Polygon's Nintendo Nightmare
Let me start off by saying that Mr. Kuchera's views are probably not representative of the entirety of Polygon. I always find that gamers tend to associate one person's review or statement with the entirity of the site/company, and this isn't usually the case. That said, I find his statements to be an additional footnote to the laughable incompetency that Polygon trails.
The article in question is this:
Kuchera starts off by claiming that Mario Kart's sales potential is neutered by its exclusivity to the Wii U. In a literal sense, he is correct. If this game, or any game for that matter, came out on more than one platform it would probably sell more on two platforms than one. The problem with this though, is the overall sales potential of these other platforms isn't even considered. Let's say Nintendo wanted to publish Mario Kart 8 on all six platforms (360, One, PS3, PS4, Wii U, and PC). First, we would have to deduct multiple console owners who already own a Wii U in addition to one or more of the 5 other platforms. These people probably own the system for exclusives, and already planned on buying Mario Kart 8, even if they would've rather seen it on something else. Then, we would have to consider how family-oriented games sell on additional non-Nintendo platforms. Then, we would also have to factor in the cost of porting and optimizing the game on these platforms. When the lead console is the Wii U itself, the only console with a similar architecture is the Xbox 360, the others would require extensive optimization to run acceptably. Knowing that the desire for family friendly games on these other platforms is limited, knowing the strenuous task of porting and optimizing the game for 5 different platforms will require a lot of money and time, and knowing that you're removing one of your console's biggest selling points and giving it away... is it worth it in the end? The funny thing is, he brings up how well Watch_Dogs sold because it was on 5 platforms, but then doesn't consider how much more money Mario Kart 8 is returning over its investment versus Watch_Dogs. That's something I'm genuinely curious to see.
"Even assuming the game will cause systems to move, it’s likely to be the worst-selling game in the existence of the series."
This is what we call a false argument. He infers something with conditional evidence. He not only assumes that the console will never reach numbers sufficient enough to house software sales exceeding those of prior entries in the series, he also inadvertently assumes that the series is at its lowest state of popularity. To elaborate, in the past six years over 35 million people bought Mario Kart Wii, to say the series has never been more recognizable and played in recent years than ever before wouldn't be wrong. He goes on to link this logically ridiculous article published a few weeks ago.
The problem with this article is that it disregards what is known about the Wii U user base. Most Wii U owners are the type that buy every exclusive for the system published by Nintendo. Double Dash didn't sell its numbers over night, and the initial attach ratio over the first few days for that game was likely not far from what Mario Kart 8's was. Polygon proposed a number that was surpassed in literally 3 days because they accounted for an additional user base they're also saying probably won't exist. The series has only increased in popularity over the years, on both handhelds and home consoles, and this isn't even put into consideration. It's almost like they want to have their proverbial Nintendo negativity cake and eat it, too. I'm not saying the Wii U is by any means a sleeping success, but the continual increase in attach ratio is something to consider with such a bold claim.
Then he explodes into a huge hypothetical situation in which Nintendo wastes time remaking games on other platforms. He proposes the idea that Nintendo should make HD remakes of every decent Mario game ever and release them on every current platform as one big package. Because showing off 15 year old games will sell your current platform, right? As a core concept, advertising within other platforms to promote your own is not a bad idea and something Nintendo themselves are looking to explore with mobiles. But devoting entire software teams to remakes of games most people have already played, when they already have trouble filling a calendar with releases for their own two platforms? That's a deeply flawed and superficial solution. He talks about all the money they could make doing this and how super cool it would be to play Mario on a PS4. This vision of the company is the least desirable aside from them exclusively making mobile games. Churning out Mario remakes on platforms that largely don't even want their games? The issue I have is that he literally acts like Nintendo is on the brink of bankruptcy. He's talking about money they don't even desperately need. He talks more like a shareholder than a gamer that would BUY a system that has games he wants on it. Nintendo going multi-platform would make their hardware business irredeemable, and since they're a company that actually sells hardware for a profit in due time, that's where a decent percentage of revenue comes from.
Nintendo needs progression, and this is literally the opposite.