What's Wrong With The One I've Already Got?

It was a friend who helped put it in perspective.

His parents had an old CRT. They’d had it for over 20 years. It had books for legs. He vividly remembers the day it broke down. He trembled with excitement. He knew what that meant. Within a week a brand new 68cm Toshiba had been delivered to the family living room, complete with remote control. His parents set it up as he stared, eyes all googly. He’d longed for this moment.

When Nintendo unleashed the Wii upon a largely unsuspecting populace in 2006, it did what all genuinely innovative consumer goods do -- create an itch that one specific product could scratch. The Wii’s popularity spread with the precision of a calculated, controlled bushfire. Nintendo very deliberately pitched and sold its new console to clientele that rarely experimented with games. People like my friend’s parents, who only bought their new Toshiba, complete with remote control, after the cathode ray tube in their old TV no longer functioned.

Nintendo created a gap then plugged it securely. In one fell swoop.

Maybe it’s a generational thing, it’s difficult to say. My own parents were very similar. There was a functional, rational pride in using electronic goods till the bitter end. Products weren’t replaced when surpassed by a new technology -- they were replaced when they couldn’t be repaired and not a second before.

This is the market that Nintendo sold its Wii to. It’s little wonder it’s struggling to sell them the Wii U.

—————

I was eight years old. I was a spoiled little brat and I couldn’t sleep. Some of my friends had brand new Commodore Amigas while I was stuck with my Spectrum. I tossed and turned with an anxious jealousy; a weird tech lust. I wanted the latest thing and I didn’t have the patience to wait for it. I climbed out of bed and stomped to my parents room, determined to demand a Commodore Amiga.

But with each footstep my resolve weakened. ‘They’re going to get angry’. ‘They don’t understand’. I knew precisely what they would say: “what’s wrong with the one you’ve already got?”

What’s wrong with the one I’ve already got?

I’m certain that’s the question the vast majority of Wii owners are asking themselves right now. Nintendo can market the Wii U from here to Timbuktu, but it won’t make a difference. It’s the direct equivalent of trying to sell my parents a brand new fridge because the old one is a little bit smaller and doesn’t make ice cubes. It’s like whistling in the wind. What’s wrong with this fridge? It still keeps things cold. The freezer works. I don’t like ice in my drinks.

In a sense I almost feel sorry for Nintendo, because I’ve been in their position. They are the children who can’t sleep, anxiously creeping towards parents across the globe, losing momentum with each faltering step. Growing heavy with the realisation that they most likely won’t get what they want this time round. They won’t be able to make them understand, won’t be able to sell them what hasn’t broken down.

——————

Another generalisation: most of us engaged in gaming culture are used to the cycle of new technology and far more willing to succumb to the lust of new tech. That’s what it means to be an early adopter. This is the audience that Nintendo is used to selling its products to. The people lining for new products simply because they are new. It’s almost as if Nintendo assumed that same logic applied to everyone who bought a Wii when it absolutely doesn’t.

And the difficult truth is this: there is no simple answer to the predicament in which Nintendo find themselves, no easy solution. As a result of the sheer volume sold, and the consumers who bought them, the success of the original Wii is utterly unrepeatable.

Nintendo’s desperation, it’s inability to adjust to these new circumstances, is palpable. And it’s hard to blame them -- does any-one else have any smart ideas?

Focus on the core audience after getting a sniff of those mainstream dollars? Not a chance. Stakeholders won’t stand for it. Invent a brand new itch? Sure, great. But billion dollar ideas don’t grow on trees, if that were the case Nintendo would have done it already, as would every other tech company across the globe.

In the absence of innovation, Nintendo must simply wait. But if my friend’s parents and their brand new 68cm Toshiba provide any kind of precedent, they might have to wait for a substantial amount of time.


Comments

    I think any new console faces this predicament. Wasn't the PS2 also outselling the PS3 for a few months when the latter came out? Sony had to go to desperate lengths to get PS3's into living rooms, like literally giving them out for free along with Sony TV's.

      Yeah, for some reason people expected an immediate success... And I have no idea why. New consoles are never successful right away.

        It's the 16% rule in action. Early adopters drive the market to a tipping point where customers will keep buying until saturation. The less early adopters opting for a Wii U, and the longer it will take to gain traction. This wouldn't be so much a problem if Nintendo had understood their market a bit better. Great product. Poorly marketed.

      I think that was the case for a lot longer than a few months! The PS3 was way too expensive for ages.

        I think that's the core difference between this situation and the PS3. The PS2 had a ton of people primed to buy another console who were going to buy PS3s but the lackluster launch failed to lost them the conversions. Six months before the XBOX 360 launch everyone I knew was going to buy a PS3s, but with two exceptions (myself and a friend) none of them brought a PS3 until at least nine months after the PS3 launch. Probably closer to a year.
        Sony lost a lot of PS2 players to the Wii and the XBOX 360 where according to the article Nintendo aren't losing conversions they've simply set the Wii up with an install base that's not going to upgrade period.

      Wii U doesn't cost a thousand dollars, though.

      Consumers initially always prefer the lesser of two Wiivils.

    Amiga > spectrum. It had 8 extra bits! Poor little Mark. I was in the same situation as a kid but at least I had a c64> spectrum. It had an extra 16k! Now I have a wii-u and unfortunately I get more playability from my commodore machines than from the wii-u.

    The majority of Wii owners are never going become life long gamers anyway, they just picked up the next big thing and continued on their way. Whether that's iPads, mobile games, Facebook games or whatever I don't know.

