#1 Posted by vonFlampanker (322 posts) -

With a lot of discussion out there about the Wii-U and the future of Nintendo I wanted to pose the question: Rather than "giving up" and going software-only, should Nintendo drop home consoles and go handheld-only?

I think handheld platforms represent a much better showcase for the games Nintendo excels at making. Their choice to stay a step behind in regards to hardware horsepower in favor of the "unique" Wii-U screen's experience (coupled with their failure to embrace HD resolutions at all prior to the Wii-U's release) seems to indicate that their hearts really aren't in it. Does the Wii-U offer anything in the way of gameplay experience that the DS/3DS coupled with a NFC sensor couldn't provide? Unless you insist on seeing graphics on a larger screen, I would answer "no." Even Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2, what I would consider their best efforts to date wouldn't suffer that badly on the 3DS XL if they'd done it right and put dual sticks on it.

Granted, it would still be weird to live in a world without a dedicated Nintendo console under the TV but it would allow them to focus and really nail the area where they've not once given up dominance since 1989 or so.

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As a sidenote, I'd love to see them take a page out of Apple's book on this. Catalog titles as downloadable apps, some sort of subscription service as suggested on the Bombcast this week, some sort of development studio (maybe WarioWare branded, maybe not) to let people develop and share games, digital distribution option for those who want it, more of a regular cycle for hardware updates (thus allowing a timeline for people to plan purchases ... right now I'm unwilling to buy a 3DS because I'm afraid they'll release a dual-stick model further down the line).

Not that they couldn't do all this now, but should the Wii-U turn out to be a burden, it'll be hard for them in this age of disappearing capital to come up with the resources they need to turn things around in other departments.

What do you think?

#2 Posted by BraveToaster (12590 posts) -

I'll let you know my answer once the Wii-U is released. You know, because we don't even know how good the finished product will be and all...

#3 Posted by MooseyMcMan (9789 posts) -

Well, this thread is at least a nice change of pace from the threads about how handhelds are doomed.

#4 Posted by vonFlampanker (322 posts) -

Right. The given is that the Wii-U turns out to be a disappointment. One could make a case either way, but from what I've seen I'm not getting my hopes up.

#5 Posted by believer258 (11060 posts) -

Well... I don't know. I don't even know if the handheld market can ever properly survive, what with all the new fancy-pants iPod Touches and all taking up our good and proper portable gaming and shitting on it by not having any fucking buttons.

All right, that sentence doesn't make a whole lot of sense. See, handhelds generally appeal to kids riding in mom's car and blocking out her horrible music, or blocking out Grandma's lame conversations during those longass Christmas visits. When you become older, handhelds lose their significance to all but a certain group of people. These days, iPod Touches can appeal to both crowds and in a smaller and sleeker package, so things like the 3DS aren't ever going to be like the GBA was to us.

I'd expand on this much further but something's come up. Sorry!

#6 Posted by BestUsernameEver (4866 posts) -

@BraveToaster said:

I'll let you know my answer once the Wii-U is released. You know, because we don't even know how good the finished product will be and all...

Spoiler, it will suck. It won't be supported by third parties outside of it's launch, and Nintendo will put out a good game twice a year, in short, it will be the Wii 2, and that means bad, suck, terrible.

#7 Posted by JoeBigfoot (105 posts) -

@MooseyMcMan said:

Well, this thread is at least a nice change of pace from the threads about how handhelds are doomed.

Handhelds are never gonna hit the peak they did with the DS. Now everyone has smartphones and can get decent games through digital distribution on the cheap there is no casual market for dedicated handheld gaming consoles.

#8 Posted by MooseyMcMan (9789 posts) -

@JoeBigfoot said:

@MooseyMcMan said:

Well, this thread is at least a nice change of pace from the threads about how handhelds are doomed.

Handhelds are never gonna hit the peak they did with the DS. Now everyone has smartphones and can get decent games through digital distribution on the cheap there is no casual market for dedicated handheld gaming consoles.

I agree. I don't like that this is what has happened to portable gaming, but you can't deny the truth forever. Well, some people can, but I don't have the resources to do that.

#9 Posted by BraveToaster (12590 posts) -

@BestUsernameEver said:

@BraveToaster said:

I'll let you know my answer once the Wii-U is released. You know, because we don't even know how good the finished product will be and all...

