Nintendo, they used to own the video game market! Their Super Nintendo gaming system was a massive hit when it was released back in early 1990’s. Even their Nintendo 64 gaming system released in 1996 was successful as well. But after the N64, things started to go downhill for Nintendo. First, their GameCube system came out with too few extra features and lacking the technical innovations the PlayStation 2 and Xbox had. The GameCube damaged Nintendo, then the Nintendo Wii killed them. The Wii had the general public perception that the system catered primarily for a casual audience, and not for hardcore gamers. And now Nintendo has come out with the Wii U, with features like high-definition graphics, touchscreen, online gaming, and more features for hardcore gamers. But is it too little too late for Nintendo?
The earnings report for Nintendo indicated that they lost hundreds of millions of dollars for the year ending March 31, 2014. And over the last three years, Nintendo has lost over a billion dollars! Cue the Nintendo losing music, and Jimmy Fallon’s thank you notes.
When I was younger, I loved playing with Super Nintendo and the Nintendo 64. I would spend hours playing games like Super Mario Bros., Duck Hunt, Star Fox, and other cool games. While Nintendo was selling out the Wii, which was too simple for hardcore gamers, Microsoft and Sony was busy upgrading their gaming consoles for higher performance. Things like better computing, better chips, better software, online support, and better games meant the gamer could do more than playing games by themselves. They could watch movies, they could play with their friends through the internet, and they could do so much more! Meanwhile, Nintendo was not doing anything to make their gaming systems better, and it has finally caught up to them.
Yes, Nintendo invented the handheld motion technology, but Microsoft and Sony made it 100 times better! Yes, a lot of people are praising the new Mario Kart 8 game, and it looks very cool!
But if you are only making good games, but not advancing the hardware, you are going to go nowhere fast! Gamers want the best and latest technology in their gaming experience, Sony and Microsoft have delivered, while Nintendo has not. So, here are three things Nintendo needs to do to come back, unless they want to die off forever.
1. Invest in mobile app gaming
The Game Boy was a game changer when it was released in 1989, you could play games anywhere with this battery powered gaming system. Today, Nintendo has their 3DS system, but where are people playing their games, on their smartphones! Games like Angry Birds and Candy Crush have made mobile gaming a major hit, but where is Super Mario or Zelda? That’s right, you have to buy that expensive gaming console and carry it around with your phone.
Sales for their handheld console gaming systems have gone down, and I think it’s time for Nintendo to kill off their portable gaming systems. Instead, they could invest to allow people to play popular Nintendo franchises like Super Mario on their smartphones, and charge people to buy extras for 99 cents a pop. This is the future of handheld gaming, and the folks who make these smartphone games makes millions of dollars a year! It’s time for Nintendo to join the 21st century, and end their handheld gaming consoles, and jump to the Smartphone gaming app party!
2. Come out with more games and a new gaming console
The reason why Sony and Microsoft are successful with their gaming systems, is not because of the great software or other features, it’s because of their wide selection of games. Games like Call of Duty and Need For Speed are cool games to play and are very hip! Since Nintendo has some cash reserves available, why not buy out some popular game franchises from Sony and Microsoft, and make it an Nintendo exclusive game. And if you do that, you need the hardware to back it up.
Nintendo, the Wii U is not doing well, and many people have panned the system. You have seen what Microsoft and Sony have done with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, two rocking gaming systems! Come out with a new gaming console system, and come out with something new, that can change the gaming landscape forever. Who knows, maybe something like holograms could soon be in gaming? If Nintendo came out with a gaming console with a game changer, boom, they are back baby!
3. Abandon all hardware, and take games to Sony and Microsoft
Nintendo has sold a little more than 6 million Wii U units since its launch less than two years ago. Meanwhile, Microsoft and Sony has sold 5 million and 7 million new consoles, respectively, in well under a year. That is a major difference! Microsoft and Sony are getting all the press and publicity because their gaming consoles and games are epic and very good. Meanwhile, Nintendo has the Wii U with this massive TV screen as a console, that can confuse gamers when they are in a massive battle.
Nintendo, if 2014 turns out to be a very bad year for your hardware, maybe it’s time for you to end all hardware sales, and only concentrate on your popular games like Super Mario. App sales and franchise sales from Microsoft and Sony can help Nintendo make great games. I know this is not a very popular option, and a lot of people like the classic gaming consoles, but if you can not keep up with Sony and Microsoft, maybe it’s time to turn off the lights to your hardware division.
So, we will see what Nintendo does to turn the company around, but one thing is for sure, you will still see Super Mario and all the classic Nintendo franchises around for a long time to come!