Nintendo to become 'primarily a software company' says Bing Gordon

Former EA COO believes Mario maker may exit hardware business one day, but as long as Miyamoto comes to work, company can sell systems.

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Nintendo's hardware manufacturing days are numbered, according to industry veteran Bing Gordon. The former Electronic Arts chief operating officer told GamesIndustry International in an interview published today that Nintendo may follow Sega in exiting the hardware business.

If Miyamoto sticks around, Nintendo can continue to sell hardware, Gordon says.

"I think Nintendo's already on track to become primarily a software company," Gordon said, when asked about the challenges the Wii U faces at launch this holiday season.

Gordon compared Nintendo to Sega, a company that once had a foothold in the hardware market, but ultimately shifted to developing software exclusively. He said Nintendo will remain viable as a hardware manufacturer so long as its creative talent--specifically Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto--continues to come to work.

"We saw that with Sega back in the day; Sega made some missteps and became primarily a software company. Nintendo hasn't really made missteps, Nintendo probably has better creative talent and better leadership now than Sega did," Bing said. "It's got the most robust business model, the best creative talent; Miyamoto's still the best in the business. So far, when Miyamoto makes a perfect game, in his career he makes games worth $200--it's worth buying a system for."

Speaking about Nintendo's DS line of portable hardware, Gordon said Nintendo faces a multitude of competitors, and offering its games on smartphones and other mobile devices may be the way to go.

"I think the handheld is going to be under a lot of pressure," he said. "I can imagine a day when Nintendo wonders--and maybe it's generational change--when Nintendo wonders if they ought to take some of their best games and make them apps."

Nintendo has loudly declared it has no intention of entering the smartphone business, despite acknowledging that smartphones and tablets have undoubtedly changed the mobile market in which its DS line operates.

Discussion

0 comments
flashn00b
flashn00b

I still think that a software-only nintendo wouldn't be all too bad. I can definitely see them working with the people making the Rise of the Triad remake to do an HD makeover of one of their N64 or Gamecube titles.

StarkJJ
StarkJJ

People are afraid of how awesome Nintendo is.  Strange...

LordWaffleKing
LordWaffleKing

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh God, that was funny. Was this supposed to be a news article? I call it a smear campaign. "Nintendo's days are numbered, just like Sega. Only they didn't make mistakes like Sega, are much more creative than Sega, and can make games worth buying a system for." Yeah, and McDonalds is practically a gourmet restaurant. Only the food they serve is garbage, they stuff their meat full of drugs to addict you, and the meat they use is probably a sentient blob of goo that's plotting world domination as we eat it.

Nexttime45
Nexttime45

I don't mind playing Mario on Xbox, as long as I can play Mario.

wheelbobby
wheelbobby

mario on a smartphone...somehopw that doesnt amuse me at all. stick to the consoles

SadPSPAddict
SadPSPAddict

Can't see it myself - soooo soooo many Wii's and DS's sold they must turn a profit on hardware so why stop??

Pupkinface
Pupkinface

Just wait how crazy good aliens colonial marines is on the wii u with the sonar on the wii u pad. Nintendo could make a system with only Mario on it and I would still buy it

nomadski69
nomadski69

Why is it when I see the name "Bing" I instantly think "Fail"?

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

I actually thought Nintendo was gonna go that route after the GameCube, but then came the craze known as the wii, and all is well. I had, and still have the Xbox" ps2, and GameCube, and I actually preferred my GameCube a bit more, and was disappointed as I watched more, and more third party support dwindle away in its last few years. Everything was going to the Xbox, and still on the PS2, but avoiding the Cube. I figured Nintendo would adopt Sega's strategy and move to software only, but they hung in there, and we know they're not going out without a fight. Another thing they had going for them that Sega didn't was their handheld division, which kept profits high, even when software sales for the Cube were stale. I don't know if this WiiU will have as much success as the Wii did, but I would like to see Nintendo stay in the console business, or any of the other console makers for that matter. I love having all these choices, and different available gaming experience available.

