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Business Do you think Nintendo's single console strategy will be sustainable in the long run?

Only talking about business, what's the best strategy for Nintendo in your opinion?


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    90
  • Poll closed .

Raploz

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Mar 23, 2018
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I mean, assuming they never release separate home and portable consoles in the future. I believe there's a high possibility they won't, since a few years back they were working on merging their portable and home console teams.

---

Let's say Nintendo keeps making only a single console in their next generation.

Do you think only focusing on a single console is better for them (business wise) or do you think that could end up hurting them in the long run?


Well, I believe in the second option. What if their next console after the Switch flops hard like the Wii U? What would happen to them? People love saying they have a lot of money and could probably survive for a few generations even if they really screwed up, but that's just not a good position to be in. They're a business, they NEED to make profit.

Before, with their previous commercial failures like the Wii U and Gamecube, they could at least rely on their handheld consoles to keep them afloat, but now they don't have that option anymore.

Also, they would sell a huge amount of consoles combined. I believe there's no way Switch (even doing as well as it's doing) could sell as much as Wii and DS did when combined. Both in hardware and software sales.

I would love to get your opinions on this, especially from someone with some business background.
 
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TeezzyD

Fantastik Tuna
Mar 18, 2020
8,651
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The Switch isn't a product for me. I've repeated this a dozen times over on Gaf. With that said, Nintendo clearly found a profitable niche and they can only improve it with time. This is the way to sail the ship from here on out.
 
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ReBurn

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I'm ok with the switch hybrid model. It works well for the kinds of games they make and it suits me when I travel. I just wish they would have included a proper d-pad as an option.
 
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Maddux4164

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Aug 21, 2020
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Nintendo has and WILL ALWAYS remain an entire generation behind in tech.

That said, they have the Nintendo exclusives. So whatever they cook, people will eat.

Without exclusives, they’d be like Sega and be a software company.
 

Maddux4164

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Aug 21, 2020
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Without their own exclusives they wouldn't be a software company because they would have no software.
I guess what I mean, is if they sold their software to Microsoft or Sony. There’s absolutely 0 reason to buy a Nintendo console except for exclusives. Their online infrastructure is still at early PS3 gen level. Their tech is 360/PS3 level. It’s fine because they aren’t selling Mario on Xbox/PlayStation. If they ever did, they’d have no need to manufacture hardware.
 

Roger Rabbit

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Oct 21, 2020
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"Before, with their previous commercial failures like the Wii U and Gamecube, they could at least rely on their handheld consoles to keep them afloat, but now they don't have that option anymore."

"Also, they would sell a huge amount of consoles combined. I believe there's no way Switch (even doing as well as it's doing) could sell as much as Wii and DS did when combined. Both in hardware and software sales."

Well, you could look at it another way - two of their last three dedicated home consoles were failures commercially, so it's a huge risk to keep making them. They've cut that part out of their production, as its sales record has been poor.

Sure, the Switch won't reach the dizzying heights of Wii plus DS numbers. I don't think anything will, ever again. But it will probably come close to 3DS plus Wii U, and even if it finishes a few million lower, that doesn't necessarily mean a lower user base. Many Wii U owners probably also bought a 3DS, and many 3DS users may have bought multiple consoles seeing as it was region-locked and had six different iterations. I have 2 Switches but last gen I bought one Wii U and five 3DSs.
 

Maddux4164

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Same as when Sega died and started selling sonic on Xbox/PS2/GameCube.

Except, Nintendo is far too rich to die. They can call their own shot and do whatever they want. They did get a “small taste” of developing on other platforms (mobile). It made them VERY RICH indeed.
 
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v_iHuGi

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Oct 18, 2020
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Nintendo will stay selling 100-200M Consoles each Gen, they'll be fine laughing at the bank.
 

Maddux4164

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They’ve made their path clear. They are a hybrid.

They do offer strictly handheld (switch lite). But there’s no turning back. They’ve got both markets. Handheld and console. Why put millions into two different platforms at this point? What’s the gain? It’s a waste of R&D.

