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Nintendo: No new hardware at E3

The Big Event: E3 in association with
Nintendo: No new hardware at E3

Fri 02 May 2014 2:45pm GMT / 10:45am EDT / 7:45am PDT
HardwareE3 2014

Mario maker squashes unconfirmed reports of system unveiling at next month's convention

Don't expect a new system announcement from Nintendo at next month's Electronic Entertainment Expo. After rumors of new hardware from the company started making the rounds, Nintendo took the unusual step of shutting them down in no uncertain terms.

"I can confirm Nintendo is not revealing any hardware at this year's E3," a representative told VideoGamer.

Earlier yesterday, VideoGamer cited a third-party publisher source with the news that Nintendo would be using E3 to showcase new hardware. Separately, IGN co-founder Peer Schneider reported during a podcast appearance yesterday that Nintendo was "absolutely going to show new hardware," saying he had heard as much from multiple sources, including a former Nintendo employee and a third-party source.

In light of the Wii U's struggles, some industry-watchers have been calling for Nintendo to make drastic moves. In January, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said Nintendo should ditch the Wii U entirely and publish for rival platforms until it was ready to launch a new console.

"We don't think Nintendo should exit the console hardware business, but think it should consider getting out of the Wii U business, and consider going back to the drawing board on consoles," Pachter said. "Nintendo has a console in the marketplace that isn't working, and if it continues to tilt at windmills, its software sales will suffer."

16 Comments

Patrick Frost QA Project Monitor

411 207 0.5
I hate to be the classic Nintendo rumour monger here but they are likely tp announce it at a surprise pre-E3 Nintendo Direct and that DOESN'T contradict their press statement above.

Posted:7 months ago

#1

James Brightman Editor in Chief, GamesIndustry.biz

263 466 1.8
Good point Patrick. I really think Nintendo has to announce something to reinvigorate their business.

Posted:7 months ago

#2

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,287 2,507 1.1
Popular Comment
Yeah, games.

Even announcing new hardware does nothing for current hardware and then you're left with the wonder if the new hardware will have games.

Skip the craziness and just made some games for what you got.

Posted:7 months ago

#3

Jim Burns Research Asisstant

49 85 1.7
Popular Comment
New hardware makes no sense. Remodels of 3DS make sense. Nintendo will bring the software thunder.

Nintendo should never put it's games on ANY other platforms. I do not agree with Mr. Pachter.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jim Burns on 2nd May 2014 8:13pm

Posted:7 months ago

#4

Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing

407 247 0.6
@jim

Because the second Nintendo does that, the lie that you need Nintendo hardware for Nintendo games will be laid bare, and when all you're running on is the old time religion, the last thing you want to do is show the emperor has no clothes.

Nintendo leaves a fortune on the table for pirates that make preloaded emulation consoles. They could sell those things themselves at a great clip. But they don't do it why is Wind Waker Hd not on. 360 or PS3? Because Nintendo won't cede an inch, because it's all they have.

Posted:7 months ago

#5

Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing

407 247 0.6
The other consoles all support tablets, and all the Nintendo peripherals are a mere driver away from working on other platforms. Seriously, if you think Nintendogs or Animal crossing can't be done on iOS, you're fooling yourself. You can even pair a WiiMote to your iPad. Creating in-game feature to match those small features on other platforms is trivial.

You can't sell a console with 1000 games legally at that price. But you can sell one with 25 and an Ethernet port or USB slot. Som of the pricier ones have cartridge slots even.

Posted:7 months ago

#6

Jim Burns Research Asisstant

49 85 1.7
I agree, you are not seeing the kinds of games on Nintendo systems on other platforms

Posted:7 months ago

#7

Neow Shau Jin Studying Bachelor in Computer Science, Universiti Sains Malaysia

52 81 1.6
@Christian
Good luck playing with Wii Sports with a 360/PS3 pad, good luck with playing Nintendogs on a PSP without a touchscreen, good luck with playing Animal Crossing on a Vita without the StreetPass functionality and good luck exchanging messages, drawings and screenshots in Wind Waker HD on a 360/PS3 without a Miiverse.
All these games make use of features, Nintendo built into their hardware/OS, that can't be found on the hardware/OS of their competitors.
Citing last gen hardware won't help your argument Christian, Wii Sports' motion control can very well be replicated with Kinect and PS Move, and if you are talking about the earlier Wii Sports, the PS3's Sixaxis controller can even do that bare minimum motion control. Vita has a touchscreen, and a Street Pass equivalent called "Near", which I would argue has a more friendlier implementation, as for Vita's Near do not require you to pass by each other, instead, if someone been to a place in the morning and you been to the same plane in the night, Near will detect that both of your are in the same place. And don't get me started on the Social Features of Wii U compared to Xbox Live and PSN, Nintendo is the one playing catch up here.

