No matter how many signs you point to, some simply refuse to accept the inevitable hand of fate.
It’s hard to play fortune teller, as history is often told via perfect 20/20 hind-sight. Predicting exactly how this latest chapter of the console war will shake out is a challenge, due to it still unfolding in-front of us every day. However, there is one prediction I feel confident history will back me up on: the Wii U will be known as the system that forced Nintendo out of the home console market.
Now hold on. Put your torches and pitch forks down for just a moment while I explain…
For months now (ever since Nintendo revealed its early-year sales predictions for the Wii U would fall WAY under expectations for 2014), people within the industry have speculated that Nintendo had finally taken one too many missteps. I have been one of those voices, suggesting a new direction for the company was in the cards. My conclusion, as has been withmuch like many other journalists, is that Nintendo will do a course-correction at some point in the future, targeting the currently on fire mobile market. Many people called this heresy, claiming my assertions were nothing more than hate from a trolling Sony/Xbox fanboy.
However, comments made by Nintendo President Satoru Iwata would suggest that perhaps these claims were not so off-base. In fact, in a recent interview, Iwata essentially confirmed that they’re looking for other avenues that will allow them to survive in this competitive environment. “A lot of people around the world think Nintendo is solely a company that makes video games,” he said “but I believe more and more of our own employees have started thinking in this way…so even though we won't change the fact that our focus is on video games, I felt the need to take that occasion to state that Nintendo is a company that can do whatever it wants…Yamauchi always said 'Nintendo is an entertainment company and should never be anything else', but he didn't necessarily think 'entertainment equals video games'," Iwata states.
So what do these comments from Nintendo’s President mean to the average Nintendo fan?
Well, the first take-away should be this: Nintendo as you know it today is not going to last. There are those who would like to continue ignoring the signs, but when the President himself is flat-out TELLING you they’re looking to make a change, you might want to start believing it. Actually, back in January, the new “business structure” talk was the match that set this kindle a blaze in the first place. There’s simply too much evidence to ignore that the company is searching for a new path that will lead them out of the Haunted Woods and back onto the Chocolate Plain. If you were to shake your Maigic-8 Ball, I’d venture to guess that all signs will be pointing to yes. Unfortunately, there are some whom still desperately cling to the notion that the sales of the Wii U will spike, and Nintendo will once again be catapulted back to the top of the industry as a serious next-gen competitor.
My friends, I tell you this for your own good: it’s never going to happen.
Frankly, this is nothing more than the ULTIMATE Final Fantasy. I think this kind of thinking from its fan base does more to hurt Nintendo as a company than it does to help them. There are some who would have things stay the way they are, or at the very least, go back to the way they were. It’s that attitude which will be the albatross that further buries Nintendo’s chances of any market resurgence. The higher-ups have already accepted that their future lies elsewhere (very likely in a renewed support of the 3DS or even 3rd party smartphones and tablets). If we truly love our once great Nintendo, we will support them in their efforts to survive. To do that, they have to change. This is not an option, as the Nintendo of today is hemorrhaging and in danger of floundering.
They say if you love something you have to let it go. No truer words have ever been spoken in regards to Nintendo. We have to allow it to evolve so new life can be found in their next chapter.