Jan 20, 2014

Is Nintendo headed down the same road as BlackBerry?

Nintendo issued guidance that dramatically decreased anticipated sales numbers across almost all of their product line. For example, Wii U sales projections were revised downward from 9 million units to 2.8 million units! Most importantly, the company changed a projected profit of $100 million to a projected loss of $240 million. As someone who grew up with Nintendo, I’m concerned that one of the centerpieces of my childhood may be facing a situation similar to BlackBerry - lot’s of cash on hand but unable to get any traction with their new products.

They'd be smart if they released some of their older games for iOS and Android. There are hundreds of millions of people using those devices and they all have money to spend. Nintendo doesn't have to spend a zillion dollars to do an iOS or Android game, they just need to port some of their older games and update the graphics.

If they don't do this I suspect that they will slowly fade away as time goes by.

The company has enough of a cash reserve to give themselves some breathing room, but the lack of success with the Wii U is a serious problem. Luckily, the 3DS was the best selling console of the 2013 holiday season, or the hurt would really be on. Lot’s of people who are smarter than think Nintendo should embrace the tablet and smartphone markets, but I’m not so sure. To develop a quality AAA title takes millions of dollars, and many games lose money at $50-$60 a pop, let alone $5-6. Nintendo would either have to port their old classic NES games, which might not be a terrible thing if the controls were functional, or start to make garbage games that look like a free flash physics game from a decade ago. Seriously, many people have no clue just how inferior android/iOS games are compared to quality console releases. 


They also really made a misstep with the Wii U. For one, many people don’t realize that it is an entirely new console; they think it is an updated Wii or the gamepad. Another problem is that it is approximately equal in “power” to the X360 and PS3, and those are in the twilight of their lives. After the new AAA titles for those dry up, there is not going to be much chance of games being ported from the PS4 or XBone to the Wii U. Still, Nintendo has time to come out with a new console in a year or two and survive the rough times. Blackberry on the other hand…. 

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