Recently, Nintendo has come under fire about their ability to compete with bigger companies like Sony or Microsoft. Since the new millennium we have not seen many new IPs from Nintendo but rather, a lot more spin offs of older IPs. Nintendo is also letting a lot of big game titles slip by it’s latest console. Games like Tomb Raider, Bioshock Infinite, Dishonored and Borderlands 2 all did not see a Wii U release. And with Sony and Microsoft’s next generation consoles on the horizon, the Wii U might suffer even larger losses if it’s hardware cannot support next generation games. With it’s motion controls, Nintendo managed to introduce a whole kind of game to the home entertainment system. A slew of sports-centric games began to be released where players can actually “play sports” in the comfort of their own living room. It also brought party games into the mainstream as many of the Wii’s games support 4 people gameplay. But that being said, Nintendo also constantly pushed spin-offs of Mario games while never really having a new IP taking off. Nintendo has this weird obsession with it’s glory days and is constantly trying to sell old IPs. While it is nice to see Nintendo giving attention to the Mario fans out there, it has been too long since we saw a new and exciting IP from Nintendo take the world by storm.
On top of that, there are issues with it’s own Nintendo Network. Games purchased from the network are tied to consoles rather than account. This poses a problem for gamers who own multiple Nintendo hardware and who wish to enjoy the same game on different platforms. Where as compared to the Sony PlayStation 3 and the Sony PlayStation Vita, the games are tied the individual accounts and can be accessed any time. Nintendo had years to study and understand the flaws of their competitors’ online network but instead of learning from their mistakes and giving players a decent platform to purchase games with, they instead created a messy and tangled mess for their fan base. Also, games bought from the Wii eShop once transferred to a Wii U will be locked to the Wii U and not available on the Wii. This is one of the many issues with the Nintendo Network which Nintendo just isn’t looking into.
Moving ahead, I feel Nintendo needs to realign itself with it’s ultimate goal and that is to make good games for their fans. Even if Nintendo’s main demographic isn’t the “hardcore” gamers, they should still at least secure release titles for it’s consoles. It would also be nice if they could start developing new IPs and investing in these new IPs instead of constantly relying on the Mario franchise. While Nintendo may not fail in the near future, I fear that they are not maintaining a sustainable business model and could possibly be hemorrhaging money. I feel like they are going out of the way to market themselves as a “casual” gamer alternative and that they are hurting their own sales. Game companies failing is never good for the industry, and I do not want to see Nintendo fail, nor do I think they will fail. It is just that with such a storied history, this kind of business behavior is the last thing I expected from Nintendo. Especially with the fact that the Wii U is released a year ahead of Sony’s and Microsoft’s next console and Nintendo is still sitting on their asses and not announcing anything significant. But Nintendo fans are a loyal bunch, if Nintendo were to be able to work something out and announce something amazing at E3 this year, I believe that they can still pull themselves out of this hole they have dug for themselves. I honestly do not understand the stand that Nintendo is taking and it really frustrates me, I hope that they know what they are doing because I think that with the release of Sony and Microsoft’s next generation console, Nintendo could have trouble obtaining any significant amount of market share.