A Bad Week in the Mushroom Kingdom

A Bad Week in the Mushroom Kingdom

The gloating that greeted Nintendo's unexpected dip in profits is premature - but the industry leader needs to tread carefully to keep its rivals at bay.

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I agree wholeheartedly, but I get the feeling that Nintendo will be able to devise some new marketing ploys and do alright.

"Nonetheless, such was the explosive rate at which it sold, the reality may well be that the Wii is starting to reach the upper limit for sales. The PlayStation 2 sold many more units, but that was on the back of a ridiculously broad catalog of third-party games, as well as its reputation as a cheap DVD player."

This system is still supported: It still gets new games, still gets some AAA titles ported to it, and even still gets some exclusives. I think Sony was planning a 10-year support thing with it like they are with the PS3.

I agree that third parties should be more important to Nintendo, but I doubt that they care when their own franchises make up most of the sales (Which, take note, we have not seen a new F-Zero, Starfox, or Pikmin for the Wii, (or Zelda since I don't count control scheme change/ports, but that's coming out soon...) and the Wii can still do more than anyone's giving it credit for. I know it's a Gamecube in a white box, but that doesn't mean we could see a couple more sequels until we need a new console.

I think the Wii's sales are slowing down because most people already have one, and software sales are low because there aren't many games to buy that people really want at this point (which they don't already have, that is).

This doesn't mean that the Wii will or has failed; it only means that if sales of any console are going to pick up, it would most likely be the PS3. Until the Wii gets new exclusives or some form of new life breathed into it (perhaps the Wii Motion Plus will do this), I don't see the console having a future that's as successful as it already has been.

The DS is the only system that my beloved Turn-Based Strategy exists on, and they're even making a port of one of my all-time favorites: Jagged Alliance. I think that the DS is universal for genres due to the touch-screen and the type of support it's gotten. It has Shooters and RPGs, it has developers everywhere from Japan to the USA, it has an amazing library of sequels and side-stories for SNES games, and is overall just a great little piece of machinery. It doesn't have as much home-brew potential as the PSP, but it's not like that makes a developer much money. I know you can run emulators on both, and I don't know much about the DSi, but either way, I just mean to say that the DS has a great lineup.

The PSP for some reason hasn't caught on as much as I think it should, so Nintendo monopolizes the hand-held industry at this point, and should be taking more advantage of this.

And like I said earlier, I think the new sequels coming out for the Wii with or without the new movement controls should help it out a lot: The new Zelda, Red Steel 2, No More Heroes 2, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Metroid Other M, Dragon Quest X, Tales of Graces, Monster Hunter 3, Pikmin 3, Epic Mickey, Sin and Punishment 2,Endless Ocean 2, and probably a lot more I can't think of.

And that's not including any old games they decide to release on WiiWare. So I think Nintendo can be pretty set.

I want Nintencats too! :D I'd buy that in a heartbeat. Some people, like me, just don't care about dogs.

Your first paragraph is weak. EA were infamous for bad quality games and recently they've concentrated on much higher quality and more original games. They're making money off it, establishing IPs but everyone loves them because they're actually not just heading for the profit line. They were willing to take a chance on Brutal Legend.

Whereas activision are jacking up prices on games, producing a lot of cheap do nothing rubbish. Admitting to set about bringing a corporate "no-fun" image to the industry. Throwing a lot of money about and filing lawsuits again Double Fine. Guitar Hero can be viewed as stealing the name and glory of the original developers and Guitar Hero, since Harmonix left hasn't been the one that was innovated and has been the one throwing out a lot of cheap cruddy spin offs whereas Rock Band has been taking it slower, producing less cruddy spin-offs and actually creating a decent spin off (Beatles). Finally DG Hero was nicked from Scratch.

And then Sony, Sony who were loved for the PS2 (and made a ton of cash) were disliked when they were doing crud (PS3 launch) and now are gaining opinion AS console support grows because they continually provide free and interesting services, push games which are different (litte Big Planet etc) and give people the price cut that everyone wanted.

Nintendo needs to release some new exciting games using the motion control plus. While this year seems fine (what with the release of Wii Sports Resort, Wii Fit Plus and New Super Mario Bros Wii), the next year seems, frankly, terrible.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 will sell less than its predecessor (which frankly didn't reach the New Super Mario Bros sales which Nintendo wanted) unless Nintendo decides to change something central to it, but I doubt it. Zelda will sell less than Super Mario Galaxy and Metroid has never really been a multiseller franchise. Not looking good.

As for 3rd party games, they have never been among the bigger sellers on the Wii (or on any other Nintendo platform for the matter) and they have never been console movers which is what Nintendo wants.

