It’s a well known fact that Nintendo is hemorrhaging money left, right and center. Can they survive? Or will they suffer the same fate as their old foes SEGA?
We all knew the situation was bad for Nintendo, the public have not fell in love with the Wii U in the same way the Wii was received. Latest figures show they are expecting a net loss of £205 million for the year ending on March 31 2014 and sales are not climbing. The 3DS has been somewhat successful, easily outdoing the Vita but sales of the Wii U have been a 3rd of what was expected at this time. Nintendo expected sales of 9 million for the 2013/14 business year for the Wii U and now those figures have been slashed to 2.8 million.
Possible upcoming marketing strategies
Nintendo will try to leverage their losses by bringing Mario to a wider audience, namely mobile gaming. For the first time in history we could see Nintendos best loved character playing on a device without the Nintendo logo. Whilst it may prolong longevity for the company it is a worrying sign that they’re on a road to becoming a 3rd party developer, something which their fans (all 3 of them) will not be too pleased about.
I don’t think this is something they are going to push immediately, Mario Kart 8 is imminent and has been a console seller for generations. The promotion and advertisement of Mario Kart will decide the fate of the Wii U, it’s a much loved game which holds little risk for the gamer. If that fails we could see the last of Nintendo in this console race. However, if sales are good then this could spark a revival and see them back in the game.
The Nintendo Wii U also needs to be priced more accordingly, it’s obvious that its retail price is not attracting gamers to take a chance on the console. We’ve already had reports that Nintendo is going to slash prices in a last ditch attempt to win back some of the gaming popularity. It would be a good idea to drop the price to coincide with the Mario Kart launch, creating a console bundle at a low price will undoubtedly see a hike in sales.
The last option they have would be to forget about the Wii U and focus on bringing out a new console, as early as 2016. We must remember how the Gamecube sold very few units but they survived those troubled times and moved on to the Wii which was a huge success. A new console would be risky and could be game over for Nintendo but it’s a risk worth taking if all else fails. They have little to lose and accepting a loss and moving on seems like a viable option now.
Will Nintendo survive?
They’ve certainly seen off troubled times in the past but gaming has changed. The genre of games that Nintendo offer are no longer fashionable to the modern day gamer. The rise of mobile gaming means that fewer will be investing in a handheld console as Android and iOS offer a similar experience without forking out more money. The Wii U has lost nearly all 3rd party support and Nintendo may be best just creating games and not providing the hardware to play them on. I wouldn’t say they were doomed, people will always have love for Mario, Donkey Kong and Zelda but all evidence points to them joining SEGA in being a developer alone(albeit it more successful).
If I was in charge of Nintendo I think now would be a good time to throw the towel in. I love Nintendo but it really wouldn’t concern me seeing their titles go multiplatform. In fact as a business it could be the smartest move they ever make.