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What Is Nintendo’s Plan For The Future?

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The coming year is going to be a big one for the video game industry, especially for consoles. Microsoft just released their Xbox One S, with Project Scorpio coming out in 2017. Sony just announced the PS4 Slim, to be released September 15, and the PS4 Pro out in November. But the biggest and craziest release could be Nintendo’s NX in March. People everywhere are starving for details about this mobile/home console hybrid, with plenty of people skeptical about how it will perform.

Nintendo’s future is very murky right now. With limited information about the NX, but coupled with the success of Pokemon Go, the next few years for Nintendo have massive potential for success or failure. Here’s some points to consider about what could happen to Nintendo.

Saving A Struggling Business

Nintendo is behind in the video game industry. The Wii U under performed in sales and isn’t viewed very favorably by game developers and gamers alike. If it continues on its current path, Nintendo will fall apart and go the way of Sega.

It’s clear they have finally noticed that they are in trouble by recent changes to the business. They are focusing on the skills needed to save their company. From what we know, the NX is definitely a creative product (creativity has never been a problem for Nintendo) but it needs to be balanced with good leadership and sound data.  Nintendo’s new CEO Tatsumi Kimishima is definitely a voice of reason Nintendo has been needing for a long time. Hopefully, they will take the data they’ve gotten from the Wii U and where the industry is going, and get ahead of it.

Target Market For the NX

A recent report from MCV from “inside sources” at Nintendo has revealed a bit more about the NX, especially who their target market is. Nintendo wants to draw in mobile gamers to the NX instead of stealing users from the other consoles. This isn’t terribly surprising with the multiple statements they’ve made over the years, basically saying they aren’t competing with Sony and Microsoft and want no part in the console wars.

It’s an interesting approach and the target market is one that big video game companies have been drooling over for years now. Many have tried, with varying success, but none of the major companies have figured out the secret to capitalizing on mobile games.  

Nintendo is finally taking their stab at it with mobile games like Miitomo and Pokemon Go, with more coming out soon. But, is basing the NX on this market a smart choice? Especially as they have barely scratched the mobile market itself.

Mobile Games and Nintendo

People are starving for mobile games from Nintendo. It feels like a match made in heaven. Mobile gamers are typically more casual players, which is perfect for many of Nintendo’s games. Many casual gamers would really enjoy the more relaxed Nintendo games, but aren’t interested enough to purchase a console.

Nintendo’s recent forays into the mobile market proves it’s the right path for them. Miitomo, which can hardly be considered a game, was very popular and profitable for a short amount of time, and the overwhelming success of Pokemon Go proves it’s a business model that can work for them. The announcement of Super Mario Run for smartphones has been met with huge waves of support from fans. With more games planned for the future, Nintendo could find themselves creating a good niche of games just for smartphones.

Additionally, Nintendo has a massive library of games that can be moved to the mobile space. Some with basic control schemes, like Super Mario, can be translated to a touch screen. Turn based games like Pokemon or Super Mario RPG can be directly ported over and sold for a few dollars. Some people even illegally emulate these games on their smartphones with zero official tech support from Nintendo. It’s possible and could be an easy money maker for Nintendo.

What Will The Next Few Years Look Like?

Historically, Nintendo has split their gaming focuses on two platforms, the home console and the portable gaming markets. The NX is believed to combined the two into one, but Nintendo is not abandoning their two platform model. They are simply transitioning to targeting the console/portable and smartphone markets.

Their end goal, it seems, is to combine their two markets and dominate the “casual” gamer market, but the question is, will it work? Is their approach the right approach?

From the games that are currently announced for the NX, we have The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Just Dance 2017, and two Dragon Quest games. There are also rumors milling about that Nintendo will re-release the Wii U’s biggest hits; Super Smash Bros, Splatoon, and Super Mario Maker. Now, if all of this comes true, none of these games (excluding Just Dance) feels like games meant for casual gamers. If anything, it’s meant for intense Nintendo fans. So far, there is little evidence to support that their plan to bring in mobile gamers to the console market.

What do you think? Is the Nintendo NX going to be a failure comparable to the Wii U? Are they shooting themselves in the foot before they even start or could this plan work? Let us know in the comments below.

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Ben Allen

Ben Allen

Champion of Hyrule, defender of space, bane of demons, savior of light, and occasional pizza eater.