Forget hardware: Nintendo’s problem is lack of games


What’s the cause of Nintendo’s current slump? It has nothing to do with hardware, says Kotaku—since 2009, the company has simply stopped making killer-games:

Nintendo’s quandary isn’t how to turn the 3DS into the next DS or as an answer to the iPhone or whatever hardware comparison seems fun to make. Their quandary is where their next Wii Fit is, where the successor to Wii Sports and New Super Mario Bros DS is. Culturally phenomenal games aren’t easy to predict: see Pokémon , see Tetris, see Grand Theft Auto III. But out on the horizon, would you bet on Luigi’s Mansion 2, Kid Icarus: Uprising or even the current top game in Japan, Nintendo’s Rhythm Heaven on the Wii to be the next 20 million seller?

Agreed. Once Nintendo decides to start taking risks again and starts releasing must-have, system-seller games, prosperity will return to Mushroom Kingdom.


  1. I’m beginning to lose my trust in Nintendo. I will not switch to Sony or Microsoft though!

  2. We just need to give N time. They’re in an unusually awkward position right now transitioning between 2 major consoles. The 3DS will get its wings/sealegs/whatever it is you earn when you’re big enough to compete in the market when the holiday sales show up.

  3. I think the reason the Wii is crashing is that Nintendo brought in a whole new kind of gamer, and third parties refused to offer these new gamers the kinds of games that they came for. My sister bought a Wii for her son, and she plays three or four games over and over while waiting for “something good” to come out. She plays “Fire Emblem”, “Endless Ocean II”, the various LEGO games and “Rune Factory”.

    She constantly complains about the lack of games she wants, while the studios continue to crank out games she does not want and wonder why they don’t sell. As she says, there are five different kinds of Coke because there are five different markets for Coke. There is a new market for games, but the studios refuse to serve it. Nintendo can’t do it alone.

  4. I don’t get it… why has this ‘revelation’ been treated as a new thing all of a sudden? The whole issue with the 3DS comes down to games, in the case mentioned in the article, a lack of great ones that sell over 10 million copies. Then again, Nintendo themselves seems to ignore that, refusing to localise games for the Wii in the vain hope that putting out near enough nothing for a year will still drive sales.

  5. I am considering jumping ship. Five words I never thought I would say.

    I have been a fan of Nintendo for nearly fifteen years. The first game I ever played was Tetris 2 on an original Game Boy my aunt handed down to me. Playing the SNES with another aunt and my uncle. I even used the Gamecube as my primary console, when Nintendo was “down on their luck.” And then the Wii happened. While I do not regret buying the Wii (despite hardware issues that have cropped up), there are now few games on it that strike my interest. Meanwhile, on the other two systems, we see LA Noire, a detective story, and things like Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and Little Big Planet. The style of games Nintendo released in the days of the SNES, the N64, and the Gamecube is now rarely used. This coupled with the creation of and need for Operation Rainfall concern me. Nintendo has left gamers like me behind, and are now focusing on the casual gamers. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and may actually benefit the industry, but we have a new launch coming next year. The reason Nintendo felt they could take a risk with the Wii was because of their longtime fans, who would come rallying.

    I remember the launch announcements for the Wii. Project HAMMER. Disaster: Day of Crisis. These were two games that were targeted for the hardcore. Look what happened there. And the fact that games targeted for the hardcore don’t sell well on Wii. And now take into consideration the gameplay footage shown at E3 for Wii U was on PS3/XBOX hardware, and the possibility that this new hardcore friendly image may be a ruse. I loved Nintendo, but now I am heavily skeptical. I never thought I would be tempted to leave, because in the past, I was happy with them. But now, even with the promise of Mario, Zelda, and Kid Icarus, I see no reason to stay.

  6. I’ve had more fun with Wii and DS than any other consoles I’ve owned. I can’t wait for Mario, Mario Kart 7, Luigi’s Mansion 2, Smash Brothers and whatever else Nintendo’s got lined up for 3DS.

    Every company has its ups and downs. Nintendo’s the only console manufacturer with any kind of personality or identity, and I like the worlds they’ve created. I’ll continue to buy 1st party Nintendo games as long as they keep putting out quality releases.

    I’m hoping they’ve got some great new ideas brewing for 3DS and Wii U, because I’d love to see them reach the top again, and the public does love to be surprised. In the meantime, I personally can’t wait for Luigi’s Mansion 2.

  7. I saw that on kotaku, and I have been feeling that way for a while. Is Nintendo really lazy or are they just burned out and can’t come up with new IPs. Sony doesn’t seem to have problem with that with PS3, I am enjoying the PS3 everyday and I only turn the Wii on just to do the vote thingy whenever I remember to do so. Come on Nintendo what has happened to you!

  8. New Rogue squadron or remakes would be wonderful….but will not happen becouse level 5 is defunct 🙁

  9. I just want more stuff for my Miis to do. StreetPass is fun, so is Pilot Wings. They have such a great “franchise” with those characters.

  10. I will keep buying nintendo consoles as long as they keep making them. If they decide to become like sega and be a game publisher only, i will keep buying their games. Why? I love nintendo games. People are just not being patient. We got Ocarina of Time in 3D already. Do people really think that nintendo will not put out any good games for 3DS? Just wait till they start putting pokemon games on it. It will blow up!

  11. Blake, I’m sure you mean well at heart. But out of all the Infendo writers, your the one I’d most likely shoot if I had to choose. (not really because I’m pretty sure you have kids, but you get my point). The only reason Nintendo hasn’t been producing killer games lately is because of the 3DS and Wii U hardware development of late. I mean, we’re lucky to even have Mario Kart 7 coming out IMO.

    BTW, the second I saw tge title of this article I knew it was you who wrote it. No joke…

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