Nintendo’s ‘New’ Direction
When it comes to this ‘new’ generation of video game consoles, it is clear that the Playstation 4 is the clear leader in this front. While the Xbox One is certainly far from being a failure, the Wii U clearly has some serious issues. Various rumors have popped up where anonymous sources claimed the cancellation of certain games for the Wii U (such as Watch_Dogs from Ubisoft) which have recently been debunked. Still, some large multi-platform games have missed the Wii U window (Battlefield 4, Minecraft, Dragon Age Inquisition, NBA 2k14, Destiny).
Recently, Nintendo CEO, Satoru Iwata, made a presentation explaining the company’s future direction. Within that presentation, Iwata made it clear that they were NOT abandoning the Wii U…yet. According to Iwata, the reason for the lack of success on the Wii U centers around not informing the public on the difference between the Wii and the Wii U. Many of the users of the Wii generation felt that the Gamepad was simply an accessory to that could be bought seperate for the Wii. From their perspective, there was little reason to upgrade. As a result, he promised a greater focus on games that utilize the features of the Wii U’s gamepad device such as Near Field Communication, Quick Start TV menu, remote play, and Virtual Console DS gameplay.
Later on in the presentation, there was mention of a future direction of the company. Instead of delving into smart phone app development and wearable tech, Iwata promised a leap into ‘a new blue ocean’. This new ‘platform’ to be released in 2015 (which many take to mean a new console) would be focused on bettering the Quality of Life of the user by focusing themes like education, lifestyle, health, and whatever else the minds at Nintendo can drum up.
While we all mull over whether or not these details are true or not, don’t feel sorry for Nintendo. They are still rolling in the profits from the huge successes that were the Wii and the Nintendo DS. Also, the Nintendo 3DS is finally hitting its stride with better games and a large backwards compatible game library for the DS. One gamer’s blog from Gamasutra actually had some decent ideas on what Nintendo should do to bring the market back to them in a big way on the console scene. He also presented an interesting explanation for how Nintendo seemed to lose touch with the gaming market and not evolve with all of the various types of gamers that have emerged over the years.
One particular idea of note was to have a mobile/kids themed division of Nintendo and a separate adult themed Nintendo. Complete with catchy names for each division, the blogger explained that his new focus for the company could re-energize the hardcore gamers’ interest in the company and further expand the kid/family focus of the company. Unfortunately, it was clear from the presentation that Nintendo has no desire to enter the smartphone/tablet gaming application market. Instead, they will continue expanding their dominance over the gaming focused mobile console market.
Stay tuned as this year will most assuredly have quite a bit of news concerning all of the new consoles and their capabilities! In the meantime, be sure to check out our geek podcast, Geekswagg, where we debate and comment on all things gaming and geek related!