    The Wii U might as well never have come out last year, there has been one or two good games this year sure but they still would have come had the system been released in March or even in a months time. They've squandered this time, they know it and there's nothing more that can be done now until the games come. It's been a Beta console, since launch - albeit with smatterings of fun. I have enjoyed the console, most have not.

    It's time for Nintendo relaunch this thing.

      I find this absolutely bewildering myself. They had a year head start, obviously rushed to achieve it (judging by the updates to add pretty basic functionality), and then completely squandered it. I think this will be in textbooks in a couple of years of what not to do when releasing a product (even if it somehow ends up a success).

      I think they probably felt they had to hit the Holiday 2012 deadline because 2013 would have meant competing directly with MS and Sony with a vastly inferior system. If they'd delayed it, they would have missed the big shopping periods and I think it would have hurt them more than releasing the system half-baked with no software support.

      I almost wonder if they need to do another Ambassador Program like with the 3DS. It's crazy to think that Nintendo has more experience than any other company in the industry right now in launching new hardware platforms yet every. single. time. they have the same problem right after launch.

    Great article. I think there is a generational shift in what constitutes 'working'.

    My parents: 'Working is functional. Working is powering on.'

    Me: 'Working is conceptual. Machines work for me. They are working as long as they are able to do what I need/want them to do'.

    Neither position is inherently incorrect or correct. The former position is arguably irrational when people keep using a device that actually hampers them. The latter position is irrational when a person upgrades to get a feature they don't use.

    I think your spot on about why the wii market is a tough sell for the wii u. This is a group that define working as it powers on. They don't have an innate rationale to upgrade. In addition, they probably aren't that fussed about a broad range of games, so the new consoles won't have the features to warrant an upgrade anyway.

      I think the new console doesn't have the features to warrant an upgrade even for those that are fussed about a broad range of games. That's the problem.

        This is also true, which is why they've also failed to capture the youth and core markets too.

    In addition to the article:

    "What's wrong with the one you've already got?" is a question to be asked even more frequently because of Nintendo's bizarre decision to name the console the Wii U. After parents and grandparents have already fallen for the DS, the DSi, the DSXL, this new device no doubt seems like just another iteration of the Wii, instead of an entirely new generation of console. And because, as the article says, the market is reliant on the purchasing power of people who don't know the finer details, this will inevitably go through to the keeper.

    Massive naming flub by Nintendo. Massive.

    Last edited 16/05/13 1:14 pm

      Yeah I never understood why "Wii 2" was such a bad idea, at least then people would know this was a sequel console instead of thinking its some kind of expansion pack.

        Wii 2 : Electric Boogaloo.

          Wiivolution, because it still plays Wii games and uses Wii controllers, but with new power and exra accessibility.

            Same problem. it's just a TV with a few more inches and some other features. My current one works and this is just the same

      What you say makes sense, but they've always done it.
      We had a Super Nintendo Entertainment System after the Nintendo Entertainment System.
      We had a Gameboy Advance after a Gameboy Color after a Gameboy.

      They've just stuck to their ways,

        But those examples are clear suffixes and prefixes that denote progression of technology. Same as Playstation 2 is a clear successor to Playstation.

        A single (apparently random) letter suffix, immediately after having released a number of handheld reskins that did the same thing (DSXL, DSi, etc), is not a good move.

        (And actually, while we're on that, I never got one of the Gameboy successors, because I wasn't sure about the overlap. So, long-standing problem.)

          Yeah, I don't think it was clear at all. I had no idea what a Super nintendo was when my mate told me, it wasn't until I sat down and played one and I saw the different cartridge size that I clearly understood.

          Meanwhile, on the other side of the street Sega had a Mega Drive and a Master System, which sounded like two different things to my 8 year old ears.
          Even then, I remember kids in the playground claiming that the Master System was different because the games were harder, hence MASTER system.

          I think we all tend to forget that all this shit means nothing to a layman.

    Honestly feeling the same way about the 360 successor announcement soon. Still have a pile of 360 games waiting to be played...

      The next Xbox won't be a success at launch, we all have too many unplayed games and there's no "killer app" for it yet. It'll definitely launch in Q4 this year (if not late Q3) to take advantage of holiday season hype but we won't see real enthusiasm in the market until mid Q1 2014, which will probably coincide with a complete absence of new 360 games coming out, if the Xbox -> 360 transition is anything to go by.

        How about we wait until they make the announcement before announcing there's no 'killer app' for it? Unlike Sony, Microsoft has the cash reserves and proven track record to suggest they would be more than happy to shop around for some exclusives.

          Nah, I'm pretty confident there won't be a killer app at launch, not a system exclusive anyway. I think it's going to be a really weak transition. But we'll see.

    I would love a Wii U for Mario and Zelda, but just like the Wii, I wont buy one because I know every other game will be a watered down kiddie version of the Xbox or PS3 version.

    I know many people who bought a Wii, played Wii Sports at a party, put it in the cupboard and never brought it out again. There's a core base of Nintendo fans that will always want to play Mario and Zelda games, but the new entrants don't have that link (no pun intended).

    I don't have a lot of time to sit and play games any more, I much prefer my 3DS and have no interest in a Wii U, even after lining up at midnight to get my Wii.

    The only reason to buy a new console is that it lets you play games you couldn't play on a lesser console. We refer to "system seller" games for a reason. What is the Wii U's system-seller game? We all know that the Wii was sold by Wii Fit and Wii Sports, and they were often the only game/s a Wii buyer would ever own.

    Why Nintendo launched the Wii without a must-buy title we'll never know. All Nintendo's successful consoles have launched with a system-seller... from the NES with the Super Mario Bros/Duck Hunt cartridge to the SNES with Super Mario World to the Wii with Wii Fit. What is the system-seller for the Wii U? After a year, THERE IS NONE. Heck, how many AAA Wii U titles are there which are not also available on a current-gen console?