Posted:7 months ago

#8

Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University

436 497 1.1
The fundamental changes Nintendo would have to go through in order to become a third party publisher are so easily overlooked. Their hardware business generates an enormous revenue stream for them. Their team sizes are smaller than the industry standard. Their creatives practises are very different. They aren't up to speed on other platforms; whether that's iOS, Xbox or PS. They don't work to annual deadlines the way the other, biggest multi-platform publishers regularly do. How is a company of Nintendo's size, skillset and cultural background going to be able to compete in an increasingly crowded console space? Do we even want that? It ultimately means one less platform holder attempting to bring in customers to the console (home and handheld) industry. And, have Sega and Atari prospered since becoming third party publishers? If Nintendo couldn't handle the transition from their most successful generation to this generation (which could be their least successful), how well would they endure the transition to third party publishing? Anyone arguing that it's simple for Nintendo to go third party are making vapid assertions. Whether or not Nintendo could succeed as a third party is up in the air, but it certainly wouldn't be straightforward or easy.

I'm agreed with Jim. Nintendo need software. Show the 6 million or so Wii U consumers (most likely the core of the Nintendo core) that they aren't going to be dropped. Show anyone on the fence Wii U is worth owning. No, that won't turn Nintendo into a market leader again. It won't even make Wii U particularly successful. Nintendo need to focus on getting to the point where there are enough Wii U owners buying enough games that Nintendo can start to grind out a little profit from the whole fiasco. Show 3DS owners there are more games coming, and show those unconvinced there are more reasons to own a 3DS. Wring that system for every drop of profit it will yield.

And for god's sake, don't launch new hardware yet, not unless--and this I doubt would be the case--you can support it properly. 3DS and particularly Wii U have suffered because Nintendo launched with too high price, too few features and far too few games. If Nintendo don't have a consistent first party line up, with big hitters from day one, and filler content from third parties and indies, with low priced hardware, then they can kiss their hardware business good-bye. It isn't going to be easy, or perhaps even possible, to have engineered that 16 months after a botched Wii U launch. Continue to ride this generation out, get your digital services and software development environment ready for the next round, and launch new home and portable systems in 2016 under the new philosophy of "sibling devices". Prematurely dropping Wii U could do more harm than good. It'll piss off the most dedicated Nintendo consumers, and prove to a wider audience that it's not worth buying Nintendo hardware on day one. People will ask, with good reason, will the system be supported? Will third parties stay on board? Will the price drop shortly after launch? Will Nintendo stick with it if it doesn't work out? People already have enough doubts about Nintendo. They need to exorcise those now by turning 3DS and Wii U into the best supported devices they possibly can be, so that those doubts are less prevalent when it's time to try again.

As for Nintendo needing something beyond software, or something drastic, they've already announced that. Or are we forgetting, that for the first time in over thirty years, Nintendo are launching a new business initiative next year? It'll be revealed this year, and it could be the most drastic move Nintendo have made since they entered the videogame business. Nintendo aren't sticking their head in the sand here, they're already cooking something up and that something has been confirmed.

Posted:7 months ago

#9

Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing

407 247 0.6
Daniel, I completely agree with you, in concept

Nintendo's biggest problem us that they do not have the engineering capability to make more advanced platforms and games. That they are not making artistic choices, but are handicapped by their own bad choices.

The fact that they do things like trying to design an online network with engineers who "have never used PSN or Xbox Live" according to the Eurogamer expose basicaly confirmed my long held suspicionsthecfactvthat they also didn't have English speaking engineers available for fast and direct consultation (7 days to turn around an email?) is indicative of a company that is broken.

Their head is so far up their platoon, I don't know if it can surface again.

There are plenty of NES/Snes emulators out there they can license for all major platforms. They could have a huge selection of their catalog out in three months if they wanted to. They're simply outgunned on all fronts, and the DS business is eroding quickly (30% reduction in sales estimates this year). They have a pile of cash to burn, but it's a hot summer day, no need for a bonfire. If they don't make those changes, they will burn through money to the point where they are either forced to merge, or Iwata will be lashing himself to the mast.

The "success" of the Wii is frankly, mostly illusionary in my opinion. They moved a lot of hardware, at a profit, but the vast majority of people didn't buy games when the fad died down, or ever. You know how man people thought it was like Pong who were middle aged and older? Sure, the core titles sold well, but I did the math. Something like 25% of their lifetime software sales! like 150 million pieces if software, were pack-ins.

Nintendo s a Japanese toy company that makes toys for Japanese children. Unfortunately the tastes and needs of that market and the rest of the world are diverging quickly. Nintendo sees themselves as Disney. A library of memorable characters and titles that they trot out every five years as a new generation of youngsters hit. But unlike Disney, they keep making the same games, the same mistakes, and the kids today aren't interested in watching the games of yesteryear like they are Snow White. Nintendo will never becDisney, except in the potential acquisition in the future.

