What if Nintendo Stopped Selling Consoles?

The Game Source Podcast#146

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What if Nintendo Stopped Selling Consoles?

Gerald Glassford, NU Herald staff writer

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Nintendo not selling game consoles. On the surface it seems like something that would be considered by many to be outright blasphemy for even suggesting such a notion. An intimation that the most revered name in the industry, Nintendo, who has manufactured some of the most memorable devices in video game history ponder the possibility of a future without a current rendition of theirs on store shelves. But unfortunately with the outlook for the company in one aspect, and the potential in another make this type of thought process a possible reality if the current trend for the company continues.



         The rumored design of the Nintendo NX as reported on by Eurogamer

Just last week, Nintendo announced to investors a 24.5 billion yen loss (roughly 240 million US dollars) in the most recent fiscal 2016 quarter that ended this past June with the company reporting sharp declines in sales for their current handheld and home consoles the 3DS and WiiU.  Taking an analytical look at causes clearly point to steep challenges in the gaming retail marketplace and a growing consumer preference for playing games on their mobile devices. Given the WiiU’s lifetime sales of 13 million units sold pale in comparison of competing consoles the Playstation 4 and Xbox One which were released virtually a year later (estimated by vgchartz,com currently at 42 and 21 million respectively) Nintendo has already announced a successor named the NX which is tentatively scheduled for release in march of next year. Eurogamer has reported that the NX will usher in what looks to be a hybrid concept combining elements of portability and home console gaming. While this is Nintendo once again admirably trying to look outside the box in order to gain a larger consumer base what should happen if this upcoming console meets the same demise as the once touted Nintendo WiiU?


                            The upcoming NES Mini from Nintendo


First off, if that should happen their prospects are far from over even if a once vaunted console business goes completely down the drain because as a video game publisher they could rival the success of many other third party companies such as Activision, 2K games or Electronic Arts. As we have come to see recently with the fanaticism of the mobile game Pokemon Go, the up to eight hour wait to play a short demo of the upcoming Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild at this past E32016 conference and the nostalgic fervor over the company’s announcement of the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) mini that there is still plenty of mileage left in Nintendo’s products even if they have to market it in a different fashion from the past.

Unlike Sega, who has failed to retain a strong retail presence as a publisher upon the conclusion of the last home console, the Dreamcast in 2001, the house that Mario built has plenty of options when it comes to generating income for its vast number of fan favorite licenses. Just imagine what the future might hold if the next Super Smash Bros. iteration were released on PC, Xbox One and the PS4 or Mario Kart 9 were to be released specifically for your Android or iOS device. Consider as well the possibility the library of titles the company has released over the years be made available for download to a consumer base with just a touch of a button and now the picture becomes a bit more clear.

While it is hoped that the NX will reach all sales aspirations and then some when it comes to store shelves and sees a substantial turnaround in the future that is sooner rather than later at least the long term prospects for this gaming giant thriving again one day is still very much a solid bet. While many would be sad at the realization of a future with no current Nintendo system they most likely would not have to look far to still get their Mario, Pokemon or Zelda fix. If their days as a console manufacturer have to come to an end someday, for Nintendo it would definitely not be “Game Over”.