zerocrossing (User)

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"Video game journalist and gamer enthusiast."

Do Nintendo need to change their business model?

zerocrossing | 489d ago
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A lot of debating (see bickering) has been going on around the interwebs these past months in regards to Nintendo's new console the Wii U, Im not about to "debate" whether or not their new console is next gen, but I will say that it is inarguably Nintendo's next generation console, if you get my meaning.

A great many gamers believe Nintendo to be in trouble and feel that they are inevitably doomed to obscurity if they are to continue down their current course, these people also feel that the only reasonable course of action is for Nintendo to take a more mainstream approach, and apply a more hardcore friendly business model similar to that of Microsoft and Sony, there is however one or two rather large if not gaping wholes in this way of thinking, Nintendo have never really been "hardcore" it's not their area and if they where to attempt it they would most likely be eaten alive by those who have already set up foundation and acheived great success for themsleves in the mainstream market, Sony and Microsoft.

Nintendo, in order to change their current business model and appeal to the hardcore market would need to take their current game franchises, rework them, alter their core gameplay, make them more accessible and appealing to hardcore gamers of today, the Legend of Zelda franchise would need to appear more mature and take on a more epic scale, imitating games such as God of war and Darksiders, Mario is not popular amongst hardcore gamers so he would no doubt fall into obscurity only making small cameos in popular games and being used as DLC character skins before being dropped completely, the Metroid franchise would most likely be turned into to some sort of scifi COD imitator with a heavy focus on Online multiplayer and coop, this just wouldn't work it's not Nintendo, they could try it but they would inevitably fail.

Even arguing that Nintendo could keep their 1st party games the way they are and just roll out a more powerful console (apart from the fact that's just not viable let alone sensible to do right now) that would allow them to acquire more 3rd party support, we've had two home consoles already that offered multiplat 3rd party games, do we really need three home consoles all offering the same 3rd party multiplat titles with only minor variations in graphics and gameplay? Even if that where to happen since most hardcore gamers dislike Nintendo's 1st party titles there would be no reason for them to choose Nintendo over Sony or Microsoft, it happened with the Ganecube.

Now Im not bashing Nintendo, not at all, but thinking about it Nintendo has founded the majority of their success on not even attempting to appeal to the mainstream or hardcore market (mostly because there technically wasn't a hardcore market in the past) but just producing/publishing fun and enjoyable games, gaming after all was widely regarded as immature, juvenile, childish even, especially back during the days of the NES, gamers at the time would have been playing Mario, Zelda and/or Metroid, and funnily enough enduring ridicule from the "cool kids" of the day for doing so (some things never change it seems) So then skip forwards about 10 years and we have our first official console for the mainstream in the form of the "Sony Playstation" (I won't go into detail regarding how Nintendo shot themselves in the foot when they asked Sony to produce a disc based console only to pull out last minuet leaving Sony with little choice but to launch the console themselves pretty much leading to the creation of what we now call the hardcore market, I won't mention that at all)

The Playstation brought a whole new breed of gamers to the games industry and offered them gaming experiences Nintendo wasn't, and that was fine Nintendo was doing their own thing appealing to their fans, why would they need to appeal to another fanbase that's already covered by another home console? The same goes for today, Nintendo is just doing their own thing like they have always done, Sony and Microsoft are taking care of the hardcore gamers, not only would it be completely unnecessary for Nintendo to attempt to compete, but it would mean financial suicide to drop their current fanbase and enter the mainstream market when they are clearly not equipped to appeal to hardcore gamers, I would rather Nintendo do what they do best than copy the success of another company only to fail.

The Wii's success during the last console generation can and should be attributed greatly to the casual market Nintendo themselves had a big hand in creating, they chose to grab the attention of an up and coming market because Nintendo know they are not equipped to appeal to the hardcore market, the vast majority of gamers suggesting that Nintendo should stop what they are doing and appeal to them are forgetting that Nintendo already have a large and very loyal fanbase, it may not be quite as large as Sony's or Microsoft but it's large enough to support them, Nintendo have also allowed a great many smaller gaming studios to develop IP's they simply could not have released on any other console for it just not being financially profitable and or the publishers weren't interested for lack of appeal from the mainstream, Xenoblade chronicles, The Last Story, the up and coming Bayonetta 2, Pandora's tower, those games that have been released in this list are great games, but simply would not find much of an audience anywhere else but on a Nintendo system.

