Some Thoughts On Nintendo's Position Right Now

Discussion in 'Console Games' started by GFLPraxis, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Hey guys, been a while :eek:

    So I wrote up a little blog post here:

    But to summarize;

    Nintendo started out going after the casual market. The mom and pop. "Blue Ocean" strategy and all of that. And they did great.

    They got a system in people's hands and started selling casual-oriented games at relatively lower prices. Games like Brain Age. Wii Music. And they got hooked on it. But those relatively lower prices are still high (Brain Age, the lowest of the bunch, being $19). Nintendo's partners dove on the bandwagon. Ubisoft, EA, etc. The DS got shovelware galore, because Nintendo was bringing in a non-quality-oriented userbase in the casual market.

    What happened? The App Store.

    The App Store suddenly drops consumer expectations of casual games down the gutter.

    Diner Dash? $19.99 on the Nintendo DS. $2.99 on the App Store. Same crappy game either way.

    A game like Angry Birds would have been $19.99 on the DS or more. Now the customer perception is a couple dollars- maybe even free with ads.

    The App Store devalued casual gaming (IMO- fantastic). And there is nothing on it that is a deep, lengthy gaming experience; even the best games for it (IMO, Infinity Blade) are rather repetitive or short. Why? The audience isn't looking for that experience and is less likely to pay for it. They want $10 and under.

    Traditional gamers will pay for that experience. But Apple hurt the profitability of casual (without killing it- app store sales make a fortune).

    Now we have Satoru Iwata at the recent GDC preaching "preserving the value" of quality gaming, and rumors that the Project Cafe is hardcore-oriented. I'm hoping its true; I don't think Nintendo wants to compete with Apple on price, and I'd like to see them back to their strong suit- back to making good games. Not to say that they'd drop the casual gamer, but regain focus on the market that will pay.
  2. Liquorpuki macrumors 68020


    Jun 18, 2009
    City of Angels
    I agree 100%. I always thought iOS gaming made mobile gaming regress.

    I think it says a lot when one of the App Stores biggest game developers, Gameloft, doesn't do anything except rip off other developers' IP. They just ripped off World of Warcraft and are now in the process of ripping off Zelda. And these are the guys who get invited to go on stage and present during Apple keynotes.

    Infinity Blade was like a never ending tech demo. Angry Birds runs like a flash game, which makes sense since it ripped off a flash game called Crush the Castle. Now we got a hundred clones ripping off Angry Birds - basically devs trying to make millions by ripping off a game that made millions by ripping off another game. We've got 20 year old 8-bit Nintendo games taking the top spot on the rankings. Below that are clones of 20 year old 8-bit Nintendo games. We also got a million games with the word Doodle or Rush in them, because apparently if a dev puts one of those words in the name of his game, people will buy it on general principle. Then we got console games ported to iOS, except with controls reduced to a virtual D pad and 2 buttons (because that's all you can fit on an iPhone before you block the whole screen).

    And this is supposed to be the future of mobile gaming.
  3. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    Nintendo's problem has always been 3rd party developers and games. This time around, they also openly admit that they wish they had priced the wii higher to start with.
  4. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    I agree, but I think Nintendo is far from in trouble yet. Pokemon and Zelda alone will keep their console afloat, not to mention that the 3DS has been a big hit.
  5. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    Actually, the 3DS has been selling below expectations.
  6. Dagless Suspended


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    That does make sense.

    I'm getting a vibe that Nintendo are heading back that way. The 3DS seems to be a little more "hardcore" (how I hate that term) than the DS, or rather at it's birth. It's interesting that they've decided to head down the 3D Mario game round for Super Mario 3DS and not the New Mario route.

    Wishful thinking maybe. But I'd love a proper Zelda handheld game. The GB had Links Awakening and the Oracle games, the GBA had A Link to the Past and Minish Cap. DS had 2 really foul Zelda titles nowhere near the quality of it's older brethren. But Ocarina of Time is being wheeled out for the 3DS. That gives me hope.

