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It’s time for Iwata to step down from Nintendo – opinion

Friday, 17 January 2014 12:26 GMT By Matt Martin

Nintendo has woken up to the reality of its own sales and slashed profits forecasts. Now it needs to change the leader at the top, says Matt Martin.

Today Nintendo finally came to its senses. It admitted that its own expectations for full-year Wii U sales were completely unrealistic and has dropped sales predictions from 9 million units to 2.8 million. It’s clearly a huge drop and it comes with a profits warning to match – Nintendo now expects to make a loss of $336 million.

“Iwata isn’t to blame for the market conditions, but he’s to blame for stubbornly sticking to his own forecasts.”

Finally, someone at Nintendo has done the maths.

As a result, Nintendo will suffer its third consecutive annual loss. Last year CEO Saturo Iwata promised to return the company to profitability. It was a big challenge then, but the company backed him to the point that even three months ago it stood by the prediction of selling 9 million Wii U consoles.

To wake up three months later and slash sales forecasts so dramatically it’s clear that where its own products are concerned, in Kyoto it has been a case of the blind leading the blind.

The first step of dealing with a problem is admitting you have one and Iwata and co. have been honest about where theirs lie, and it’s not just with the Wii U. Despite being the best-selling console in the US (and the UK) last year, the 3DS is not meeting expectations either. These are expectations set by the company itself, which makes the issues even more frustrating for onlookers. “We were ultimately unable to achieve our goal of providing a massive sales boost to Nintendo 3DS in the year-end sales season,” said Iwata in today’s company report. It’s the same issue with the Wii U, which “fell short of our targeted recovery by a large margin.”

Sales have crashed even after a price cut earlier in the year. This is Nintendo not being able to see the reality of its own sales. This is a problem that the CEO has been struggling with since launch. Iwata isn’t to blame for the market conditions, but he’s to blame for stubbornly sticking to his own forecasts.

It’s not like Nintendo has been blind to the shift in the games business outside of its own doors, either. It’s well aware of the encroachment of smartphones on handheld gaming. It can see the gradual growth of digital sales, the importance of online stores, the sampling of content and the free-to-play phenomenon. But it lost a lot of the original Wii audience to other casual forms of games playing (who knew a casual audience was just that; fickle, uncommitted, irregular) and has been unable to pull them back. Hats off, it’s tried to experiment – a second screen as the unique selling point of the Wii U console was an incredible gamble – but it’s clear now it hasn’t paid off and its time to admit that this experiment was a failure.

This is not a console market in decline anymore – just ask Microsoft and Sony about their stella sales numbers straight out of the gate. The audience for games consoles is there and its salivating for more hardware, more games, more DLC. But where the Wii U is concerned there’s just not enough interest outside of the faithful. In this financial year there’s been interest from 2.8 million people worldwide. Where on earth did Nintendo pull that magical 9 million figure from?

Basing any business on historical market data is understandable but flawed. It’s like game design by analytics. This is how people used to play, how customers used to buy our games, how it was in the old days. Nintendo has acknowledged and embraced elements of the evolution of gaming but it’s been too slow in adapting and it has focused on the wrong market.

It’s easy to say “Nintendo won’t do this, it won’t do that” but when money is leaking down the drain and your product is being gradually nudged aside for more exciting technology you have to take drastic measures. No one is denying that Nintendo has a lot of money, but that’s not to say extreme measures aren’t needed if it hopes to continue to be a significant player in the video game business.

Gamers can’t wait any longer for must-have software to arrive. The Wii U already has some incredible games but it’s not enough. You know the names – Mario, Zelda, Pikmin – the Nintendo faithful are well-catered for but they’re no longer a big enough fanbase to sustain a home console. It’s not a new idea to suggest there are multiple pieces of hardware and technology where Nintendo’s biggest franchises would be able to shine and reach an audience far beyond that of a home console.

Nintendo needs change. And it needs to start at the top for that to filter down. It needs a new CEO who honours and respects the traditions of the business, the unmatched strengths of its franchises and products, but who is also willing to embrace the reality of games consumption. To a point, the hardware is irrelevant. It’s about the games, the experience and the services, not the box you play on.

Nintendo is at the top of its game in that respect, but Iwata’s closed-platform approach has doomed the Wii U and it’s time he and the rest of Nintendo admitted that. It’s been a good run, but the company needs fresh thinking from a new leader. Someone who can act quickly, learn from mistakes, and who won’t act surprised when numbers on a spreadsheet don’t match up to the reality of sales.

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69 Comments

  1. stealth

    I agree, its probably time for Iwata to step down if only for the ridiculously off forecasting for the last few years.

    3DS is selling the best of any system though.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. FeaturePreacher

    Nintendo is not going to give up ownership of the hardware until they are in extremely dire straits. You can bet on Nintendo reaching that state this generation. I think they have one more hardware release until they finally have to give up and go the route of Sega.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Joe Anderson

    Yeah step down Iwata your time is up. Nintendo needs to embrace mobile, perhaps by releasing spin off games which encourage players to then buy Nintendo products to experience more.

