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

Father_Brain

Banned
Jun 7, 2004
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Notice I didn't say hardware. Im talking about home consoles. 3DS is not a home console. It's been clear for a long time that Nintendo's success in the handheld market doesn't translate over to home consoles because it's an entirely different audience. And their handheld business is in a pretty clear decline as well. They need to be worried that the 3DS successor isn't the handheld version of the GameCube or Wii U.

IIRC, sorine believes that the contraction of the dedicated handheld market caused by iOS/Android was a past event and not an ongoing trend. Suffice it to say that I don't agree at all.
 

Cream

Banned
Oct 9, 2014
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Innovate.

They CAN'T just do what the other two are doing.

They need to do what Nintendoes best. Something no one else has done before.
 

sörine

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Sep 1, 2013
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Notice I didn't say hardware. Im talking about home consoles. 3DS is not a home console. It's been clear for a long time that Nintendo's success in the handheld market doesn't translate over to home consoles because it's an entirely different audience. And their handheld business is in a pretty clear decline as well. They need to be worried that the 3DS successor isn't the handheld version of the GameCube or Wii U.
The point of giving overall hardware figures was to illustrate that Nintendo's brands do still have serious pull, enough pull to move 60 million systems so far. That isn't the sign of weak brands or limited consumer appeal, particularly when it's done without the benefit of defacto industry wide support.

I'm not so certain the console and handheld markets are inherently composed of entirely different audiences either. They certainly weren't last gen between the 250m units of Wii and DS, and I think there's probably an argument to be made that 3DS is doing a lot to cannibalize Wii U sales now. It's not an issue of missed translation so much, it's almost the reverse; the handheld's so close now there's less incentive to spring for a console with mostly the same sort of games.
 

sörine

Banned
Sep 1, 2013
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IIRC, sorine believes that the contraction of the dedicated handheld market caused by iOS/Android was a past event and not an ongoing trend. Suffice it to say that I don't agree at all.
No, it's definitely ongoing. And it's not going to stop at just handhelds and Wii most likely.
 

The Artisan

Member
Jul 13, 2014
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Didn't the Gamecube make Nintendo a profit from the very beginning?

Is a 20 million+ selling system with powerful hardware and somewhat decent third party support really a bad thing?


The Wii was lightning in the bottle that they're likely never going to catch again.
I wouldn't say so, no. Not at all. and Gamecube's biggest problem might've been those proprietary discs. They were proprietary right?
 

Ninja Scooter

Member
Jun 7, 2004
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sörine;150687137 said:
The point of giving overall hardware figures was to illustrate that Nintendo's brands do still have serious pull, enough pull to move 60 million systems so far. That isn't the sign of weak brands or limited consumer appeal, particularly when it's done without the benefit of defacto industry wide support.

I'm not so certain the console and handheld markets are inherently composed of entirely different audiences either. They certainly weren't last gen between the 250m units of Wii and DS, and I think there's probably an argument to be made that 3DS is doing a lot to cannibalize Wii U sales now. It's not an issue of missed translation so much, it's almost the reverse; the handheld's so close now there's less incentive to spring for a console with mostly the same sort of games.

It's a sign of a weaker brand when the 60 million is coming off a generation where they sold 200 million. That's a pretty fucking steep decline.
 

Kusagari

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Dec 29, 2005
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i wouldn't say it was... wii was actually pretty well calculated as per the market.

nintendo knew a gamecube 2 would just see diminished returns so they went with a different strategy that was pretty well thought out

true they may never see that level of success again but i don't think it was some spontaneous stroke of luck thing. and i think they're capable of of doing something similar again

The Wii was well calculated but it's also important to realize why it was well calculated. The Wii boomed right before the tablet/phone explosion that has happened in the last 3-4 years. It captured a casual market that wanted to play games in some form but found the traditional controller too frustrating.

I think the main thing Nintendo was probably hoping for was that they would turn these people into console gamers, but I don't think they really succeeded in that regard. Instead, they simply moved on with the zeitgeist to tablets and phones. And I really don't know what Nintendo could possibly do to pull these people back in to once again purchasing a $100+ console just to play games.

I do think that the core market is bigger than it has ever been, but the younger consumers are more and more disconnected from Nintendo. They've largely grown up with Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto, not Mario and Zelda. Convincing these people to abandon Sony and MS is an endeavor that seems more difficult than anything Nintendo has ever faced before.

In every single way that matters to that core, such as third party support and online infrastructure, they're woefully behind.
 

sörine

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Sep 1, 2013
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It's a sign of a weaker brand when the 60 million is coming off a generation where they sold 200 million. That's a pretty fucking steep decline.
I'm not arguing otherwise. I'm just saying a software portfolio that can single handedly drive 60m+ hardware units can't really be called weak, even in today's post smartphone world. Can you name any other game company who could manage that?
 

AmyS

Member
Aug 22, 2012
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I guess there's nothing they can do. Nintendo might as well quit making consoles (perhaps handhelds too) because they cannot win.