We honestly don't need Nintendo to enter the mainstream, they have their place and they are doing just fine, all the articles and talk about the Wii U being "doomed" are missing the fact that no console sells well during January and/or Febuary, just look at at the PS Vita that's still selling poorly even with games like Assasins creed, Killzone and Ghost Recon.

The Wii U will most likely start picking up speed and selling better later on in the year, especially when Nintendo put their big guns out such as Zelda U, Metroid U, Pickmin U, Mario U and Monolith Soft's X, these may not appeal to many hardcore gamers but to Nintendo fans these are definitive console sellers.

Well I guess that's all I've got on this, I hope I made some good points or at least a bit of sense, I know Im bound to have a lot of gamers disagree with me but honestly, if you're happy with Sony or Microsoft then what do you need Nintendo for? If you're not already a fan of them then you probably never where or will be.

Anyway, thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to leave a comment but let's keep it clean, thanks.

PopRocks359  +   489d ago
I don't necessarily think they need to. They certainly could and I would be interested to see what direction they take. You make the same point I've made for a while; Nintendo does not need to do what the competition does because that's what Sony and Microsoft are for and I like them for doing that just as I like Nintendo for what they do.

I will never understand why people demand Nintendo change their model. If you like Sony then that's what Sony is for. You don't need Nintendo to emulate that as well.

I have no fantasies of perfection, mind you. I am more or less frustrated at Nintendo's extremely slow transition into the online realm as well as online features in their consoles. I have other issues, but that's for another time.

One last thing I'd like to reply to is I actually feel much of Nintendo's success comes from intelligent business planning. Despite two generations of commercially failed consoles, Nintendo still made profits off of both the N64 and GCN, both of which were state of the art consoles at the time.

Overall, good article. Looking forward to the next one.
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StrawHatPatriot  +   489d ago
I hate your use of the word "hardcore" in this though. Zelda doesn't have to God of War-like to be mature and appeal to hardcore gamers. Mario is popular with everybody, just because it has mass market appeal that doesn't mean a hardcore gamer can play it. Many people put Super Mario Galaxy as one of the best games of the generations, and in fact, is in the top 3 most critically acclaimed games of ALL TIME (and hey, what do you know, one of the other games in that top 3 happens to be a Zelda game).
zerocrossing  +   489d ago
Well I never intended anyone to like my use of the term "hardcore" at least in regards to how Im using it in this blog anyway, since it is used in reference too gamers who see themselves as hardcore and yet also have no interest in Nintendo at all because they don't see them as offering an experience for hadcore gamers.

If you like the legend of Zelda, Mario and Metroid then you're not the kind of "hardcore" gamer Im referring to, there are many gamers who dislike Mario, Zelda and Metroid because they don't see them as hardcore gaming experiences, their view on what is hardcore is without a doubt different from yours and mine, those who simply dislike Nintendo's current direction and complain that they see no appeal in them and suggest they should change their business model to suit them, they are the people the "hardcore" gamers that Im referring too, not you.
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StrawHatPatriot  +   489d ago
Okay then.

Overall, sorry if I came of as condescending or anything, I actually liked the article a lot.
ZombieNinjaPanda  +   489d ago
So then hardcore gamers to you are ones that only play shooters or something? I know many people who consider themselves hardcore gamers (myself included) that believe Mario games (Such as SM64, Sunshine, Galaxy) and Zelda games (ever play the nes games?) are required to be played if you want to consider yourself a hardcore gamer.

If you are referring to difficulty, well let's just say that there's a reason that people refer to older games as "Nintendo Hard".
zerocrossing  +   489d ago
Well I accidental double post... So I may well use this chance to clear up some things.

1) if you like The Legend of Zelda, Mario and or Metroid, then you probably aren't of the "hardcore" gamer variety that m referring too in this blog.

