Iwata's Biggest Mistake, Killing The DS Brand

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#1 Edited by Jaysonguy (37674 posts) -

Iwata isn't very good at what he does. He's had two pieces of hardware under his watch, the Wii U and the 3DS, and each one is a disaster.

Haz wrote a nice post about how Iwata is making the company go down in flames

So the Wii U is dead in the water. It'll get some software but really it's done.

The 3DS is another creature altogether and where Iwata made his biggest mistake.

In order try to fix the disaster that was the 3DS Iwata cut it's price by more than 30%. It flew of the shelves and is selling well but besides losing more than one third on every single sale it has permanently hurt the DS brand.

I have a friend who said "you can never go back from free" meaning that once someone knows that a product has been released at a low price point you can never raise that price without causing problems.

Nintendo has always set the gold standard for portable game systems and their prices, they dictated the market. They have told the consumers "we know what we want this to sell for so that is how much it's worth".

In an age of mobile devices Nintendo released a product that wasn't wanted with a gimmick that was already on it's way out at launch. When it sold poorly Nintendo acquiesced and for all intensive purposes said "you are right, handheld gaming isn't worth our asking price" and sliced more than one third off.

Once that cut was done on the DS brand it couldn't be reversed. When the 3DS XL was released it had to have a lower price point because of the 3DS price cut. That of course started problems because the original 3DS sold for 250 but the 3DS XL sold for 200 and the arguments of Nintendo charging too much for low tech devices really took hold.

Iwata has now has set a disastrous precedent for Nintendo. He has come out waving the white flag saying that their hardware is not worth the initial cost of ownership. Whoever takes over for Iwata will need to operate under the new rules that Iwata's made.

Iwata is going to be known for many things that went wrong for Nintendo but the biggest thing will be how he devalued the company's entire handheld brand not only today but for the company going forward as well.

#2 Edited by Toxic-Seahorse (4135 posts) -

lol, jaysonguy thread.

3DS is a big success. Not as big as the DS, but still a success none the less.

#3 Posted by Ovirew (6388 posts) -

I wonder what Jaysonguy is gonna be remembered for...

#4 Posted by YearoftheSnake5 (7481 posts) -

@Toxic-Seahorse said:

lol, jaysonguy thread.

3DS is a big success. Not as big as the DS, but still a success none the less.

#5 Posted by Jaysonguy (37674 posts) -

@Toxic-Seahorse said:

lol, jaysonguy thread.

3DS is a big success. Not as big as the DS, but still a success none the less.

You don't understand the post, run along now

#6 Posted by Jaysonguy (37674 posts) -

@YearoftheSnake5 said:

@Toxic-Seahorse said:

lol, jaysonguy thread.

3DS is a big success. Not as big as the DS, but still a success none the less.

You're also unable to understand it

#7 Posted by mariokart64fan (19522 posts) -

@Jaysonguy: the 2nd poster may not understand but i understand your dire hate towards nintendo , and your threads are always negative towards anything worth mentioning , i watch you post day in day out about how nintendos dead but another product i wont name you praise yet its selling less then wiiu in most cases

#8 Posted by Haziqonfire (36344 posts) -

@Jaysonguy said:

Haz wrote a nice post about how Iwata is making the company go down in flames

Damn you for this lol.

I disagree about the 3DS. It's a fairly successful platform, though under performing by Nintendo's standards and compared to the DS.

I also disagree with your assessment that Iwata messed up the DS and Wii. Those ideas were very indeed developed prior to him having control but his direction guided the company throughout. He's not an idiot. He knows what he's doing -- and every company and individual needs to go through failures. Wii U is Nintendo's failure at the moment and they need to seriously re-think their business.

#9 Edited by Shinobishyguy (22486 posts) -

3ds is only a failure in the context of the ds, which is the greatest selling platform of all time.

Outside of that it's doing fine and was actually a top seller during the holidays even in the face of the next gen console launches

#10 Edited by AmazonTreeBoa (16745 posts) -

@Jaysonguy said:

Iwata isn't very good at what he does. He's had two pieces of hardware under his watch, the Wii U and the 3DS, and each one is a disaster.

