Nintendo Is Now Worth More Than Sony Because Of Pokemon GO

Image: Kotaku

It's a rally that will surely subside over the coming weeks and months, but if you needed any indication of just how much Pokemon GO has changed things, this one graph will do it.

It comes courtesy of Bloomberg, who quietly noted this morning the small fact that Nintendo is now worth more than Sony.


Almost $US20 billion. That's how much Pokemon GO mania has added to Nintendo's stock price. It's almost doubled the value of the company, and it's made it worth more than Sony.

Pokemon GO still hasn't been released in Japan. Nobody knows what's happening with the NX — although that could undoubtedly temper things somewhat. And Nintendo, as it always does, will get a boost later this year when Pokemon Sun and Moon hits store shelves.

Insane. And the game doesn't even work properly half the time.


    Yeah, but can you play Tombi on a Nintendo console? Check and mate.

    Just think about how much money they could earn if they released the first gen games with multiplayer on mobile for like $20

      Been waiting for that since my first smart phone. The emulators work well, so i cant imagine it would be that costly for Ninty do do it properly. Boom billions more dollars.

    I think the surge has already dropped off today with shares taking a bit of a dive. Probably earlier than expected considering Japan has either launched today or is launching sometime today.

    I still think there's a weird dissonance when 'real life business' news collides with the general sorts of events video-game enthusaist sites cover. Not saying the latter is not real news by any stretch, but I still remember the disparaging and frankly childish ways that anything the DS or Wii did for Nintendo's bottom line was basically dis-regarded.

    There's.....a lot of questions and 'oh but that's because' statements people who orbit this close to the video-game sun can raise, I've got plenty myself - however this is positive news overall.

    When's Neo and the new Xbone out again? Next year? They'll get their own specialised news conferences again one would think. If NX follows suit - and of course is featured at any shows before release - I expect mainstream media to add more focus on it before its release than they would have prior to Pokemon Go.

    if nothing else, Pokemon Go is a wonderful advertisement for Nintendo, like Alex says.

    Surely this is a clear sign that big business & the stock market have no idea & just ake shit up as they go along.

    I'm sure Pokemon Go is making a decent amount of cash but how is that making a company that makes games worth more than one that does movies, music, tv, games & TVs & the like?

      While I agree the release of Pokemon GO isn't something that would make me think to invest in Nintendo at double the price it was 2 weeks ago, you have to keep in mind just because a company make Movies, TVs, Phones etc. does not mean they actually make a profit from them.

        Isn't doesn't mean that, no. But they have their fingers in so many pies, surely a company of that size profits far more.

        I know games rival Hollywood in profits these days, but surely just music alone would keep them above Ninty. Sony are big.

          "But they have their fingers in so many pies, surely a company of that size profits far more."

          Hah no. Diversifying is theoretically good but if multiple sectors are under-performing then you've got a a sluggish company overall. Remember when Vivendi Universal owned Blizzard? The success of WoW was pretty much the only thing keeping the company afloat while they lost millions in their film, music and other ventures.

          Plus revenue and profit are quite different. Sony might turnover a lot more money than Ninty but the profit on the products matter. In this case, imagine how little money Ninty has to put into PokemonGo to keep milking it, one microtransaction at a time.

            That's cool and all but there's no way a mobile app could be as sustainable as all these other things. People will keep buying random Sony bits & pieces but Pokemon Go can only last until the next angry birds or whatever hits the app store.

              Perhaps yes but it's still a bit too early to definitively make a call on that. Japan and Korea are huge markets and the product is only reaching Japan now. And long after westerners get bored of PokemonGo, it'll probably stay successful in Japan for a few years. As big as it is here it's pretty much part of the lives of everyone born in and after the late 80's over there.