    There is only one exception to the system seller rule, and it's not really an exception. The PS2 sold on the back of being a cheap DVD player right when people started getting into watching movies on DVD. So it wasn't a game, but it still had a system-seller, it's just that the system-seller was part of the hardware.

      PS3 and BluRay too. A lot of the early units sold because it was the cheapest way to obtain a BD player.

      The PS2 was about $800 when it came out... not exactly a cheap DVD player :-\

        But when you took off the price of a dvd player at the time you were then getting a quite cheap new console (by comparison to expected standards). I know i justified a launch PS2 by saying half the cost was for the dvd player.

      GameCube didn't really have a system seller either

        Mertroid Prime and Wind Waker. They were all the reason I needed to slap down the money. Whatever else I grabbed along the way was just a bonus.

        I think the problem now though, Nintendo has recycled these IPs so much, they have diluted the strength. people have played a Metroid they didn't like or a Zelda they didn't like so now they're more cautious.

          Sorry I meant at launch! I bought one then played Dreamcast ports until Mario Sunshine came out

            I don't know about the US launch, but the Australian launch had Luigi's Mansion and Rogue Leader. They were system sellers for me!

            (Finished LM with my wife right away and loved every second. To this day I can't beat RL!)

              Yeah I was a fool about LM and frankly I wish I had found a copy of RL at launch because a second hand one I picked up years later was unplayable due to scratches

        Gamecube also didn't sell very many units. 21-22m, I think?

          How did that compare with the Xbox? I heard sales were close due to the Japanese factor.

          Bigger plus is Nintendo made money on each and every one of those consoles. Sony and MS can't say the same.

      I think they expected Super Mario Bros on the Wii U to get units moving, considering its the only major Nintendo title on the console right now, but that game suffers exactly the same problem the console itself does. This casual crowd the Wii managed to capture will look at their Super Mario on the Wii and think, has the game broken?

      The other major games on the console like Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed, Batman, they're not the sort of games to interest that particular section of the Wii's audience. Anyone who had any particular desire to play those games will have bought a 360 or PS3 ages ago.

      Nintendo systems up until now have generally had great openers. For its simplicity, Wii Sports was fantastic, and brought in the crowds. There was also the promise of Metroid Prime 3, Twilight Princess and Super Smash Bros Brawl, which we knew were coming at launch, and enough to buy a console in anticipation. Even the GameCube launched with Luigi's Mansion, which was Nintendo IP and not like any game they had on the N64.

      I really love Nintendo, but the company's recent flounders have broken my heart. I really hope they can recover soon. I feel like the WiiU may have had a very different reception if they'd waited to have something that uses Nintendo IP that really stands out from anything they've done on the Wii. Frankly, they might have benefited from holding back on Skyward Sword and using it as a WiiU launch title, and a brand new StarFox or Metroid game in order to have more impact.

    I would be absolutely devastated if my CRT kicked the bucket. Trying to find a suitable replacement wouldn't be easy.

    My Wii broke ages ago. It didn't bother me. It had been surpassed by the PS3 in anycase, and has become an oddity and relic far too young.

    The Wii is the broken old CRT. It isn't the old but functional fridge. It is in need of replacement. That is. if you have a large screen HD TV - standard def just doesn't cut it - especially with the shovelware games - some of which do look like Amiga games.

    Nintendo's problem, or one of them, is that they are utterly dependent on the games industry. Sony can innovate within and capture other electronic device market places, as can Microsoft. Even those 2 big boys are finding it hard compared to he diversity encompassed by companies such as Samsung, Google and Apple.

    Nintendo were a card manufacturer. At one time that's all they did. They changed from cards to electronic games, and for a long time that worked for them. That time is over. They now are a game developer and that's all they do, and that's not enough. Or rather, not enough to enable them to sustain a market leading position.

    They will fall by the way-side rapidly. We can see their decline even before the competitors have flexed their muscles.

    Samsung, Google and Apple are still spectators and they have more of an impact on the games industry than Nintendo does. G knows what will happen if and when they decide to make a play.

    Nintendo are done. It's too late to release the Ninteno Phone. It's too late to convince the hardcore that they're an entertainment hub. It's too late. They had their chance, they missed it. Now they're on their way to oblivion.

    Their only hope is that they are bought by one of the big players .With a strong partner they could recover, but on their they're doomed.

      Nintendo are the last in-house console/game developer.
      Even if the WiiU fails, they have more than enough strong IPs to focus on software development and thrive.
      Sony and Microsoft are both propped up by other areas and neighter relies purely on console development to survive, they wouldn't be able to.
      If Sony did, it would have died last generation, when it was building the PS3 at a loss and giving them away because they were selling as well as the WiiU for the first year.

        Sure, they have pots of money in the bank, they're not about to roll over and die. Look at Sega. They've been out of the console manufacturing business for perhaps 2 decades (no I don't know exactly, no i'm not going to look it up). Nintendo will be around for a long time.

        My point is, that they will not have the market leading position that they have had. They will not compete with Sony or Microsoft. They will fail to compete with other competitors that may step into the market. Heck, they may even struggle against Ouya.

        If they once again lead the market and are considered a real player it will be through an act of genius, as it was with the Wii. Anything less than stellar just won't do it.

        Sure, when they launch their 1980s 2D platformers on iphone, Android, PSN and Steam they will sell 10s of millions of units. They will have a bumper year, or two. Then things will dwindle again.

        To continue to be a leading company they need to be in touch with what the market wants, and be perceived as developing ground breaking games. '

        They're not.

