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Sales-Age Nintendo's software IP is the reason for their dominance

Aug 28, 2019
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Sales != Quality, in absolute terms, and by that notion, Sales != Merit, either, again in absolute terms.

Look, I like quite a few Nintendo games, and I know their games have a consistency of technical polish to them that, while I say is not unchallenged in the industry (I'd hold this to be true since the day they jumped into consoles tbh), is definitely among the top of the stack.

But you also need to be aware of the reality that nostalgia is a HELL of a drug, and that's something Nintendo benefits from more than any other platform holder before or since. "Hook 'em while they're young", there's a reason that saying is so true. Kids, by their very nature, don't have fully formed objective rationality. Even adults don't necessarily until around age 25 (and these days, with so much BS in the world many don't even form it by that point :S). There's a reason companies like Disney and Nintendo appeal specifically (but not exclusively) to young kids: they know those kids will grow up into adults who then carry the nostalgia of their youth for the brand into adulthood, and pass it down to their kids, and the cycle repeats.

I'm not saying that is a bad thing, in fact it is smart business. However it does also ask the question how much of the accomplishments gen-over-gen are earned through merit, versus how much are earned simply due to built-in "favoritism" (this isn't the word I wanted to specifically use but it's decent enough for right now). That built-in factor of favoritism, gained through earlier rapport established with people in their youth, can make things pretty easy in many ways whereas others have to work harder to earn attention and respect on merit as they lack that nostalgic connection.
 
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TLZ

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I Dont Think So No Way GIF


They would've saved the Wii U, GameCube and N64. Even their popular SNES only sold around 50 mil.

It's their cheap, "quality" handheld devices. Just look at all their numbers. They did around 515 million alone. Compare that to their home console numbers at around 275 million. If it wasn't for their change in strategy going after the casual masses with the Wii, which luckily worked well for them, they'd probably be sitting under 200 million.

Nintendo saw this and clearly saw where their consistent money maker lies. That is why the Switch is what it is. The portable will sell. So sell that and just let it output to TV. Done.

Then their games come after that.
 

OrtizTwelve

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Look at the list of best selling Switch games and it's easy to understand why Switch is tracking ahead of every competitor in history in sales.












Nintendo basically needed one platform instead of two to dump all of their evergreens. They have this with the Switch and It's a first party selling monster.

This is why high specs that third parties demand are not all that important to Nintendo. They are completely self sustainable because of their massive back catalogue of priceless IP. They are masters of art style and can make these games look great even on weaker hardware. Anyone can run a subscription service. The IP on the other hand are irreplaceable and have a place in the fabric of society past and present.

Link, Mario, Kirby and Picachu are as iconic as Disney characters at this point, and they have a host of less notable IP but still incredibly loved IP like Fire Emblem, Xenoblade, Metroid, Kid Icarus, Fzero, Splatoon, Punchout ect. that still have sizeable followings and can turn out a future hit when Nintendo decides to dig deeper into their IP roster. Especially with all of their strength being on one platfrom now.

This is why I think Nintendo has been and will be around a lot longer than everyone else.







All very true. Nintendo does well because in general, most people like Nintendo games. The brand affinity for Nintendo is similar to what you see in Apple, Nike, Tesla, Disney — among others.
 
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Nintendo prevents games that have players that tells your kid he fucked your mom 24/7 or abby that gets railed in the ass because reasons good story telling 10/10. Parents don't want to deal with that shit and don't follow the market enough to care for that shit. they buy mario and know its a harmless mushroom jumper.

This is why all the top games from nintendo that always sell are completely harmless ip's.

That's kind of easy to avoid when you don't make many, if any, story-driven games or focus on games with incredibly safe themes. Which is good for the market, just worth pointing that out.
 

Marty-McFly

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They would've saved the Wii U, GameCube and N64. Even their popular SNES only sold around 50 mil.

