Tough Times for Nintendo Could Indicate Troubling Trend For Video Games – The Geek Girl Report
Nintendo has always been a juggernaut in the video game world. They've created some of the most recognizable franchises and characters in the industry, such as Super Mario, Legend of Zelda, and Pokemon. For a while, it seemed like Nintendo could do no wrong. Nowadays? Not so much...
It was announced Friday that Nintendo posted a loss of over $530 million, its first annual loss since the company went public. The main reason sales were so low was price cuts to both of Nintendo's major consoles. Sales of the Wii console were much lower than previous years. And Nintendo had a lot of hope riding on its new 3DS handheld console, but less-than-stellar sales of the system prompted a massive price cut, which the company is citing as the main reason sales are down so dramatically this year. A strong yen was also contributed to the company's loss.
But I think there's a little more to it than that. Nintendo has always had a knack for attracting the "casual gamer" with its innovative technology and games that are lots of fun, yet simple enough for anyone to jump in and play. But now, those casual gamers have turned elsewhere to get their gaming fix: their smartphones. Popular games like Angry Birds, Bejeweled and Words with Friends are readily available on phones and tablets, no need for a console. And by comparison, it's a lot easier for a casual games to shell out $1.00 for an app than it is to pay $30-40 for the newest game. When you can have quirky, fun little games wherever you go, who needs a console?
I don't think this trend applies to the hardcore gamers yet, but it could be a sign of things to come. As tablets and smartphone increase in power and sophistication, so will the apps. I think it's entirely possible that, sometime in the future, we could have mobile games that are just as impressive as your standard console game. And if that's the case, it could spell big trouble for the video game industry as a whole. In the meantime, however, Nintendo has to find a way to pull itself up out of this hole. Let's hope that Nintendo's new Wii U console can make up the difference.