The chaotic roar of a thousand armchair quarterbacks rings loud throughout the Gamesverse.

Like an episode of Stargate S.G.1, the cascading waves of opinion have hit every habitable planet. The inhabitants of these planets have stood agog, eyes on the sky wondering what - if anything is going to happen in regards to the "Nintendo problem" as a lot loud mouthed elitists see it.

The answer? Smartphones.

Yes smartphones. Can I ask what kind of gaming company do you want Nintendo to be? Let's face it, you're never going to see a game like Twilight Princess or Super Mario 3D World on tablets anytime soon. And even if there was, the required investment vs return against which people expect Tablet games to be priced at means they would likely be unfeasible anyway.

Breaking down logistically how you take many games built for dpads, shoulder buttons and diamond button layouts and put them on touchscreen only devices is another problem. How does 2D mario even play on a touchscreen? Of course you can pair a controller with a smartphone or tablet, but how many people are willing to prop up their smartphone on a high enough table, or cradle to play these games?

Not to mention most current tablets can't match the visuals Wii U can currently put out now. What would happen to a Nintendo whose main bread and butter would come from tablets? Do you want Nintendo games to regress? Do you want free to play, shorter, cheaper more rubbish and profit focused games? Do you want microtransactions in everything? Do I want to go into the shop in Animal Crossing only to have the game ask me for real world money to buy a green table? Or 50p for a Mario fireflower?

What happens when Nintendo can't sell a tablet game for £40 and instead has to make a game that sells at £5, or even worse - £2.50?

The other more commonly held view from "hardcore" gamers (the kind who don't bat an eyelid buying Call of Duty every year) is that Nintendo should just go 3rd party and sell games on rival systems (so they don't have to buy those pesky Nintendo devices). They want Zelda, but they don't want to pay for the platform that has Zelda.

It's hard to get past the hypocrisy here, with every platform holder having a slew of exclusive content, any platform owner could say the same thing about any company - I want Halo on my Playstation.

On the other hand if they think that Nintendo is going to go the Sega route, throw in the towel and just make games, it shows a very real lack of understanding about Nintendo as a company. Months ago, Iwata said that the day Nintendo doesn't make hardware is the day they go out of business. Hardware is ingrained in Nintendo, it's a core facet of the company and what they do, their exclusiveness to themselves. And they are really the only company who can largely support their platforms almost by themselves - to an extent.

So being Nintendo imagine the call from gamers "Why not just make a console as powerful as PS4?" all problems solved! Welcome back! By God you've GOT it! All is well! Pats on the back all round!

No. Nintendo as a company will look at that option, as an expensive and risky proposition with no guarantee of 3rd party support. Making an even, more expensive box, risking that it might not sell anyway, an option like that would be seen as something like a back breaker for them. Maybe in the next cycle, but if anyone is expecting a quick turnaround, shelving U and getting something new up and running in the next couple of years, it's not that likely.

And then there is the pricing issue. From Nintendo's perspective, they had to cut the price of the 3DS before sales started taking off and they had to cut the price of the Wii U, selling both at a loss which of course impacts profits because every sales is a loss. The message they are getting back from the market is that gamers wont buy expensive Nintendo hardware. That people will only buy Nintendo products as a low cost companion device. That 3rd parties simply wont support them, not even on a successful platform like 3DS (which most western devs ignore). Yet their most succesful hardware, the Wii sold like gangbusters at a lower price. People forget how radical the Wii was and the base theory behind it: make something completey different for $99.

It was only the cost of miniturisation and gyrometers at the time that made the Wii a more expensive proposition.

A Nintendo faced with these sales and price cuts might actually regress. This could spectacularly backfire on gamers.

Are they getting any third party support? Nope, pretty much being blacklisted on Wii U after two months and barely any 3rd party support on the 3DS outside of a few Japanese stalwarts. A Nintendo faced with this might swing in completely the opposite way from what the gaming hardcores want. They might actually make a microconsole instead. Something so cheap and inoffensive that it will sell to everybody, regardless of what next gen wallet sucker you already own.

It might not even have a disc drive and it might not even be able to pump out Wii U level visuals. It might be.... Vita TV.

And what then would become of Nintendos' major frachises? Would you ever see a game made to the level of perfection of Super Mario 3D World? With that kind of polish, inventiveness and attention to detail? Would you ever see them waste time and money on something as lavish and sprawling as an HD Zelda?

This relentless cycle of Nintendoom that has run for 2 and a half years (before the Wii U ever launched) might not bring about the change you actually want. In fact it could very well do the opposite and make Nintendo the Casual King. Lord of all cheap downloadble games. They could turn into a company less interested in making great games and more interested in pleasing investors -  just to shut Michael Pacters clueless gob.

