Nintendo’s starting to panic…

If you read the trade articles, you’ll see that Nintendo is finally feeling the pressure of the economy. After facing a year of declining revenue after five years of growth, news dropped that the release of the newest hardware system, the Nintendo 3DS will be released in the first quarter of 2011 around the world (February in Japan, March in US/Europe). They were originally expecting a November release, which would generate massive revenue for the fourth quarter for holiday sales.

The delay in hardware release has to be a humongous hit to them. Through the years, Nintendo has made a killing on hardware. I don’t know if you can call it notorious, but it definitely borders on notorious how they release and re-release hardware. For example, the Nintendo DS was originally released in 2004. The DS lite (same features, but smaller) was released in 2006. The Nintendo DS-i (which essentially removed the Game Boy Advance port and added cameras to the front and back) was released in 2009. Months later, the Nintendo DS-i-XL was released which was basically a DS-i with larger screens. And, in a few months, the Nintendo 3DS (which adds 3D capabilities without the need for 3D glasses) will be released. {When I visited Nintendo World in NYC about 2 weeks ago, I got to see the whole history of the handheld line; it’s quite impressive!}

Over 7 -8 years, Nintendo will have released 5 iterations of the same level hardware (basically a handheld Nintendo 64) that play the same library of games [barring  the fact that starting with the Nintendo DS-i, Nintendo cut the playable library by eliminating the Game Boy Advance port.].

I really enjoy the Nintendo DS library (minus the shovelware). There are some great games out there, and it’s a solid system. So I don’t really blame them for turning a buck with new hardware all the time. They are obviously making something people want to buy.

Don’t get me started on Wii hardware/software though. There’s a system that everybody wants, and that, after 4 years in existence, very few quality games exist…


19 thoughts on “Nintendo’s starting to panic…

  • Bill

    Main problem with the Wii is that it isn’t a “gamer’s platform”, yet many of the games for it are either aimed at little kids or are these “gamer’s games” which I and apparently most others would much rather play on a PS3 or Xbox 360 for better graphics rendering and more fluid game play. The Mario series for Wii is decent. Mario Kart is a basic fun game, the new Super Mario is a lot of fun, Super Mario Galaxy is great, and Mario Party is a good way to kill an hour with company while not making the game the focal point of the evening. But, many of those games don’t make good use of the Wiimotes. The best use of the remotes (and balance board) are the Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus games, by far.

    I think the killer for Wii was that it was marketed as a gaming revolution console, yet aside from exercise games there are very few titles out there that make good use of the motion controls. People who want to play RPG and FPS games or take advantage of robust online play aren’t going to look to the Wii. They’re going to stick to PS3 and Xbox 360.

    • derryX

      My problem with Wii is that there are barely any games I want to play for it. I don’t own a balance board. I don’t own Wii Motion Plus. I own a handful of games that have little to no replay value for me. Basically, back in 06 when it came out, the technology was old (SD card storage v hard drive), and they’ve been shoe-horning alot of things in to keep with the times.

      I wound up buying an Xbox360 a year after I got a Wii and I haven’t been sorry. I purchase on average one game per month for xbox as opposed to one to two games per year on Wii.

  • Darth

    My biggest problem with the Wii is that I hate motion controls. I barely purchased any Wii games for the system, but I went to town downloading my old favorites from NES, SNES, etc. The system itself for Wii games holds no value for me, but the nostalgia of playing Super Mario 3 or Punch Out! does hold value.

    I know a lot of people who complain X-Box or PS3 is much better for gamers – which I agree. However, knowing several people with children and such – they love the Wii. For younger kids, it is definitely the system of choice. I also notice that females who usually hate platform games seem to be attracted to the Wii.

    So the market is there, but Nintendo should really focus games on those demographics. Adult males 18-35 want to play Halo and Call of Duty, not Cooking Mama Cook Off where your Wii remote is a spatula.

    • derryX

      Don’t get me wrong, Nintendo definitely has a great business model with Wii, especially with the Virtual Console where they make consumers feel like $5 for an NES game is just right to not pirate it. And I also love the nostalgia aspect of it. If it comes down to it though, when given the choice of playing a game on Wii or xbox, i’d rather play xbox because i have more games and the ability to play with my friends/family over the internet.

      • Darth

        I “think” you can play with friends / family with the Wii . . . I just haven’t figured that out yet.

        I haven’t touched the Wii since I got the PS3 last year. I get my nostalgia from downloading PS1 games like Final Fantasy VII, Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, etc. I also love that I can watch any movie I want on it for like $5 . . . it’s PPV on my console. It seems to offer titles before my cable company does.

        The Wii just can’t compete with Sony or Microsoft. Although I do think both of them coming out with the motion controllers now is a bit late in the game.

        • Jeff

          Considering they’re both Camera based, I’d also argue that they’re shitty as hell. I like to be able to sit down when playing games, and someone please explain to me how ANYTHING camera based can be better than anything IR Based.

          There’s been a few good games out there but IMHO most of them are not what I want to play, or are Metroid: Other M (I wanted to play it, and I did, and I regret spending $0.50 cents on it). Also, the Virtual Console is completely neglected now.

          • derryX

            From a science perspective, I think the Xbox Kinect might be onto something. It is camera based but also temperature and IR based, just by the nature of the optics. I’m curious to see how it works. The playstation version is pretty much a joke.

        • Jeff

          Oh, also worth pointing out that the Wii most certaintly can compete – sales might be waining now, but that’s because pretty much everyone has one that can afford one and would want one. Thing sold like hotcakes since it came out in 2006.

          • derryX

            I wanted to hope that hardware sales would boost software development, but that creedo just resulted in the last 4 years of Wii shovelware…with a handful of worthwhile games.

        • derryX

          Darth, if you want to play an amazing RPG on the PSN, buy Suikoden. It’s fuckin great!

  • Nabisco

    Here’s my thing with the Wii. It did it first. It was innovative when it did it. However, the nature of the games that come out for it are for casual gamers. The casual gaming market is growing, but if Kinect and Move were not coming out, the Wii would be able to thrive.

    PS3’s Move and Xbox 360’s Kinect, although motion controlled similar to the Wii, have something the Wii doesn’t have: hardcore game support. Kinect still remains to be seen, but Move already has a large game library of BOTH hardcore and casual games supported by Move; a few of them even already out and being updated for it. Both also have the casual game support as well as classic games like the Wii.

    All in all, Nintendo will be solely relying on the 3DS for revenue. Now with Move and soon with Kinect, the Wii will be going nowhere. The market is in the 18-35 y/o gamers, and anyone younger will grow up at some point. Nintendo did it first. Sony and Microsoft are just doing it better.

  • Keith

    I don’t necessarily think that you’re correct about the release of the system. It’s still being released fourth quarter — in Japan — with the later release here in the States. It seems to by the normal business model for everything Nintendo releases.

    Also, each iteration of the DS hardware has offered advancements in specifications. While it might appear that it’s just cutting out the GBA port, it’s increasing the screen size and processing power, while eliminating something that’s prohibiting new sales growth. Think about it… Why keep a port that allows people to keep playing games that are ten years old? You’d be more inclined to take a chance on a new game if you can’t play your old ones.

    Besides, if you wanted to keep playing GBA games, pick up a micro or SP for under $30. The future in gaming is downloadable content, and that’s what each iteration of the DS has offered. Starting with SD expansion, better CPU and internet connection. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some sort of virtual console with the 3DS after how successful the Wii marketplace has become.


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