News Article

Nintendo's Slump "Could Be Detrimental" To The Entire Gaming Market, Says Sony UK Boss

Posted by Damien McFerran

Fergal Gara speaks out

Not everything is as peachy as it could be in the world of Nintendo right now; the company has posted a quarterly loss and has reduced its sales projections for both the Wii U and 3DS consoles. The firm's massive war chest of cash — around $8.6 billion — means that it's not exactly on the ropes just yet, but things could clearly be better, and Sony UK boss Fergal Gara feels that the firm needs to turn things around for the good of the industry as a whole.

Speaking to Trusted Reviews, Gara said:

[The decline of Nintendo] could be detrimental to the market, unless people like us raise our game and help tap into the younger consumer group that they serve rather well. That is the challenge to us. We need to bring maybe more family-friendly, more casual experiences into the market. I think there’s a big market segment there that we should take the challenge to engage and I see lots of potential to do that.

Despite the Wii U's struggles, there are things to remain positive about. The 3DS was the best selling piece of gaming hardware in the UK last year — something which Gara was also quick to acknowledge:

The DS family was the bestselling format last year, despite the stellar sales of the PS4 for the last four or five weeks, it was still the best selling console or console family.

Do you think Gara's comments ring true? Could Nintendo's slump have wider ramifications for the global gaming industry? Or do you think recent events are just a blip, and Nintendo will turn things around again? Sound off in the comments to tell us your thoughts.

[via trustedreviews.com]

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User Comments (61)

unrandomsam

#2

unrandomsam said:

How do they do that without annoying everybody else ? (Apple will have more powerful hardware than both the Xbone/PS4 the only question is how soon).

The whole extra cost was based upon cartridge costing loads. It needs readjusting (Especially when PS4/Xbone are PC's and not very good ones).

BigH88

#3

BigH88 said:

I expected Sony and Microsoft to attack the family friendly market this year. If they get them it could be over for the Wii U. :(

Lord

#4

Lord said:

These articles all hide the fact that unless Nintendo up thier game Sony will be looking to move in.

HyperSonicEXE

#5

HyperSonicEXE said:

I can't imagine playing any video games other than Nintendo's. Some PS2 titles were cool, but no one makes games like that any more. I tried a host of analogous titles on XBL, and they're just lame, either in tryhard graphics interfering with the gameplay, an overall aesthetic and scenery theme that fails to deliver, or the controls not being tight enough.
Nintendo's just gotta shake this slump, they just have to make a SNES/N64-solid library.

Morph

#6

Morph said:

@BigH88 thing is £400 isnt a family friendly price tag so i wouldnt be too concerned, ive a feeling nintendo has something big up their sleeve, maybe to do with the nfc on the gamepad

LoBo

#7

LoBo said:

why don't Nintendo revamp the wii U and bring out a much more powerful edition twith 500GB of storage to match the ps4 and call it a Wii U Ultimate edition or something .., this would win over ps& xbox fanboi

Mahe

#8

Mahe said:

Well pick up the slack then, Sony. The PS4 isn't quite there yet.

sdcazares1980

#9

sdcazares1980 said:

I'm not buying his "concerns." His concern about Nintendo is like Target being concerned about Wal-Mart or a mom-and-pop store. If he really was THAT concerned about the casual market, maybe you should start making those kinds of games, right Mr. Sony Boss? I find your lack of faith in your product disturbing.

Fazermint

#10

Fazermint said:

The idiot's got it backwards. The gaming industry slump was already there, Nintendo was just the first to experience it because they launched their console sooner.

Deathgaze

#11

Deathgaze said:

All the casuals left the home console market. Casuals play those terrible phone games.

Either way, yes Nintendo isn't going great but the whole video game industry is. Soon Nintendo, PlayStation and Xbox will be nothing more than a streaming service. Dedicated hardware is on the way out, and Nintendo is the first to really bite the dust.

Legromancer

#12

Legromancer said:

really this family friendly market has disappeared. Do you know anybody who plays with his family or do you do it? I think the times are over. Nintendo may brought a whole new generation into gaming with the blue ocean strategy, but they went to the Playstation, XBOX or to smartphones. Nintendo should have focused at sometime during Wiis late life or during the first days of the Wii U on non-family-friendly games. Call them Harcore games, deep singleplayer expereinces or whatever you want. But that would have been the next logical step after bringing new audiences into video gaming.

Assassinated

#13

Assassinated said:

The link for "posted a quarterly loss" leads to an article starting with the title Nintendo Q3 Results Bring Net Profit...
You contradicted yourself. Loss is expected for the year, but last quarter did not contribute to it.

