Nintendo Ain’t Backing Down From Console Biz
In the face of some pretty dire losses as reported Friday during a company press conference, head honcho Satoru Iwata agrees its time for Nintendo to rethink their strategy. But that still doesn’t mean you’ll find Mario leaping onto smartphones.
The Wii U pegged as a central cause of financial disappointment, Nintendo has lowered their original projection of 9 million units sold all the way down to 2.8 million for the fiscal year ending in March. Industry analysts are already comparing the struggling Wii U to Sega’s doomed vessel the Dreamcast. The Dreamcast’s unfortunate – and, may history not forget, heartbreaking – failure dumped Sega out of the hardware business, forcing them to recoup their losses in software; subsequently publishing first-party IP’s like Sonic the Hedgehog onto former rivals’ machines.
Investors are seemingly pushing for a similarly drastic overhaul in Nintendo’s business, narrowing their eyes on the potential profit to be mined by releasing the company’s world renown properties on mobile and home devices not manufactured by the Japanese juggernaut.
Iwata, though illustrating his thoughts more eloquently, obviously believes that’s horseshit.
“The spread of smart devices does not spell the end of game consoles,” said Nintendo’s president to The Wall Street Journal. “It’s not that simple. It doesn’t mean that we should put Mario on smartphones.” Dishing out titles such as Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, or Pokemon on other platforms would only disrupt Nintendo’s current success: the 3DS.
While the sales forecast for their handheld has also been lowered, the disparity is nowhere near as severe – down from 18 million units to 13.5. With the 3DS having dominated the hardware market worldwide in 2013 (even outpacing both the PS4 and Xbox One’s total sales in the month of December), it’s no wonder Nintendo doesn’t want to shut down its manufacturing shops.
While Iwata stands by the Wii U as a product, he subscribes to the notion that, at the end of the day, games will sell a console. And, once again, Nintendo relies on its flagship titles to do the convincing. For some, this strategy won’t cut it.
Stock analyst and notable talking head Michael “Pach-Attack” Pachter thinks it’s already too late for the Wii U, stating in February’s Game Informer, “I don’t think they recover. I think they screwed [the Wii U] up royally. They’re going to have to scrap it.”
Even suffering losses and a constantly shifting market, I wouldn’t soon expect Nintendo to drastically change how they rule the kingdom they’ve spent decades building. We’re not just talking about a financial player here – this is a development/publishing/manufacturing powerhouse that helped define modern gaming. Trends, tastes, and practices all change. Through it all, Nintendo has somehow remained constant.
That’s not to excuse the Wii U and the underwhelming decisions keeping it out of gamers’ living rooms (mine included). And that’s not to say I wouldn’t be tickled pink at the opportunity to play Zelda on my PlayStation 4. Christ, I would love that. It’s just, if that happened, I’d have to accept Hell has frozen solid and that the sky was moments away from crushing me. I don’t see it happening but, then again, if I were old enough to invest in Sega right before the Dreamcast launched… Let’s– Let’s just cut the article here, huh?