In the past Nintendo have always been pretty successful with its product range, with the company being innovative with new ideas. But with the recent 3DS price drop and the sliding stock price, are Nintendo starring into the abyss as a console maker?
Philip Boosey of Recon-Entertainment is comparing the current situation Nintendo finds itself in to that of Sega back in the 90s. In 1995 Sega launched the Sega Saturn following the success of the Sega Genesis, but unfortunately it bombed with many looking at it as a failure. They followed this up with the release of the Sega Dreamcast which also flopped despite being liked by some hardcore Sega fans.
This lead Sega to drop its home consoles and concentrate on game developing after losing lots of money trying to compete with Nintendo and Sony. The current situation can be compared by looking at the 3DS and the Sega Saturn. Even though the Nintendo 3DS has only been available a relatively short time, mobile gaming is changing. More consumers are looking to their smartphones and tablet PCs for playing games away from home.
Things don’t get much better when you look at the recently announced Wii U either. The original console took the gaming world by storm when it was first showcased, but this can’t be said about its replacement. When it arrives it won’t be that much more powerful if at all than the current consoles from Sony and Nintendo. Their next generation of consoles could be announced as early as next year, so the Wii U is likely to be under two years old when they hit the market.
If that’s the case it will also be similar to what happened to the Dreamcast, which soon disappeared without a trace. One good thing Nintendo has if both of their new consoles do flop is that it has plenty of franchises that gamers still want to play. These gamers will buy any Nintendo console to play the latest Mario or Zelda installment.
The GameCube and the original Wii were mainly supported by Nintendo games, and the 3DS looks to be heading this way as well. Sega had a similar situation that eventually saw them only developing games for other companies’ consoles. Hopefully this won’t be the case and after the price drop of the 3DS and some better games sales of the device will take off.
Do you think that Nintendo will eventually follow Sega and just develop games for other consoles?