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Wii U: A Strategy For Success

Wii U: A Strategy For Success

Fri 20 Apr 2012 7:14am GMT / 3:14am EDT / 12:14am PDT
HardwareMarketing

How the Wii U can thrive in a tough market

Nintendo is unveiling its next console, the Wii U, in early June for shipment this holiday season. The launch of a new console, every 5 years or so, is a crucial moment for any console manufacturer. The stakes are much higher than normal for Nintendo's Wii U launch, since Nintendo is projecting its first annual loss in 30 years, estimating a net loss of 45 billion (about $552 million, or 343 million, or €420 million) after previously projecting a 20 billion profit. The Wii, after a very successful run, has seen steep sales declines in the USA, from 7 million units sold in 2010 down to 4.5 million sold in 2011; Nintendo is now estimating only 10 million units sold for the FY 2012 worldwide.

Third-party developers have slowed development of new Wii titles to a trickle, and Wii software sales have plunged. "Everybody needs to realize that the Wii software segment is trending down 50 percent year over year, and has been for the last 12 months. That is a massive decline," said Cowen and Company analyst Doug Creutz. This all occurs at a time when overall sales in the console industry have slowed, and many analysts attribute this to the impact of mobile, social, and downloadable games. Analysts have begun to wonder if the console industry can ever get back to the size it reached in 2008, with sales dropping every year since then.

"As of March 2012, Nintendo had over $10 billion (6.2 billion, or €7.6 billion) in cash in the bank"

The Wii U has already come under fire, even before solid information has been released. The graphics and processing capability is rumored to be about the level of the Xbox 360 and the PS3; the retail price may be $300 or more in the USA; many wonder if the tablet controller will actually add to gameplay or just become a focal point for arguments over which player gets to use it, since there can be only one. It's a tough market, and there's a skeptical crowd of analysts and consumers who are already hearing rumors of vastly more powerful consoles from Microsoft and Sony that may be released by the end of 2013. Does Nintendo have a chance?

Absolutely. In fact, Nintendo has many advantages in this battle, and if they extend some of the boldness and creativity they show in game design to their marketing and business practices, Nintendo could once again be the leader in the console business. Let's take a look at some of Nintendo's key strengths and how they could leverage them into a profitable leadership position.

Start with a fact that's not mentioned often enough: As of March 2012, Nintendo had over $10 billion (6.2 billion, or €7.6 billion) in cash in the bank, and another more than half that again in premises, equipment, and investments. That is a huge competitive advantage over Sony, which is looking at a loss of over $6 billion for the year. Microsoft has a huge pile of cash, more than 5 times that of Nintendo, but they have many other places to spend money (such as the mobile phone business, and Windows 8). Nintendo can afford to spend a lot of money in order to grab market share, and can easily outspend Sony (Microsoft might be a different story if they feel sufficiently threatened).

"The Wii U's strategy for success is simple. It's value"

Nintendo's vast resources give it many chances to recover from mistakes, and they've shown how they can recover from severe mistakes with the 3DS. Nintendo made a number of big mistakes with the 3DS launch: They priced the handheld much too high, at $250; they didn't have any top-notch titles or key franchises available at launch; the eShop wasn't working for months; and Nintendo was so confident they didn't bother with much in the way of marketing. Not surprisingly, after a good initial sell-in sales fell off a cliff. Nintendo watched this for a few months, then surprised everyone with a bold $80 price cut. By the holiday season, when several key 3DS titles shipped, the 3DS had recovered and turned into a solid seller (though still not up to their initial projections for the year). Nintendo showed that they can recognize a problem and figure out the correct solution, and return to leadership in the handheld console market.

The Wii U's strategy for success is simple. It's value.

Think abut it. The raw power of a console is not the most important thing; it's price performance and the total value of the package to the user. Nintendo has usually tried to make money from the sales of their consoles from day one, unlike the vast amounts of money that Sony and Microsoft lost with each sale of the PS3 and the Xbox 360 when they launched (said to be $300 per unit or more). The rumors point to a hardware cost for Nintendo of $180, and suggest that Nintendo may need to price the Wii U at $300 or more in the USA in order to make a profit. What if Nintendo were to price the Wii U at $249, or even $199? This would instantly change the battle for console leadership. Microsoft and Sony would have a huge problem trying to meet that sort of price even with their current consoles; for their next-gen consoles, forget it.

How could Nintendo afford to lose $50 or $100 per unit? Remember that massive stockpile of cash Nintendo has in the bank? Time for an investment in market share. It's not as dire as it seems if you take the long view. Let's say Nintendo loses $50 for every Wii U they sell; that will in a year or two be reduced to nothing as component costs come down, and Nintendo re-engineers for cost savings (the usual pattern in console manufacturing). Let's pick some numbers to work with; say that Nintendo could sell 10 million Wii U consoles in a year at $300, but they could sell 15 million if they priced it at $249. We'll assume they break even on each sale in the first case, and lose $50 on each sale in the second case. So pricing the Wii U at $249 would cost Nintendo $750 million over the first year. That's a lot, but less than 10% of their cash on hand.

The real trick is when you examine what leadership does for you in the console market. Nintendo probably takes in about $7 per unit of software sold by third-party publishers as their licensing fee. If you're selling a lot of consoles, you're going to get more publishers making more software, and each title will sell more. If Nintendo could see sales of 100 million additional third-party titles, that's $700 million in pure profit... which just about covers that expense of losing $50 on each console. And remember, once the hardware costs are reduced, they would no longer be losing money on each unit.

That basic math is why Sony and Microsoft were willing to lose hundreds of dollars per console initially, and it has proven to be a solid investment for both companies in the long run. Nintendo has had the luxury in the past of not having to make that investment, but if there was ever a time to do so, it's now. Nintendo could even make it more dramatic: Price the Wii U at $199, drop the Wii to $99, and watch Sony and Microsoft squirm as they try to match those prices.

"Nintendo could even make it more dramatic: Price the Wii U at $199, drop the Wii to $99, and watch Sony and Microsoft squirm as they try to match those prices"

This could give Nintendo a window of opportunity. Microsoft and Sony are planning on introducing their next-gen consoles in 2013, and those will likely be aiming at high power and high prices. Nintendo could have a strong market position at the low end, as they did with the Wii. The Wii U has to offer things the current consoles don't, which the tablet controller might make possible. New gameplay, 3DS connections, iconic Nintendo brands.

Pricing is only one part of the value equation, and Nintendo has plenty of ways to add value to the Wii U without increasing costs very much. Software can provide great value at a very low cost of goods. What if Nintendo offered some classic games updated with new graphics? Take some classic appearances of key brands (Mario, Link, Donkey Kong, etc.), spiff them up a bit artwise, but keep the gameplay intact. This would add value to the console and encourage users to get all of the games in the series, if the marketing was handled properly.

Nintendo shouldn't just assume that everyone knows their brands and loves them. True enough for a big fan base, but Nintendo's brands haven't been the center of kids' attention for the past decade or so. The latest kids are looking at Angry Birds more than Mario. Nintendo could make their classic brands exciting again and motivate fans to pick up new software. Tie in to big titles coming up, and use these classic games to pre-sell the latest adventures. For that matter, why not include the first levels of a new Mario game, and the intro and first dungeon of a new Zelda game? Give players hours of fun right in the package before they have to buy some software. Remember how well that worked with Wii Sports?

