Discussion about

January 30th 2014 2:53 pm

Nintendo lays out their game plan for the future: change is a comin'

Nintendo held a strategy briefing Thursday morning (Wednesday for US-dwellers) where they outlined their strategy going forward in the wake of ongoing financial losses, especially in the last quarter, which forced them to cut their sales forecasts for not just the struggling Wii U, but also the much stronger 3DS. You can read the Engadget post for more details (www.engadget.com­/2014­/01­/29­/nintendo­-wii­-u­-ds­-on­-d...), but some general highlights:
  • Analysts from both inside and outside the gaming industry have been saying Nintendo should put their games on mobile. Once again, Iwata nixed this notion, reaffirming Nintendo's commitment to their own hardware. However, they are considering apps that will promote Nintendo, but not offer gameplay experience. This feels like a concession to the naysayers at best. However, if such a app say, offered Nintendo Network account management, I could see it being useful, like the Steam app for iOS.
  • Part of this commitment to their hardware includes doubling down on the GamePad: offering new experiences, using it to its fullest potential, and communicating that to consumers. This is generally a good thing, as the biggest strength of Nintendo is the ability to build games to their hardware, which means they offer a singular experience that can't be easily ported elsewhere.
  • Nintendo wants to focus on health, but not on mobile or in wearables. It's all about improving "QOL" (Quality of Life), which honestly, makes a lot of sense for them to try when you consider the success of Wii Fit and Brain Age, the idea of a "vitality sensor" (which eventually died), or heck, the pedometer functions of the 3DS and in Pokémon games, which are used to enhance gameplay.

But what stuck out most to me, and this I think this is the big one: Nintendo will switch away from a device-based relationship with its users to an account-based relationship. What does that mean? Until the creation of the Nintendo Network ID in December, your 3DS and Wii U accounts weren't connected. Your systems had no relation to each other. And games were locked to a system, not an account, unlike Xbox and PlayStation. Going forward, all systems will be designed from scratch to use an account-based system.

"About time," a lot of people would say. And it is. But while they are basically playing catch-up to their competitors, what this means to me is that Nintendo finally "gets it." Nintendo never has been great with the Internet (friend codes, anyone?) and it's always been one of the biggest drawbacks to owning a Nintendo system: you have to buy the same games over and over again, and if you lose your system you lose your games. And your friends list didn't carry over from one device to another. This did not make for a great gaming experience, which really hurt them: when other systems offer better specs and have better Internet features, a Nintendo system is a really hard sell.

Now, the playing field is a bit more level. Sure, PlayStation and Xbox still have the edge technologically, but if the gaming experience is still good and they're putting out quality product, people will buy Nintendo.

Which announcements mattered the most to you? And what didn't Nintendo address that you'd like to see change?


sort by

2 replies

This is a lot to process, and although I am currently a fan of nintendo (Really loving my 3DS and Wii U) I recognize I am in the minority

I personally would not be sold on a fitness based console. There is a market for it, but I am not part of that. I prefer to get my exercise playing actual sports :S
1 like dislike

I don't really think they meant a "fitness-based console" though; by platform they really mean the OS and how the services are connected, like iOS and Android are a "platform" -- so this could be a bunch of apps on smartphones that interact with your 3DS, Wii U, or future hardware the company puts out. We just know it won't be wearables.
0 like dislike

3 users following this discussion:

  • kris
  • dave
  • TgD

This discussion has been viewed 5863 times.
Last activity .