GN004Nadleeh

#14

GN004Nadleeh said:

sony and ms are doing just fine as nintendo struggles. i thought it was the kid only attitude that was causing problems as most player are now adults. i guess they will continue to never learn

BigH88

#16

BigH88 said:

@Morph if so it better be pokemon cause anything else I don't see anybody caring. Nintendo would be seeing Wii U's selling out.

WYLD-WOO

#17

WYLD-WOO said:

When kids grow up, they will buy a real console. A fruit phone/pad is like a modern day rattle these days. I really can`t see Sony offering many younger player/family games.

Nintenjoe64

#18

Nintenjoe64 said:

Translation: "If Nintendo stopped making hardware, Sony wouldn't know what 'new ideas' to put in their next console". I think Nintendo's slump is a worry for Sony because the PS4 doesn't have a killer app either. If Nintendo can screw up really badly by not having games ready, Sony can screw up just as bad by not having any games that justify a new console. If iOS comes up with a game everybody wants to play before next-gen does, Sony and MS are in just as much trouble as Wii U.

Mahe

#19

Mahe said:

@Jowy Good avatar, but bad information. The "casuals" wouldn't have left if there had been more high-quality games. Just look at Just Dance 2014: that game is fantastic, and it's selling by the boatload, and that's on the original Wii to boot.

Meanwhile, Nintendo produces crap like Nintendoland and Game & Wario. Who would want to buy games like that? Even their Wii Sports HD rehash is a failure. If there were more high-quality games out and the price of Wii U was more reasonable, more "casuals" would be buying and playing the games.

SpookyMeths

#20

SpookyMeths said:

Translation: "I have no idea why anyone over 16 would buy a 3DS instead of a Vita and it haunts me at night, so I'll just assume it's because there are tens of millions of kids buying them."

hosokawasamurai

#21

hosokawasamurai said:

@Nintenjoe64 No, it's not that!:)

Translation: "If Nintendo dissapears (which is something we want to) there will be a gap in making family-friendly games, so, in case that happens (and we want it to), we will be very happy to produce those games and get all of Nintendo's market share".

MrGawain

#22

MrGawain said:

I know the PS4 is doing great guns at the moment, and I expect it to 'win' the sales figure battle between the big 3, but I still think durng the first 6 months of these consoles lifespans are all about hardcore fans buying them. The true test will be with the more casual gamers and those who are happy to sit with their 3's and 360's. The last generation was huge for everyone, and I wonder if this time around will be a little disappointing for gamers and manufacturers? The sales of the Xbone have already started to slow down- in fact I read somewhere that more Wii U's sold than Xbox One's in January.

I guess time will tell!

MrGawain

#23

MrGawain said:

@WYLD-WOO

I remember a time when people thought CD's wouldn't replace vinyl albums due to the warmth of sound. Now bad quality digitised mp3's have destroyed the physical music industry all together. Technology changes things in a very short time- not necessarily for the best.

Sparx

#24

Sparx said:

@Legromancer I play with my family all the time, problem isn't that the market is gone, they just don't know the product is out there

JonnyN

#25

JonnyN said:

If Nintendo did become bankrupt or whatever then it would be bad for the industry as a whole but I highly doubt that will happen.

Jayvir

#26

Jayvir said:

I think Sony and Microsoft especially have really struggled to appeal to the whole family. Viva Pinata on the 360 was a great game and Microsoft REALLY tried to make that work. It just didn't catch though. Same thing with the Kinect junk.

Sony used to have Jak, Ratchet and Sly, but those are more aimed at a teenager audience especially considering the direction they drifted. All they really have is the rapidly declining Little Big Planet. They really have no big name to dangle over the entire family that appeals to all bases. Nintendo is really the only company capable of doing that at the moment. I think Sony sees this and they might be worried that they won't be able to deal in both markets

CaPPa

#27

CaPPa said:

He's right, it's the gradual death of gaming.

Future generations will have been raised playing tablet games, meaning that they will lack the skills to play console games. In turn, console games will need to be dumbed down even more in order to accommodate them.

I've noticed this with our kids. They've grown up playing SNES, Wii, DS, 3DS and have good coordination and reflexes. My nephew only plays iPad games and is useless when they try to play any console games.

Rafie

#28

Rafie said:

@Nintenjoe64 Oh boy please! Can't have an article without somebody attacking the other 2. What other ideas did Sony "steal" from Nintendo? sigh I guess you want the other 2 to do poorly since the Wii U is struggling, eh?