There are plenty of other avenues for Nintendo to explore. They could redefine the industry's business model by being the first company to make episodic content work; regular new levels of Mario or dungeons for Link to conquer. Utilize the technology advantages inherent in the tablet controller; a software keyboard can easily be put on the tablet, so social networking is a natural, and this is something we won't see for the next-gen consoles from Sony and Microsoft (at least, not that we've heard). Note also that it's possible to put ebooks and movies and music on the tablet, just like on an iPad or a Kindle Fire. Get a bestselling children's ebook on there just to completely redefine what experiences people can have with a console, and get educators on your side to boot. For a truly bold move, cut a deal with Amazon to latch on to their huge content library for digital sales. If your engineers can make it happen, Nintendo, see about using the 3DS as additional tablet controllers to get around the limit of only one tablet controller. That will not only be a compelling advantage over the console competition, it would help to sell more 3DS units.

"Use the NFC capability of the Wii U like Skylanders. What if Nintendo had a game with hundreds of cool characters where players would want to collect 'em all? If only they had such a game..."

Nintendo has been slow to embrace digital distribution, though the Nintendo Network they've announced looks like it will mean some advances in that area. Physical retail stores still have advantages, though. Nintendo can play up those advantages by making the boxes cool again. The industry has spent years trying to squeeze packaging costs, getting rid of manuals, posters, maps, all the cool stuff that used to be in there, and making the boxes as flimsy as possible. Turn that around; don't cut costs, add them. Make every game something to collect physically again. Add posters, DLC, figures, maps, books, music, video. Do collector's editions for all major titles. Give customers a reason to run to the store, and the stores more reasons to push your products. If you do all that, you can get away with offering all the titles on a download basis, and the stores won't mind as much. Customers will win both ways, and satisfaction with the platform will increase.

One last idea that Nintendo really has to implement: Use the NFC capability of the Wii U like Skylanders. What if Nintendo had a game with hundreds of cool characters where players would want to collect 'em all? If only they had such a game... Think how those figures would sell! If you really want to get that game going fast, give away a Pikachu figure usable in the game packed into every Wii U at launch, and include a playable demo with it... Sales would be incredible.

These are just some of the advantages that Nintendo can employ to make the Wii U a success. Of course, there's the whole panoply of traditional marketing campaigns, the possibilities for new and innovative gameplay that the tablet controller brings. Will Nintendo actually do any of these things? We'll have to wait until E3 to find out. Nintendo could always implement poorly, forgetting the lessons of the 3DS launch and failing to have killer games at launch time, or price the Wii U too high, or fail to muster significant third-party support. Using the tablet controller might turn out to be more of a hindrance than a help as you try to shift your attention between the controller screen and the TV. Apple could launch their Apple TV this holiday and suck up all the PR attention, and provide some steep price competition. There's a lot that could go wrong. But make no mistake: Nintendo has plenty of ways to make the Wii U a success whatever the power of the hardware may be.

32 Comments

Keldon Alleyne Handheld Developer, Avasopht Ltd

449 423 0.9
From article:"Everybody needs to realize that the Wii software segment is trending down 50 percent year over year, and has been for the last 12 months"
Just wanted to point out that ff it's only been happening for the last 12 months then it's not been trending down year on year.

Posted:2 years ago

#1

Curt Sampson Sofware Developer

596 360 0.6
Nintendo's really going to have their work cut out for them, though. If they've got more or less similar internals (CPU/GPU/memory/etc.) to the PS3 and Xbox, they're going to have a significantly higher cost of goods due to the expensive controller. (And the may well feel obliged to include a standard Wiimote in the package as well.) Nintendo's got more money to spend than Sony, certainly, but they're going to have to spend more to maintain the same price level.

And their initial software lineup is going to have to be pretty darn convincing, I would think, given that any consumer looking at a Wii U vs. a PS3 or Xbox is easily going to see the enormous difference in the amount of software available if Sony and Microsoft marketing do their job.

Having any sort of serious social networking on the system would be quite an about face for Nintendo. Remember friend codes?

