News Article

Talking Point: Nintendo's Stock Jump Bodes Well for the Value of Potential

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

History and pedigree in the industry are vital weapons

This week brought some interesting and, perhaps, unexpected news. Nintendo's stock jumped a little over 7% on the Osaka Stock Exchange, a boost attributed to factors such as a weakening Yen being a benefit against trade in the U.S., while positive economic news from the big N's most valuable market also did no harm. It was a victory for accountants, ultimately, to see such a healthy increase without any business-related announcements to prompt it.

Even if this rise in the Japanese stock market could be accredited to external factors, they're still potentially surprising against a recent backdrop of lowered hardware and software sales projections, and Nintendo counting down the days ahead of major game releases it hopes will lift Wii U sales. Arguably only surprising, however, if viewed through a short-term and narrow viewpoint. While other Japanese corporations saw similar boosts in their value in a short space of time, it was Nintendo that made the headlines due to the scale of the jump; companies such as Sony and Namco Bandai also saw stock go up, but simply not to the same degree.

While not substantial or irrefutable proof of much, this story does give an opportunity to reflect on some key strengths that Nintendo boasts above competitors, both in the present and those of the future. If someone were to simply look at Nintendo's most recent business performance — the last quarterly results ultimately said "we're going to sell less of everything than we predicted three months ago" — you'd probably have very little interest in investing in the company. There are analysts who believe that Nintendo as a business is destined to exit the home console market and focus on software, with SEGA being the best-known example of that happening in the industry. Yet the bigger picture reinforces why Nintendo — despite its challenges and fight to maintain the market position earned by DS and Wii — should be regarded as a safer bet than some others.

For one thing, this jump in the Japanese market simply reiterates the relatively strong form the company's enjoying in its homeland and, despite being victim to the trends of a decreasing market, its continuing strength in the U.S. In terms of Japan, Wii U's wait for a jump start is being somewhat offset by the continuing dominance of 3DS, while Nintendo's still-substantial sales are made up of a little under 40% in the U.S. market. The scale of the stock's jump makes a pleasant change, particularly in mind of the non-existent bumps that followed E3 2011 and E3 2012, with shareholders often coming across as rarely happy with Nintendo's efforts at the LA extravaganza.

2013, to date, is perhaps best described as the "year of what's to come", even if that's not as snappy as "The Year of Luigi". The 3DS is continuing on its relatively merry way, with major releases coming through in the coming months — such as Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team and others — to accompany a continually expanding and healthy software library. With Wii U, it was enlightening — and exciting for Nintendo fans — that the recent Wii U Direct broadcast was able to build an online frenzy without, ultimately, showing very much. A number of games were announced, though relatively few were shown. Super Smash Bros. will "appear" at E3, while Mario Kart and the new 3D Mario will apparently be playable — we'd expect one of those to be released during the Holiday season. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD arrives this Fall, though there was no gameplay footage — footage as a whole was at a premium, with Yarn Yoshi being shown with a few screens, while Monolith Soft's "X" had a fair bit but no real release window. Many weren't licking their lips at lots of footage and imminent release dates, but in some cases at the mere prospect of what a 3D Mario et al will be like on Wii U.

And that, perhaps above all else, defines the strength that could serve as Nintendo's greatest Ace in the face of upcoming challenges. Its systems, such as Wii U, may often be casually dismissed — see any number of game site articles looking at the "next generation" that fail to mention Nintendo's system at all — but let's not forget that consumers don't always see it that way. Narrow-minded focus on graphics tech defining "generations" may have meant much debate on the merits of PS3 and Xbox 360 aside from the "little" or "kiddy" Wii, but Nintendo's system is still the highest selling of those three, worldwide. Nintendo's brand power may draw sarcastic yawns from some in the gaming community, but the mere presence of a new top-tier Mario or Zelda title, to name just two franchises, still carries weight with many gamers of all ages and types.