I honestly think if Apple came with a console, it wouldn't well at all. People love to game on their phones because it's easy and portable. Sony and MS will be fine...and so will Nintendo.

tovare

#29

tovare said:

@sdcazares1980 Consumers without options are more likely not to buy at all. Most PS4 and XBox gamers buyers allready know they like gaming, without nintendo portions of the market will just drain away over time especially if the Sony boss knows that people who play Candy Crush on iOS doesn't feel naturally compelled to buy a PS4 and get Killzone.

JacketsNest101

#30

JacketsNest101 said:

I find it funny that the entire industry is blaming nintendo's failure only on nintendo. If they actually took the time to look at the situation carefully, they would realize that they are fault as well for not properly supporting the platform.

JacketsNest101

#31

JacketsNest101 said:

So if the market does take a hit from nintendo's problems, then the rest of the industry only has itself to blame.

shigulicious

#32

shigulicious said:

@Fazermint Agreed. Everyone went bananas after the successful launch of the PS4 and XBoxOne. But I think their sales will slump along much like the WiiU has. This generations launch of consoles was the least exciting to me. The one exception was Nintendo, finally converting to HD. I saw an article predicting that the PS4 and XBone could sell a combined 33 million units this year alone. I don't see it.

jakysnakydx

#33

jakysnakydx said:

People REALLY misinterpret tge market. If Nintendis doing poorly obviously its because xbox and playstation are doing better right? No, the other target a completsly different market. If ninty doesnt have tge family/younger/slash new audience no one does and that means no "hardcore" gamers in the future. without any new people getting hooked on games the more mature systems don't have a sustainable future

nfzeta007

#34

nfzeta007 said:

@GN004Nadleeh Let me clue you in on something you would never know because of how much negative news goes around about Nintendo, Nintendo is actually doing much better than both Sony and Microsoft right now when it comes to gaming, Sony on the other hand is in deep trouble overall as Nintendo who only does gaming is worth more than its entirety and while Microsoft doesn't surpass Nintendo either it has huge masses of funds so nothing bad there.

AKA right now Sony is struggling more than the other 2 by far, especially since they were already down financially and now they are selling the PS4 at a loss.

DarkKirby

#35

DarkKirby said:

I don't see how Sony and Microsoft care that Nintendo isn't doing that well right now. If anything, they are laughing it up.

There are plenty of young gamers on Sony and Microsoft systems, they just play hardcore games.

There is a huge rise of young and casual gamers that prefer smartphone and tablet games but it was a different market then console gaming to begin with and perhaps one of, if not that main reason the Wii ended up failing after years of success and the Wii U never became popular.

The suggestion by Fergal Gara that Nintendo leaving a gap in the young and casual console market effecting Sony and Microsoft... the only way I can see it is if he thinks people would start on "casual" Nintendo games and "move up" to hardcore games on Sony and Microsoft's systems.

But the continued concentrated focus of Nintendo on being that "kid/family friendly" company and developing and selling a product (the Wii U) to a casual audience that simply isn't interested in console gaming anymore is exactly why Nintendo is in this situation in the first place.

Agent721

#36

Agent721 said:

It's a waterfall effect. What Nintendo feels today may eventually drip down to the other two over time. Games in tablets ate too blame. I see it with my little brother...he's ten, and is favorite game "console" is the ipad. He does own 3DS & Wii U. The ease of buying new games & p play almost immediately is a big draw for him.

CaPPa

#38

CaPPa said:

@DarkKirby
They know that it could spell the end for console gaming, so it would be stupid for them to be laughing.

While there probably is some who just started with the 6th or 7th gen, I bet that a lot of PS3/360 gamers grew up playing NES, SNES, Genesis etc.

Tablet gamers may not progress to consoles in the same way. My 4 year old girl is better at console games than my 6 year old nephew, all he plays is the iPad, whereas she has access to SNES, Wii, DS (and a tablet but she mostly uses it for movies). Now when they try to play a game on any system she is better than he is, not because she's naturally better but because he has gotten lazy with simple iOS games.

Lose Nintendo and it'll be felt for future generations.

Nintenjoe64

#40

Nintenjoe64 said:

@Rafie I was kidding, besides that, I wish Nintendo would 'steal' some of Sony's ideas like ensuring 3rd party support, bringing out new consoles before the old one is dead and releasing their back catalogue of games at a sensible rate!

