Nintendo is to video games as Blackberry is to smartphones, and they’re both doomed if they don’t evolve. Nintendo, like Blackberry, has a history of helping launch an industry with beloved hardware and software. It was just 8 years ago that people complained of being addicted to their “Crackberries”. Now? No one thinks twice about the company. They’ve been replaced by Apple and Google. Nintendo is starting to look like Blackberry before their fall from grace. Nintendo has popular games, but no one’s buying the hardware. The Wii U has sold less in a year than either the PS4 or Xbox One have in a few months. In fact, since it was released in 2012, the Wii U has sold less than 7 million units. The PS4 has done that since it was released a few months ago, in November of 2013. Perhaps Nintendo has to change their plans or stop wasting time excluding cetain users from their games. Perhaps they’d be better off making games of other platforms, using more advanced hardware, or making more games players actually want to buy.
I’ve said it once, I’l say it again, and I’ll probably end up saying it 100 more times, Nintendo has to consider making games for hardware other than their own. It’s sacrilege to say, almost like saying iOS should run on a Samsung phone, but Nintendo could dip their toes in the water. At this point, they don’t have many options. Nintendo could create some brand new games, specifically made for touch devices and make them available for phones and tablets. They could also release their old games, remade for iOS and Android. Nintendo could even make their own controller for iOS and Android devices to ensure their games are enjoyed to the full potential. I’d love to play some of my favorite NES games on my iPhone and iPad without jumping through hoops of installing and running emulators.
Nintendo could also look to making more advanced hardware. The Wii U barely has the power of the PS3 or Xbox 360. This was released just a year before these consoles became obsolete. From its incarnation, the Wii U was obsolete. Along with it, Nintendo released a gimmick controller, thinking that silly features like a single player getting a second screen on their controller would be enough to convince people to buy them? If you had a sibling, you probably remember fighting over who got to be player one (“I’m older so I get to go first!”), but when Nintendo put a screen on one of the controllers, they made the player one controller more desireable than ever before. That has made the entire console less desireable. Nintendo says they want to refocus on this controller and the gimmicks in gameplay it represents. Could Nintendo be more disconnected from their customer base? This isn’t the company we fell in love with, it’s a gross perversion of it, with a love for gimmicks, exclusivity, and, unfortunately, posession of the intellectual property we love.
Nintendo announced today their massive losses and their pathetic sales. Just like they did in 2012, Nintendo’s reporting nearly half a billion dollars in losses. In 2012, they reported a lost of $458 million. In 2013, they lost $336 million, and this year, they again lost $456 million. Nintendo’s running out of money. Poor sales of their Wii U console and weak portable sales isn’t going to save them. Doing what they’ve been doing for the past three years won’t change anything either. Nintendo is going to fall apart unless they can change their ways, unfortunately, not only are they refusing to improve their hardware, they’re unwilling to adapt and offer their products on non-Nintendo hardware. Blackberry tried to make Blackberry Messenger their last ditch effort to reach out to users of competing smartphones, but the app hasn’t been popular. Hopefully Nintendo doesn’t wait until they’re on their deathbed to reach out to their customers who have long since stopped gaming on Nintendo hardware.