News Article

Investment Site Motley Fool Executes Spectacular U-Turn By Claiming Nintendo Will Win This Christmas

Posted by Damien McFerran

Less than a week after saying the company was facing "the end"

Investment site The Motley Fool — which recently painted a rather dismal picture of Nintendo's future — has performed a complete about-face by claiming that Nintendo could end up being the big winner this holiday season.

The opinion piece points out that although the Wii U has failed to meet expectations, the release of the universally-acclaimed Super Mario 3D World means that the console has what is arguably the best game of any platform this Christmas.

The site also points out that despite the early sales success of the PS4 and Xbox One, both Sony and Microsoft are in very different positions when compared to Nintendo. Sony has a wide portfolio of business interests, including mobile phones and TV production — the latter of which has been a loss-making venture in recent times. In September, Sony reported a $200 million loss — a vital reminder that although its games console could end up being a runaway commercial success, the company has plenty of other plates in the air.

Microsoft finds itself in a similar situation, claims Motley Fool. The Xbox division is just one part of a massive company, and Microsoft makes a lot more cash from other projects, such as the Windows operating system and its Office business software. CEO Steve Ballmer — who will leave the company soon after more than a decade in charge — has been a long-time supporter of the Xbox, but he could be replaced by Stephen Elop, a man who is reportedly interested in selling off the gaming arm of the company.

Many industry analysts agree that this is a sound idea; they feel that the Xbox is costing Microsoft billions and the firm isn't getting enough reward for this outlay.

Taking all of this into account, you could argue that Nintendo's sole focus on gaming is its biggest strength; both Sony and Microsoft have other concerns which mean they can never be fully committed to interactive entertainment. The release of Super Mario 3D World could well prove the tipping point for the Wii U, especially with Christmas just around the corner. The 3DS is also likely to be a big seller this festive season, thanks to new hardware — in the shape of the cheap 2DS — and a killer selection of games.

The Motley Fool's positive outlook stands in stark contrast to a piece it ran just a few days ago. It put forward the opinion that Nintendo's future was at risk thanks to the release of a gaming controller accessory for the iPhone.

The turnaround is puzzling — especially when you consider that both features were penned by the same person: Sam Mattera. Is this merely a case of someone trying to cover all the possible angles, or do you think Mattera has had a change of heart? Share your thoughts by posting a comment below.

[via fool.com]

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User Comments (69)

electrolite77

#1

electrolite77 said:

Gaming analysis at its finest. Write two articles with opposing viewpoints and hey-one of them has to be right doesn't it?

Sigh.

erv

#3

erv said:

It's a multi-perspective view on investment decisions collected on one website. Nintendo is the only console manufacturer that turns a profit through its gaming division - sony is bleeding money, and microsoft xbox is a loss making venture to get the name microsoft in the mind of the living room.

Investors like potential and profitability. Nintendo had the latter - though it should be growing at some point - but the people are not visionary enough to notice the first sometimes. When something like 3d world comes along, that potential is so obvious it balances the scales a bit.

Nintenjoe64

#4

Nintenjoe64 said:

This was probably written to annoy Sony and MS fans.

I doubt MS will drop their gaming division. I thought their goal was to become like iTunes and their only successful online store seems to be Xbox Live so they'd be mad to drop it.

Buduski

#5

Buduski said:

Sounds like some one who saw Nintendo's adds on TV and went crazy, probably saw that Mario 3D World has gotten outstanding reviews all around and figured better do a 180 before it bites me, sort of like a tech site I'm familiar with * cough * CNET * cough *

Mooj738

#6

Mooj738 said:

lol its an interesting piece, I think it covers too much and too briefly but at the same time just shows you can get away with saying anything you want these days!

readyletsgo

#7

readyletsgo said:

@Nintenjoe64 totally agree with you here. Why would the new guy coming in to take over Microsoft sell one of their many successful departments.

The main company I would worry about is Sony, their PlayStation department is doing amazing things but the rest of their ventures and kinda hemorrhaging(spelling right?).

