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How Can Nintendo Recover?

Unknown Lamer posted about 9 months ago | from the plundering-the-public-domain-for-desperation-and-profit dept.

Businesses 559

Nerval's Lobster writes "Nintendo's revenue and profits are tumbling faster than Mario into a bottomless pit. Company executives recently suggested the next-generation Wii U console would sell 2.8 million units between April 2013 and March 2014 — significantly below the 9 million units predicted in previous estimates. Contrast that with Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One, which sold 4.2 million and 3 million units, respectively, in their first six weeks of release. In lowering its hardware and software estimates, Nintendo also expects to take a loss by the end of its fiscal year in March. Nintendo's attempt to carve a niche for itself as an ecosystem for casual gamers has also run into a massive obstacle in the form of smartphones and tablets, which quickly developed into popular gaming platforms. Nintendo is reportedly considering a 'new business model,' according to Bloomberg, with its CEO telling a gathering of reporters in Osaka: 'Given the expansion of smart devices, we are naturally studying how smart devices can be used to grow the game-player business. It's not as simple as enabling Mario to move on a smartphone.' While Nintendo could probably made some good money off legacy gamers by bringing its (much loved) portfolio of older titles to iOS, Android, and other platforms, that move to mobile might further weaken its hardware sales. So what do you think? If you were in charge of Nintendo, how would you turn it around?"

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Erm, the 3DS (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46020819)

is doing fine.

Just keep pumping out decent games and don't fuck up the next major console. The 3DS is their lifesaver until the next refresh.

Re:Erm, the 3DS (3, Interesting)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 9 months ago | (#46020859)

is doing fine.

Just keep pumping out decent games and don't fuck up the next major console. The 3DS is their lifesaver until the next refresh.

Is that why they are going to post a loss? A company can't rely on aging products to survive these days, at least not in the technology/entertainment sector. I'm not declaring them dead, but they are hardly doing well.

Re:Erm, the 3DS (3, Informative)

luther349 (645380) | about 9 months ago | (#46021227)

the lose is from the wii-u collecting dust in the stores. the 3ds still has strong sales.

It's not the 3DS, but the change of a generation (0)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 9 months ago | (#46021259)

See the sales figure of the game console ?

Instead of tens of million of consoles, Xbox one only sold 3 million, Sony's PS4 only sold 4.2 million and the much disappointing figure for Nintendo.

If we take a step back, the larger picture that we see is that the game console is no longer a hot item, and it's in a decline similar to the decline of the desktop PC.

It's all because the change of the demography - a brand new generation of customers are coming to the market with a different expectation, different outlook and different taste.

Just like Facebook is becoming passe, many things else are heading to the wastebasket of civilization - and game consoles, I am afraid, are included.

When I grew up there was no game console. When I reached the West all I saw was pinball machines, and only later, with the introduction of video games we got Pong and Pac Man and very very much later, Super Mario.

Since I never grew up with the video games, it is relatively easy for me to take a step back - and I am seeing the change as is happening right now.

Re:Erm, the 3DS (0)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | about 9 months ago | (#46021105)

Nintendo hasn't gotten a home console "right" since the SNES in the early 90s. N64 was essentially a flop (compared to previous nindendo consoles, and compared to its contemporary the PS1). Gamecube was a flop. Wii/U is a flop. Wii is the outlier, but I contend that it -should- have been a flop, due to underwhelming hardware (basically two gamecubes duct taped together. didn't even do HD res) and no real software direction at start, but they caught the break of a lifetime due to being the first out the gate with a motion controller, which apparently people thought was a really neat gimmick at a somewhat reasonable price point. How many of those 100 million Wiis sit unused in somebody's closet or under their tv gathering dust, now that the novelty of wii sports and wii fit have worn off? If it is dragged out, it's for the latest release of one of the 4 or 5 franchises that 30-somethings buy out of nostalgia. How often does that happen, once a year? maybe?

The Wii succeeded despite nindento's ineptitude, not because of their business acumen.

What is amazing is that they've been the #1 portable every generation since the first portable generation... That one still amazes me. My 2ds isn't even as impressive as my original PSP, let alone the Vita... Gotta be a price thing.

Re:Erm, the 3DS (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021161)

You can't declare a console a successful console a flop so you can preserve the integrity of your argument.

Re:Erm, the 3DS (1)

luther349 (645380) | about 9 months ago | (#46021279)

the n64 was a success but it did suffer from a slow launch it only had like 3 launch titles. it was also late to the party. hell i still have my n64. one its library got decent the thing had strong sales. the n64 had many strong points over ps1 instant load times better gfx etc but the ps1 had the bigger storage space and rode the huge rise of the jrpg market.

Re:Erm, the 3DS (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021315)

Nintendo's consoles may have been a "flop" according to you, but remember that historically they were all sold at a profit from the get-go (with the exception of the WiiU of course). So if remaining profitable is a "flop" then I guess you are right.

One of big-N's problems is that it's becoming too difficult for them to keep their consoles cheap and yet continue to sell at a profit.

Re:Erm, the 3DS (1)

luther349 (645380) | about 9 months ago | (#46021213)

yeo that's why 3ds has gotten some huge games this year normally only on there consoles.

FIRST POST MI (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46020825)

First POST FROM MICHIGAN

fuk u pig (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021371)

asshole michigan sucks!!!

Better Hardware (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46020827)

wii/u is seriously underpowered.

Re:Better Hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46020907)

Power isn't an issue. The issue stems from the name being so close to the Wii and marketting in general. It has the best game library of the generation, and this next year has some of the most desired games. Off the top of my head there is Bayonetta, Smash Bros., and some time in the future, Monolithsoft's X game. Each of those will turn it around as exclusives.