              Ultimately it comes down to Niantec and how well they do to keep the app updated and engaging. I'm sure they'll be launching paid expansions that let your mobile/pokedex detect pokemon from the other regions soon. Niantec basically needs to keep the momentum going while the hype is high because if more isn't offered in the near future, the hype will fizzle out and PokemonGo would simply have been a hype. I'm sure Nintendo will send some brand managers to Niantec to make sure that doesn't happen. Afterall, they capitalized on the pokemon brand extremely well from release. That's why it's as big as it is today :P

              Last edited 20/07/16 5:33 pm

    Nintendo are unbelievable at making games, and truly fucking awful at making consoles. Pokemon GO and this literal miracle is a testament to the idea that Nintendo should go software only and make games in their big franchises that don't force people to upgrade to whatever the latest under-powered piece of plastic is. Pokemon GO has killed it because it's a new idea, a huge franchise, AND it's accessible to everyone. If Nintendo keeps doing that then maybe they can start paying their executives proper wages again.

      Careful, you might anger the Nintendo purists with comments like that.

        I feel like it's not a secret that every single Nintendo video game console has been the worst one of the competition and they've done as well as they have because of the strength of marketing & exclusives. anyone out here saying the Wiimote was a good controller? Or that games look better on the Wii U than the ps4? Imagine if u could play Mario Kart on an xbox. More people would be playing Mario Kart and nintendo wouldn't have to sell their consoles (in a bundle with games!!!!) at a loss. They would make way more money.

          I'm just flattered that an actual real millionaire has joined in the discussion.

          With brains like this I mean how couldn't you be.

            hahahaha true. I don't know that much about anything! This is all just my opinion of course, I have very little experience in the business world and none in video games, I just think there are trends that are easy to see from certain angles and that maybe I'm looking at it from that angle while the people who make decisions at Nintendo are not.

          You're just looking for something different in a console than others. Personally I see zero reason to buy a PS4 or Xbone, but have found the Wii U to serve my needs fantastically.

          The Wii remote was an excellent controller when it came to games that used pointer functionality, such as first person shooters. And the decoupled hands when used with a nunchuk were great for comfort and lazing about the place. I completely abhor sideways remote though ("NES style"), and agree that was flat out terrible.

            I don't own a ps4 or an xbox either! They're useless to me, but I know that they're better consoles. Their hardware is better, the controllers are better (unless you buy Nintendo's Patented Nunchuck Add-On or the elite controller which I think is really good - and even then it's arguable, but you brought up valid points), and they're strictly More Functional because they're less focused which means they get loads of peripherals of all shapes and sizes that do all sorts of things (playstation move, kinect, psvr, etc). If they would just release them on other platforms I wouldn't have to buy what is by a lot of definitions a sub-standard console in the year 2016 to play their games and I would Buy Their Games on other platforms!!!! They would make money off me! But they're not going to because I don't want to own a Wii U to play super mario bros.

              But what makes them "better"? Nintendo's always had a reputation for making solid, reliable hardware unlike the others which always seem to be plagued with issues. Just because they can pump our more jiggawhats per second doesn't make them any better, otherwise nobody would buy any consoles ever and people would only get PCs. I'm not even sure what you're trying to say with the "less focused, more practical, more peripherals" thing (even though "too many peripherals" is often a criticism aimed at Nintendo).

              I've always said if you're just buying a Nintendo to play Mario/Zelda/etc, you're doing it wrong. The best games on any system are almost always non-Nintendo titles, the home-grown stuff is just the gravy.

                I think that's a really good question. My opinion is that the PS4/XB1 are better because of their controllers, their ability to play better-looking games at higher framerates, and their optional peripheral upgrades - the playstation move and the kinect being prime examples. That's in contrast to Nintendo who (I think) make terrible controllers pretty much as a rule - we agree that the wiimote is a bad controller that is saved by the graces of a necessary upgrade (the nunchuck), have games that look worse running at lower framerates, with their "peripherals" not really being peripherals - the wii wheel isn't anything it's just plastic. same thing with the tennis add-on, et al.