It's their cheap, "quality" handheld devices. Just look at all their numbers. They did around 515 million alone. Compare that to their home console numbers at around 275 million. If it wasn't for their change in strategy going after the casual masses with the Wii, which luckily worked well for them, they'd probably be sitting under 200 million.

Nintendo saw this and clearly saw where their consistent money maker lies. That is why the Switch is what it is. The portable will sell. So sell that and just let it output to TV. Done.

Then their games come after that.


The main point of my thread is that unlike all of the other console generations you mentioned, Switch is doing so well because Nintendo is putting all of their IP's on the same platform in a good form-factor for both console and portable gamers.:messenger_ok:

Nintendo is putting all of its hits in one place.

Nintendo is no longer spreading itself too thin trying to support two platforms.
 
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They would've saved the Wii U, GameCube and N64. Even their popular SNES only sold around 50 mil.

It's their cheap, "quality" handheld devices. Just look at all their numbers. They did around 515 million alone. Compare that to their home console numbers at around 275 million. If it wasn't for their change in strategy going after the casual masses with the Wii, which luckily worked well for them, they'd probably be sitting under 200 million.

Nintendo saw this and clearly saw where their consistent money maker lies. That is why the Switch is what it is. The portable will sell. So sell that and just let it output to TV. Done.

Then their games come after that.

Yep, but apparently now devices marketed since 1989 as portable handhelds are now home consoles retroactively so 800 million "consoles" is legit because the textbook definition no one in the hobby has used for decades nor Nintendo used when marketing their handhelds pre-hybrid era Switch, is that a console is "a device specifically designed to play video games". 🤷‍♂️

I can accept 800 million gaming devices, which is a great feat in and of itself, but in terms of home consoles the most-sold title belongs to Sony and that isn't even close.
 

[Sigma]

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Nintendo established that you need their system to play their top dawg games. Don't ask for price cuts, don't ask for ports. You're not getting shit. Period. Come rain/sleet/hail or snow, you're going to pay for their major games. They've established prestige in terms of their ip and holds in highest regards. Over time it worked. Something the other two manufactures have failed to do because of leadership. Nintendo understands the game.
 
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The main point of my thread is that unlike all of the other console generations you mentioned, Switch is doing so well because Nintendo is putting all of their IP's on the same platform in a good form-factor for both console and portable gamers.:messenger_ok:

Nintendo is putting all of its hits in one place.

Nintendo is no longer spreading itself too thin trying to support two platforms.

This in itself is true but the only difference between the hits they had on the Wii U and the ones on the Switch are that Switch is now getting the one that were previously handheld-only, namely the mainline Pokemon games.

So it's arguable that the IP that weren't handheld-exclusive are benefiting from the hardware itself more than the other way around (considering entries of those on the Wii U didn't help move that system much), while the IP that used to be handheld-exclusive (like mainline Pokemon) are benefiting the hardware much more disproportionately to the hardware benefiting them.

That also extends to a lot of the Japanese support Nintendo's handhelds would use to get that the consoles (post-SFC) didn't, but now are centralized to a single device in the Switch.
 
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Marty-McFly

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This in itself is true but the only difference between the hits they had on the Wii U and the ones on the Switch are that Switch is now getting the one that were previously handheld-only, namely the mainline Pokemon games.

So it's arguable that the IP that weren't handheld-exclusive are benefiting from the hardware itself more than the other way around (considering entries of those on the Wii U didn't help move that system much), while the IP that used to be handheld-exclusive (like mainline Pokemon) are benefiting the hardware much more disproportionately to the hardware benefiting them.

That also extends to a lot of the Japanese support Nintendo's handhelds would use to get that the consoles (post-SFC) didn't, but now are centralized to a single device in the Switch.
Quite a few of their handheld franchises are coming like 2D Metroid, 2D Zelda, Mon Hun, Fire Emblem, Advance Wars, Pokemon ect.
 

TLZ

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The main point of my thread is that unlike all of the other console generations you mentioned, Switch is doing so well because Nintendo is putting all of their IP's on the same platform in a good form-factor for both console and portable gamers.:messenger_ok:

Nintendo is putting all of its hits in one place.