Re:Better Hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46020941)

wow the most expected games is yet another port and yet another remake, sign me up for that shit I already own!

Re:Better Hardware (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46020997)

Why not? You already own the last 12 Call of Duty/Medal of Honor games.

By making more Smash Bros games... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46020839)

...for the fanboy circle jerk.

Sega is Nintendo's future (1, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 9 months ago | (#46020845)

Seriously. Nintendo needs to get out of the hardware business ASAP and start developing for iOS. The next generation of Apple TV will soon be an iOS console complete with game pads. With the iPhone or iPad, you can already do AirPlay mirroring which flings the video/sound to your TV. Effectively, it's a console know. Unless Nintendo gets off its ass, Apple could brand the next AppleTV as the Pippin redux.

Re:Sega is Nintendo's future (1)

danomac (1032160) | about 9 months ago | (#46020901)

Or they could get into the cell phone market with a Nintendo-branded phone. That would be kind of interesting to see what kind of innovation they could bring to a phone. Seeing as the casual gamers on phones have been affecting them it's probably their only choice.

Re:Sega is Nintendo's future (3, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 9 months ago | (#46020953)

Disagree. There are far too many permutations of phones out there. Also, they've branded themselves as family entertainment. They still need a console platform for the TV as the family room is the venue of choice. AppleTV is such a platform. Question is, can the licensing cost to Apple more than make up for not having to develop and manufacture a console of their own?

Re:Sega is Nintendo's future (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021097)

Just an iOS slave, shackled to Apple like Zynga is to Facebook?

If Nintendo does exit the hardware business, they need to start working on multiple platforms, iOS is just one. Android has a large marketshare.

However, the reason Nintendo stays in business is their hardware. If they don't have the user lock in to their consoles, they will disappear, since they would have to compete with EA, Ubisoft, and others... on their turf.

Personally? (2, Insightful)

bananaquackmoo (1204116) | about 9 months ago | (#46020851)

I'd enable Mario on a smartphone.

Re:Personally? (4, Funny)

narcc (412956) | about 9 months ago | (#46020945)

I don't think this [gamasutra.com] is what you want.

Re:Personally? (4, Funny)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about 9 months ago | (#46021079)

I would first crowdsource ideas over the internet to find the leaders of the future, those who can think outside the box. Then I would invest a million dollars into this bananaquackmoo, he seems to have smart ideas.

Get out of the hardware business (1)

DevCybiko (694026) | about 9 months ago | (#46020863)

I'd advise Nintendo to get out of the console business and focus on the hardware. So many companies have learned this in the past. Atari, Coleco, Sega, Cybiko. The real money is in software.

Re:Get out of the hardware business (1)

DevCybiko (694026) | about 9 months ago | (#46020869)

(Obviously when I said "focus on the hardware" I meant to say "focus on the software."

Ask Sega (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46020899)

Ask the board of directors at Sega what to do and then do the opposite.

Re:Ask Sega (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021005)

Which is funny, of course, because Sega got out of the hardware business, and it looks like it did great for them. There's no reason for Nintendo to bail on consoles yet - they've got good fiscal policy, and the Wii was super healthy, turning them a profit instead of a loss per console. They can weather a storm, and weather a bit of a flop console even easier.

Re:Ask Sega (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021069)

"did great for them" really?

Look at Sega games in the Dramcast era and look at them now. Getting out of the hardware business killed Sega. Nintendo needs to hang in there. :(

Sega's mistake (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021119)

Sega's mistake was not having good hardware, it was having too much hardware. They were told that the Genesis was great, a few years later it was the Sega CD, then almost immediately after that was 32X, then almost immediately it was the Dreamcast. Customers who liked Sega had the original Genesis (not talking Master SYstem), but then two quick updates then a new console. Frankly, Sega broke the bank on the DreamCast by asking their customers to buy too much too fast. Too much hardware. That is a good reason for the Big N to stick with the U for a while, develop it, make it cheaper than the PS4 and the XBox One, still get 1080p @ 60fps, release some exclusives, wait several years in order not to burnout their core client base like Sega did. They can't bail on the U for financial reasons and for the games already in the pipe, and they can't make a U2 because it will burn current customers. Once Mario Kart, Zelda, Smash Bro, etc come out, it will be comfortable again... you doubters and haters

Re:Sega's mistake (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021239)

A) non super fans are frankly tired of mario, zelda and most of their other franchises

B) nintendo already has too much hardware out, they release a handheld every 3 years, support two home consoles with a billion accessories and most of the software is gushy shovelware, ports or the same old shit

Mario on PS4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46020871)

Sony buyout in 3.. 2.. 1..

I would run it into the ground; (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46020877)

Sometimes its better to end things while the goings good than to die a horrible death. If the company sells its assets now they'll be worth something still. If they sell later they may get less than the companies worth. Desks, chairs, buildings, vehicles, etc can depreciate in value. I mean really. When your the core of the town and you go under nobody's buying your buildings for what they are worth. Sell out your own company now and the shareholders at least go home happy. Personally I'd sell to Microsoft. Let Microsoft be left holding the shell of the company and cost it huge $$$$.

Wii U problem is not underpowered. (5, Interesting)

voss (52565) | about 9 months ago | (#46020889)

Its overpriced. Nintendos market is for those who want a cheap and cheerful video game system for the kids
not the people who want to pay $60 a game. If they had released something like an updated wii with a regular controller
for $100 less it would have sold like crazy. Basically their target market wanted an updated WII not the montrosity that
was the wii U.