Sadly, it’ll handicap them tech wise due to the fact it’ll need to be portable. But it’s what Nintendo has done for over 20+ years. They gave up being a “beast” console developer the second they decided to use carts on the N64. Hasn’t hurt em. Maybe by their standards they took a bath on N64/GameCube. But they’re doing fine. It all offset by their handheld market share at the time anyhow.

It’s the same company that sold 1989 game boy tech through the year 2001. No one can touch their exclusives and Nintendo fans are loyal. The most loyal in the market

Also that 1989 game boy tech wasn’t shit even at the time. You already had more powerful and color handhelds then. They didn’t add color until what? 98? Whew.
 
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CobraXT

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Apr 24, 2020
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They just need to make 100 $ Swtich console for people who are not interested in portable gaming
 
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Maddux4164

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They just need to make 100 $ Swtich TV for for people who are not interested in portable gaming
Like Vita tv? Or whatever it’s called. Nah. That market would be too niche. They can’t keep switches on the market almost 4 years later
 

LeftThumbstick

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Jun 21, 2020
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I think they should make a standard home console again, something reminiscent of the N64. It wasn’t the most popular console of the time but I loved it and still have one.

With that though, they should make a Switch type console to compliment it as a handheld “take with you” type console. At least if one fails, the other can pull the weight.

I have no doubt with their first party, they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, but I’d really like to see a Nintendo home console in this day and age. The Wii was awesome and sold in droves, I have no idea why they abandoned the idea.
 
Jul 6, 2015
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One console is safer. Consoles like the Wii U failed because their development was split between two systems and they couldn't make games to support the Wii U until it was way too late. With this one system approach the odds of having another Wii U go way down.
 
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Maddux4164

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I think they should make a standard home console again, something reminiscent of the N64. It wasn’t the most popular console of the time but I loved it and still have one.

With that though, they should make a Switch type console to compliment it as a handheld “take with you” type console. At least if one fails, the other can pull the weight.

I have no doubt with their first party, they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, but I’d really like to see a Nintendo home console in this day and age. The Wii was awesome and sold in droves, I have no idea why they abandoned the idea.
I adored my N64. But the one and only reason it didn’t fly off shelves was Nintendo using carts. It tarnished their relationships with 3rd party developers Bc they had no way to get their games on a cart. Back then FMV was all the jazz.
 
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Lakos

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Sep 13, 2020
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One console is fine, but I feel like there should’ve been more AAA games released on 2020. Hopefully, they will have some big announcements for 2021...
 

Maddux4164

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One console is fine, but I feel like there should’ve been more AAA games released on 2020. Hopefully, they will have some big announcements for 2021...
Switch pro announcement January. It’ll be likely something like a base Xbox One in regards to resolution/frames and fidelity. Which for a handheld would be impressive
 
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ReBurn

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I guess what I mean, is if they sold their software to Microsoft or Sony. There’s absolutely 0 reason to buy a Nintendo console except for exclusives. Their online infrastructure is still at early PS3 gen level. Their tech is 360/PS3 level. It’s fine because they aren’t selling Mario on Xbox/PlayStation. If they ever did, they’d have no need to manufacture hardware.
Nintendo has a different philosophy than the other companies seem to. They engineer their hardware to support the kind of games they want to build, not to have the most powerful plastic box in the world. Their primary concern is supporting their own creative vision.

They could release games on other consoles but they would probably claim that they are constrained creatively by how Sony and Microsoft do things. Neither has really deviated much from their basic formula of two sticks, 8 buttons and rumble for generations where Nintendo has been making it weird and creative since the three prong N64 controller and whatever they heck they were thinking with the GameCube controller.
 
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Maddux4164

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Nintendo has a different philosophy than the other companies seem to. They engineer their hardware to support the kind of games they want to build, not to have the most powerful plastic box in the world. Their primary concern is supporting their own creative vision.

They could release games on other consoles but they would probably claim that they are constrained creatively by how Sony and Microsoft do things. Neither has really deviated much from their basic formula of two sticks, 8 buttons and rumble for generations where Nintendo has been making it weird and creative since the three prong N64 controller and whatever they heck they were thinking with the GameCube controller.
From a business standpoint. Love what they do. You know how many times I’ve bought the 1985 SMB? Too many to count.

