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What's Happening to Nintendo?

I love Nintendo. I may not be as tight with them as I am with Sony, but Ninty and I go way back. Heck, Super Mario World for the SNES was the first videogame I ever encountered, at the age of four, so it's possible I never would have taken up gaming as a past time, if it wasn't for good old Ninty.

But, many of their decisions lately, have been questionable, at best. It's no secret that the Wii U has been struggling from day 1. Sales have been lower than projected, and third parties have been slowly backing off.

Third party support is one thing, but Ninty's first party support has been questionable too. Sure, there's a new Super Smash Bros coming out, which is an IP that typically moves consoles, but it has been announced for the 3DS too, and a handheld entry is a first for the company. Sure, the Wii U version will probably be the better version, and it's a timed Wii U exclusive, but do they really think that's enough to get 3DS owners to buy Wii Us?

I will admit that they have given the system some good Virtual Console support, but that alone is not sufficient to move systems. Sure, Earthbound turned a few heads, given the game's tragic history in the West, but if they really wanted to move systems, they would focus more on new games, because that's what people are waiting for.

The Wii U is the weakest of the three major consoles, so it needs a hook to sell it. Perhaps next gen, if Ninty stays in the console market, they'll actually try on the hardware front, and not focus too much on a gimmick.

Also, bringing Gameboy Advance games to the Wii U, and not the 3DS makes no sense, since handheld titles have always been best suited to handhelds IMHO, and not big tablets. Sure, the 3DS has GBA games, but Ninty has refused to allow anyone but ambassadors to play them, probably because they hate money. All they're accomplishing is making 3DS owners angry. I doubt very many people want to invest in a Wii U, purely for GBA titles.

Actually, the 3DS has proven to be compatible with games from all of Ninty's handhelds, through emulation, and backwards compatibility with the DS. You'd think we'd have even more GBA games on there now, and some DS titles. I think those games would sell more than the even older stuff 3DS owners have received so far.

For the most part though, Ninty has had much better support for the 3DS than the Wii U. It got a new Zelda. Sure, the Wii U got Wind Waker HD, but a brand new Zelda game would have sold Wii Us. You would think they would have been working on such a game well in advance of the system's launch, so they could have a killer app in their arsenal. Apparently, a Wii U Zelda game is set to be unveiled at E3 this year, but the Wii U may not have been in the trouble it's in, if it had hit sooner.

The 3DS got Ocarina of Time 3D, which is also a solid port, and A Link Between Worlds. A Majora's Mask 3D would be awesome. Make it happen Ninty! But, at least on the Zelda front, 3DS owners have more to celebrate, for the time being, anyways.

I could talk all day about things Ninty has done, or should be doing, but one last big no-no is Ninty's insistence on not having an E3 conference for the second year in a row. It's like Ninty has given up, and simply opts not to run with the big boys.

Sure, their fans will catch their Nintendo Direct stream, but does that mean that Nintendo now thinks of themselves as a fans-only company? Have they given up on winning over the general gaming population? Only Nintendo knows for sure, but they really need to step up their game if they want anyone to take them seriously anymore.

What do you think. Is Nintendo in trouble? Do you think they've made some terrible decisions, or have their choices not been so bad in your opinion? Leave your comments below. Also, feel free to check out my blog @

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sweetSWAGGER1447d ago (Edited 1447d ago )

I'm so glad the 3DS vs Wii U Virtual Console exclusives debate is getting more attention. I can understand how they want to value the original adopters of the 3DS, but there had to be a better way than giving them exclusive access to GBA titles.

I would pay serious capitol for Metroid Fusion. I keep throwing my money at Nintendo to make that happen, but so far it's been repelling off of them like a failed Pokemon attack.

randomass1711447d ago

Nintendo, I think, is in a spot of confusion and experimentation. Like an artist with a block trying to find a groove. So for now we'll see them cater to fans a little here and there, provide top selling franchises and then with some time they will find a more "Direct" path for themselves. Their E3 coverage will be just fine. Whether or not people see them on the E3 stage, their news will be reported on news sites everywhere.

Nintendo is in a pickle, but they can and probably will figure out a way to manage themselves. They'll be fine. :)

Tross1447d ago

I agree with you both. I'm at least glad that Nintendo is catering to their fans now, rather than treating them like second class citizens to the fad crowd, which has since moved on. In general, I get the sense that Ninty has a better understanding of how to stay relevant in the handheld market.

The 3DS is a remarkably well designed device, that's compatible with virtually all of their past handheld titles, through emulation, hence why I brought up that there's a lot of untapped potential on the VC front. Imagine if we had all the GBA and DS Zelda games available on the eShop, or if we could download all of the Mario and Luigi rpgs from the past, up until the present.

On the other hand, my argument with the Wii U is that, yes, it's great that they've made more games available on the Wii U, but I don't think it's the right kind of support, if they really want to entice people to buy the system. That's something that's great for current Wii U owners, but that's not really going to move much in the way of hardware.

But, I also agree that the company has deep pockets, and they'll stick around. The 3DS is doing really well, at least, so that's probably helping their bottom line a lot. It would take a lot more than one low selling system to sink such a huge ship.

Kevlar0091447d ago (Edited 1447d ago )

Nintendo has spent a lot of resources promoting their Nintendo Direct's over the last year+, my guess is they want to increase their online presence by doing a full digital conference. Yeah we miss the unexpected memes and gaffs of a live conference and watching other people go crazy over game announcements, but it also allows Nintendo to control their message better, and hopefully have less fluff. You can read it as Nintendo giving up or as Nintendo creating an online brand. Sony and MS tease projects and games but not at the level and depth Nintendo has been doing. Nintendo really wants to create their own self-generating hype and preview machine

In terms of their games I don't have much to say. Sony is making new IP's left and right and Nintendo is making hardly any. Nintendo needs to expand their game development, add more quantity to their existing high quality. It's also puzzling Nintendo is so slow at re-releasing old games. It's been 8 years since Virtual Console originated and there is a lot left to return

Tross1446d ago

To be fair, there are plenty of ps1/ps2 classics that have never made their way onto the ps store. Ninty does have a lot more in the way of classic, at their disposal though. You'd think they would have more n64 games up for download on the wii u vc, and some gamecube stuff too, and heck, maybe even some wii games. I do think the wii u has had more classic game support than the 3ds, mind you. I suppose you're right, that Ninty's decisions can be read more than one way.

I think they have a long way to go, before their devices are as respected as online-capable competitors, and I think the digital age has been something Ninty has been really struggling with, but I do think they are starting to make great strides. I just wish they allowed for more than one simultaneous download.

Anyways, I decided, for the sake of showing that I'm not playing favorites, I would come down on Sony today. It wasn't easy, since they haven't bothered me nearly as much as the other two. Yes, I think I'll come down on MS tomorrow. Anyways, here's my post for Sony:

digitalworkshed1446d ago

It's like Nintendo is getting left behind because of this.

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