The Future of Nintendo

Nintendo is a company that is very near and dear to my heart as a gamer, without them there really is no video game industry in my mind. I know that may sound extreme but if Nintendo didn't show up after the 1983 video game crash we would be living in a world that one can not even begin to imagine; you could almost say it would be the darkest timeline. Nintendo as a game company has so much legacy in the gaming industry, knowing what we know about their past one can not help but imagine what the future has plan for Nintendo.

The future of Nintendo really revolves around there next console which is code named the NX, this new platform will be a fusion of Nintendo's console and handheld platforms. Each platform the majority of the time has always been separated, there has been some crossover in previous iterations of the business but not a 100% crossover of the 2 platforms. This is probably happening because their console business has been getting less profitable and their handheld business still remains profitable for them. I will state that the handheld business has become less profitable but that is pretty much because of the smartphone market; even with the decreased revenue the handheld business is still profitable for Nintendo. Combining them seems like a no-brainer.  If they want to remain as a hardware manufacturer then the NX has to be a success for Nintendo.

When it comes to Nintendo and it's consoles, the sales of each console in it's respectful console generation have gotten worse over time. To make a comparison the NES sold over 60 million units, that number kept going down with each generation until the Gamecube; which sold over 20 million units. That changed when Nintendo released the Wii which sold over 100 million units; the first Nintendo console to reach 100 million I might add. As far as Nintendo consoles go, the Wii is an anomaly, it was a console with a gimmick that interested not just the hardcore gamer but the casual gamer as well; grandma was rocking that Wii for a while. The Wii had a lot of commercial success but it also had a lot of shovel ware from publishers who felt they needed to put there game on the platform whether it was good or not.

 It doesn't seem that long ago that Nintendo released their latest console. Actually it hasn't even been 3 years since they released it. With name confusion, not much 3rd party support and the gamepad, as an owner of a Wii U, it's hard for me to admit that this console is a failure for Nintendo. It's not Nintendo's complete fault. The games on Nintendo's first HD console were awesome but I'm going to be blunt. The console itself wasn't that great. I really hope that Nintendo has learned a lot of lessons from the Wii U and know what to put into there next new console; more 3rd party support, no gamepad and an actual UI/online infrastructure is a must. Maybe a trophy/achievement system for NX's games would be nice as well.

The success of the NX is really depended on Nintendo's future as a hardware manufacturer; this console can't be just another console that people just buy Nintendo games for, it has to be something more. A healthy Nintendo who is doing great things is good for the industry as a whole, it makes the other two console manufacturers want to do better which can lead to better things. I will acknowledge that there are people who want Nintendo to be a 3rd party publisher so they can play Nintendo games on their Xbox or PlayStation and I would be lying if I said I didn't like that idea. When or if that happens I'll gladly accept it but for now I won't go on wishing for Nintendo's hardware business to fail just so I can be happy.

Iwata you will not be forgotten
It has been over a month since Nintendo's CEO, Satoru Iwata's passing; so the question of Nintendo's leadership has to come up when talking about Nintendo's future. The choice of Nintendo's next CEO should probably be someone around the same age as Iwata and maybe even younger. Having the same business qualities and love for gaming is a must, in my mind, when leading a game loving company like Nintendo. A game creator like Shigero Miyamoto really doesn't fit the bill 100%. Nintendo's next CEO will probably someone you've never seen in the public eye as far as the western gaming industry is concerned. It's a tough job to live up to I hope Nintendo is picking Iwata's successor very carefully.

Nintendo's future is hard to predict with their mobile game partnership with DeNA and more details of NX coming in 2016. I don't want to jinx it but they seems to be in a good place for the next 5 years or so after that is up to fate.

Written By Dennis Price

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