/sarcasm
 

RedSwirl

Junior Member
Mar 29, 2009
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A lot of these posts seem to assume Nintendo can flip a switch and become something it's never been. Like the posts asking for Iwata and Miyamoto to essentially be edged out. We don't know a huge amount about how Nintendo is set up with its executives and everything, but I'm pretty sure it's in a way that's solidified its leadership, or at least made it very conservative. Nintendo isn't just a Japanese company, it's a Kyoto-based company, which according to that guy who use to run the indie division, is to a Japanese company what a Japanese company is to most American companies.

The same goes for Nintendo hopping onto the latest hardware. For at least 30 years Nintendo's motto has been "lateral thinking with withered technology." It still is today, which is why those guys over there don't really give a fuck about the latest hardware for the sake of the latest hardware. They're always thinking about what hardware will let them create the experiences they want to create.

I guess therein lies the problem of Nintendo making hardware for its own developers over the interests of third parties. I think that's the one piece of mentality that would have to change. Nintendo would need to rebuilt bridges with other developers, big and small, in the hardware planning stages. The rest would fall into place after that I feel.

As for the company's leadership and philosophy, for it to take a 180 I think the whole thing would have to burn down. Nintendo would have to spend several years being torn apart the way SEGA was through the years between the Genesis/Mega Drive and the Dreamcast. It would probably have to lose a shitload more money than it is now, and at that point Nintendo wouldn't have other businesses to keep itself afloat like Microsoft and Sony do (unless QOL takes off).
 

orthodoxy1095

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Dec 15, 2013
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The Wii was well calculated but it's also important to realize why it was well calculated. The Wii boomed right before the tablet/phone explosion that has happened in the last 3-4 years. It captured a casual market that wanted to play games in some form but found the traditional controller too frustrating.

I think the main thing Nintendo was probably hoping for was that they would turn these people into console gamers, but I don't think they really succeeded in that regard. Instead, they simply moved on with the zeitgeist to tablets and phones. And I really don't know what Nintendo could possibly do to pull these people back in to once again purchasing a $100+ console just to play games.

I do think that the core market is bigger than it has ever been, but the younger consumers are more and more disconnected from Nintendo. They've largely grown up with Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto, not Mario and Zelda. Convincing these people to abandon Sony and MS is an endeavor that seems more difficult than anything Nintendo has ever faced before.

In every single way that matters to that core, such as third party support and online infrastructure, they're woefully behind.
Not to be contradictory, but is there any proof that the casual market found the traditional controller too frustrating? It always seemed to me that the Wii captured a casual market who was more tired of the same kind of controls and who had their imaginations captured by a new gimmick.

I also think that it does a disservice to say that kids now are growing up with Call of Duty and GTA. I know kids that play those, but really kids have all kinds of games they're playing these days, and they're not all bloody murder sims. The fact that they're actually playing family-friendly games that aren't Nintendo games is what is so important to note about the market.
 

legend166

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Jan 31, 2007
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Yup. Wouldn't and shouldn't happen.
Would destroy them. They simply don't have the resources to compete at that level... They couldn't sustain the loss on hardware Theyd have to take to get to a competitive price point for their auidence, and they couldn't spend the mass amounts of disposable cash it takes to bring that product to market and make it successful.

It's simply unrealistic from a business perspective.
Differentiate or die. More powerful sure. But to leap current gen to satisfy the demands here? I'm skeptical. Sooner everyone grasps that the happier they'd be with the eventual product.

I think there's something to be said for Nintendo basically getting 'off sync' with Sony and MS regarding their hardware release dates.

Come in midway through the generation and they're able to release a similarly powered console for $250-$300
 

4Tran

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Mar 10, 2013
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I do think that the core market is bigger than it has ever been, but the younger consumers are more and more disconnected from Nintendo. They've largely grown up with Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto, not Mario and Zelda. Convincing these people to abandon Sony and MS is an endeavor that seems more difficult than anything Nintendo has ever faced before.
The lack of the most important game to the children demographic shows just how far Nintendo has slipped.

In every single way that matters to that core, such as third party support and online infrastructure, they're woefully behind.
The Wii led Nintendo to avoid a lot of the modern infrastructure that gamers have come to expect. In a way, the Wii might eventually do more to hurt Nintendo's business than it did help it.

sörine;150687890 said:
I'm not arguing otherwise. I'm just saying a software portfolio that can single handedly drive 60m+ hardware units can't really be called weak, even in today's post smartphone world. Can you name any other game company who could manage that?
While the Wii U's sales can be largely attributed to Nintendo's first party games, the same is not necessarily true of the 3DS.
 

RedSwirl

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Mar 29, 2009
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And when I say "get with third parties on the hardware," I mean asking questions like:

"What does the hardware need in order to run your latest graphics engine?"
"What do you need in order to run Unity?"
"What do you need to run Unreal 4?"
 

