This Week In The Business: Now For Something Completely Different

This Week In The Business: Now For Something Completely Different

“I can assure you we’re not building the next version of Wii or Wii U. It’s something unique and different. It’s something where we have to move away from those platforms in order to make it something that will appeal to our consumer base.” — Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima, emphasising that the Nintendo NX will be a departure from the company’s current consoles.

Elsewhere in the business of gaming this week…

STAT | 10-12 million — The number of Nintendo NX units parts suppliers are expecting to ship next year. By comparison, the Wii U has sold about 11 million units since its launch in 2012.

QUOTE | “[T]he most powerful force in video games at the moment are women and gamers outside the United States… aka people that aren’t white males.” — Activision co-founder and StartEngine co-founder Howard Marks, arguing that equity crowdfunding will increase diversity in the industry’s ranks.

QUOTE | “Mr. Kojima had every intention of being with us tonight, but unfortunately he was informed by a lawyer representing Konami just recently that he would not be allowed to travel to tonight’s awards ceremony to accept any awards.” — Geoff Keighley, explaining why the Metal Gear Solid V director did not attend the Video Game Awards.

QUOTE | “As needed, we increase investments in some areas and de-invest in others which results in the movement of jobs across the organisation, and at times, job eliminations.” — An official Microsoft statement after the company laid off 60 people from its HoloLens development team.

STAT | 32 years — The lifespan of UK publisher Mastertronic, which entered administration this week after an investment partner reneged on a financial commitment.

QUOTE | “Games tend to be marketed by numbers (‘200 unique upgradeable weapons’ or ‘hundreds of additional cards’), and story is usually hard to quantify. ‘Now with three stunning plot reversals’ just doesn’t cut it.” — King of Dragon Pass creator David Dunham, explaining why strategy/management games don’t have more story.

QUOTE | “My interest in gaming was from an early age. I’ve wanted to pursue the field for a very long time, and I thought that if I get to the best college I would probably get to where I want. It wasn’t that way.” — Indian developer and Dropout Games founder Ankush Madad, explaining why he dropped out.

QUOTE | “Although the ratio of promotion budget to production budget can be 1:5 for AAA games, it should be at least 1:1 for games needing less investment.” — French trade group SNJV, expressing dismay that the average French studio devotes less than 12 per cent of its budget to marketing.

QUOTE | “Regarding the digital game software field of the Entertainment Contents Business, competition in the Japanese market is intensifying.” — Sega explains to its investors why its games take have been delayed or missed sales expectations, an explanation required when the company downgraded its revenue forecasts for the second time this year.

STAT | 1.49 million — The number of physical copies of Monster Hunter X for 3DS sold in Japan during its launch last week.

STAT | 591 — The number of Xbox One systems sold in Japan last week, trailing even the PlayStation TV.


    • True. But unfortunately their core audience didn’t buy enough Wii-Us to warrant more games at this point.

      Mind you, more games may have assisted with that. Chicken or egg I suppose …

      • A Truly viscous circle. Nobody buys a system with no games, nobody develops for a system that didn’t get purchased.

        If I somehow found myself planning Nintendo’s next console my release schedule for year 1 would be Big Nintendo IP every 2 months. Mario Kart, Zelda, Metroid, Mario Sport, Mario Platformer, Star Fox. Every other month would be retro releases, and hey Why not throw a bunch of Classic NES & SNES games down for free every month like Microsoft and Sony do.

        Now I admit, that would scare the hell out of 3rd party developers, But I think the Uptake would be good and they’d be down for year 2.

        • Gamers have changed so much. I remember buying the SNES when only 4 games were available, similarly the N64, I preordered it even though, once again, there were probably only 4 or 5 games at launch.

          I guess the big difference is, both the SNES and N64 went on to have libraries of hundreds of games, and some amazing ones at that, the Wii U is a different story all together. Such a shame. I hope they have success with the NX.

          • To be fair the Mega Drive/SNES era of gaming was vastly different to today.

            But yeah there’s what 10-15 titles you want for the Wii U, Sure we got some coming after Star Fox and Xenoblade, but it’s a handful of games at best.

          • One of Nintendo’s biggest problems at the moment is how outdated their thinking is. The Wii U launched with barely any games and a fairly small line-up that just couldn’t compete with other consoles and it just wasn’t competing in the same race as PS4 and XBOX. The Wii U’s biggest selling point has been its exclusive titles but I think it has become a console that is played after a big release then forgotten for months.

            Hopefully Nintendo can learn from their mistakes and actually have some 3rd Party releases for the NX. Their company isn’t in trouble unlike most businesses in the industry after one or two blunders but it would be satisfying to see Nintendo getting a little more love.

