Nintendo co., Ltd are in trouble, maybe they don’t see it yet, but they are in trouble.

The Japanese consumer electronics giant which revolutionized the video game industry is now consistently being outperformed, and its not just about the revenues anymore, its about their legacy, they are being out-innovated (if that’s a word) by not one but both of their major competitors – Microsoft and Sony.

The Xbox One and the PS4 are making headlines everywhere. While Microsoft’s console seeks to change the way people consume entertainment in their living rooms, Sony’s PS4 is solely focused on taking the user’s gaming experience to the next level.

nintendo
The Nintendo Wii U.

Nintendo’s USP has always been – games for the masses and not games for the serious gamers (which seems to be changing over the last couple of years thanks largely to Ubisoft). But they still lag way behind their competition in terms of publisher interest, which in 2013 is as important as it was in 2003.

Let me put things in perspective for Nintendo :

  • Nintendo’s Wii U is a darn good console and is good enough to take the PS3 and Xbox 360 head on, but then Nintendo are way too late to the party. Sony and Microsoft already have their next generation consoles lined up, and Nintendo’s best yet is unfortunately only second best.
  • Publisher support for the Wii U is mediocre compared to its competition.
  • With GPU specs improving every quarter chances of tablets and smartphones challenging last generation consoles such as the Xbox 360 and PS3 are rife. Especially since the likes of AMD with their APU processor range are powering the console business and at the same delving into mobile platforms to blur the line between processors for consoles, PCs and tablets. Which is indeed bad news for Nintendo because a majority of game titles on their consoles aren’t known for their massive graphical rendering capabilities.

Here’s what’s truly wrong with Nintendo right now, and it is a problem which if not addressed soon could soon become the catalyst for Nintendo console business’ untimely demise.

  • Electronic Arts doesn’t seem to be too keen on Nintendo, and they have no games in development for the Wii U currently.
  • Take Two Interactive is still quiet about its plans for the Wii U.
  • Activision is yet to announce a major game for the Nintendo console.
  • Major publishers aren’t keen on having exclusive titles for the Wii U.
  • The number of major multi-platform games often leave the Wii U out of the equation, and the word multi-platform support is increasingly becoming a dual platform support thanks to the Xbox and the Sony consoles.

Ubisoft still remains the one third party publisher whose support and success has kept much of the interest of the serious gamers intact for the Nintendo Wii and the Wii U.

Now just imagine Ubisoft pulling the plug on Nintendo. That’s scary if you are Nintendo.

nintendo
Nintendo’s favorite Italian plumber.

Let’s face it, if Konami, Capcom, EA, Take Two, Activision and Ubisoft are not publishing games for the Nintendo console, the Wii U will not be able to survive based on first party or the Nintendo-only games. And if Nintendo’s best console in the market which is already 2 years too late isn’t able to excite third party publishers to stay on board, then there is little chance of Nintendo holding ground when the Xbox One and the PS4 hit the markets.

Nintendo needs to get its priorities right and bring serious gamers and major publishers back to its den in a year or so because time is in short supply for them, the next generation consoles will soon start infiltrating the markets.

  • JonathanRobitaille

    nistha1234 again with the fanboy comment. Hiding behind my username? Dude, my name is right there. That’s my facebook account. Cannot wait to hear from you in 12 months. Here’s my predictions: The Wii U will do fairly well starting this fall with the release of its first party games. PS4 will do VERY well and Xbone won’t be far behind. They will both sell well and sell better than Wii U for 2013 Holiday season. As 2014 comes, MarioKart and Smash Brothers come followed later by a Zelda, a price drop, and the Wii U sells very well. Once the regular Wii is no longer on the shelves it will get those sales as well and will not only survive this next gen but be very successful. I think there is room for three major consoles and all three have their fans. I will either get one or both of the others alongside my Wii U and people like you will slink off into their caves waiting to strike again once Nintendo does something new. Because, really, you people said the Wii would be their demise and they won that generation, you said the 3ds was dead in the water and it is selling like hotcakes, and you are now bashing the Wii U. When will you learn? It’s okay to like more than one console. Bashing Nintendo doesn’t make Sony or Xbox make better consoles or games. It just makes you look petty, wrong, and laughable.

