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Have next-gen sales spelt doom for Nintendo?




As the sales figures for the PS4 and Xbox One have become apparent, with both selling above 1 million units on their first release days, there have been the inevitable cries from all corners of the internet proclaiming Nintendo to be doomed and facing ruination. I hope this is not the case, and there are several reasons why I don’t think that it will be. Yes the initial sales projections for the WiiU are disappointingly low, but the total projected sales is still higher than those accumulated by the GameCube. Now this console was also seen to be a failure, a flop, but the roster of games that it had was excellent and offered some quality gaming. The N64 before it too was outsold by the Playstation and was considered to be a bit of a commercial failure. People bemoaned the Wii before its release, claiming limited commercial viability, and yet to this day it has sold over 100 million units. Now, it looks unlikely that the WiiU will reach anywhere near these heights, but the overall point is that despite industry perceptions and predictions, Nintendo have always managed to keep a hand in the game.


Not too long ago people were writing Nintendo off because it came to light that they were making a loss on each WiiU sold. Now it has come to light that the XboxOne is also sold at a loss and that the financial aspect to Microsoft’s gaming side of the company is not as rosy as everyone expected. Lucky for them they have such a strong income from Android technology to shore them up. Selling hardware at a loss is a tactic that has long been used in the console industry, relying on software sales etc so make money back. Fortunately, Nintendo are no slouches in the software department.


The next gen sales figures will not worry Nintendo overly much (in public at least anyway) as they claim not to be in competition with their counterparts as they offer a different and complimentary gaming experience. Happily Nintendo also has revenue coming in from other avenues. The 3DS, after a slow start, has been selling consistently well, and will continue to do so on the run-up to christmas. Several big name game releases, such as Pokemon X and Y and Zelda: A Link Between Worlds have increasingly helped to generate interest in the hand-held console, adding even more weight to an already impressive games line-up, with more big name titles on the way. Nintendo are not a spent force yet in creative terms and hopefully the 3DS’s success will help to mitigate any losses incurred by the WiiU. In addition to this, there are signs that Nintendo are starting to think about moving into the phone and tablet gaming industry, allowing some of their titles to appear on these formats. Given the potential number of customers that can be reached in this way this will hopefully help to improve their profit turnovers.


Of course, I could be wrong. My knowledge of the business world is pretty shaky at best. I am however, familiar with Nintendo’s games and its fans, and I have faith in both. Let me know what you think!


2 responses to “Have next-gen sales spelt doom for Nintendo?

  1. This is quite an interesting topic. Personally, I don’t see the major draw of the Wii U’s tablet. There are a few scenarios where it might be useful, but it seems counter-intuitive to me, having to look away from the main screen. Of course, I haven’t tried it out, so maybe it is better than it sounds.

    I am sure that once new Mario and Zelda games are created, that the sales will pick up. I think that the only thing that will keep the Wii U in the running is their exclusive software, since the hardware doesn’t seem to be on par with the XBox One and PS4.

    With that being said, would it be better for Nintendo to stop making hardware and focus solely on software? I doubt that will happen, but it seems to me that it could be more profitable.

  2. Azazel ⋅

    That’s something that’s been said a lot over the past couple of generations by various nerds on the interwebs (like myself!) and I still believe it as much as I did in the past. Imagine a Nintendo no longer shackled to their own sub-par gimmicky hardware and instead concentrating fully on what they do best – making games. (ok, the Wii has it’s place as a Wii Sports machine, but it’s also limited as all hell for “real” games.)

    It hasn’t worked out all that well for Sega, because, well, Sonic isn’t that good, and they’ve gotten lazy and been overtaken by others in their key genres (especially Namco).

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