Nintendo is doing just fine with portables

From the article: “Despite hard times on the console front, Nintendo is doing quite well on the strength of its portable game systems. The most impressive of these is the dual-screen Nintendo DS ($129), which has been wowing gamers of all ages following its launch in late 2004.”

The author also credits lack of internet connectivity as the reason for the GameCube’s smaller marketshare. Profitability aside, would you agree?

[Source: Pioneer Press]


  1. Internet connectivity would have helped it, but I don’t think that’s what kept it down. PS2 didn’t have internet connectivity until a looooong time after its launch, if my memory serves me correctly, and they still managed to hold the top spot. I think it’s more of an issue with a steady stream of good games to catch the public eye. I think there were just too many lulls between great game releases to keep people interested.

  2. Yeah, there are only two game anyone can really tell people are playing online with their consoles, SoCOM and Halo 2.

    Yeah, if Double Dash was online, I’m sure we be talking about what we are all talking about with Mario Kart DS….but should of, would of, could of….

    In the end, it really didn’t effect the sales of the GC, just like online isn’t exactly the reason why the DS was selling before the Monster WiFi combo of Mario Kart and Animal Crossing.

  3. I disagree. I think the DS’ online capabilities have been a strong factor behind its success. If the Gamecube were to employ the same wi-fi connection from its inception, it would have been far more popular and far costlier. Fortunately, Nintendo have made good time of their late entry into the online sector. First person shooters and sports titles are a treat to play online, but virtually all Nintendo games seem to be designed with group play in mind; and virtually all Nintendo titles provide more innovation than your typical online console game.

    As far as this past generation was concerned, the Gamecube failed to present itself as a respectable piece of technology. The ps2 and xbox could both play DVDs and that fact lead to a lot of early sales. People liked the mostly novel idea of being able to do more with a console than just play games, and Nintendo were unwilling to compromise the console’s integrity as an amusement device so that it could be an etertainment center. Of the four major consoles of this past generation, only the ones that play DVDs have sold well in America, and a bundled modem and a great collection of SegaNet titles did little to save the Dreamcast; however, its lack of a DVD function damned it.

    The DVD factor is most fascinating to me. Standalone players are cheap and compact now, but at the time, a $350 Playstation that played DVDs seemed like a great bargain. Why this worked for the Xbox and PS2 and not for the 3D0 (and its much hyped CD-i technology of that era) is a mystery to me.

    Like morningstar said, the quality of online games for the ps2 and xbox weren’t all that spectacular at all, but their function was to further present the respective consoles as being technologically advanced and serious. With the exception of Halo and its sequel, online games haven’t sold many consoles, but the all-out omission of online functions was an unforgivable shortcoming for the Gamecube with its library of only two mediocre games that can take advantage of a costly broadband adapter.

    Apparently, Nintendo have been unwilling to dilute the power of its franchises with weak and poorly executed online attempts, but the success of MKDS as well as its near-perfect gameplay, show that they are ready to attack that sector of the market with ferocity and ingenuity. This will be Nintendo’s year as they have the potential to do everything right this time around, especially since Microsoft and Sony don’t have the success of a single, overwhelimg emergent technology to rely on. HD has replaced DVD as the market strategists’ acronym of choice, but whereas entry into the DVD market required the consumer to purchase a player and disc, HD has far more barriers preventing it’s expansion into homes, not least of which being cost. HD functions simply don’t offer the same bargain that DVD functions did. What will a far savvier, and older consumer base choose this year? All bets are off following the success of the DS in 2005. Furthermore, the DS ‘ success may signal a changing attitude among consumers. Will this change be revolutionary enough to place Nintendo back on top again? It’ll certainly be interesting to see and its very fun to speculate on what 2006 will bring.

  4. First off, remember when PSP was about to come out and we all thought Nintendo was screwed up for releasing such an odd contraption. The most functions that amaze people are the ones Ipods now have (video, MP3)

    PS2 was more like a pop coulture phenomenom that is wearing off. No one rapped about having a Game Cube in their ride did they? PSP is a mini verson of that feeling and I loved how Microsof bought MTV for a day trying to mimick it.

    Xbox sales picked up when people saw all the other things it had to offer from hardrive space, easy intrenet, to better graphics and it picked even faster after they shrunk their controller to a usable size.

    I’m getting away form the handheld stuff. I went home last night, pluged in my USB WiFi drive turned on my ds and raced people for about 5 hours. I was racing people in japan within 3 minutes and it caused me no pain. Mario kart should have been online 2 years ago but it would not have been this easy.

    Nintendo made it a safe envoronment(aside form what damage an vulgor icon or name can do) and made it easy enough for my mom to get online.

    Aside from that the games are awesome. I don’t even feel I need better graphics. That about sizes it up for me.

  5. All I want to know is what amazing features Nintendo will come up with next.

  6. all i have to say is that even though the gamecube sold less than they thought it would they still made a profit…im sick of all the bs about nintendo going under! this is really starting to tick me off. nitnendo’s financial state is astounding! they mak a profit on EVERYTHING!!! i agree with satoru iwata that if revolution doesnt sell more than gamecube it would be a complete failure but even if it sells the same as the gamecube then they would still make a profit. the point im getting at is that people say “nintendo’s profit is down 10%! how will they ever survive!” they are still making a profit and thus nintendo will never be out of the console race as long as they keep making money which i assure you they will make more profit from the revolution than the gamcecube.

  7. I disagree with the ‘lack of internet connectivity’ as the reason for the GC’s smaller marketshare.

    Would it have helped? Sure, but not as much as the author is implying.

    The GC’s small marketshare was due to more than just a lack of internet connectivty. A whole range of problems and mistakes plagued the system. Marketing and design to name a few.

    The GC could have really done a lot better than 20 million consoles, but to man problems grippled it.

  8. Disagree Disagree Disagree

    Always bear in mind the real influence of online gaming on consoles:

    4 million online out of 140 million systems sold this gen.

    That’s 2.9%

    I.E. bearly worth mention.

    No one in the real world talks non-stop about Xbox Live

    Morover I can’t stand the endless referal of Gamecube as being a “distant 3rd”: Look at the sales, dolts:

    Xbox US 15 million
    GC US 10 million

    Xbox EU 5 million
    GC EU 5 million

    Xbox Japan 0
    GC Japan 0

    Gross simplifications I know, but basically GC and Xbox have sold to date worldwide around 20 million systems each. It’s an approximation sure, and Xbox is higher, but when compared to Sony with 100 million, who’s really counting the hanging chad?

    I do however think things will change with Broadband, Wifi, and very importantly, cheap online gaming as the article kinda points out. Most interestingly, 360 misses out on free online gaming, which would give it to the masses, and Wifi, which frees it to the livingroom (and kitchen, kids room, whatever).

  9. Oops,

    Put GC as 0 in Japan.
    Meant to say 5 million or therabouts

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar