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Can Nintendo stop the bleeding?

by on February 3, 2014
 

Japan Nintendo

Boy Nintendo just can’t seem to get a break these days, as the company has become the whipping boy for this generation of consoles due to the horrendous performance of the Wii U.

Nintendo’s recent financial report saw the company’s earnings fall 8.1 percent over the previous year, which was also 2.4 percent lower than the year before, according to Games Industry International.

The Wii U sold only 2.41 million consoles over the past nine months and has only sold 5.86 million units since it’s launch in 2012.  Investors have been up in arms with the company’s performance and Satoru Iwata also recently announced that he was taking a 50 percent pay cut over the next five months to help out.

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To make matters worse, Nintendo is trying to buy out some of its shares to again, help investors, and today it was revealed that the family of Hiroshi Yamauchi, the late former CEO of Nintendo, is also looking to sell off some if not all, of its shares.

Oh and by the way, Warner Bros. announced today that they will not release any DLC for Batman: Arkaham Origins “based on demand for DLC content on the system.”

The bottom line is that the Nintendo Wii U is tanking hard, which is a huge 180 from where the Wii was in the previous generation of consoles.  That’s not to say there aren’t any good games on the Wii U, as Super Mario 3D World, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, ZombiU, Splinter Cell Blacklist and Assassin’s Creed IV, were all enjoyable.  But third party publishers don’t seem in any hurry to pump out games for the Wii U, as the new Aliens game is skipping the console, as is stuff like Destiny, The Division and the Tomb Raider reboot, to name a few.

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They say software drives hardware sales and software is sorely lacking on the Wii U.  Sure we have a new Smash Bros. to look forward to this year and a new Zelda is in the works, along with a handful of other first-party titles, but the system can’t survive on Nintendo games alone.  It’s sadly a catch-22 as well, as publishers don’t want to get games out for the system due to its low install base, and the install base isn’t growing much due to a lack of third party software, so where does it all end?  Nintendo has a history of showing it can turn things around and it just started its second year for the Wii U, but things need to change and they need to change fast, as the company’s fortunes are on a avalanche of destruction.  The Nintendo 3DS meanwhile, continues to do well, but it may be time to rethink it’s console strategy as playing catch-up isn’t working anymore, despite a cool controller.

Does this mean they should just reboot now and start working on getting a next-gen console out as quickly as possible? Not necessarily but if they can’t turn the tides with the Wii U sometime this year, that could be the only other recourse.

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What say you readers? If you were appointed CEO of Nintendo for 2014, what would you do first?

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