With the unveiling of the PS4 and the alleged "failure" of the Wii U, several gaming "journalists" and members of the online gaming community have very rapidly begun to make the claim that Nintendo, its hardware and its franchises are DOOMED. Dead in the water. Obsolete. Kaput and all that sweet music. They're going the way of Sega and will become third party.
It's not happening. Not anytime soon. And I'm going to explain why.
For an entire generation, Nintendo had the top selling console for the first time since the SNES. The Wii was a cultural phenomenon, so much so that the competition tried to emulate the same technology into their HD consoles in hopes of gaining the same type of success. For a while Nintendo was rolling dough; I remember nearly every financial review showcased Nintendo earning millions and billions of yen/dollars and how the Wii and DS were "printing money."
Nintendo reported their first loss in years, or decades rather, of half a billion in dollars. Sony reported a loss of over six billion the same year.
Fast forward to now where the Wii U is currently the latest and most expensive console on the market and after two months of speedy sales in a risky economic climate has now dropped to Vita level sales (even being outsold by the Vita a previous week, though not by much, in Japan).
Now stop me if you've heard this scenario before; a new piece of dedicated gaming hardware comes out, it's a little pricey and initially has very few games that people want to play on it and therefor does not sell many units. That sounds a lot like the PS3 and 3DS. Two platforms that started off unbelievably sluggishly, were seen as DOOMED but were able to turn things around and become pretty successful (especially in the 3DS' case which is currently selling faster than its predecessor).
Can someone provide me what facts or historical events that support the idea that the Wii U cannot make a similar turnaround? The 3DS' third party content is not exactly huge, yet it still has many well received games on it. The PS3 was not the primary console of development with multiplats yet it still had solid exclusives to support it. But those systems found ways to turn the course of history around. Nothing suggests the Wii U cannot do the same.
Which brings me to my next point; people suggest that Nintendo have become the modern Sega, with the Wii U following in the footsteps of the Dreamcast.
This is so unbelievably baseless that it boggles the mind that people seem to believe it so vehemently. Yes, the Wii U is weaker than its upcoming generation 8 brethren (this was obvious), yes it has a screen in the middle of the controller and yes it's doing something completely different from the competition.
But here's where the absent minded lose the argument; Nintendo's overall history is absolutely nothing like Sega's. Sega saw failure after failure after their first console. From the poorly supported Genesis add-ons to the horribly marketed Sega Saturn, the Dreamcast had a string of failures before it. Failures which lost Sega money.
Nintendo saw no such things happen. The N64 and the GCN are considered to be commercial failures and yet Nintendo turned a profit on both devices, making them financial success as oppose to commercial. Whether a detractor wishes to accept it or not, popularity and having the most units sold is not the road to success; profit is. The only major Nintendo device to ever be both a commercial and financial failure was the Virtual Boy. What Nintendo platform managed to flop as hard as that since then?
The bottom line is that history is on Nintendo's side. Even with the 3DS and all of the doom and gloom surrounding it, Nintendo has made the 3DS exceptionally profitable (the 3DS supposedly stopped selling at a loss roughly around September last year) so Nintendo is more than capable of adjusting its strategy to make a product successful if need be.
The bottom line is Sega's reasoning for becoming third party is an extremely particular case riddled with failure after failure in hardware. Nintendo's history is not even remotely similar to that. Linking Nintendo with Sega is a piss-poor argument at best and hold next to no water. And considering Sony's losses from the PS3 and its stock recently reaching "junk" status, going by the logic of those saying Nintendo is doomed, you may as well say that Sony is doomed nearly ten times over.
Whether your reasoning for believing it will happen is based on current events or simply because you want to play Nintendo software without buying Nintendo hardware, there needs to be at least some form of factual or historical evidence to support the claim. And frankly from where I'm standing there is none.