StevieP

Banned
Sep 10, 2006
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Are you implying that exclusive software doesn't sell systems unless it's moving the same amount of copies as GTA or Call of Duty?

Not me. That's what sales are implying.
Exclusives aren't what's driving PS4 sales.

How is it a pipe dream?

MK8 isn't coming out on PS4.

at least the gamecube did not see a massive loss of 3rd party support,

Yes it did. And that's in an age where it's much cheaper to make a game, easier to port to, and third parties weren't making very few games like they are now (targeted all to the same audience)

I wouldn't say so, no. Not at all. and Gamecube's biggest problem might've been those proprietary discs. They were proprietary right?

They're as proprietary as Wii U discs. Which is to say they're standard mini DVDs made differently than the DVD standard. That isn't what led to the Gamecube's demise. Most games that generation would've fit on a single mini DVD, and almost nothing is insurmountable where there's money to be made. See: XBox 360 multiple disc games. You and many others are ignoring the core issues and just looking at hardware.

Not to be contradictory, but is there any proof that the casual market found the traditional controller too frustrating?

Yes. There is plenty of evidence for that. Give your controller to your grandpa and boot up GTA V.

I also think that it does a disservice to say that kids now are growing up with Call of Duty and GTA. I know kids that play those, but really kids have all kinds of games they're playing these days, and they're not all bloody murder sims. The fact that they're actually playing family-friendly games that aren't Nintendo games is what is so important to note about the market.

Aside from Minecraft, you should check out what NPD's top 10s look like.

4Tran said:
The lack of the most important game to the children demographic shows just how far Nintendo has slipped.

The decision as to where Minecraft goes wasn't and isn't Nintendo's.
 

orthodoxy1095

Banned
Dec 15, 2013
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Yes. There is plenty of evidence for that. Give your controller to your grandpa and boot up GTA V.
My grandpa and I have actually played games with a controller before and he's had little to no trouble outside of his Parkinsons, which of course would make motion controls impossible. So no, your terrible example is not "plenty of evidence."
Aside from Minecraft, you should check out what NPD's top 10s look like.
The last time I checked, NPD's don't give us a demographic breakdown of what the top 10 games for kids are.
 

Father_Brain

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Jun 7, 2004
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The Wii led Nintendo to avoid a lot of the modern infrastructure that gamers have come to expect. In a way, the Wii might eventually do more to hurt Nintendo's business than it did help it.

Absolutely, Nintendo is to some extent a victim of its own success. They should have been making drastic changes to their core business around the time that 3DS and Wii U began R&D, circa 2008-2009 or so. But unfortunately, that was exactly the period when they were enjoying peak Wii/DS profits, and success tends to be a poor teacher.
 

RedSwirl

Junior Member
Mar 29, 2009
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Here we go: http://www.dromble.com/2015/02/04/w...m-a-future-next-generation-nintendo-handheld/

For Nintendo to break this cycle, I think they need to invest and absorb some of the risk for third parties who try to embrace the features of Nintendo platforms and help communicate to consumers which games are on par with Nintendo first party games in terms of quality. Sony and Microsoft spend a lot of money securing exclusives – or at least exclusive features – on the top games and since Nintendo doesn’t really do that, third parties focus on the other systems. I’m not sure about Sony, but I know Microsoft also has a team of technical people that will go work with a studio for a few weeks or even months to help them make their games as good as they can be on those platforms.

If Nintendo doesn’t want to be a first-party-only system, they may need to be more aggressive in securing those games and making sure that they’re high quality.

In many interviews, you’ve spoken publicly about how difficult it was to pass policies and get things done at Nintendo. For example, in your Kotaku interview you said, “I absolutely did try to fight internally to change whatever I could.” In your IndieGamerchick interview, you said, “Unfortunately, it was hard to get the changes I needed because no one could hear me over the ringing of all the cash registers.”

But why was it so difficult to get things done at Nintendo?

Is there a lot of bureaucracy, additional layers of management, and red tape?

Is it because NOA offices are not very autonomous, and you need to always report to Japan (NCL)?

Adelman:
Nintendo is not only a Japanese company, it is a Kyoto-based company. For people who aren’t familiar, Kyoto-based are to Japanese companies as Japanese companies are to US companies. They’re very traditional, and very focused on hierarchy and group decision making. Unfortunately, that creates a culture where everyone is an advisor and no one is a decision maker – but almost everyone has veto power.

Even Mr. Iwata is often loathe to make a decision that will alienate one of the executives in Japan, so to get anything done, it requires laying a lot of groundwork: talking to the different groups, securing their buy-in, and using that buy-in to get others on board. At the subsidiary level, this is even more pronounced, since people have to go through this process first at NOA or NOE (or sometimes both) and then all over again with headquarters. All of this is not necessarily a bad thing, though it can be very inefficient and time consuming. The biggest risk is that at any step in that process, if someone flat out says no, the proposal is as good as dead. So in general, bolder ideas don’t get through the process unless they originate at the top.