  • Shikhar

    JonathanRobitaille

    THAT person who tries to sound smart but fails miserably. – I think that might be you sir.
     
    Accusing me of having being paid by Nintendo competitors, then your friend here joeydbbo thinks he/she would be surprised if I am not sitting in MS HQ, you label Mike Pachter a douchebag, and you keep vomiting off the topic comments, I am convinced you are a genius, I promise to write a post on Nintendo 12 months from now, highlighting their poor sales. I wish you revealed your real identity instead of hiding behind a username. I will most certainly cite your example as an one of the many emotional Nintendo fanboys who failed to accept the demise that is very visible.
    Have a nice year 🙂

  • U summed up my answer. Pachter and the likes can see what the nintendo fans can’t come to terms with. I wouldn’t mind writing a post in spring 2014 and linking back to this post to show how we all knew even back in July 2013 how the Wii U, as good as it is, with no or little 3rd party support was always going to be a very distant third in the console race.

    I have nothing against Nintendo, just like Mr. Pachter my job is to report the truth, irrespective of how a certain section of people might perceive it.

  • JonathanRobitaille

    nistha1234dude, seriously? Did you just quote and use Michael Pachter as evidence this article has substance? Michael Pachter and his views have been laughed at for years. He his wrong more than right and is considered a joke in the gaming industry. Do you even realize that you picked THE last person you’d want to quote? I am in awe right now…but..I suppose it deserves a response. 
    He once predicted that Microsoft and Sony would not release another console after the PS360 and that Nintendo would just raise the current Wii to HD. Well, as you know, we now have the Wii U and are waiting on PS4 and Xbone.
    He has predicted Grand Theft Auto 5 to come out in 2010, 2011, 2012. Wrong wrong wrong
    Predicted Midway Games would have a great year in 2008. Months later it went bankrupt
    This moronic prediction about online gaming and World of Warcraft in particular:
    “I don’t think there are four million people in the world who really want to play online games every month,” said Michael Pachter, a research analyst for Wedbush Morgan, a securities firm. “World of Warcraft is such an exception. I frankly think it’s the buzz factor, and eventually it will come back to the mean, maybe a million subscribers.”
    2012: Wii will top sales during the holidays. Actually, it got creamed and came in last
    He predicted Red Dead Redemption would fail

    He did NOT predict the success of the 3DS saying it would never sell like the DS but it passed the DS in sales rate early this year. 3rd party games had very little to do with the 3ds sales. It was the 1st party games like New Super Mario Brothers 2, Animal Crossing New Leaf, Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon, all the Pokemon games, Lego City. Sure, a couple of nice 3rd party games came out, notably Fire Emblem Awakening, but sales figures show it is 1st party games that propelled the success of 3ds. That is what that system had been waiting for. Good 1st party games. It’s the same thing that will happen with the Wii U. Which like 3ds failed to have good games at launch but will come out with many this year and next. Sales will ramp up.
    Your whole last attacking point about Nintendo fans being emotional. Hey Genius, if you had read my posts you will know that I have gamed on the Xbox 360 more than any other system and have played way more games on that than all of Nintendo consoles EVER! 
    So, in summation. That was weak. Both your use of Prachter who is universally considered a douche who is out of touch and more wrong than right, and your attempt to label me as a Nintendo fanboy. 
    In fact, you wasted your time writing that response and lack any credibility going forward, so maybe, don’t do that…or be THAT person who tries to sound smart but fails miserably.