    It needs to get up to date which how gaming is moving forward, instead of constantly living in the past.

    Basically what Nintendo needs is a fresh face inside its boardroom, not a Reggie or an Iwata.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. silkvg247

    Pokemon WiiU or bust. :p

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Fin

    @3

    A European.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. xxxGamesMasterxxx

    Why is Iwata getting the blame? The whole company needs to be reformed. Otherwise they will die and become a company like Sega.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. DanWhitehead

    “stella sales numbers”

    Freudian slip? It is Friday lunchtime, after all.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. DanWhitehead

    @6

    “Just create a pokemon 3D RPG and it will sell.”

    They did. It’s called Pokemon X & Y, and it wasn’t able to help the 3DS meet sales expectations. The Wii U has had a price cut and a new Mario game, and that hasn’t made a difference. The days of saying “Oh, it just needs the right games” are long gone.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. schnide

    @3

    For as long as they make handhelds, I can’t see Nintendo embracing mobile in any way beyond simple token efforts.

    But I have to say, the user experience on my 3DS XL is bloody awful. The games are great but the interface and battery life is just embarrassing.

    Overall, it’s possible that Iwata is being seen as the Steve Ballmer of Nintendo right now.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. Dragon

    Well done Matt! Another good read.
    Completely spot on. Iwata has failed miserably, and he needs to take responsibility.
    Remember Ken Kutaragi?

    #10 1 year ago
  11. salarta

    Nintendo has a lot of glaring problems, but among the many many things Nintendo could and should do to fix themselves, I think one of them is to get new entries of their most notable IPs out there right out the gate, within a few months of each other.

    It took a whole year for the Wii U to get a Mario game. The Zelda game doesn’t really count because you can get that on the Wii just as well. And Pikmin is one of those games that, while it hasn’t been done much, only the diehard Nintendo fans would buy the console specifically for that. For the average consumer, a Pikmin game is something you’d consider AFTER you already have the console, not provide a reason to get the console itself.

    The Nintendo IPs people want to see most are Metroid and Legend of Zelda, with Smash Bros pretty high up there too for group and party fun.

    That’s not in any way to suggest that’s all they need to do. As I said, Nintendo has a LOT of problems. It has an image problem where people think the console provides nothing but family-friendly content; even though they have Bayonetta 2 coming, most people expect it to be watered down to some extent compared to the first Bayonetta in order to fit Nintendo’s family-friendly image. It doesn’t support hardcore gamers (at least in the U.S.) except when pushed to do so, as we saw with Operation Rainfall. It tries to use gimmicks like a screen controller as a substitute for remaining current with the competition, and ends up sacrificing the ability to receive ports of major games in the process. It shuts down meaningful features of its own products any time users try to do something Nintendo doesn’t approve of, like privately exchanging risque messages consensually.

    If these are all things happening because of Iwata, then he needs to step down. These issues are killing the company slowly.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. absolutezero

    Aye. ok.

    So have the games been better or worse under Iwata? I would say they’ve been pretty consistantly superb.

    So its all the industry side of things right? Why do you care about that? What if Iwata leaving negatively effects the quality of Nintendo’s output but they start selling more or move into the urgh mobile sector?

    Is that ok? Would that be ok?

    Nah fuck it. Fuck it. I’m done. I’m so done.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. monkeygourmet

    He should have just said:

    “9 million?! Hell no! That was a typo, It was supposed to read 2.9!!!”

    Then they would be closer to the target.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. dreamcastnews

    Imagine if they’d set the figure at 2 million to begin with, they’d look like fucking heroes about now haha!

    On a more serious note though, setting the console projections woefully low versus losses would have looked a tad better than 70% projection cuts AND quarter losses.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. The_Red

    @12
    Actually, games have been WORSE under Iwata. They are may still be great (Or superb as you call it) but before him, they were masterpieces.

    Mario 64 and Super Metroid are pretty much all time bests. Then there are Majora’s Mask, A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time. Through in some Super Mario World, Super Mario Bros 3 and F-Zero to compare with modern Nintendo titles to see just how GREAT they were.

    Also, let’s not forget about the phenomenal and innovative titles of N64 like the stuff from Rare (Including GoldenEye and Banjo).

    #15 1 year ago
  16. absolutezero

    Metroid Prime and Mario Galaxy are not masterpieces?

    oh :(

    #16 1 year ago
  17. Bomba Luigi

    I don’t know if he should step down or not, he does some good Things. But in the End I have no Insight to Nintendo and how it looks there, depending who you would give Iwatas Job it could get worse and not better.

    It pretty much depends on how the Situation is inside of Nintendo and who would take his Place. I don’t know these Things, if the People at Nintendo thinks Iwata deserves another chance I can live with that.

    #17 1 year ago
  18. Legendaryboss

    @1
    Nintendo is more than the 3DS though, refusing to acknowledge Wii U will get you so far.

    @8
    Exactly spot on with the right games part.

