Actually, they’re doing both. In a recent announcement, Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata promised that the new console that Nintendo is working on will be a completely new and surprising experience for gamers. This is especially important, considering the slow sales of the Nintendo Wii U compared to its own mobile gaming consoles and its key competitors, Sony’s PS4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One.
Flops aren’t that big of a deal for Nintendo, they’re rolling in it
Yes, you read that right: Nintendo has piles and piles of gold coins and rupees (currency for the non-gamers) just taking up space in bank vault somewhere. Currently, they are sitting on a 10.5 billion dollar nest egg that could potentially keep them going even if they had a 300 million dollar loss for the next 40 years. And Nintendo has shown that they are not afraid to use that wiggle room to innovate. They have introduced musical peripherals that allow you to ‘play’ music in games, which was widely adopted by most gaming companies; the Wii became a huge hit because the players used their movement to control the games which is not only fun but intuitive, but with innovation comes high risk. Just like the Wii U, although the addition of a screen on the controller was a novel idea, the lacking graphics and child-centric (or casual videogame player centric) content made it a dud.
Mobile integration with everything Nintendo
Nintendo is not only partnering with DeNA, a mobile gaming and e-commerce company, to create a presence for Nintendo in the mobile market. The exciting aspect of this partnership is Nintendo’s president mentioning that they would like to strive for cross-hardware porting, meaning that all of Nintendo’s games will work on different platforms, including PC and smart devices. This could mean that you could find your favorite Nintendo games for purchase on your smartphone or tablet (please try not to drool on the floor; it could be dangerous). This also means that Nintendo would be opening the market wide open, something that the other game companies would have to emulate to stay competitive.
Twice bitten once shy
In a hundred and twenty five years of life (yes, Nintendo is 125 years old), you’re bound to have a mishap or misstep, and Nintendo has had plenty of those. Failed peripherals, consoles and even being late to the game to adopt High Definition displays and DVDs instead of cartridges to store their games on have hindered Nintendo’s ability to sell. To a certain extent, the company also began to ignore hardcore gamers for the sake of casual gamers, the difference between the two is that hardcore gamers jump at the opportunity to adopt new gaming tech, whereas casual gamers have a more ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ mentality. Thus, when the Wii U was released, most of their target market ignored it, not understanding the advantages offered by the new system.
Will they ever dominate the market again?
I really can’t say, but some factors show that they probably never will. Although the company innovates, it never seems to adapt very well to the market. They are more family-oriented, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t offer something more than that. We’ll just have to wait and see.
See Also: The Business of Indie Game Development
Are you excited by the prospective of a new Nintendo console? Then let us know in the comment section below.