So when you look at Nintendo as a company compared to the other 2, it is an overall profit for them in their one giant department :-)

Samurai_Goroh

#8

Samurai_Goroh said:

Quelle surprise, state anything and it's opposite, so you can always claim to be right. Nintendo will be fine and dandy, as far as I'm concerned, just let the dust of new console launches settle.
It's not the first newspiece I read talking about Microsoft wanting to sell the Xbox brand. They have buried a monumental amount of cash on Xbox since 2001 and I guess they're not even near to break even in spite of all the paywalls of Xbox Live, so even a behemoth like Microsoft could loose it's patience. I always felt like they don't belong in the gaming scene. The whole concept of One trying to be way more than a games console, screams impatience to me. Who would buy Xbox, though?

WiiLovePeace

#9

WiiLovePeace said:

Well that was a quick turnabout. I don't think I want any of the three to leave gaming, especially Nintendo of course. I think variety in gaming is what keeps the industry flowing with creativity & new games. I can't begin to imagine how the quality of console games would drop if there was only one console manufacturer around. Competition breeds quality I think. Even xbox brings something to the table. A rising tide lifts all boats.

Emblem

#12

Emblem said:

@erv people always seem to forget that Nintendo is the only company that's sees profit off software and hardware. Investing in MS is a good move but investing in Xbox brand big no no. Sony on the overhand is losing money everywhere not just on gaming so investment there is not a good move rift now. As someone who uses products from all three I hope they can continue to operate and make quality products.

PinkSpider

#14

PinkSpider said:

As much as I would like to see nintendo win the console war, unfortunately I just can't see it happening. Made clear by the absolute trouncing of sales by Xbox one in the u.k

MadAdam81

#15

MadAdam81 said:

I don't think Nintendo will win, but I don't think anyone will lose, just like last gen.
Of course, it might be best for Xbox if they had a new owner. New owners for Xbox wouldn't be a step backwards at all, especially if it's a group of owners who are fully dedicated to the gaming industry and can make something better than the Xbox One.

SpookyMeths

#16

SpookyMeths said:

Makes you think about how awesome everyone did in Gen VII. The DS was a juggernaut, but the PSP did great too. Wii was a blowout success for the first few years, but 360 and PS3 almost caught up by the end.

It's a big market and plenty of pie for all 3 of the major console developers. Even if Steam does release their fabled box, it probably won't significantly impact Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft in sales (though it would probably cause at least 2 to adapt similar online store policies).

MrGawain

#17

MrGawain said:

Although I love Nintendo and the Wii U, I do question with some of the bum kissing by CVG, IGN, Polygon, Kotaku and a lot of these tech sites are being influenced by Nintendo with the promise of advertising... or something else? Even with the release of Mario, I wouldn't say the Wii U's turnaround has been dramatic. It's been picking up gradual steam since the release of Pikmin 3- Luigi, 101, Rayman, Wind Waker. Mario is just another good Wii U game like these titles.

Or is it just that the PS4 and Xbox One have underwhelmed the press so much?

V8_Ninja

#20

V8_Ninja said:

I should point out that The Motley Fool probably isn't just one person. If it were I would call this reversal hypocritical, but I doubt the whole site is run by one individual.

hosokawasamurai

#22

hosokawasamurai said:

I highly doubt this will happen for:

1) Mario 3D World underperformed in Japan;

2) Wii U is too expensive for shat it offers; and

3) Nintendo's anti-consumer policies (region lock, downloads tied to hardware).

Ralizah

#24

Ralizah said:

Perhaps this was published to help combat the perception that the site is unfairly biased toward Nintendo as a company. This piece had a different author, I imagine.

The Wii U is in a similar situation to the 3DS in late 2011. The system is struggling, with arguably its best game being a visually upgraded port of a past Zelda title, but a critically acclaimed Mario title has arrived to save the day.

One difference, though, is that Mario Kart 7 was released about a month later and figured into the 3DS' successful holiday sales. Mario Kart 8 doesn't appear to be due out until mid-way through next year. Nintendo is banking on one Mario game to carry them through the holiday season successfully (and one Zelda game, if Wind Waker HD figures in, which I think it might).