Posted:2 years ago

#2

Jamie Read Junior 3D Artist, Neon Play Ltd

127 64 0.5
Having always had a place in my heart for Nintendo, I don't like the way the majority of people hate on them so much.
The main problem with the Wii was that the only games I wanted to play on it were (mainly) first-party titles, all the third-party games were just mini-game compilations. If the Wii U can get solid third party support to satisfy all audiences, then that would be awesome. I don't just want to see ports of xbox360 and ps3 games, I want dedicated next-gen exclusives for Wii U.
Nintendo needs to nail the launch and come up with something special. I know they are a very secretive company and no one outside of that really knows what their always-interesting innovation will come up with. Hopefully come E3, they will completely blow the show out of the water and change the minds of most of the doubters.
Nintendo, become the powerhouse once more that made my childhood so fun!

Posted:2 years ago

#3

Terence Gage Freelance writer

1,288 120 0.1
"since Nintendo is projecting its first annual loss in 30 years"

Isn't it their first annual loss ever?!

Posted:2 years ago

#4

Tom Tapper

9 8 0.9
Finally, an analysis that takes price/value and unique game experiences into account, which is basically why the Wii sold 95 million units with limited HW.

People are so quick to say "Apple will take the casual market from Nintendo" (the 3DS seems to be weathering the Apple storm just fine) but Apple's rumored TV set sounds like it will cost a small fortune in a slow economy where high-end televisions simply aren't selling in droves anymore (ask Sony). I know the Apple culture is a strong market force but these types of high-end devices aren't for people who have to make hard choices in what electronics they buy for themselves and their kids. It is for upper income brackets and technophiles who won't be able to resist spending a months wages or more to get Apples latest offering. These groups aren't exactly Nintendo's target demographic and Apple doesn't have Nintendo's 3 Kings: Mario, Pokemon, and Link.

I agree about the NFC and Pokemon too. That alone will be a money printer for Nintendo if they can get the console in enough hands. Peripherals have always been a big part of Nintendo's bottom line and hundred's of different Pokemon figures/cards will be a boon.

$300 is a fair price but $250 would put them in a better position to hit the ground running. Iwata has said they learned their lessons on both price and launch lineup with the 3DS and Miyamoto has confirmed Super Mario 4 and Pikmin 3 will be revealed at E3 so for now I tend to believe them. Assassins Creed 3 is a big 3rd party title to get on board and I would say it is safe to assume they will get big sellers like Call of Duty and all the EA sports titles as they did with the Wii.

I don't know why everyone is constantly so down on Nintendo. They try to make games for everyone and a lot of the time they are amazing games that are markedly different from what their competitors put out. Sure, they make the technophiles cringe, but that isn't gaming. That is swooning over hardware specs which Nintendo's target audience smartly finds irrelevant.

Regardless, the rumored tech in the Wii-U gives 3rd parties more options than the Wii did, even when Sony and Microsoft launch their new systems. Epic has already said Unreal 4 won't even be ready for developer use until 2014 meaning games using the engine probably won't be seen until 2015. The Wii-U hardware is confirmed to be running Unreal 3, CryEngine 3, Frostbite 2, Id Tech 5, and the latest Havok engine. These game engines will still be in use for at least the first couple years of Orbis and Durango, which are rumored to be sporting 2 GBs of RAM versus Wii-U's rumored 1 GB of RAM. Sure, texture resolution and polygon counts will have to be scaled down but the option will be there for developers where as with the Wii and its paltry 64 MB of RAM it was practically impossible to port a game designed to take advantage of 512 MB of RAM. Additionally, Wii-U dev kits are said to be easy to use because of their similarity to Xbox360's dev kit which should make porting games worth the money for most big game developers.

Posted:2 years ago

#5

Thomas Dolby Project Manager / Lead Programmer, Ai Solve

340 292 0.9
I agree with a lot of the ideas, but please don't encourage them to re-package their classic games again. It's making Nintendo seem lazy and complacent, it's making them look as though they're just lost in the image of their earlier successes with those games. The last ground breaking Mario game they made was Mario 64 if you ask me. I loved Galaxy and Sunshine, but it still didn't feel as magical as playing Super Mario World or Mario 64, they need another game that brings enough new things like they did to the table.