I don't think that phones are going to do much damage to the existing dedicated console market but I do think next gen is a little at risk of publishers making more from other platforms.

shinokami

#41

shinokami said:

@Legromancer They are kinda getting into that wagon, I mean look at the upcoming lineup:

"X", SMT x FE, Bayonetta 2, Hyrule Warriors and I'm sure there will be more.
Only games they have left for local multiplayer are Mario Kart 8 and SSB4 which can also play online. I think they know what they are doing but and they are being underestimated

ZyroXZ2

#42

ZyroXZ2 said:

Not sure if anyone else said it above, but the article says Nintendo just posted a quarterly loss, but they actually posted a quarterly net profit...

Ernest_The_Crab

#43

Ernest_The_Crab said:

@shinokami It seems a lot of people have forgotten already what happened the last time Nintendo was "underestimated." Unlike many of the posters here, at least it seems that Nintendo's competitors are not stupid enough to write them off, cause they know there will be hell to pay if they make that mistake again.

Savino

#44

Savino said:

@WYLD-WOO but this is a tool for you! I bet you listen to vinyls too, my brother is a musician and his collection keep growing... But you cant say that Mp3 didnt crush the physical market!

banacheck

#46

banacheck said:

2014 is a very big year for Nintendo especially to do with the Wii U, sadly I don't see much changing. Nintendo biggest mistake was selling out,

KittenKoder

#47

KittenKoder said:

Nice to see a Sony employee not arrogant enough to think they should control the gaming industry. Though I think his statements are a bit "doom and gloom" on the matter. Nintendo caters to the "family friendly" market, but it is not supported by it. Nintendo is supported by it's portable market, and has been for a while now.

The thing is, though, Nintendo is a roller-coaster, with a lot of ups and downs. This is the price to pay for trying to remain innovative. The dual screen family of portables is a hit, a huge one, that shows no signs of slumping. Wii U was a miss, meh, Sony and Microsoft have had a lot of those as well, but Nintendo is the only gaming company to take risks which give us gamers a lot of great new toys. Because of that last point, us fans will remain loyal to the end, if we ever see an end.

JaxonH

#48

JaxonH said:

Nintendo does contribute to the industry by creating products appealing to younger gamers just starting out or in their early teenage years. They bring these kids into gaming and they become a loyal industry customer for life. The thing is, Nintendo makes their products in such a way that they ALSO appeal to adults and experienced gamers, which is no small feat. Sony's been trying for years to do that, but just can't hit the sweet spot. Either their games appeal to younger kids, or experienced gamers, but very rarely both. That is what Nintendo is best at, and it's the reason they're still in business today.

Case in point. Super Mario 3D World, DKC Tropical Freeze, NSMBU, Pikmin 3, Wonderful 101 and Zelda Windwaker HD all appeal to younger kids and the less experienced. However, all these games ALSO appeal to grown adults, and those who have been gaming for many years. It's a fine line to walk, but they've been doing it for decades now.

JaxonH

#49

JaxonH said:

@KittenKoder

Well said. Wii U's slump is indeed the price of innovation. Some ideas catch on, some don't. And sometimes the best innovations never catch on at all, unfortunately. But in the end, we have no control over any of this- sometimes it's good to just take a step back and go with the flow. Wii U sells what it sells.

Regardless, I'll be playing it and enjoying the great games. If no one else realizes how much fun it is besides me, well, sucks to be them lol, know what I mean? Let em ridicule the console. Condescending remarks tend to fall by the wayside when you're busy playing games like Super Mario 3D World and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. Insults tend to go in one ear and out the other when you have games like DKC Tropical Freeze, Smash Bros 4, X, Bayonetta 2 and Mario Kart 8 to look forward to.

Zombie_Barioth

#50

Zombie_Barioth said:

@LoBo
Because then they really would be on their way to pulling a Sega. It'd be the Sega CD and 32X all over again. Dropping hardware that "didn't work" like a hot potato caused more problems than just waiting it out with an all but dead platform would have.

Having a more normal console cycle would be a really good thing in the long run for Nintendo anyway. If Nintendo can turn things around and the Wii U does Gamecube level numbers, that should be a nice, healthy profit for them.

They could then come out with newer, better hardware after 4-5 years when the other next-gen consoles are getting long in the tooth, and people are kinda getting tired of their current machine and are about ready for a new one.

Funny_Moblin

#51

Funny_Moblin said:

@JaxonH You are right. People just don't want to give the Wii U a try. But from my experience, they just won't get it and I don't know why.

