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How can Nintendo win back marketshare with their next home console?

Dynomutt

Member
Jan 5, 2014
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I don't really consider ND to be all that ambitious.

Crash to Uncharted to TLOU. Multiple awards and GOTY's for all three franchises and most recently TLOU. That seems fairly ambitious to me. Then again were so busy posting on NeoGaf thats we don't have time to make silly award winning games. So what do I know?
 

openrob

Member
Feb 25, 2014
3,709
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I had a long thing I was going to write up, but it's taking too much time.

Short version: Make a console comparable in power to PS4. It should be better at some things, if not all. Negative publicity focusing on Wii U's horsepower hurt its image immensely in the U.S. along w/ the spotty ports at launch. Budget the TDP at 100 watts and have the "gimmick" be inexpensive (like the Wii remotes accelerometers and unlike the Gamepad). 16nm process node and they should be good to compete.

New marketing campaign. Stick with the all ages approach, but ditch the focus on families. Just show a little something for everyone in the commercials.

The console itself should look slick and unlike the Wii/Wii U.

Price it at $300, since in 2016/2017, this is around where Sony/MS should be with their consoles.

Speedy OS: Do what it takes to address this--faster RAM, faster CPU, SSD. Whatever. Make it like night and day compared to Wii U and they'll get some positive press.

Continuously improve the OS/network. They're not going to get it perfect out of the gate, but there's no reason they can't keep adding more and more features. With one OS to focus on, more updates should hopefully be possible.

Launch w/ a 3D Mario that has WOW factor.

Gain some exclusive DLC in a few big 3rd party titles. And make it cool. Not just Mario/Samus outfits. More like Link in Soul Calibur II or some exclusive Nintendo/non-Nintendo themed levels/campaigns.

Promote the hell out of the indie games and have most of them crossbuy/crossplay on handheld/home console.

Nail the Digital deluxe/Club Nintendo successor program. Make it worth our while, with good discounts to loyal customers. Of course, continue w/ regular eShop sales as well and make them a bit more enticing.

Nail the cell phone app. A Mii Maker in 2015 is not going to make waves. It worries me that this is Iwata's grand debut in the mobile space.



This makes so much sense, yet why it didn't happen is a mystery. I feel the Wii U was tne result of bad market research.

Make it appeal to casuals with theWii brand? Check.
1080p? Check.
Tablets are in right now - include one. Check.
 

YourMaster

Member
Jan 26, 2006
1,451
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I think their idea with the Wii was sound,... if you can't compete because you have no third party games and no players who play third party games, you won't be the number one console people buy.
You still have content people want to own, so reduce the barrier for people to play that content.

Before the Wii was released they made it seem they would launch it at $99 or $150, easy to pick up as a second console. It seems to me that because of the hype they increased it and still sold gangbusters.
Unfortunately for them, they failed to deliver with the console. I think low specs are less of a problem then the poor OS and online infrastructure. If Nintendo got people to buy the console for Mario and then surprise them with an amazing online social experience and great multimedia-box, those people would tell their friends.

This could still work for their next console, make it really cheap, great box to always have on, worth it for 1 or 2 games alone, with an integrated online platform, and have it come with something like splatoon pre-installed to kickstart a multiplayer community.
Also make sure third party developers have excellent documentation to develop for your machine, to port too it, and to optimally integrate with your online platform, and they could be back on their way up.
 
Jun 13, 2014
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Their smartest bet is probably releasing a single device that is digital only, plays 3DS, Wii, and Wii U games natively, has an HDMI stick (ala chromecast) that lets you "cast" from the device to any HDMI screen, has dual screen built in just like 3DS, and possibly a gamepad accessory that lets you play on the gamepad wirelessly. Should be a touch faster than current Wii U/3DS, 1TB of drive space built in so it can hold everything.

a digital account system so you can own up to 3 and use the same NNID on all 3 devices and play all the same games. Best of all sell for $150-199 (the base system) so its an easy buy decision.

Make available Nintendo's entire catalog to run natively on the system, do some stuff with amiibo's, and rake in the money for a few more years.