This current console generation, when it truly starts — Wii U/PS4/Xbox next — is likely to be a marathon rather than a sprint, and games will have a typically vital role. It's simply too early to write off Wii U, as we are yet to see how the public will respond the medium term releases such as Mario Kart or Smash Bros, while we can't imagine Nintendo failing to make a lot of noise over diverse upcoming exclusives such as Wii Fit U, Pikmin 3 and The Wonderful 101. It's debatable whether Wii Fit, for example, will hit the heights of its Wii predecessor — a trend for the console as a whole — but it adds to the variety starting to creep into the system's library; this will be helped further by the unrelentingly hardcore Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and the big-brand LEGO City Undercover this month.

And so while burying heads into sand isn't the way forward in terms of ignoring the very real troubles or challenges facing Nintendo, heart can be taken from the fact that the company seems more than eager to react and battle against its many competitors. So far in 2013 Nintendo's shown signs of a willingness — through its various Nintendo Direct broadcasts and announcements — to make the most of its talents and resources, showing that it's not stepping back and simply waiting for sales and success to come naturally.

That potential, combined with the company's history and powerful place within pop-culture, perhaps explain why it's still in the game as the only major video-game focused hardware developer — Sony and Microsoft, as corporations, have multiple fish to fry with gaming being a part of a whole, regardless of structures or "gaming divisions". The big N will never divert resources away from its gaming divisions, because that's all it is — as the well known saying says, "never underestimate Nintendo".

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User Comments (34)

Zyph

#1

Zyph said:

I'm really getting tired of how everybody is saying Ninty is going to be the next Sega. "never underestimate Nintendo"!! :D
BTW nice read. :)

Rashirin

#2

Rashirin said:

It's getting really cumbersome with everyone saying that Nintendo is the next Sega and that the Wii was the Dreamcast when in fact the Wii kicked butt. Now there saying that the Wii U is the next one. It's completel ridiculous, the Wii U is bound to have a great jump in sales this month thanks to Monster Hunter and next year to bring even more good fortune. This stock increase to only be the beginning of not there doomsday, but a successful future.

SpaceApe

#3

SpaceApe said:

There is a lot of things I can personally be dissatisfied with the Wii U but it does have a chance to grow if they get better 3rd party support. I hope they can cause I would have to hate to turn in my console for a Microsoft product.

mch

#5

mch said:

"never underestimate Nintendo"! :)
Their stock NTDOY is anyway a prettty save-haven since the value on the stock market doesn't even represent their company-value.

Chrno-x

#6

Chrno-x said:

Great article. For the past 20 years I'm a happy Nintendo gamer, with some highs and lows I'm still looking most forward to their platform. Nowadays I'm very happy with 3DS (thinking about buying XL version) and keep some savings on Wii U. Even when Ubisoft announced Rayman Legends on other platforms, I'm still happy cause they announced Assassin's Creed IV and Watch Dogs on Wii U and I do hope that more western third-party developers will bring their games to Nintendo home consoles, then I will be more than happy to spend more money on NIntendo platforms and not thinking if I should buy Nextbox or PS4 solely for muliplatform games. I hope that on E3 they will surprise us with bunch of great new titles (and those that were showed at Wii U ND in January).

bizcuthammer

#7

bizcuthammer said:

I really believe that once wind waker, mario kart and the new 3D mario game hit, wii u will see a good spike in sales. It doesnt have a system seller right now, which makes me wonder if ninty released it too early just to get a headstart on ms and sony. I think it could have sold a lot more if smash bros, zelda or a 3D mario had been at launch.

drunkenmaster76

#8

drunkenmaster76 said:

I predict a co-op 3d mario game, a new metroid a new starfox a new mario kart a new zelda, Earthbound HD Trilogy and maybe a new F-Zero.

WingedSnagret

#9

WingedSnagret said:

You just got to love the outright hypocrisy. Everyone goes on about how Mario is being overused, same old thing, yada yada, and yet when the latest games come out almost all those same people BUYS THEM ANYWAY. The whole subject is so two-faced...