    Article: If stepping down is what it takes to get Nintendo to fix their problems, then so be it.

    #18 1 year ago
  19. Blackened Halo

    Nintendo needs to release X!

    #19 1 year ago
  20. Francis O

    Changing leadership at this point would not help the situation. The Staff and developers like Iwata greatly. And using Iwata as a scapegoat would not fix Nintendo’s issues.

    The performance of the Wii U is only one part. The 3DS has performed well. Better than the Xbox One and PS4 over the holiday break.

    The Vita has failed to live up to sales expectations. Should Kaz Harai be fired? Of course not, Because the PS4 and PS3 did well to a extent.

    Ride things out past 2014, it things don’t improve with the software lineup they have, then look into a change. But firing Iwata right now would not do any good.

    #20 1 year ago
  21. Ireland Michael

    No exclusive game is going to save the Wii U. Not even third party support is going to benefit it at this point. It’s simply too far behind the curve for people to care.

    They might be able to sell another new console on a gimmick, but they’re done in the home console market otherwise. They simply don’t have the money or resources to create an adequate online infastructure needed to succeed in the current market.

    Their babysitting attitude towards social gaming keeps even more people away. The market isn’t primarily made up for 14 year olds anymore, and nobody is going to bother with that kind of nanny crap.

    #21 1 year ago
  22. dreamcastnews

    I really think a home console / handheld hybrid should be top on Iwata’s list for the successor of the 3DS – time that with killing Wii U off and you’ve restored a little faith, get some cash flowing for 3rd party ports / new games and hopefully that’ll sort their fractured 1st party studio output by unifying it as one machine rather than two.

    If Iwata doesn’t see that, then I feel it should be time for him to go. For now, let him try and sort this mess out, whether it’s his or not.

    #22 1 year ago
  23. Ireland Michael

    @22 Mobile hardware isn’t powerful enough to make something like that work. It’s a nice idea, but at best you’d get an underpowered console, maybe comparable to the specs of the Vita. People (and developers) want specs that handheld devices simply can’t achieve.

    #23 1 year ago
  24. dreamcastnews

    @23 maybe not now, but give it 3 years and things could be different.

    #24 1 year ago
  25. Dragon

    News just in, Nintendo stocks down over 18% in intra-day trade.
    http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/ntdoy

    It doesn’t matter what Iwata thinks, its all about shareholders. Either he resigns, or gets fired.
    CEO gets fat salaries to prevent things like this. I doubt shareholders will be happy to pay Iwata and co. just to dive their money even further.

    Btw, do people really think that handhelds are fine? They aren’t, sorry. Its a constantly shrinking market. That said, Ninty makes money on that, which is much better than Wii U.
    But, will they really wait till their handheld biz too dives to the ground, or will they diversify before that inevitability?

    #25 1 year ago
  26. Legendaryboss

    @20
    I see someone has brought in a scapegoat to defend or should I say distract from Nintendo problems, thats a new one.

    #26 1 year ago
  27. Citrus raptor

    What Nintendo needs is a new IP (every third year or so) that’s believed in just as much as they believe in Mario and Zelda, etc.

    It’s alright to release a new verion of a classic title every other year (why 2+ Mario games the same year?!), but they need to focus their creativity on new games, instead of spending all the brain power on making new Mario power ups or Zelda items. Use those ideas for NEW GAMES!

    Mario galaxy could have been about an alien character instead of.. Mario.. Who apparantly has to do everything.. And Wind Waker could have been about a pirate.

    #27 1 year ago
  28. Fin

    @20

    You can’t compare Nintendo’s flagship to Sony’s handheld.
    Saying the 3DS outsold home consoles is bullshit too, they’re not in the same market – compare 3DS to Vita, or PS360/PS4/X1 to Wii U, but don’t cross over, you look desperate.

    #28 1 year ago
  29. Ireland Michael

    @23 And in three years, hardware specs will also have improved, making the mobile advancements redundant. Mobile will also lag behind large units. You might as well just create a mobile device with a HDMI port if they’re going to be the same specs.

    @24 Give him a break. He’s actually being reasonable about the fact that it’s a problem for once. His comment was no different to the other rationale responses in this thread. Don’t pick fights with people just for the hell of it.

    #29 1 year ago
  30. dreamcastnews

    @29 there has to be a Michael, there’s just gotta :O lol

    #30 1 year ago
  31. Legendaryboss

    @29
    Whatever you say.

    #31 1 year ago
  32. xxxGamesMasterxxx

    Nintendo need reforming.

    #32 1 year ago
  33. Moonwalker1982

    There most definitely need to be some new people there 100%. The Wii U should never have been made like this. Whoever came with the idea to put similar to PS360 hardware in it, should be fired. That recent article about that anonymous developer too. It shows that Nintendo is missing things, they miss the point. It SUCKS that i won’t be able to hear my friends get angry when i beat them in Mario Kart. Yeah we can talk to eachother if we put our Xbox 360′s on with party chat, sigh.