                I think the strength of Nintendo's console business is in their first party development - they make games people want and make them exclusive to their consoles. In regards to that I (with respect) disagree with your statement that the best games on a Nintendo system are third party. The only games to break a million copies sold on the Wii U have been Nintendo titles ( More than half of the games on Kotaku's own "best games on Wii U" list are Nintendo titles ( and I think the rest would be equally good on other consoles. I think a lot of people buy Wii U's (which Nintendo sells at a loss) to play first party games, which Nintendo could publish to other platforms and not have to make consoles (which have struggled to gain market share, especially since the end of the reign of the Wii) that lose them money. Speaking to that point, it's almost irrelevant for me to say that the console itself is worse - it doesn't matter if it's worse or not. Fewer people buy Wii U's than the other two major consoles, that's a fact. Nintendo aren't selling many consoles, therefore they're selling fewer games, therefore they're making less money. Pokemon GO's huge success should be a very stark reminder that the way they do business can (in my opinion) be improved by adapting to the current technology landscape rather than trying to keep people on their own (declining) platforms.

                  My opinion is that the PS4/XB1 are better because of their controllers, their ability to play better-looking games at higher frameratesIn the earlier stages of the current generation at least, the Wii U was the only one playing games at 60fps while the other two were down at 30. Plus the Xbone had the whole 900p thing too, or whatever it was. I still consider most Wii U games (particularly first party Nintendo titles) to look far better than any PS4 or Xbone game though - it takes more than framerate or resolution to make something look good.

                  That's in contrast to Nintendo who (I think) make terrible controllers pretty much as a ruleNope. Nintendo are leaders in controller design, with everyone else merely following them. The GameCube controller is still one of the greatest ever made, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with the Wii U's Pro Controller and Gamepad. Wii's remote+nunchuk setup was great too, and the Classic Controller Pro was no slouch save for the lack of rumble. People like to call the 64's "confusing" for its multi-hold setup, but nobody who actually used it at the time had any trouble using it.

                  PlayStation have only *just* got themselves a decent controller this gen, all the previous ones were crap. The first Xbone controller I tried was crap too (honestly felt like a cheap third party knockoff), but the newer model I got with my Rift seems to be fine in comparison. The 360 controller before it was great though, save for that battery hump. The less said of the first Xbox controllers, the better :P

                  In regards to that I (with respect) disagree with your statement that the best games on a Nintendo system are third party. The only games to break a million copies sold on the Wii U have been Nintendo titles.I think we can both agree that popularity has little to do with quality. Just look at the Pokemon Go numbers, and as many point it's both very shallow as a game and doesn't even work half the time :P

                  I'm by no means saying that Nintendo games aren't good (if they weren't, then I wouldn't still be buying them), it's just that they're more of a given and you'll find more interesting things off the beaten path. The common saying is quite similar to what you said - "I'm not buying a [Nintendo] just to play Mario". You shouldn't. You should buy a Wii U to play Wonderful 101, Bayonetta 2, ZombiU, and then less-considered Nintendo titles like Pikmin 3, Captain Toad, Splatoon or Xenoblade. On top of your various Marios and Zeldas and such. Granted, the third parties seem to have abandoned the Wii U even harder than in any other previous generation, it's probably got a higher proportion of Nintendo titles than any other set in my collection. Even the GameCube got a more decent third party offering. But on the DS and Wii, the Nintendo titles are far outnumbered by those from others. Especially the DS, Nintendo actually have a surprisingly thin offering there.

                  People often try and say that Nintendo should just make games for other consoles, but a big part of their "thing" is building consoles from the ground up specifically designed around making games, and building games to fully leverage the hardware as best they can. Especially in more recent offerings where the hardware is so different to competitor's offerings, Pikmin or (Rainbow Curse) just couldn't be done on either of the other two machines. There's more to making a game for a particular piece of hardware than just clicking "publish to Wii U/PS4/Xbone" at the end of the process.

                  You sound like an economics guy though, way too concerned with sales numbers than the quality of the product :P

            Nintendo games on PS4/XBOX/PC would be amazing.

            The Wii remote was an excellent controller when it came to games that used pointer functionality, such as first person shooters.

            You cant be serious.

              It was brilliant for Metroid Prime

                No way, it was horrible. I couldn't even complete the game & I love 1&2 immensely.