servb0ts
servb0ts

This guy is more silly than a can of beans, Miyamoto is smart and he has more brains than this peanut gallery is giving him. Miyamoto is already passing his knowledge thru developers in nintendo franchise. so when he retires the Nintendo name will stay strong. :D

DoomglooM
DoomglooM

please....like the next playstation and xcrap are gonna be supercomputers with soooooo good graphics....anyone remember the hype for this gen? pisshha

rey2
rey2

"I think Nintendo's already on track to become primarily a software company,"  Funny coming from that model company he formerly runs.  EA on the other hand is gonna kick the bucket sooner.  

rarson
rarson

By the way, Sega's biggest problem has always been management, not hardware. With the Genesis, they didn't have the best hardware, but they were able to make it sell with the right managerial decisions. Then they decided to crap all over their loyal customers with crappy Sega CD games and the 32X. Then they abandoned that stuff and went to the Saturn (completely botching its launch in the process). Then they abandoned the Saturn and went to the Dreamcast. Then they abandoned the Dreamcast and switched to only software. Then they started churning out crappy software.

 

Saturn and Dreamcast had their issues, but neither one of those consoles would have done as poorly as they did had Sega not mishandled, and then abandoned, them.

rarson
rarson

This is funny, it really is. Seriously, go check out the list of news stories on Gamespot right now. Here are some pertinent headlines:

 

Crysis 3 possible for Wii U

Microsoft shuts down two Vancouver projects, lays off staff

Nintendo shrinks 3DS losses (sales of 3DS improving)

PS Vita overheating prompts Japanese investigation

PS3 neglecting family-friendly genre, says Sony boss

Lack of next-gen hurting creativity, says Ubisoft

 

Sounds like Nintendo are doing better than Microsoft and Sony...

mamelon2012
mamelon2012

Yea, Nintendo will be a software only company coming directly after their most successful lines of consoles ever.  Im sure that is their business model.

r1g0
r1g0

who the hell is "bing gordon"? familly of chandler Bing?

bluepuppy82
bluepuppy82

Ok Bing, there is one HUGE difference between Sega and Nintendo concerning the whole dropping out of the hardware race..... Nintendo is actually winning the generation before the release of its next gen console. The Wii is not in last place like the Sega Saturn was before the release of the Dreamcast. Nintendo made and is continuing to make money off the Wii. Lots of it. Not losing money like Sega did with the Saturn. Bing, you need to think before making predictions like that.

EmericaCky2K
EmericaCky2K

Nintendo sucks... I have been saying this ever since they invented the I-phone.

 

Wii-U will epic fail. 

 

foxfacer2d2
foxfacer2d2

in his dreams!!! nintendo will always sell hardware and games until the end of time

SolanOcard
SolanOcard

Nintendo needs to keep the DS relevant by making it a mutli-media machine. It won't compete directly with the ipad, not at a reasonable price point or retaining true hand held portability, but it can definitely overlap their functionality.

Mayleene
Mayleene

Wishful thinking BingO Gordon Fisherman.  You just can't accept the fact that Nintendo is the soul daddy of gaming and want them to fail.  Guess what, if they fail, ALL will fail.  Just look where the innovation is coming from.

DemannameD
DemannameD

On a side note Bing Gordon, has never seen or played a Gameboy, Virtual Boy, Gameboy Pocket, Gameboy Light, Gameboy Color, Gameboy advanced, Gameboy Advanced SP, Nintendo DS, Game Boy Micro, Nintendo DS Lite, Nintendo DSi, Nintendo DSi XL, Nintendo 3DS or a Nintendo 3DS XL.... Or maybe he is just retarded. Nintendo was released more hardware than ANY game company. Not to mention  the NES, Super NES, Nintendo 64, Game Cube, Wii and Wii U.... The Wii has also moved 93 million systems compared to 66 million and 64 Million sold by Microsoft and Sony respectively. But this idiot sounds like he knows what he is talking about... *rolls eyes*

RavenXavier
RavenXavier

Nope, not gonna happen, Bing.

 

P.S. Your search engine sucks.