Market is Apple/Google's, but N has an advantage (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 9 months ago | (#46020933)

Nintendos market is for those who want a cheap and cheerful video game system for the kids not the people who want to pay $60 a game.

Nintendo's problem is that this isn't Nintendo's market anymore; it has become the App Store and Google Play market. The big advantage of a 2DS/3DS over an iPod touch or iPad mini is that iPod touch and iPad mini ship with only the positional control (a multitouch screen), not directional or discrete trigger controls (the Circle Pad, Control Pad, and buttons). And not everyone wants to buy a $40 Bluetooth controller that clamps onto a tablet just to play a $10 or cheaper game.

Re:Market is Apple/Google's, but N has an advantag (5, Interesting)

Pranadevil2k (687232) | about 9 months ago | (#46021071)

I would argue that Nintendo's problem isn't that its market has moved to mobile, the problem they face is that the market they want and need (console gamers) has moved on without them. I can't think of a single third-party developed game on a Nintendo console that excited me since Capcom put a bunch of Resident Evil games out on the GameCube. Nintendo itself owns a nice catalog of IP but you can only make so many Mario and Zelda games before the golden goose stops laying eggs. They need other developers making new titles, and good ones. They need a 'killer app.' People stopped buying Nintendo consoles for Mario after the GameCube and quit buying them for Zelda after the Wii. Nobody has bought an N console for a third-party game since the '64. Frankly, the last one I owned was a Super and now I play the remakes of the great games of that console on Sony and Microsoft systems, or emulate the originals on my PC or mobile. Nintendo is not Sony or Microsoft; their problems will not go away eventually by propping up their game division losses with profits in other sectors. They need good games or they are done in a few quarters of bad losses.

Re:Market is Apple/Google's, but N has an advantag (5, Insightful)

SocietyoftheFist (316444) | about 9 months ago | (#46021369)

I like playing on my big screen with my kids, our handheld devices don't facilitate family interaction. Nintendo effed up.

Re:Wii U problem is not underpowered. (3, Insightful)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 9 months ago | (#46020957)

It's not just that. They made this rather unique hardware but don't seem to know what to do with it. Asymmetrical play and remote play are all nice and well, but they're not system sellers and they're not the primary use of the console. The Wii could be played alone, in a group, with newbies or advanced users. The WiiU's touch pad needs a certain learning period, it's heavy and cumbersome, and all of that for what? Usually to show a map. It's the new waggle, except with even less interaction.

Nintendo chased the fickle casual market, thinking that they'd behave like their previous market (the more hardcore Nintendo veterans) and would follow their brand wherever they went. They didn't.

Re:Wii U problem is not underpowered. (5, Insightful)

aaronjp (51549) | about 9 months ago | (#46021127)

Customers wanted and expected what they had in the old Wii with 1280p HD and a boost in processing power and got the Wii U.

Nintendo totally ignored the social aspect they created with the Wii. They went from a system where it was cheap enough to buy 4 controllers; so 4 people could play at a time to a system where it's just too expensive to have multiple players. Potential customers look at the Wii U as if it's essentially an expensive one player system, and just decide to keep playing the old Wii. In other words, they made a system that no one was asking for and even worse no one wanted in the Wii U.

IMO, if Nintendo wants to recover make a Wii HD.

Re:Wii U problem is not underpowered. (4, Informative)

ekimd (968058) | about 9 months ago | (#46021223)

Mod parent up. This is exactly why I haven't bought a Wii U. I just want a Wii HD.

Re:Wii U problem is not underpowered. (1)

luther349 (645380) | about 9 months ago | (#46021167)

gotta agree the wii-u is overpriced for being a updated wii with a tablet controller. they so need to make a cheaper wii-u with a normal controller.nobody likes the tablets bad battery life and utter hugeness.

Re:Wii U problem is not underpowered. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021187)

What's with that controller anyway? I bought my son one of these systems for Christmas and was looking into the price of a second (or replacement, should it get broken) tablet/controller and it turns out they don't sell them separately from the game system. Broken pad means buy a new system? Really?

Re:Wii U problem is not underpowered. (4, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | about 9 months ago | (#46021249)

Some people really like the Wii U. Gabe at PA says, the Wii U version is a gift from God. In fact it’s so good that I will probably buy every multiplatform game for the Wii U from now on [penny-arcade.com]

My guess is most people just don't know what's in the Wii U, why it's worth buying. At least, for myself I wouldn't know why anyone would buy it if Gabe hadn't written about it.

Re:Wii U problem is not underpowered. (1)

SocietyoftheFist (316444) | about 9 months ago | (#46021357)

Mod parent up a million. Everybody I know just wanted an updated Wii that could play the newest games and compete with the PS3 and XBox 360 at a cheaper price point.

List: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46020891)

1. Stop treating your consumers like dirt
2. Stop making mario based games
3. Put real money into innovative game design instead of money into CEO profits.
4. Stop using lowest/cheapest bidders to produce the next console, provide quality and gamers will appreciate it.
5. Don't overhype your achievements only to be not what was promised. If/when a Game/console is great, gamers will do all the hyping for you.

Indie (2)

tepples (727027) | about 9 months ago | (#46020999)

Stop treating your consumers like dirt

And your developers, allegedly. The 1- to 3-man home-based family businesses that helped Apple's App Store eat away at much of the casual market are something Nintendo wouldn't even consider courting three years ago [wired.com] . Only very recently did this begin to change, and unfortunately, my citation about this ("Tales from the trenches: how Microsoft is losing the battle for indie developers" by Ben Kuchera, March 2013) has become a dead link.

Stop making mario based games

That'd be like telling Hasbro to stop making My Little Pony based toys.