Posted:7 months ago

#10

Nick Wofford Hobbyist

180 190 1.1
Nintendo really needs to monetize their back catalog in a much better way than now. NES games aren't worth a dime, but the emulator to run them would be perfect. Just look on the Play Store at how many emulators are being downloaded regularly. It's a ton of them, because people want older games they can't play anymore.

And the idea that Nintendo has some kind of unique magic died with the Wii. For example, I was one of those guys who needed Nintendo in my life. I couldn't fathom what would happen if I didn't own one. Then I skipped the Wii because owning a console for 5 games wasn't really worth it to me. And did the world end? Nope, it kept on spinning. Nintendo was a drug that finally gave everybody a bad trip (Wii) and it was bad enough that a lot of people have quit the stuff. Branding the Wii U as another Wii only confirmed that. Their next system needs to stay far away from that travesty of marketing.

Posted:7 months ago

#11

Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing

407 247 0.6
The marketing is not the issue on the WiiU, it's that they didn't learn that the Wii did everything on a gimmick. That's why they went for another one. The problem is the product, the last-gen tech, and the Xbox Live circa 2006 online experience. It's systemic problems at Nintendo.

Sony had a lot of the same problems when it came to understanding the internet, of Japan-centric, "internet is a shopping mall" thinking. They finally got desperate enough to realize they knew nothing, and turn it over to those who did. Without a top-down purge, I don't think Nintendo is capable of that

Posted:7 months ago

#12

Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing

407 247 0.6
Wii Sports: 81 million
Wii play:28.8 (extra controllers were only available for the most part as a pack with this for close to a year)

I figure it's reasonable to say very conservatively another 20 million of the various other packins. So that's give or take 130 million games right there.

It's important because the other platforms move software, at full price, not made by their parent. 892 million units is likely the total number of discs pressed. If they had really moved 900 million pieces of software, retailers wouldn't have been shrinking the Nintendo aisle since 2009ish. Because if Nintendo isn't the name in the box, no one buys it, unless it's a very narrow range of Nintendoish titles like Just Dance. So the real question is: how many of those were sold through to consumers outside of a shovelware dump bin. My money is on that number being significantly lower. I've seen major Japanese media companies literally fudge their numbers right in front of me by 20-30% on empirically solid sales, ato look better in the media. Just like Sony is using "sold-in" so people will parse it as "sold-through" while it is hardly a unique practice to Jaoan, nintendo is a very traditional Japanese company, and the need to save face is high on their list of priorities. So when all signs on the ground point the other way, I don't tend to believe them without massive independent corroboration . The mere fact that they're counting 130 million freebies toward that total should be making you go "hmm". The closest equivalent is Kinect Adventures at 30 million, and that shouldn't be counted into. Microsoft's total either.



And you missed my point about Nintendo's corporate philosophy. When they go to design a console, that is their primary audience. The WiiU is a perfect example. From the wanting it quiet so "mom won't mind it in the living room" to the second screen thing, which is directly aimed at the often single-TV Japanese household. The fact that they have 20-30 million people worldwide who will buy their systems...eventually anyway is pretty much a given

Posted:7 months ago

#13

Jim Burns Research Asisstant

49 85 1.7
Popular Comment
Bottom line is Nintendo has no reason to go third party. In 2013 they sold the most systems globally. Not like they are in any real danger.

Posted:7 months ago

#14

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 941 0.7
Why would they need new hardware, why do they need to go 3rd party? All they have to do is release good games. And their upcoming line-up look very impressive. I wouldnt count them out just yet.

Posted:7 months ago

#15

John Arnold Partner, Socialblade

28 44 1.6
Show anyone on the fence Wii U is worth owning. No, that won't turn Nintendo into a market leader again. It won't even make Wii U particularly successful.
People should understand that all is never impossible. When the NES was launched, the games industry in the US was all but lost; Nintendo brought gamers back by advertising their system as a toy.

The Wii U shouldn't be abandoned, the console itself needs to be rebranded. Ideas don't become hugely successful like the DS because they follow what the industry is doing, they become successful because they are ideas so vast and experimental that no one has ever thought of them before.

I can see huge pathes and diversions which nearly all companies have either not thought of or chosen to ignore. Understanding the current mainstream better will help Nintendo, but following it won't help their type of company that they build or any company that's serious about being successful.

People focus too heavily on what isn't there anymore when there are so many doors which are still yet to be opened.

"Innovating" is for dullards. Imaginating builds minds. No one truly innovates, we all get ideas from somewhere but it's up to our imaginations to enhance those visions. The Wii U isn't just a games console with a tablet controller, it's a template for many pathways. We're only in the very inceptions of what the future holds.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by John Arnold on 6th May 2014 10:58pm

Posted:7 months ago

#16

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