Nintendo’s Attitude Towards Mobile Devices and Arcade Titles Hurts Sales
While Nintendo had no problem porting the classic Ms Pacman cocktail table to the Nintendo Entertainment System, they haven’t been as receptive to other titles. Nintendo originally made a name for itself in the gaming industry based on the fact that it produced products that appealed to the entire family. As other game developers have openly embraced cultural shifts toward more violent and mature content, high ranking officials at the legendary company chose to stay the course.
When the Nintendo Wii was first introduced, the company was confident that they would dominate the home console market. However, with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 slated for release, many in the industry are wondering why Nintendo hasn’t throw its hat into the ring. It appears that Nintendo would rather focus most of it’s attention on portable gaming devices like the Nintendo 3DS.
Pulling out of the home gaming market, even if only temporary, is a strange move to say the least. With tablets, smart phones, notebooks and laptops becoming more popular with gamers, relatively few are willing to pay premium prices for games that are only compatible with a single system. When compared to the Apple iPad, the Nintendo 3DS’s reliance on game discs seems a little antiquated. Consumers no longer believe that physical products are more valuable than digital downloads.
Instead of going head to head with Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo has put itself in an even worse position. Every year, Apple makes hundreds of millions of dollars via the iTunes store. Although only a fraction of this can be attributed to the sale of mobile games, note that Nintendo made only $4 million from the sale of the Nintendo 3DS and compatible games.
While Nintendo continues to release classic arcade complications like Ms Pacman cocktail table collector’s edition, it seems that their console and game development strategy isn’t based on reality. Consumers will continue to buy smart phones and portable electronic devices that are accessible to the web, email and mobile games because they provide high value. As sad as it is to say, there aren’t many 30-somethings vying to buy the Nintendo 3DS, especially when compared to other devices capable of mobile gaming.