By sopachuco13 1 Comments
Shigeru Miyamoto caused a scuffle last week with his announcement that he would be moving away from traditional game development towards smaller projects. After the story was published to Wired's Game|Life, Nintendo's stock fell 2%. The comments by Miyamoto, whether correctly translated or mistranslated as Nintendo purported, are in line with the identity crisis that Nintendo is going through right now. Miyamoto and Nintendo President Satoru Iwata are the old guard and even Nintendo can see that the golden touch they once had is starting to fade. Where is the company heading then?
In a story from MacRumors, via Times Online, “Satoru Iwata, the Nintendo president, is understood to have told his senior executives recently to regard the battle with Sony as a victory already won and to treat Apple, and its iPhone and iPad devices, as the "enemy of the future".” Nintendo should be placing it's blinders towards iOS; without a doubt!
Miyamoto's comments, gaff or not, shed light on the crisis that is going on inside Nintendo. If Miyamoto moves on to smaller, quicker projects, I think this would mean that Nintendo as a whole is probably thinking about moving that way as well.
Even though Miyamoto and Iwata are nearing retirement there isn't anybody else at the company who has the branding of Miyamoto. His multiple appearances in Time's Most Influential People and his appearances at past E3s have kept him in the spotlight for gamers, but also for those demographics that Nintendo gained with the Wii. If Miyamoto moves towards smaller projects his name will bring many of those demographics with him.
The biggest problem with the 3DS, which is at the center of this identity crisis, in it's current form has no 3G support. Without 3G support there is no partnership with a mobile provider, which I think is becoming more important every year. It is important to see these devices in cell phone stores. We all go to the cell phone shop more than we would like recently, even if it is to browse the new Smart Phones or what's new with the new iPhone. People are more likely to buy a product like the 3DS or the Vita if they can compare it to a tablet device, i.e. it needs a browser, MP3 support, iTunes like store, and most importantly the ability to download games while waiting for your delayed flight at the airport (3G!). Hopefully, the next iteration of the 3DS will include 3G and larger screens, even if those screens are the size of the DSi LL.