The previous year was mostly terrible with the probable exception of Wii Fit and to a lesser extent, Super Smash Bros Brawl. Animal Crossing and Wii Music didn't sell all that well. It was Nintendo's hope that these games would sell as well as Wii Fit, Wii Sports, New Super Mario Bros, etc. But they didn't.

So, what will Nintendo do? I will be watching...

I agree with BrotherRool as far as EA is concerned. I'd say that EA is garnering goodwill because they are taking chances at establishing new IPs rather than just releasing more Madden/Fifa/NFS/Sims (maybe because Madden has been slowing as of late). Granted, everything but Brutal Legend is pretty franchise-worthy, but right now the glut of "new" is refreshing.

Sony, meanwhile, has lowered the price of the PS3 (they were the ones to kick-start the price-lowering for the holiday season) which, beyond a few new and exciting games and the 360's red ring problems, have combined to produce a more favorable look on the PS3. This makes perfect sense, since a lot of people said the real problems they had with the PS3 were its price and lack of games, so rectifying these, they have a much more appealing system. Beyond that, however, they haven't done much to garner public opinion. I would argue that their popularity is simply relative, between the slowing of Nintendo's Wii and Microsoft lack of recent, exciting things with the 360. (To elaborate, ODST wasn't as big as people were expecting; their Modern Warfare elite is pricey in a slow economy; their holiday bundles - Pure and Lego Batman - are terrible, and the latter two do nothing to encourage existing owners. Besides that, it's been all exclusive DLC and GTA IV expansions, and while those may be lucrative, I've never seen expansions and DLC move systems.)

Oh, and if they plan on "supporting" the PS3 like they support the PS2, I wouldn't expect much. I suppose it's wise to keep the older systems on the market as an alternative, but the only reason the PS2 is still going is because of its huge, popular library of games, and for people who can't afford to or don't want to upgrade.

I do wonder how many new PS2s are sold. I can't imagine it would be a whole lot.

Edit: Addendum (as if this post wasn't long enough)

Georgeman:
Nintendo needs to release some new exciting games using the motion control plus. While this year seems fine (what with the release of Wii Sports Resort, Wii Fit Plus and New Super Mario Bros Wii), the next year seems, frankly, terrible.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 will sell less than its predecessor (which frankly didn't reach the New Super Mario Bros sales which Nintendo wanted) unless Nintendo decides to change something central to it, but I doubt it. Zelda will sell less than Super Mario Galaxy and Metroid has never really been a multiseller franchise. Not looking good.

Hmm, I dunno. From what I've seen, people are more excited about Galaxy 2 (it has Yoshi, people love Yoshi) than New Super Mario Bros Wii. I do agree that no one seems to care about Spirit Tracks, however.

Oh, and they most certainly need to do more with the Motion Plus. I'm sure everyone who bought them is expecting a great deal. They're going to need to fill that expectation or it will end up as a disappointment.

As for 3rd party games, they have never been among the bigger sellers on the Wii (or on any other Nintendo platform for the matter) and they have never been console movers which is what Nintendo wants.

Very true, even EA's Dead Space tried their luck on the Wii for a big flop. This doesn't bode well for the system.

Wait, did you just recommend sequels?! Ugh, it's so true that sequels make money, but there have got to be better alternatives than that to make some coin, as Mario would presumably say. For instance, I agree with you that more 3rd-party games for the Nintendo Revolution Wii would be a very good idea. Let's not start telling Nintendo to follow Sony and MS's lead and sequel the shit out of everything successful.

But then again your article does say:

Article:
Don't Listen to Internet Wisdom

And yes, that includes this article.

So I'm hoping that this was some sort of a reverse-psychology trick or something. Great article.

Ok I maintain that the last console generation was the best console generation there ever was or will be, and the Gamecube was a masterpiece.

lol that last little paragraph is (^_^)b

Imagine how much money they would make if they decide to finally release the Wii HD! that would totally bring their money printers back up to speed.

p.s. yeah love that they are only making a mere 4 billion dollars in profit this year XD

At this point I've simply accepted I'm not Nintendo's target demographic, but I am not going to hold that against them. Technically they've always had a very different mentality towards developing games, it is just now that they've had the opportunity. When they released the GameBoy with Tetris, it was no different than their tactics with the DS or Wii. It was just a time when we were more open to new ideas because we weren't grounded in expectations.

I do think finding excellent studios to become first and second party would help them out, though. It would give them a larger portfolio and variety. The problem, I think, is even as a first party studios aren't fond of Nintendo. There was animosity brewing between Rare and Nintendo long before they split.