    This video sums it up nicely:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtttKuSaaIg

    #33 1 year ago
  34. ManuOtaku

    I dont think fire him is the solution, the best nintendo consoles came in his leading role, in fact if the strategy approach took with the DS, Wii, 3DS, there wouldnt been nintendo right now, that three consoles helped nintendo a lot, so i think firing a good leader for just one failure is extreme.

    I still believe the WiiU will do some decent numbers, it doesnt need to be the most sold console, it could fare well as a second console for PS4 and One owners, for the diversity thing, because it brings something different than the other two.

    If they do fire him, it would do nintendo more harm than good, imho.

    #34 1 year ago
  35. lookingglass

    Nintendo has really backed themselves into a corner.

    They certainly need new leadership. That much is obvious. But they really need someone who can fundamentally change the culture of the company.

    Arrogant. Naive. Stubborn. These characteristics need to change.

    I see only two ways out of this:

    Open up the entirety of the classic Nintendo catalogue exclusively to Apple and the App Store. Millions and millions of people will pay $5-10 to play Mario on their iPhone and they’ll probably buy a few games. Collect your mountain of cash Nintendo.

    Or.

    Go all or nothing on a new console that releases outside of the PS and Xbox cycle. Drop it in 2016-2017. Have it be the best multi-platform experience possible for a couple years. Trash the Wii branding completely.

    Whether I’m wrong or right, the fundamental business culture at Nintendo needs to change. They say they don’t care about what MS and Sony do. I hate to break it to you Nintendo, but to run a successful business you have to care about your competitors. And yes, you are competitors. You’re fighting for people’s’ free time. And right now, you’re losing.

    #35 1 year ago
  36. SplatteredHouse

    @10 a great comparison there. Yes. Ken K did not have the ability (the correct direction) to move Sony in a direction that the market was willing to embrace. After the changes at the top, they have come out of the process with very solid, forward-thinking heads across ALL territories, (not like Nintendo – the European head, can you even name him? useless NoE! it would be quicker to get the games ourselves from abroad and…Oh. MORE “great” design choices sent to hide clunky, out-dated strategies.)

    I can’t support this crap, not in 2014, and I was tiring of Ninty’s “classic” market outlook around 2010…and just hoped that Wii’s approach signalled a NEW Nintendo, (with appreciation of its past, but certainly not desperately grasping to it like a life-raft as they’re found today)…No that didn’t turn out to be the case. Sony were left with, having built up over a long time, a fluid, collaborative and unified development structure.

    “But it lost a lot of the original Wii audience” Not only casual? There’s only so much looking forwards to the next trade show announcement that can be done, and there was a length of time where Nintendo just lost all control of its cart after it picked up speed. Their “no hands” stunt, just letting things run on for months on end did little to impress.

    #36 1 year ago
  37. Ireland Michael

    @30 I completely agree. There *does* have to be a Michael.

    Seriously. The idea is good, but people wouldn’t support it, especially with the DS doing so well. It would be overpriced and underpowered, and people would already be settled in with the current hardware.

    Nintendo are done in the home console market. The GameCube at least sold at a profit. The Wii U doesn’t even have that luxury.

    #37 1 year ago
  38. techkenb

    When the Wii was released, its ALL my kids would talk about. Wii Wii Wii, but now years later all they do is stare at their phones, download apps, etc. And neither one of them even cares about the Wii U. I for one like the system, but my 12 year old would rather watch Netflix on a tablet, than play Super Mario 3d World. Times have changed. I think Nintendo’s online and social strategy isn’t up to par with Microsoft and Sony. They went their OWN way, but its not working. For instance, just about every consumer electronic device with a store or shop of some kind, allows you to re-download your software/app/game on a different registered system. The 360,PS3,Ps4,Android,Iphone,Ipad,Windows8,Mac Store all allow this. Not Nintendo, your data is tied to the hardware. If your 3ds or Wii U is stolen or lost you have lost all of your downloadable games. This happened to me with the 3ds once. Why not tie the software/app/game to the Nintendo ID not to the hardware? Piracy maybe? Well piracy cant be blamed for the Wii U’s failure. So at this point Nintendo is in Rome, time to do what everyone else is doing. I don’t think it could hurt.

    #38 1 year ago
  39. dreamcastnews

    @37 I think at the minute they’re just ‘taking the Michael’

    Hahaahahahahaaha oh.

    #39 1 year ago
  40. Ireland Michael

    @38 Sadly, this is just one of a *giant* checklist of problems, but it’s definitely a major one.

    @39 Funny. =P

    #40 1 year ago
  41. dreamcastnews

    Well, whatever happens, I’ll still be buying up DK, Bayonetta, MK8, Smash, Xenoblade, Yoshi, Fire Emblem and whatever they choose to release in between / after that, if it tanks the games become worth money when it becomes retro if it does okay, fair play others can enjoy something a little different. I bought a PS4 in case 3rd party support/the machine went tits up.

