Is Nintendo following in the footsteps of Sega and Atari? Not likely.

Look, I won’t sugar coat it for you, Nintendo is certainly in a funk at the moment with the slow sales of the 3DS and the absence of games for Wii. Should we all jump ship and swear off Nintendo because of these missteps? Not necessarily. 

Rumors of Nintendo having problems during the development of Wii U have been swirling around the Internet, stating that the Wii U is supposedly in “development hell”. According to French site 01net.com (translated) developers have been complaining about the lack of updated hardware and uncertainty of the consoles release date. Reports are that the early Wii U dev kits are only available in a version with tethered controllers.

While this sounds rather rotten amongst the other problems Nintendo is currently facing, in no way does this mean Nintendo will go the way of Sega. First of all, hiccups during the console development process have always been prevalent and not just with Nintendo. Anyone remember the disk read errors that plagued the PS2 launch? Many PS2 would cringe at the sight of a blue disk and refuse to play. Microsoft also went through it’s own “development hell” ith the launch of the Xbox 360. Knowing that the quality of their machines were less than adequate, Microsoft did not delay the launch of the console to beat their rivals to market, believing that the quality problems of the console would subside over time.

Looking back, the early problems Sony faced with the PS2 certainly didn’t stop them from going on to dominate the console generation, and even Microsoft has bounced back from all the negative press surrounding the RRoD snafu.

As far as I am concerned Nintendo can delay the launch of Wii U until the cows come home as long as when it ships it works without fail.  Developers are going to struggle with grasping the full potential of Wii U whether or not Nintendo is having development challenges with the console. Almost every tech project is going to have its setbacks as hardware companies juggle between having the best specs and an affordable price. That’s just the way it works. Developers that learn to evolve and adapt are the ones that at the end of the day will succeed.

As was shown at E3 this year Nintendo most definitely has the capability of making an untethered Wii U tablet, I played one. What concerns me is the lack of full titles on display at the show, and the absence of Nintendo’s major franchises at each of the last three Nintendo hardware launches. Gamecube started the trend of Nintendo launching a console without a true Mario title, and I think it necessary for Nintendo to break away from this tendency.

Is this the beginning of the end for Nintendo? In my opinion, not by a long shot. Only time will tell if consumers buy into what Nintendo is selling with Wii U, and only good games will sell consumers on Wii U when it launches sometime next year.

17 Responses to Is Nintendo following in the footsteps of Sega and Atari? Not likely.

  1. Warren says:

    Man – I have heard that Nintendo will die So many times. When the N64 was Launched, When they announced both the DS and the Wii. When the idea for motion control came out. When the Gamecube didn’t do as well as people wanted. Heck I even remember people wondering if Nintendo “Wasn’t the company it once was” when the SNES Didn’t overtake the Genesis. It seems to me that Nintendo, out of all the companies on the planet, seems to be at the forefront of “DOOM and GLOOM” messages. Are people hoping they die so they can say “I told you so?”

    We shouldn’t understate their mistakes but we also shouldn’t make it seem like the company is going to go under. The DS had a slow start – it survived. The N64 wasn’t the top of its generation: Yet people still love the system. Same with the Gamecube. Things happen, markets change. If Nintendo goes totally third party, I’ll eat my socks. I don’t think it’ll ever happen unless they release a series of products that die like the Virtual Boy did. Until then, Nintendo will continue to do their own think regardless of what people think they should do.

  2. XCWarrior says:

    Look, it’s the “I’m sorry we let Jack post a story about the doom of Nintendo early today” rebuttle.

    This one at least is better thought out. Nintendo has $0 in debt. $0. Bet the American government wishes they can say that.

    Nintendo is making some weird moves right now, but they will right the ship eventually. Nintendo will never be what it once was, because video games aren’t niche anymore. Just have to adjust to what is coming at us. The consumer has the final say, we buy what we like. And at the end of the day, Nintendo has more franchises we all like than any other company.

    They’ve been around over 100 years, they aren’t going anywhere.

  3. I agree with a lot of your points Eugene. As a fellow game industry pro, I too had hands on time with the Wii U at E3. Not only were the WiiU controllers not tethered, but they worked flawlessly when I used it on their small selection of demos and games.

    I think it’s funny that a lot of people are putting some belief into this rumor from some french site with no “real” source. Just because a small third party developer “might” be having trouble with development doesn’t mean that major third party developers are.

    If you look at the Nintendo line up from third parties on any system, especially on Nintendo, the range of quality is really drastic. The major developers like Capcom, Sega, Square-Enix, Namco, Konami, etc make some pretty decent titles. However, other companies like Ubisoft (Think all those iMagine, Babyz and Petz titles), UFO, party developers who aren’t major or well known seem to make really shoddy titles.

    But even then, it’s not even that the quality of design from a developer can be bad. It’s that they’re either stereotyping the system or “dumbing it down”. Like a majority of casual games that plague the Wii and DS.

    However, its a rumor with no source truth or facts. Lets try to stretch it as far as we can before it breaks right?

  4. Paquito says:

    WHAAAAAT???

    SONY is followin the steps of Sega!

    Are you blind?