So say goodbye, make your peace, farewell epic Zelda, farewell amazingly designed Metroid. Hello cheapness, you've finally made your own bed, internet. Now we can all very well sit in it. Achievement, unlocked.

Let's look forward to more touch screen Zeldas of Spirit tracks quality.

Posted by gamingeek Thu, 23 Jan 2014 13:17:02 (comments: 26)
next >>
 
Thu, 23 Jan 2014 13:35:01
Something else to think about, Iwata said:

"The way people use their time, their lifestyles [and] who they are have changed," Mr. Iwata said. "If we stay in one place, we will become outdated."

That isn't indicative of them going to make games for PS4, or of making a powerful new console. He's talking about peoples lifestyles and how they have changed, directly addressing the rise of smartphones and tablets.

He also said something like they couldn't keep expecting to sell games at the same price they currently were. Another indication that they want to start selling games a lot cheaper and cheaper games means cheaper productions. You get what you pay for and the indications are that Nintendo will go cheap vs going expensive.

Another indication of a massive backfire. If want a less relevant, less great Nintendo, then this is what could be happening. We should hear more in a week from now.
 
Thu, 23 Jan 2014 14:04:15
gamingeek said:
Something else to think about, Iwata said:




"The way people use their time, their lifestyles [and] who they are have changed," Mr. Iwata said. "If we stay in one place, we will become outdated."




That isn't indicative of them going to make games for PS4, or of making a powerful new console. He's talking about peoples lifestyles and how they have changed, directly addressing the rise of smartphones and tablets.




He also said something like they couldn't keep expecting to sell games at the same price they currently were. Another indication that they want to start selling games a lot cheaper and cheaper games means cheaper productions. You get what you pay for and the indications are that Nintendo will go cheap vs going expensive.

Another indication of a massive backfire. If want a less relevant, less great Nintendo, then this is what could be happening. We should hear more in a week from now.

This is exactly what many people want, be they media or gamers. In fact, this is what many people already say about Nintendo in the hope that endless repetition will influence reality.

 
Thu, 23 Jan 2014 14:08:10

Not sure what to say.  I don't really agree with you.  You're just doom-mongering like the rest of the internet, but taking that doom in another direction...

I don't think Nintendo will change much.  Not this gen at least.  They've always been slow to react, there's no way that they'll throw their strategies over board because of some fuss on the internet.

As for a change to cheaper games...  Remember when the GC launched, Nintendo pledged to make shorter games?  I didn't notice much of that really.  Their games still offer good bang for your buck, taking many hours to complete.  And Nintendo games already are cheaper to buy when compared to software on Sony and MS's consoles.

The way I see it, next gen, they either play with the big boys and put forth a hugely powerfull console, or they keep doing their own thing, becoming even more of a niche competitor.  I doubt they'll go all out on the raw power though.

Nintendo creates consoles based on their own demand, on what they see as being features that can make playing games fun.  And I doubt Iwata's sitting in his office now, thinking 'you know what?  lets make development of our games more expensive by factor x'.  They won't make a very powerfull system, because that would make development too expensive, while it's very doubtfull they'll get full 3rd party support by doing so.  In the end, the only certainty would be that it would cost Nintendo a lot of money, both in R&D and software development.

Nintendo will continue on the path that they have chosen over the span of the last decade.  Partially by choice, but partially also because they have no other option left as they now lack the knowledge and technology necessairy to take on Sony and MS.

 
Thu, 23 Jan 2014 14:11:49

There's also a misguided sect that just want Nintendo out of gaming entirely. Why I'll never know. If you don't want to buy a product fine, but why the constant ill will? There's a game going on at the moment in the media, with each outlet trying to one up each other in the hysteria stakes. They all reported an 18% plunge in stocks, but failed to address that the stock recovered so they only lost -6%. And now the stock is back to normal levels, but that hasn't been reported either. I get the impression that people hear what they want to hear and then post facts that fit with their world view of the company and where it should be, how it should be run.

 
Thu, 23 Jan 2014 14:26:13
SupremeAC said:

Not sure what to say.  I don't really agree with you.  You're just doom-mongering like the rest of the internet, but taking that doom in another direction...

My blog is addressing the more likely scenario as a result of the persistent doom mongering. As opposed to those who think that the likely scenario will be Zelda on PS4, or SUPERCONSOLE.

You didn't notice shorter games on GC? 10 hour Pikmin? A Mario game padded out with blue coins, a Zelda missing several dungeons? If Nintendo were to become a smartphone dev their games wouldn't even reach the lofty levels of Mario Sunshine.

SupremeAC said:



Nintendo creates consoles based on their own demand, on what they see as being features that can make playing games fun.  And I doubt Iwata's sitting in his office now, thinking 'you know what?  lets make development of our games more expensive by factor x'.  They won't make a very powerfull system, because that would make development too expensive, while it's very doubtfull they'll get full 3rd party support by doing so.  In the end, the only certainty would be that it would cost Nintendo a lot of money, both in R&D and software development.