GoombaSlayer

#10

GoombaSlayer said:

@WingedFish Its not that much that "they" are saying that they dont want Mario. People loves Mario. What some want though is for Nintendo to produce something without putting Mario on the cover. They wants Mario. But they also want new IPs and for Nintendo to see what other franchises they have and basically never uses.

Luffy

#11

Luffy said:

WAAAAH! WINDWAKER IS THIS FALL??? I THOUGHT EARLIER THEN THAT!!!

OMG THEY BETTER ADD THE 2 DUNGEONS THEN!!!! THEY TOOK OUT 2 DUNGEONS ON WINDWAKER ORIGINALLY 10 YEARS AGO DUE TO TIME RESTRICTIONS!!! ADD THEM NINTENDO ADD THEM!!!

Give me a special gold edition with special box and some more goodies and i'll pay 150 for the dam game. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE! But add the 2 dungeons!

Obvious78

#13

Obvious78 said:

Its so sad that I can not touch my Wii U untill end of March. There are no new games for me to play :(

ThomasBW84Admin

#15

ThomasBW84 said:

@Bankai I said it was an opportunity to consider some Nintendo strengths during a challenging period. I very clearly said the stock jump said little on its own (third para).

So no, I'm not reading too much into it ;)

Bankai

#16

Bankai said:

@ThomasBW84 I'm getting confused. Why mention the share price jump at all, then?

I realise that you know that most of what you've written there has little to no direct influence over a temporary share price rise, but then it shouldn't have been mentioned. Other people are going to walk away after reading this and assume that there's a correlation, when there isn't :-/

Moshugan

#17

Moshugan said:

Wii U has potential to be a great console and it has the potential to be a commercial success. It will have great games, that's for sure, but I just hope the party game shovelware keeps to a minimum and it gets real Third Party support.
Wii also had some amazing games, but I bet over half of Wii's ''over 1400 games'' are minigame collections et al. :p

Realgamer4life

#19

Realgamer4life said:

One thing not to be taken for granted is some of the games coming to the ps4 are coming to the WII U. Ubisoft has had a little time with the system so they can put better performing games out for it. If your a consumer and the PS4 games look the same or not better than the WII U could you justify spending more for those other two systems. Nintendo hasn't had much time with the WII U miyamota admitted as much and he indicated future projects would look better with Nintendo's standard of quality. I think there stock will rise even more after E3 if they can generate enough buzz to sell consoles. I think the next 3d mario will look and perform to epic proportions. The system with the best upcoming quality software after E3 will win the hardcore dollars. Oh yeah how many ps3's and 360's will continue to sell with the new systems announced?

Mizore

#20

Mizore said:

Wii U sales will pick up once Pikmin 3 and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate hits.

Realgamer4life

#21

Realgamer4life said:

@ Erica Exactly my point. I walked into a target and I can honestly say Nintendo dropped the ball on putting the system out there.I walked into a Walmart a best buy and a target which I work at part time and there are no demo units out. If i'm Nintendo after E3 I have demo units in about 85 to 95% of retail outlets. I have about 5 games on the demo units from E3 a highlight video of non playable games that start out with a evolution montage. Something that says you played the wii now step up to the all new WIiU end with now your playing with power.

ThomasBW84Admin

#22

ThomasBW84 said:

@Bankai I don't mean to confuse, but as I've said, the idea was to take something widely reported and positive and take it as an opportunity to look at the bright side of 2013 to date.

We're conscious that a chunk of Wii U coverage, particularly, can be negative news - not all of it obviously, but it can't be ignored.

In this shares issue Nintendo did particularly well. As I said in the article, this may well be attributable to external factors - though I don't think anyone can say with 100% certainty that some of the pros we've raised (and others we didn't) had no impact at all. Ultimately, Nintendo's shares caught the eye to a greater degree than some similar companies.

So the link may be coincidental, or perhaps not entirely, and it was an opportunity to discuss this year of potential, based on what we know is coming.

