Game Experts Are Ultimately Wrong About the Demise of NintendoJune 3, 2015
Why Experts in the game industry are ultimately wrong with Nintendo’s gaming future. Nintendo isn’t ‘dying’, no matter what critics say.
Recently, there has been a lot of debate whether Nintendo should drop out of the console race or not because of its abysmal launch. There are those that even suggest that Nintendo should start releasing their first party titles onto Apple mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad while continuing to release their line of handheld systems. Many so-called “experts” from various websites such as IGN, Kotaku, Gamespot, and others have initially given harsh assessments to Nintendo’s initial launch, and some have suggested that the race was over before it started. Let’s examine why these so-called expert opinions are ultimately wrong.
1. ‘The 3DS fought back.” Initially, back in 2011, when the 3DS was released, It lacked 3rd party support, had a weak launch, and sales were abysmal. Initially many people in the industry believed that Nintendo was losing its touch and should quit making handhelds. Sound familiar? The same thing is going on with the Wii U. Despite initial bad sales from the handheld, Nintendo has proven that they cannot only fight back, but also succeed. Today, the 3DS has had enormous success and has reach 50 million units in sales, as of March 9, 2015
2. ‘They Ignore gaming history.” While critics have used sales figures to argue that the system is losing the race, many of them jump the gun: the new generation just started. It’s too early to make assumptions. At that point, we would look back at Nintendo’s history and see that Nintendo’s small numbers are not only not as bad as people make it out to be, but this isn’t anything new either. People said the same thing when the N64 & GameCube were released. The N64 sold about 33 million units worldwide, while the original PlayStation console sold 110 million units. With the GameCube, the gap was even wider: with the GameCube selling about 20 million while the PS2’s lifetime sales reached 140 million units. Many in the industry talked of Nintendo leaving the market, and of course that never happened. Furthemore, while its console numbers dwindled, it still had its strong Game Boy & Game Boy Advance handhelds (which sold at a staggering 118 million & 80 million, respectively), which more than made up for any loss the company may have had.
3. ‘They have a TON of money from Wii sales.” Check out this insane financial fact from Nintendo: They have approximately $7.67 billion in the bank according to their balance sheet, meaning even if they have a net loss, they have enough money in the war chest to keep the company going until 2052…. for a long time. Nintendo has been aware that the Wii U would take a hit for the first few years, but even if they have a net lose for the next few years, Nintendo can easily ride the loss for a very, very long time. Nintendo is actually safer than its ever been.
4. “Nintendo Branding & Special items have been HOT items lately.” As you all know, there has been an insane amount of people collecting Nintendo merchandise; like the Amiibo figurines, Majora’s Mask Box sets, & Monster Hunter new 3DS. Despite the supposed hate for the company: to many gamers, it’s a hot seller, & there’s a huge business in its merchandising alone.
5. Nintendo’s ‘New’ mobile console. Nintendo dropped a pair bombshells when they announced that they partnered with a moble game development company called DeNA. Partnering with them give Nintendo a huge advantage: to test the waters without suffering any major losses. While this may gain Nintendo some short term profit, the company generally is extremely protective of its key franchises, so for this to work, Nintendo level quality is the key for future success.
While things may seem down for Nintendo at the moment; people forget that the race has barely begun: the race is long from over, and Nintendo isn’t out of the race yet. I don’t see it as a matter of if, but when: Nintendo is known to knock the console war on pure luck alone: time will tell if Nintendo can pull it off again in the next few years.
– Jirair Yessaian, Guest Writer, Phoenix Genesis
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