#9828076, By Kami Nintendo faces 'path to irrelevance'

  • Kami 9 Sep 2013 02:38:17 2,662 posts
    Seen 2 hours ago
    Registered 15 years ago
    nickthegun wrote:
    Struggling on and being a laughing stock generation after generation is not what you would call a brilliant business strategy.
    I think the problem is - what do you consider "struggling"?

    The GameCube made Nintendo a lot of money; it sold 22 million units over six years. The correlation on a purely business level is that whatever you sell, there has to be a profit in it. Nintendo obviously operate on this base level of business logic; doesn't matter how many people you squeeze through the doors, there's no point if you're not making money.

    I do understand and even somewhat applaud Sony's fight back to the top of the pile, popularity-wise. But for years, Sony made crushing losses across the board. It spent huge amounts of money to push Blu-ray as standard; money it's never going to see back. Sony made some of the most crushing losses and part of that was the PlayStation division; the PS3 was expensive, the PSP didn't sell well. Even the PS+ service as it is right now on PS3 must cost them a pretty penny; those free games come at a price, after all, and if we're not paying it - you can be damned sure Sony are.

    This isn't to deride Sony; but it's good perspective when it comes to this idea of "laughing stock", which for some years Sony really was. The nature of the industry is cyclical, it comes and goes. Sure-fire bets backfire, whereas the more outlandish things seem to burn very brightly before disappearing. The last generation was almost perfectly split into three major chunks too; Nintendo burned very brightly for a couple years, then it hit saturation point, and Microsoft moved in and everyone fawned over that for a while. Then, when it seemed Sony were at their lowest ebb, they fought back with a sustained campaign to get gamers back on side, to cross the finish line with pride. Everyone enjoyed their time in the limelight.

    People may lambast Nintendo right now; but I genuinely have a hunch that Sony and Microsoft are going to find themselves having similar issues in the coming year; moreso with the whole concept of cross-gen. Without backwards compatibility, a lot of people will find themselves with little to no serious reason to upgrade yet when what they want is on their old machines. The industry isn't likely to separate the upgrades into different sales, over-inflating the figures and misleading themselves into a false sense of security. The coming year is a minefield of issues; and that's before you get to potential faults, something both Sony and Microsoft are known for.

    I hope things do go well; but I have certainly been down this road enough times to prepare myself for what feels like the inevitable.

    Nintendo have issues; I've said elsewhere that I expect Nintendo to re-design the Wii U for the Xmas period. New look, new colour, slicker, sleeker and hopefully a better U-Pad too. It won't get rid of the core of the issues; but a pretty new package can be a very good distraction.

    But it's very foolish to say it's ONLY Nintendo in danger of this problem/these problems. The industry has a crapton of issues; from over-inflated marketing budgets and unrealistic sales targets to serious genre conflicts and franchise butchery, there are plenty of serious issues and perils that in the coming years will play their part in shaping the course of the generation. And some of the franchises and titles we know will disappear into irrelevance. Sadly, as much as I have loved the series, I'm the first to admit one of the first victims of this is likely to be Resident Evil...

    And as usual, these problems will make Nintendo's current ails look pretty pathetic, really. That's kind of the punchline; you can be sure Sony and Microsoft will be there to try and outdo Nintendo on everything.

    Including the problems.

    Edited by Kami at 02:40:36 09-09-2013
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