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Nintendo Could Base Comeback On Improving Peoples' Health

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the time-to-play dept.

Nintendo 129

Nerval's Lobster writes: "It's no secret that Nintendo faces significant challenges: revenues are down, rival platforms such as Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4 are attracting a lot of buzz, and iOS and Android have made significant inroads into mobile gaming. Rather than double down on its core business, however, Nintendo reportedly sees its salvation in new, nongaming segments such as... monitoring your health? 'We have now redefined entertainment to mean making it fun for people to improve the quality of their lives,' Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata told a company strategy meeting, according to The Wall Street Journal. But he refused to part with more detail about Nintendo's plans, except to claim that whatever's in the works isn't a wearable device along the lines of Nike's FuelBand or the FitBit, and it isn't an iteration of the Wii Balance Board, an accessory that measures the user's weight and center of balance while playing games."

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129 comments

Great plan Nintendo (-1, Flamebait)

stealth_finger (1809752) | about 3 months ago | (#46118405)

Jump on the latest bandwagon for a batch of customers you haven't milked yet. Oh well, put mario or zelda on something and the nintendards will lap it up. Especially if they make it make 'classic snes sfx'

Re:Great plan Nintendo (4, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | about 3 months ago | (#46118415)

Nintendo released Wii Fit about five years ago, Walk With Me for the DS about four years ago, the 3DS with a step counter three years ago, were discussing a Wii pulse reader until two years ago, and just last year released a new version of Wii Fit that incorporates an upgraded version of Walk With Me.

I know that's a bit much to go over but you've been so spectacularly counterfactual that I have to wonder if you just hid away from gaming entirely for the last half decade to have drawn the conclusion that it was "the latest bandwagon" for the company.

Re:Great plan Nintendo (1)

stealth_finger (1809752) | about 3 months ago | (#46118465)

Obviously they've had fitness stuff out. The wii was pretty much based on it so this is basically saying hey that worked lets do it again. But with the new bandwagon of smartwatches, app intergration and all those latest buzzy things. Thanks anyway though.

Re:Great plan Nintendo (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 3 months ago | (#46118485)

It's like you're accusing a tomato company of jumping on the ketchup bandwagon. They were going to be releasing ketchup this year anyway!

Re:Great plan Nintendo (1)

stealth_finger (1809752) | about 3 months ago | (#46118511)

Only if they've had a few tomato based condoments out in the past now they plan to base their future on a ketchup with their twist on it, yeah.

Re:Great plan Nintendo (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 3 months ago | (#46118519)

Wii Fit was one of the biggest successes of the original Wii. There were literally lines. So I don't see that it's so unusual that Nintendo think it'll be one of (emphasis: one of) their future product growth areas.

Re:Great plan Nintendo (1)

stealth_finger (1809752) | about 3 months ago | (#46118563)

Keyword; was. It was part of a fad and a novel way to use the tech in the living room. Sure, loads and loads of people bought it, some of them probably still use it but I wonder how many they sell now. It's not hard to pick up a second hand one for dirt cheap because once people used it a few times they got bored of them. If they do go for it good luck to them, but imho focusing on being a fitness technology company or whatever isn't going to save them and if it does it will be a way that is no longer relevant in gaming.

Re:Great plan Nintendo (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 3 months ago | (#46118721)

Indeed, speculation on Japanese forums is that this is just the addition of some pads that measure body fat to the balance board. Most bathroom scales in Japan already have them so it was actually kind of odd that the balance board could measure weight but not body fat when it came out. It's just a logical evolution following a fell trodden path.

Re:Great plan Nintendo (1)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | about 3 months ago | (#46119219)

Indeed, speculation on Japanese forums is that this is just the addition of some pads that measure body fat to the balance board. Most bathroom scales in Japan already have them so it was actually kind of odd that the balance board could measure weight but not body fat when it came out. It's just a logical evolution following a fell trodden path.

Bioelectrical impedance isn't a reliable enough measure of body fat for home use really (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioelectrical_impedance_analysis) - and if your bathroom scales do it just as well (or badly) it wouldn't add much to the Wii fit for the cost and hassle of adding it. I'd guess it only measures weight because it has the sensors to measure center of gravity.

Re:Great plan Nintendo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46119877)

I'd like to see them incorporate diet management into Wii Fit.

Like scan the barcodes of everything you eat when you buy it and have it figure out the calories consumed by those products. thereby figuring out how much exercise to burn it off.

Re:Great plan Nintendo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46118801)

See, the problem with this is that we know the mario and zelda games are largely worth it - worth "lapping it up."

So shut the hell up, you damn fanboy. All that CoD and GTA isn't good for your brain, you know.

Atari played with this too (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46118411)

Juuuust before they went out of business.

Re:Atari played with this too (1)

QuantumLeaper (607189) | about 3 months ago | (#46118541)

Atari also had wireless controllers too, so Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are going out of business because they are use wireless controllers too. (sarcasm)

Game System for Improving People's Health (4, Funny)

korbulon (2792438) | about 3 months ago | (#46118413)

It urges you to go out for a walk and then turns itself off.

