Crying Wolf: Nintendo Edition

by on May 20th, 2013 at 8:31 am


If you listen to the media, blogs, and the public in general you’d be forgiven for thinking Nintendo is in dire financial straits, about to give up being a hardware publisher, and move into the less than stellar space that Sega occupies. And if you were to listen to all those groups I listed above, you would be just as wrong about Nintendo.

Look, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that Nintendo is handling the WiiU particularly well. They still haven’t overcome the fact that many (most?) people either don’t know about the WiiU or think it is just an expansion of sorts for the original Wii. Obviously the WiiU was just a bad naming decision, even something as non-Nintendian as the Wii2 would have been better. People understand sequels, you know. And yes, the marketing has been all around pretty bad. Pushing the wrong games, giving confusing messaging, or just not even being there at all. Absolutely it’s a bad sign that developers are refusing to or aren’t planning on developing for the WiiU. A complete dearth of sports games from the sports games monopoly that is EA is not a good sign, I will freely admit. The WiiU is not positioned well against the PS4 and whatever it is Microsoft is going to announce soon.


Remember the launch of the 3DS? It’s now sold 31 million units. Remember how awful the DS launch was, so bad that I literally had nothing to play but Sprung? Across all versions it’s sold 140 million units. What about the Wii, 100 million, or the Gamecube, 21 million, or the N64 at 33 million? All of those consoles had slow launches, rough launches, and it certainly seems that the WiiU is on pace to be the weakest of them. I’m not denying that. But how is anyone surprised that the WiiU isn’t doing well? How is anyone surprised that the third party developers aren’t developing for it? Do we all just ignore what Nintendo has been doing for the past decades in when we make these bizarre predictions of the imminent death of Nintendo as we know it?

Nintendo is fine. They will continue to do fine.


They’re probably never going to reach the heights that they did during the Wii’s unquestioned reign as king of the console, despite eventually being outsold by the 360, but Nintendo isn’t mere inches away from becoming nothing but a developer. You aren’t about to see Mario on an Xbox and Metroid on a PlayStation. There’s not going to be a Super-Smash-All Stars anytime soon.

Is it possible Nintendo will fall out of the console market? Absolutely. Just like Sony and Microsoft could fall out of their respective niches in the console market. And I could be completely wrong here, and wake up tomorrow morning with a Nintendo that promises to make good games and leave the business of console making to others.

Still, I have all this historical evidence that tells me otherwise. I have the proof of a very solid holiday season for the 3DS coming around the corner. I have the hopes that the WiiU’s lineup will get better as fall rolls around.

Stop calling for the imminent demise of Nintendo. They’re probably going to outlive all of us.