Where will Nintendo be in 5 years?

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#1 Posted by JasonLeeson (201 posts) -

Been thinking about this and man, I really can't see a bright future for those guys.

  • It's pretty foreseeable at this point the Wii U isn't going to be half (perhaps quarter) the success of the Wii. Same situation with the 3DS to the DS.
  • In 5 years tablets capable of running pretty robust games will be cheap and ubiquitous. Easily at 'games for kids' level. Ergo; they are the new handheld market.

With these two things in mind, what happens to Nintendo? Do they suffer a SEGA-like level of downsizing? Because honestly, I really can't see a way out for these guys this time.

#2 Edited by ElixirBronze (415 posts) -

I think you're wrong, Wii U has proven very successful so far (just not quite meeting Nintendo's expectations).

EDIT: Wii and DS happened to be among the best selling consoles of all time, just the fact that their new hardware doesn't quite match those sales at this point in time doesn't mean much at all.

#3 Edited by GunstarRed (4997 posts) -

Wait until Pokemon comes out before you start predicting Nintendos downfall.

#4 Posted by Mirado (983 posts) -

@JasonLeeson: The 3DS is selling more vs the DS at the same time in its lifespan and the WiiU is doing the same vs the Wii (to the tune of $30 million more). While the WiiU is costing Nintendo money (something the Wii never did), I bet that the WiiU will have a far higher game attachment rate vs the Wii, which was notorious for the low amount of games that people would wind up buying for it.

Nintendo is still sitting on a huge pile of cash, they are still selling both DSes and Wiis, and the WiiU hasn't even dropped a major first party title yet (NSMBU is a second tier property). If they have a good lead up to the launch of Sony and Microsoft's systems, I think they can pull down staggering, Wii style numbers.

#5 Posted by crusader8463 (14412 posts) -

I don't think this run of stuff is going to destroy them, but it will certainly hurt them. They have gone through some stinkers in the past and came out eventually, but if the gen after this is as bad as this one then I could see them maybe going the route of becoming a game dev instead of a platform holder. Personally I would prefer if that happened, just so that I wouldn't have to keep buying an entire platform just for the few games that come out on it that look fun.

As for the platforms they got now, the 3DS is just starting to get a foot hold and starting to get games I actually want to play on it. So I think the 3DS is starting to chug along and getting a heady steam, but I doubt it will be enough to keep an entire company going. The Wii U however is still garbage that holds zero interest to me. It's going to be up to Nintendo to really pull out the stops and get good games, but speaking for myself if they just go down the route of re-releasing updated versions of the same games/franchises that they keep doing then I know I won't be getting one until it's $99. There's just nothing about the thing that holds any interest for me. Plus the super short battery life on the controller makes me not want to touch it. When I play games I tend to marathon them in one sitting and needing to stop half way through to charge the controller will hurt any gameplay experience I might have been having.

That said, if they did a fully 3D/HD Final Fantasy Tactics Advance or Advance Wars game on the Wii U I would go buy the thing tomorrow.

#6 Posted by byrjun (153 posts) -

I would start giving a lot of money to Nintendo if they opened up their back catalogue in a subscription-Netflix-sorta way. Full flexibility ensured, "hey you got yourself a 3DS? Great, play every game this device is capable of running."

#7 Posted by Kerned (1169 posts) -

I think Nintendo will probably be just fine. There will always be a market for what they sell (well-made, accessible games). Even if they end up exiting the hardware business (and if they continue to ignore the importance of the internet to gaming they eventually will) I think they would do very, very well as a publisher.

At any rate, it's far too early in the life of the Wii U or the 3DS to make an predictions of that sort. Also, I don't think you can characterize Wii U as "very successful" at this point. It's not meeting sales expectations, has numerous irritating technical & UI eccentricities, and doesn't have very many good games yet. "Very successful" might be a little charitable. Given time though, and I think it will probably be just fine.