Another factor is that the 3DS has virtually no competition in the handheld consoles space, whereas the vastly more popular PS4 and XBONE have just been released.

I hope it does well, but I won't bet the farm. Wii U will never be the success story that the 3DS is. The best we can hope for is probably a PS3-situation: sales are slow for a few years until it gradually develops a massive library of amazing exclusive titles and becomes impossible to ignore. If enough high quality games come to the system, people WILL buy it.

NintyMan

#25

NintyMan said:

Well, that's quite a flip-flop. Maybe the writer played Super Mario 3D World and changed the outlook? The game is amazing enough to be able to do that.

sinalefa

#27

sinalefa said:

So it is not only Pachter, it seems at least another of these analysts is a clown who contradicts himself. Way to build trust with anyone ;)

crazycrazydave

#28

crazycrazydave said:

The website he's writing for says everything about his advice. Probably 180'd after his ludicrous prediction last week got slammed by comments.

Marshi

#30

Marshi said:

@PinkSpider this is the viewpoint thats killing the industry in my opinion. "pick a side and stick with it and damn anything else that dares be in the same area as me!" we really shouldnt be judging who "wins" because there really is no losers. If you prefer the games and services xbox one provides,go with them. If you prefer ps4's line up,go with them. If you cant live without the nintendo exclusives,go with wiiu. Everyone "wins"

9th_Sage

#31

9th_Sage said:

So they were written by the same person? If you're going to say things like 'Nintendo is doomed' (basically) you could at least not insult me by being incredibly wishy washy about it.

Samurai_Goroh

#33

Samurai_Goroh said:

@Sidewinder "The turnaround is puzzling — especially when you consider that both features were penned by the same person: Sam Mattera."
You could at least read the article Damien wrote before commenting.

rjejr

#34

rjejr said:

I don't see Sony bailing on the videogame indusstry, no matter how much financial trouble the compnay may be in. They even seem to be trying to put out games for the Vita now, and there were some PS4-Vita bundle ads spotted about the internet.

Wouldn't surprise me if MS bowed out though. How's the Zune doing?

Thing about predictions is - sometimes they'r eright, sometimes there wrong. SM3DW may be the best game out there right now, and maybe it should save the Wi iU, but people still need to buy the Wii U and the game to play it for themselves. Anybody see a SM3DW demo on the in store kiosks yet? I like the picture of the Mario cat, and the Winter Olmpics demo is fun, but last I checked no demo for SM3DW yet. And it's not a Mario thing, they had 1 for NSMBU from day 1 and that had nothing new to show over the Wii version. This has cats. Just put up level 1 - cat suits, giant mushrooms - that level is a showcase made to be a demo.

ajcismo

#35

ajcismo said:

Its funny, the gaming media, err, media in general, has been completely distracted by the bright shiny new graphics and bells and whistles with the PSbox these last few months. Motley Fool has published dozens, if not hundreds, of articles bashing the hell out of Nintendo for years. It never seemed like they actually played anything on the systems (3DS/Wii U), they would just lay claim Big N was doomed then tout some stupid iPhone controller as the next big thing. I take their opinions with a grain of salt both ways, but a positive take by them is surprising indeed.

hotlfusion

#36

hotlfusion said:

Probably got early reports on the wii u sales following SM3DW in the US.
Many people believe that MS aim is to take over the living room. The problem is that my SMART TV does everything that the XB1 does except play complex games. Once Ballmer is gone XB1 is on rocky ground.
Sony simply needs the PS4 to be successful. Period.
Nintendo have between US$11 - US$15bn in hard cash reserved (depends on the report you read). The Gamecube was covered by the GameBoy so the company still made huge profits back then.
If it comes to it this time the 3DS will cover the Wii U.

kyuubikid213

#38

kyuubikid213 said:

Maybe they played Super Mario 3D World and figured the Motley boss was them because it was dressed as a jester (aka fool).

Either way, I hope the Wii U does really well this Christmas.

LUIGITORNADO

#39

LUIGITORNADO said:

Like I said. Ignore these fools, Nintendolife and stop reporting on what they say. Tomorrow they'll say why Apple will win Christmas and why people should not invest in a Wii U.