Re:Game System for Improving People's Health (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 3 months ago | (#46118497)

"It urges you to go out for a walk and then turns itself off."

All it would need is remote control for the weather, (stop snowing or raining, decrease wind velocity to 5 metres/sec and increase temperature to 280K)

Re:Game System for Improving People's Health (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | about 3 months ago | (#46120609)

If you're in a place where 280K would be an increase, I feel quite sorry for you. Maybe if if did interface with a weather service it could prompt you with an occasional "it's nice outside, why not go enjoy it?" when appropriate.

Nintendo should (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46118423)

Exit the console market and focus on its strength, handhelds. Milk Mario, Zelda, and Pokémon for all they are worth, and people will buy the handhelds for the games. Assuming they make a profit on hardware they are golden. And for the love of God, don't listen to the morons telling them to port their games to iPhones or Android

Re:Nintendo should (1)

Lord Lemur (993283) | about 3 months ago | (#46118937)

Nintendo should sell those flag ship games on the other consoles, iOS and Android. If you can't beat them, join them. Or face the sad truth that their share price is going to drop low enough that a compeditor, probably Sony because MS isn't savvy enough and Apple and Google don't seem to crave their patents, will buy them out for what would have been pennies on the dollar a few years ago.

Re: Nintendo should (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46119137)

Like sony could afford it!

3ds (1)

baka_toroi (1194359) | about 3 months ago | (#46119319)

Sure, throw into the garbage the profitable console from Nintendo. Genius! It's evident you're not aware the struggling console from Nintendo is the Wii U. The portable 3DS is chugging alone more than fine.

Re:3ds (1)

Lord Lemur (993283) | about 3 months ago | (#46119407)

Nintendo Stock has lost 56% of it's value in the last 3 years. Let's looks at what the facts say.

Re:3ds (1)

L1mewater (557442) | about 3 months ago | (#46119587)

Nintendo stock was artificially high for several years due to the ridiculous success of the Nintendo Wii. What you're seeing is a return to values more in line with the company historically.

Re:Nintendo should (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | about 3 months ago | (#46120117)

Nah, they can and should keep their consoles but what they should do is have an emulator for their handhelds on the console and make the entire handheld library available.

Intendo BMI Buddy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46118437)

Tells you to get your fat ass off the couch.

fake history heros science religion 'weather'.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46118443)

fake math rulers news motives blogs etc... hard to forget all that

Re: fake history heros science religion 'weather'. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46118517)

And I'm sure you think Obama is a Kenyan Muslim and 9/11 was an inside job etc etc. Dumb ass

Re: fake history heros science religion 'weather'. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46118535)

Obama is a Botswanan Methodist, dumb ass.

here we groan again hymenology council reopens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46118543)

we've learned nothing at all yet? http://rt.com/news/monkeys-customized-mutation-study-435/

Anything to not admit they screwed up (2, Informative)

MikeRT (947531) | about 3 months ago | (#46118453)

Nintendo's management seems incapable of admitting that their current situation is the direct result of them seeing if they can make a human ouroboros by shoving their heads so far up their asses they're nibbling on their stomach lining. Their hardware is woefully underpowered, they are not embracing small developers even remotely as well as their competition and no one wants to admit the obvious. They didn't have to release the Wii U when they did. They could easily have afforded to release a new console around last Christmas with similar specs to the XBone PS4. They could have even released one that was a bit weaker, but broke even and gotten third party support by waving most of the licensing costs for the first two years for anyone willing to make a game for their system. Heck they could have create a Nintendo quality Ouya-like system and turned the console market on its head.

But Nintendo did what Nintendo does. They pretended that their brand is still so strong that they can do what they've always done and ignore the fact that Microsoft opened half of the seals of the video game apocalypse by creating the XBox which is a steady progression from gaming toy to a powerful, dedicated and cheap entertainment PC that is open to developers. The fact that Super Mario World 3D sold so poorly when it came out should have been an indicator to Nintendo that they need to clean house and hire people who seem to actually understand what is going on in the market today. This isn't 1992. Nintendo faces real competition with much stronger backing than Sega ever could have brought to bear.

Re:Anything to not admit they screwed up (3, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | about 3 months ago | (#46118477)

The WiiU's performance has little to do with it launching 18 months before the PS4 and Xbone. They could've launched a system maybe 80% as powerful as either of those using the parts available, as opposed to something that's 120% as powerful as a PS3 or 360. The low performance is a design trade-off that was necessary if they wanted to have that touchscreen controller in the box and a price south of $500. Nintendo did well betting on low prices, new input methods and low performance on the Wii; unfortunately, they bet wrong by attempting to repeat the trick in an era where mobile pricing has put cheap gaming into a "race to the bottom".

They should've staked out the high end with Sony and MS where mobile is less disruptive, but the WiiU would have been too far along in development by the time that issue became clear. (Sony have recently remarked that they could tell the Vita was going to have problems with mobile well before it launched in 2012, and have had to try to change the console's goals without the opportunity to change actual product.)

