- Posted August 20, 2014 by
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Game Over For Nintendo?
It’s fair to say the Wii U hasn’t exactly taken off. Despite the company making $210 million and selling 1.95 million systems between October and December, Nintendo have struggled to compete with the likes of Sony and Microsoft and are expecting sales to fall drastically.
Many are calling for the Wii to be killed off in a bid to save the company that has brought us Super Mario, Pokemon, and Donkey Kong, whilst the company boss has taken a pay cut in order to turn the company’s fortunes.
Shigeru Miyamoto has taken a 30 per cent decrease in salary alongside other board members, and it’s not for the first time. President and CEO Satoru Iwata took a 50 per cent cut following a weak 3DS launch, and has additionally taken another 50 per cent of his salary.
It’s a worrying time for Nintendo in an era which is being hyped as the ‘golden generation’ for gaming. Sony announced a 64.6 per cent rise in sales year-on-year to $4.2 billion, yet Nintendo’s profit of $97.9 million is 30 per cent down on the previous year.
The problem seems to lie in the rise of smartphones, tablets, next gen consoles, and of course the consumer.
Consumers are continually wanting a more sophisticated look in their gameplay in home entertainment. Bright colours, cartoon-like characters, and jingle noises are being replaced with airs of realism, which can only be backed up by sales of Call of Duty: Ghosts reaching over $1 billion in the first day.
In comparison, the highest Wii U release, New Super Mario Bros. U sold only 3.89 million copies overall. It marks a huge shift from the heroic plumbers that have even had a movie in their honour, but priced at around €300 for a console, is it worth the cost?
The PlayStation 4 comes in at €200 more, but with a much wider variety of games, the option to play online with players across the globe, watch on-demand television, alongside the Xbox One which even offers Skype.
The likes of the Nintendo DS have become unable to compete to devices that can not only connect to the internet but also offer a wide range of games. It would be impossible to play a live casino on a DS, whilst it would also be impossible to download a free game on the spot.
And of course then there’s the other side of the spectrum which is growing at an enormous rate, mobile gaming.
One in five people across the world own a smartphone, and are the graphics of Angry Birds any inferior to Mario Kart? The answer is probably no.
Smartphones and tablets have become major gaming platforms since the emergence of the iPhone in 2007, with the App Store now containing over 150,000 games ranging from console-standard games like Real Racing 3 to the huge market that is the mobile gambling industry.
This could signal the end of Nintendo, certainly as a major force, and could be forced to consider merging with another gaming company to survive. Microsoft and Sony could of course be one of these, whilst Apple have also been mentioned as possible suitors.
It is something the company has never wished to do before but the truth is Nintendo’s place in the market may not just be interesting enough for consumers anymore. They seem to fit directly in between console and mobile gaming, but do we really need that? They’ll have to come up with some good ideas to make it so.