      • I think the core audience bought as many Wii Us as they could, they’re just a very small audience these days.

  • To guarantee success , a console needs to have a reason to exist – an ideology that pushes it (unique features or embracing/creating cultural change). Nintendo has stood out as having struggled with this since the N64.

    • They had a strong vision abd identity with the DS family and they have gone from strength to strength. The Wii had a strong vision and identity and it sold obscenely well.

      they haven’t been without it since the 64, but the haven’t exactly had a good track record. Hopefully the NX is the result of a new driving force in the company. A new idea that puts a fire inside them the way the Gameboy, GBA, SNES, DS, and Wii did.

  • They have to get their launch window perfect for the NX, or make the hardware so appealing that the software side wont be such a big issue.

    Launching without at least a Mario, Zelda or Metroid game will pretty much hobble the console from the get go, and might even repeat the failure of the WiiU.

    Its going to take something pretty amazing for me to get a NX at launch, I have a WiiU and really wish they had of supported it better, and gotten more 3rd parties on it.

    • But… the problem has never been software-side. They have released everything expected and desired and more (Splatoon, mario Maker, etc.) Those are the games that their core base want and enjoy. The problem has always been hardware side. No matter how incredibly fun are Nintendo games, there’s a big segment of consumers of the competition that immediately disregard the machine based on stats alone (compared to the stats of their consoles of choice).

      But Nintendo is never going to compete in that arena. First, it’s not their thing. That’s exactly the field where Sony and Microsoft do battle and a third competitor with no differential would only split and mud the userbase. Second, they don’t have the multinational, multi-product corporation’s endless pockets to invest in hardware research and development.

      The only way to grow their userbase, as demonstrated by the Wii is the offering of such a big game-changer in the way of interacting with the hardware and experiencing the software, that concerns about hardware power can’t beat the curiosity and hype for the new thing.

      • They have released everything expected and desired and more

        No they haven’t. Where’s Zelda (remakes don’t count)? Or Metroid? Or an innovative Mario game that can actually sell systems?

        To me the problem with the Wii U is completely software side. There’s nothing as new or compelling as they had on the Wii.

        • Zelda is coming. It always comes towards the end of a platform cycle, that’s expected. Metroid may not come but we’re getting Star Fox, a franchise that skipped two generations!

          I’m of the opinion that those who think that Super Mario 3D World is not the big, innovative Mario game of this generation simply have not played it and disregard it because it kind of looks like SM3DL. Did you play it? It may not have had an encompassing conceit or gimmick like Sunshine or Galaxy, but it was filled to the brim with new mechanics, brilliant level design and polished gameplay, perfectly marrying 2D and 3D platforming. It is an achievement in every regard.

          • I did play it and it was bland and not what the Wii U needed considering the Wii got Super Mario Galaxy.

            And Zelda may be coming but it’s not here yet and hasn’t been here for years, and Star Fox looks like a Gamecube game. Nintendo’s hardware can do a lot better than what they’ve shown off of that game.

            Edit: I probably sound really negative about the Wii U, but it does have genuinely good games, just not necessarily from Nintendo.

      • Actually they’re an extremely wealthy company. They could go in any direction that they wish, they just don’t.

        I just wanted more damn games. It’s really inexplicable that they haven’t put more into it.

  • Also that has to sting Microsoft a little. I know they say that Japan isnt a priority for them, but they are getting spanked in Japan and Europe, and still underselling in the US compared to the PS4.

    • Sony really have come out strong this generation, while I consider the PS3/360 to be close to 50/50 I really think this is 70/30 at best in Sony’ favor.

      And I think it’s all down to one little marketing mis-step right before launch. Sony and Microsoft together with the Developers and Publishers worked out how to stop the used market. MS just opened their mouth first. If Sony had come out and said your game needs to log on daily before playing, and MS had the chance to back down and say no I think the situation would be almost reversed.

      That and Sony did a better job of locking down the exclusives. Than again in 2016 MS could just pull out new exclusive IP after exclusive IP and have the best range of games, and when the machines are so close that it really makes no difference unless your TV is insanely huge than MS could just turn it around.

      MS really need to lock down the USA, Europe and Asia because they are never going to do well in Japan.

      • That E3 really stopped any momentum Microsoft had, but its going to take a big 2016 to over come the lead that the PS4 has. I would love for MS to come out and hit it huge in 2016, more competition and great games is good for us gamers.

        I cant see MS locking up Asia or Europe, which both have really become the home of Sony.

      • Also the PS4 is a stronger system. If you hadn’t made a choice yet and you knew that one console could do most games native at 1080p whereas the other can’t, which would you choose?

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!