There are two other problems that come to mind. First, at the risk of sounding ageist, because of the hierarchical nature of Japanese companies, it winds up being that the most senior executives at the company cut their teeth during NES and Super NES days and do not really understand modern gaming, so adopting things like online gaming, account systems, friends lists, as well as understanding the rise of PC gaming has been very slow. Ideas often get shut down prematurely just because some people with the power to veto an idea simply don’t understand it.

The last problem is that there is very little reason to try and push these ideas. Risk taking is generally not really rewarded. Long-term loyalty is ultimately what gets rewarded, so the easiest path is simply to stay the course. I’d love to see Nintendo make a more concerted effort to encourage people at all levels of the company to feel empowered to push through ambitious proposals, and then get rewarded for doing so.
 

sörine

Banned
Sep 1, 2013
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While the Wii U's sales can be largely attributed to Nintendo's first party games, the same is not necessarily true of the 3DS.
Okay, 3DS can it attribute it to mainly Nintendo games and a little bit of Monster Hunter and Yo-Kai Watch. Both of which might as well be Nintendo games these days.
 

4Tran

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Mar 10, 2013
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The decision as to where Minecraft goes wasn't and isn't Nintendo's.
Minecraft is only available on Windows, OS X, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Raspberry Pi, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita so it's obvious that Mojang was unwilling to work with Nintendo.

sörine;150690032 said:
Okay, 3DS can it attribute it to mainly Nintendo games and a little bit of Monster Hunter and Yo-Kai Watch. Both of which might as well be Nintendo games these days.
They're not, and there are many more reasons why someone may want a 3DS. Besides, that's not even the point. It's as easy conflate 3DS sales with Nintendo's first party strength as it is to conflate the 3DS' loss of 50% to Nintendo's first party weakness.
 

magnumpy

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Sep 8, 2014
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I would be perfectly happy if nintendo just released a "me too" system. the unique nintendo flourishes will come from their software, but the hardware platform should be basically identical to X1 and PS4. then they could just concentrate on releasing unique software and let the third parties do their thing unimpeded.
 

EatinOlives

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Oct 23, 2011
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Nintendo really does need to make a console that can significantly compete with whatever Sony/MS have out, so that they can get 3rd party ports. That much a can agree with.

But a traditional controller/ no gimmick nintendo console will be dead on arrival. There isn't room for 3 traditional controller consoles+PC to be successful, that much should be obvious by now.

Nintendo clearly wants to make traditional games, though. Essentially every first party title released so far is perfectly playable with the Pro Controller. Most of the first party games on the Wii were similarly devoid of significant motion controls.

Nintendo as a hardware developer seems to be a different entity from Nintendo as a software developer. The hardware developer side of them wants to make funky little innovations to change up things, but when they get to creating some serious software those innovations are used very little, if at all.

Let me put it this way. The reason why I bought and why I am playing the shit out of the WiiU right now has absolutely nothing to do with the Gamepad. Hell, I haven't even played a single time on the Gamepad ever since I got a Pro Controller. I doubt anyone playing Mario Kart 8, NSMBU, Smash 4, Bayo 2, or Tropical Freeze would tell you that the Gamepad truly made a big difference in those games.
 

sörine

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Sep 1, 2013
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They're not, and there are many more reasons why someone may want a 3DS. Besides, that's not even the point. It's as easy conflate 3DS sales with Nintendo's first party strength as it is to conflate the 3DS' loss of 50% to Nintendo's first party weakness.
It's less than that launch aligned (closer to 40%). Not that Nintendo's handheld decline isn't significant, it is. But it'd be orders of magnitude more signficant if they had a portfolio like Sony, Microsoft, EA, Sega or any other single publisher to try and sell it with. What they've managed they've done on the backs of their own games for the most part.

And sure there are other reasons to buy a 3DS. Just not any significant enough to really shift market forces appreciably. I mean I love Etrian Odyssey and would totally buy hardware just to play it, but there aren't many other people who would.
 

RedSwirl

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Mar 29, 2009
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On the third party subject, here's a new article where like 30 developers say what they want from a new Nintendo handheld: http://www.dromble.com/2015/02/04/w...m-a-future-next-generation-nintendo-handheld/

I'll just repost what I said in the other thread.

“One of the things I love about Nintendo is that they are the epitome of a phrase I (think I) coined: “Give people what they don’t know they want.” With each iteration of Nintendo’s handhelds they did things I wasn’t even sure I wanted, or liked, until I had it in my hands and realized how great it was (shoulder buttons, dual screens, touch input, etc).

The way they take seemingly boring tech and make it exciting is always something we relish seeing when their new hardware launches. A good example of this is Streetpass. Wireless communications are not exactly the most exciting sounding technology but when Nintendo got its hands on it suddenly they come up with a cool, fun, whacky way to exchange data without even needing to stop, open your console and speak to the other person!!