Re: List: (1)

Dr. Smooth (32514) | about 9 months ago | (#46021181)

yeah, backwards compatibility for software and hardware really sucks. I like to buy all new stuff every 5 years. Seriously, I've been able to use my games and controllers for 8 to 10 years per generation. I feel like I'm being treated like dirt.

Nintendo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46020895)

I would promote the Wii U as a game console as the only game console out their( say that the other two are living room computers). I am thinking a large MMO animal crossing or Pokemon game would do it well. Somthing along the lines of Pokemon DX.

Add Emotiv-like technology to the console! (0)

karlphillip (2733593) | about 9 months ago | (#46020909)

Let us play using Emotiv: http://www.kickstarter.com/pro... [kickstarter.com]

A sleek, multi-channel, wireless headset that monitors your brain activity and translates EEG into meaningful data you can understand.

Better Development Tools (5, Interesting)

Suiggy (1544213) | about 9 months ago | (#46020915)

Seriously Nintendo, upgrade your compilers! We're sick and tired of CodeWarrior.

Living in the 80s (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46020923)

Stop making shitty games based off of 80s IP.

Re:Living in the 80s (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021221)

COWABUNGA!

Mushrooms! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46020925)

If Nintendo want to get bigger they should eat some of those red and white mushrooms!

ROMS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46020927)

I thought everyone in the entire world already had all of their NES and SNES ROMs on droid since the cupcake days?

On-screen buttons suck (1)

tepples (727027) | about 9 months ago | (#46021339)

Nintendo's advantage over emulators on phones and tablets is that apart from Xperia Play and some obscure JXD models, phones and tablets tend not to ship with a directional control and discrete trigger buttons. I have Nesoid on my Nexus 7 tablet, and I've loaded some homebrew NES platformers like STREEMERZ: Super Strength Emergency Squad Zeta, Driar, and I Wanna Flip the Sky onto it. Now these games control wonderfully on my NES when I load them on my PowerPak, but on the flat sheet of glass that is a tablet's input device, the control is anything but precise. Because my thumbs can't feel where the edges of the on-screen buttons are, I tend to keep pressing the wrong button or "whiffing". Playing emulators on Android without carrying around a Bluetooth controller is even worse than trying to play with the much-maligned Triax Turbo Touch 360 controller; at least that one has normal A and B buttons and ridges inside the directional touchpad area to guide the thumbs.

Minecraft on iPads (4, Insightful)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | about 9 months ago | (#46020929)

Where I once saw kids play Mario on a Nintendo DS, today I see kids play Minecraft of iPads.

Apple crushed Nintendo by creating iOS devices and opening up it's platform to indie devs for a minimal fee. If I wanted to start coding for Nintendo.... how would I do it, and how much would I have to pay in licensing? I have no idea, and I wouldn't know where to look.
It would seem easier to go for the tablet ecosystem that most people have and is more easily accessible. I think not only did Apple destroy the Nintendo casual market with iOS devices, but also through leeching potential developers.

Also, if I were Nintendo, I would be grovelling to get Mojang to port Minecraft over (Mojang says that they're "too busy"). So far..... nothing... and it's so stupid as to why not because the game is really something Nintendo should have been able to create, and it's a perfect fit for the system. It's just a shame too that with all Nintendo's game dev talent, this something as much fun hasn't eventuated from them, and it's been Mario after Zelda after Donkey Kong.

Nintendo is also locked itself out of the hardcore market for this gen too. So unless they want to make a Super-Duper Nintendo like in the 16-bit war days and compete again, they're going to lose gamers there.

All Nintendo has left is good game devs and some great IP.... and perhaps more trust with parents than the Apple kids-ingame-payments-debarcle has done to Apple's platform.

Re:Minecraft on iPads (1)

aaronjp (51549) | about 9 months ago | (#46021169)

In my home it's Minecraft of PC's. Sure they play on the Android tablet and the iPad, but they would rather play on the laptops or desktops the client is more current/capable and they can do more. Both of our consoles (Wii and PS3) have been fairly well ignored now that my three boys all have their own Minecraft accounts. Well I take that back, they watch Minecraft videos from YouTube on the PS3, while playing Minecraft on the laptops. We even got Disney Infinity for the PS3 and that's been pretty well ignored after 3 days of initial play.

Cost per player (1)

tepples (727027) | about 9 months ago | (#46021263)

One thing that consoles get right is cost per player [cracked.com] . A family can buy three gaming PCs and three accounts for each game. Or a family can buy one or more low- to mid-grade laptops with integrated graphics, one console, a couple extra controllers, and games that support split-screen multiplayer (such as Mario Kart) or non-split shared-screen multiplayer (such as Smash Bros.). Which costs less?

Start on Windows or tablets (1)

tepples (727027) | about 9 months ago | (#46021291)

If I wanted to start coding for Nintendo.... how would I do it

The official word is on warioworld.com and scedev.net, but I've been repeatedly told that you should first make and self-publish three successful games for Windows, iOS, or Android before companies like Nintendo will even give you the time of day. That's what Robert Pelloni found out when he wanted to start a home-based business to develop and sell his RPG Bob's Game for DS.

buy nvidia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46020935)

I would buy nvidia

How I'd turn Nintendo around (5, Funny)

TheloniousToady (3343045) | about 9 months ago | (#46020947)

odnetniN.

my ideas (3, Interesting)

Cyberglich (525256) | about 9 months ago | (#46020951)