I stopped reading right there and realized I was reading the thread of a SW troll. Nuff said.

#11 Posted by Grieverr (2735 posts) -

Iwata's successor can fix this "problem" by releasing current and powerful hardware. They can then say "in the past, we at Nintendo believed in family fun and affordable technology. The new Nintendo is now cutting edge and on the latest tech". They have to be able to justify their prices.

#12 Posted by TransformerRobo (488 posts) -

@Grieverr said:

Iwata's successor can fix this "problem" by releasing current and powerful hardware. They can then say "in the past, we at Nintendo believed in family fun and affordable technology. The new Nintendo is now cutting edge and on the latest tech". They have to be able to justify their prices.

That isn't happening fast enough.

#13 Edited by KBFloYd (13794 posts) -

the 3ds xl is cheaper to make than the original 3DS...ive had one...it feels cheaper...yet they sell it for 50$ more... 220 instead of 150...

they must be making up for the original 3ds being severly price cut..... its just that the wiiU is selling worse than the dreamcast....thats what hurt their quarterly report.

#14 Posted by RealJaysonguy (219 posts) -

The nice thing about the younger market is that they won't ever remember the first year of the 3DS, nor will they remember the price. The handheld market is dominated by ten year olds who aren't paying attention to the namesake of anything. If we were talking about a market dominated by 30 year old business men, then the value of the DS name, and it's subsequent price drop less than half a year after release, would have greatly impacted the quality of its brand, but with 3DS market is going to remember the first year as much as people remember the original fat DS that was replaced a year later with the DS lite, which is when the console exploded in popularity.

You're absolutely right that the 3DS name is ruined forever from a business standpoint, it's just that the people who want them won't ever care.

#15 Edited by Nuck81 (5861 posts) -

@Jaysonguy said:

Iwata isn't very good at what he does. He's had two pieces of hardware under his watch, the Wii U and the 3DS, and each one is a disaster.

Haz wrote a nice post about how Iwata is making the company go down in flames

So the Wii U is dead in the water. It'll get some software but really it's done.

The 3DS is another creature altogether and where Iwata made his biggest mistake.

In order try to fix the disaster that was the 3DS Iwata cut it's price by more than 30%. It flew of the shelves and is selling well but besides losing more than one third on every single sale it has permanently hurt the DS brand.

I have a friend who said "you can never go back from free" meaning that once someone knows that a product has been released at a low price point you can never raise that price without causing problems.

Nintendo has always set the gold standard for portable game systems and their prices, they dictated the market. They have told the consumers "we know what we want this to sell for so that is how much it's worth".

In an age of mobile devices Nintendo released a product that wasn't wanted with a gimmick that was already on it's way out at launch. When it sold poorly Nintendo acquiesced and for all intensive purposes said "you are right, handheld gaming isn't worth our asking price" and sliced more than one third off.

Once that cut was done on the DS brand it couldn't be reversed. When the 3DS XL was released it had to have a lower price point because of the 3DS price cut. That of course started problems because the original 3DS sold for 250 but the 3DS XL sold for 200 and the arguments of Nintendo charging too much for low tech devices really took hold.

Iwata has now has set a disastrous precedent for Nintendo. He has come out waving the white flag saying that their hardware is not worth the initial cost of ownership. Whoever takes over for Iwata will need to operate under the new rules that Iwata's made.

Iwata is going to be known for many things that went wrong for Nintendo but the biggest thing will be how he devalued the company's entire handheld brand not only today but for the company going forward as well.

You're a dipshit if you think that the 3DS is losing 30% of profit on every unit sold.

Maybe you should pay attention tomorrow in your middle school economy class about supply and demand.

A product is only worth what someone will pay for it.