This is the epitome of how Nintendo operates. It's why Nintendo keeps doing its gimmicks.

That said, pats gimmicks usually worked because Nintendo had a game to go along with them that worked to both sell consumers on the gimmick and inspire developers. The N64's analog stick had Mario 64. The DS had Kirby Canvas Curse soon after launch. The Wii Remote had some games but they came too late. Wii Sports was a start, but if a game that utilized it as well as Metroid Prime 3, Skyward Sword (my personal opinion), Red Steel 2, or the Wii version of Pro Evolution Soccer was there at launch it would have had a much bigger impact. Perhaps Wii Sports Bowling should have just been it's own "Mario Bowling" game.

The gimmicks since haven't really had their killer apps. I think Nintendo should perhaps have had an RPG or a strategy game ready for the Wii U launch to show off what the GamePad could do for UI. Maybe Battalion Wars or a whole new type of Fire Emblem game.

Whatever Nintendo's next gimmick is, it needs to have a game good enough to sell it right off the bat.

But that is likely what most of us like would like. What I would really like to see happen, is see the Nintendo Web Framework and Unity programs of the Wii U make itself available to the next Nintendo handheld. This will enable indie developers like me a better chance at creating new indie games for the platform.

This is also a common theme in the article, once again emphasizing how much more Nintendo needs to talk to other developers. Right now Nintendo follows a "make the developers come to you" strategy, but that only worked back in the NES and SNES days when developers were forced to do that.
 

Chaos2Frozen

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Mar 20, 2014
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I thought people were perfectly happy with Nintendo's exclusivity box? Just couple it with the PC they say... It'll be fine they say...
 

Black-Wind

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May 17, 2008
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Make something I can believe in ..!

Make a strong console with a normal controller built for 3rd parties with up to date online and play ball with the other 2. Maybe they can make innovation in other ways that don't include a whacky over-priced gimmicky controller?

Same for the next hh, maybe we can drop the 3D and focus on what ya got Nintendo?

IDK ... I just know that I just can't bring myself to even consider paying full price for the Wii U (And I stopped using the 3D effect within a few weeks of getting it.). No matter how hard I wanna play Bayo and Big Screen Smash, no matter how hype I get for open-world-tittes-Link ... I just can't.

Maybe Pokken? Maybe ...
 
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Going to have to aim for a true Wii successor.
Easier said than done of course but that is what it will take. Trying to take the Gamecube route won't work.

Anecdotally speaking, the Wii is still more relevant than the WiiU from my experience.
What they'll need for the Wii2 I don't know. Simply bumping up graphics won't be enough.
 

CANLI

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Dec 4, 2006
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They dont need to change. They are the best developers in the world. When you see that GTA V has been sold 45 millions times, it means that the world is lost.
 

Effer

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Dec 12, 2013
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I hope they just keep it simple, good money value.

If they want it to succeed on the levels that the Wii and DS did too, they'll have to lower security and allow a little piracy. I think this is why the PSP was so successful too.
 

Lucina

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Feb 4, 2015
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They dont need to change. They are the best developers in the world. When you see that GTA V has been sold 45 millions times, it means that the world is lost.

Being the best dev doesn't mean their products will sell well. They aren't infallible. They don't levitate above the rest. They certainly have to adjust and adapt like anyone else.

Nintendo clearly doesn't always make the right decisions. So saying they don't have to change is kind of I dunno, not reality? I love Nintendo as much as you do. And I hope they continue to make the games they make so well. But they can't just rely on getting lucky like the Wii and being the first to the punch for the next big thing.
 

Gleethor

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Feb 3, 2012
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Its interesting to me that so many of you claim that you won't buy Nintendo's hypothetical next console if 3rd parties aren't on board. I'm wondering what exactly happens or changes for you in a scenario where they do have complete 3d party parity. Assuming that you currently have a non-nintendo console like a ps4 or xbone, do you cease buying 3rd party games on those platforms (and potentially their successors) in favor of buying them on Nintendo's platform? Or do you merely take satisfaction from the idea that a Nintendo console has decent 3rd party support and continue to treat it as a 1st party box?

I'm guessing that switching which platform you buy multiplats on is contingent on online infrastructure, where your friends are, DLC availability, technical parity and a myriad of other obstacles that Nintendo would have to overcome in order to get you to even consider buying Star Wars Battlefront 5 on their platform. Is your ps4/5 or xbone/xbtwo then relegated to a 1st party only box in this scenario? Or if you're the type of gamer who only buys/can afford one console, do you forgo Sony or Microsoft exclusives + multiplats in favor of Nintendo exclusives + multiplats?

I'm not trying shit on anyone's opinions or wishes, I'm genuinely curious as to what you would do if Nintendo succeeded with a "me-too" approach.
 