                  I've heard good things about the Metroid Prime Trilogy on PC using Dolphin actually. You can map the wii pointer to the mouse and play it like a regular PC FPS. Apparently it's unbelievable, plus that sick upscaling with dx12.

              Dead serious. Red Steel and its sequel, Conduit and its sequel, Metroid Prime 3 even though it sits in that weird not-quite-an-FPS zone. All of them fantastic, decoupled aiming is the best.

          FYI, Nintendo don't sell their consoles at a loss.

            I'm 100% sure they sold the Wii U at a loss. Sony and Microsoft do it as well (the idea being that you sell the console then the customer has to buy games and accessories for it, all of which make back enough money to cover the loss). But, pre-Pokemon GO, Sony & Microsoft had deep pockets and Nintendo did not (they had lost half a billion dollars in the financial year 2014-15, Wii U sales were flagging before Smash Bros 4 and Mario Kart 8, the executives took voluntary 50% paycuts so that they could stay in business) so it didn't make sense for Nintendo to sell at a loss - because people who owned Wii U's weren't buying new games and there weren't enough big titles to entice new customers. When SSB4 and MK8 came out the Wii U's sales went up but not to the level of the PS4 or XB1. The point of all this is to say that selling at a loss is a solid practise that Nintendo's business model does not support (in my opinion).

            They make very good games. They do not make enough games to sustain an entire console over its lifespan by themselves. Third party devs either avoid Nintendo completely, release their games on Nintendo consoles long after everywhere else, or do shitty ports to Nintendo consoles. If Nintendo could avoid selling a console at a loss and sell their games at the premium prices that they currently do on other consoles, they would make so much more money. Tie into that the proven success of Nintendo games in a mobile market (an easily accessible one with by far the largest audience), and there are loads of good reasons that they should stop making hardware and lean heavily into game development for more accessible/enticing platforms.

            Also I'm sorry I'm ranting so much on this thread I don't know why I'm doing this my life must be so boring.

              But, pre-Pokemon GO, Sony & Microsoft had deep pockets and Nintendo did not Hahaha, dude. Nintendo has mountains of money, they could have continued to make a loss for something like the next ten years straight and still had enough in the coffers to keep going.

              The Wii U was indeed sold at a loss, but this is rare for Nintendo - they prefer to sell cheaper hardware at a small profit, and to make most of their money on their ever-popular first-party games.

      It's not really a new idea. It's a fairly watered down version of Ingress. Which is fine and I'm enjoying it very much. But it's not new by any stretch of the imagination.

      Every Nintendo console I've ever bought....going right back to the NES...still works.

      Can't say the same for my Sony consoles.

      So I guess it comes down to what you're definition of 'better' is.

        Very true! I've replaced my ps2 with a ps2 slim after it broke, but my n64 still works perfectly. Weird. Still has three handles on the controller though.

      That's a very simplistic generalising statement. "awful at making consoles"? Based on 1 console (Wii U) you are claiming they are a failure? How about the one before, the Wii? That was one of their success stories, the beginning of getting casual gamers into the picture and brilliant how they added the Wii-Step into fitness routines and sports games. I sold mine recently (needed the money) and still regretting that a bit.

        The Wii was a beautiful marketing machine that hit a completely different demographic to the big two consoles. The Wii U does not hit that demographic, it hits the exact same demographic as Sony and Microsoft do and therefore is open to criticism on their level, because they're comparable. The Wii wasn't comparable to the PS3 or X360 because it was aimed at families, it had different types of games and the lighter end of more "gamer-oriented" games. The controller was terrible.

        I think the N64 (despite it being my first ever console which I love and still use sometimes) was an example of poor console design as well. The CONTROLLER. The actual physical design of the machine. It's the only console of its generation where you can kick the game as you're playing it. But the N64 also had a lot of third party support, the market was in a different place than it is now and people wanted different things out of their consoles.

        The Gamecube was...something. People harp on about the controller but I think it was terrible. That's preference, there's nothing actually wrong with it it's just not comfortable or aesthetically pleasing to me. I think it had a lot going for it. It had good third party support, a solid list of first parties (that I still play to this day), and probably the best console design out of every console ever. It's a cube that plays games. A Gamecube.