If instead they spend a ton of money and releasing another new whacky console that has minimal backwards compatibility, few of their back-catalog available, the same crap account system, no 3d party support, and is $350+ I think Nintendo is going to suffer very, very badly.

Likewise if they are betting on their QOL stuff to succeed in the West I think they are in for a rude awakening. People use apps on their smartphones nowadays to monitor sleep, eating, steps taken, etc - few are going to think of Nintendo when it comes to health. I mean really, who is going to take you seriously if you said "hey wanna improve your life? Buy this new Nintendo device!". If they come up with any really insanely out of the ballpark ideas (which has never been a hallmark of Nintendo), Apple/Fitbit/Nike will immediately copy them, integrate it into their existing products, and sell 100x as many.
 

Darkangel

Member
Jul 16, 2011
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Assuming mainstream third party support is gone forever, I think that it might be time for the mythical "hybrid console."

With the Wii U Nintendo has reached a hardware level where they can make fantastic looking games without much compromise. The latest Nvidia mobile chipsets such as the Tegra X1 have already surpassed the power of the 360/PS3 generation, and are only going to get better. Nintendo should use this new technology to make a reasonably priced (~$250) handheld that comes with a "docking station" and a regular controller.

You know Microsoft's new thing about Windows 10 being the same Windows on all your devices? Thats the same kind of concept Nintendo should be looking into. Instead of splitting their teams between two different platforms, Nintendo would only need to focus on a single device. This would also help prevent the infamous "game droughts" because at the very least you would be able to play new "mobile releases" like SMT4 or Resident Evil Revelations on your TV. The ability to pick up your home console and keep playing it ANYWHERE would differentiate them from the competition without relying on gimmicks. Instead of trying to sell "another console" to the PS4/Xbone crowd, they would be able to offer something that truly complements their gaming experience.

If Nintendo doesn't want to actually compete with industry standards, then I think that the above is their only long-term option. Instead of having a console that sells 10 million and a handheld that sells 50 million, they could have both a console AND a handheld with 60 million users/customers.
 

Dr. Feel Good

Banned
Jun 13, 2006
4,723
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It's crazy to go through the Games of the Generstion thread for Xbox, PS2, and GameCube because you can almost always tell users who didn't own a GameCube, and yet they still often include or mention Metroid Prime, Smash Melee, and possibly Wind Waker. Nintendo needs to focus on why games like those transcended userbase demographics and build new games that do the same. Not sequels to these either. They took existing franchises at the time but made them either drastically different or vastly improved from previous iterations and for whatever reason it stuck with the shooter/mainstream male crowd of the other consoles. They won't get casuals back, but becoming a second console to own for the other console install base would help a lot.
 

Hiltz

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Dec 8, 2007
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Assuming mainstream third party support is gone forever, I think that it might be time for the mythical "hybrid console."

With the Wii U Nintendo has reached a hardware level where they can make fantastic looking games without much compromise. The latest Nvidia mobile chipsets such as the Tegra X1 have already surpassed the power of the 360/PS3 generation, and are only going to get better. Nintendo should use this new technology to make a reasonably priced (~$250) handheld that comes with a "docking station" and a regular controller.

You know Microsoft's new thing about Windows 10 being the same Windows on all your devices? Thats the same kind of concept Nintendo should be looking into. Instead of splitting their teams between two different platforms, Nintendo would only need to focus on a single device. This would also help prevent the infamous "game droughts" because at the very least you would be able to play new "mobile releases" like SMT4 or Resident Evil Revelations on your TV. The ability to pick up your home console and keep playing it ANYWHERE would differentiate them from the competition without relying on gimmicks. Instead of trying to sell "another console" to the PS4/Xbone crowd, they would be able to offer something that truly complements their gaming experience.

If Nintendo doesn't want to actually compete with industry standards, then I think that the above is their only long-term option. Instead of having a console that sells 10 million and a handheld that sells 50 million, they could have both a console AND a handheld with 60 million users/customers.

