4.27.2016

Dark Times for Nintendo

Nintendo struck out last game and needs a home run to make up for the Wii U's failure


This is a tough time for Nintendo. They have announced that they intend to sell their majority stake in the Seattle Mariners baseball team, keeping only a 10% stake. Additionally, Nintendo profits are down 61%. In an effort to reassure investors, Nintendo has given a release date of March 2017 for their still unnamed NX project.

The NX will be very different from the Wii and Wii U, as Nintendo aims to distance themselves from the recent commercial failures of the Wii U. The NX is expected to be a console/handheld hybrid, and will likely use industry-leading chips (likely to be AMD). At this point, no information about controller design is available. Many will recall that controller design was a contributing factor in the Wii U’s failure.

"Nintendo aims to distance themselves from the recent commercial failures of the Wii U. "

Nintendo has also delayed the upcoming Wii U Zelda game, and will also release it on the upcoming NX console. The delay aims to “improve the quality” of the game, although I can only see challenges being added to development. The likely different chipsets might cause a difference in performance, and depending on how far Zelda Wii U is in development, might result in the NX version being a mere port of the Wii U version (although Nintendo did remarkably well with Twilight Princess) Additionally, Zelda games are known for their ingenuity in using a console’s unique controls, and this may force the development team to alter or remove some features or items from one or both games.

Adding fuel to the fire, Nintendo CEO Tatsumi Kimishima stated that production of the Wii U might cease by March of 2018. A new console might be what Nintendo needs, but as mentioned in our podcast, this will likely kill the Wii U entirely.