Will the NX, mobile games, and a possible entry into VR turn around Nintendo's slumping profits?

By midian182
Feb 3, 2016
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  1. Nintendo’s profits were down in 2015 compared to the year before, but the company will still be happy that it’s making money – it recorded consecutive losses from 2012 up until 2014. Part of the problem is that Nintendo still relies too much on its evergreen titles such as the Super Mario and Pokemon franchises, but the company wants to change this in 2016 with the release of its first smartphone games, the NX console, and a possible foray into the VR sector.

    Nintendo’s net income was 29.1 billion yen ($241 million) in the three months to December, down 36 percent from the same period in 2014. The same 2015 quarter saw Wii U sales fall 2.1 percent and those of the 3DS drop a massive 28 percent – a bad statistic for the Christmas period. The news caused Nintendo’s shares to decline 1.7 percent in Tokyo.

    Nintendo will be looking to turn its fortunes around this year with a series of new products. Back in October, the company revealed some details of its first smartphone title, Miitomo, which is starting prelaunch registration soon.

    Fans were disappointed at the previews of Miitomo; it’s more of a social app/instant messenger with avatars rather than an actual game. But Nintendo has promised that its second smartphone title (there are five due between now and March 2017) will include one of the company’s best-known characters and “won't be another communications app.”

    The big upcoming product for Nintendo is, of course, the NX console. Analysts think the mysterious machine will be unveiled in Spring, with a possible release date coming sometime in October or November. A report from December suggests that the console may feature an elliptically-shaped controller that’s made almost entirely of either a resistive or capacitive screen.

    Later this month (27th) sees the 20th anniversary of Pokemon, which will be celebrated with a special day dedicated to the franchise and the release of a new 3DS bundle that includes Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue pre-installed.

    Finally, reports from Nintendo’s recent investor briefing state that the company is following in the footsteps of almost every other tech giant by “looking” at the virtual reality sector. Nintendo’s president, Tatsumi Kimishima, described VR as “interesting technology,” but it may be a while before we see any products emerge from the company that introduced one of the first ever commercial VR devices – 1995’s headache-inducing Virtual Boy.

    Despite the slump in finances, Nintendo continues to profit from its Amiibo line, the increasing popularity of downloaded titles, and classic titles such as Splatoon and Super Mario maker. The worst part of 2015 for Nintendo will no doubt have been the sad loss of its much-loved CEO Satoru Iwata.

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  2. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,144   +488

    Nintendo has been driving me nuts for a while and I don't know why I keep caving into them. To me one of their biggest issues is that no one wants to develop games for their system. Thus, the only good games tend to be the ones that they make themselves.

    I'm tired of falling for their gimmicks and thankfully I didn't cave into the amiibo one.
  3. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,212   +174

    Nintendo makes many games which I enjoy. Their console games are family room friendly which I also appreciate. When someone is playing a game, others in the house want to join in on the fun. But in terms of hardware I don't see Nintendo trying to keep up or best the competition. Their console hardware is generations behind and nobody can beat Sony. Plus Nintendo's handheld has had the same format for 10+ years. It's my opinion that they need to reinvent themselves in hardware or just pull out of that market and stick with software sales which they're really good at.
  4. ghostf1re

    ghostf1re TS Enthusiast Posts: 77   +35

    The only way Nintendo doesn't crash into the ground like Sega once did is if they make a system that is on par or exceeds the performance of the PS4 and Xbox One. There is no alternative. We love their in house games. They are really fun. I grew up loving them. The thing is, I don't want to shell out money for an inferior gaming console that doesn't support any of the games I really enjoy, just to play some of the few good in house Nintendo games. If they cannot compete with or exceed the graphical performance that the current gen systems have, they will waste their money and become the next Sega. They will have to give up on the console market and consider developing their branded games for the other systems. This is just how things work. If they don't offer some sort of game changing innovation AND get in line with the graphical power of the current systems, it's all over.
  5. umbala

    umbala TS Addict Posts: 163   +135

    I grew up with Nintendo and my first console was the 8-bit NES. I really enjoy the Mario, Zelda, etc. franchises they own, but this under-powered hardware + boring gimmick trends they've been following definitely needs to stop. Traditionally console makers lose money on every console they sell and then make it back on games that players buy for that console. This is a given. Yet Nintendo keeps releasing vastly under-powered consoles in order to make a profit on the hardware itself AND the games that go along with it. Yes, this worked once with the Wii (and to a much smaller degree with the Wii U), but it's not going to work again. I have a feeling their next console will be the same way; under-powered with some stupid, gimmicky controllers that everyone is going to hate. The fancy controller gimmick already failed with the Wii U, so give it up already. Like I said, I love Nintendo and I grew up with them, but one more asinine piece of hardware and I'm going to start rooting for them to fail. If you can't keep up with the big boys (Microsoft + Sony) then get the hell out of the console hardware arena!

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