Why Nintendo is Failing – or A Look at the 2013 Report

This was going to be an informative piece of writing outlining Nintendo’s positive and negative points in 2013. It may have missed it’s mark and gotten a bit of the rant

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Nintendo Summary

It should be no shock to anybody that Nintendo didn’t put it’s best foot forward in 2013. With the mediocre sale of their hardware they just didn’t have what it takes to live up to the name ‘Nintendo’. Now obviously I’m not a business professional, but I’ve been a gamer my whole life. I can easily tell you what I like, what I don’t like, and what it will take for a company to get my money. That said, let’s look at what Nintendo did right and wrong this year.

The Wii U

Let’s be honest: What the hell were they thinking with this thing? Remember when a console would release with titles so good that you could hear your living room shouting “I want that inside me!”? I do, and those days were awesome. I purchased most of my gaming systems when they were first released because those games were great. Yes, they got better as the console evolved but the games that came out were good enough to make you get the console in the first place. The Wii U didn’t have that, and it should have.

If we were to exclude the lack of good games, we’re still stuck with a piece of hardware that has made very little use of the additional tablet, is a minimal upgrade in computing power from its earlier form and therefore almost no appeal or specified target market. Were Nintendo to come out with something interesting to do with the tablet, such as a Fatal Frame or Pokémon Snap sequel, then people might actually buy it. Right now it’s just a second monitor that shows the same thing as the TV: Think I’ll pass.

The 2DS

I’m going to put this right out there and say I totally don’t understand the 2DS. Yes, I understand it’s for those people who can’t take advantage of the 3D or don’t want 3D so they’re given a small discount off the hardware. Did Nintendo honestly believe that taking away a feature would constitute an entire redesign of the console? Reports say 2.1 million were sold in 2013, so guess that’s something. A low something, but something. I think people would have purchased a 3DS just the same if the 2DS option wasn’t there. A majority of the customers undoubtedly bought the 2DS because of the games available in the later part of the year, not so much simply because it was a non-3D version. Truth be told it’s freaking ugly too. Whatever.

The 3DS

This thing may not have sold as well as the first DS that came out, but let’s be frank this is the strongest platform that Nintendo has now. The hardware is acceptable (though the 3D part is mostly useless) and they’ve finally started to release decent games to take advantage of the system. In the later part of the year they put out Pokémon XY, Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, and Luigi’s Mansion; All of which hit their target market pretty well.

Third-Party Developers

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Get These Guys Back
The problem here though is with the numbers. I just named three games that came out in a 12 month period that sold well. What about the other nine months of the year? Even if they have nine other games that came out that were good (I know there were some other games, but doubting nine that completely blew the minds of the gamers) a console needs to come out with a lot of games from different developers to get the attention of different types of gamers. Within recent years though Nintendo has chosen to lock the keys away in another castle, leaving developers to move on to greener pastures. Nintendo needs to fix this and start welcoming them back.

Third party developers are the key to keeping a console alive. Nintendo can make all the great games it wants internally, but that won’t be enough to compete with Microsoft, Sony, or the mobile market; They need some help. With the 3DS and even the Wii U to some extent there is a ton of opportunity for them to make a profit if they lowered the walls to these third-party developers and worked with them to make a good product. I think this will be the key to Nintendo either making it or breaking it further in 2014 and I know that Nintendo knows this based on recent meeting reports.

Broken Promises

I’ve gotta say it: Give us Pokémon Bank. With the exception now of Pokémon XY, every generation of Pokémon game came with a built-in method to transfer your Pokémon from previous games to the new ones. With Pokémon XY, we were told that we would get PokeTransfer in December along with Pokémon Bank. Pokémon Bank will allow us to store Pokémon in the cloud which sounds awesome! As a gamer, I was willing to wait for that…but I’m still waiting. It was released in Japan on time, Japanese boys & girls were able to transfer their Pokémon, then Nintendo took down the service. Japan has since got it back, but where is mine?

It may seem small, but this is just one example of Nintendo promising something, then only giving it to a select few. The reason that this happened: Nintendo’s servers couldn’t handle the load of people trying to get into the e-shop to get it. Lulwut? This is a billion dollar company and can’t afford a server to control the Pokemaniacs of the world? It’s unacceptable and you truly broke a lot of people’s hearts in doing so. Stop breaking promises, start treating the entire world as your target gaming market and not just Japan: I can throw money at you too!

End Result

  • More third-party support
  • Stop trying to make stuff gimmicky
  • Put out more quality games of the brands we like more often
  • Don’t go breakin’ my heart
  • Pokémon Bank

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