Spoiler, it will suck. It won't be supported by third parties outside of it's launch, and Nintendo will put out a good game twice a year, in short, it will be the Wii 2, and that means bad, suck, terrible.

Come on, duder. Don't spoil the future for us. Be considerate!!!

#10 Posted by TheOtherSuperMarioBro (59 posts) -

I don't think that the handheld market is strong enough to support a company as large as Nintendo into the future, especially with the increased market share phones and tablets are getting

#11 Posted by Morrow (1828 posts) -

I like handhelds, because I can comfortably lying in my bed and play instead of comfortably lying on my couch... :D

Anyways, I think adding achievements/trophies to their systems would increase the appeal to buy them. I, for example, almost completely stopped buying games without achievements, which means I stopped buying Nintendo games.

#12 Posted by Turambar (6489 posts) -

You don't go from leading market share to abandoning the entire platform in just one generation.  No matter how poorly the Wii-U does, I guarantee there will be at least one more Nintendo console after it.

#13 Posted by MentalDisruption (1618 posts) -

Handhelds as they are now just aren't worthwhile enough to base an entire company on.

#14 Posted by BestUsernameEver (4866 posts) -

@BraveToaster said:

@BestUsernameEver said:

@BraveToaster said:

I'll let you know my answer once the Wii-U is released. You know, because we don't even know how good the finished product will be and all...

Spoiler, it will suck. It won't be supported by third parties outside of it's launch, and Nintendo will put out a good game twice a year, in short, it will be the Wii 2, and that means bad, suck, terrible.

Come on, duder. Don't spoil the future for us. Be considerate!!!

Really, the wii was a massive disappointment and this new console seems like a repeat of that. Even at E3 they couldn't convince people why it was cool, something Nintendo historically had no problem with in the past 15 years.

#15 Posted by Echofoxz (98 posts) -

No, I don't see it at all.

All of their core titles have been on the home consoles and I don't think they will abandon that. Actually, I should rephrase that.

All of their core titles are generally done better on the home consoles than their handhelds (with a few exceptions). Zelda, Mario, Metroid, Pikmin, Donkey Kong, Kirby, Smash Bros. Of course, I'm not saying all games are better on the consoles than the handhelds. Nintendo has made some great games for the handhelds, because those games are more suited to handhelds, such as Golden Sun, Fire Emblem, and Pokemon. Consoles games are Nintendo's bread and butter, I don't see them abandon that anytime soon.

And as for the idea of competing with Apple with apps and etc., I don't see it either. Nintendo has be widely criticized for poor online support. And they are said to be stepping it up for the upcoming Wii-U with Miiverse and a bunch of other online features. But Nintendo has yet to prove they have a successful network infrastructure. They need to beef up their digital distribution store if they ever want to be competing with Apple.

#16 Posted by Galiant (2164 posts) -

@Morrow said:

I, for example, almost completely stopped buying games without achievements

That makes no sense. The points you get are worth more than the game itself? Where is the joy in that? Name some of your favorite games these past few years and imagine how much lesser your experiences with games would be if none of those game had achievements and you never played them because of it...

As for the topic at hand...I was disappointed with the Wii, and it still made a lot of money. I think the Wii U looks like it's not going to do anything for me, yet it could still sell like hotcakes - I have no idea.

In my life right now I have no room for a dedicated handheld, so that wouldn't work out for me either.

Ultimately, I have no idea how this is going to play out for Nintendo, but it'll sure be interesting to watch it unfold.

#17 Posted by pyromagnestir (3974 posts) -

@MooseyMcMan said:

Well, this thread is at least a nice change of pace from the threads about how handhelds are doomed.

Yeah, I thought phones were the death knell of handhelds? Now all of a sudden Nintendo can drop consoles and live off handhelds?

@Morrow said:

I like handhelds, because I can comfortably lying in my bed and play instead of comfortably lying on my couch... :D

Just move your bed to where your couch is and vice versa. Sounds so nice I think I'll go swap mine right now...

#18 Posted by Vinny_Says (5632 posts) -

If we lived in a world without smartphones it might make sense....

but we don't.

#19 Posted by Morrow (1828 posts) -

@Galiant said:

@Morrow said:

I, for example, almost completely stopped buying games without achievements

That makes no sense. The points you get are worth more than the game itself? Where is the joy in that? Name some of your favorite games these past few years and imagine how much lesser your experiences with games would be if none of those game had achievements and you never played them because of it...