#8 Posted by Worcanna (90 posts) -

Even though im not a nintendo fan per say, i do own a Wii U for reasons and i kinda don't see them failing hard really. Nintendo hardware sells on the strength of its software more then any other console. It isn't 3rd party/online that pulls people in, its simply the first party stuff. So as such, considering how short a time the Wii U has been out, its doubtful you can safely say "Oh, they are not doing well".

Saying that. I think the lack of software for the Wii U is telling. This tends to be a thing with every Nintendo console until later on, forever damned for the first 6 months.

#9 Posted by mcmax3000 (268 posts) -

@Worcanna said:

Saying that. I think the lack of software for the Wii U is telling. This tends to be a thing with every Nintendo console until later on, forever damned for the first 6 months.

That's a thing for most consoles for the first six months.

I think Nintendo will be fine for at least five years. The 3DS, and Wii U are doing fine. Maybe not quite as well as people expected coming off of the huge successes of the DS & Wii, but they're far from failures.

#10 Posted by Jams (2959 posts) -

I could see Nintendo dropping out of the home console market in the future if they can't break out of their old ways of thinking. What I think is a real possibility is that if the Wii U does bad enough they stop making consoles and just stick to portable. OR They keep trying to make home consoles and either make it or go bankrupt trying. None of these console makers are going to last forever right? So it's not too far fetch to predict that the weakest link is going to drop out sooner or later.

#11 Posted by Kidavenger (3488 posts) -

I think Wii U is going to be an extremely short life cycle console, I'll bet we see a new console from Nintendo within 4 years. Other than the Wii, Nintendo usually was 5 years between new console releases so 4 years isn't a big leap, especially for a console that is a half step in most people's eyes.

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#12 Posted by Inkerman (1448 posts) -

I don't ever see Nintendo failing as a company, they simply own too many amazing franchises. I would argue that all up they have the best IP catalogue of any company. However, I can see them becoming a software only company, maybe with a handheld only sold in Japan.

#13 Posted by JZ (2125 posts) -

The 4DS will be the only thing they make.

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#14 Posted by Worcanna (90 posts) -

@mcmax3000: Yea. Give it time, things will be better. (I'll admit, i was a little miffed that pokemon didn't come to the Wii U, considering the promise of big DS games)

#15 Posted by believer258 (11567 posts) -

Hasn't the 3DS already outsold the PS3's lifetime sales in Japan?

Nintendo will survive. They might have some serious issues but I don't think that Nintendo will go away for a long time yet.

#16 Posted by JasonLeeson (201 posts) -

I see what a lot of you guys are saying, Nintendo isn't going away. I get that.

I'm thinking here, as more and more kids get their hands on powerful-ass smartphones (the R&D going into that device category is unprecedented and insane at this point) with 5inch Full HD displays - what games are those things going to be running? You can bet your right arm within the next 5 years there are going to be some really popular and successful kid-targeted IP's on mobile.

So, with that in mind; how much do Nintendo's core franchises loose their luster amongst the coming generation of children? How much pull does Mario and Zelda have in a world where an awesome kids game is just $1.99 away on a device they already own?

#17 Posted by EarlessShrimp (1631 posts) -

I have to admit, with the dawn of the 3ds and the Wii U, they've kinda turned me back around. I really enjoy the 3DS, actually I liked it considerably more than the PSV counter-part. I actually got rid of my ps3 for my Wii U, because I'm totally behind what they're trying to do. But, this is just a personal opinion, I'm sure there are plenty of people who think the Wii U was a bad mistake and the 3DS is just a gimmicky piece of hardware. I'm just not one of them. I mean, last generation I was not a fan of the Wii, I had one for a few select games but for the most part I didn't like where Nintendo was headed. This time around I'm really diggin' what they're doing. They're trying to gain support of both sides, because they already cornered the family market. Making it backwards compatible with the Wii was smart because they push that angle of mixing hardcore with casual even better. /rant

#18 Posted by Kidavenger (3488 posts) -

@JasonLeeson: You can't give a child a $1.99 app for a birthday/xmas present.