Nintendo will continue on the path that they have chosen over the span of the last decade.

Agreed on this, but then we'll have the same old circular arguments on the internet for the next decade then. I look forward to that. devil

I don't think they lack any knowledge or tech compared to Sony or MS, it doesn't take much imagination to walk cash in hand to AMD and ask them to create a small PC in a box - look at all the Steam Machines being released soon. I believe Nintendo have a different world view on making consoles, gaming is their bread and butter, they aim to remain stable and constant and aren't interested in blowing out huge losses or getting little return on investment as mega-corporations can do;  let's not forget MS lost $2 billion with the 360 according to analysts and far more with the original Xbox.

Nintendo makes Nintendo-like profit and in that respect no one has been able to match them. You can't make that sort of money going third party or just by copying everyone else. As David Jaffe said: you can't have success without failure. Especially when risk is involved.

So the more likely scenario is Nintendo again doing something completely different and financially sustainable. Hence the more likely scenario of Micro Consoles or tablet/smartphone development. But if either of those things happen, quality is going to drop.

 
Thu, 23 Jan 2014 14:31:20
gamingeek said:

I get the impression that people hear what they want to hear and then post facts that fit with their world view

Welcome to the way dialogue works when it comes to every topic ever.

 
Thu, 23 Jan 2014 14:33:34

Yep.

 
Thu, 23 Jan 2014 14:52:47

It would be pretty stupid of Nintendo, a solid company sitting atop of healthy amount of cash reserves, to actually make such a paradigmatic shift in the way they conduct business because of the bitching of internet nobodies.

And this is coming from someone for whom Nintendo bears almost no relevance in the current gaming landscape, from a personal interests viewpoint.

 
Thu, 23 Jan 2014 15:24:04
gamingeek said:
SupremeAC said:

Not sure what to say.  I don't really agree with you.  You're just doom-mongering like the rest of the internet, but taking that doom in another direction...

My blog is addressing the more likely scenario as a result of the persistent doom mongering. As opposed to those who think that the likely scenario will be Zelda on PS4, or SUPERCONSOLE.

You didn't notice shorter games on GC? 10 hour Pikmin? A Mario game padded out with blue coins, a Zelda missing several dungeons? If Nintendo were to become a smartphone dev their games wouldn't even reach the lofty levels of Mario Sunshine.

Those shouting that Nintendo would be better off as a 3rd party are fools and little kids who still believe in the console war.

As for shorter games, the only games that were shorter on intent I can think of are LM and Pikmin.  WW got a few dungeons cut out because they ran into difficulties.  That's just sad, not a business strategy.  I'm just saying that most Nintendo games these days aren't shorter then their pre-GC counterparts.  I mean, look at the sunshine games, TP and SS, those are big, generous games.

gamingeek said:
I don't think they lack any knowledge or tech compared to Sony or MS, it doesn't take much imagination to walk cash in hand to AMD and ask them to create a small PC in a box - look at all the Steam Machines being released soon. I believe Nintendo have a different world view on making consoles, gaming is their bread and butter, they aim to remain stable and constant and aren't interested in blowing out huge losses or getting little return on investment as mega-corporations can do;  let's not forget MS lost $2 billion with the 360 according to analysts and far more with the original Xbox.

I wasn't talking about pure hardware.  Nintendo has shown that they're very capable in producing some really good hardware.  I was talking in terms of OS and internet connectivity.

gamingeek said:

So the more likely scenario is Nintendo again doing something completely different and financially sustainable. Hence the more likely scenario of Micro Consoles or tablet/smartphone development. But if either of those things happen, quality is going to drop.

The more likely scenario is that they put out something like that as a third pillar.  Exactly like Sony did with the vita TV.  And what would be wrong with that?  I don't see this happening, but they have proven with eshop releases on the 3DS (pushmo, march of the mini's...)  That they can deliver high quality games at an entry point pricing.

 
Thu, 23 Jan 2014 17:46:29
SteelAttack said:

It would be pretty stupid of Nintendo, a solid company sitting atop of healthy amount of cash reserves, to actually make such a paradigmatic shift in the way they conduct business because of the bitching of internet nobodies.

And this is coming from someone for whom Nintendo bears almost no relevance in the current gaming landscape, from a personal interests viewpoint.

For Iwata there has been a non-stop barrage of everyone saying: Smartphones... insta-cash! And now he's in a position of losing money for the third year, even if relatively small losses and he has to come up with something quick for the briefing this month.

next >>
Log in or Register for free to comment
Recently Spotted:
Foolz (1m)
Login @ The VG Press
Username:
Password:
Remember me?