For a while there, Nintendo was looking like a slow-motion train wreck, plunging wildly off the rails into obscurity and disaster. Many have even stopped mentioning Nintendo as part of the console wars, leaving it out of conversations about Sony and Microsoft (News - Alert). A new report notes that that may be about to change, as Nintendo's market cap has recently doubled in value thanks to one juggernaut of a game: Pokémon Go.
On Tuesday, reports note, Nintendo was trading around $42.5 billion, and just days before, on Friday, it saw a new record for single-day trading on the Tokyo exchange, as $4.5 billion worth of stock was traded. In perhaps the biggest twist of all, Nintendo only indirectly benefits from Pokémon Go, as another company altogether developed it as a mobile app.
Nintendo's riding the Pokémon wave to new heights, but it's not resting on its laurels. It's also been seen releasing a mini-Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) console that contains a slate of 30 eight-bit-era games for $60, which isn't exactly a terrible price for a system that can readily hook to most televisions. It included several major releases, including all three versions of Super Mario Bros and other major names ranging from Kid Icarus to Kirby's Adventure.
Regardless of the stance on value, Nintendo's recent run of success has demonstrated, clearly, that the console wars may not just be about consoles anymore. There was more than a little derision when Nintendo retracted a lot of its console capability—how many Wii U games have you seen released lately—and pushed to mobile games instead. Now here we are looking at a popular new mini-console with a huge nostalgia value and a mobile app that's gone so far in popularity that it's being used as bait in armed robberies. Potential attributions are many and varied; Nintendo's banking on nostalgia like no tomorrow, it's advancing the growing mobile gaming market and it's taken one of the first and biggest steps in augmented reality gaming.
Any of these could work for a start, but it's clear that whatever Nintendo's doing, it's working. The real problem with this, however, is that it may be temporary. Nintendo can't very well bring out another Pokémon Go, so once the popularity fades, what will be waiting in the wings to replace it? The Nintendo NX may be ready for a holiday season 2016 release, and if Nintendo can have a big release ready for it, it will not only have a large chunk of the market to itself, but it can also take advantage of lessons learned from the Wii U's release and make the most of that solitary position.
With its market cap now enormous—it's actually bigger than Sony's approximate $40 billion, at last report—it has the resources to do most anything. All that's left is to find out how Nintendo will follow up on this monster win.