I also think this cheap app gaming world is a fad that will drop in prominence greatly over the next few years, I completely stopped playing mobile games over the last year, they can be a fun distraction in small spurts, but after you've played a few there isn't much of a draw to keep on playing.

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#19 Posted by Somnus (81 posts) -

Where will Nintendo be? In Japan of course, hohoho! But seriously, who knows?

#20 Edited by JasonLeeson (201 posts) -

@Kidavenger said:

@JasonLeeson: You can't give a child a $1.99 app for a birthday/xmas present.

I also think this cheap app gaming world is a fad that will drop in prominence greatly over the next few years, I completely stopped playing mobile games over the last year, they can be a fun distraction in small spurts, but after you've played a few there isn't much of a draw to keep on playing.

Perhaps for you now and as a adult.

But in 5 years, mobile games a going to be much potent in look and scope. CPU's will be greatly faster, everyone will have 4G download speeds and storage capacity will easily be 1TB. Yes, a $1.99 game is not present-worthy but I'm sure as the games get more intense production poured into them prices will vary reflectively.

#21 Edited by me3639 (1711 posts) -

On a Nintendo phone or tablet. Really, they are just waiting until things ultimately stop making money. They stopped making anything new forever so why not wait another decade. Ultimately they have easy outs by licensing their products if they want to the likes of Apple, and then take all their games and have them ported for PC. Too much money on the table not to explore those options in the future, but it wont happen until absolutely necessary. That could be a lot sooner than later IMO.

#22 Posted by DeF (4778 posts) -

I think you've been hearing too much from the "too cool for Nintendo"-crowd. 3DS is annihilating everything in Japan, Wii U is off to a good/okay start and they got a lot of money sitting in the bank. In 5 years, they'll be ramping up to launch their next systems.

#23 Posted by joshwent (2056 posts) -

The interesting thing about Nintendo is that, while it's sadly true that their amazing collection of IPs has been kind of stagnating, they are endlessly experimental with their hardware. Meaning, they create devices that are unique.

I completely agree that in 5 years we'll have phones that can play much better games, but they wont have good physical controls, and more importantly, they won't have street pass or whatever the future version of those things will be. It's the hardware specific features that enhance the games that has kept Nintendo handhelds relevant and I couldn't see any phones being able to match that.

Combine that with... well... Pokemon, and they're gonna be just fine.

#24 Edited by JasonLeeson (201 posts) -

@joshwent said:

I completely agree that in 5 years we'll have phones that can play much better games, but they wont have good physical controls, and more importantly, they won't have street pass

Physical controls - Phones right now have one plane of touch + basic gestures. In 5 years, they will have Leap tech built in:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_d6KuiuteIA#!

And a version of street pass? Dude, Dude. Smartphones. They can do everything.

#25 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

We'll see a Nintendo phone/DS combo in five years.

#26 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

On a Microsoft system, with pre order skins for Mario and online passes for co-op

#27 Posted by JasonLeeson (201 posts) -

@Ravenlight:Yes I'm starting to think that also.

#28 Posted by JasonLeeson (201 posts) -

@Bourbon_Warrior: Hahaha who knows man, who knows!

#29 Posted by MocBucket62 (1136 posts) -

Nintendo will find a way to turn things around, or at least next year or in two years. They should reveal big games that people want to play again such as a new Smash Bros, a new 3D Mario platformer and bring back some old IP's such as Star Fox and F-Zero on the Wii U if Nintendo is going to compete with Sony and Microsoft's new consoles. They should still be around and maybe they will think of some kind of phone device to go after the likes of Apple and Android for mobile gaming.

#30 Posted by Video_Game_King (35849 posts) -

@JasonLeeson said:

  • Same situation with the 3DS to the DS.

Hasn't the 3DS been pretty damn successful?