Short term #1 slash the price of the WII-U down to $149 with a AAA pack-in game. #2 Launch a monthly sub service as a sort of virtual Netflix/game fly You get X game credits depending on price of sub running from 5.99 to 29.99 a month. The credits can be used to rent games from everything that can get licences form and emulate nes all the way to current WII-U titles. nes games being low # creidts and WII-U games being so many that a user needs to be on one of the higher tier plans to get even one. Once you "Rent" the game its your till you release it that unlocks the credits to be used again with say a 1 week min timeframe to keep people from constant cycling and to make the higher tiers worth wild. Nintendo pays the publishers a % of the sub fees depending on how many rentals are active at a time. Nintendo will louse money on hardware but will make it up in sub fees in theory and people will buy disks of WII-U games the want to keep long term (or just buy like current e-store works) Long Term Accelerate work on the next gen. aim for a 4-5 years for now for the next Home console. Work with EA, and other game devs to make a machine they want to work on. The next Xbox PS are 6-7 years away most likely So in 4-5 years would be a great time to keep a jump on the cycle. Aim for 60+FPS and 4k. 4k is showing promise now we already are looking at sub 1 grand 4k tvs now in 4-5 years they should be generally adorable and will make 720p/1080 Xboxone and PS4 look like dog food by then.

Cheaper alternative with decent hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46020959)

Upgrade the processor and general specs of the Wii but keep it cheap. That way the casual gamers that don't want to spend $$$ on MS and Sony consoles will go for it. This means get rid of the expensive tablet/controller. Lower price point means not competing with MS and Sony and offers a far better alternative.

Then also integrate it with the popular 3DS/2DS platform. Nintendo can be creative here. Use as a controller? As separate screens in a game running on the Wii? Share games between the two devices? These are the obvious ideas but Nintendo has creative people that know how to make fun games, and I'm sure they can think of something more inventive.

Multiplayer, multiplatform ecosystem (1)

Dan East (318230) | about 9 months ago | (#46020967)

They need to pull out all the stops and embrace all the platforms they can (Android, iOS, DS, Wii) and create a unified multiplayer gaming ecosystem that is kid friendly / safe, the core of which would be built on their game franchises (Mario, Zelda, etc). Imagine firing up Mario Kart on Android and racing against players on Wii U or iOS. One of the goals is to keep from losing 100% of their revenue when a customer migrates from a DS to an Android or iOS device. If they can offer the same games, and probably more importantly, the same profile / avatar / achievements, on other open platforms, at a good price, then the younger crowd (and the parents that control access and the cash flow) would be inclined to stick with Nintendo.

Nintendo is a very trusted brand for kid friendly / kid safe gaming, and they need to leverage that (man I hate using leverage as a verb but it frigging fits here) on other platforms while their brand is still strong.

If they open up that multiplayer / profile system to 3rd party developers (like me), so we can easily have cross-platform profiles and game state saves without having to worry about user validation or get in bed with the evil one (Facebook), then it would be even more ubiquitous. Then Nintendo could do an end-around on Facebook, by providing a single Facebook app for sharing achievements and possibly game invites, so that individual developers don't have to mess with that convoluted mess, it would be very popular (assuming Facebook can't prevent that in their terms of service or whatever).

Touch screen (1)

tepples (727027) | about 9 months ago | (#46021211)

One of the goals is to keep from losing 100% of their revenue when a customer migrates from a DS to an Android or iOS device. If [Nintendo] can offer the same games, and probably more importantly, the same profile / avatar / achievements, on other open platforms, at a good price, then the younger crowd (and the parents that control access and the cash flow) would be inclined to stick with Nintendo.

Good luck controlling Smash Bros. on a touch screen and not losing to every single 3DS player.

let it slide... (1)

datapharmer (1099455) | about 9 months ago | (#46020969)

Wait until apple offers a buyout. They have clearly been interested in gaming for years and have the cash to allow developers to keep working while the total fail that is wii u fades into memory. Nintendo just completely missed the mark. They had college students on the internet working on controller-less games that used the wii and instead of embracing the idea they let Microsoft hire these students to create the kinect and wasted their energy on a fat ugly tablet that is limited in function. If they were smart they would go after a kinect type controller-less system and offer a free app for iphone to act as a supplemental controller. The phones would make a great controller as they already have accelerometers, speakers, mic, etc in them and allow the full "family gaming experience" nintendo was shooting for originally.

Answer two words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46020971)

Virtual Reality.

Marketing (3, Insightful)

Xacid (560407) | about 9 months ago | (#46020983)

Marketing is where they failed horribly with the Wii U. I wasn't even entirely clear on if the Wii U was a brand new system or some new add-on up until recently. The idea of *why* anyone needs this in their home is being entirely ignored it seems. I love the Nintendo brand and I'd hate to see them go the way of Sega. However....that time seems to be quickly approaching.

Re:Marketing (1)

luther349 (645380) | about 9 months ago | (#46021319)

yea i saw the ads oh the wii-u has another mario game in hd its a upgrade and you know the casual gamer like i have beat the last 5 Mario games the original wii has even my dad bought a wii and shows no interest in wii-u

sony (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46020995)

Sell or partner with Sony. Sony blows at handhelds and Nintendo blows at consoles. They can blow together or rule them all.

They NEED to expand their software to new areas (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021007)

Quite simply, they NEED to expand that software to other hardware and devices.
They need to become a software producer for other platforms as well.
There are no rules that say you can't release your stuff for other consoles too. In fact, they'd likely welcome it. (or are there? If there are, that'd be stupid as fuck)

If they brought out older content for new systems, that would strengthen their sales considerably.
Direct ports, no additions.
But also release the newer games as well.