 

(note: that was a joke, obviously Microsoft makes Bing, not this guy)

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

i am sorry i dissagree that sega put out a machine then releasing quality games for it like they did with the saturn and dreamcast is not a misshap. the thing is no matter how good a machine is it is not going to win a console war when it is being played down while the other machine is being hyped up. put that to gether with people going into a shop to buy a saturn and the people at the store tell them to buy a playstation and you have a reslut where no matter what quality games they put out sega could not compete with all the bais for sony that was happening in that day basically. being an ex ea guy i would say he knows all about bais for sony. nintendo software only  as long a there no 1 in handheld consoles i don't see that happening. if it happen i would say it would be years from now.

djmaster1994
djmaster1994

 @godzillavskong Your dumb

Nintendo made money from EVERY FUCKING Gameboy Color and Advance sales. If Nintendo never entered the handheld market they will probably close Nintendo as a whole and not sell their ips. Also Gamecube and N64 were profitable. GO DO SOME  FRISKING RESEARCH! 

DoomglooM
DoomglooM

along with the teaser videos as say Killzone 2 pfft

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

 @rarson Dreamcast did not do to bad at all just the fact they losts on every unit sold ment they had to leave hardware.

rey2
rey2

 @rarson It was a shame too.  I bought those systems and had high expectation for both Saturn and Dreamcast.  Only Sony's PS and PS2 came out on top back then. 

DCeric
DCeric

 @EmericaCky2K Yeah I'll take the extremely buggy Windows 8 Release Preview over an Ipad lol.  I enjoy Nintendo products not half as much as the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.  

Bubbagum_Bish
Bubbagum_Bish

 @EmericaCky2K You're ignorant. Iphone "games" have NEVER been as good as Nintendo's masterpieces. Enjoy your apps or whatever.

Eruu
Eruu

 @jtthegame316 Yes, and the fact that were only released a total of 688 games for the Dreamcast (4 times less than the Playstation 2) had nothing to do with it...

Andrex1212
Andrex1212

@djmaster1994 @godzillavskong You call godzillavskong dumb and then type out this INSANE load of garbage? Wow... I will never stop being amazed and amused by the morons I see online I don't think...

Andrex1212
Andrex1212

@DoomglooM What are you even talking about...??? What do graphics have to do with anything here? There was no talk about graphics in this entire article... and who is saying the Playstation and Xbox are going to be "supercomputers"? They will obviously be much more powerful than this generation; that isn't even debatable. Also, the teaser videos for Killzone 2? What planet are you from where Killzone 2's graphics weren't absolutely UNBELIEVABLE especially for 2007? When I saw that trailer I couldn't believe that I would be playing a game with graphics like that in this generation; I very seriously thought it would take until the next generation for stuff like that. You don't seem impressed by the actual game though based on your comment... it seems you are trying to say that the trailer was BS and that the game was nowhere near as good as that trailer they showed at E3 in 2007. You clearly are some delusional Nintendo-only club member who didn't even own a PS3 or try the game once because the graphics were identical to the trailer which they said was real-time footage and that statement was true.

Most companies make games but use only cutscene footage for their trailers and commercials so they can trick people into thinking the game is more amazing than it is; but I never fall for that crap as a lot of conscientiousness gamers ignore it as well. A huge example is World of Warcraft. That game's trailer and expansion pack trailers are absolutely amazing to watch; but they have zero similarity to the actual game itself.

Anyways... not sure why I wasted time even replying to this considering you will likely continue to blindly trash Microsoft and Sony for no reason at all regardless of my-or anybody else's for that matter-attempt to talk sense into you. I'm not an MS or Sony fanboy either just for the record; I own a Wii U and have owned every console from Nintendo and each other company since the NES came out in North America, which is why I will never understand fanboy-ism... Games are meant to be enjoyed, that's really the fundamental idea behind video games, it's to enjoy them. 