Posted:2 years ago

#6

Aleksi Ranta Product Manager - Hardware

276 127 0.5
"Nintendo could even make it more dramatic: Price the Wii U at $199, drop the Wii to $99, and watch Sony and Microsoft squirm as they try to match those prices"
Yes, but Nintendo like every other company is in the business of making money and pleasing the shareholders. I have a hard time trying to accept that Nintendo would support such a low price and lose money from the get-go, and combine that with a 0 starting install base not enabling any offsetting positive margin from sofware sales. $199 seems very low considering the peripheral included.

Rather it will play like these things usually play out: High starting pricepoint, early adopters fork out the cash, get the install base growing, lower the hardware price when component pricing permits....you know the deal. :)

Posted:2 years ago

#7

Kevin Patterson musician

187 103 0.6
There is no way that the Wii-u will go for $199.99, I bet it will be at least $249.99 and most likely $299.99, and the Wii will drop to around $129.99, maybe as low as the $99.99 but I doubt it. That would cannibalize Wii-u sales, and I think that would be a bad move...

I will never count Nintendo out, but I will say I am concerned for this new machine over the long haul. At launch, this is going to be a neat machine, but after the next gen consoles from Sony and MS launch with much better graphics, specs, and gimmicks (move 2 and kinect 2), and possibly some type of tablet functionality, in a few years after launch, it's going to look quaint.

The Wii had the luxury of being first in motion controls, and it became sort of the cabbage patch kids of the day, where non-gamers bought them as it was a big thing they all heard about. The only only problem is that while everyone bought Nintendo's games, third parties on Wii didn't do near as well, and will they flock right away to develop for the Wii-u after how things went for them with the Wii? Will the same non-gamers run out an buy a Wii-u when every single Wii owner I know lets their Wii gather dust except for parties, get togethers, and stuff like that?
Will the tablet controller be as "omg" to the masses as waving a wand for the first time? I know it's going to sell like crazy at least the first year, but will it continue 2 to 3 years in?

When games start being developed for the next gen systems, will the down ports to the Wii-u sell as well as those on the next gen systems, especially after a few years?

I wish Nintendo would be more like the SNES era Nintendo again, where they would make a powerful console that wasn't trying to be cute or gimmicky. Just a powerful console with decent normal controls, a powerful look, great third party support

Posted:2 years ago

#8

Steve Peterson West Coast Editor, GamesIndustry.biz

108 73 0.7
Nintendo succeeded in winning the last generation of consoles, at least for the first several years, by being half the price of the Xbox 360 and PS3 or less, and by having an innovative control technology. The Wii U may try this again, if the pricing is low enough compared to whatever Sony and Microsoft end up charging for their new consoles. If Sony and Microsoft are trying to be significantly more powerful, that's going to mean either a much higher price tag or much bigger losses per unit sold (or perhaps both). It seems like a better plan to try a strategy that worked well the last time, versus going toe-to-toe with Sony and Microsoft on raw horsepower. Pass the popcorn; it's going to be fun to watch.

Posted:2 years ago

#9

Ken Varley Owner & Freelance Developer, Writer, Devpac

40 30 0.8
many wonder if the tablet controller will actually add to gameplay or just become a focal point for arguments over which player gets to use it, since there can be only one.
I believe Nintendo said that the Wii-U will support 2 tablet controllers.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Ken Varley on 20th April 2012 6:08pm

Posted:2 years ago

#10

Rick Cody PBnGames-Board Member

144 14 0.1
If they can continue to encourage an atmosphere in which they get people together in a room to play, I'm in. In addition they also need a strong, competitive online component. Finally, they need to make it easy to port third party games to their console. I want the real versions of sports games, folders on the dashboard and Smash with quality online.