Nintenjoe64

#41

Nintenjoe64 said:

@MrGawain I get suspicious of the motives of the sites you mentioned. One minute they will slaughter a game or system for a perceived fault and the next they will praise a rival system's attempt despite it having the same problem.

I know they want to generate hits but the same sites that court controversy with really harsh low scores after months of hype are the same sites that defend EA and co. every time they shaft the fans of a franchise and they give every CoD a 9+ score but spend the next 12 months saying the want new ideas.

Nareva

#42

Nareva said:

The Motley Fool "articles" are actually all opinion pieces written by anyone willing to make an account, so there's no company line, as it were. There are some spectacularly untie searched pieces that show up on there, so I think the require us are very light.

MussakkuLaden

#43

MussakkuLaden said:

What a nonsense, but anyway, that's good news. Although even I have doubts if Nintendo will be the big winner, with Mario being the only really huge release on the WiiU. On the other hand, I think if advertised in the right manner, this Mario game could become one of the biggest hits of the Franchise so far, bringing together the mainstream appeal of NSMB with the high-value AAA-feeling of Galaxy. It's still not particularly appealing to me me myself, but anyway. If only THIS had been the launch Mario of the WiiU instead of NSMBU! But maybe there's the chance that the WiiU can take off the second time around. It's tough with the One and PS4 around, but then the WiiU is more refined than one year ago too. Bundles for everyone and cheaper price, decent library for different tastes, matured functionality and Miiverse... That a console can have a mediocre start but become a huge success later was proven by the PS3 and 3DS. Even by the PSP, and that is a thing I like about Sony, they really have a long breath and keep supporting their products. Hopefully Nintendo will achieve the same with the WiiU. Not only for Nintendo's sake and its fans, but the market in general. There should be room for a console like the WiiU aside PS4 and One.

shad0w-7

#45

shad0w-7 said:

"50% of everything we hear is the truth, and the other 50% is a lie. The trick is figuring out which is which." - Some Dude, Somewhere

aaronsullivan

#46

aaronsullivan said:

The article is probably giving the guy to much credit. It's just link bait.

That being said, the focus on the bigger business side of things is a bit shortsighted as well. The investment into the Xbox One launch is already there. There's no sense it just dumping it now. You need to at least make some return even if the eventual plan is to sell it off. Sony has had times where the game console is a financial bright spot in various business ventures, so I don't see it drawing resources away from the division.

Nintendo's reliance on games only is often a competitive liability. Fortunately, Nintendo has stakes in two different halves of the video game market (mobile and console) so one success can help the other out.

To me, the contrast here is in the games themselves and how much or little overlap there is in the markets that Wii U is trying to reach vs. those that the two newest consoles are trying to reach.

If Nintendo can start profiting decently on the Wii U the number of consoles that everyone sells doesn't matter too much.

Fingeldor

#47

Fingeldor said:

Where's Pachter lately? I want to see this guy foaming at the mouth over Christmas when Mario saves the day again! =)

bmprsvz777

#48

bmprsvz777 said:

I remember how they published something about Wii U being doomed not a long time ago, where they called Wind Waker game "windwalker" so they are obviously experts... there was also something about saving Wii U by relaunching it without gamepad and other clever ideas. Sadly most people know nothing about Wii U and how it works. My sister bought her 6 and 8 years old children PS3 5 days ago, when she asked about Wii U, shop assistant told her it's a toy for very small children... There is just one way how to change all these misperceptions and that is advertising. Marketing of Wii U is one big disaster here in Europe, sorry.

sadsack777

#49

sadsack777 said:

sorry to say look at some and I mean some of the games on xbox1they are only xbox360 games (tweaked) (definition) to adjust something slightly. : some of them were kept of the shelf for xbox 1 so they would have the games to come out with the xbox1 now just look at Mario 3d on wii u now that's a game what took time to make like the rest what are comeing so lets just wait and see

ReigningSemtex

#50

ReigningSemtex said:

I hope Nintendo do have this xmas owned they deserve it, but a guy who believes Nintendo could be ended by a controller accessory for a phone is obviously not the brightest spark.

sevex

#51

sevex said:

I've noticed a lot of sites lately recommending the Wii U, or posting positive predictions for Nintendo's holiday sales. Maybe a change is coming.

