This is part of a much larger article. For the previous entry in this article, please click here.
To conclude, ultimately one cannot turn a whore into a housewife, and a leopard doesn’t change its spots. Wanting Nintendo to fundamentally change its archaic business philosophy (and break from age old traditions) is probably asking too much of the company. And in the end, it’s not as if the gaming market doesn’t offer options. After all, in a free market economy, if consumers don’t like something, then they’ll happily seek out viable alternatives (which offer better value in terms of software and money). Nintendo needs to realise this and stop trying to dictate as to what gamers should be enjoying, and instead try to anticipate consumer demand and offer exactly as to what the market wants.
Part of this would be to adopt the same strategy as what Sony (and Mark Cerny) did with its own R&D efforts for Playstation 4, and liaise with developers so as to be more inclusive and figure out exactly as to what it would take to make developers want to develop for their machine(s) again. Nintendo also has to be willing to swallow its pride and allow others to come up with better software. Both Sony and Microsoft allow this, and their console libraries are better off for it, as it makes more business sense from a third party perspective. By doing this, gamers will have the best of both worlds: a vibrant ecosystem from which they can cherry pick Nintendo’s great first party games, as well as having the opportunity to savour all of the awesome third party titles. And ultimately, that’s all that matters. The games…
What Nintendo ultimately suffer from is a perception problem, with customers constantly being let down by the company’s complacent gestures and half hearted promises, as well as the Wii U’s reputation for under-performing in the marketplace. And as ShinUltramanJ recently stated on NeoGaf, “the U isn’t selling because consumers know Nintendo consoles are duds. Consumers want the winners. They bought the Atari 2600 in droves. The NES in droves. Genesis and SNES in droves. PS1 and PS2 in droves. It’s why they’re STILL buying the 360 and PS3. The Xbone and PS4. All winners that deliver what consumers want. Nintendo delivers NOTHING. Remember when Dreamcast had a nice library, and dropped to $50, yet consumers kept buying PS2? It’s because they don’t want the losers”.
But self-fulfilling prophecies aren’t necessarily always automatic. The Wii U has only been out for 15 months, and (despite what naysayers will have you believe) can still go the distance for at least another 15. Lou Holtz said it best when he stated that “how you respond to the challenge in the second half will determine what you become after the game, whether you are a winner or a loser”. And certainly, as a profit making venture, the Wii U is looking to be a major flop. But with its mountains of cash, Nintendo shouldn’t quit, but use the Wii U as a stepping stone to build momentum and revitalise confidence in its flagging brand so as to ensure that the next console is a significantly more palpable and resounding success. After all, that’s exactly what Sony and Microsoft both did when they first entered the fray (with their Playstation and XBox empires). But regardless of what happens to the Wii U however, drastic changes need to be undertaken, as the future starts today and not tomorrow.