  • nistha1234

    Since most of the comments on this post are estimations and talk about the future of nintendo and that includes the post itself, i thought quoting someone who knows the gaming industry is a good option.
    “I think the way it shakes out is, anyone who buys a Wii U who really is a hardcore gamer is going to buy a PS4 or an Xbox One in addition so they can play those third party titles that they love, so I think Nintendo becomes a distant third in this console race.” – Michael Pachter.

    pachter hs been right about nintendo all along, so while nintendo predicted 6-7 million sales within 6 months of launch pachter predicted less than 4 million and guess who was right? he also predicted the success of the 3DS if the third party publisher support increased, and that’s what happened.
    Here is pachter’s interview which support what this author is trying to say in his post. Warning for two die hard nintendo fans, if you didn’t like this author’s post you are going to hate pachter’s interview. He is so right when he says –
     “Investors tend to behave rationally, so they accept my comments as rational and thoughtful. People who have an affinity for brands — or a political party, or a religion, or an alma mater — tend to be less rational and more emotional.”
    http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2013/04/interview_michael_pachter_on_wii_u_3ds_and_the_challenges_facing_nintendo_this_generation

  • JonathanRobitaille

    joeydobbo that was awesome. great post

  • JonathanRobitaille

    ShikharTechLabs JonathanRobitaille Of the last generation I owned all three consoles. First one I owned was a Wii. Then I purchased a PS3 but didn’t care for its controller (motion or regular). Next I purchased an xbox 360 w/Kinect. I sold the Wii after it not getting much use, which was as much about the fact I had kids as anything. Last fall I purchased the Wii U and one game…ZombiU. I have played several games though and really look forward to a time when they come out with their first party games like Pikmin 3, Donkey Kong, Smash Brothers and MarioKart.  I just sold my xbox 360 in anticipation for purchasing one of the next gen consoles. I am leaning towards PS4 that has free online and a more powerful machine. So, fanboy of any system I am not.

    The third party support for the Wii U has been pretty lackluster. Many of the games have issues and are not the best of ports. This falls on the developers not Nintendo. Examples being: the weak offerings by EA which are not as good as their counterparts on the PS360. The frame rate drops on Arkham City (which devs admitted were the result of rushing). Also, Ubisoft not releasing Rayman Legends as an exclusive and delaying till Fall hurt initial Wii U sales and limited its user base. Also Mass Effect should have come out with all three games for the Nintendo fans that never got to play the games, but instead only 3 came out. 
    This fall, WatchDogs, Call of Duty Ghosts, Rayman Legends, Sonic Lost World, Disney Infinity, Batman Arkham Origins, Assasin’s Creed 4, and many more are yet to be announced. Just those games along with the multitude of first party games will be ample software to garner sales. If they end up with compelling bundles or even a price drop ala the 3DS, then sales will go up and the Wii U will be a success. 
    Nobody is saying Nintendo hasn’t had a poor launch. It has. But they all do. Every one of them has had their own hiccups. There isn’t going to be that much difference in graphics this gen. There just isn’t. Once you get 1080p 60fps you have reached a point where there won’t be that argument that graphics are so much better as you did with the difference between PS360 and the Wii. 
    To address the Kinect. lmao. Please!!! In theory it is awesome. In practice it is weak and a distant second to the Wii Motion control. I hear great things about the advancement for the XBone and it has me wanting to get it but last gen Nintendo owned the others. They will also own this gen with the gamepad use as you have to purchase separately a PS Vita for the PS4 or a smartphone/tablet for Xbox. It comes with the Wii U and is just better. No Nintendo didn’t invent motion controls but they did it better last gen. No they didn’t invent gamepads but they are doing it better this next gen. They also brought about D-Pad and Shoulder buttons to the mainstream. 
    So I find it odd that you believe Nintendo has to innovate if they are to survive when in fact they are the innovators. Looking back it’s obvious and apparent though I know you don’t like looking at history to predict one’s future. But looking the present state…they are the only one with backwards compatibility, with an included off TV option, with 5 player local player option. I responded to your post because your headline is ridiculous. Nothing in your response addressed the fact that Nintendo is in fact the leader in innovation as I claimed. All you did was fail to paint me as a Nintendo fanboy when in fact I have played more games on other systems than Nintendo and plan on getting one or both of the next gen offerings from Sony and Microsoft. 
    Finally to really address the reason for lack of third party support I have a few observations. Many developers have admitted that it is harder to develop for the Wii U. it requires more time and effort and with no install base it doesn’t make fiscal sense. Others have relationships with Microsoft and Sony for exclusivity. Still others, haven’t been able to allocate the time necessary to devote to the Wii U because they are rushing out last minute PS360 offerings, and ramping up for PS4/Xbone launches. Those systems are similar in architecture and easier to adapt to. 
    I am not so sure you should be writing articles if you don’t know your subject. If anyone sounds like a fanboy it’s you.