They need the strong software sales to make up for the lack of hardware.
The handheld is pretty much the only thing keeping them afloat.
The Wii was a complete fluke that came at exactly the right time for exactly the right type of audience.
But a sequel is never going to go anywhere with them, these people are casuals, they treat the Wii as they would a TV, something they'd buy new maybe once every 7-15 years, depending on the family.
There is no rush for these people to get anything new. They have a bunch of great games that they maybe play every so often. Why would they need even more?
If you take the Wii out, the jump from Gamecube to WiiU is more or less expected, there are no surprises. The Wii should be ignored in any estimates because it is an anomaly in every sense of the word to their entire traditional business.
Instead they should be learning from it and seeing exactly what they need to see: they have a huge market they could get more huge profits from if they could learn to adapt their business models to fit them, and that is cheaper games, simpler games, more fun games, familiar games, familiar interfaces, ease of use, multiplayer. Hell, may as well throw in expansion packs. Hopefully Nintendo won't go down the route of abusive expansion packs like a huge chunk of DLC has the past 5 years. Seeing stuff like a "weapon pack" for any major unit of currency is downright insulting.

Many of their fans left for smartphones and the other consoles. They need all the help in the world.

This is probably a dumb idea, but it is a thought (3, Insightful)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 9 months ago | (#46021009)

Phones/Tablets right now don't have a standardized controller. I know it is a stretch for Nintendo to make a classic controller like XBox or PS has, but if they did make controllers for tablets/phones, they could then make a series of games for Android/iOS. Then phones would have a standardized controller for other people to develop on too.

Most Nintendo game IP doesn't need expensive hardware to run, so cell phone/tablets is fine to go to. Phones/tablets can even be plugged into televisions to work like a console. The only thing missing is a standard controller. I haven't got a Nintendo since the SNES mostly because I find the controllers strange. Stop treating the game hardware like a toy in itself, go standard hardware minimum requirements and make your games good.

Now not everyone will be carrying a phone/controller around outside, but for the home, it is doable. If you work on manufacturing, you can get your controllers cheap. Then you're just selling people games.

Wii U is decent, but needs quality games (2)

mattmarlowe (694498) | about 9 months ago | (#46021011)

I'm a casual gamer 'dad' interested in fitness with several home schooled kids. I'd expect my family to be the ideal target demographic for the WII U - and indeed, we purchased one since the playstation/xbox were essentially banned - we don't want to feed FPS and junk games to our kids.

Still, what does WII offer us in terms of quality games?
- Wii Fit Plus (just a modest bump over the older wii fit, should have been better).
- Wii Sports Club - OK, took forever for them to release it, some of the sports (e.g. bowling) do not simulate as well as they should. The best game seems to be golf...but come on, it isn't that much better than the old wii sports game.
- Legend of Zelda - Finally released, kids are interested in it...we'll see.
- Mario Junk...no, not interested
- Not much else...

So, basically, the WII U is a decent platform hampered by a lack of quality games for its target market, and the few good games took forever to be released...

I might feel better if I knew Nintendo worked well with third parties and was planning to release a large set of good games over the next year....but I think Zelda and Wii Sports Club have been taking nearly all their resources and it doesn't seem like the relations with third party devs are that good at the moment...

Making the big decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021023)

The Wii was successful because it wasn't terribly expensive and just about everybody's grandmother had one because it appealed to non-gamers. However, unlike real gamers that will go out and buy almost every console of every generation, non-gamers just don't see a reason to move on. They don't need fancy graphics, they are fine with what the wii can do. However, for the rest of us, we want high-performance machines that can support insane AI, lots of mobs, amazing physics and other features that enhances the overall game and immersion, particular those that love to play racing games and FPS / FPRPGs. But, the Wii U while it is better than the PS3, and it can be much better depending on how well developers tame it, the game lineup isn't appealing to those that really love to play quality games. The wii was full of party games, mini-games, and things that pretend to be games (like games based on a movie). Sure, that exists on every system but the Wii was the ideal platform for this since it had simplicity in mind. But that audience is gone, and Nintendo has to accept that non-gamers really don't care about the next console. They don't care about a touchscreen controller, they just cared about the motion controller and acting silly around their friends and family. Wii U is "too complicated" for non-gamers, even the original mario bros is too complicated for most of them. Nintendo will have to make a serious decision soon and I'm pretty sure they might decide to focus on a handheld gaming market instead of console because there is little that they can do unless they turn the Wii U into a badass system that even hardcore gamers would want to get their hands on. The concept is neat, but it doesn't sell. But if they move into mobile they will have a lot of serious competition with the rest of the mobile market. Even the 3DS is having issues competing.

The ultimate smartphone? (1)

atari2600a (1892574) | about 9 months ago | (#46021027)

Pretty much a Playstation phone, but not retarded. Let's say....slide-down joypad, 1080p 3D screen, the latest quad core ARM64, etc. I can see them fucking this up really badly by attempting to include DRM. I honestly think that's their only holdup: they can't port their software portfolio AND have the stranglehold on publishing like their current business model dictates. (Remember, the money off of console sales doesn't come from consoles (except for the rare exception like the Wii) but from licensing fees held to each & every title). My ideal dream phone would pretty much be the above, with EOMA-68-like modularity.

Re:The ultimate smartphone? (1)

GadgetCatChair (1391657) | about 9 months ago | (#46021085)

oh yeah, I like that. People regularly pay 300 dollars for a phone, and that's with the phone service discount. Besides this, the people who love Nintendo the most and have money are not so little any more, Nintendo phone could be sweet! Though now that I think about it, the DS is kind of like that already, except for the phone stuff. I suppose the DS did sell like hot cakes. Maybe it has some potential, though it would really depend on the games.

