Things aren’t looking so good for Nintendo at the moment. They’re expecting a net loss of 25 billion yen for the year, which converts into $240 million US dollars, due to poor Wii U sales. Even though it’s been out for a year longer than its competitors, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the Wii U has only just sold five million units. In the meantime, Sony’s announced that the PS4 – which, I should remind you, was released half a year ago – has already sold more than seven million units.
Don’t worry; Nintendo’s not going to collapse on itself. With the success of the Wii and the 3DS from the past few years, the company can stand a major hit like this for now. But unless they do something soon, they’re going to be left in the dust by Sony and Microsoft showing off their newer, shinier toys. With E3 around the corner, there are a few ways Nintendo can grab everyone’s attention from Sony and Microsoft.
- Price drop on both 3DS XL & Wii U
While the Wii U is still the cheapest out of the three systems at $300, slashing the price by fifty bucks or even a hundred would make the Wii U about half as much as what Microsoft and Sony are offering. Right now the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One go for $400 and $500 respectively. A price drop on the 3DS XL would also draw attention back to the handheld console as well as give it an edge over the PlayStation Vita. Currently, they’re both retailing for the same price at $200.
- Better online network
There’s no arguing about it, the online structure for the Wii U and 3DS is still a bit clunky. Sure we have Nintendo Network IDs now, and that was a big improvement, but it’s still lacking in user interface, compared to the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live.
- Achievement system
Okay, I’m going to be honest: I personally don’t care for Achievements and Trophies. But you can bet that I’m going to try to get everything, even if it ends in me gnawing my own hands off in frustration. Nintendo hasn’t jumped onto the achievement system bandwagon with the 3DS and Wii U, although that doesn’t stop some games from coming with their own in-game badges and rewards. I’m not sure why Nintendo’s been dragging their feet on this issue; even I’ve given up and accepted that achievements are the future.
- New IP
Facts of life: the sky is blue, water is wet, and there will always be a new Pokemon game. Oh, and let’s not forget to add a new Mario, Zelda, or Metroid title to that list. You can’t deny that you’re more likely to hear about a sequel or another spinoff of an established franchise. A lot of companies seem to be playing it safe by sticking to tried-and-true formulas, and with the expected net loss, Nintendo might be reluctant to try exploring new IPs. But taking the risk and going for something new, unique, and fun is how we’ve gotten such crazy classics as Pikmin or Katamari Damacy.
- Announce a new game for an existing IP4
But to go ahead and completely contradict my last point, you have to admit: announcing a new Zelda or Mario game would get people excited. Nintendo has a vast library of franchises that are beloved classics and are pretty much guaranteed to drum up excitement and hype. But what I really hope is that Nintendo explores some different genres for established characters, instead of staying with the same old formula. We all need something different – I don’t know how many hours I’ve spent on games like Pokemon Snap and Super Mario RPG, just because they quite weren’t like anything else.
What do you think? Would any of these make you excited? What would you like to see from Nintendo at this year’s E3?