Learn to enjoy and embrace games and gaming more man! Sit back and relax and enjoy the games you own. Life is too short to waste time bashing things on an online comments section on GameSpot. I (not-surprisingly) have nothing important to do at the moment, or tomorrow; so I'm sitting here wasting my time posting on here... but now after typing this out I feel that I've wasted so much time that I'm now going to play games. Thanks for making me realize I'm stupidly wasting my time! Haha

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

@rey2 @rarson Yeah, I love my Saturn, and Dreamcast, and I wish Sega wouldn't have pulled the plug so early on either. I understand why they did, but they were sad days indeed. Sega hasn't been the same, powerful company since those hardware days.

Andrex1212
Andrex1212

@rarson I'm not a Nintendo hater, but I also don't respect anybody who makes such silly biased comments; especially when using facts that aren't very relevant aside from trying to 'prove' or 'solidify' their opinion. That's all it is... it's an opinion that Nintendo is doing better than it's two competitors. They aren't doing as bad as I thought they might from the Wii U, but they certainly aren't doing better than Microsoft or Sony considering they both sell a hell of a lot more products than just video game hardware and software.

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

@DCeric @EmericaCky2K Heck, I love my IPad, but for things other than gaming. I'll leave my gaming needs for 360, wii, and ps3. You really can't even mention a apple product in the same breath when compared to a first party Nintendo game. Different league altogether!!

DemannameD
DemannameD

 @mlcarter815 Oh really? you Have those in front of you? What numbers are you looking at? Nintendo isn't in a huge slump, They are at the top of hard ware sold. Its hard to sell much more systems than they already have. New system should help out. "The financial statements say otherwise." Try a little harder than that dude... Weak Sauce.

Killer6b9
Killer6b9

 @Eruu  @jtthegame316 The Dreamcast died WAYYY before the PS2 did so that is not a valid argument with that in mind....the Dreamcast was too far ahead of its time and it failed because they were trying to do things that people was not all able to do. at that time internet was a luxury and now has become more of a necessity then a luxury so online gaming has evolved mainly cause Sega had a envision that you could play console games online......but attempted way too early to mass market..

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

 @Eruu the first party titles were awesome on both saturn and dreamcast. like i was saying there is not particular reason why they failed it was a combination of things but the games certainley had nothing to do with failing because the games is what should have gave them the number one spot however when you have people who will buy anything that has sony written on it combine with all the media hype for the palystation that was happening back then. i seen it in the saturn days where they made out games were playstation only when they were both saturn and playstation.. A trick microsoft do back to sony these days. Put that together with the fact that in the saturn time there were people who went in the store to pick up the saturn and were talked in to the playstation then people who were told wait for the ps 2 when it come to dreamcast and you have situation where no matter how good the sega console is its not going to be able to compete with all this bs going so sega stopped making hardware because of the fact they lose money on hardware and make money on software.

Eruu
Eruu

 @rarson I know it ended 2001 and i don't need to check wikipedia to know that  and Dreamcast library was anything but 'fine', they barely had any 3rd party support and the first party titles weren't much aside from a few Gems like Shenmue, Soul Calibur and crazy taxi. Why do you think they stop producting in 2001, one year after PS2 was released...

rarson
rarson

 @Eruu

 

Dreamcast production ended in 2001. All of the systems sold after the last production units were gone were refurbished systems. Support outside of Japan was completely gone by early 2002.

 

Dreamcast's library was fine, although it was missing some key franchises, like anything from EA (which was mostly just sports at the time). It died because Sega announced that they weren't going to continue supporting it less than a year and a half (January of 2001) after they launched the damn thing. And that's because management decided to become a software company.

 

I would think a video game "journalist" or a goddamn "industry veteran" would actually know the history of the industry, but clearly I'm expecting too much. The Dreamcast failed because the company decided to switch to software; it was NOT the other way around.

 

@Killer6b9

 

Internet was actually cheaper and more widely available back then (everyone had already had a phone line), but it was much slower. Dial-up just wasn't capable of providing lag-free gameplay and broadband wasn't widely available.

Eruu
Eruu

The last Dreamcast units were sold in 2006, 7 years after the console release..They were ahead of N64 (a console released 3 years earlier) in sales from july to september 2000. The reason it started dying was because it had a poor library of games not to mention 1\3 of those games were only released in Japan.