The first commentator on my post about the Wii U stated that he sees gaming moving more and more toward a tablet-centric world. This got me thinking about the future of Nintendo because they are really the last video game console centric company in the world. While Microsoft and Sony still carry on with their respective platforms, they are huge companies with their respective hands in many honey pots.
That means Nintendo is the one company most in danger of being destroyed if the gaming world shifts.
But we really need to keep around a strong Nintendo for that very same reason. They are uniquely positioned to really push the envelope in video games and, more precisely, video game hardware because they need to keep ahead of everyone else in different ways. The Wii might not have been the most powerful system in the world, but their motion-control remotes pushed other companies to release their own motion-control peripherals. I have a feeling that the Kinect would have sat in the workshop for a much longer time had Nintendo not pushed things just a little bit in a different direction.
A software-only Nintendo, having shed its home and portable consoles a la Sega, will be boring and, really, quite useless. The software won’t be as “fun” anymore and will truly lose its luster. It will be a sad day.
Not just that, but I have a feeling that ideas will be slow. What will be next? I don’t know, but I DO know that Nintendo probably has dozens of crazy things just flying around in R&D right now waiting for the right time to head out into the world. Will they all work? Well, HELLLLLOOOO Virtual Boy … no. However, they ARE all valuable experiments in what MIGHT work and helps people get more ideas to grow into possible new interfaces, or products, or … who knows what!?
Nintendo is unique and needs to be strong because they NEED to push video games forward. That’s all they do. If they fail, we’ll lose too much.
2 responses to “A Case for a Strong Nintendo”
Well lucky for us, at least right now, nintendo has a pretty big war chest! My fear is that they are losing their magic, they release 3x (yes 3) “new” super mario brothers games in one year….. I buy a nintendo console to play their amazing first party titles, but if they dont step it up on those…. it will be time to start worrying. The worst case for the near future would be them not making TV based consoles, and keep racking in the money on the DS line
I think you’re correct on the DS line sticking around for a while.
I hear what you are saying about the Super Mario Brothers games, but at the same time, I cringe at the idea that we’ve lost the ability to be patient as a society. It seems that if we don’t get a brand new, 10/10 game out of every development house every single year then … that company is dead. How is a company supposed to do anything at all under that sort of misguided pressure? It is sad.
Patience would be great, but it is also hard. We have new technology bombarding us every moment of every day and companies getting more and more desperate as piracy is still high and margins continue to plunge. With low margins, you need to make it up in volume so you can’t take time to do something well …