Re:Anything to not admit they screwed up (4, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 3 months ago | (#46118605)

Still not quite on the money. They fucked up, yes, but it has nothing to do with where they positioned the console on price and performance. Their main issue, which has been an issue for every single Nintendo console since the SNES, is the timing of their first party games, combined with their third party developer support. Nintendo has a history of weak third party releases, with games that aren't quite up to par on their console and general lack of releases, which means they rely heavily on first party development. However, where's the first party support for WiiU? It was there for Wii and heavily pushed consoles out the door, it was there for the 3DS and outright saved the console, and on and on. On WiiU, excluding remakes like Winwaker HD, they're lacking games from many of their major franchises right now, with no release dates in sight. There's no Mario Kart, no (new) Zelda, no new Metroid, no new Donkey Kong, no new Smash Bros., no Pokemon, and I could rattle off many more franchises that just don't have games for the new console, and don't have any announced entries with a release date to fill the void. Nintendo has this terrible habit of releasing a console with weak first party support when that's what sustains their entire business model, and with WiiU, the future doesn't look bright specifically because of their lack of announced titles with release dates.

Given all this news about Nintendo lately, I bet their stock is tanking. If I knew there was a Pokemon coming in the next year, I'd buy as much stock as I could, because everyone knows that Pokemon alone outright sells consoles.

Re:Anything to not admit they screwed up (1)

Viol8 (599362) | about 3 months ago | (#46118637)

"because everyone knows that Pokemon alone outright sells consoles."

Does it? To whom? No one over the age of 15 is going to buy a game like that for themselves , its just the kids market and in 2014 thats quite small for consoles. The adults game market is far larger.

Re:Anything to not admit they screwed up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46118733)

"because everyone knows that Pokemon alone outright sells consoles."

Does it? To whom? No one over the age of 15 is going to buy a game like that for themselves , its just the kids market and in 2014 thats quite small for consoles. The adults game market is far larger.

My five year old son received a 2DS with Pokemon X and Pokemon Y for the holidays. This 45 year old guy had so much fun watching him, that I went out and bought a 3DS XL for myself just so I could play Pokemon with him.

Just saying, I might be in a minority, but us adults aren't all CoD or Madden players. I find that for me, Nintendo makes the most fun and most social games.

Re:Anything to not admit they screwed up (1)

Viol8 (599362) | about 3 months ago | (#46118777)

That doesn't disprove my point - you only bought it because you have a 5 year old. I doubt you'd have done so otherwise.

Re:Anything to not admit they screwed up (1)

Lord Lemur (993283) | about 3 months ago | (#46119013)

Many adults fit that niche, and buy copies and equipment for themselves to play with their kids. This is why I now own more then 1 of every damn console that comes in the house.

Re:Anything to not admit they screwed up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46118793)

Many many adults enjoy pokemon, bro

Re:Anything to not admit they screwed up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46118819)

what hole are you living in? I know god knows how many people between the ages of 15 and 30 who would get a new console for pokemon, I know people who have atleast one of Xbox/PS4 who would get a WiiU if there was a proper pokemon game.

Re:Anything to not admit they screwed up (1)

Noxal (816780) | about 3 months ago | (#46118891)

I'm 28 and I own the latest Pokemon. So does my husband and at least 15 of our older-than-21 friends.

Re:Anything to not admit they screwed up (1)

nintendoeats (1370249) | about 3 months ago | (#46118959)

Evidently don't spend much time around young adults (possibly a good thing?). Nintendo 3DS are a frequent sight around my campus, and they are all running Pokemon. They aren't as common as phones of course, but certainly enough to base a business on.

Re:Anything to not admit they screwed up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46120053)

Does it? To whom? No one over the age of 15 is going to buy a game like that for themselves

Congratulations on winning the Nobel Prize for Cluelessness.

Re:Anything to not admit they screwed up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46120239)

Yes it does. The latest Pokemon X & Y have sold over 11 million units in under 12 months.

Re:Anything to not admit they screwed up (1)

Rob Earl (3469423) | about 3 months ago | (#46118841)

Aren't people tired of the same old games from 1986 by now? Isn't the fact they've been releasing slightly altered versions of the same thing over and over again part of the problem?

Re:Anything to not admit they screwed up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46118955)

OK, let's see which innovations the latests and greatest consoles from Microsoft and Sony brought to the table:
- racing car simulators
- NBA/NFL/soccer games
- RPGs ...

So far nothing new here. What is it then? First Person Shooters?

captcha: evident

Re:Anything to not admit they screwed up (1)

Lord Lemur (993283) | about 3 months ago | (#46119115)

The targeted demographic is pretty young. They are missing 15-20 years of gaming history. Something from 1986 is still new to them, if it's shiney.

Re:Anything to not admit they screwed up (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 3 months ago | (#46118913)

That's a good point - a WiiU without the touchpad controller at a lower price might have been a big seller. Although they'd have to fight uphill against consumer confusion between that and the original Wii.

Re:Anything to not admit they screwed up (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 3 months ago | (#46119201)

They have plenty of 3rd party support in Japan, it's their overseas performance that is suffering.

Lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46118509)

Yeah right. The xbox... the console that still can't beat Sony.

Nintendo made a very simple mistake with the Wii U and it had nothing to do with hardware or names or marketing.

THEY FORGOT TO MAKE GAMES FOR IT.