But based on what Iwata said, Nintendo's already focusing on making a new separate handheld and home console. They've already made the preparations to take advantage of the next generation's unified architectural strategy in combination with the company's restructured hardware division and new R&D building that will help communication between Nintendo's teams and HQ be more sufficient .This unified approach will also likely lead to Nintendo providing shared eShop account (like what Wii U already has with 3DS) and cross-platform support (something Nintendo's already begun experimenting with in current generation with the upcoming release of Mario vs. DK: Tipping Stars). Nintendo seems willing to risk prioritizing its own console design agenda with a reliance on 2nd party partnerships instead of trying to make a bigger effort to please and attract third parties. Quite frankly, whatever way Nintendo thinks it can attract third parties to Wii U's successor will likely end up being a naive, half-baked strategy like what happened with Wii U.

I agree with others about Nintendo needing to stay withing a mass market price range of $250 (even if it means possible selling it at an initial loss, but one that won't allow Nintendo to operate at a loss for as long as they had to with Wii U) . I think $200 would be difficult to get to even if Nintendo goes with a marginally more powerful Wii U, albeit with some new and old hardware features despite using a regular non-gimmicky controller. However, Nintendo may very well still believe that it has to change how we play games as one of the main pillars of differentiating its hardware from Sony and Microsoft's. How they chose to do it is anyone's guess, but it obviously presents a challenge to any video game company, but in an industry that has moved away from third party exclusives, it just presents a barrier for third parties when they don't view the benefits of hardware features making up for the lack of hardware power and the ease of multiplatform development across next generation home consoles.
 

Halabane

Member
Feb 22, 2013
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actually it could be real simple. none of the other two consoles support 4k tv. Just build a box that will give you netflix and other streaming services and disks to use 4k tv. P0lus your normal games. The other guys I believe need a hardware update to get to 4k. You could be out front.

That would be the high end option. The lesson here for nintendo is that 400 dollar boxes will sell if you load it with enough tech.
 

Calamari41

41 > 38
Jan 6, 2012
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1) The key is the successful implementation of the common OS/architecture strategy going forward. If developers don't have to pick and choose whether they're making a game for handheld or home console, but rather they just put out the game they want with different graphical fidelity levels (like a PC game), half the battle will be over.

2) Launch the new console and handheld, which can both play the same games at different graphical levels, at or near the same time. Unify the brand, like iPhone and iPad, and get the user base for NintendOS as high as you can as fast as you can in order to sell as many games as you can.

3) Forget third parties (for now). This is not to say that you write them off and tell them to get lost, but rather you need to operate on the assumption that they won't be there. If you can support NintendOS with droughtless software releases by yourself, the ecosystem will be successful and the third parties will come on their own. Do what you can to get them, but don't depend on them being there.

4) The launch needs to be a big event. The first six months to a year needs to be packed with releases that get attention. 3D Mario, Twilight Princess Remake, Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 9, Retro Metroid, an Amiibo focused game, a Rainfall-esque game, and a couple of third party collaborations like (but not necessarily) Hyrule Warriors 2 or what Sony has done with Street Fighter V to fill in genre gaps. The point being that people won't buy in on hype and potential alone. They need to look at the near future and say to themselves "Yeah, I need to play at least a couple of the games on the docket here." Throw in the next gen of Pokemon, playable on both handheld and home console, and watch adoption rates jump.

5) Iterate the handheld and console every two years, switching off so that there is a new piece of hardware out there each year. I'm talking upgrades like the difference between iphone/ipad gens, or upgrades like 3DS to New 3DS, all fully backward, cross, and forward compatible. With this system in place, the idea of hardware generations will be a thing of the past. Nintendo won't be starting from zero at hardware transitions ever again, and they can gradually keep up with advances in power while still catering to the people who don't want to upgrade quite yet. Just think of the game sales difference if Skyward Sword were available on 3DS and in HD on Wii U at launch, and if NSMBU were available to buy on the Wii and 3DS in addition to the Wii U. We're talking millions more in sales. Make this kind of thing standard going forward and both the software and the hardware is always relevant, competitive, and in the minds of the overall NintendOS userbase.