Nintendo is no longer spreading itself too thin trying to support two platforms.
Yes I agree. But I also hoped because of this unity, we'd have many, many more titles instead of relying on Wii U and past ports because the Switch is selling great anyway.
 
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Marty-McFly

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Yes I agree. But I also hoped because of this unity, we'd have many, many more titles instead of relying on Wii U and past ports because the Switch is selling great anyway.
We really don't know how many games they are even working on.

With their tendency to announce games late there could be dozens of projects underway.
 

CS Lurker

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It's not just the software (because it didn't save the GameCube and wii u). The switch is a very appealing hardware. That's it. When you combine an appealing hardware with a high quality line-up, then you have success.
 
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Kumomeme

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their hardware design play very important role to. from dual screen with 3D for 3DS to hybrid portable and home console Switch. however, yes their software IP play very vital role. it is something that neglected hardware power differences.

also they very clever at where to 'position' themself. they didnt compete directly with Sony and MS, but sit between them, in different market. they been do this since Wii. failed to repeat for Wii U due to various reason but here they are bounce back with Switch.
 
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Marty-McFly

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their hardware design play very important role to. from dual screen with 3D for 3DS to hybrid portable and home console Switch. however, yes their software IP play very vital role. it is something that neglect hardware power differences.

also they very clever at where to 'position' themself. they didnt compete directly with Sony and MS, but sit between them, in different market. they been do this since Wii. failed to repeat for Wii U due to various reason but here they are bounce back with Switch.
I mean, I was around in the days of the Atari 2600 but I have never seen such appealing hardware in its marketing. The click sound. The name. It's function. It's all so perfect, but the best part of all is all of Nintendo's games are on one platform. This is why it's such a beast in sales.
 
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yurinka

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Looking at the list of best selling Switch games, it's easy to understand why Switch sales are tracking ahead of every competing gaming platform in history.
Not really true.

Regarding softtware, over 1500 million PS4 games have been sold, passing the PS2 record. Switch is way behind that, even if we consider the difference on their release dates.

Regarding hardware, now at the end of its first 3rd quartier, PS5 remains the fastest selling console ever, beating the record PS4 had. If they match their FY goals (seems they secured to have enough chips), it will continue having this record for the first 6 quarters.

Many of the best selling games you mention were in WiiU, are improved versions of WiiU games or are sequels of WiiU games. And they and the console didn't sell like that there. There must be something else more that sparked the interest on Switch and these games when released on Switch. Maybe something like to merging Nintendo's console and portable markets into a single device making it a hybrid, maybe to have the monopoly of the portables, maybe something else, or as always happen, a combination of all these things.
 
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jroc74

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Agree with those say but Wii U tho.

Good, great software does help, but having appealing hardware does also.

IIRC every Wii U port has sold better on Switch.
 

Kumomeme

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I mean, I was around in the days of the Atari 2600 but I have never seen such appealing hardware in its marketing. The click sound. The name. It's function. It's all so perfect, but the best part of all is all of Nintendo's games are on one platform. This is why it's such a beast in sales.
yep. it is nice to see how they manage to turn things around from Wii U failure then nailed everything for Switch.
 

Sub Boss

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They make fun games that appeal to everybody: kids, adults, teens, women, men, hardcore or casual players

Not necessarily the best graphics or best narrative, however, Nvidia and the Switch deserves credit too for its appealing design and cool hybrid feature, that combination makes Switch so succesful.
 
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Sander Cohen

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Young kids and immature adults don't care about high specs, and the bulk of the sales are due to young kids.
More like responsible parents (or normies) don’t want their kids exposed to toxic world of online shooters until, at least, they hit puberty years.

That is prime driver of Nintendo sales. You don’t let your kid watch film with blood, gore and sex, you show him Luca, for example.

