Just shut up already. I get annoyed with people who say this every time we hear about their stock or the sales of the Wii U. Yeah, the Wii U is a full on turkey right now, and the chances of that changing are incredibly slim, but it’s not the end of the company. Their stock returned to it’s previous levels before everyone reported their downfall and began arm chair analysis, but NO ONE reported on their stocks returning to previous levels. Funny, stocks go up and down, who’d have thunk it?
Nintendo has weathered some pretty bad times, most notably the N64 and Gamecube eras. Nintendo intentionally made the N64 hard to program for so as to get “lower level” game makers to steer clear of making games for the system, and in fact, it did the opposite, and the system nose dived as the PlayStation took over the world. The Gamecube was far more easy to program for, but Nintendo did little to nothing to get 3rd parties on board for the system, and Nintendo couldn’t come close to the Juggernaut that the PS2 was (neither could the first Xbox). Emily Rogers wrote a few articles highlighting this, and seeing the way Nintendo has done things in the past, it’s sad to see them repeat the same mistakes.
You may think I’m knocking Nintendo harshly, but that’s not my intention. I honestly have found more Wii U games I WANT to play than I do of the PS4 right now, but Wii U’s future being wary is what makes me step back and think about a purchase of it. And I also have a strong fondness for the Gamecube, almost more than for the Super NES, as well as the DS and GBA SP. The Gamecube has a great library of games (as do the previous systems I listed), but it just wasn’t marketed very well, nor did Nintendo make the effort to get heavy hitting games like GTA III or Vice City to it. It was also at a turning point in the gaming industry where you saw a large increase in “Mature” open world games (see the change in Jak and Daxter to Jak 2 and 3), and Nintendo still couldn’t get the “kiddie” label off to save their life (and they still can’t).
Nintendo is finally caught in a very bad predicament they put themselves in. They brushed off internet connectivity for years, and then they were forced into it kicking and screaming. They still have yet to make an account system for their consoles, which is just silly in this day and age. I could forgive the Wii and DS for that, but not the U for not having some sort of an account based system that ISN’T tied to your console. They had a number of years to project how HD development would need to be organized, and Nintendo came out with their pants down not realizing the scale of work that it requires.
Nintendo says’ they’re NOT competing with Sony and Microsoft, and that’s fine by me, but then what’s their end game? What’s the goal? To get us more fatigued with stabled franchises like Mario, Zelda, Pokemon and Mario Kart? That’s not a lasting strategy. Mario 3D World, despite it’s high praise, has been THE WORST SELLING 3D MARIO EVER. They’ve got to give Mario and Link a break. Years ago, core Mario and Zelda games were an event that only came around occasionally (maybe every 3-5 years). Now we get them at every turn.
I have no doubts that Nintendo will be just fine, but they have to have a major overhaul in the way they do business. That doesn’t mean I want to see them cram DLC into everything, save that for Capcom. And it also doesn’t mean that I want the NES Super Mario Bros. on a crappy touch based or Temple Run like game. I’d rather see Nintendo with a stronger focus on good games, rather than “surprising” me with every new release. And I’d also like a new Star Fox, Wave Race, F Zero, and Pilotwings. Hop to it Nintendo, your future depends on it.