They absolutely march to the beat of their own drum and give no shits what anyone thinks.
 

Maddux4164

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I’ll be honest. I was a kid and didn’t know better. But now? That N64 controller is unusable lol also.... we won’t mention GameCube.

But that’s what they always do. Look at the Wii controller. Wii U.

They are creative folks. No denying that.

But we truly have a “standard” now. Two analogues, 8 buttons. Layout. It’s so ingrained and established they could never pull that shit again.
 

vaibhavpisal

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Single console as they don't use cutting edge technology, so can be portable.


 
Last edited:

cryptoadam

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Feb 21, 2018
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You never know with Nintendo. They can always throw a left field system out there.

I do think that they are going to come out with a VR machine at some point though.
 

TexMex

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Aug 30, 2019
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I think it's doing just fine for Nintendo.

For me personally? I wish it was still two.
 

Coolwhhip

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Yeah its the best choice. They should also make a tv only Switch though.

If the Switch Home came out for 399 so I can play BOTW and Mario at 4k 60fps that would be great.
 
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Sean Mirrsen

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They don't need two consoles when they have a 2-in-1 console. Plus mobile. I feel like Nintendo has the right idea about games in general, that excess of hardware power is no longer beneficial to making good games, or even just games that look good - and will continue looking good for years. A console that lets you play anywhere you want is much more preferable. Microsoft has that idea too, but they're far less concerned by making their games available everywhere, so they're going to multiplatform and cloud gaming.

Nintendo, I think, might end up doing a Nokia and making a gaming phone console. Just a single device that is ubiquitous in your life that you take everywhere with you and play games on. At this point if anyone could pull it off, it'd be them.
 
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bender

Bending Rodríguez (22, 1,729)
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I can't imagine they'd ever go back to a portable and home device strategy. Phones and tablets shrank the portable market and they couldn't keep up with Sony and Microsoft on the cutting edge console front. Focusing all of their software development talent on one platform makes sense and they are good at coming up with unique hardware that appeals to the masses.
 

Alandring

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Aug 20, 2020
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I think they don't have any other choice. They can't support two different consoles at the same time, so they need one console where they release all their games. They can have multiple SKU (Switch, Switch Lite, Switch TV, Switch Pro, Switch Cloud, Switch Switch), but all of them need to run the same games.

But you're right about something OP: the transition between generations is a big threat for Nintendo (like it is for Sony). They need to find a way to be as successfull with their next console.
 
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Fitzchiv

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I think there's still a significant divergence between smartphones and their form factor, and gaming input requirements. So from that perspective there's still a home for dedicated portable gaming hardware - although the inputs for Xcloud for example start to blur those lines.

Reason I point this out is I think the dedicated handheld market is safe for at least one more generation, and I can't see a world where Nintendo aren't competitive if they release a TV console BUT I think the Switch concept isn't destined for long term success. Hear me out;

On another thread, an Xbox fella points out the silicon economies that made significant savings available over a console lifetime and thus big price drops possible, are gone (hence why both Sony and MS released "entry level" consoles). This is important because they're now playing in Nintendo's pricing bracket, with more powerful systems, and huge game catalogues.

This kind of boxes Nintendo in a bit as their hybrid concept means it will always be underpowered and lag in 3rd party content, and the lack of price drops from MS and Sony will mean people will have to choose them OR Nintendo, rather than hoovering up the "second console" crew.

For me they have two options;

1) Release two consoles again, one a dedicated handheld, the other a dedicated TV console that competes in power bracket with MS & Sony (perhaps not at the bleeding edge but in the same realm) and push their first party library into a new dimension on that, and retain the more cartoony stuff for handheld.

2) Release a dedicated handheld and either make docking to screen mirror and play on (and make Xcloud available on it) TV something possible with no power or cost impact, or keep it off TV entirely, and effectively leave that market in terms of hardware. They'd then need to recover revenue by licensing their library into the other consoles. Imagine a Nintendo version of XCloud where you could play their catalogue on your Xbox or PlayStation?