The same thing happened with the 3DS and Sony did the same with the Vita. Consoles don't sell themselves, games sell consoles pure and simple.

I will ONLY consider buying a console if there is a game(s) that is worth it. Fire Emblem Awakening made me buy a 3DS, Last Story a Wii. THEN when I made the purchase, I am more likely to buy other games "Attack of Friday Monsters" but I am hardly going to buy a console in the hope that their one day might be a game I can use it for.

Nintendo realized it with the 3DS and hustled ass to get some decent games out AND a decent variet. Go to metacritic's top 25 for each platform and count NOT how many good games there are that YOU like but how many there are that someone you know might like. Fantastic for FPS lovers if a consoles top 25 games are FPS BUT it means everyone who isn't crazy about them, isn't going to touch the console.

Even for Nintendo, it ain't enough to just have a mario and zelda title to sell, that just sells to its core audience. It ALSO needs to sell to FPS fan, the strategy fan, the story RPG fan etc etc. Nintendo and for that matter the rest keep forgetting it. Microsoft forgot the jrpg market with the original xbox and payed with by not selling at all in Japan. The Vita has its fans but if you check the top games, variety is NOT its strong suit.

You wouldn't make a VCR that can only play SciFi movies would you?

Quality games and a nice variety of them. That is all Nintendo needs. Can they do it? Don't know.

Re:Lol (1)

Viol8 (599362) | about 3 months ago | (#46118607)

Its not just the lack of games , its the TYPE of games. As the GP pointed out , its not 1992. Video games are played by more adults than kids and teenagers now and adults don't want games consisting of silly anthropamorphised animals in go karts.

Re:Lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46118639)

That is why I said they needed more diversity.

Re: Lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46118671)

That's exactly what they said

Re:Lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46118923)

Yes we do.

For me personally, if I would game, I would very much prefer Nintendo over the other offers.
But, somehow, I don't have the time to dedicate to a game as much now as I did before.

MS and Sony are more targetted at the hardcore gamers - perhaps there has been an overall decline in time available for gaming for the less hardcore gamers such as myself (I was more than casual though)?
That would hurt Nintendo big time, while the effect on MS / Sony is far smaller...

Well, you know what they say: extrapolation from anecdotal evidence to a management decisions is a sound stratagem! ;-)

Re:Lol (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 3 months ago | (#46119075)

Speak for yourself. As far as games go, Most of the games I enjoy are more cartoon than real life. Not everything has to be about ultra-violence to be fun. I play games to relax, and traditional Nintendo games like Mario and Zelda titles allow me to do that.

Re:Anything to not admit they screwed up (2)

Xest (935314) | about 3 months ago | (#46118723)

To be fair I think Nintendo could've pulled it off fine with the Wii U, I think they still could. The games they do have on it are actually really good.

I'd argue the problem is the price point. They were charging £280 for a console underpowered enough to justify only £150 (which is what I got mine for).

I remember I used to pay £130 or so for a Nintendo console, I know inflation and all that but if they went for the £130 - £150 price point as standard I think they'd do far better.

The issue all along has been that they've entered the pricing realm of premium hardware and software (£250+ console, £40 games) with budget offerings.

Even with the Wii it was quite cheap and they made all their money on the accessories - Wii Motes, Nunchucks, Classic controllers, Balance borders - it all stacked up to make the Wii more expensive than the 360/PS3 yet people are more comfortable buying their experience a la carte because it lowers the upfront cost. If they had a bunch of games supporting two of their touchscreen gamepads and sold those separately they'd do much better selling the console for £130 and selling those separately at like £60 each or whatever.

People would far more happily pay £130 for the Wii U with a pro controller, and Super Mario Bros etc. then add up the touchscreen game pads later on and so forth for things like Pikmin and Lego City Undercover.

People weren't going to pay markedly more than a 360/PS3 for something no more powerful and with far less games, and that's where they really fucked up - their price point. They got greedy.

Re:Anything to not admit they screwed up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46120011)

You're correct that they screwed up the pricing for inferior hardware, but the problem wasn't greed. The Wii U sold for a loss at release. Reggie Fils-Aime (head of NOA) said that they made profit on a console sale only after the purchase of a game. Though manufacturing costs decrease with time, I wouldn't be surprised if Wii U is still selling at a loss, considering that there's been a price drop in response to poor sales.

The problem was the entire strategy, which relies on an extremely expensive controller that one sees a purpose for. That's what pushed the price up.

Re:Anything to not admit they screwed up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46120113)

Sorry, meant to say that *no one* sees a purpose for the controller. I said the opposite of what I meant.

I saw this coming from the moment the console was unveiled. Up until that, I was considering buying Nintendo stock. When I saw the gamepad, I was glad I hadn't bought in, and predicted that there would be a big selloff the following day, which there was. It all went to hell from there.

The controller divides your attention. You don't know whether to look at the controller or the TV, and in some cases, you HAVE TO look at both. I remember playing some Rayman demo at Gamestop and the game required me to keep looking down at the controller to make a swiping motion through vines which were blocking my path. That confirmed the very thing I figured would be wrong about the gamepad.