    #41 1 year ago
  42. techkenb

    @lookingglass I agree with your comments. But I don’t think they would ever release Mario on some other hardware device. Maybe one of their other IP’s but not Mario. I think they are too proud for that. It would work though. This new generation, is all about tablets and phones. No time to sit in front of a tv. While the “game system that just plays games” technique is acceptable for some old school gamers like myself. Its not going to work for my kids who didn’t grow up blowing into a NES game cart to get the game to start. And one more thing Nintendo needs more IPs!! Spend some of that money to buy other game dev companies to create totally new games, exclusive to Nintendo hardware. My 17 year old is not going to buy a Wii U for Mario, but he would get one if it had a game like Uncharted on it. Which of course is exclusive to Sony.

    #42 1 year ago
  43. OneLifeCycle

    Nintendo’s gimmicks have long lost their luster. The console gaming industry is working for Microsoft and Sony and Nintendo needs to swallow its pride and look at what gamers want. More realistic, intense graphical, deep games. The mindless shit Nintendo just loves to produce should be left to the mobile market.

    Nobody in the console world takes Nintendo seriously any more. Their stubbornness and attempts to force a market their direction has cost them a lot of money. Hopefully, it also serves as a wake-up call. Us gamers don’t want your kiddie bullshit.

    #43 1 year ago
  44. dreamcastnews

    @43 speak for yourself man

    #44 1 year ago
  45. techkenb

    @The_Red, I agree which is why they should have bought Rare years ago to make banjo for the Nintendo only. They let Microsoft come along and buy Rare right under their noses. There is no way in hell Nintendo doesn’t have some cash to spare. Some people don’t think exclusives will help the Wii U but I think they will. Nintendo is too slow making games to create their own exclusives. Don’t get me wrong maybe exclusives wont help this current console, but years from now they will have enough exclusives and a whole new generation to woo.

    #45 1 year ago
  46. SplatteredHouse

    #stillwaitingonJapan What kind of strategy is that? Their fortunes are being tied to the market that’s shrinking and mobile/f2p eager. Their niche is decaying. I hope for development’s sake that the region/ilk’s just biding its time, and the concerns of former-Capcom’s Inafune: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2010-09-20-inafune-japan-five-years-behind-west don’t prove prophetic.

    #46 1 year ago
  47. ManuOtaku

    Seeing comments like 43, really reinforces my believe that it doenst matter if nintendo comes with a console in the likes of Sony and Microsoft, i mean with strong internet service like live or psn, powerfull enough (Graphically speaking), and brand new ips,it will not help them, the gamers with this believe and sentiment torwards nintendo, will not give them a chance no matter what, therefore there is not much they can do, than doing the same thing and offering a different thing, in the hopes that some gamers will pick them as a second (different) offering.

    #47 1 year ago
  48. SplatteredHouse

    @47 It would take for Nintendo to compete. To offer better (by whatever measure) than the other companies. Not just different to their rivals. To be successful they have to know their audience (do they?), and they have to satisfy it. Apparently, that’s not happening. And if it is, then the niche they have held may not be sustainable, and they may need to expand with fervour.

    #48 1 year ago
  49. Ilovesony

    nintendo is the new “sega”

    #49 1 year ago
  50. DBB

    ” It needs a new CEO who honours and respects the traditions of the business, the unmatched strengths of its franchises and products, but who is also willing to embrace the reality of games consumption. ”

    I’m sorry but if there is a CEO who honors and respects the tradition of the business… That will be Mr. Iwata.
    What Nintendo is clearly missing is third party. Familiar IPs that people want to play, the so called AAA crap. Nintendo needs to “sony up” and go to third parties and ask them “ok, what do you want us to do to put COD or Battlefield or GTAV right now on WiiU”. It’s the choice of crapiness that is missing on Nintendo systems.

    #50 1 year ago
  51. SplatteredHouse

    @50 Iwata is probably the last link to Yamauchi in their board. That may be why he’s so resilient to calls for his departure. THEY (the old guard) don’t want him gone.

    #51 1 year ago
  52. OneLifeCycle

    @47, which is why they may have just worked their way into irrelevance. You’re right. While they’ve been trying hard to be cutting edge to the degree that they’re so different they only grab the interest of the few, that precious time has been lost while Sony and Microsoft develop things the significant portion of the gaming community is interested in.

    Maybe Nintendo should work on time machine development so they could undo the WiiU and Grumpy Kong or whatever that disaster was at E3?

    #52 1 year ago
  53. OneLifeCycle

    Personally, Nintendo’s biggest problem is that of demographics. They’re focusing too much on the market that doesn’t have the money to buy what they’re selling. While the adults in the industry, who do have the funds, aren’t interested in the childish games and gadgets they make.

    Nintendo has a very childish image. The majority of serious gamers don’t want to be associated with that. It’s both embarrassing and uninteresting.

    #53 1 year ago
  54. OneLifeCycle

    @11, that’s the problem. Nintendo is old hat. Mario, Zelda??? How about, people are bored with that. Combined with the fact that they’re staying focused on the younger audience and not showing any interest in holding the interest of those (us) who played their games decades ago. We’re adults now. Saving little princesses is not fun anymore, at least in the manner in which they frame it.