          To be honest, I thought, Nintendo was a goner during the Gamecube-era. I think, many others did too. Sony and MS seemed primed to finish them off back then, relegating them to Sega-status. Then Nintendo came out with the Wii, a genius move, because they effectively declined to compete on the terms of Sony and MS (and the PS3 showed well, how potentially risky the high-tech move was, Sony could manage, because their real revenue is coming from elsewhere). Of course that genius move is also biting them right now, because the new wider audience of very casual "social" gamers including mum and dad simply wont see the benefit of getting a Wii U at all.

          So yeah, Nintendo has to come up with another highly innovative (in whichever direction) system, otherwise they have merely postponed their exit from the console market.

            Yep.

            The one thing that all (or almost all - seriously I don't know actual facts here) Nintendo consoles have in common as it that they've all been technologically underpowered.

            It allowed Sega to take market share with the SNES. It allowed Sony to become top dog with N64. It almost killed them with Gamecube. It's embarrassing them with Wii U.

            Make one mistake it gets forgiven. 2 mistakes and it gets overlooked. 3 mistakes becomes a concern. 4 mistakes and you just give up.

            The Wii prevailed despite being technologically underpowered, and because of it's innovation, and lower price point.

            Nintendo don't have the monopoly on innovation. If they did, there would be no need for concern. Given that they don't, and also given that they have a dreadful track record even throughout their heyday, I personally can't give them too much hope.

            They've also made mistakes with the 3DS. Why doesn't it have 2 control sticks? Because Nintendo continually choose to provide the market with substandard hardware.

      I wouldn't say Nintendo are done - they're selling heaps of units of the 3DS and will continue to do so even if the Wii U does end up being the flop it seems on track to be, but it'll be end of next year before we can definitively say it's failed as opposed to just got off to a slow start.

      The question in that case is do they regroup and try again in the home console market, do they chuck that in and just focus on their successful handheld business (maybe put an HDMI out on the next one so it can be played on a big TV if desired), or do they get out of hardware and go software only? The latter 2 options in particular seem like they could continue to keep Nintendo more than just viable for a long time. And given the amount of cash they're probably still sitting on from the Wii and DS years, they could probably afford to buy out one of the other two rather than the other way around. But only if Sony or MS were willing to sell their gaming divisions, which seems unlikely unless Sony as a corporation go down the drain in which case the separate units might well get broken up and sold off.

        Handheld market is dieing, clearly. Look at that phone in your hand. Awesome isn't it. Imagine what you'll have in your hands in 5 years time. It may be superior to a top end PCs performance is today.l If not, how far from it will it be? Not far I should imagine. Either way, it will be awesome.

        The handheld market thrived when there were no other similar handheld devices. Now there are. The market has changed. It has died.

        Nintendo can't manufacture hardware that competes with the others. They've proven that time and again. They've gone on their own direction multiple times. That's worked for them. It might work for them again, but it will take genius for it do so.

        On top of that, we now have kickstarter, and a free OS with Android. Independents can come into the marketplace more readily with ground breaking technology. It's not just the big boys that control the market any more.

        The Software only option is a super easy option for them, and extremely low risk. It could even make them bigger than ever, potentially. Undoubtedly, software has always been their strength. I think it very likely that they'll go the multi platform, software only route and that it will work for them up to a point. They will be a top developer, but they will not be market definers in the manner in which the console makers have been, and probably will continue to be for another decade or more - although I would say it is possible / likely that all the console manufacturers may face this same fate, but the others are in a far stronger position to be able to postpone that for now.

        My gosh, it would be a tragedy if Nintendo bought any company, They're completely incapable of managing themselves effectively, let alone any one else.

      I think what you'll find is that the Wii U's successor will attempt go back into the ring with Microsoft and Sony via a proper upgrade. It won't be the strongest of the three but it will be relatively cheap and able to handle the same tier of games as the PS5 and XBOX 4. It's a conservative bet for them because at worst they'll use their system seller titles to be the number one second console. The Wii and Wii U haven't done much for me, but they gave Nintendo some super strong lessons in areas that were killing them 10-15 years ago.

      They'll have another crack at securing exclusives and ports like they did with the GameCube but hopefully the Wii has taught them the value of actually marketing their product to broader circles rather than just the hardcore. The PS3 is very similar to the N64 in that it was successful enough but by the end managed to take the shine off the brand for most non-hardcore fans. If the PS4 doesn't get Sony back on track they'll be weak enough that Nintendo can claim their position and potentially put them out of the console game altogether.
      If Nintendo can gain traction early on in that generation Microsoft will put Sony into a GameCube position. If Sony ends up in a GameCube position they just don't have the life support titles it takes to survive that. That leaves Nintendo controlling Japan with the potential for a fairly strong international presence.

      Then again it's Nintendo, they'll probably just do something crazy.

        Yeah I don't see them doing that (go back into the ring with Microsoft and Sony via a proper upgrade). I think that they've lost a fair proportion of the hardcore market, and are currently losing more, and by the end of this current gen will probably have lost the majority of them.

        If they return to fight another day they're going to be on their back foot and looking very wobbly indeed.

        Did you buy a Sega Saturn? I didn't. I would have loved one. It had all of Segas games. Sega was the nuts. But it looked like it wasn't selling. It looked like the PS1 or N64 were the safer bets. And they were. Sega closed up shop pretty early and the Saturn didn't have any where near the number of releases that the PS1 or N64 did. I believe.

        Sure, if the consoles are going to have a nominal buy in at the point of release, or if the console market has undergone a massive change by the launch of the PS5 (which might well be the case), then I could see Nintendo Recovery as being partially viable. If the console market works in pretty much the same way that it always has up until now then I can see them repeating the success of the Wii U.

