The End of Nintendo Hardware?

As far as I'm concerned the N64 was their last memorable attempt at a console, anyway. If Nintendo folds as a hardware company its not going to be a major loss for the world of video games. The Gamecube had two or three decent games, and the Wii is either a glorified party game or a substitute for going to the gym, depending on whose house you find it in.

Can't speak for the DS because I've never even held one, but it's certainly not as commercially successful as the once-ubiquitous Game Boy.

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I see the article -rightly so- cited Sega as a has-been hardware console maker that turned 100% "soft". Yup, they sure did that, but they also kept selling arcade machines and even selling their games for the consoles of their once arch-nemesis, Nintendo, reaping all the benefits that this distribution channel has, namely very low nominal piracy rates. Not a bad move, at least for Sega.

But if Nintendo too chooses to forego the hardware industry themselves, instead focusing only on virtualization services or generic mobile platforms, they risk exposing themselves to just as much piracy exists on the PC, where not even "Steam Exclusive" games are safe from repackaging, let alone Android or iPhone apps.

They will also soon discover that most mobile platforms will put unprecedented -for a company that designed games for fixed hardware, at least- constraints on game development (e.g. not all smartphones have a minimum common set of hardware capabilities and guaranteed performance, except maybe Apple's iPhones), and thus be obliged to either tone down their titles tech-wise in order to make them playable on even the lowest end Android device, or resort to designing some sort of specialized mobile platform, perhaps in collab with e.g. Apple, which is very performance-alert and scrutinizes official apps.

TL; DR: Nintendo will lose the advantages of designing games for well-specified hardware and the anti-piracy perks that come with it, if they choose to go the "virtual" or "mobile" way. Let alone that the games Nintendo is best known for -Mario etc.- don't "translate" well to touchscreen controls, unless they resort to making only Angry Birds-type games, too.

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@DoomUK: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo_DS#System_sales_and_marketing That's almost 40 million units sold more than Gameboy.

That article is incredibly stupid. What does Miyamoto have to do with Nintendo's hardware business? That's such a brainfart from Bing like no other. Sure Miyamoto's name has a lot of marketing power behind it, but just like any other human being, he's not irreplaceable. Plus, he's a game producer/designer, not a hardware specialist.

Regarding mobile market, again, bullshit. You can't make core games on mobile phones and tablets because of the interface. Or would you like to see Nintendo making Mario and Zelda for iPhone? Fuck that shit. Besides, 3DS sales are growing steadily. Compared to the Vita Nintendo pretty much rules the market, and rightfully so. If you like handheld gaming, then the (3)DS is really nice for that.

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DoomUK said:

I'm going to go out on a limb and say a lot of people who bought a DS bought it for it's educational "games", though. Nintendo seem to be aiming for as wide a demographic as possible with their recent consoles.

Sure, but is that anything new either?

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Nintendo just needs to put a phone in their next handheld and they'd kill gaming on normal smartphones in one fell swoop if they market it right. (I do not trust Nintendo to market it right, though.)

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Dragonsbrethren said:

Nintendo just needs to put a phone in their next handheld and they'd kill gaming on normal smartphones in one fell swoop if they market it right. (I do not trust Nintendo to market it right, though.)


Like Nokia did?

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What I feel would happen if Nintendo ever decides to make their games on Sony and Xbox, it would be like Sega for me - when they started to make their games on PS3/XBox, the Sonic games they were producing I couldn't enjoy as much as when I played their games on the Sega Genesis, as they produced better there. May be a strange thought, but felt like I should let it out.

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Software only business platform really worked for Sega

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Nevan said:

What I feel would happen if Nintendo ever decides to make their games on Sony and Xbox, it would be like Sega for me - when they started to make their games on PS3/XBox, the Sonic games they were producing I couldn't enjoy as much as when I played their games on the Sega Genesis, as they produced better there. May be a strange thought, but felt like I should let it out.

The Dreamcast Sonic games were mediocre at best. It has nothing to do with the platform; the series just did not transition into full 3D well and it took them an embarrassingly long time to just go back to the roots and do mostly 2D movement again.

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Sonic Xtreme could've been pretty cool. From the gameplay footage I've seen, it's a bit more like fast paced 2.5D Mario, but it looked like it might've been more fun to play than Sonic Adventure.

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Sodaholic said:

Sonic Xtreme could've been pretty cool. From the gameplay footage I've seen, it's a bit more like fast paced 2.5D Mario, but it looked like it might've been more fun to play than Sonic Adventure.

Sega has already achieved the goal of delivering a fast-paced 2.5D platformer on the DS with the introduction of both Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure. So the fact that they ditched the Sonic Xtreme thing is not really something to grieve about. Rush turned out looking and playing and sounding way better than what they were advertising for Xtreme. The official soundtrack is soooo addictive!

Anyways, in terms of the hardware production... In general, people are more willing and lenient for buying new software rather than buying new hardware. So this is not really much of a critical problem here. Nintendo can just focus on expanding the selection of available games for their numerous already-existing consoles. There's tons of people willing to see their favourite consoles blossoming with new revitalized life. I don't see any problems, really.

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Clonehunter said:

Oh so that's what you look like. Okay.

Too much hair, not enough Greek.

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Dragonsbrethren said:

Think more iPhone with a D-pad and some buttons, less...that.

You mean like the Xperia Play?

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Technician said:

Too much hair, not enough Greek.

This is more like it. :P

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Former EA COO believes


I literally stopped reading as soon as I found out it was Bing Gordon. This dude is a Board member at Zynga. You know, that stupid Farmville game that is rapidly losing players. Zynga have been lying to investors and stockholders for quite some time now.

He runs a Venture capital firm called KPCB. You know, A hype machine. I haven't seen this man do actually anything, and that's saying something since he's been in the biz since '82. The only good thing he did was direct Audible, which released one of the first portable music players that could store audio (but in a proprietary "aa" format, which I don't think anything can read anymore).

But at least his company keeps Netscape on life support.

This isn't journalism, it's shit.

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Dragonsbrethren said:

Think more iPhone with a D-pad and some buttons, less...that.


I saw a Sony phone that was just this a few months ago. I haven't heard anything about it since, so I'm guessing it was a massive success (cough).

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If Nintendo ever stoped making hardware, it would be like a giant comet striking the Earth. It could happen...but if it did it might not be a good thing (especially the comet scenario).

If Nintendo made a smart phone successor to the 3DS that worked just as well as the 3DS, I'm f**king sold.

"Wait, my smart phone's a Nintendo portable!? HELL YEAH!!!"

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