People either play their Switch in one mode or the other, and the market dynamic has changed, so their approach is a dead end for me.
 
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Saruhashi

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I think they will stick with the hybrid idea.

To me it seems like they are trying to guess what the future will bring.

With mobile gaming eating up the portable market and streaming looking like it will be a thing in the next 5 to 10 years there will be 2 factors that will come into play.

The flexibility of your hardware.
The strength of your exclusive content.

They are either kicking things off early to benefit down the line or they are making a huge error in judgement.

The fact that we are seeing games like Control beginning to appear on Switch via streaming gives a hint about where things are going.

Microsoft are beginning to go this way too with their streaming service and that Razer Kishi controller.

For now I think you can't go all in on streaming so physical hardware like a console will be around for a while but it looks like things are going a certain way and playing anywhere on any screen is going to be pushed.

It feels like in 10 years or so you will be offered a choice of controllers and subscription services. With the possibility of tablet like devices maybe being a thing.

We'll see though.
 

v1oz

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I don't see any reason why Nintendo couldn't make a dock only Switch model. So that they also have a premium complementary home console for enthusiasts. They will still have consolidated their development resources because the software will be same for Switch all variants. And let's say they put the savings from not including an LCD screen and battery in the home console version, into better thermals and hardware, that will allow Switch games to be run at higher frame rates at native resolutions on large screen TVs.

That way Nintendo would have a portable console (Switch lite), a dockable console (Switch OG) and a home console (Switch Pro).
 
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The Switch isn't a console, it's a toy, and I mean that in the best possible way. I love the hardware, fucking around with the joycons, never played as much local multiplayer with family and friends on any other console. In my view it's easily the best console for kids young and old out there.

Xbox and Playstation feel like custom modded PCs with a walled garden service at this stage, so it's much better to get a PC over those consoles. The relatively small number of good exclusives on Playstation don't justify it and some are starting to come over to PC anyway. There is zero reason to get an Xbox over a PC - there's no such thing as an Xbox exclusive anymore. The only thing I can think of is the Netflix like interface with Game Pass and I don't imagine that is a genuine selling point for anyone.

I own a gaming PC and a Switch and between them I feel I'm pretty much covered.
 

yurinka

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In the past they had to make more effort with 2 machines. With a few exceptions like DS and Wii, both their home console and portable markets were in decline when looking at the lifetime sales of their devices specially due to 3rd party support compared with the other ones.

I think it has been a great idea to merge both in a single market: now all their teams are in a single device so it gets more exclusives games than before, and the 3rd party support they got in both markets gets combined. It's also a powerful portable, so as happened with PSP or Vita before it can get the only portable version of many indies.

If they have to fix something, it's the drifting of their joycons and their ergonomy, but nothing else (well, for the future would be nice to make a capable 4K machine). Now they have these 2 markets, and Sony stopped working on portables so they have the monopoly now. So I'll continue in this way.
 
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HE1NZ

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Nintendo has and WILL ALWAYS remain an entire generation behind in tech.

That said, they have the Nintendo exclusives. So whatever they cook, people will eat.

Without exclusives, they’d be like Sega and be a software company.
Right now they are 2 generations behind.
 

lyra-ixi

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Aug 3, 2014
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i hope they stick with Switch and go all in. next year we might get a Switch Pro and later on maybe a refresh of the Lite + Standard models. that will be the end of Gen 1 which will consist of:

Switch (2017) - standard hybrid model
Switch Lite - handheld only
Switch (2019) - hybrid refresh with improved battery
Switch Pro - beefed up hybrid or docked only aimed at 4K
Switch (2021/2022) - hybrid refresh with improved battery + maybe improved screen.
Switch Super Lite - refreshed handheld with improved battery

Gen 2:

Switch 2 - hybrid
Switch 2 Lite - handheld only
Switch 2 Pro - docked only

Gen 3:

Switch 3 - hybrid
Switch 3 Lite - handheld only
Switch 3 Pro - docked only

Basically they should keep the Switch name around and make it their Playstation/Xbox. We've had NES/SNES/64/Gamecube/Wii. Sony has had: Playstation 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Microsoft has had Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One (S/X), and Xbox Series (S/X). Nintendo need to keep it simple and go with Nintendo Switch 2, 3, 4, etc. and true to the Switch name they should offer multiple variants of console: Lite, Hybrid, Pro.
 