Re:The ultimate smartphone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021295)

My thought exactly. A Nintendo-branded Android phone & game machine could be a big deal. Maybe games could come on a Sim card, or on microSD. Combine with an earlier suggestion of a good controller that plugged into the phone...and an HDMI (ugh...but it's a standard) output for a big screen HDTV.

AC because I can't seem to log in and view comments at the same time.
I can log in, and even have mod points today...but then when I click on a story I'm not logged in anymore.
        What's up /. ??

Hybrid Mashup Games are the Answer (4, Funny)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 9 months ago | (#46021041)

Dr. Mario Vs. Proctologist Simulator 2013
It's a winner no matter which way you look up it.

rework wii u (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021057)

Remove the requirement for the in box touchpad for the wii u, release an iPad app that does the same thing and sell the Wii U console for $100 less. Couple that with some first rate AAA titles and you'd have yourselves a turnaround

Future for N is hardware for other devices... (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 9 months ago | (#46021063)

iOS has a custom controller API now.

Nintendo could thrive by turning an iPhone/Touch into a game-boy like device with kick-ass controls, and software tailored to work with their own controllers.

It would let Nintendo focus on what they do best, control hardware and games. It would keep them in hardware which is what I think a lot of gamers would love to see, and it would bring in a ton of revenue.

Add in a rechargeable battery into the controller that keeps the device topped up and you have a device that every gamer on the planet would seek to own.

Nintendo could probably with some ease also support some top-tier Android devices too (like Samsung).

How can Nintendo Recover (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021067)

Stop making Consoles and put your games out on other platforms and make Billions.

Bad marketing. (4, Insightful)

aussersterne (212916) | about 9 months ago | (#46021075)

Didn't even realize that Wii U was substantively different from Wii. In fact, based on this story and the context here, still can't tell.

What would have been wrong with "Wii 2" which offers a much clearer indication that it's a next generation console? (If, in fact, it is a next generation console.)

First thing that comes to my mind with "Wii U" is that it's the educational version of the Wii.

Re:Bad marketing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021135)

Wii U is confusingly over-pronouned when spoken... We, you.

Also, given the right tone of voice, the phrase has been used to mean the same thing as pee-you (or P.U. or however you spell that; apparently there are more variations than standardization for spelling that word).

Re:Bad marketing. (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 9 months ago | (#46021273)

I was just thinking that. I have no idea what the Wii U is. For the last console launch, it was obvious, and everyone knew it was the small, cartoony, gimmicky one with the motion controls.
Ultimately, those controls fell short of even conservative estimates of usefulness, but at least the general public knew what Nintendo was offering.
I have no idea how the Wii U is different from the Wii, or why I would want one.

But to be fair, I do not know much about the PS4 or Xbox One, but then I do not have to. Obviously, 99% they will just be more powerful versions of their predecessors. That is just what they do, and that it what their customers want.

Make a gaming smartphone (1, Redundant)

gwstuff (2067112) | about 9 months ago | (#46021081)

Nintendo should make an Android powered smartphone focused on gaming, meaning with controls for gaming. Who wants to carry an extra gaming device when your smartphone gives you access to millions of great games.

Re:Make a gaming smartphone (1)

luther349 (645380) | about 9 months ago | (#46021185)

lol the Nintendo phone ds.

Hire a Microsoft Exec as CEO! (1)

fsagx (1936954) | about 9 months ago | (#46021131)

It Worked for Nokia.

Re:Hire a Microsoft Exec as CEO! (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 9 months ago | (#46021251)

They apparently have a burning platform, this sounds like a job for an Elop!

But in all seriousness, we need Elop installed CEO of Microsoft to help ensure their rapid demise.

Ignore the common wisdom. (2, Interesting)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 9 months ago | (#46021133)

The fact that a vocal segment of the gaming community believes that the best way to play games are using tools designed to drive spreadsheets and word processors means that maybe the common wisdom isn't so wise.

Just focus on building something amazing.

Alan Kay once said, if you're serious about software, you build your own hardware.

This applies double for gaming.

Dump the Japanimation (1, Interesting)

DogDude (805747) | about 9 months ago | (#46021145)

I think it's time they dump the whole Japanimation thing. The Japanese-themed content is stale, and a relatively tiny niche of worldwide console players. I think it's time to jettison the whole Japanese-themed content and move towards something a bit more appealing to the world at large. I look at Nintendo, as a lifelong game player, and most of the content doesn't appeal to me at all.

Re:Dump the Japanimation (1)

ldsviking (1045752) | about 9 months ago | (#46021359)

I agree. Train the development teams on Western aesthetics. We don't need all brown and gray, but they need to realize that pink and rainbow schemes don't do well here unless you're under 6.

Lack of clear plan (1)

jralime (1303513) | about 9 months ago | (#46021183)

I think the biggest problem Nintendo has faced with the Wii U was a lack of direction. The system is basically a Wii with a better processor/graphics, and then this add on controller that nobody knows what to do with. The idea of having 1 controller be different than the other 4 was a bad move. They were also lacking clear direction on launch. The biggest titles for Nintendo have always been Mario & Zelda. With the Wii U I have no idea what the "flagship" mario game is supposed to be, Super Luigi Bros/Super Mario 3D Land? Are they just a bunch of secondary knockoffs? Zelda didn't even get it's own release yet. Windwaker HD is coming out, but it's a revamp of an old game, and it took how long to even make the announcement? I also agree that Nintendo needs to develop new properties besides Mario & Zelda, but both of these should have had clear release announcements before the console release. The innovation was lacking for this console, and the upgrades don't quite seem to justify a new console (yes 1080p is cool, but graphics have never been the driving force for nintendo games)

Why I use a Wii: Casual entertainment (1)

GaryGregory (1662331) | about 9 months ago | (#46021197)

For me, a new Wii (not U) owner (thank you Santa), all the Wii V has to do for me to buy one is to have better graphics and keep the family-friendly games rolling in, add Amazon Instant Video, and not screw this up: I want to play it with my 6 year old and my wife, so don't give me a tablet as a controller, do the same thing better, smaller and at a much lower price than an XBox/PS4. For cooler stuff, I can use my Xbox360.