    Our nostalgia will only hold our interest for a bit. After that, you need to keep us interested. They sure as hell aren’t doing that.

    #54 1 year ago
  55. fearmonkey

    The problems with the Wii-u are many.

    It was called the Wii-u, people confused it with an add-on for the Wii rather than a new console.

    The Wii was built around the wand controller and was $250 at launch, the Wii-u was built around the tablet controller and made more for a single player experience and much more expensive at launch.

    Nintendo drank their own Kool-aid and believed that the Wii buyers would come back for the sequel, and they didn’t. The console sold like crazy to soccer moms, nursing homes, and others that don’t traditionally buy consoles and games. It was a “IT” item like cabbage patch dolls, and those people don’t keep coming back.

    The Wii-u launched without a BIG title like Mario, and by the time it did release one, the next gen was here. The underpowered Wii-u cannot compare to the next gen consoles, and most people never considered it next gen. Only the Nintendo faithful and those that love Nintendo would call it a next gen console.

    The Question now is if Nintendo can swallow lowering the price on the unit to spur sales. Even with a new mario Cart and such titles, it’s not going to spur sales to a large degree. The Next gen consoles have arrived, they are going to get all the third party support, and first party won’t bring enough sales to make it a success. If they drop the price to close to $200, I could see that making a turnaround for the unit, but at $250 to $300 I don’t see it happening.

    Firing Iwata right now is not going to help. If they decide change is in order and He can help transition to a new leader, but getting rid of him would be a mistake.

    In my opinion, Nintendo needs to find a way to wait it out till about 2016 to 2017 and release a new console in the middle of the next gen, that has superior specs, or release a handheld-console combo that has amazing specs for it’s type. I could see that being a success. Nintendo needs a partner for Online as well. If Nintendo goes third party, it would be sad, but I would think they could be successful.

    #55 1 year ago
  56. dtyk

    I firmly believe Nintendo’s true problem is that they leave their third party games to die. They don’t provide any marketing support for them, because frankly outside of Mario and Zelda they just don’t care.

    Second problem, they released their new Mario game DURING the PS4 launch. They are so out of touch to believe that it would be a good time to release their flagship game.

    The company as a whole is out of touch. No one can really say they make bad games, because Nintendo games really are all quite good. However, they make some very questionable choices.

    #56 1 year ago
  57. sebastien rivas

    Nintemdo gave good thoughts with technology R&D, it is also implemented worldwide from brand recognition.
    Necause they have unrealistic QA, genre, type, style restriction among other breaks and negative output that cripples the brand to its lowest. But heyyy… I can’t assume wrong when I guess Nint will come with 2 or more Mario this year.
    How many Mario (all genre, type, style combined) did they make since NES???
    They did not milk it enough and still strongly believe the IP IS the spearhead of the brand?

    Having a STRONG hand on 3rd party OK. Denying all3rd party because they don’t fit in nint. scale of fun NO.
    I am not pro, I am not against Baypnneta for example. In all truth, I dont know what itis. Denying the IP on the platform while a prequel was made and demsnd and support was at least VOCAL. about it, yet refusing it because demand is not strong enough is an idiosyncratic example to the 2.9 mil unit sold while there is a shit tons of solution and solutions atctheir disposal.

    #57 1 year ago
  58. xxxGamesMasterxxx

    No he shouldn’t.

    Let’s not forget that it was Iwata in charge when the Wii was released, and it was Iwata in charge when the DS was released. The 3DS is consistently the highest selling game console. The Wii U could continue to tank for the rest of the year and frankly his track record for disruptive, industry-leading hardware would still be enviable.

    People who think Iwata leaving is the answer to the current sales down turn and subsequent financial position are, in my opinion, amazingly short-sighted.

    #58 1 year ago
  59. Stardog

    I love how video game journalists are now business men.

    Silly article.

    #59 1 year ago
  60. absolutezero

    “Serious” gamers.

    pfff aha ha ha ha ha Someone tell Pixar they are doing everything wrong. Fuck when did people forget what makes a game good?

    When did Cinematic overtake Fun in the priorities of people taking themselves far too seriously?

    #60 1 year ago
  61. NightCrawler1970

    Dig a hole esé
    http://chrisbradleysblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/tumblr_ma79bzm3uc1qdqlkxo1_500.jpg%3Fw%3D551

    #61 1 year ago
  62. dotfaust

    Honestly, Nintendo’s marketing for the Wii U has been disastrous. Retailers have been constantly confusing it as the original Wii, and more recently, the Wii Mini. Just a few months ago, a friend of mine thought the Wii U was just an add-on tablet controller (interestingly, he owns one now and loves it). Compare this to the launch and hype of the “Next-Gen” PS4/Xbone.

    The sad thing is that the games are there, and they’re amazing, but nobody cares. Nintendo just doesn’t seem to have that same mainstream appeal Microsoft and Sony have going on.

