Nintendo Seeks to Avoid 'Game Over'

By Matt Paulson May 12, 2014

Nintendo has seen better days, as sales of the Wii U continue to perform poorly and generate far less revenue than hoped. Unfortunately, the Nintendo consoles fit into an awkward in-between zone where they are not as powerful as competitors like XboxOne or Playstation 4, yet bulkier and less portable than mobile devices for more casual gamers. Hand-held gaming seems to be a dwindling market as does console gaming for Nintendo, but the company is planning to win over consumers by going into a completely new direction: expanding into emerging markets with new devices starting next year.

Instead of selling cheaper versions of existing products like the Wii U console or the 3DS hand-held gaming system, company president Satoru Iwata said that Nintendo would focus on developing entirely new gaming machines for emerging markets in an attempt to get in on the ground floor. “We want to make new things, with new thinking rather than a cheaper version of what we currently have,” he said in an official statement. “The product and price balance must be made from scratch.”

Image via Shutterstock

Overall, the Wii U is considered a flop as it continues to under-perform. However, the market for smartphone app gaming is too unstable for Nintendo to put much faith in, as the boom-and-bust nature of the business is not sustainable enough for the 125-year-old company.

One foray into emerging markets that Nintendo plans to take is figurines that interact with games, as Activision and Blizzard have done with the Skylanders franchise. Children place the Skylanders action figures on a pad to have that character enter their game, and Nintendo plans a similar strategy where figurines of characters like Mario and Luigi could store and transfer data using near field communications. Considering that the company has been steadily losing income, this move could be viewed as one of the company's “last lives” in the video game industry.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

TechZone360 Contributing Writer

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