        The Wii U hasn't lost because of marketing. The Wii U has lost because it's utterly unremarkable, There should never have been any hoopla or support for this product since the day of its announcement. It was no more mipressive than that silly Ubisoft laser tag thing, the uDraw, or the Nintendo heart monitor widgety thing. Why the gaming journalists the world over stood behind Nintendo so blindly baffles me. I didn't read / watch a single commentor say that the Wii U was woefully uninteresting. It was. It is. It will be.

        Wii worked because of motion controls, It was new to the market. Plus, it was supported by good/great innovative game. Yes, game. Singular.

        Every week an innovative game is released on Android/iOS for FREE.

        Now we have the Free to Play (PC) phenomenon. Which is now spreading to Sony and MS.

        Now everyone and their dog owns a smartphone. 2 year olds have tablets.

        We don't need a second console. We didn't need the Wii as a second console, but we bought one anyway because of the high cost of the PS3/360. And because we thought motion control would be cool. It was. For a few months. Then it wasn't.

      @davedrastic

      Your shortsightedness is amazing, do you remember when the 3DS came out and everybody was saying it hand no games and that other handheld devices would kill it because everyone has a phone and no one wants to carry a bulky hand held device anymore...... how did that work out? also as i recall the DS did not have a very good launch either but it turned out just fine didn't it.

      I own a 360, PS3 and a WiiU, i hardly play the 360, most of my games are on the PS3 which i will now be switching to the WiiU, i am getting Watchdogs, Rayman, Batman Arkham Origins, Dues EX and Resident Evil Revelations all for the WiiU instead of the PS3 and those are just the multiplats that have been announced there will be more on the way at E3 and then there is the exclusives Wonderful 101, Wind Waker, Bayonetta 2, Pikmin 3, Game and Wario, Monoliths new rpg, a new Zelda, a new 3D Mario, a new Mario Kart and more games that will be announced at E3.

      There will be many more games and in the years after the PS4 and Nextbox have launched the WiiU will go down in price and will be seen as the cheep alternative to the other two consoles.

      And also remember that all Nintendo need to do to remain in profit is to sell the WiiU and one piece of software, which will become easier and easier as the multiplats and exclusives come out.

      So in conclusion the 3DS is making Nintendo shitloads of money and the WiiU will be a financial success in the long run and Nintendo is not going anywhere.

      Last edited 16/05/13 4:11 pm

        "do you remember when the 3DS came out and everybody was saying it hand no games and that other handheld devices would kill it because everyone has a phone and no one wants to carry a bulky hand held device anymore...... how did that work out? "

        Hasn't it worked out that the 3DS has failed to spark the market in the way that the DS did, and is insignificant in terms of numbers when compared to smartphone and tablet usage / ownership.

        WiiU is cheap for a new console and will become cheaper. For sure. That will be an advantage, and in my mind, the only potentially compelling reason to buy one. If Nintendo had done a proper job and made a console with compelling technology then we'd all have much more reason to buy one. But they didn't, so we don't. We just have to wait for the Wii U to become a bargain bucket throw out.

        If I built a car for $5,000 and sold it for $5,050, I'd be out of business.

        Making money on every console sold does not justify being in the market. They need much more returns than that.

        MS and Sony entered the industry to make Billions. They lay down hard to pick up hard.

        They've followed the technologically advanced route, which excites the (core gamer) market, and also allows them to offer services and games to casual gamers.

        That formula has worked for decades. It might stop working. Markets change. But Nintendo have moved so far away from that model that they're now dependent on their own innovations. If they come up with the next greatest thing then they will deserve a resurgence.

          "Hasn't it worked out that the 3DS has failed to spark the market in the way that the DS did, and is insignificant in terms of numbers when compared to smartphone and tablet usage / ownership. "

          Yes you are right the 3DS isn't as nearly as popular as the DS but its only around 2 and a half years old and things may change or they may not, the same could be said of the PS3 versus the PS2 (but i don't hear anybody screaming that Sony should get out of the game business), it is insignificant when compared to smartphones and tablets, but again these are multifunction devices which people need for there day to day lives, the thing to look at here is that people are still willing to buy a 3DS (an optional entertainment device) when it has no other functionality other than games, video and the occasional photo.

          "If Nintendo had done a proper job and made a console with compelling technology then we'd all have much more reason to buy one."

          Yes but if they had and failed then what? what they have done is protected there own ass and still made a decent console which from what it is looking like will have some great games, we just have to wait for them to arrive (just like every console launch).

          "Making money on every console sold does not justify being in the market. They need much more returns than that. "

          How about Sony with the PS3, how long did it take them before they started making any money of the console, shouldn't they have just given up and stop making consoles?

          "MS and Sony entered the industry to make Billions. They lay down hard to pick up hard. "

          Microsoft entered the console race stating "they did not want to beat the competitors, they just wanted a slice of the pie" i agree all they wanted was money and it still shows today.

          Sony entered because Nintendo had partnered with them to make the Super Nintendo CDROM and at the last minuet Nintendo pulled out of the deal, obviously Sony with all the research and development was left in the larch and they decided to continue and make there own console, they entered the industry by chance not to make billions.

          "They've followed the technologically advanced route, which excites the (core gamer) market, and also allows them to offer services and games to casual gamers."

          Agreed.

          "That formula has worked for decades. It might stop working. Markets change. But Nintendo have moved so far away from that model that they're now dependent on their own innovations. If they come up with the next greatest thing then they will deserve a resurgence."

