CNN Money: Nintendo Is "Tone Deaf" To Industry Trends And Has "Lost Touch With Reality"

Time for more gloomy predictions

Toot toot! The Doom & Gloom Express is pulling into the station, making another stop en route toward the predicted potential downfall of Nintendo! Who’s that stepping up to get their ticket punched? Why, it’s tech writer Adrian Covert at CNN Money!

In a piece entitled “Nintendo’s big problem”, Covert cites the company’s less-than-expected sales of Wii U consoles as a symptom of its failure to keep up with gaming trends.

According to Covert, Nintendo’s history of reluctance in embracing concepts such as online features and digital distribution as quickly as its rivals is hurting it today. Nintendo President Satoru Iwata’s openness toward microtransactions and subscription-based models is also criticized as something gamers don’t want to see in their modern consoles:

For decades now, it has been this type of thinking that has plagued Nintendo: The company is cognizant of the latest trends and shifts in gaming, but it chooses to disregard them in the name of simplicity, or family-friendly gaming. Instead, Nintendo frequently opts to develop its own warped, counterintuitive take on the latest trends.

The Wii is admitted by Covert to be a time when one of Nintendo’s “warped” ideas really took off. But where Microsoft and Sony are seen as turning their consoles into “full-blown living room computers,” the Wii U is seen as a floundering sign of Nintendo still refusing to follow trends as closely as it should:

The Wii U was Nintendo's attempt to expand on its innovative gameplay ideas. But the impact hasn't been nearly the same as the Wii. Some new Wii U features, like the touchscreen-equipped controller feel convoluted, and less innovative compared to technologies like Microsoft's Kinect camera. Nintendo games that actually take proper advantage of the motion gaming tech aren't coming from third-party developers, and Nintendo's own titles — which are excellent more often than not — aren't coming anytime soon.

Covert says it’s good that Nintendo has improved its online gaming and digital distribution services, but wonders why this still isn’t being treated as paramount to its business strategy and why more attention isn’t being paid toward building its case toward indie developers (although there have been encouraging signs on this front).

Then there’s smartphones. No, not bringing smartphone games to the Wii U, but why Nintendo hasn’t started publishing its own games on other mobile devices:

It's understandable that Nintendo wouldn't want to release some of its newer games on a competing mobile platform, for fear of cannibalization, but looking at the success that companies like Square Enix have had reissuing its Final Fantasy titles on the iPhone, what real harm is there in offering games like Super Mario Brothers? Nobody is going to buy a Nintendo 3DS just to download that from the eStore.

What points of CNN Money’s article do you agree or disagree with? Let us know in the comments.

[via money.cnn.com]

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