But at the same time, I don't think we need Nintendo to try and make games "for us". Everyone is a gamer, and that means everyone can have their own little device to play with. Non-computer minded folk have Apple, super-hardcore-computer guys have Linux and Unix, and those of us in between...well, we migrate between Apple, Windows and Linux. Some gamers are strictly of an Xbox 360 or PS3 nature, some are strictly Nintendo and some of us bounce around.

I may not get the next Nintendo console, at least not until there's plenty of titles I want, but it's not out of animosity. I'm just not their market anymore.

P.S. One last piece of advise I'd offer is to actually drop game prices at a reasonable time. It can take years before one of their games drops from $50 to $40, which is frustrating if you want to buy good games on a budget.

I'm not a Nintendo fan at all, but that last paragraph pretty much sums up why I at least respect them. While Sony and Microsoft seem content to follow the same old predictable path, Nintendo has on multiple occasions had the balls to completely go their own way, and have reaped the benefits of it. Just because I don't like exactly what they're doing, doesn't mean I don't repect that they're doing it in the first place.

Because of my cerebral palsy I couldn't play the N64 without a special "regular" Gamepad only one Taiwanese company made, I couldn't play the DS because I can't properly hold the DS and use the stylus, and I can't use the Wiimote jigathingy so I haven't bought a Wii either. I get it Nintendo doesn't care what it's fans want it just sucks that they don't about what some of us need. Not mad just frustrated. I probably won't be buying whatever they come up with next.

Funny how you never see disabled kids rocking it out in videogame commercials...sigh.

I just hope they make more "hardcore" games for the Wii, it's being overrun by casual/easy games

WTH, godforsaken gamecube days?!
the gamecube saw the rise of "Super mario sunshine" the last great mario, "paper mario the 1,000year door" a great RPG for hardcore players and n00bs alike, the first "Metroid prime" game hardcore with great graphics (for the time) and "Zelda wind waker"
all these games had no shitty gimmic control, where new and fresh at the time (Zelda had its first major change to cell-shade, Metroid had its change to FPS, and Mario actually did something different than jumping on things.) the gamecube times where not short on great games, its just that no one brought a damm gamecube, they where all hyped up on Xbox.
If anything we need a return to the gamecube days, where games where good without waving your hands around like a loon.

ccesarano:
P.S. One last piece of advise I'd offer is to actually drop game prices at a reasonable time. It can take years before one of their games drops from $50 to $40, which is frustrating if you want to buy good games on a budget.

I think this right here would provide a great short-term solution to holding gamers' interest until more AAA titles show up. I understand the impact of the global economy, but seriously, I would have bought something like Excite Truck (yes, Truck, not Bots) a year after release if it still wasn't full price. (I reserve purchasing used titles for those which are no longer easily commercially available new.)

The Wii sorely needs a Players' Choice line already.

I agree with your point about needing to bring in 3rd party support. It seems a good idea, and it's followthrough could bring about some great games as well. They're pretty smart out there at the big N, I doubt they'd let a good opportunity pass, and this new problem hopefully can really nail into their minds that 3rd party support can do wonders for their company. 3rd party developers can often bring about some great games, I'd love to see what would they could do for Nintendo.

I agree that third parties should be more important to Nintendo, but I doubt that they care when their own franchises make up most of the sales (Which, take note, we have not seen a new F-Zero, Starfox, or Pikmin for the Wii, (or Zelda since I don't count control scheme change/ports, but that's coming out soon...)

Don't forget Pilotwings!!! I really liked Pilotwings, and I wish they made a nice new version with motion controls, that would be great, don't you thing, guys?... uh, guys...?
No, really, jokes aside, I would like to see that as much as I liked the new Punch Out.
And, I like the console despite the fact that most of the games are for casual players and such, it's perfect por parties and that's an important aspect of videogames too, when they help socialize people.
And when I'm alone, there's always No More Heroes... really waiting for a sequel too...

Reggie Fils-Aime's comments about the Wii HD sound disturbingly similar to his opinions about the DSi coming to American shores. If you don't think there will be a Wii HD, do a search for Other-M screenshots. All of them are in game. All of them are pixel for pixel 720p with anti-aliasing. I seriously doubt they are bull-shots. On top of that, I'm sure they have taken Infinity Ward's comment to heart, on top of Mark Rein's comments.

It will be sad. The Wii will have the shortest lifespan of this generation even though it has the largest install base, and I don't see them improving their third-party mess. When discussing the Wii price drop, they talked entirely about how the sales performance of first party titles like how wii-music failed to sale as well as expected.

It looks like Nintendo will continue to have a pathetic attach rate up until they become yet another Atari or Sega.

 

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