          Nintendo are not in it to win it, i think there happy making a profit and making games that people enjoy playing and when both of those things stop happening i think they will bow out,

          Last edited 16/05/13 9:00 pm

            "the same could be said of the PS3 versus the PS2 "

            This topic is about Nintendo.

            "i agree all they wanted was money and it still shows today."

            I'm not understanding your point. They're a business. Of course they want money.

            "they entered the industry by chance not to make billions."

            Again, i'm not understanding your point.

            My point was that Sony (in particular) have invested heavily to produce ground breaking technology. Consistenly, their machines have had high end bits and bobs inside of them. They have been (at the point of launch) highly sophisticated machines.

            Nintendo haven't done that. They've not got the track record of manufacturing technologically leading machines, in terms of processing power etc.

            "Nintendo are not in it to win it, i think there happy making a profit "

            I somewhat agree, somewhat disagree.

            None of the manufacturers are investing billions in order to get a ribbon saying you're no 1.

            None of them want a medal,

            But they all want profit, and as much as they can get.

            Market share for the big 3 is paramount. If they don't sell enough units they lose 3rd party support. If they lose 3rd party support, they become a dead duck.

            Wii upset 3rd parties. Wii U has been abandoned by 3rd parties. Wii U 2 would be met with deadly silence.

            There is a chance for Nintendo to reverse that. Nothing is iimpossible. But HUGE damage has been done. They've lost 3rd party confidence. They've lost the technology battle. They've lost the innovation battle. They've lost the casual market. They're currently rapidly losing the core market.

            They have nostalgia. They have great game characters. They have an excellent family friendly image. They have pots of money in the bank. They have the handheld console market sewn up. They have been in the hearts and minds of multiple generations.

            Unfortunately for Nintendo, they have very tough competition in (MS and Sony, and Steam), and even those companies will find it very tough if and when new players come into the market. Apple / Google / Samsung could shake things up massively, Ouya could - it won't but Ouya 2, or Ouya 3 might.

            For Nintendo to recover they either need to come up with a new stroke of genius, or they have to somehow catch up with the capabilities of Sony / Microsoft, and they have to start some new IPs in genres that are foreign to them. That's a very big ask. I don't see it happening.

              "This topic is about Nintendo."

              Indeed it is but the parallels are there, why is it okay to let it slide with Sony but project doom and gloom onto Nintendo, it's a horrible double standard.

              "I'm not understanding your point. They're a business. Of course they want money."

              I was agreeing with you Microsoft want money above all else.

              "My point was that Sony (in particular) have invested heavily to produce ground breaking technology. Consistenly, their machines have had high end bits and bobs inside of them. They have been (at the point of launch) highly sophisticated machines.

              Nintendo haven't done that. They've not got the track record of manufacturing technologically leading machines, in terms of processing power etc."

              That's because ground breaking technology is not Nintendo's market, sometimes that market can bite you in the ass, when you line up the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP which one has better tech behind it? and which one sold better.

              "None of the manufacturers are investing billions in order to get a ribbon saying you're no 1.

              None of them want a medal,

              But they all want profit, and as much as they can get."

              Yep that's true that is why Nintendo opted to create a console at a price where they can make a profit on selling it with a piece of software.

              "Market share for the big 3 is paramount. If they don't sell enough units they lose 3rd party support. If they lose 3rd party support, they become a dead duck.

              Wii upset 3rd parties. Wii U has been abandoned by 3rd parties. Wii U 2 would be met with deadly silence."

              Lets see they have games being made by

              Disney Interactive
              Ubisoft
              Warner Bros
              Square-Enix
              Activision
              Retro Studios
              Monolith Soft
              Capcom
              Platinum
              EA
              Sega
              Namco
              Koei
              2K

              Hell EA was so pissed of at Nintendo for not using Origin as it's online solution, that it ported games onto Nintendo's console..... imagine that.

              Yep they must be heart broken by the lack of support. :P

              "There is a chance for Nintendo to reverse that. Nothing is iimpossible. But HUGE damage has been done. They've lost 3rd party confidence. They've lost the technology battle. They've lost the innovation battle. They've lost the casual market. They're currently rapidly losing the core market."

              They have lost nothing, the console isn't even a year old, stop listening and believing the vocal minority who would love nothing more to see Nintendo douse it's self in petrol and set its self on fire.

              "Unfortunately for Nintendo, they have very tough competition in (MS and Sony, and Steam), and even those companies will find it very tough if and when new players come into the market. Apple / Google / Samsung could shake things up massively, Ouya could - it won't but Ouya 2, or Ouya 3 might."

              Competition will always be there and Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo will always feel it regardless of which console is flavor of the generation, Apple has tried to enter the console market before with the Pippen and failed they may try again they may not, Google and Samsung have not made any intentions to get into the console market public so that is just speculation.

              The Ouya might be good but they are planning a new hardware model every year (Which of course is an optional buy) but again how long before the software and games you want to run no longer work on your current model and you have to up grade... but of a pain in the ass.

              "For Nintendo to recover they either need to come up with a new stroke of genius, or they have to somehow catch up with the capabilities of Sony / Microsoft, and they have to start some new IPs in genres that are foreign to them. That's a very big ask. I don't see it happening."

              The games are coming its only a matter of time and Shigeru Miyamoto has moved into a position that will propel the company forward, he is now training the younger staff and will be prototyping new game ideas which if good will be made into full games i assume.

                "Hell EA was so pissed of at Nintendo for not using Origin as it's online solution, that it ported games onto Nintendo's console..... imagine that.

                Yep they must be heart broken by the lack of support. :P"

                Bad timing on your part given that EA announced today that they're not supporting the Wii U.

                Surprising move? No. It makes total sense. Why should they lose money to develop a growing platform that looks like it has already failed.