AtomicToaster

#23

AtomicToaster said:

I'm of The same feeling. I think wiiu has an optimistic future! Even Nintendo fans I know haven't bough oneyet bacause its 350 and there aren't any big games yet.

Emaan

#24

Emaan said:

We're all looking to 2013 to turn things around for the Wii U, and further solidify the 3DS in the market. Looking forward to see how everything plays out (not to mention all the amazing games) o:

SunnyShores

#25

SunnyShores said:

People can say all the bad things they want about the Wii and Wii U but the fact of the matter is that the Wii itself sold more systems than the xbox 360 and the ps3. so say what they will the evidence is there. plus nintendos hand held sold better than sony's. nintendo was on top and will stay on top because they bring quality games, give'em time and they will deliver

JuanitoShet

#26

JuanitoShet said:

2013 Will be a positive year for Nintendo and all of it's consoles, especially the 3DS.

I don't care how long or how many people say Nintendo will drop out of business, because they won't. It's what they are, and what they came from, and they would NOT go down without a fight.

The Wii is for kids? Wrong. It outsold the 360 & PS3.

The Wii only sold mkre because

JuanitoShet

#28

JuanitoShet said:

(Continued)
The Wii only sold more BECAUSE of the marketing to families & kids? Doesn't matter, it did better than the competition.

THE VITA was supposed to kick the 3DS to the curb according to the haters, and what happened? The complete opposite!

Nintendo's not going anywhere. The people who want them to don't knlw the reality of things. :)

StephenYap3

#29

StephenYap3 said:

@Zyph

Me too. Nintendo may have made a lot of mistakes in the years of console business, but still, they're in a good-enough position to continue their success.

DarkNinja9

#30

DarkNinja9 said:

@JuanitoShet the reason they say that is cuz they dont consider ninty's consoles as competition cuz they dont have those 'hardcore' appeal games even if they are selling more and have fun games

but anyway maybe 2013 will prove that wrong for them?

AlexSora89

#31

AlexSora89 said:

Anyone remembers Nintendo's "dark age"? You know, the Nintendo 64 losing to the first PlayStation, then the GameCube being slightly more "obscure" than PS2 and Xbox, and the more casual-friendly Wii launch? Yeah, those days are gone ever since the release of the first Super Mario Galaxy.

All of which, of course, still depends on how long you make said "dark age" to be - provided there ever was one at all. Either way, a slow start doesn't mean the Wii U ain't gonna win the race, ya know.

Znerd

#32

Znerd said:

The Big thing that's gonna make the Wii U is Gonna be the awesome Games coming out Lets Roll Call The Wii U future Games
1ST Party: 3D Mario being made by thee same people that made the Mario galaxy games and 3D Land, A remake of Wind Waker in HD no less, A Yoshi games in how many years its been Made by the people who made Kirby epic Yarn ( awesome game by the way) The Family loving Mario Kart Wii U, A new HD Zelda game in development,Pikmin 3, and last but not least SUPER SMASH BROS 4!
3RD Party: Monolith Soft's "X", Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Bayonetta 2, The wonderful 101 which are staying to Nintendo by the way, Lego City, Lego Batman 2 and pretty sure there's more coming soon
So to the Microsoft fans whos only 1st party character is Masterchief And Sony more than likely to overprice the PS4 like they did the PS3 then more than likely Nintendo still got
Lets also not forget all the indie development going for the Eshop
So in the near future the Wii U is so gonna hit with both 3rd party and 1st Party

DemonicNinja

#33

DemonicNinja said:

For me the wii has the greatest library of games of any console past or present and I believe that if Nintendo capitilalise on unused franchises ie f zero , earthbound,mother the wii u will be the greatest console ever released.Also, we need some new franchises from Shigsy,he is working on smaller newer projects.

Cirno

#34

Cirno said:

When Smash 4 comes out, the Wii U will gain some proper momentum.

Does anyone remember the PS4? that took AGES to pick up, and now it's doing very well for itself.

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