Nintendo needs to see this as a games system that has the potential to become a home entertainment center and even a home cloud computer (add OnLive desktop)

Posted:2 years ago

#11

Ken Varley Owner & Freelance Developer, Writer, Devpac

40 30 0.8
Nintendo succeeded in winning the last generation of consoles, at least for the first several years, by being half the price of the Xbox 360 and PS3 or less, and by having an innovative control technology. The Wii U may try this again, if the pricing is low enough compared to whatever Sony and Microsoft end up charging for their new consoles. If Sony and Microsoft are trying to be significantly more powerful, that's going to mean either a much higher price tag or much bigger losses per unit sold (or perhaps both). It seems like a better plan to try a strategy that worked well the last time, versus going toe-to-toe with Sony and Microsoft on raw horsepower. Pass the popcorn; it's going to be fun to watch.
The thing to remember was last time, the Xbox 360 had 1 year head start on the Wii. Now this time the Wii-U is going to have a 1 year (at least) head start on the other two.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Ken Varley on 20th April 2012 11:58pm

Posted:2 years ago

#12

Paul Isaac Lead Programmer, Certain Affinity

3 2 0.7
I don't think Nintendo's tablet/pad is going to be as unique as the author thinks. Sony should be able to have their PS Vita or PS Phone interact with the PS4, they're already starting to do this with the PS3. And Microsoft can have their next Xbox interact with the Windows phones. If there's any great synergy to be discovered there, it will be available to each of the consoles. And since the Sony/MSFT add-on devices don't have to fit in the $199 price, they will be more powerful and flexible... so I can easily see Nintendo falling behind in this area as well.

Posted:2 years ago

#13

Tony Johns

520 12 0.0
Would love to see Nintendo succeed.

At least the Japanese part of it.

The Nintendo of America needs to get its bottom kicked for not allowing more JRPGs into the region and being slow to acknowledge that there is a market for good quality Japanese RPGs in the region.

They need to release Earthbound and the Mother series on the Virtual Console, and localize the future JRPGs like the Xenoblades, the Last Stories and the Pandora's Towers of the future.

If Nintendo of America does not do that, then they can kiss the Nintendo hardcore faithful goodbye if they don't offer anything than Nintendo first party titles.

Also I would like to thank Nintendo of Europe and Nintendo of Australia for marketing those 3 Japanese RPG games on the Wii.

Xenoblade, Last Story and Pandora's Tower when North America didn't bother to acknowledge them.

The last year of the Wii has been highlighted by Europe and Australia doing what North America didn't, until Nintendo of America had to suck down its pride and localize 2 of those 3 games.

I really do hope that at least for the Wii U that Nintendo of America will think about all of their audience, not just the casuals who only brought the Wii just for Wii Sports and Wii Fit software.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Tony Johns on 21st April 2012 3:18am

Posted:2 years ago

#14

Steve Peterson West Coast Editor, GamesIndustry.biz

108 73 0.7
Nintendo's tablet will not be unique, but it will be included with 100% of Wii U's, which is not true of smartphones with other consoles. As smartphone penetration increases, and next-gen consoles perhaps find ways to work with them, Nintendo will still have an advantage in that developers can count on a teblet being available, if that matters to their design.

Of course, it may well turn out that tablets don't do all that much for console games, or that developers do do much with it (though I expect Nintendo will).

Yes, expecting a great player network experience from the company that brought you Friend Codes is a stretch. It's going to take them a lot of effort to get even to the Xbox Live or PSN level, and those still have plenty of issues. A more clever path would be to work with an established social network, or with a company that has good technology, rather than build it all in-house. I don't think Nintendo will go that way initially, or else we might have heard about it by now.

Posted:2 years ago

#15

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,584 1,438 0.9
"A more clever path would be to work with an established social network, or with a company that has good technology, rather than build it all in-house."

I'm still hoping for an announcement at E3 of Valve/Steam being Nintendo's partner for the social and digital-distro end of Wii U. I know it's really really unlikely, but it would also be a massive step forward for both companies.