Log4Girlz

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May 23, 2006
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Its interesting to me that so many of you claim that you won't buy Nintendo's hypothetical next console if 3rd parties aren't on board. I'm wondering what exactly happens or changes for you in a scenario where they do have complete 3d party parity. Assuming that you currently have a non-nintendo console like a ps4 or xbone, do you cease buying 3rd party games on those platforms (and potentially their successors) in favor of buying them on Nintendo's platform? Or do you merely take satisfaction from the idea that a Nintendo console has decent 3rd party support and continue to treat it as a 1st party box?

I'm guessing that switching which platform you buy multiplats on is contingent on online infrastructure, where your friends are, DLC availability, technical parity and a myriad of other obstacles that Nintendo would have to overcome in order to get you to even consider buying Star Wars Battlefront 5 on their platform. Is your ps4/5 or xbone/xbtwo then relegated to a 1st party only box in this scenario? Or if you're the type of gamer who only buys/can afford one console, do you forgo Sony or Microsoft exclusives + multiplats in favor of Nintendo exclusives + multiplats?

I'm not trying shit on anyone's opinions or wishes, I'm genuinely curious as to what you would do if Nintendo succeeded with a "me-too" approach.

If Nintendo took the steps to gain third party support, which would mean drastically different hardware, marketing of said hardware etc, but was genuinely successful. I can just buy 1 fucking console and have 99% of everything I could possibly need.
 
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I don't think Nintendo can turn around its home console business. It won't catch blue ocean lightning in a bottle again and it doesn't have the resources to develop competitively-specced hardware.

Its only option is to retrench on its core fanbase, but this becomes less tenable with every generation. Nintendo built up a tremendous amount of goodwill during the third, fourth, and fifth console generations: a lot of people who started playing games during those generations started on Nintendo consoles, often as children. That nostalgia and loyalty is extremely durable, but it's not ironclad. It slowly decays with time as Nintendo gamers defect to other consoles or stop playing console games altogether, and Nintendo has exacerbated that attrition more and more with every successive generation.

During the fifth generation you could at least semi-plausibly make the argument that the best games of the generation were on the Nintendo 64, even if the PlayStation had a far larger library. This has become a harder argument to make with each successive generation. The Wii was a success among non-gamers but vaguely annoying to a lot of Nintendo's longtime fans, and the Wii U has been an ill-conceived disaster in almost every respect.

Even if Nintendo releases a solid successor to the Wii U that does everything right the simple fact is that it's been hemorrhaging its core fanbase for three generations at this point. There are fewer diehard Nintendo fans willing to buy a Nintendo console to play (almost) exclusively Nintendo games with every passing year. Nintendo isn't producing new fans at a replacement rate because kids don't start gaming on Nintendo consoles anymore. It's a vicious cycle.
 

GustyGardens

Banned
Feb 1, 2013
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They need to keep a gimmick controller because Nintendo has always done that with their console since the NES days. They can keep it standard looking and innovate from within. I'm not an R&D person, so that's the best I can come up with.

They need to make sure that their hardware is on-par with what the other guys are doing. Not really to compete, but to persuade 3rd parties to come on board. It would be pretty important consult one of the top publishers or development teams. My first choice would be Cliffy B. He's said on countless occasions that he loves Nintendo, so I think he'd jump at the opportunity to come on board as a consultant.

I really feel that they should partner up with an unexpected 3rd party like Valve. In my head, they would partner with Valve to bring some of their franchises as exclusives to Nintendo and PC. As a measure of good faith, Nintendo could lend out one of their lower priority franchises to them and have it available on Steam. I think that Fire Emblem would be a good fit. They could also offer hats and such for Team Fortress 2.

This puts Nintendo at an advantage. Nintendo gamers now have exclusive console access to Valve properties and PC gamers have exclusive access to some Nintendo franchises. This is where they could have the most trouble because they're often stuck inside their Japanese bubble. I believe that, if given a chance, Nintendo of America could really shine.

Winning back the market share isn't going to be easy, but I feel that these good faith moves with 3rd parties would be a step in the right direction. It's not going to happen on day one, but I believe if they focus on innovation, not only with their consoles, but with their relationships with the rest of the industry.

Their launch line-up is crucial. They'll most likely launch their new consoles before Sony and Microsoft, so they need to make sure that all of the big games that are going to be available for those consoles around the time of launch are also available and better on Nintendo. #ItsBetterWithNintendo They also need to hit it out of the park with a strong Nintendo title that will help push sales. Mario Kart would be an ideal candidate. Ideally, they would have a nice line-up of classic titles available as well. Pandering to peoples nostalgia is key.

As I said, it's not going to be an easy feat, but it's certainly doable.
 

Great Puma

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Apr 12, 2012
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I think it's hugely important that the higher ups at Nintendo take an honest look at the company and realize what it is, what it can be, and what it can't be.

In the foreseeable future, Nintendo pretty much has to go it alone with just first-party software. Third parties have given up on Nintendo, and the people still playing Nintendo systems only really want Mario, Zelda, etc. anyway. Throwing money hats at Rockstar, EA, etc. won't change the reality of the situation. That money would be better spent on partnerships, second-party deals that will help fill the calendar with exclusive titles that are more in line with the kinds of games Nintendo fans will buy.