  • joeydobbo

    I’d be surprised if the author isn’t sitting in Microsoft HQ somewhere:

    He questioned the idea that Kinect is copied despite the Eyetoy coming out years ago. 
    He said Kinect is the best motion control system, except we’ve yet to see a good game for it and Wiimotes sold 100M consoles and Kinect sold about 15M and caused uproar at being mandatory in XB-1.
    “Nintendo could die if they don’t innovate” – I 100% agree but that is literally all Nintendo have tried to do for the last 10 years. I can’t think of a single thing in modern gaming besides Sony’s eyetoy and online that Nintendo didn’t popularise. Sony and MS showed only one type of innovation for the next gen and that is processing power.
    Nintendo need 3rd parties to survive. They’ve survived since 1996 with minimal to no 3rd party support.
    “Nintendo can’t rely on 1st party software sales” – except they’ve only made 1 ever loss during a double console launch window almost solely relying on the highest grossing exclusive games of all time. Mario Kart, NSMB, Wii Fit, Smash Bros etc. etc. Their first party library on its own made Nintendo the most profitable company in the world per employee for over a year. 
    It’s not like $12Bn in cash reserve will run out quickly when they’ve made profit every year except for one loss of less than $500M
    You neglect to mention they have the best selling console as one of their two consoles at the moment and the 3DS is killing the Vita worse than the DS killed the PSP.
    I didn’t understand some of the latter comments but it looked to me like the final word was the author finally admitting that MS and Sony’s 1st party games don’t excite serious gamers. I’m not denying that Wii U needs 3rd party support but that is only because Nintendo hasn’t even supported it with 1st Party games yet.
    As a final point on my rant, THERE ARE NO SUCH PEOPLE AS ‘CORE GAMERS’ that go out and buy so many more games than the rest of us that they are all that Sony and MS care about. As the last 7 console generations will tell you, CASUAL GAMERS RULE THE WORLD. Sony and MS would kill all 140 Million PS360 owners to get 200 million owners next time. Look at how badly hurt Sony and MS were by Wii from 2006 to 2010. There aren’t enough die hard game fans to fund any of the big publishers so they need mainstream success. ‘Hardcore gamer’ and ‘casual gamer’ are marketing terms designed to validate kids who buy lots of games and to trick the people who buy less games that they are getting something designed for them.

    RANT OVER.