2) Not liking Nintendo does not make you a "hater" or bad gamer, but complaining about them because they don't appeal to you is just petty whining, if you are gaming happily now with Sony or Microsoft then kindly continue doing so and stop moaning that your not part of Nintendo's target demographic when you clearly have no interest in them to begin with.

3) Nintendo is in no way perfect, they need to get their act together in regards to online gaming, they desperately need to push out more unique IP's and they probably shouldn't have ditched their core fanbase for the casual market during the Wii cycle, but saying that, if they hadn't they may not still be around today...

Anyway, Sony MS and Nintendo all have their place in modern gaming, we don't need them copying each other unless it furthers our gaming experience instead of stagnating it, if you have preference stick with it and enjoy it but please font force your "opinion" on other gamers.
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s45gr32  +   489d ago
I do understand that Nintendo has never appealed to mainstream gamers. Nintendo doesn't need to emulate Microsoft or Sony. I do wish Nintendo would bring more new ips (after all I grew up with Nintendo but this company keeps making the same franchises). Would love to buy a game system made by Nintendo but is just the same franchises with the same themes design and game play. Where is the Nintendo that made creative games like Yoshi island or island adventure the one with the kid riding a skateboard in a prehistoric island This company is just relying on gimmicks ask yourself as a gamer was it necessary to have a second screen. Would it have been better to release a dinosaur game were the player rides the dinosaurs with the main goal rescuing a baby t-rex from a mad scientist that wants to use the dinosaurs for its own greed. Of course it will be cel-shaded. It could also bring it a title about a boy jumping into the future sees himself in the future as a human slaver helping aliens to slave humans. The goal is to change the future. My point is well these may not be mainstream games per se but they're new gaming experiences. I am glad that you know Nintendo target audience I. e. kids and casual gamers. What Nintendo needs is creativity Zelda Mario Pokemon and Metroid are old news it needs new ips. It only has one the wonderful 101 but it needs more than one. Second it needs to lower the prices for its games sold digitally along with hd remakes like the upcoming zelda wind waker it should cost $40.00 not $60.00 plus tax due to be a gamecube game. That's the other issue is selling a year old or two years old PS3 and 360 games for $60.00 dollars that is insane. Need for Speed most wanted a launch 360 title for $60.00 dollars what a rip off. Those are some of the real issues the other issues is being more flexible with indie developers.
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Picnic  +   488d ago
Unless they have some long term plan, it's frankly ludicrous that Nintendo would choose to put Luigi's Mansion : Dark Moon on the 3DS but not yet on the WiiU.

This was a very popular cult game on the Gamecube.

They need to win the kinds of people who loved the N64 and Gamecube.

And they could do with a Rare-like platform game that doesn't just feature the same old faces.

Why not enlist Sega to make Jet Set Radio Future 2 as a Wii exclusive? (although I'd suggest that it's timed as Playstation owwners would probably be very interested in that too. Xbox owners- not so much history shows).

Maybe Sega can help to save the WiiU.
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dedicatedtogamers  +   488d ago
Nintendo needs to repair their identity. They made a massive mistake with the 3DS and the WiiU. They thought "if we add DS to the title, people will buy the 3DS", but they didn't (and still aren't), because the 3DS is NOT aimed at the market that made the DS successful. They thought "if we add Wii to the title, people will buy the WiiU", but they didn't (and still aren't), because the WiiU is NOT aimed at the market that made the Wii successful.

Right now, Nintendo is on the decline. Both their console and their handheld markets are losing developer support (*thinks back to the article showing that even PS Vita has more upcoming dev support than WiiU or 3DS). Both their console and handheld markets are performing slowly compared to the prior generation.

But most importantly, Nintendo is no longer the talk of the town. DS used to be cool. Everyone wanted one. Wii used to be cool (to the public; perhaps not to the hardcore). Everyone wanted one to the point where the console was almost sold out for three years straight. The 3DS? Who cares? The WiiU? The WiiWhat? No one is talking about these new platforms. That is a sign that Nintendo is slipping. Nintendo will never be Sony or Microsoft. They will never be the cutting-edge technology leader with a massive stable of 3rd-party dev support. It ain't gonna happen. So, Nintendo needs to replicate what they did in the past instead of thinking "oh, everything is fine!" when it isn't.

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