Nintendo has a problem that even everyone’s favorite heroic mustachioed plumber can’t fix. The Wii U, Nintendo’s latest foray into the console space, is going over with the mainstream public about as well as Birdo at a beauty pageant. In fact, Nintendo expects to sell nearly 70% less Wii U consoles this fiscal year than originally anticipated. As a result of all this bad news, Nintendo’s stock is tanking… HARD.
So what is a floundering giant of the gaming industry to do? Well, maybe its time to take some advice from one of their flagship characters and do a barrel roll straight into the app stores. According to The Verge, a foray into mobile is precisely what Nintendo is contemplating as a way to remain relevant and financially viable in today’s market.
Nintendo has traditionally been a company that is very resistant to current trends. As Sony and Microsoft were throwing haymakers at each other with high-powered gaming consoles, Nintendo snuck into our living rooms with a console, the Wii, that boasted only marginally improved graphics from the previous generation of consoles. The Wii succeeded by going against the grain, eschewing hyper-realistic 3d graphics for a machine that focused on new, innovative ways to experience games. In the process, Nintendo managed to tap into a whole new market of casual gamers.
Unfortunately, the road less taken has created a far more bumpy ride for Nintendo this time around. It seems like those in charge have finally begun to wrap their minds around that reality.
At a press conference on Friday, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said:
“We are thinking about a new business structure… Given the expansion of smart devices, we are naturally studying how smart devices can be used to grow the game-player business. It’s not as simple as enabling Mario to move on a smartphone.”
Can mobile apps save Nintendo? Given the brand authority and loyal fanbase that they possess around the globe, most of which likely own a mobile device, one would assume that Nintendo’s movement into the app stores would prove to be immensely lucrative.
“The way people use their time, their lifestyles, who they are have changed, if we stay in one place, we will become outdated.”
As they sometimes say in business, evolve or die. Maybe it’s time for Nintendo to make like Pikachu and go all Raichu on us.
So what do you say? Should Nintendo make the jump to the mobile market? Share your opinion in the comments!