It is LEGO of video games. Sony tried to steal some of that crowd with Sackboy or Astrobot but it didn’t work because parents don’t see PS as a safe console for their kids. Not in the world where TLOU2 or Days Gone exist, just to name a few.
 
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Ezekiel_666x

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Being a safe platform for kids is.
This is the absolute underrated factor in all this.

If you have a 10 year old that wants a gaming device, there's only one choice, and the fact that it's a handheld is huge too.

Furthermore, Nintendo is the only console manufacturer that make big profits from their hardware sale.

The fact that there's a scarcity of games on the device actually helps Nintendo sell their first party, and at full price at that.

Other platforms have to compete with their huge store offerings.
 

Davey Cakes

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I really wish Nintendo would use this moment to revive their underserved IP. I mean, Nintendo can make anything sell right now. Imagine if they brought back F-Zero or Kid Icarus.

Nintendo has “filled their special bar.” Like a fighting game character. It’s time to capitalize.
 
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Marty-McFly

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Not really true.

Regarding softtware, over 1500 million PS4 games have been sold, passing the PS2 record. Switch is way behind that, even if we consider the difference on their release dates.

Regarding hardware, now at the end of its first 3rd quartier, PS5 remains the fastest selling console ever, beating the record PS4 had. If they match their FY goals (seems they secured to have enough chips), it will continue having this record for the first 6 quarters.

Many of the best selling games you mention were in WiiU, are improved versions of WiiU games or are sequels of WiiU games. And they and the console didn't sell like that there. There must be something else more that sparked the interest on Switch and these games when released on Switch. Maybe something like to merging Nintendo's console and portable markets into a single device making it a hybrid, maybe to have the monopoly of the portables, maybe something else, or as always happen, a combination of all these things.
How many of those 1500 games are exclusive to Sony?

How many are iconic franchises?

You can't compare the importance of their IP's.


Regarding PS5 sales, it launched during holidays and Switch will pass it launch aligned when it also has it's second holiday sales period (it launched in March) . Even at that, the big IF for Sony, is can PS5 even match PS4's best ever year in sales of 20 million once supply is in order ? It's not bringing much new to the fold.

Switch sold 21 million in 2019, 28.8 million in 2020, and is on pace to sell between 23-26 million this year. This is why it's going to pass PS4's lifetime sales in short order.
 
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How many of those 1500 games are exclusive to Sony?

How many are iconic franchises?

You can't compare the importance of their IP's.


Regarding PS5 sales, it launched during holidays and Switch will pass it launch aligned when it also has it's second holiday sales period (it launched in March) . Even at that, the big IF for Sony, is can PS5 even match PS4's best ever year in sales of 20 million once supply is in order ? It's not bringing much new to the fold.

Switch sold 21 million in 2019, 28.8 million in 2020, and is on pace to sell between 23-26 million this year. This is why it's going to pass PS4's lifetime sales in short order.

People said this about the Wii as well but it actually was very front loaded in terms of sales. It fell off a cliff once it got to 80-90M or so

Really depends on what Nintendo decides to do with the Switch platform and if they can adequately support it before people lose interest. Nintendo is the most volatile platform holder in the business and has much more frequent boom/bust cycles.
 

Marty-McFly

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People said this about the Wii as well but it actually was very front loaded in terms of sales. It fell off a cliff once it got to 80-90M or so

Really depends on what Nintendo decides to do with the Switch platform and if they can adequately support it before people lose interest. Nintendo is the most volatile platform holder in the business and has much more frequent boom/bust cycles.
Wii was already dead by fiscal yr 6. Switch is on pace to have it's second best year ever and the best 6th fy year of all consoles ever.