Sometimes, I invite a couple of friends to play the Wii U, and they love it. But they just are not convinced to get one. After playing Nintendoland, a family friend's daughter asked her mom on the spot if she could get a Wii U. But nothing happened.

I personally love my Wii U. I don't understand this generation.

B3ND3R

#52

B3ND3R said:

I don't think any company is doing to hot right now in the gaming industry... Sony and Microsoft have a lot of ground to cover to make their consoles purchase-worthy. I mean, Nintendo isn't doing as well as they could with the Wii U advertisements, but that'll all be laughed about when Smash Bros, Mario Kart, and eventually X hit shelves. I'm sure when the big guns come out, the sales will go up a whole lot more.

B3ND3R

#53

B3ND3R said:

Another thing that is incredibly funny, is that I've had my console since launch, and my friends all scoffed at my Wii U like it was a joke. But after playing it, Two of my friends bought one, and I have another friend getting one for his birthday... These are all people who swear by Sony and Microsoft and were crazy hyped about the new consoles, but then they had a change of heart when I showed off X to them ;) They were all "Oh my gosh! Is this coming to PS4/XB1?!" and I'm all "NOPE. Only on Wii U!". So now they all have em and I have people to play X with :D

Sakura_Moonlight2421

#54

Sakura_Moonlight2421 said:

Says the boss whom is slowly killing the Vita by depriving it of gaming software and trying to turn it into an overpriced controller for the PS3/4

Bolt_Strike

#55

Bolt_Strike said:

I think he's right since no Nintendo means that there's nothing that really drives Microsoft and Sony to improve their console in ways beyond changes in graphics. They're just going to stagnate and die by constantly churning out PC wannabes with high powered graphics and rehashy, dark and edgy shooters.

Zombie_Barioth

#56

Zombie_Barioth said:

@Funny_Moblin
I'd say its not about do they like it, but rather do they like enough to pay the asking price? Especially for parents of younger kids, who won't really care what they play on or how much it cost.

Excep7ional

#57

Excep7ional said:

@Funny_Moblin

They won't get it because Nintendo games don't appeal to them. That probably isn't the case with everyone but I'm sure it plays a roll. I'm not saying Nintendo games are bad, it's just the whole thing about them appealing to kids and being family oriented. It's known that people say "Nintendo games are for kids and babies" so, many people don't really give the games a try no matter how fun they are. I remember one time I was talking with someone and we were joking around about games, consoles and stuff, I said something about getting a Wii U because of Smash and X, he said "man get out of here with that little kid Sh*t lmao". It's the way how Nintendo market themselves that push some people away. I do admit though, most Nintendo games don't appeal to me either because of this. Except for Metroid, Donkey Kong, Star Fox, and Zelda.

@B3ND3R I don't know. I think Sony is doing all right. The Vita just had a huge sales increase in Japan and is continuing to rise up through the charts. The Vita lineup for this year is also looking good, with a lot of games yet to be revealed so it might pick up some momentum in the West too. PS4 is breaking records and their good games haven't even been coming out yet and it still hasn't been released in Japan. I don't know how Microsoft is doing but XB1 seems to be selling units as well. I would say Nintendo is struggling but that isn't true because the 3ds sales are excep7ional. As for the Wii U, I think it's on the same boat as the Vita. Nintendo has a chance to turn this around, they just need to play their cards right.

WYLD-WOO

#59

WYLD-WOO said:

@Savino
Dam right... I owned a record shop upto about 2005 and lost a serious amount of money because of mp3 downloads. The sweet sound of vinyl is still the only choice for me brother and is prettty much all I play in a club. I do think people are starting to see the problems of using mp3 services tho.

Deathgaze

#60

Deathgaze said:

@Mahe Haha thanks mate, you have a great taste in games to know where it's from. ;). I dunno if I agree or disagree, I'm not going to claim to be some market expert. All I know is that the vast majority of casuals from what I've seen have moved to iOS/Android phones and tablets.

kensredemption

#61

kensredemption said:

The Sony brand has unfortunately become a haven for the degenerates of the gaming community. Because of Microsoft's stricter online policies, persistence of premium subscription services, mandatory use of the Kinect, high price tag and hampered hardware, the dude-bros of last-gen flock to the quasi-cost-effective but still feature-packed PS4. That particular demographic alienates consumers from dabbling in video games. The only reason I had games growing up were because of Nintendo's reputation for being family-friendly, and I seriously doubt I'd have gotten into gaming if my parents knew I'd hear the F-word playing with other people every 5 seconds. If Nintendo goes, so does the whole damn industry.

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