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#31 Posted by JasonLeeson (201 posts) -

@MocBucket62 said:

maybe they will think of some kind of phone device to go after the likes of Apple and Android for mobile gaming.

They should make that phone interact as a third screen for the Wii U - Essentially creating Inception levels of multi-screen gameplay.

Launch title = Inception: The Game

#32 Posted by Hizang (8534 posts) -

Nintendo have too many high selling franchises to be on a downhill slope to death, the day Mario stops selling is the day the world explodes.

#33 Posted by sonicrift (293 posts) -

They'll be alright this generation. It's way too early to judge the Wii U yet. They just need to roll out all their big franchises. I'm not sure they'll be able to stand alone for much longer. The other big players in the game hardware market are massive corporations that do a lot more than just game hardware and software. If someone's going to buy them out, I'd hope it would be a Disney over an Apple.

Nintendo's merged their handheld and home console R&D teams, and they probably have a reason for that. Don't think they're not already talking about what their next unique sets of hardware will look like. Nintendo will survive as long as they're using their strong properties and not trying to directly compete with the big guys.

#34 Posted by kgb0515 (411 posts) -

I think Nintendo has a good ten years left in them with their current hardware development philosophy. I have absolutely no research or professional opinions to back that up, but they seem to be doing just fine for now. I'm not blown away by the WiiU, but people will still line up to buy the big N's IPs, and there's little chance that they will do cross platform support for some time.

#35 Posted by SeanFoster (854 posts) -

They will be in 2018.

#36 Posted by joshwent (2056 posts) -

@JasonLeeson said:

Physical controls - Phones right now have one plane of touch + basic gestures. In 5 years, they will have Leap tech built in:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_d6KuiuteIA#!

And a version of street pass? Dude, Dude. Smartphones. They can do everything.

Leap is amazing for what it is (Kinect that actually works?!?) but waving your hands or a pen will never match the ease of an analog stick, D-pad, or plain ol' buttons. Sure playing doom with your fingers might be fine, but try any fighter or even complex platformer and it just becomes a more complicated way of doing what we already can do well. Just because a control is 'intuitive', doesn't mean it's superior.

And no, phones absolutely can't do everything. No matter what a manufacturer may want to do, they're limited by what the actual phone companies want. Even one model of a phone may have significantly different builds based on carriers and countries. That would make nifty hardware things to add to games a huge pain.

Nintendo still has lightyears to go when it comes to online... anything, but relying on phone manufacturers for game hardware innovation won't help that, it would just create other problems that never needed to exist in the first place.

#37 Posted by Turtlebird95 (2285 posts) -

Scrubbing my toilet.
 
No, they'll be fine.

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#38 Posted by MikkaQ (10264 posts) -

I'm not worried so much about how they're doing financially but man their games just get blander and blander each year. I mean multiple Mario platforming games came out last year and were total non-events. I didn't get all that far into NSMB2 myself. Also they seem to like selling nostalgia but then they keep bringing back either the wrong stuff or bring it back in the wrong way. Where's F-Zero? Where's Advance Wars? Custom Robo? Wario World? Warioware? We keep getting Zelda, Mario and Kirby games and they're not particularly great these days.

#39 Posted by wewantsthering (1547 posts) -

@ElixirBronze said:

I think you're wrong, Wii U has proven very successful so far (just not quite meeting Nintendo's expectations).

EDIT: Wii and DS happened to be among the best selling consoles of all time, just the fact that their new hardware doesn't quite match those sales at this point in time doesn't mean much at all.

If it was "very successful," it would have met Nintendo's expectations... it's not doing as terribly as some media outlets report, but it's no Wii or DS sales wise.

#40 Posted by Shortbreadtom (682 posts) -

Given the fact that the 3DS is still selling like well in all territories, and that the WiiU is outselling what the Wii sold at this time in its cycle, I don't think there's any evidence of Nintendo doing poorly now or in the future. The WiiU will probably sell less than the Wii, but it doesn't have to to be profitable. The average attachment rate for the Wii was less than 2 games a console.