As for the topic at hand...I was disappointed with the Wii, and it still made a lot of money. I think the Wii U looks like it's not going to do anything for me, yet it could still sell like hotcakes - I have no idea.

In my life right now I have no room for a dedicated handheld, so that wouldn't work out for me either.

Ultimately, I have no idea how this is going to play out for Nintendo, but it'll sure be interesting to watch it unfold.

Well, I'm obsessive-compulsive, and collecting trophies has become a hobby. I do treasure my past experiences with video games, especially the SNES era, but I must also say that the impact games had on me is not as big as the impact of books or movies, for example. While there are games out there that really left an impression on me emotionally (Nier or Terranigma come to mind, or Spec Ops: The Line recently), I usually play games for the gameplay more than for the story or characters. Plus, I have only little free-time and won't be able to experience all the great games out there anyway, so why not limit myself to just the ones on the PS3 (my only console anyway) that have trophies? It's been ok for me so far :)

#20 Posted by Hunter5024 (5180 posts) -

There was a lot of Nintendoom talk last year when the 3ds wasn't performing so hot, but now it's doing just fine, and while I am a little worried about Nintendo with the WiiU, I think it's a little early to count them out because Nintendo always surprises. If the WiiU does fail then I'm sure they will continue in the handheld market. Also I think people overestimate smart-phones in terms of gaming use. I know they're big, but the number of people with smart-phones is nowhere near as big as people with smart-phones think it is, and neither is the number of people who use it to play games, and neither is the number of people who are going to stop buying handhelds because they are satiated with their phone.

#21 Posted by TooWalrus (12986 posts) -

Yeah, because their consoles always sell like hotcakes and make them millions, it totally makes sence for them to stop now. I'm just gonna say what the @BraveToaster: said.

#22 Posted by EXTomar (4129 posts) -

The global mobile market is a brutal platform where I don't think anyone would take Nintendo serious. The hardware and software moves so fast. Much faster than Nintendo has demonstrated it can handle. I don't think it would be wise at all to go "portable only" right now until they've demonstrated they really understand "the market".

#23 Posted by laserbolts (5309 posts) -

Hard to say until we see some Wii U numbers.

#24 Posted by Dagbiker (6898 posts) -

@BestUsernameEver said:

@BraveToaster said:

I'll let you know my answer once the Wii-U is released. You know, because we don't even know how good the finished product will be and all...

Spoiler, it will suck. It won't be supported by third parties outside of it's launch, and Nintendo will put out a good game twice a year, in short, it will be the Wii 2, and that means bad, suck, terrible.

Spoilers...

#25 Posted by Hunkulese (2534 posts) -
@vonFlampanker

Right. The given is that the Wii-U turns out to be a disappointment. One could make a case either way, but from what I've seen I'm not getting my hopes up.

Nobody was excited about the wii either.
#26 Posted by C2C (831 posts) -

@vonFlampanker said:

...should Nintendo drop home consoles and go handheld-only?

What do you think?

This might work in the short term for them, but I think that the handheld market is pointing to smart devices in the future. I just find it very unlike Nintendo to make a device that can compete with smart devices in terms of utility (a good mp3 player, good communication services, apps, etc.). Games are the only thing Nintendo has got going for them right now, as even some of the basic functions of the 3DS (battery, compactness) doesn't compete with some current smart devices.

I am also gonna take the really pessimistic viewpoint here and say that current Nintendo management couldn't even pull this strategy off if they wanted to. Just look at the current state of the 3DS games market. Third party developers haven't been jumping on the 3DS quite as quickly as I would have expected. First party games are great, but Nintendo can not pull this off on its own games alone.

#27 Posted by MikkaQ (10227 posts) -

I'm gonna say portable games don't have enough of a future to be a viable business for Nintendo to exclusively participate in.

#28 Posted by maxB (279 posts) -

If the WiiU fails I could see Nintendo doing what sega did and go 3rd party but I dont think the 3ds could support Nintendo unless there was major downsizing

#29 Posted by AP3 (42 posts) -

You would have to have access to all of their internal financial information to even begin to determine the answer.

#30 Edited by SethPhotopoulos (4859 posts) -

Let's say the Wii-U is complete shit. I would say it makes more sense to become a third party developer for Sony and/or Microsoft home consoles while keeping a handheld until the 3ds' life runs out. I'm not an expert so I'll stop talking.

#31 Posted by SpartanHoplite (384 posts) -