Along those lines, Nintendo isn't able to change its brand perception in the short or even medium term. For better or worse, people have strong, long-standing opinions about the company. Nintendo can't suddenly be "cool" like PlayStation or Xbox, or be known for first-person shooters and sports games after mostly skipping them for more than a decade.

And Nintendo can't compete for casuals at all. Those players are perfectly served with free or almost-free time-wasters on phones, tablets, social media, etc. Maybe the secret QOL thingamajig will be awesome, but Nintendo is done selling game consoles on the back of software like Wii Fit and Brain Training. Core gamers are all they've got a shot at getting.

So, what does Nintendo have left? Almost certainly not enough to "beat" the other guys by selling more systems, but enough, I'd wager, to build a profitable and lasting business. Nintendo is an unparalleled software publisher. They own many of the most valuable, time-tested franchises in gaming, and their titles are generally among the best selling and highest rated. They don't need to dominate Sony and Microsoft, they just need to do what they do well, maximize every opportunity, and cultivate deep, lasting relationships with its customers.

I look at Nintendo like Pixar. Nobody complains that Pixar only makes cute, colorful movies. Nobody says Pixar should also produce war films. Pixar does one thing, but does it better than anybody else. If Nintendo embraced its image and put a positive spin on it (instead of talking big about any year-old third-party port they can beg off of someone), maybe the brand's limited focus on top-quality family content can be seen as a positive instead of a failure.

And Nintendo has to keep innovating, to keep trying to surprise and delight players. Also, I like Iwata's talk about rethinking the business of how games are sold; the structure and pricing. That's the kind of back-to-the-drawling-board brainstorming the industry needs right now. Hopefully they'll also take that next big, essential step into offering universal user accounts.

Last thing: Every console manufacturer needs to drive home the difference between a $60 console game and freemium bullshit. People need to know in their bones that when they settle for free or cheap phone games, they get what they pay for.
 
Feb 24, 2010
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I hope they just keep it simple, good money value.

If they want it to succeed on the levels that the Wii and DS did too, they'll have to lower security and allow a little piracy. I think this is why the PSP was so successful too.

It's certainly part of the reason why the PS1 became the gateway drug that it was.

I agree with some on this board that are striving for innovation, but you also have to accept the risk involved if the gamble fails. The Wii U attempted innovation after all, and it's not panning out as intended for many reasons.

The trends are telling us that the handheld side of the industry is in massive decline. This is going to be Nintendo's greatest problem. The 3DS can currently offset the lack of audience the Wii U is suffering from, if that safety net were gone, there could potentially be some problems, unless Nintendo's current business model is okay with the volume they're selling to the Wii-U.

So everyone chiming in with ideas of 3rd party support are only wanting the hardware to reach a wider audience, to allow Nintendo's software to maximize it's potential (think MK Wii vs MK8).

I know people hate it when the idea is brought up of Nintendo going 3rd party, but that's the very reason they bring it up. If MK Wii could sell 30 Million on 140 million Wii's, what could it sell on 180 million PS360's? If Nintendo's problem ends up being not having a large enough audience to receive their software, would it make more sense for them to have a larger pool? It's a bunch of hypothetical questions of course, and I don't think they'll do it. But if the Next handheld or consoles don't set the world on fire (which trends are pointing to, come on lightning in a bottle), then you'll have a repeat of the Wii U, amazing software that no one is playing.

I think if Nintendo want's to keep going with the current approach, they need a 1 platform device that they can dedicate all of their resources to. Nintendo can't afford huge dry spells on the next batch of machines, it's either 3rd party to fill in the gaps, or minimal downtime from 1st party.
 

4Tran

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Mar 10, 2013
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Imru’ al-Qays;150693470 said:
Even if Nintendo releases a solid successor to the Wii U that does everything right the simple fact is that it's been hemorrhaging its core fanbase for three generations at this point. There are fewer diehard Nintendo fans willing to buy a Nintendo console to play (almost) exclusively Nintendo games with every passing year. Nintendo isn't producing new fans at a replacement rate because kids don't start gaming on Nintendo consoles anymore. It's a vicious cycle.
I agree with your post, but Nintendo is bleeding their handheld customer base even faster than their diehard fans. Right now, they can use their 3DS gains to cover for their Wii U losses, but that's probably going to be impossible for their next console/handheld pair.

In the foreseeable future, Nintendo pretty much has to go it alone with just first-party software. Third parties have given up on Nintendo, and the people still playing Nintendo systems only really want Mario, Zelda, etc. anyway. Throwing money hats at Rockstar, EA, etc. won't change the reality of the situation. That money would be better spent on partnerships, second-party deals that will help fill the calendar with exclusive titles that are more in line with the kinds of games Nintendo fans will buy.
They didn't give up on Nintendo. It's Nintendo's platforms that don't offer the third parties anything. The difference is that the latter is correctable.
 