        The Gamecube, the last "good" (quotes for personal opinion and also arguable) console Nintendo made that was aimed at the same target market as the big two, was released 15 years ago. The Wii U is the only relevant example, so I talked about that the most. I don't think Nintendo are a failure as a company, I think they're just not capitalising on their strengths. They are exceptional at making first party titles. They are not in the same ballpark as Sony and Microsoft when it comes to targeting the same market that they do. If Nintendo made their games for other consoles, the consumer would be better off and so would they. We wouldn't have to spend more money to buy another thing to try and fit near our tv's, they wouldn't lose money on consoles, and the same benefits that their games have today (fun! kid-friendly! colourful! pretty! multiplayer!) would all still be applicable if not amplified. Pokemon GO is proof of that! They hired someone to make a game using one of their huge IP's for a different platform and it's flown out the door, it's a global phenomenon - countries that don't have it are complaining! Imagine if they did that with an Actual Pokemon RPG. What if you could play the GBA era pokemon games on your phone? I would pay $15 to download pokemon emerald on the google play store. Even if they JUST monetised their back catalogue they would make more money than they could handle. All I'm saying is their profit structure is stunted because they refuse to go outside of their latest console within their ecosystem. They've taken their first foray into the outside world and it's gone batshit insane, and if they don't commit to that I'm gonna be disappointed.

        I've written a full essay on this in these comments I'm so sorry.

          The N64 console was never originally a console. It's a stripped down hyper64 arcade board. They removed the cd rom and hdd and stuck a cartridge slot in. And a fancy box.
          Mind you for its time the hyper64 was a beast of a machine.

    I think this says more about the disfunctionality of sharemarkets than anything else. Pokemon Go is a fad, just like Words With Friends, Draw Something etc. People will get bored and all that $20bn will disappear into thin air.

      Like musical chairs, no-one wants to be left standing when the music stops. If I had shares I'd sell them now. I think a lot of the exuberance in the share price is due to people forward-loading marketing revenue from Pokemon GO, which hasn't eventuated yet.

      I'm not an authority on stock trading, but I think Nintendo's board would be seeing the stock price doubling as a sign that people want what Pokemon GO represents - a big name Nintendo game widely available to casual consumers on a platform they already have & therefore don't have to go out and buy. I think if they play it badly and don't continue upkeep on this new market they've pretty much secured then what you're saying is true - Angry Birds 80 will come out with AR and make it so that you can actually throw birds at your phone to knock over pigs and then it'll be done.

    But according to business insider the Pokemon Go craze is OVER and Nintendo's stocks are getting DESTROYED by sinking 10% after doubling nearly overnight!!!1

    Never mind that it launches in Japan tomorrow in a cross promotional partnership with McDonald's. Nintendo is ruined!

    I find that hard to believe...

    Nintendo = Games

    Sony = Music, movies, TVs, Games, tons of stuff!

    As a Nintendo fan, this is cool. It's also kind of weird because they didn't have a great deal to do with the app itself. We all associate Pokemon with Nintendo, so I understand why it's happening, but it's interesting how perception plays a big role in this.

    With numbers as obscenely high as on that graph, it seems clear that novelty mobile games based on established IPs is where Nintendo are going to focus their attention. Which is a disappointing prospect to me as a person who has been hoping for a return to more 'conventional' games.

    I grew up playing Nintendo consoles like so many others, and would like to see that company making more polished games which make use of perfectly crafted game play mechanics. I'd love to see Pilotwings, F-Zero, and others make a return as fully fleshed out console titles.

    I have no interest in multiplayer games, or 'novelty' games involving motion controls or augmented reality aspects, or balance boards, or whatever else. I have a PC and a PS4 so it's not like there's a shortage of good titles to play. I just miss the time when Nintendo consoles were the home of a range of lots of high quality titles. (Wii U doesn't have enough for me to justify purchase, sadly.)

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