  5. deepthought says:

    yeah, the real problem with the wiiU is whether anyone cares about a tablet. or about a system that is weaker than the next gen.

    which makes me think this isn’t really ninny’s next gen console. it’s just a stopgap because the wii market started looking weak. still, at best it’s a cool distraction. at worst its a cynical grab for the fanboys’ cash before the real next gen launches.

    still, there’s a good chance i’ll be all pc next gen. i can get a custom built pc that outperforms the next gen consoles, so why bother with them? besides, it seems like all i play anymore is online fps games with friends, or maybe a little lotro. when i have people over, i’m never wishing we could play games in person. guess i feel less and less like the target nintendo demographic.

    though i did decide i should pick up chrono trigger ds for my travels. maybe final fantasy 4 too…

  6. Ben says:

    Thank you Eugene. What a breath of fresh air. And thank you XCWarrior, Warren and Will Thompson for contributing with your well thought-out remarks.

  7. HexDSL says:

    1 ) the 3ds is not the epic release that the DS was but who cares, its selling, slowly but its selling. mostly the fact that many people already have a DS maybe the reason. the 3DS is a quality device with some great innovation and some games coming up that are sure to shift bucket loads of units. its a slow burning monolith

    2) The Wii has been monster successful, sure the games have slowed down of later but just the other weel Xenoblade was released, a game that is SO great i know three people who brought Wii’s just to play it. It’s a great console with a phenomenal install base that will smoulder away for years to come.

    3) There are many rumours about the Wii U but most of them are coming from 360 and PS3 sites. lets wait a while and let them work on it. again, like hte 3DS it wont sell the way the Wii did because its a different beast, it will sell over time and be very successful i am sure of that.

    4) what’s with all the negative posts? when i come to Infendo its because i want to hear things about Nintendo games/consoles and thoughts from Nintendo fans. its not so i can read doom and gloom posts about my favourite gaming company. – i removed my bookmark, sorry.

  8. Reaper says:

    I don’t mind them delaying it either as long as works perfectly without a hitch plus I always thought it would be a November to early 2013 release anyways.

  9. Nfanboy says:

    Both Microsoft and Sony CAN’T survive in this business without the 3rd party devs.

    The best selling games on 360, PS3 and PSP are not Halo 3, Uncharted 2 or God of War : Chains of Olympus; but Black Ops, GTA IV or Monster Hunter Third.

    Nintendo on the other hand can survive WITHOUT the 3rd devs.

    The best selling games of this gen on Wii and DS are Nintendo titles :

    – New Super Mario Bros Wii
    – New Super Mario Bros DS
    – Mario Kart Wii
    – Mario Kart DS
    – Brain training games
    – Nintendogs
    – Wii Play
    – Wii Fit
    – Wii Sport Resort
    – Wii Sport

    Those titles are not ONLY the best selling games on Wii and DS…

    Those titles are not only the best selling games of this gen…

    Those titles are the best selling games of all time !!!

    All selling in excess of 20 millions copies ON A SINGLE PLATFORM !!!

  10. EdEN says:

    Ok, 3 post in a row full of doom and gloom is just too much. Nintendo has enough money to screw up the 3DS AND the Wii U as to still release another portable or console. Once the 3DS takes 1st place during the holidays everyone will act as id it eas expected and theh didn’t say Nintendo was going to die.

    Too much for me. Out from thr site for a week hoping you guys understand that trolling on your own site for cheap hits will eventually backfire and you WILL loose readers.

  11. EdEN says:

    The title itself is fishing for flames and going back and forth on the article itself does not a proper argument make.

  12. Holly says:

    My faith in Nintendo has been shaken, but I’m hoping that the Wii U console will put any doubts to rest. Come on Nintendo! You can do it!

  13. Eugene says:

    @EdEN

    The whole point of the article was to bring the exact opposite of the ‘doom and gloom’ that you speak of. It isn’t all butterflies and rainbows at Nintendo however, and I DID need to address that in the article. How I don’t feel, however, is that ‘Nintendo is on their last leg’ or that ‘Iwata will be fired’ or anything like that.

    If my article or any others on Infendo bothered you, just remember that they are the opinion of a single writer, nothing else. I certainly hope you continue to visit Infendo, in the very least to tell us how much you hate us 😉

  14. EdEN says:

    @Eugene: Yes, reading the article again puts itnunder another light. Maybe my mistake was reading thus after the other doom and gloom posts in a row that are posted at Infendo.

    No hate towards the site. I’ve been here for a while as is the case at other places like 4colorrebellion, Gamesugar, Cubed3, PS3blogdotnet or PS3trophiesdotorg. The last 4 months hsve been too much “Nintendo is doomed” and less “Nintendo gsme releases, reviews and content” and it’s not like I’m the only one seeing that.

  15. Brett says:

    @EdEN

    To be fair, Eugene’s article wasn’t doom and gloom and neither was mine. I think I mentioned far more good about Nintendo than bad and cited some neat facts about their accomplishments. The question I raised about iwata’s future was reasonable speculation based on the facts that many CEOs are pressured to leave by shareholders when a company underperforms. And Eugene is saying is that the doom and gloom is exaggerated and Nintendo will pull through.

  16. EdEN says:

    Opinions are always needed but when certain patterns develop things can change for the worse. Just don’t devolve into IGN or 1up and we’ll be back in black in no time.

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