Edit: 6) I almost forgot an important piece. Virtual console. This needs to be up and fully running at launch, with at least the current full contents of the Wii U eShop available for purchase right off the bat. The entire Wii U catalog should be hitting new buyers in the face at a discount. Anybody who didn't buy a Wii U would most likely dip into that catalogue if it were sitting right there for the taking. This is a unique situation, because the Wii U catalogue will not have been experienced by a huge number of people who buy into the new ecosystem. Even up to 4/5ths of current 3DS owners haven't played a Wii U game.
 

Gunslinger

Member
Sep 29, 2014
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well the obvious answer is to get on par with your competition if not out do them hardware spec wise. Ditch gimmicks imo and go for a gamecube type of system. IMO that was their best console. Better than NES.
 

sfried

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Apr 25, 2009
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3) Forget third parties (for now). This is not to say that you write them off and tell them to get lost, but rather you need to operate on the assumption that they won't be there. If you can support NintendOS with droughtless software releases by yourself, the ecosystem will be successful and the third parties will come on their own. Do what you can to get them, but don't depend on them being there.

Many people here at NeoGAF run under the assupmtion that Nintendo cannot support themselves with 3rd party alone. I think what's needed is a steady stream of releases, which leads us to:

7)Court more developers to become 1st/2nd Nintendo in-house teams - Considering Nintendo could use not just more manpower, but more diversity, having many more development houses would at least force Nintendo create more new IPs, or at least the "new IPs" that would get people's attention (and by people I mean NeoGAF). Despite games like The Wonderful 101, Splatoon, and the Xenoblade series/Operation Rainfall game, they didn't get as much attention as they needed due to...

8)Invest heavily on increased smarter marketing - ...Nintendo lacking enough marketing power to make people aware of these new franchises. Europe has been getting a fair share of better awareness (most likely) due to better advertising campaigns. Right now in America they could do more public/prime time TV adds along with their focused ads, with the ideology of targeting the older demographic. That said, a game such Splatoon, for example, should receive heavy advertising on networks such as Nickelodeon and other "family" networks, while having separate ads for prime time that target the older crowd (the kind of ads that can be run on Comedy Central).

9) Have more collaborations with 3rd parties - Nobody can deny the strength of Nintendo branding, so even if it is silly shit like what they did with Monster Hunter (or heck, even all the way back with EA in the GameCube era), it would still be beneficial both in terms of development (since less low quality ports, as Nintendo supervising would pretty much jump the priority of said port up the ladder) and also in terms of getting 3rd parties experienced with Nintendo hardware. The other points regarding developer friendliness/SDKs/having good documentation for newer Nintendo consoles still apply here, only this time collaboration will force developers to touch these kits instead of forcing them to collect dust.
 

geordiemp

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Sep 5, 2013
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: Make a console comparable in power to PS4. It should be better at some things, if not all. Negative publicity focusing on Wii U's horsepower hurt its image immensely in the U.S. along w/ the spotty ports at launch. Budget the TDP at 100 watts and have the "gimmick" be inexpensive (like the Wii remotes accelerometers and unlike the Gamepad). 16nm process node and they should be good to compete.

Price it at $300, since in 2016/2017, this is around where Sony/MS should be with their consoles.
.

Nintendo like
Nintendo like profits
, a direct quote from themselves at most finance meetings, they build low cost and sell high.

If they make a better and cheaper version of Ps4 and undercut Sony, using less power and 16 nm process....hats off to them. They will of beaten Sony and MS at their own game in one shot......Nintendo like money too much to build a high power console and would be against recent form, but you never know.

Personally I am all for a stronger console than Ps4, from anyone, as its too weak imo. No comments on the others.
 

ArkhamFantasy

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Oct 13, 2013
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With Nintendo's art style's theres really no need for PS4 power, They should focus on keeping the cost down around 200 dollars, at that price its an impulse buy.
 

RPGam3r

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May 12, 2014
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Stop splitting your market! One console, handheld hybrid. Game on the go, or come home, dock and play on a TV with a controller.
 