Posted:2 years ago

#16

Colin Payne game designer; artist

22 24 1.1
Good points. Great idea on the free pikachu, but they should give the main game as a free pack-in, not a demo. that would be a system seller of note, and they would easily recoup the money from all of the figures that would be sold.

Posted:2 years ago

#17

Felix Leyendecker Senior 3D Artist, Crytek

182 202 1.1
I wonder if nintendo even needs strong 3rd party support to be successful with the Wii-U. They pretty much destroyed MS and Sony this generation with a weak 3rd party showing, and while the Wii is losing steam now rather abruptly, I don't see whats stopping nintendo from just releasing another Wii-type platform with the same formula: Weak hardware and cheap pricing, innovative user interface and excellent 1st party support. It won't be a long seller with this type of thinking, but then again they didn't have a massive investment into the hardware like sony did for CELL, so they can afford to start another cycle a little earlier than xbox/ps3, just like they do now.

Come E3 (and when MS and sony released HW specs) we will know what chances the WiiU has on becoming an attractive proposal for 3rd parties. I think hardware power will play the primary role, no matter what people say about ease of development and accessibility. 3rd parties have traditionally had it rough on nintendo platforms, even when the hardware was on par or better than the competition, so having weaker hardware makes it even tougher - you have to put in considerable work to make the game run on lower target specs, only to have a chance at the small piece of pie which is the nintendo 3rd party market. No wonder most devs didn't bother and ignored the wii. I don't see how the WiiU would be any different when these parameters stay the same. Who knows, MS and Sony might go the nintendo route and choose not to go ultra high-end, making the platforms close in terms of power.

Posted:2 years ago

#18

Mats Holm Technical Process Analyst, EA BioWare

55 50 0.9
I think a big part comes down to how they do online. They need something that is on par or better than Xbox Live, and I don't see them being able to charge for it.

The whole idea of getting people back into stores, to buy a plastic disk with data on it, that is a fools errand. Games are going digital and no amount of wishing can turn that tide.

Posted:2 years ago

#19
Hey Nintendo, the "Wii U" has been done already; it's called Apple TV and AirPlay with your favourite iDevice.

FAIL.

...now, someone please start the flame that an iPad isn't a "console".
Oh, right, it doesn't have "The Plumber" on it tho... shame on Apple! :))

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Emanuele Salvucci on 21st April 2012 11:54pm

Posted:2 years ago

#20
I second Felix wrt to third party interest in Nintendo and ease of development.
Letting alone the underlying 3rd party "environment" during development and testing cycle.
Apple actually built solid infrastructure, automatically handling tens of thousands of developers worldwide - thus spending big money in the process - while Nintendo looks like have been saving the equivalent of Apple's investment on developers directly into their own bank account.
All in all, they simply need to release the next Mario... why bother with other (smaller) devs ? :P

Posted:2 years ago

#21

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,584 1,438 0.9
"Hey Nintendo, the "Wii U" has been done already; it's called Apple TV and AirPlay with your favourite iDevice."

That assumes everyone buys into owning a iDevice. Which they don't. It also assumes that take-up of Apple TV would be the same as the Wii U. It won't be, if it's priced as ridiculously as every other Apple product. And then there's the fact that Apple themselves don't care for games, so you're entirely reliant on ports and third-party product, whereas people buy a Nintendo product for the IP that they produce. Zelda, Metroid, Mario... Hell, even the older IPs like F-Zero and Wave Race would sell on the Wii U. :)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 22nd April 2012 10:56am

Posted:2 years ago

#22

Felix Leyendecker Senior 3D Artist, Crytek

182 202 1.1
I'm sure we will see lots of GOTY awards and high praise for iPad/AirPlay games, then, while the WiiU is being left in the dust!

Posted:2 years ago

#23

David Radd Senior Editor, IndustryGamers

359 78 0.2
People really underestimate the value argument. A lot of the traction for the Wii, especially early on, was the price point. At this point, it's one of those great unknowns, since we don't know how much the Wii U will cost, let alone the next Xbox and PlayStation. Still, since Nintendo is striking first, they have the chance to set a precedent for the coming generation, in price and in a lot of other ways. It's not without it's perils, but Nintendo is in a good position to do what they want and potentially put pressure on the competition.