Re:Anything to not admit they screwed up (1)

Xest (935314) | about 3 months ago | (#46120169)

It depends how it's used, in Lego City Undercover and for some parts of Pikmin it's use makes sense because you use it as a virtual Augmented Reality device - i.e. you hold it up to the screen to scan the buildings on screen with an X-ray or sound scanner to find someone for example. It's actually pretty cool for this, but for other games like Mario it doesn't make much sense other than for the fact you can let someone take over the TV and keep playing on the pad but that's a minor benefit.

They should just sell a version of the console without the pad and with a pro controller (which is just like the XBox 360 controller) as I say and keep the game pad as an addon.

Re:Anything to not admit they screwed up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46120347)

(Same AC here)

Agreed. If developers use the gamepad correctly, it can add value. If you've never played the Fatal Frame series, look it up. The basic premise is you fight ghosts by taking their pictures, and you can only see them when looking through the camera. It would be awesome to have a version for Wii U which uses the gamepad in that sense.

But just like with the Wii, it requires developers to use the controller correctly. As a Wii owner, I can say there were quite a lot of Wii games which got that very wrong (Tomb Raider Underworld, I'm looking at you). Others got it right, but in my experience they were mainly the first-party games.

Like you said, the gamepad works in same cases and not others. I see limited opportunity to make it useful, and since it bakes in such a price premium, maybe it would be good to separate untie it from the system like you said. At this point, however, the problem has shifted to third-party abandonment, so I don't know if the console can be saved.

Re:Anything to not admit they screwed up (2)

Gravis Zero (934156) | about 3 months ago | (#46119057)

Their hardware is woefully underpowered, ... They could easily have afforded to release a new console around last Christmas with similar specs to the XBone PS4.

this is nothing new. from the very beginning, nintendo has always gone with slower and inexpensive hardware. how were they so successful? they are marketing geniuses, they have always focused on graphics versus cpu speed and sell their systems for less.

- They made a ton of money selling Gameboys because they came out with a zillion flavors of it. Gameboy was released later in several different colors.
  Then they came out with Gameboy Pocket. Then Gameboy Color which was a small hardware/software tweak (4 shades of gray turned into 4 different colors).

- NES/SNES/GB/GBA/NDS/GC/WII were all slower than their competitors but they focus on graphics abilities

- The rest of their consoles were cheap-o crap parts and so they could sell their systems for less. They got burned with the N64 because put in much better
  hardware which made it more expensive. the playstation was cheaper and the games too because CDs are much cheaper to make than carts.

hardware capabilities have less to do with selling units than good marketing strategies.

Re:Anything to not admit they screwed up (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46119181)

The management team took a paycut

Repeat after me.

The management team took a paycut.

I'm pretty fucking sure that if there was ever a way to admint "We messed something up." it's that.

"Microsoft opened half of the seals of the video game apocalypse by creating the XBox which is a steady progression from gaming toy to a powerful, dedicated and cheap entertainment PC that is open to developers."

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

OMG I can't stop crying and laughing at the same time. Oh fuck, I can't believe how much marketing can have an affect on people and the truth. Wow just fucking wow.

Re:Anything to not admit they screwed up (2)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 3 months ago | (#46119645)

Nintendo has shot for low-price high-value. I am consistently impressed with Nintendo, and unimpressed with Sony and Microsoft catering. Old Sega also was impressive--the DreamCast was fantastic, the games on it were iffy though; third-party vastly outperformed first-party, contrary to Nintendo's habit of releasing impossibly awesome first-party games like Zelda and Metroid.

Nintendo always had the best controllers. The dog bone on the SNES was slightly more ergonomic than Sega's croissant; the N64 mis-step wasn't so bad, and brought plenty of improvements over older designs; the Game Cube had the best handheld controller in history (Dual Shock is close, hence why Sony abandoned the banana); and then they just completely jumped to a new platform with the Wii. Wii U was a mis-step like N64: interesting concept, but... this time I think the multi-screen thing is "a nice idea that we can't make work". Meanwhile the competition has the Kinect: an upgraded EyeToy, not really a new platform; it gets a lot of talk but I don't know of anyone who really uses that as a primary controller for any reasonable amount of play (remember: the Wiimote is THE controller); I liken the Kinect to the Wii Balance Board in that respect, maybe even the WiiU game pad--intended to be primary, but let's face it... we all prefer the Wiimote and use it wherever possible.

Nintendo has put out some of the best games--they even started entire concepts like the MetroidVania style of gameplay present in Zelda and Metroid (and Castlevania, eventually). Microsoft has put out Halo--a session game, not a play-through game. Sony put out a platform, and occasionally Crash Bandicoot--the same bargain-bin shovelware as all the other no-name LJN shit. Nintendo platforms have hosted the greats--Capcom, Square, Enix, even Sega came to Nintendo after their downfall, although they make shit games now.