    If this reflects upon the next Nintendo console then I'll be mighty impressed.

    There's also the rumour that Rockstar have been working with Ninty.
  7. JackAxe macrumors 68000


    Jul 6, 2004
    In a cup of orange juice.
    @ chrmjenkins,

    The 3DS sold 3.6 million, they were expecting 4 million like the original DS. But I'm not sure why, not when they've priced the 3DS at $249 and the DS was $149 at launch.


    Another thing to factor in GFLPraxis, are Facebook social games
  8. jaw04005, Apr 30, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2011

    jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    The 3DS currently has a lackluster lineup. The DS launched with Super Mario DS. The 3DS has Pilotwings and Street Fighter. Big difference. And as pointed out above, it costs $100 more!

    Also, the 3DS eShop should be a big boom for them. That's the main reason I purchased the 3DS so I could venture back to playing Super Mario Land, Bomberman and Mega Man 3 retro Gameboy-style on the 3DS Virtual Console.

    Nintendo will continue to be successfully just by leveraging their IP. They have the most well known IP of any game manufacturer (Mario, Zelda, Mario Kart, Pokemon, Donkey Kong, Super Smash Bros, Kirby, Metroid, Brain Age, Star Fox, Animal Crossing, etc).
  9. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    The only point I'd take slight issue with is that 'the iOS audience isn't looking for that experience'. I think there are a lot of us looking for iOS games with more depth, but they aren't there.

    The problem, IMO, is that it costs more money to make a longer game, with more depth, and more storyline. That either means it needs to sell like Angry Birds (not guaranteed) or they need to increase the price dramatically. And - even if the game is still great value in comparison with PC/console games - it's still going to appear too expensive in a 79c game market.

    Nintendo could end up being squeezed with Apple dominating the (very) casual mobile market, Sony and Microsoft dominating 'hardcore' console gaming; and all 3 encroaching into motion control games/'apps' at the same time. Their next move will be a very important one.
  10. Dagless Suspended


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    They most certainly are there. There are games like The Deep, Monkey Island, GOF2, 100 Rogues, Mortal Kombat 3+SF4, FF1+FF2, Zenonia 1+2, Crimson Gem Saga, Trundle, Doom, Sonic 1+2, PvZ, Sim City, Civ Rev, etc. (just a selection of the larger iOS games I own)
    Most DS and PSP games are of similar depth and nostalgia as them. Infact CGS is a port of a PSP game.

    The problem are those controls. It's just not as good as using a proper gaming device.
  11. GFLPraxis, Jun 1, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2011

    GFLPraxis thread starter macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Admittedly, I have not played these ones above, but...

    Both terrible games with no inkling of fighting game conventions that tries to put on a show of looking like quality franchises on the surface to get purchases but are noncompetitive. As someone who has played in Smash Bros and MvC tournaments, these aren't worth mentioning. They're entirely built for the casual masher who can throw out some special moves but doesn't understand the concepts of controlling space and Yomi situations that most fighting games are designed around, and the controls are terrible on top of that to the point of uselessness, removing most technicality from the game.

    All of these are ports, and all of them worse than their host systems excepting turn-based ones.

    PopCap shovelware that could be a flash game.

    Watered down game inferior to all prior entries.

    Barring a few of the ports, I'd strongly disagree that any of these are comparable to any of the top DS titles. The average DS game, perhaps, but these are the top of the line iOS games. They don't compare to any of the flagship Mario, Zelda, or Pokemon games.

    A few genres work- games like CGS are excellent. But, again, it's a port- nobody's willing to put the money in to develop a game like that for iOS first, because while some of the audience want it, the demand and profitability for casual's a lot higher.
  12. neko girl macrumors 6502a

    neko girl

    Jan 20, 2011
    The number of people who want casual games outnumber the number of people who don't.

    The total amount of money these casual gamers want to dish out is growing to be a significant amount, even if the per game amount isn't as much.

    It's simple math. Did we lose you somewhere?

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