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The future of Nintendo and the history of Sega



Nintendo, despite what fanboys or zealots want to think, is now in dire straits and there outlook keeps getting worse.

Despite the money that Nintendo has in the bank from years of great Wii sales in the past, they still have operating overhead and are losing money fast from lack of Wii U sales…

Dude, come the fuck on, Nintendo isn’t going anywhere. They’ve had some of the highest-selling consoles in history for almost a decade, the Wii U alone having already sold over 4.7 million units so far and the 3DS over 40 million, they continue to have huge hits within their flagship franchises and from third-party studios, and they don’t even consider Sony their competition anymore, let alone a threat to their existance, because of the massive difference in target demographics. I know people like you love to think that the Wii U is some horrid flop, a joke of a console that no one wants, that everyone is going “Fuck you, I’m out” and dropping all the Nintendo franchises they loved, and that this is all putting Nintendo at risk for bankruptcy, but that isn’t the least bit true, and I don’t give two shits if you call me a fanboy or zealot for pointing it out.

"We’ll be seeing Zelda on the PS4", gimme a fucking break. Let’s not conveniently forget the PS3’s uneasy start that resulted in the closure of 10% of Sony’s manufacturing plants worldwide, hm?

Ok well first I want to thank you for proving me right by just ranting from the gut with no sources or facts to back up your claims.

If you bothered to read my post, you would have seen that I am still a Nintendo fan and that this news is not good in my eyes. In fact I would love to see Nintendo continue in consoles and I’d love to see what comes after Wii U. I just don’t see that happening with the trends over the past few years.

Ok well if you look at basically all the business and gaming news today, the Wii U is a flop. CNN, Bloomberg, Marketwatch all have news today on the subject.

CNN - Uh oh: Nintendo cuts Wii U sales forecast by 69 percent

Bloomberg - Nintendo Mulls New Business Model After Forecasting Loss

Kotaku - Nintendo’s Toughest Year Ever Starts Pretty Much Now

Marketwatch - Nintendo president says he won’t resign, hints at move to mobile

These are facts now. This is open discourse in the business and gaming communities and it looks bad. Also, Nintendo doesn’t operate without shareholders. What do you think the scene in Japan looks like now with news like this? Why do you think Mr. Iwata today had to defend his job and openly discuss mobile research?

Also, the Wii U selling “4.7 million units” to date, worldwide, in the span of over a year, is pathetic. The Wii was selling over 2 million units per month after it’s launch in 2006. It hit this mark by Christmas 2006. The Wii U has struggled to make the same share in 2 holiday shopping seasons. You seem to have neglected that fact.

Compare that to the PS4 which hasn’t even launched in all markets and is approaching 3 million units to date after launching in November 2013. Remember, time is a factor, not just numbers. PS4 has been out for 2.5 months and hasn’t launched in Japan. PS4 also barely has software, and what they have is arguable not good, but they’re poised to surpass Wii U sales by March when they launch in Japan in February.

The Nintendo 3DS selling 40 million units in it’s life cycle of almost 3 years comes after a staggering price cut 6 months after it launched to offset abysmal sales. It took another year to just gain traction, while selling at a reduced profit margin ($77 vs $150 in 2011 - Source: Wired).

Also I’d like to point out I never mentioned the 3DS negatively in my original post, you pointed that out so I’m elaborating.

The statement that Nintendo doesn’t consider Sony a competitor is wrong. They very much do. Sony’s Playstation arm and Nintendo are in the same market, regardless of demographic. You can play third party titles like Skylanders or Rayman on any console, it’s up to consumers to choose the platform. 

Also you said “they (Nintendo) continue to have huge hits within their flagship franchises and from third-party studios”. This is also incorrect, and again, I’m just looking at Wii U. Let’s compare some title sales to date to elaborate (source - VGChartz):

Super Mario 3D World - 1.63 million worldwide (compare to Super Mario Galaxy which sold 11 million)

TLoZ: WindWaker HD - 0.79 million worldwide (the original Gamecube title sold 4.6 million)

Pikmin 3 - 0.69 million worldwide (compare to Pikmin which sold 1.63 million on original Wii)

Nintendo Land - 2.77 million worldwide (compare to Wii Sports at 81.79 million)

I think this paints a picture. It’s a very bleak picture. Only 2 of these titles broke a million sales around the world. That’s sad considering there probably is hardly a Wii title that did not break a million in it’s first months on the market.

Let’s look at third-party Wii U titles and see how they stack:

Call of Duty: Ghosts - 0.12 million worldwide ( sold over 7 million on Xbox360 and PS3 respectively, and 1.65 million on PS4 with a smaller install base)

Rayman Legends - 0.27 million worldwide (barely outsold by PS3 at 0.29 million, but still this was advertised hard by Nintendo for Wii U as a holiday 2013 must have title)

Assassin’s Creed III - 0.23 million worldwide (compare to 5.41 million on PS3 and 4.78 million on X360)

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag - 0.12 million worldwide (compare to 2.43 million on PS3, 2.17 million on X360, and 1.22 million on PS4)

Disney Infinity - 0.28 million worldwide (compare to 0.87 on X360, 0.54 on PS3, and 0.95 on original Wii [no longer supported by Nintendo])

Skylanders SWAP Force - 0.22 million worldwide (compare to 0.78 million on X360, 0.61million on PS3, and 1.43 on original Wii [no longer supported])

All these titles comprise E, E10, and M games for all consoles. In every respect, the Wii U version undersells last gen PS3 and X360. It is also being outsold on PS4 when PS4 has a small worldwide install base.