                Will the other developers follow suit? Of course. EA is not known for being innovative in their thinking. EA made their decision on an analysis of the numbers, a far more sophisticated analysis that either of us could possibly hope to make. The others will follow suit if they haven't done so already.

                "They have lost nothing, the console isn't even a year old,"

                Yes, and it is already dead.

                I'm a game fanatic. I haven't so much as given a second look to the Wii U. That's not true, I have given it a second look and i'm still unexcited by it.

                Every now and then I get bored and want to buy a new toy. My Wii is dead, even if it wasn't, so I could justify buying a new one, a new Nintendo, Especially when the Wii U uses the existing Wii controllers - that was a smart move by Nintendo.

                So I'm right to look at the Wii U.

                It costs $349. That's cool. I'd rather spend that than $399 on a PS3 that I already own. Wouldn't I? Well, actually maybe not.

                Yes the Wii U is by far the newer console, and that really ought to mean that it's by far the better console.

                Yes the Wii U is the successor to the Wii which offered a great deal of fun for a short period of time, So that should bode well too, but then where's the Wii Us innovation? Oh, a touch screen tablet, much like a phone, GPS or tablet. That doesn't excite me at all.

                So I look at Wii U reviews, and reviews of the games. All decidedly ho hum. Many bemoaning the misplacement of the tablet controller - having to look at 2 screens at once doesn't make for a relaxing gaming experience. And I want a relaxing gaming experience.

                So I should be looking very closely at the Wii U indeed, but I'm not.

                It probably is better than the PS3 technologically speaking, but it's not much of an improvement, and doesn't justify the cost of purchase of a new unit and into a new ecosystem - especially when it appears that that ecosystem is doomed to failure.

                Walk into Dick Smiths, do they have a good Wii U stand / promotion? Nope. Do the same with JB, EB, Harvey Norman. No one is selling these things. They just sit there. Garnering no interest from anyone.

                By the way, i've not listened to anyone with similar views to mine on Nintendo. I heard all the hoopla and support when it was announced, I was the only sceptic that I was aware of.

                In regards to competition, my point is that those players that I've mentioned COULD have a massive impact on the industry. The Apple that entered the market with the Pippen is massively different to the Apple of today.

                "Shigeru Miyamoto has moved into a position that will propel the company forward"

                This is blind hope. Based on the success that Miyamoto had decades ago.

                Look at Warren Spector. Considered one the industrys leading developers. And he produced Epic Mickey 2.

                You just can't trust these guys to produce the goods time and again.

                What worked 20 years ago doesn't necessarily work today.

                Sony and MS HAVE moved with the times. They have developed across a range of gaming genres, and have had success and failures - but they've sculpted themselves into the lives of the core gamer.

                Nintendo haven't done that for decades. They've fallen WAY behind.

                  “we have no games in development for the Wii U currently.”

                  While that is a small blow to Nintendo, EA did not state that "we have no games in development for the Wii U and we will not be developing for the console for the rest of it's life span"

                  There is a massive difference between ditching something completely never to return or just stating your not doing anything with it at the current time.

                  What is most likely happening here is that EA will not be developing an new IP's for the WiiU and the WiiU most likely will not be seeing Battlefield 4 or a new Medal of honor, EA is most likely looking for what to port and what not to port to the WiiU.

                  If you look at upcoming games on EA's website, there is only five games listed.

                  Command and Conquer (last i heard PC fremium)
                  Battlefield 4 (Wasn't coming to WiiU anyway)
                  Madden NFL 25 (this could have been ported to the WiiU)
                  The Sims island Paradise (Pc only even though Sims 3 was ported to 360 and PS3)
                  Fuse (could have been ported to the WiiU)

                  So your telling me all this doom and gloom is over two games (Madden and Fuse) Madden will be Madden but we don't even know if Fuse will be any good (i am hoping it is).

                  EA will be back porting games to the WiiU later this year when figure out a good strategy to make money off it, there not stupid and they know there is money to be made there.

                  As for Warren Spector, to me it seemed he burnt out making the Epic Mickey games and now he is making statements like “Did we need a generically dark, monochromatic, FPS, kill-the-Nazi-giant-robot game?” he wrote, adding that “No. The world did not. I am so tired of this.” (this was about the new Wolfenstein game) with statements like that you know he is having trouble with the current games development environment, he should be making games that he wants to make and keeping his PR to a minimum.

                  Shigeru Miyamoto i think will do fine is his new role and he has stated publicly that "He will continue making games till he drops dead" he is clearly enjoying him self and i look forward to what he can dream up in the future.

    I think this generation of consoles will be the hardest sell yet.
    Most owners are getting to the age where they have kids, money is getting tight and they spend less time and money on gaming, the GFC continues to pinch, and things will be more of a slow burn than "first day must buy" situations.
    Many core gamers are more jaded, too.
    The market is changing, and while many people will buy the next gen Sony and Microsoft consoles, more will be more holding off and waiting for the pudding which holds the proof before upgrading.

      For sure. Time is the main function, over available money.

      Why spend $80 for a game that you don't have time to play.

      By the time I played F1 2010 for the second time (bought day 1) , F1 2011 could be bought for $20.

      Silly.

      I spent $120 on EAs' Active sports thing - haven't used it yet. Can pick that up for less than $20 now.

      Kids and teeenagers have time to play games and they all have tablets now. And notebooks. And smart phones. And emulators.

    Or maybe the question is why buy a new one when you don't use the one you have. I know a lot of people with Wii's that after the first couple of months of playing have been paperweights ever since.

    No games, no buy. For f*cks sake Nintendo, I have a fist full of dollars for you, but you aint getting dick until you do something about that shitfully small library of software for the Wii U.