Im pretty sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021199)

... as a 27 year old kid at heart, i would buy nearly all of my old youth games... from Pokemon to Zelda to Mario, to Metroid to a number of games I dont even remember the name of, if Nintendo ported them over (would need a bit of a GFX upgrade sure) to the Android ecosystem... thats just me... for nostalgia...

While i dont have kids, I would also grab them for my kids, as it is, i spend a good amount on games for my nieces and nephews for their Android Tablets (80% learning apps/movies/books and 20% games), so I could see getting it for them as well

Nintendo, there IS a market, you have the IP... MAKE SOME MONEY!

(Bought all the Sonic games so far and FF games... NEED MOAR CLASSICS!)

Port properties to other consoles (2)

Sandman1971 (516283) | about 9 months ago | (#46021217)

It's time that Nintendo start porting their properties to other consoles. I'd love to play the next Super Mario game on my Xbox One. I'd love to play Mario Kart on my PS4. Don't even license out the games, create/produce them the same way you've been doing for years, but just start porting them to other platforms and get out of the console business.

I think Nintendo is toast (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021241)

Once Xbox came to be, they filled the void once occupied by Nintendo. There isn't room for a 3rd player in the home console field - or at least I don't think Nintendo could even make a dent versus Xbox and Playstation.

OK but if I wanted to save Nintendo.. (hang on, I have to look up what a WiiU is - omg it looks like total shit)

I'd go back to the roots. Create games reminiscent of what worked in the 80s and early 90s, but with a little more flashiness and multiplayer. Not everybody wants 3D (personally I was over it after I played super mario 64)

What I could change (1)

gaelfx (1111115) | about 9 months ago | (#46021247)

Well, one thing that I always felt was missing from Nintendo's disc-based consoles is the ability to play DVDs and/or Blu-rays. I mean, it doesn't make much sense to buy a device you can put a disc into that can only be used to interact with a VERY limited number of discs.

They could also release apps for Android/iOS to allow phones and tablets to be used as a controller of some sort, or at the very least to interact with the consoles.

A whole other direction could be to let go of the hardware market; they do have some pretty successful names that would probably do very well on the app stores. If they really wanted to keep the hardware, they could make side-games that influence the console titles with accomplishments on other devices.

I think their biggest problem is the way they've isolated themselves from all other media/devices. They just can't survive alone, they need to realize that it's better to embrace others than it is to fear them.

Nintendont (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021305)

I wouldn't worry so much about Nintendo, as the 3DS has outpaced all current gen consoles and handhelds combined. Sony and Microsoft would have been in real trouble by now if they didn't have their other profitable divisions to fall back on.

A few suggestions (1)

ldsviking (1045752) | about 9 months ago | (#46021337)

A few suggestions: -Phase out the touchpad controller--it scares people off. The Wii remote was much more approachable (though somewhat uncomfortable to use classic-style).
-Rebrand the Wii U, since the name confuses people.
-Create an iTunes-style account system for the Virtual Console. Who wants to re-buy retro games every 5-6 years??
-Firmware update: launch straight to the title screen of whatever game is loaded. All the OS fluff can be accessed as needed, but power-on straight to the game.
-Figure out a way to re-create the Nintendo Power experience, admittedly a challenge in the Internet age. That magazine was brilliant marketing strategy and exposed millions of kids to hundreds of different games. Websites don't quite provide the same experience, especially for kids 8-12. I think it is an underrated part of Nintendo's 80s-90s success.
-Reassign Aonuma (who has ruined the Zelda series) and Sakamoto (who has ruined the Metroid series).
-Assign Retro Studios to re-boot Metroid.
-Develop Super Mario Bros. 3 II. Don't include any music with a chorus singing "bah bah."
-Company policy: don't treat your customers like idiots ("Hey!" "Listen!" "Hey!" "Listen!" "This is a rupee! You can use it to buy stuff!" x100)
-Company policy: Intros and tutorials should be no longer than 2 minutes, and should be fully skippable. Most people don't care much about stories, and you could put it in the manual or on the title menu. Most people want to start doing something right away.

Too late, but support the small developer communit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46021347)

Nintendo blew it, big time. Too late for a comeback at this point IMO; I'll never buy their products again. They had an enormous opportunity with the Wii and the small developer/ 3rd party development that was going on, organically, behind their cool first to market motion enabled hardware platform. But instead of embracing it and incentivizing it, which would have helped grow a large base of hardcore, loyal fans in addition to producing apps and content that people actually wanted, they snuffed out their most loyal users by shutting down 3rd party development avenues. They modified their hardware and software continuously to lock out "unauthorized" developers, pushed for federal charges against mod chip sellers, and did just about everything imaginable to push put their most loyal customers, leaving only the expensive ($10,000+ and an impossible amount of paperwork) 1st party development route. By the time they realized how quickly apple's $100/year anyone can develop model caught on and reversed course, it was far too late.

As Ballmer famously said... developers, developers, developers, developers. The Mario franchise can only do so much on its own. Without "killer apps", and loyal developers making them, your platform will never gain critical market share. And at that point, it's too late to reverse the downward spiral.

Here's another thought (2)

Orleron (835910) | about 9 months ago | (#46021351)

Stop making the same Mario game over and over and over and over..... Make some new games.
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