WaLzgiStaff

#53

WaLzgi said:

@Adam Ironically, possibly a lot of those "hits" are by those who say that these people don't deserve the attention. If one doesn't truly care, then why post about it?

Adam

#54

Adam said:

I didn't go to their site. I was checking NL as usual. Posting isn't out of my way.

unrandomsam

#55

unrandomsam said:

@Emblem Nintendo is taking a loss (Or did maybe it isn't anymore) on the Wii U. These new ones are being sold at a profit by both Sony and MS. (Nintendo is doing what they used to). Microsoft's other hardware more than likely makes money and they make shedloads more on software. (12% price rise in January across pretty much everything).

unrandomsam

#56

unrandomsam said:

And Xbox is at the moment subsiding stuff like Surface that is not doing well but it doesn't matter to them they are quite happy to spend lots entering new markets.

Emblem

#57

Emblem said:

@unrandomsam Wii U is still being sold at loss if you look at the last investors reports, thats not what i was saying though. I was saying Xbox and Playstation expenditure ruins their profit margin regardless of software or hardware income. Things like marketing, exclusivity deals etc.

I think the main thing learn't by both Sony and MS last gen was to manage their expectations, something Nintendo did not learn due to the runaway success of the Wii and thats biting them in the donkey now as they have made some of the same mistake PS3 and X360 made last gen.

As i said i buy products from all three companies and i wish them all success as i believe 3 is a healthy number of main competitors as it benefits us the consumers better. Long live the triforce lol.
Please watch the profanity — TBD

JustinH

#58

JustinH said:

@readyletsgo Define "successful". Microsoft's goal from Day 1 has been to run the Xbox division at a loss (a massive one) to gain market share. The money they've spent and lost in the gaming industry could've been spent on any number of other avenues — look at what Google has done with $2 or $3 billion in the same timeframe.

If I were Microsoft, I'd probably throw more good money after bad on the Xbox, but then you probably don't get to be the CEO of Microsoft with that sort of plan.

Darkness3131

#59

Darkness3131 said:

I'd like to ask who didn't see this coming. Still just ridiculous. They are probably giggling over there about the number of people that would get their nickers in a twist about this.

Sampras

#60

Sampras said:

Don't pay any attention to moleyfool.
Motleyfool is a company that has stock in apple and microsoft. They litterally have a financial incentive to be biased in their reviews.

DanMan82

#61

DanMan82 said:

Funny. Am I the only one that thinks of this song every time we hear about this site?

Gamer83

#63

Gamer83 said:

@rjejr

Played SM3DW at Best Buy the other day. Except for a few people browsing through games, nobody else was in the game section so I spent a good hour and a half or so playing what I thought was a surprising impressive demo given that when I tried the demo of NSMBU last year there was a time limit and only a couple worlds to play. This one had no time limit and a bunch of different stages to play. Great game, I'll definitely be getting it with Wii U and DKC hopefully by July.

rjejr

#65

rjejr said:

@Gamer83 - Thanks for the demo update. Today's BF as you probably know so not a good day to be heading to BB but I may just have to take the kids there after lunch anyway. Santa's bringing the game or else we'ld be playing right now :-)

BulbasaurusRex

#66

BulbasaurusRex said:

It could be that this guy thinks Nintendo will win this Christmas but is doomed in the long run. The two articles don't necessarily contradict each other.

JaxonH

#68

JaxonH said:

That IS startling! I was at the ready to dismiss the swing in opinion due to the fact that they vary by author, but that last line got me: it was written by the same person. Personally, I think he didn't get enough clicks, and perhaps was advised to try a different strategy- a bold experiment for which others lack the courage: write a POSITIVE opinion piece on the Wii U. And there we have it.

Luffy

#69

Luffy said:

Soooo BASICALLY They have LOST ALL CRED!!! Next week they will say Nintendo is going bankrupt and the week after they will say Nintendo is on tract to surpass Apple + google combined. Never read anything from them again ever.

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