Ninja Scooter

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Jun 7, 2004
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sörine;150687890 said:
I'm not arguing otherwise. I'm just saying a software portfolio that can single handedly drive 60m+ hardware units can't really be called weak, even in today's post smartphone world. Can you name any other game company who could manage that?

I mean, Sony and MS last gen pushed 80 million each in consoles alone. Is 60 million between home and handheld all that impressive? Especially when it comes with over 50% userbase decline? I would call that a bad business plan.
 

Gleethor

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Feb 3, 2012
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If Nintendo took the steps to gain third party support, which would mean drastically different hardware, marketing of said hardware etc, but was genuinely successful. I can just buy 1 fucking console and have 99% of everything I could possibly need.

Indeed. I guess what I'm getting at is that many people seem to pop in here and say "Better hardware = 3rd parties = boom, Nintendo's golden" when there's so much more to it than that. Its incredibly unlikely that Nintendo would ever take the proper steps to change themselves that much and its even less likely that they would burn through the cash required to do so, especially when success is far from guaranteed even if everything is perfect.

So I guess I'd just prefer if Nintendo kept doing their Nintendo thing, for better or worse. Expecting anything else just isn't feasible, let alone realistic.
 
May 21, 2014
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I agree with your post, but Nintendo is bleeding their handheld customer base even faster than their diehard fans. Right now, they can use their 3DS gains to cover for their Wii U losses, but that's probably going to be impossible for their next console/handheld pair.

Yeah. Nintendo is headed for irrelevance. Maybe they can eke out a profit for one more generation. Maybe. But in the long term they either go third party or they hitch their cart to another major player's horse. The danger is that they'll waste time and resources dithering about their pointless hardware strategy when the core of any future success has to be safeguarding their software business.
 

Great Puma

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Apr 12, 2012
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I know people hate it when the idea is brought up of Nintendo going 3rd party, but that's the very reason they bring it up. If MK Wii could sell 30 Million on 140 million Wii's, what could it sell on 180 million PS360's?
That's what Sega thought when it went multi-platform. I think that, together on one console, Nintendo can put a spotlight on its games, really build a brand that gives everything a boost. But scattered amongst everything else on other platforms... I mean, Mario and Zelda would probably still sell, but something like Codename: Steam probably wouldn't even be attempted.

I think if Nintendo want's to keep going with the current approach, they need a 1 platform device that they can dedicate all of their resources to. Nintendo can't afford huge dry spells on the next batch of machines, it's either 3rd party to fill in the gaps, or minimal downtime from 1st party.
I totally agree. Combine the console and handheld into one unit and you crate a much stronger, supported software library. It'd also be seen as a neat feature and a cool value, and provide the requisite Nintendo twist in a way that doesn't impeded a more accepted, broadly-appealing gaming experience. That's a real hail-Mary though, because Nintendo would run the risk of tanking both product lines at once. And there'd almost certainly have to be a graphics downgrade -- or at least, the system wouldn't get any more powerful than Wii U. Because otherwise, when viewed first as a handheld, it'd seem too expensive and the development costs for games would be too high. PS Vita showed how big those problems can be.
 

spekkeh

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Apr 18, 2011
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They're never getting third parties back. The demographic isn't there, and if Nintendo cultivates the demographic, the third parties don't want to compete with Nintendo on their home turf. Still, cultivating the demographic is a good thing, so:

Have Nintendo of America become a development house again (or the thing that rises out of the ashes of NoA), create six other Retro Studios that pump out western style Nintendo games. Won't make them market leader or anywhere near close, but it's the safest route to sustainability.

Otherwise go all out on health and fitness.
 

Gleethor

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Feb 3, 2012
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I mean, Sony and MS last gen pushed 80 million each in consoles alone. Is 60 million between home and handheld all that impressive? Especially when it comes with over 50% userbase decline? I would call that a bad business plan.

I think the difference (and his point) is that Sony and MS had 3rd parties to help with that 80 million, Nintendo largely does not and still manages to achieve (relative) success.
 

John Harker

Definitely doesn't make things up as he goes along.
Feb 26, 2005
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Santa Destroy
I think there's something to be said for Nintendo basically getting 'off sync' with Sony and MS regarding their hardware release dates.

Come in midway through the generation and they're able to release a similarly powered console for $250-$300

It's a gamble, because They'd be launching year 1 games against year 3-4 ps4/bone games. They simply won't look as good. And current players have already invested thousands in their current ecosystem and may not be done or bored or looking for new experiences for another couple years. They'd really have to bring a big wow enhancement to current experiences at the same or less initial asking price to make an impact.
 

Ninja Scooter

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Jun 7, 2004
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I think the difference (and his point) is that Sony and MS had 3rd parties to help with that 80 million, Nintendo largely does not and still manages to achieve (relative) success.

That's my point though. Is it "success" if it really represents a terrible downward trend and an unsustainable business model?