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ReBurn

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The Switch isn't a console, it's a toy, and I mean that in the best possible way. I love the hardware, fucking around with the joycons, never played as much local multiplayer with family and friends on any other console. In my view it's easily the best console for kids young and old out there.

Xbox and Playstation feel like custom modded PCs with a walled garden service at this stage, so it's much better to get a PC over those consoles. The relatively small number of good exclusives on Playstation don't justify it and some are starting to come over to PC anyway. There is zero reason to get an Xbox over a PC - there's no such thing as an Xbox exclusive anymore. The only thing I can think of is the Netflix like interface with Game Pass and I don't imagine that is a genuine selling point for anyone.

I own a gaming PC and a Switch and between them I feel I'm pretty much covered.
if we're being honest here all consoles are toys. We use them to play games. If you spend a load of cash on a super PC rig and only use it to play video games then I hate to break it to you but that's a toy, too. We probably shouldn't delude ourselves into thinking that buying a PlayStation or Xbox somehow makes us a more sophisticated gamer than if we're playing a Switch in the park. There's a good possibility that the Switch gamer at least leaves their room more frequently and doesn't pee in bottles.
 

Zannegan

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One portable console, but a PC client and storefront (I don't even care if it's just retro stuff) to go along with it. Maybe a mobile/streaming app down the line.
 

Amiga

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I mean, assuming they never release separate home and portable consoles in the future. I believe there's a high possibility they won't, since a few years back they were working on merging their portable and home console teams.

---

Let's say Nintendo keeps making only a single console in their next generation.

Do you think only focusing on a single console is better for them (business wise) or do you think that could end up hurting them in the long run?


Well, I believe in the second option. What if their next console after the Switch flops hard like the Wii U? What would happen to them? People love saying they have a lot of money and could probably survive for a few generations even if they really screwed up, but that's just not a good position to be in. They're a business, they NEED to make profit.

Before, with their previous commercial failures like the Wii U and Gamecube, they could at least rely on their handheld consoles to keep them afloat, but now they don't have that option anymore.

Also, they would sell a huge amount of consoles combined. I believe there's no way Switch (even doing as well as it's doing) could sell as much as Wii and DS did when combined. Both in hardware and software sales.

I would love to get your opinions on this, especially from someone with some business background.

Voted one

But Nintendo should at least do a scaled up TV version with the same architecture with a bigger GPU and higher clocks for more FPS and 4K resolution. instead of just letting PC emulators do this.
 
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Woopah

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This is something Nintendo has talked about themselves and there's a key point here that I think everyone is missing.

Nintendo now sees IP licensing as a key pillar to help them navigate the "grow and decline" console cycle. We're going to see a lot more things like the theme parks and Mario movie that will provide them with additional revenue streams, even during console transitions.

Games are too big now for supporting two platforms to be viable. A single ecosystem is the way to go.
 
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Impotaku

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Can't see them having problems with a single console to be honest it's quite apparent despite some people not been able to deal with the reality that the switch is selling extremely well and the library keeps expanding. But Nintendo would survive even without a console, it's not the only thing they have ever made. They would adapt like they have done many times before, before consoles they made toys before toys they made other stuff like home appliances & even food before that playing cards.
 

UltimaKilo

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Two consoles would not be a “secondly revenue source” since they would be making money from the same division, only cannibalizing one product at the expense of the other.

If they got deeper into something like the services business, THAT would be a secondary revenue source.

Nintendo is a relatively small company, so they have to be careful how the invest. Adding a tiered Nintendo Online plan is a start, with the higher offering allowing N64 and GameCube games to be played at a premium.
 
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Kumomeme

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its about quantity vs quality.

also for switch i think it not wise to simply view it as single console. due to it's hybrid nature, its like one stone two bird situation for nintendo.