    IMO they need an image change and to release some contemporary IP, because it seems like people are getting tired of seeing Mario and the classic mascots.

    #62 1 year ago
  63. AsianGameing

    100% NO but Nintendo need fix Wii U fast, just like 3DS

    #63 1 year ago
  64. The_Red

    @63
    Actually, they never really fixed 3DS. It is selling rather well but only if looked at in a bubble. The console has sold 50 percent worse than DS in a comparable time and is expected to have NO major growth according to Nintendo’s own revised forecast.

    The funny thing about Wii U is that Iwata made the exact same mistakes he did with 3DS. Sure, he did try to fix it and managed to bring 3DS back from the brink of failure but he did so by a drastic price drop within first 8 months. Wii U beyond dead at this moment and Iwata not even trying the 3DS fix for it a sign that the company can’t take another hit (Remember how much the 3DS move cost Yamauchi and shares).

    #64 1 year ago
  65. salarta

    @59: And I love how a person that spends every day looking at the latest in video game news – which includes everything from growing trends to statements from business analysts dedicated specifically to the video game industry – somehow isn’t allowed to post an opinion piece that deals with the business side of a company.

    Because that makes perfect sense.

    #65 1 year ago
  66. absolutezero

    http://www.p4rgaming.com/japanese-stockholders-plan-to-murder-satoru-iwata-after-he-says-he-wont-resign/

    ho ho ho.

    Also while I’m here

    http://www.p4rgaming.com/dogs-love-watching-people-play-knack-so-is-this-game-review-proof/

    ho

    #66 1 year ago
  67. Legendaryboss

    @66
    My lord!

    #67 1 year ago
  68. Joe Musashi

    Seems legit.

    JM

    #68 1 year ago
  69. ckleuser

    Please Nintendo, is not a shame to admit you are not anymore a hardware company, but a damn good software company, so drop consoles (they usually lack profit as report says) and start making games for other platforms, Xbox One and 360, PS3 e PS4 and you’ll see the huge impact on that. Sega has done that long time ago, not in the best way because they don’t own great franchises, but Nintendo does. ;)

    #69 1 year ago

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    The Xbox One version of Elite: Dangerous will in fact be the same as the PC one. Elite: Dangerous developer Frontier came out on stage last night at GDC to announce the game making its console debut on Xbox One. Some have feared that the port would not provide the same experience as the PC […]

  • Virtual reality: by gum, it’s really happening

    Virtual reality has exited the realm of peripheral gimmick and turned into something that just might go mainstream. VR has an uphill battle ahead of it. The tech is going to be expensive, and there are a number of problems that need to be solved before it could be considered an inclusive technology (motion sickness, […]

  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor takes Game of the Year at GDC Awards 2015

    And the winner is: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor beat out Alien: Isolation, Bayonetta 2, Destiny, and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft to win Game of the Year at the Game Developer’s Choice Awards 2015. Elsewhere in the awards, Ustwo’s mobile hit Monument Valley was a stand-out favourite, with wins in the Innovation, […]

  • Alien: Isolation was prototyped in third-person – video

    Alien: Isolation is one of the most effectively scary triple-A games in years, but it didn’t start off a perfect creation of pure terror. Creative Assembly prototyped Alien: Isolation in third-person perspective before they nailed down the final approach. The developer revealed this during a GDC 2015 presentation, and it’s a good reminder that games […]

  • Madden 15 added to EA Vault

    Madden 15 is now included in EA’s all-you-can-eat subscriber service. Madden 15 is the ninth game to be added to the EA Vault, a stash of games available on demand for EA Access subscribers. It's still Madden Season for EA Access members – Madden NFL 15 is now in The Vault for all members. Go […]

  • Source Engine 2 doesn’t have hidden costs or royalties – but is Steam exclusive

    Three major engines went free at GDC 2015, and each of them is monetising in a different way. There’s been a heck of a lot of discussion about development tools and the costs associated with them during GDC 2015. First Epic announced that Unreal Engine 4 would be free, bar royalities on successful releases. Then […]

  • Final Fantasy creator hates sequels

    Final Fantasy, a byword in prolific franchises, was created by a man who hates sequel. Final Fantasy games are famous for being reinvented with each core release, and it was not until series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi began to withdraw from the franchise after Final Fantasy 9 that we started seeing regular sequels and spin-offs. Speaking […]

  • Guardian complaints led to the closure of Destiny’s Loot Cave

    Destiny players are to blame for the shuttering of the much loved Loot Cave. Early in Destiny‘s history, many players got hugely excited about the “Loot Cave”. Accessible shortly after starting the game for the first time, this high-volume spawn point allowed players to stand in one place, taking out waves and waves of low-level […]

  • Xbox and PC games boss Phil Harrison to leave Microsoft – rumour

    Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business VP and EMEA head of games Phil Harrison is rumoured to have thrown in the towel. Microsoft has not issued a statement on Harrison’s alleged departure, despite repeated questioning by press at GDC 2015. Instead, word comes via multiple sources speaking to GamesIndustry at the show. According to the rumours, Harrison […]

