Big N Ready For Battle

A lot of people like speculating about what Nintendo is going to do next.  Actually a lot of people like making things up and then presenting them as fact, so we've had a lot of different and usually conflicting conjecture about Nintendo's plans for the future.  Nintendo President, Satoru Iwata, has stepped forward to level the playing field a bit in this BBC article that I noticed over at Voodoo Extreme.  In the article, Mr. Iwata has several interesting comments about the state of the Gamecube and Nintendo, not the least of which is:

"We are developing a new home video game console with a plan to release the new system around the same time as rival makers do."

"We will get ready for a battle in 2005 although foreign game developers are now saying that rival next-generation systems won't come until 2006."
Read More or Hit the forums to discuss!That's not to say that everything is saki and roses at Nintendo.  Mr. Iwata seems completely aware that the Gamecube has not quite lived up to expectation while rival Xbox has cut out a strong presence in key markets.

Nintendo now expects its console to miss its sales target of 10 million units by 10%, with software sales falling short of a 55-million-unit goal.

In an interview with the Reuters news agency, Nintendo's president attributed the poor performance of the GameCube to a weak appetite for games.

"Consumers today apparently don't want to sit in front of the television to play games for hours and hours," said Mr Iwata.

Worse, if this last quote is any indication, Nintendo seems more willing to place the blame for weaker sales on the consumer instead of themselves.  I'm not suggesting that Nintendo is a poorly run business, but I have serious doubts that Sony's brass would agree that consumers aren't playing video games anymore. 

- Elysium


Maybe theyre just putting a PR spin on it, I hope. If they don't realize how theyve f*cked up the past two generations of thier console by not getting enough good games, theyre in trouble.

I should probably clairfy, by good games, I mean well done games most people want to play, not well done games that 5 people want to play. Thats my only real problem with Nintendo, they keep making fruity wierdo games. Not that nobody should make wierd games, it just shouldn't be your bread and butter if your main competition is Microsoft and Sony.

I don't think there is any less appetite for games. That seemed to me to be just a completely false statement. Maybe he should have run that one by EA to see what they thought about it.

I think Nintendo and Microsoft are both victims of "A day late and a dollar short". Sony had the PS2 on the market for a year and a half already. Everyone already knew someone with a PS2 and that meant that pretty much everyone knew what they could expect from Sony. There was also already a full library of PS2 games by the time the cube and box launched. There were even discount games for that console already.

If Nintendo can launch GameSphere or whatever it's next console will be at the same time as Sony launches the PS2+1, I'm sure the race will be a little tighter. I still think Sony will probably dominate as the market favorite, but Nintendo won't be bouncing around in the background yelling, "Me too! Me too!".

Disclaimer: I own a cube and that's it.

I agree with Sway, both Redmond companies are victims of their 'day late and dollar short' console release planning.

Iwata's comment that consumers aren't playing games any more is purely head in the sand thinking. Video games are $6B business right now, that leads me to believe that somebody, somewhere, is spending '...hours and hours...' playing games. It is typical of Nintendo to blame others for their current troubles, NCL has long held that they know what's right and the rest of the world just doesn't get it.

MS, on the other hand, is out there with Live and new bundles all the time. They are, at least, trying to give the consumer what (MS thinks) they want.

As a longtime Nintendo fan I hope that they pull their heads out of the sand, however I am not holding my breath.

Good on Nintendo for still going.

AndyB - VE3D.COM