And what have they fallen to? XBox One? Don't kid yourself. Nintendo falls to... Android. To iOS. None of us saw this coming; we all saw the writing on the wall, commented about it in jest, but who really expected cell phones to break Nintendo? People don't want epics; they want time wasters, amazing graphical eye-candy or stupid little Angry Birds shit. Square-Enix isn't solidly fixed on Nintendo as they were ages ago; Capcom is still the top-of-the-line, but now people have lost interest--Capcom still does exactly what they did so long ago, but people have moved on just as they had from fighting games to RPGs to racing games to FPS. Once upon a time, the Playstation was shiny and exciting; but people lost interest by PS2... Final Fantasy and Gran Turisimo drove people to the PS2 (I hated racing games, but was in the RPG crowd). Now Nintendo faces the same, but all the shiny things are on cell phones.

Thus Nintendo does what it always has done: they do all they can, the best they can, and await results. They also cheat a little. Nintendo emerged from the smoking wreckage of the 1984 Video Game Crash with Rob the Robotic Operating Buddy, selling their game console as a "robotic toy" because KB Toys wouldn't stock a "Video Game". Now they're selling "Fitness Trainers". They've gone to digital distribution, but they'll have to open their distribution channel more so that more indie developers can get on it, and so rolling patches don't cost $3000 a pop. Indie games are crowd-pleasers: they're the last vestiges of the powerful and brilliant hand of the market, the one motivated by creativity and idealism and need rather than profit and security. People just put whatever they think would be awesome in indie games; they often fail--you don't hear about those--but once in a while you get a black swan like Hell Yeah or Braid.

If I were Nintendo, I would open the franchises. I'd create the new genre of NonCan, non-cannon third-party use of assets. Metroid SR388, Rockman X Infinity, Super Metroid Invincible Edition, etc. Stamp official permission on any damn thing with your own name on it, let people invent new game play elements for you, take a royalty if it's sold and pay one if you redistribute. That will draw some serious attention.

Nintendo Nutrition Nanny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46118475)

Lie about what you eat to unlock achievements.

They need to improve the health of the Wii U stat! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46118483)

It's flat lining.

Nike Fuel (1)

jlebrech (810586) | about 3 months ago | (#46118573)

They need to take on Nike Fuel, maybe a quadriped version with a VMU style interface that plays classic gameboy games.

Feels pretty backward (1, Insightful)

Kimomaru (2579489) | about 3 months ago | (#46118597)

Nintendo seems intent on being dragged kicking and screaming into the modern gaming age. They don't seem to put out any hardware that doesn't produce huge margins (which is why their consoles always seem to trail in technical performance). It feels like the Sega story, Nintendo needs to make sure they don't put out a Dreamcast at the wrong time (and I say this as a Dreamcast lover, still have mine in my office.) I think there's space for three console manufacturers in the market, but at this point they're pretty going to need to put out somewhat comparable products. Putting out another low-powered Wii that people flocked to, played for two weeks, and then let collect dust? Yeah, that's not going to work this time.

Re:Feels pretty backward (2)

Trepidity (597) | about 3 months ago | (#46118645)

I don't really see a "match Sony on poly-pushing" strategy being a good idea, though. Nintendo's audience has never been people looking for max poly count and photorealistic graphics, and their strong franchises haven't gone in that direction either. They could well lose out anyway, but I don't think the console's CPU or GPU is really their problem.

Re:Feels pretty backward (1, Interesting)

Kimomaru (2579489) | about 3 months ago | (#46118813)

Maybe, but I think Nintendo's audience just grew up and wants something more hard core. Kids today are growing up watching their older brothers play Call of Duty. Thirty years ago, that game would be Mario Bros. If a Zelda or Mario game is produced these days, they should be able to stand up next to the biggest games in the market. Nintendo's always had a nice angle in that making cartoony games with less realism didn't require cutting edge hardware, so they were able to get away with putting out cheaper hardware, but I think that time is over.

Re:Feels pretty backward (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 3 months ago | (#46118857)

I guess I have kind of the opposite view; I don't think games like Call of Duty have any real potential for Nintendo. They are never going to be the lead platform for those kinds of games, which is fine, because those are not a huge percentage of the gaming market (and a declining one, with the rise of mobile/tablet games). I think their bigger problem is that tablets are eating the traditional Nintendo segment.

Re:Feels pretty backward (1)

Kimomaru (2579489) | about 3 months ago | (#46118921)

Yes, you're probably right. The classic Nintendo audience is moving to mobile game more. And even though I don't play any Nintendo games anymore (except on my Wii vcon), I must confess that I would love to own one myself if they made games for 3DS or WiiU that were appealing to me. They just don't have any games (except the new Zelda on Wii U) that I'm interested in and developers have started leaving it. Very sad. If they make a new console and it stands up well, I'll pick it up.

Re:Feels pretty backward (1)

DeanCubed (814869) | about 3 months ago | (#46119897)

The latest Call of Duty is on the Wii U, though. Feel free to have a Wii U and also play CoD if that's what you want.

Re:Feels pretty backward (1)

Kimomaru (2579489) | about 3 months ago | (#46119973)

With that WiiU game pad? No, thank you. Plus, the games don't look as good. Assisin's Creed 4 looks like it's running at 20 fps :(

Re:Feels pretty backward (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 3 months ago | (#46120253)

Please don't compare Call of Duty to Mario. Nintendo's first party titles still have a lot of charm and are very attractive to a universal audience (instead of the 14-30 dudebro demographic CoD targets) and the day they start trying to ape the gruff and huff of shit like CoD is the day Nintendo dies for good.

