like that. Mistakes they can rectify with the next 🤬
  • HundredEyes HundredEyes Members Posts: 2,959 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The wii u was cool, had a lot of fun with it...all Nintendo needs to do is take some notes from Sony,nothing wrong with some 3rd party games and decent online 🤬 .

    Im hoping it will be like a ps4.5 but knowing nintendo theyll have to do something innovative that might 🤬 it all up...a damn Touch screen controller or some other silly 🤬 ....them mofos always gotta reinvent the wheel...

    im hyped af for the e3 reveal though
  • dalyricalbanditdalyricalbandit Co-Owner Of AllhipHop.com, Super Moderator, Administrator, Moderator Members, Moderators Posts: 67,918 Regulator
    @sion what u think g
  • SionSion Moderator, Legion of Trill, AHH Content Producer, AHH Editor Members, Moderators, Writer, Content Producer Posts: 45,666 Regulator
    @sion what u think g

    Most of the demands ppl have for Nintendo are perceptive, which means it's not necessarily their reality. People are weighing the Wii U and comparing it to the other consoles and then drawing conclusions. We have to wait to see how NX rolls out before we jump to conclusions. Third party support isn't the bulk of their revenue or profit nor will it be, more "violent" games isn't Nintendo's style just like we don't expect Disney to make thrillers. Hardware isn't their area of expertise nor do the games they make require it (add to the fact hardware sells at a loss for companies). Nintendo needs to "change" people's current perceptions because letting it dictate their decisions financially is often a great mistake companies make that destroy them forever. Nintendo lost their CEO last year and are in a stage of transition, so there's going to be slow downs but it's "problems" aren't as dire as people are making it out to be. Nintendo is highly cautious in a market that wants it to swing for the sake of swinging when they don't have to do anything SMMFH.


    Only thing I'd recommend Nintendo do is buy back stock with their war chest whenever the price is reasonable or below 1.5 and to keep its state of mind. Buying back stock would quiet shareholders and further strengthen their ability to finance future projects. The only drawback is they have a massive company and it's harder to find business to really hit their bottom line especially with their product line and what they offer. It's just the nature of their business.
  • CeLLaR-DooRCeLLaR-DooR Members Posts: 18,880 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Sion wrote: »
    @sion what u think g

    Most of the demands ppl have for Nintendo are perceptive, which means it's not necessarily their reality. People are weighing the Wii U and comparing it to the other consoles and then drawing conclusions. We have to wait to see how NX rolls out before we jump to conclusions. Third party support isn't the bulk of their revenue or profit nor will it be, more "violent" games isn't Nintendo's style just like we don't expect Disney to make thrillers. Hardware isn't their area of expertise nor do the games they make require it (add to the fact hardware sells at a loss for companies). Nintendo needs to "change" people's current perceptions because letting it dictate their decisions financially is often a great mistake companies make that destroy them forever. Nintendo lost their CEO last year and are in a stage of transition, so there's going to be slow downs but it's "problems" aren't as dire as people are making it out to be. Nintendo is highly cautious in a market that wants it to swing for the sake of swinging when they don't have to do anything SMMFH.


    Only thing I'd recommend Nintendo do is buy back stock with their war chest whenever the price is reasonable or below 1.5 and to keep its state of mind. Buying back stock would quiet shareholders and further strengthen their ability to finance future projects. The only drawback is they have a massive company and it's harder to find business to really hit their bottom line especially with their product line and what they offer. It's just the nature of their business.

    Woooo top draw post and double cosign the bolded 🤬 are hatin' hard at them deep Nintendo pockets.

    Unlike the other guys who rely on 3rd party support, Nintendo kno' for sure they have 🤬 on standby to cop that Smash Bros, Zelda, Mario Kart and Mario. If they got their act together and released quality games for all their mascots, which they should do each console IMO I dunno what the beef is, they'd def pull decent numbers.

    I wish they stuck with a normal pad though man.
  • hueyhuey Members Posts: 11,743 ✭✭✭✭✭
    nintendo is going nowhere
  • BroddieBroddie just me and my bitch NYCMembers Posts: 11,750 ✭✭✭✭✭
    huey wrote: »
    nintendo is going nowhere

    Pretty much. They may not cater to you but they obviously still cater to millions of others. Even if that is mostly in Japan now a days.
  • HundredEyes HundredEyes Members Posts: 2,959 ✭✭✭✭✭
    So what are yall hoping for the nx will bring?

    Next to the og ninty games, I need a decent hd/ssd, online, region free and some proper 2nd and 3rd party support...

    I know they dont need 3rd party sup but Darksiders II the definite edition was One of the coolest games I played on the wii u. Wii u had a lot of potentially cool 2nd and 3rd party indie games that got cancelled....
  • matches malonematches malone These neeghas have no respect for me. Members Posts: 3,067 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Broddie wrote: »
    Some of Nintendo's all time greatest games have come out in the last 6 years so I can't complain. But I do want Nintendo sports games back like anothe Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball type game or a 1080 joint would be nice. They got something for every other genre including shooters and fighters but nothing for sports anymore outside of Mario Tennis.

    bolded probably wont happen unless they make a deal with a big star. Sony got the baseball franchises on lock. And nintendo doesnt even own part of the mariners anymore
  • Karl.Karl. Members Posts: 8,015 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Nah. Nintendo has already chalked the Wii U up as a fail. Yea it will be a bad year for them but that was expected.

    They get another shot next year with the NX. Plus I don't think they're struggling business wise.
  • Karl.Karl. Members Posts: 8,015 ✭✭✭✭✭
    As long as the NX is more powerful or atleast on par with the PS4 I think they'll be alright.
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