Over the weekend, an article was posted on Forbes.com about how Nintendo is the new Sega. Some interesting observations were made about how Sega was struggling until they abandoned the console market to pursue production of software only. The author, Tristan Louis, goes on to state how Nintendo’s only option for survival might very well be to embrace the prospect of becoming a software only company. Smartphones, mobile gaming, and new Microsoft and Sony consoles are speculated as being able to cripple this iconic company. It appears as though Nintendo is doomed, yet again, because of their current console…
Or are they?
If Nintendo’s demise had been accurately predicted in the past, it should have folded up quite a few years ago. The GameCube, DS, Wii, and 3DS were all the supposed harbingers of Nintendo’s destruction. Yet, Nintendo continues to march on while paving its own path. They confound the gaming industry by doing things their own way, while seemingly ignoring the things they “must” do in order to be successful.
It is still too early in the life of the Wii U to declare it an outright failure. I also will not say that it is a guaranteed success for Nintendo. There are still many things that Nintendo must do to cement this console’s position within the market. The main problem plaguing the system is a lack of “killer apps.” Software releases have trickled out since the console’s launch weekend. There are only a few games that have concrete release dates for the next few months. Nintendo has talked about and promised a number of compelling titles, but it seems like they can’t arrive fast enough. I am sure there are many other plans in the works, but consumers that are undecided about purchasing a Wii U will not likely do so until the software lineup improves.
So what does all this mean for Nintendo? Are they doomed to fade away or become a software only company? Time will determine the answer to all of these questions, but I believe that Nintendo is capable of righting the ship, so to speak. A steady release of solid titles combined with effective marketing could help boost sales. A price cut, not unlike that for the 3DS, could do wonders to jump start demand if Nintendo needs to play that card. They have a battle ahead, but it is one where they can stand their ground and fight if they make the right moves.
Nintendo does not need to follow in Sega’s footsteps. Besides, doesn’t that saying go “Sega does what Nintendon’t”?