Their problem is just actually releasing those fucking games. I have a WiiU and the only games I have for the system are Monster Hunter, a 3DS port, the Wind Waker HD version, a Gamecube port, and Mario Galaxy, a Wii game that's not even upscaled to 1080p by the WiiU. I don't know what the hell they're thinking, but all they have to do is actually release games in series that are popular. The only core game I've seen thus far has been Super Mario 3D World, and frankly A) the name is confusing, so many people probably thought it was some sort of port or other and B) the game still feels like a diversion as opposed to a true Mario sequel. Where's the next Galaxy? Skyward Sword? Donkey Kong? Hell right now the game I'm most looking forward to is Bayonetta 2, and that's such an odd fit for the console I'm still not sure how it happened in the first place.

Re:Feels pretty backward (1)

Kimomaru (2579489) | about 3 months ago | (#46120385)

I hear from quite a few gamers that the overall message that Nintendo conveys about its products are confusing, like you mentioned witht he title Super Mario 3D World (which sounds to me like a 3DS title, just because Nintendo has a tradition of naming games after the consoles they're released on.) There ARE some nice games I wouldn't mind playing.

Kind of serves them right (0)

DrXym (126579) | about 3 months ago | (#46118623)

Nintendo's problem is and always has been they put the bare minimum spec hardware in their devices, make a big fanfare of some gimmick, charge an arm and a leg for it and hope they can coast far enough for the next gimmick to show up. It even works on occasion such as with the Wii. The problem is it didn't this time around. Perhaps people are suffering from gimmick fatigure or once bitten twice shy. Just as bad for them is their appalling relationship with 3rd party publishers. Goodwill and faith is non-existent. The Wii's market share dwarfed the other consoles but it didn't translate to game sales (except for Nintendo). There were repeated stories of high quality, lauded titles simply not selling even when they did on other consoles. So 3rd parties just aimed lower and churned out shovelware. For the Wii U, there was at least platform parity so theoretically costs could be shared with the 360 and PS3, but parity is fast disappearing as the XB1/PS4 take over. And hardware sales have been so dire that even with parity it's not worth the effort of porting. Hence we see one publisher after another shelve plans for the platform. The only way I see Nintendo reinvigorating the Wii U is if they slash the price and also target markets like China where they might make some in roads. Meanwhile they need to cosy up to the 3rd parties and stop treating them like shit. Otherwise their outlook is pretty clear - they'll end up like SEGA with no hardware at all and will have to produce games on any platform. This might not be a bad thing either.

It could be even better! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46118635)

Playing online accompanied with drug addicts are very dangerous for your kids. Not only predators are around. Having a system that monitors the healthy of the players could effectively create a safer environment not only for the player itself, but to help others players to avoid certain types of personality. It's easy to detect what is going on in the mind of a drug addict looking into it's eyes, or watching it's anger behavior in certain hours of the day caused by abstinence. But it's hard because some addicts can use drugs everyday and some eventually. Thus, the behavior change all the time, what could be useful for healthy players notice some of the lack of skills. I am in favor of a video-game connected into my blood. Maybe it could help to improve my life too, like keeping my kidney clean. :)

Long time console owner (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46118641)

Why not stop pissing your existing customers by removing features from Wii? Does Nintendo really think, that people will buy their next console when they are forced to stop using their existing ones? Backward compatibility with Gamecube is also a must for many of us who like to play Donkey Konga at parties.

I think health and fitness are important (2)

aiadot (3055455) | about 3 months ago | (#46118657)

and profitable. Nintendo making things like VR based fitness arcade centers or interactive rehabilitation training methods using all their gaming hardware and software expertise is not a difficult thing to imagine. Let alone education. There is so much they could do without being the cheesy shit that are most edutertainment games. If they are willing to take risks and develop their own medical devices they could, but they could also partner with Japanese medical equipment start-ups(or even sony, as they also make medical equipment).

But ignoring the core problems, in particular with the home console divisions, is far from ideal. If want to ignore their home console problems, might as well go third party.

One thing that bothers me is that, while the WiiU is not selling well, the 3DS is selling like crazy, including hardware and software. The only reason I can see them not making good money are internal management/administrative problems. Another is thing is that you don't need to have the absolute majority of the market to be profitable. They know that first hand from the N64 and Gamecube eras. Seeing all this negativity and lack of confidence coming from inside the company would be really bad if I were a shareholder. I'm much more bothered by this than the bad revenues.

Business analysts are to economy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46118669)

Business analysts are to economy what the feet people are to camwhoring sites.

Gamers don't want to be healthy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46118711)

Sorry Nintendo, that's a miss.

Reinventing a fad (2)

Akratist (1080775) | about 3 months ago | (#46118713)

When the Wii came out, people who were not typical gamers embraced it because they saw it was a way to have fun and stay active. However, the novelty wore off and most of the people who bought them at that point have not done much with them since. I don't see another round of trying to tap into the same market as going anywhere at all for them, this time around.

Re:Reinventing a fad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46120067)

To counter your questionable anecdote with one of my own, my parents own and have been using their Wii almost non-stop since 2007. The thing is they do play the games that encourage movement or have real life analogues (like Golf), there is a whole market for people who don't want to shoot aliens or play Mario Brothers and for a brief shining moment Nintendo tapped into that.

The way I see it, once Nintendo had a smash success console they fell back into old, bad habits and tried to get back into the highly lucrative turf of 18-35 males, the trouble is that demographic is absolutely owned by Playstation/XBox/PC and has been for years.

They'll either figure it out or end up shifting to the Japanese market only and focus 100% on mobile gaming

Re:Reinventing a fad (1)

Akratist (1080775) | about 3 months ago | (#46120267)

My anecdotal evidence is based on the seven or eight households I know of that followed that pattern. I'm not an Xbox/PS fanboy and enjoyed using the Wii ("playing with the Wii" sounds wrong on several levels), and am not particularly happy to see Nintendo struggling in the market, being as I think it's a been a great system for the younger or more casual gaming market.

Also putting their games out on phones and tablets (1)

core (3330) | about 3 months ago | (#46118737)

See today's Kotaku article: http://kotaku.com/nintendo-confirms-it-will-make-stuff-and-maybe-games-1512052047?utm_campaign=Socialflow_Kotaku_Facebook&utm_source=Kotaku_Facebook&utm_medium=Socialflow

The Wii Balance Board was one of their top sellers, so the health angle makes sense. It's not like they would lack a market for that.

Market has grown too small (0)

DogDude (805747) | about 3 months ago | (#46118815)

Nintendo needs some fresh blood in the upper ranks of management. These guys are still trying to wring more money out of 20-30 year old stories, characters, and technology. The Pokemon-Mario crowd has outgrown Nintendo, and those that are left are insufficient to support an entire gaming platform. I think they're incredibly myopic at this point. It's time to dump the whole Japan-themed everything if they want to continue to be able to sell to the world.

Re:Market has grown too small (1)

Yosho (135835) | about 3 months ago | (#46119779)

While Nintendo definitely has problems, you sound like just another person on the internet who has no idea what you're talking about. I mean...

The Pokemon-Mario crowd has outgrown Nintendo, and those that are left are insufficient to support an entire gaming platform.

Yes, that's why Pokemon X & Y are the fastest-selling 3DS games ever and have already sold over 11 million worldwide [nintendo-insider.com]. Clearly, Nintendo's problem is they've lost the Pokemon crowd.

It's time to dump the whole Japan-themed everything if they want to continue to be able to sell to the world.

"Japan-themed"? Have you even played any of Nintendo's recent games? Pokemon X & Y's setting is modeled after France, you know.

Nintendo's been that way... (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | about 3 months ago | (#46118877)

... since the N64 era. The won the lottery with the Wii but the Wii was a one shot deal selling to non-gamers and the Wii U proved that by it's hard failing. Nintendo since the N64 era has been making stupid decisions regarding it's hardware which allowed other companies to come in and take their market share.

Acquisitions are required (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46119093)

Nintendo needs to buy Withings and similar startups then.

Bring back the NES Track matt! (2)

BisuDagger (3458447) | about 3 months ago | (#46119235)

Nothing has given me a better work out then running on that old NES track matt and the one I own is still function. The best part is, when you get tired or can't run fast enough you get on your knees and start smacking the pad with your hands for that extra boost. It's been 20 years now but I'm sure I'll finally beat cheetah this time!

It worked in 1990 ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46119635)

http://www.mariowiki.com/Dr._Mario_%28game%29

Repeating another failure? (2)

HockeyPuck (141947) | about 3 months ago | (#46119651)

I seem to recall a few friends of mine that purchased Wii Fit and that balance board. The balance board was used the day they unwrapped it and now while the wii fit sits in the closet the balance board continues to sit under the TV where it has sat since the day it was unwrapped.

So now Nintendo's strategy is to push Wii Fit again? Is their market the elderly in retirement homes?

Well.. i guess their next move is to release yet another version of Mario...

Double down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46119769)

I had to look that up to see what it actually meant. One of those phrase ones hears but does not really take seriously.

(idiomatic, gambling) To double one's wager. [quotations ]
(idiomatic, by extension) To double or significantly increase a risk, investment, or other commitment. [quotations ]

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/double_down

acquisition by apple? (1)

schlachter (862210) | about 3 months ago | (#46120561)

i for one think nintendo is doing fine and once it's first party titles are out will turn around their wii u sales.
all this talk of making games for mobile would really hurt nintendo in the long run.

nonetheless, nintendo would be an interesting value acquisition by apple.
they could release nintendo exclusives into iOS.
shit, apple could even just sign an exclusivity contract with nintendo and hand them $5B to only release their games on iOS (in addition to their own hardware) for the next 5 yrs.

I don't understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46120657)

Why not just release a new :
- Punch Out
- Metroid
- Zelda
- Megaman
- Mario cart ?

I won't buy a WiiU without more than 1 of theses titles, and I'm SURE I'm not the only one!
I won't buy a console with only a few titles on it! (Same applies to XBoxOne & Ps4)

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