Now before I even begin this post; let me grab a few supplies.
Okay, flame-retardant uniform - check.
Fire-proof goggles and gloves - check.
And lastly; fanboy shield - check.
ALRIGHT! Now let's get this show on the road! (Please, let me live after this).
So, a few days ago, Nintendo made some announcements. With no need to repeat already overly-chanted information; bottom-line is, they missed their sales projections big-time, their stock value has dropped, and they've lost some pretty pennies.
There: short, sweet and to the point.
But nope, this post isn't quite done yet.
After these announcements - it seems like almost everybody has transformed into a couple of all-knowing, fortune-telling gurus. So many are now chanting statements like: "Nintendo is doomed!", "Wii U is dead!" and "Down with Iwata!"; you'd think that they were getting paid to do it (well, some of them are).
From the smallest blogs, to the biggest gaming-websites; the doom-&-gloom mill has been running on overdrive - with a huge flux of negative-filled articles from all kinds of different sources.
Wow! Such fun!
But not all are using this time to rail on Nintendo x1000; no, there is still "that crowd" - the crowd who simply doesn't want to join in with the masses and instead; actually take time to stop and think for a moment, and actually come up with some logical deductions of what the situation currently is for Nintendo and trying to intelligently shape what could possibly happen to them in the foreseeable future.
These, are some of my thoughts - thoughts that I AM ENTITLED TO SHARE, as I have the right of FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Just wanted to put that out there...
So then, let's begin:
- "Wii U is Going to be Discontinued"
This isn't a new statement by any means. This statement began early last year, when third-party devs were announcing that "Title XYZ - would not be coming to Wii U", and the weekly sales charts showed that the system was selling well under the 7th-gen systems; even being outsold by the original Wii for a little while.
Things have changed for the better, though. The games have started coming and sales have been made. In fact, the Wii U had its best month in the US so far last month, selling approximately half-a-million units.
Regardless though; with the news of Nintendo slashing their sales projections for the system by quite a large number - this has led to the media and the anti-Nintendo gamers do immediately cling to their sweet dream of rising one morning to the news that the Wii U is no more.
SEGA was kind enough to be the perfect example of what NOT to do with your systems. That being; don't go flip-flopping around.
Don't keep creating systems, killing them off prematurely and then announcing a new system right off the bat. That's how they ended up becoming a software-only company; because they broke the trust of consumers and developers, and subsequently committed partial suicide on themselves.
The Wii U has the combined install base of somewhere around 5-million users. Do you know how those 5-million users will feel if Nintendo were to announce that they were discontinuing support for a year-old system that many just bought, and that they would now have to re-purchase a new system in order to continue receiving new titles?
Yeah, that would not be a pretty scene at all.
But it's not just consumers; investors too would be quite shocked and would subsequently become very suspicious and cautious of Nintendo.
That's why it would be profoundly more dumb idea for N to end the Wii U prematurely, instead of riding it out for a at least the natural console lifespan (about 5+ years).
If everyone ended their systems off prematurely in the same way SEGA did, and that's what many seem to want to happen; the PS3 would not be the system it is today, nor the Wii, DS, Vita or 3DS. Because their parent-companies have stuck with them, all of those systems have managed to find a form of success. Yes, even Vita is starting to wake up, thanks to the PS4 and an ever-growing collection of quality titles.
So with that said; there's a very, almost none-existent chance that Nintendo will say bye-bye to Wii U early. If anything; they'll do all they can to move this thing off of shelves (in a good way) and make a profit.
- "Iwata Should Step Down"
Many have been chanting this for quite some time now. They feel that Iwata is incompetent, and has led Nintendo into a state of technological stagnation. They believe that because of him; the company isn't using the online-world to it's fullest potential, new IPs aren't being created, and the console-hardware isn't bleeding-edge.
The man has made some blunders, just like any other normal human being, but I certainly don't think that he should step down. Not yet, at least.
He DID take Nintendo out of their most financially-low period (the GameCube) and completely turned their fortunes around.
He oversaw the creation and life of the Wii & DS; the two best-selling consoles of the 7th-gen, the best-selling Nintendo systems to date, and the 2nd and 3rd best-selling video-game systems of all time.
On top of that, he also turned things around for the 3DS; a system that came out of the gate, flat on it's face. Now it can't stop topping sales charts.
Let's also ignore the fact that he refused to lay off workers and instead take a pay-cut. Honestly; tell me how many CEOs do you see even lift a finger for their workers? Very, very, very few.
In this sick, twisted, selfish world - that's controlled by the dollar; to see someone in power actually be willing to lose money to make sure that those under them still wake up to a job - it's rare. On top of that, he's also made sure that Nintendo has yet to adopt the money-vacuuming business practices of so many other video-game corporations, by instilling things such as payware internet services, pricey, but "necessary" console-accessories, online passes, and wallet-rape DLC, just to name a few.
Has he made some mistakes? For sure. He's human. But he has a head - and he does use it. And more importantly, he has morals and dignity; two qualities that aren't very easy to come across, generally speaking.
- "Nintendo will be No More"
While this is the wet-dream of so many; I don't see this happening any time soon.
Nintendo has a very, VERY, strong legacy. They not only have some of the oldest-surviving and still-selling IPs in the market, but they also are one of the oldest game companies that are still around. So many have fallen, and yet Nintendo has only grown bigger, better and stronger from since the days of the NES.
While it may seem that Sony and the PS4 are the most glorious things from since the inventions of electricity, cars and sliced-bread; Sony has paid a pretty penny to get where they are now and for their sake - they better hope the PS4 is as much as the Holy Grail, as the media has hyped it up to be.
Now, I'm not trying to rail on Sony; I said that for a reason.
While the "doomed" Nintendo has been making money for eons now; the PlayStation division of Sony has been losing money for nearly a decade. The PS3, PSP and Vita have all costed Sony large sums of money, and they've only recently started to actually make some money off the brand. That's not even looking at their other divisions, which have also under-performed.
Microsoft and the XBOX division aren't exempt either; as they have stated that they lose billions on the division each year.
Meanwhile; Nintendo has only had one commercial failure - and that was the Virtual Boy. All of their other systems have made them a profit, thus causing them to be the financially biggest video-game company in the entire industry.
But no, that can't be! They're supposed to be slowly dying, aren't they not?
With that said; Nintendo isn't just going to bow-out of the business that easily. Not only are they not going to drop out of the console race any time soon, but the thought of them becoming a third-party company like SEGA at any point in the foreseeable future, is logical as believing that tomorrow, the Sun and Moon will swap places with each other. Yes, it's that outlandish.
- IN CONCLUSION -
Nintendo isn't in the most comfortable position right now. No, not by a long shot. But neither does that mean that it's suddenly the "beginning of the end!" These guys have been through some rough patches before and we've seen this whole doom-&-gloom barrage in the past; it's nothing new.
It's only a matter of time before we see exactly what they're planning to do to switch the tables.
The 3DS has been doing quite well so far; something that more than likely won't change anytime soon. The Wii U has been under-performing for a good chunk of it's lifetime, but that doesn't mean it's on its death-bed either, as the big, unit-shuffling, money-making titles have yet to fully arrive.
In all honesty; Nintendo isn't going to be nuked anytime soon. Despite the fact that so many really want that - it's just not going to happen in the foreseeable future. This is a bad time for them; but certainly not death's looming call.
I apologize for the length of this blog post, but if you did read the entire thing; I hope you enjoyed it.