Calamari41

41 > 38
Jan 6, 2012
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With Nintendo's art style's theres really no need for PS4 power, They should focus on keeping the cost down around 200 dollars, at that price its an impulse buy.

250 for the console, 200 for the handheld should be their upper limit. The beauty of the new iteration/upgrade every couple of years is that they can always have a console and handheld on the market at that price, but also have cheaper options available that play the same games. Think the current situation with the 3DS and New 3DS.
 

fritolay

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Jun 25, 2012
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All they gots to do is make more powerful console. Then get people to make multiplat games. Then when these games look better hopefully with some dev effort, people will buy it.

Even if next mario game or whatever single party looks amazing, that is not going to cut it. They need Madden, GTA, FIFA, COD, etc and have them superior on their console.
 

evilromero

Member
Jun 15, 2004
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Nintendo would get a lot of attention if they developed a hugely ambitious Mario 64 sequel. I know it's cliche on this board to say so, but really, that game was a landmark event in terms of graphics and gameplay. It was during a time when Nintendo was very invested in powerful technology to improve gameplay experiences.

A very powerful console launching with an eye-popping HUGE 3D Mario world to explore would get a lot of attention and be a showcase of the new platform. This would of course require ample resources from Nintendo but they still need these kind of experiences to draw in new fans (and old).

People easily forget that Nintendo was always pushing the boundaries of gameplay back in the 80s and 90s. Starting with DK and then SMB, they were always innovating new ways to explore gameplay spaces. That philosophy changed during the Wii era when they began introducing less games like Twilight Princess, Mario Galaxy and Metroid Prime. Those games were more the exception to the rule. Instead we got more stuff like Wii Party, Wii Fit and Wii Sports, which were all still good fun games, but not substantial gamer experiences like the previously mentioned.
 

Laconic

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Jul 29, 2013
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I need to add this thread to favorites.

That way, when Nintendo as a game company goes under, I can reference it.
 

Tye The Czar

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May 1, 2013
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I say don't try to directly compete with Sony and MS. GameCube was almost always dead last during its gen.

Look for better Killer Innovations instead. They knocked it out of the park with DS, Wii, and 3DS. The DS and 3DS in particular were loved by developers because of all the possible ways to use touch screens(before iPhone caught on of course). The Wii gave birth to a huge casual audience and made them a butt-ton of money.

The Wii U failed to capture anyone's imagination because it felt too familiar.

I think if Nintendo started blazing trails in education - teaching using games - they have the potential for a Wii-level financial success.

Lastly, if Dan Adelman's interview is evidence enough, Nintendo needs to lose its seniority focus and allow more autonomy within its subsidaries. Wouldn't you love to see what NoA could do on their own the way Sony CEA and Europe have?
 

Angry Fork

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Jun 12, 2010
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The only thing that would get me interested in their next console is a total appropriation of the imagery/nostalgia from N64. If they made sequels/remakes of N64 stuff, or entirely new games that draw on similar inspiration, I'd be on board. Also expand 1st party into non-family friendly games like horror.

A Mario 64 sequel with more exploration, more open ended/open world focus might get me to buy their console alone. I didn't really like the Galaxy series, I found their linearity disappointing and boring.
 

Felspawn

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Jun 17, 2013
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Release a console with a steady stream of AAA titles for at least a year after launch. People forget that the WII U actually didnt do badly initially but fell flat on its face a few months later when there was nothing to play. ALSO make sure if you release a follow up console thst looks almost the same as the first with practicaly the same name to advertise it as a follow up. To many people saw the wii U's tablet and didnt realize it was an entirely new system.

Lastly dont alienate 3rd party devs and publisher with a controller thats completely different then everyone elses.
 

Metallix87

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Mar 26, 2009
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The only thing that would get me interested in their next console is a total appropriation of the imagery/nostalgia from N64. If they made sequels/remakes of N64 stuff, or entirely new games that draw on similar inspiration, I'd be on board. Also expand 1st party into non-family friendly games like horror.