  • ShikharTechLabs

    JonathanRobitailleHi, thanks for your informed opinion.
    You
    probably forgot to notice that the post is focused on the future of the
    Nintendo console business and not on how successful its past was. You
    sound like you just got fired from Sony and joined Nintendo in the
    capacity of a fanboy. So Kinect is copied? okay how is that related to
    the post? wait maybe you are trying to say Nintendo is at the helm of
    gaming innovation and all its competitors can do is copy.
    Copied
    or not, the Kinect is the best technology in its category (if you want
    to dispute that, please bring a valid argument to the table instead of
    another rant). I wouldn’t want to divert from the topic but FYI Apple
    didn’t invent the tablet PC, but they did revolutionize it. In consumer
    electronics its not about who did it first, but who did it better. You
    are  probably from the brigade that believes everything in the world of
    gaming was invented by Nintendo, which unfortunately is not true.
    “They
    also didn’t get much support from the other studios either because
    truly..Nintendo is about high quality first party games.” – Seriously?
    Is that why you think third party studios aren’t very keen on supporting
    Nintendo? You talk about Electronic Arts with a vengeance, I am not
    sure you understand but the NES is not what has kept Nintendo alive, its
    publishers like Ubisoft and EA that keep consoles alive (Yes a lot of
    people do buy Nintendo to play games from top publishers like EA). You
    talk from the point of view of a gamer and seem to have no clue about
    how a console business is run. Third party publisher support  is still
    MANDATORY to sell ANY console (including the shiny new PS4 and Xbox One)
    because first party games aren’t GOOD ENOUGH to excite serious gamers.

    I will be more than glad to respond to you come spring 2014.

  • ShikharTechLabs

    JonathanRobitailleHi, thanks for your informed opinion.
    You
    probably forgot to notice that the post is focused on the future of the
    Nintendo console business and not on how successful its past was. You
    sound like you just got fired from Sony and joined Nintendo in the
    capacity of a fanboy. So Kinect is copied? okay how is that related to
    the post? wait maybe you are trying to say Nintendo is at the helm of
    gaming innovation and all its competitors can do is copy.
    Copied
    or not, the Kinect is the best technology in its category (if you want
    to dispute that, please bring a valid argument to the table instead of
    another rant). I wouldn’t want to divert from the topic but FYI Apple
    didn’t invent the tablet PC, but they did revolutionize it. In consumer
    electronics its not about who did it first, but who did it better. You
    are  probably from the brigade that believes everything in the world of
    gaming was invented by Nintendo, which unfortunately is not true.
    “They
    also didn’t get much support from the other studios either because
    truly..Nintendo is about high quality first party games.” – Seriously?
    Is that why you think third party studios aren’t very keen on supporting
    Nintendo? You talk about Electronic Arts with a vengeance, I am not
    sure you understand but the NES is not what has kept Nintendo alive, its
    publishers like Ubisoft and EA that keep consoles alive (Yes a lot of
    people do buy Nintendo to play games from top publishers like EA). You
    talk from the point of view of a gamer and seem to have no clue about
    how a console business is run. Third party publisher support  is still
    MANDATORY to sell ANY console (including the shiny new PS4 and Xbox One)
    because first party games aren’t GOOD ENOUGH to excite serious gamers.

    I will be more than glad to respond to you come spring 2014.

  • joeydobbo

    JonathanRobitaille I’m glad you saved me writing the same thing here! 

    On a side note, I would have to say that between 2001 and 2011, EA’s support for Nintendo was generally quite good and they seem to be one of the few publishers that had the talent to make decent motion controls in games. It’s just sad that they’ve fallen out and EA are trying to do to Nintendo what they did to Sega all that time ago.

  • JonathanRobitaille

    shocker, yet another misinformed article about the demise of Nintendo. It conveniently left out the smashing success that the 3DS is. Or, how the Wii U is suffering from the same issues that plagued the 3DS at launch i.e. good games. Or, how the Wii got very little true 3rd party support and despite it not being HD it still outsold the other two consoles. Or, how Nintendo is alway first when it comes to new technology. They started motion controls which was copied by Sony and Microsoft with the ‘Move’ and “kinect’ controls. They are the first to utilize a gamepad, which is being copied by Microsoft with ‘Smartglass’. In fact, this article seems like it was funded by Nintendo competitors. Nobody has ever purchased Nintendo to play crappy EA sports games. Sorry EA, just the truth. Your games are weak and everytime you ported one over to Nintendo you barely tried and the games were even worse than normal. They also didn’t get much support from the other studios either because truly..Nintendo is about high quality first party games. Those games are all coming out starting in August. Let’s see this author respond come spring 2014