  • Metal Gear Online commentated trailer explains stuffed dog – but not invisibility

    Metal Gear Online developer Kojima Productions has provided significantly more insight into how the multiplayer side of The Phantom Pain works. Metal Gear Online is the online multiplayer component of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. Konami hasn’t shared a great deal about it yet, but we did see a very cool Metal Gear […]

  • Elite: Dangerous Xbox One trailer shows off space MMO

    If Elite: Dangerous looks this good on Xbox One we have nothing to complain about. Microsoft revealed Elite: Dangerous is coming to Xbox One this year during its GDC presentations today. We don’t know very much about the port, but I suppose we ought to have expected it; Frontier Developments has a very close relationship […]

  • Battletoads to appear in Shovel Knight Xbox One

    A Battletoads remake must be on the horizon. Right? Right?? The Battletoads will appear in the upcoming Xbox One version of Shovel Knight, Yacht Club Games revealed today. The Battletoads drop in for a fight! Shovel Knight is headed to Xbox One and meets up with @RareLtd brawling trio! pic.twitter.com/OCQIuWbH3W — Yacht Club Games (@YachtClubGames) […]

  • The Division pre-alpha footage leaks, Ubisoft says it’s well out of date

    The Division fans finally got a look at Ubisoft’s MMO this week, but the publisher has said the footage is not in any way representative. Pre-alpha footage of the The Division was leaked this week, but has since been thoroughly smacked down by takedown notices. All that remains are a few screenshots and a GIF: […]

  • Microsoft HoloLens designer killed in hit and run accident

    Very sad news out of Redmond this week, as Mike Ey was killed in a tragic accident. Ey, 30, was one of the key project designers on Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headset. He was killed on Saturday morning in a rear-end collision. The driver of the second vehicle fled the scene but was tracked down by […]

  • AMD throws support behind VR with new low-latency anti-nausea tech

    GPU manufacturer AMD has released a new SDK compatible with “a broad set of VR devices”. Called LiquidVR, the tech is designed to “bring better content, comfort, and compatibility to VR applications” including games, simulation, entertainment, education, social media, travel, medicine, real estate and ecommerce, apparently. AMD said maintaining comfort and realism in VR environments […]

  • Danganronpa 3 in the works, but a long way off yet

    A new Danganronpa is happening. Danganronpa 3 is in the very, very early production stages, writer Kodaka Kazutaka has confirmed. Nothing about the project is “set in stone”, Kazutaka told Polygon, so there are no details to share yet; the characters and story may change several times before being finalised. The writer said he’s weighing […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League 2015 schedule announced

    Major League Gaming has announced the full schedule for the 2015 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League. The eSpots firm revealed two more seasons of Pro League, a live Relegation tournament for Season Three, and a season ending World Championship with $250,000 up for grabs You can watch all the action on MLG.tv […]

  • Happy Birthday PlayStation 2, you are almost old enough to drive

    Amidst all the GDC 2015 hoopla today, we forgot to wish PlayStation 2 a Happy Birthday. The system turned 15 years old today, going by its March 4, 2000 launch date in Japan. It was released in the west that autumn, and had shipped 100 million units in less than six years post launch. PS2 […]

  • Here’s what the final version of Valve’s Steam Controller looks like

    A look at the updated Steam Controller has surfaced via a hands-on post from Polygon. Valve said what you see in the images below is the final version of the controller. The controller has gone through numerous revisions since it was first revealed, but it seems Valve has decided on two touch pads which work […]

  • The Sims, SimCity developer closed down

    The Sims 4 developer Maxis has been shuttered, EA has confirmed. The Sims, SimCity and the rest of the Sim franchise has traditionally been helmed by Maxis, which had its flagship studio in Emeryville, California. Now EA has confirmed with Kotaku that this studio is being closed. “Today we are consolidating Maxis IP development to […]

  • Gigantic MOBA coming to Windows 10 and Xbox One with cross-play

    Today during GDC 2015, Microsoft announced that the new IP from Motiga called Gigantic will be cross-play enabled. Slated for Windows 10 and Xbox One, the five-on-five third-person battle arena game allows the player to select from an array of heroes with distinctive powers and play styles. Players will then make their way through areas […]

  • Here’s a look at Unreal Tournament DirectX 12 gameplay

    Epic Games is creating Unreal Tournament using Unreal Engine 4 running on DirectX 12, which Microsoft says “sets a new bar for visual fidelity.” DirectX 12 is a single API developers can access across Windows devices, which can result in a 20% improvement in performance over DX11 running on the same machine. The Unreal Tournament […]

  • Wireless adapter for Xbox One controllers out later this year

    Microsoft announced at GDC 2015 today it will that all wireless Xbox gaming accessories will be designed for and supported on both Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs moving forward. Later this year, a wireless adapter will be released, allowing current Xbox controllers and future devices to be used wirelessly on PCs. This will […]