+---------+-------+-------+
| Quarter | WII | NSW |
+---------+-------+-------+
| FY1Q1 | | |
| FY1Q2 | | |
| FY1Q3 | 3.19 | |
| FY1Q4 | 2.65 | 2.74 |
| FY1 | 5.84 | 2.74 |
+---------+-------+-------+
| FY2Q1 | 3.43 | 1.97 |
| FY2Q2 | 3.90 | 2.93 |
| FY2Q3 | 6.97 | 7.23 |
| FY2Q4 | 4.31 | 2.93 |
| FY2 | 18.61 | 15.06 |
+--------+--------+-------+
| FY3Q1 | 5.17 | 1.88 |
| FY3Q2 | 4.03 | 3.19 |
| FY3Q3 | 10.41 | 9.41 |
| FY3Q4 | 5.46 | 2.47 |
| FY3 | 25.95 | 16.95 |
+---------+-------+-------+
| FY4Q1 | 2.23 | 2.13 |
| FY4Q2 | 3.52 | 4.80 |
| FY4Q3 | 11.31 | 10.81 |
| FY4Q4 | 3.48 | 3.29 |
| FY4 | 20.54 | 21.03 |
+---------+-------+-------+
| FY5Q1 | 3.04 | 5.68 |
| FY5Q2 | 1.93 | 6.85 |
| FY5Q3 | 8.74 | 11.57 |
| FY5Q4 | 1.37 | 4.73 |
| FY5 | 15.08 | 28.83 |
+---------+-------+-------+
| FY6Q1 | 1.56 | 4.45 |
| LTD | 87.57 | 89.04 |
+---------+-------+-------+
 
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Wii was already dead by fiscal yr 6. Switch is on pace to have it's second best year ever and the best 6th fy year of all consoles ever.

+---------+-------+-------+
| Quarter | WII | NSW |
+---------+-------+-------+
| FY1Q1 | | |
| FY1Q2 | | |
| FY1Q3 | 3.19 | |
| FY1Q4 | 2.65 | 2.74 |
| FY1 | 5.84 | 2.74 |
+---------+-------+-------+
| FY2Q1 | 3.43 | 1.97 |
| FY2Q2 | 3.90 | 2.93 |
| FY2Q3 | 6.97 | 7.23 |
| FY2Q4 | 4.31 | 2.93 |
| FY2 | 18.61 | 15.06 |
+--------+--------+-------+
| FY3Q1 | 5.17 | 1.88 |
| FY3Q2 | 4.03 | 3.19 |
| FY3Q3 | 10.41 | 9.41 |
| FY3Q4 | 5.46 | 2.47 |
| FY3 | 25.95 | 16.95 |
+---------+-------+-------+
| FY4Q1 | 2.23 | 2.13 |
| FY4Q2 | 3.52 | 4.80 |
| FY4Q3 | 11.31 | 10.81 |
| FY4Q4 | 3.48 | 3.29 |
| FY4 | 20.54 | 21.03 |
+---------+-------+-------+
| FY5Q1 | 3.04 | 5.68 |
| FY5Q2 | 1.93 | 6.85 |
| FY5Q3 | 8.74 | 11.57 |
| FY5Q4 | 1.37 | 4.73 |
| FY5 | 15.08 | 28.83 |
+---------+-------+-------+
| FY6Q1 | 1.56 | 4.45 |
| LTD | 87.57 | 89.04 |
+---------+-------+-------+

I'm not claiming Switch won't be more successful than Wii. But it'll be less than Wii + DS combined
 

Marty-McFly

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I'm not claiming Switch won't be more successful than Wii. But it'll be less than Wii + DS combined
Wii + DS combo was the best generation for any platform manufacturer ever. 250 million sold. It was a statistical anomaly though. I don't think it will ever be repeated.
 
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Rhazer Fusion

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This proves that having actual and genuine exclusives can push hardware sales and make your console very desirable. Sure, the portability really helps as well, but the IP’s and exclusive games makes the experience much better imo. I don’t think Nintendo survived this long based on pure luck.
 
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This just in…. Water is indeed wet.

Why does this even need to be pointed out?

they have some of the biggest franchises in the gaming world under their belt, how is this a surprise?
 
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Marty-McFly

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This just in…. Water is indeed wet.