A Mario 64 sequel with more exploration, more open ended/open world focus might get me to buy their console alone. I didn't really like the Galaxy series, I found their linearity disappointing and boring.

This all sounds horrible. Nintendo 64 was arguably Nintendo's weakest console in terms of software output.
 

trickyhero

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May 29, 2013
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Make the next console the easiest to publish on for indies compared to other consoles, that could make it a no brainer for kickstarter goals, would be big.
 

mechphree

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Aug 31, 2013
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I'm convinced they can't win back marketshare, at least not with current management.

I mean, yes, if they made very good decisions and made some sweeping changes to their strategies and came out swinging for the ropes with their next console in a place that really competed with the competition and attracted third parties, then sure, they could.

But this current Nintendo won't. They continuously make bad decisions that are out of touch with the current videogame market, and that falls squarely on the management. Their games are awesome, their decisions are horrible. The Wii-U attempting to get lighting to strike twice in a row. Designing a gamepad controller that even Nintendo themselves barely used, and then refusing to cut it from the SKU and sell a console without it to compete at a better price point. Failing to attract third party games to the system, hell even when the third parties contact THEM to develop on the Wii-U (Mojang with Minecraft). Recently the whole youtube video policy program, once again assuring that Nintendo is out of touch with the market and refuses to advance in any order that could help them gain marketshare in large amounts.

This current Nintendo doesn't know how to compete in today's market, they want to make their own little niche in the market and do it all their way, not the market's way. Which may work for them business wise, but it won't be hugely profitable and nor will it get them anywhere near their former glory days. If they follow their current course they will continue to bleed marketshare to the competitors who provide the consoles, games, and services that the majority of consumers want (Mobile, Steam, PS4, and X1). Eventually they will lose enough marketshare to truly have a visibility problem where only the real diehard Nintendo fans will be their customers.


If they want to reverse course, then management has to do a 180° on a lot of their decisions and practices, which I just don't see happening without a changing of the guard I'm afraid.

I disagree, they could change. 2 or 3 years ago people were saying the exact same thing about Sony, especially right after the PS3 dropped. I do agree a new management style is needed. Iwata needs to stop looking at nintendo consoles as only mario/Zelda/donkey kong distributors. I'd like to see nintendo be the first console of choice. Not the 2nd or 3rd one.

They can get 3rd party support back if they open up their hardware , have way better online systems and less droughts.
 

shouamabane

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Jun 21, 2004
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Backwards compatibility and cross compatibility with portable games both go a long way for me. Super Gameboy and Gameboy Player were great. If Wii U could play 3DS games I'd have less time to complain. I'd be busy playing those games on my TV.

NES --> SNES
GB --> GBA
N64 --> Gamecube
DS --> 3DS
Wii --> Wii U

I've never been more curious to see what Nintendo does with hardware.
 

Taker666

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Apr 26, 2005
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Stop splitting your market! One console, handheld hybrid. Game on the go, or come home, dock and play on a TV with a controller.

People keep saying this...but seem to forget that if you combine the two (and want a home console that is at least a small step up from the Wii U)...it's going to up the price.

A handheld that costs $199 and a Console that sells at $249...are both likely to do far better than a hybrid device that costs $349.

If you're just going to have a $199 handheld with HDMI out or a docking station with a tv output...then the console side isn't going to be up to much. Better to have a cross platform OS with a handheld working like a low end PC and the console a high end one.
 

I Wanna Be The Guy

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Apr 4, 2013
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Crash to Uncharted to TLOU. Multiple awards and GOTY's for all three franchises and most recently TLOU. That seems fairly ambitious to me. Then again were so busy posting on NeoGaf thats we don't have time to make silly award winning games. So what do I know?
Making good games isn't the same as making ambitious games. Crash was great but didn't really bring anything new to he platforming genre. With Uncharted they literally ripped the platforming mechanics straight out of Tomb Raider Legend and combined it with generic third person shooting gameplay with slick cinematic presentation.UC is not ambitious in any way other than maybe visuals. The only game they've made that I'd consider ambitious is The Last of Us.