But the 3DS and the WiiU are built and marketed very differently than the Wii. They have a much greater focus on the games rather than the system. Sure, this means they lose out on the "those-who-just-want-Wii-sports" market, but they appeal to the types of people who buy actual games instead. If Nintendo can look past the lower console sales numbers, and properly support the WiiU with good 3rd party content and Nintendo-ass Nintendo games, they could turn a good profit.

Not to mention the fact that, especially in Japan, titles sell consoles. On the 3DS this year loads of franchises known to bump up system sales in Japan are being released, such as Monster Hunter 4 (the last portable MH game on the PSP practically saved that console in Japan) and new Fire Emblem, Animal Crossing and Pokemon games. The WiiU hasn't even got a big Nintendo game on it yet, and is still selling fine.

I don't really see Nintendo changing much in the next 5 years outside of finally moving into proper online support, but maybe I'm just an optimist.

#41 Posted by CrystaljDesign (147 posts) -

I keep thinking they will end up like Sega, transitioning to the role of strictly software publisher. I just don't see them doing any hardware after the WiiU, especially portable.

#42 Posted by pubbles (139 posts) -

@JasonLeeson: Leap looks like awesome technology, just not necessarily suited for a phone.

#43 Posted by JasonLeeson (201 posts) -

@pubbles: Perhaps in it's current form. But 5 years is a lonnnng time in technology and the mobile market is insanely lucrative. They will figure it out.

In 5 years perhaps we've got a google glass type product that's the new thing. Looks goofy as hell now, but with a stylish design overhaul and smartphone-level of functionality, who knows.

#44 Posted by HerbieBug (4197 posts) -

I think they'll pull out of the home console market and focus on software and handhelds exclusively in future.

#45 Posted by Cold_Wolven (2206 posts) -

Five years isn't really a long time to predict whether a company like Nintendo succeeds or fails, we have't even seen them bring out the big franchises for the Wii U which should drive up sales for the console. I reckon they will be fine.

#46 Posted by ShatterShock (70 posts) -

Nintendo will be making gaming hardware long after Microsoft and Sony have moved their gaming operations to the cloud. They have no reason to stop building and selling hardware that is (or will shortly be) profitable and the doom-crying over their relevance will likely be silenced with the release of Pokemon X/Y and Smash Bros. U.

Also, until smartphones can prove that they can sell $30-$60 games and implement a standardized gamepad, they'll never be a replacement for dedicated gaming machines, console or handheld.

#47 Posted by Ben_H (3296 posts) -

Still making Mario, Zelda, and whatnot. The question will be if it is on their own consoles or not. 
 
Personally, I love my 3DS. There's something about Nintendo that just clicks with me. I will probably get a Wii U when new Pikmin comes out.

#49 Posted by Danteveli (1158 posts) -

So the basic of this topic is that phones will move forward but nintedno will stay at the same place. And asumption that crappy 1.99 games will evolve into quality products while being priced the same?

#50 Posted by revel (86 posts) -

I think Nintendo has nearly cornered a young gaming market, even if just outside of the US. I have no idea what will happen with Nintendo but if you look up top selling games the numbers for Nintendo family-friendly games are staggering. Basically your shooter and sci fi fantasy mega ip's will see between 1-8 million sales. Resistance and Dead Space being lower than you might guess and COD holding the flag. But remember COD is far out front. As soon as you dip into Halo / Gears you drop drastically.... Where things like Wii Sports or Mario are way way up there.

Not sure exactly what this means for Nintendo but I think they could possibly, if in a pinch, focus on that and just survive off of that alone. Having first party games that cost half and sell 3 times more has to be pretty good. Giant Bomb generation people (25-35 year old) are not seeing how much people still like to sit in front of a big screen and dad/mom watch their kids fart around in an edutainment game... It is pacification for kids :).

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