      I was just in JB at lunchtime like half an hour ago. Was looking at the Wii U shelf where they had one of their patented reviews stuck on the shelf for New Super Mario Bros U. It said "Nintendo has seen the future. And the future is more damn Mario."

    I don't think my parents want to buy another Wii. One Wii fit is enough for them.

    It would be a shame if the WiiU ends up being the final Nintendo console. While Nintendo don't always have the greatest hardware their crazy ideas do keep the others on their toes.

      Second last (home console). This won't kill them, but it will hurt. If they produce another dud it will be curtains.

        Given their ability in producing duds, the safest thing to do would be to make this their last one. Unless they once more hit genius. Genius or go hone Nintendo.

      They're the reason for the Move, the eyetoy, the sixaxis and the Kinect.
      Considering this generation will likely depend on those sorts of things to distinguish themselves, it will be interesting to see how things pan out.

        Personally I'm going to be very sceptical about all those things that you've mentioned above, and similar accessories.

        I bought the EyeToy. Never used it.

        I bought Move. Used it once. Spent $300+ on various Move items.

        I bought Wii Balance Board - used it once.

        Bought Wii Motion Plus - never used.

        I know Kinect 2 will be hyped to the balls, and Sony may have a similar system too, but I'm just going to presume that they won't be as much fun as they're purported to be and as such won;'t buy into it until the promise is delivered upon.

        Problem is that none of those things were very good. I mean there was some good tech in them, but for the most part the games specifically designed for them were rubbish, and the games that didn't require them but just had support bolted on were not improved by them.

        Also - how were Nintendo the reason for the EyeToy?

    I'm having that problem with my phone.

    After a rooting, ROMming, and upgrading the battery, I absolutely LOVE my (used, $150) Galaxy S2. To the extent that I would probably rather have it than a new, stock ROM S4 (having lived there 3 years, I can say without question that South Korean software sensibilities suck). The S2 continues to surprise and impress and thoroughly meet my expectations of what a smartphone should do. Not to mention I am grandfathered into a really generous $11/mo plan on vaya.

    Why should I upgrade?

    Ditto with my (used, $150) Lenovo X61s ultraportable laptop. I might upgrade to 8GB and an SSD, but on the speedy and efficient i3 ubuntu desktop, it meets my heavy needs so well, consistently quick and speedy under arduous tasks. I use this tiny thing docked to quite a large ($8 vinnies) monitor with a mess of accessories attached to it, basically like a desktop that I can carry off at any point. It's not a whole lot heftier than an MacBook Air (1.44kg vs 1.08kg ), but is at least as well built, being a generally tougher machine. IMO, Thinkpads have both the best keyboard and pointing input on the market, and are far and away the best built. In this case as well, I'm in no hurry to upgrade and am boggled that people who aren't gamers or content professionals spend so much money on laptops.

    3rd example: Sandisk Clip+ on rockbox. Such a superior standalone MP3 player; those I bought on Woot years back for a song still serve my dedicated MP3 listening needs perfectly. Dedicated MP3 players still have their place in the world, I love being able to have an encyclopedia of inspirational words right in my hand, with a battery that lasts forever. These things can take 64gb cards with a bit of tinkering, which is awesome.

    And those are pretty much the only electronic devices I use. So, despite being quite a technophile, I have to say that my spending on tech is minuscule. People like me, I imagine, are something of a problem for the hardware industry.

    Last edited 16/05/13 8:14 pm

    I just bought a Wii U Basic pack. I bought it as I got it cheap. AU$200. What surprised me most was when I logged into the eShop and found practically nothing. 10 demos in total? Super Mario World on the Virtual Console for $10.50! Full games that are more expensive than retail (though that's the same on PSN and Arcade).

    The Wii U is what Nintendo should have released in 2006. I've waited 7 years to finally play some Nintendo franchises in HD. Hopefully they'll release some games that make it a worthwhile purchase. They really need to start filling up the eShop with some content and more reasonable prices.

    Hmm interesting article,

    Although I do believe times have changed.

    The SNES and Mega Drive and PC Gaming enthusiasts of the 80s are now today's parents. Those old attitudes of 'use until its broken' are from my parents generation, and even my dad has two iPhones and an Ipad. Although I'd still agree that he is of the older generational belief system the writer is discussing.

    My mum want me to by an iPhone but I'm totally fine with my cheapo Nokia. I'm just not into smart phones and I dont find their technology impressive. I know someone mentioned amazing free OSs like Android but all my experiences of Android have been dull and frustrating - here's looking at you Samsung Galaxy Tab you clunky, half baked piece of technology.

    iPads are slick however, and I think similarly to Apple, Nintendo is strong in consumer software. I skipped the Wii generation, but I'm just about ready to pick up a Wii U as its multiplayer potential does excite me along with some of the upcoming games.

    I've just been waiting for the right time to by, because I as I've passed my 30s, I find I make more relaxed purchasing decisions than when I was in my 20s, and I take my time to consider my spending decisions before I make them. In my case, the right time to pick a Wii U will be in about one or two months when Pikmin 3 and Wonderful 101 are released.

    Exciting times for me, maybe not so much for the doomsday bunch- but ask yourself the question - how many of them really show an appreciation for Nintendo's games? I would say that a few do, and a majority of them don't. Anyone can see that there is a games drought on the wii u. Nintendo is just bit slow getting up and moving. No big deal. I don't really care about how they compete with the other console manufacturers, because all I really care about is enjoying some great gaming experiences.

    The challenge of this generation will most likely make Nintendo work hard to make better games. So bring on the great games this generation! (and I mean that on all platforms too)

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now