Posted:2 years ago

#24
@Morville
I really don't have the numbers here, but my rough guess is that iDevices probably outsold Nintendo devices by now - considering iPad,iPodTouch,iPhone (all generations) VS Nintendo DS, 3DS and Wii. And if not, even at 50% of Nintendo's base, surely Apple earned so much more cash from Apps than Nintendo will ever do with the plumber.
But that's not really the point, for me at least. The point is the developer side.
If you are an indie making games on a Nintendo platform, you count zero, as you need to be backed up by a publisher.
If you want to go on the "-ware" side of stuff... that's even worse. It costs you a fortune just to THINK about making your own title. For what !? Nintendo doesn't give you market data. They want you to be "publisher of yourself" on their store but they just push THEIR titles and those of the big fishes, leaving you with NO CLUE of what kind of game sells well to THEIR audience on THEIR platform.

So what. It might take you 8/10.000 euro (and possibly more) of equipment and publishing costs + 4 to 10 people * N months to make a "ware" game... with NO guarantee to sell a single copy. And you also take care of the AGE RATING by yourself - paying the ESRB and other orgs, depending on country of sale.

With Apple is the same: you're not guaranteed to sell a single copy - THO - it costs you what ?! What are you really risking making a 2-weeks game !? Gotcha! 2 weeks of work and costs. Nothing compared to Nintendo.

At Nintendo someone needs a humility shower... I don't give a dime that you are "N". You're not making indies a favor by letting them develop on your hardware. They should become Nintendo's value instead.

Apple understood all of that from the beginning. Equal opportunities and a more than decent infrastructure and tools for development. Relatively low-cost equipment - lower than Nintendo for sure - and software.

Sums: the AppStore/Android Market is an attractive RISK to indie developers. Nintendo "ware" store is a plain TRAP.

Posted:2 years ago

#25
Oh, and don't forget the 3DS wasn't PLANNED for release when it was actually released. No (average) developer was actually slightly informed that the 3DS was going to be announced.

Nintendo felt (was/is) threatened by the sheer success of the AppStore. And that goes for Sony as well. That's quite a given fact by now, isn't it ?! ;)

And talking about Sony... guess what!? "Open AppStore" and devices for Sony!! Uh-uh! Another "YEARS LATER" story. Anyway... it's worth checking out at least:
http://www.playstation.com/pss/index_e.html

Posted:2 years ago

#26
@David Radd
True, there's some appeal in low-cost hardware. The "Zeebo" platform was interesting, but AAMOF it just ceased operations on its current line of products. FYI, Zeebo was a low-cost console dedicated to "emerging" markets (read: under-developed countries). Now it looks like they will try again with an Android-based thing:
http://zeeboinc.com/

Again, "Android" based. (mobile)

Even if Wii U will cost, what, $249 !? - and they will NEED to piss european people off by profiting from the exchange rates pricing it at 249 euros... FOR SURE.
What a SINGLE game will cost !? Let's say... (if Nintendo is getting smarter)... between 10 and 20 euros. Between 20 and 40 if they stay as dumb as they are. :D

Now, tell me how many MORE-THAN-DECENT iPad/iPhone games you can get with 20 euros. And with 40 !? And how many for FREE !? Which of the two platforms is the CONVENIENT one for the consumer !?

Nintendo left the "next gen" stuff behind YEARS ago... they're not competing with Microsoft nor Sony. That's why they're being kicked in the olives by the mobile world of Apple and Google. They've put themselves in a "low-cost hardware" limbo that finally collided with the evolution of the mobile world.

But that's what they deserved. Being too greedy and selling shite hardware at a ridiculous price/value ratio should finally back-fire at them for good.

Posted:2 years ago

#27

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