Why does this even need to be pointed out?

they have some of the biggest franchises in the gaming world under their belt, how is this a surprise?
This just in..... there are a large portion of gamers on the internet who scratch their head at Nintendo's success because they don't have powerful hardware or great AAA third party support.

I think the list of monster selling Switch games in the OP may help put things in perspective.
 
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This just in..... there are a large portion of gamers on the internet who scratch their head at Nintendo's success because they don't have powerful hardware or great AAA third party support.

I think the list of monster selling Switch games in the OP may help put things in perspective.
I think you will find that is a vast minority based on Nintendo’s numbers alone.

Doesn’t take a scientist to figure out that power isn’t everything. In fact, it’s about 20% of a games reason for success while the other 80% is just because a good game is good.

Nintendo have proven this over and over and over again.
 

Marty-McFly

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What a stupid thread. People buy Nintendo hardware to play Nintendo iP's. Like no shit dude.
It sounds like you read the title of the thread and not much else.

Their IP is the reason for their dominance, but this generation they have consolidated to a single, concisely marketed platform that appeals to both console and portable audience, and all of their strengths are focused on one platform. This is the first time we are seeing this in Nintendo history and it is paying dividends for them, allowing their IP to truly shine.

The sheer amount of 30, 20, 10 million sellers the Switch has already amassed is unprecedented, and it hasn't even had a price cut.
 
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Corgi1985

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This just in..... there are a large portion of gamers on the internet who scratch their head at Nintendo's success because they don't have powerful hardware or great AAA third party support.

I think the list of monster selling Switch games in the OP may help put things in perspective.
But many of those games are garbage
 

Marty-McFly

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Meanwhile on earth ...

PS4 SW > (NSW+3DS+WiiU+NGC+N64) SW

PS2 SW > (NES+SNES+GB) SW

PS3 SW > NDS SW

PS1 SW > Wii SW
I mean, are you including third party sales in this earth? Because that's the only way Sony comes on top in any of those software comparisons.

First party vs. First party, Nintendo is unrivalled and nobody was ever even close.
Have you thought that maybe there's a reason nobody has?
Probably because people are more interested in discussing fantasies where Nintendo is doomed rather than the reality where they're absolutely dominant. Now that the Switch is our generations sales juggernaut, we should be further exploring the reasons why, which is what I was attempting to do in the OP.
 

Clear

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Not really. N64, GameCube, Wii, Wii U. I'd only consider one of their home consoles since the SNES very successful, while their handhelds have pretty much consistently been massive hits.

Yeah, but look at it from the opposite perspective. Nintendo bolstered their handhelds with the ability to also offer a proper home console experience so as to put real space (in a market differentiation sense) between themselves and mobile.

Gotta stress when I characterized it as a defensive move I'm not making any implication of weakness, just that it showed them reacting to change in the marketplace so as to keep their business strong. Its 110% the right call tactically, just not an act of "dominance".
 
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Nintendo dont have consistency though. How long before they have another major flop? Its inevitable unless they strictly stay with handheld going forward. So yeah, they are handheld kings but not console kings. If switch never had a handheld mode, it wouldn't even have half the sales it does now.
 
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-pepodmc

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But many of those games are garbage
Perhaps but thats very subjective, depends of which type of consumer are you asking.

For me , horizon zero dawn and halo 5 are bad games, but they sold a lot of copies too.

Halo 5 made 400 million dolars in 24 hours, and horizon is a very boring game but it sold more than 10 million copies.

Situation where bad games sold very well happen in all companies, not only nintendo. And again, , if the games are good or not depends of who are you asking
 
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CertifiedKiwi

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To a great extend..their IPs definitely have tremendous brand value but Wii U has proven it may not always guarantee success
 

RoadHazard

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It's the combination of an attractive hardware solution with popular franchises. They had the same IP (even many of the exact same games) on Wii U, and it was a huge failure.
 

Celine

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No, it's more complex.
But in essence the pillar upon which is based Nintendo long success is that the entirety of their business was always driven by 独創


 
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