Also on the point of the Sony 2008 layoffs and manufacturing cuts, your statements about it being PS3 related is also wrong. Sony is not just a gaming company. Sony has electronic and manufacturing arms producing TV’s, stereos, computers, media players, radios, etc. They are a huge company involved with many facets of electronics. According to a Marketwatch article from 2008 (Source: MarketWatch), Sony was to cut 8000 (not 10,000) jobs and close manufacturing (5 sites of 57 were closing, or 10%) related to it’s semiconductor divisions. This was due to global recession and the sudden spike of the JP Yen to the US dollar. The same effect happened to Nintendo as well as other Japanese companies who had severely cut profit forecasts or now losses due to the recession.

Nowhere can I find a statement of fact financially or otherwise that this was related specifically or remotely to PS3.

See, facts in an discussion are important. Yelling like a 12 year old and talking from gut feelings and assumptions do not make good arguments. I hope you learned something.

The More You Know

The future of Nintendo and the history of Sega

Nintendo, despite what fanboys or zealots want to think, is now in dire straits and there outlook keeps getting worse.

Despite the money that Nintendo has in the bank from years of great Wii sales in the past, they still have operating overhead and are losing money fast from lack of Wii U sales and lackluster software sales.


An article from CNN this morning, "Uh oh: Nintendo cuts Wii U sales forecast by 69 percent", states the facts but the short version is that Nintendo had to cut its sales forecast severely for Wii U, and that new estimate may not even be met considering the very poor sales the console and stiff competition from PS4 and XBox One.

What is happening now with Nintendo and the Wii U is not unlike what happened to Sega almost 13 years ago with the Dreamcast. And while I’ll argue for the time, Dreamcast was a great console with networking capabilities and unexplored potential, it was squeezed out of existence by lack of third party support and strong competition from PlayStation 2. Lack of DVD media support for the Dreamcast ultimately made for its demise against the PS2, and later the XBox would come to market.


I remember when Sega bowed out of the console market in 2001 and just feeling horrible that the console maker I grew up with for years was done. I couldn’t believe it. I felt betrayed and sad that now franchises I loved like Shenmue, Sonic, and others would be appearing on other systems. No longer to just be enjoyed on a Sega made console, I’d see Sonic on Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft consoles. This was alien and weird to me, but it was reality, Sega had lost the console wars and surrendered.

Now fast forward almost 13 years into the future and the same thing is happening to Nintendo with the Wii U. Maybe it’s not even accurate to compare the Wii U with the fall that befell the Dreamcast. Maybe the Wii U is more like the Saturn. Maybe Nintendo will pull something out and release a replacement for the Wii U that will be able to better compete with PS4 and XB1 and give people better options for cross-play?

Could it be rumors of a tablet? Could they maybe make something portable that could play 3DS and Wii U titles and dock to play on your TV and be synched and carried on-the-go? Do they have that kind of innovation left in them to make such a device when they can’t even get network gaming or single sign-on ID’s right?

I mean I’ve been predicting a downfall for Nintendo for over a year. I’ve talked about it on The Throwdown with buddies and I’ve tweeted about trends I’ve seen. I don’t want it to come to pass. I don’t want to see another game company I loved and grew up with just go to software maker and relative obscurity.

My first console when I was growing up was Atari 2600. To me at 5 years old, it was a marvel. The games now look so primitive and terrible but back then, it was amazing. In 1985 I got my NES and my world got rocked. At the same time, Atari killed the video game marked and themselves. In the burnout and fall of Atari, Nintendo stepped in and basically saved home video gaming. So did Sega, and a big, long rivalry was born.

I’d love to think that this is just another “Gamecube” era and Nintendo could simply ride out the years on their laurels and release something down the road while continuing to support the Wii U, but things are not that simple. At the same time, they’re losing market share in Europe and dropping forecasts for not just Wii U, but 3DS and software titles.

The reality of how bad things are for Nintendo are setting in:


How does Nintendo fix this? Maybe they don’t? Maybe market trends and their own hubris won’t allow it and they are destined to become software makers and bow out of a console market they can no longer compete in.

In a market where processing power, speed, networking features, media capabilities, and cross play connections to tablets and handhelds are king, Nintendo looks like utter dinosaurs. If they decide to enter the tablet market, are they now going toe-to-toe with Apple?

I said it in a tweet awhile back:


I think that was too optimistic. Maybe in 2016? Either way, it’ll be a sad day for me and I’m sure many others. I hate to think of it as “doom and gloom”, but it seems to be where things are headed. It’s a transition that won’t mean the end of Nintendo if the characters we love get to live on, even on other systems.

And if they do pull through these dark times of Wii U, all the better.

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