#16 Posted by RealJaysonguy (219 posts) -

@Nuck81: When they cut the price of the 3ds a few months after release, they were in fact losing about 30% of profits. That obviously didn't last long, and I'm sure they're working to find cheaper ways to construct the console. What you have to do with the posts of my other half is dig through all the fire-starting nonsense and find some truth.

In the most recent investors' meeting, it was confirmed that the 3ds is still selling at a loss. It's highly unlikely, if not completely impossible, that the 3ds is still losing 30% on every system sold. But the fact remains that it still loses money, and that's a problem.

#17 Posted by bonesawisready5 (4713 posts) -

I've never hated the image of a cat so very much.

Iwata will probably have to go in the near future but to be fair, he also spear headed the DS and Wii. So two run away successess, two flops. He's 2/4, lets see how he does with the next console which is rumored to be the 3DS successor in 2015 or 2016

#18 Edited by Jaysonguy (37674 posts) -

@bonesawisready5 said:

Iwata will probably have to go in the near future but to be fair, he also spear headed the DS and Wii.

No he didn't.

#19 Posted by KBFloYd (13794 posts) -

@Jaysonguy said:

@bonesawisready5 said:

Iwata will probably have to go in the near future but to be fair, he also spear headed the DS and Wii.

No he didn't.

prove that he didnt.

#20 Posted by trugs26 (5554 posts) -

What choice did he have? Not make a price cut? Not sell units? Fact of the matter is, mobile gaming is a real thing and it has risen in popularity toward the end of the DS's life. 3DS is in the midst of it, and early sales of the 3DS was a disaster. Handheld gaming was devalued as a whole by a lot of factors, such as mobile gaming, not by Iwata. The Vita further illustrates this point.

#21 Posted by Jaysonguy (37674 posts) -

@KBFloYd said:

@Jaysonguy said:

@bonesawisready5 said:

Iwata will probably have to go in the near future but to be fair, he also spear headed the DS and Wii.

No he didn't.

prove that he didnt.

Not complicated

He ran things all the way to 2005, The DS was done and selling selling like hotcakes and the DSLite was signed, sealed, and delivered only waiting to make it's entrance to help usher in the Wii. The Wii was finalized and it's course was charted for the first 18 months.

Iwata took over with the DS in full swing and his first full year on the Wii was 2009, oh yeah the same year the bottom fell out.

#22 Edited by turtlethetaffer (16788 posts) -

How in the hell is the 3DS a failure again? I just got mine in the summer and already have 9 games for it, no small feat considering that I have a limited income. If anything, the 3DS is turning out to be at least as good as the DS.

Oh, wait, silly me, I thought we were talking about the amount of quality games on the system.

#23 Posted by Jaysonguy (37674 posts) -

@turtlethetaffer said:

How in the hell is the 3DS a failure again? I just got mine in the summer and already have 9 games for it, no small feat considering that I have a limited income. If anything, the 3DS is turning out to be at least as good as the DS.

Oh, wait, silly me, I thought we were talking about the amount of quality games on the system.

I don't know how you could confuse the two

Also if we're going to talk about the overall quality of the software for handhelds the Vita's titles scored higher than the 3DS in 2013

What I'm talking about are the things that matter, sales and how they either hurt or help a company

#24 Posted by turtlethetaffer (16788 posts) -

@Jaysonguy: Lol review scores. take this shit to System Wars.

And Nintendo, while not great, isn't exactly hurting, either. Is the 3D a gimmick? Yup, it is, and almost no one uses it. And yet the 3DS still sells. Because it has great games available. I'm not gonna sit here and tell you the 3DS is a tremendous success, because its slow start was anything but. But now it's on its feet and there's an almost constant supply of good games being released for it.

#25 Posted by Jaysonguy (37674 posts) -

@turtlethetaffer said:

@Jaysonguy: Lol review scores. take this shit to System Wars.

And Nintendo, while not great, isn't exactly hurting, either. Is the 3D a gimmick? Yup, it is, and almost no one uses it. And yet the 3DS still sells. Because it has great games available. I'm not gonna sit here and tell you the 3DS is a tremendous success, because its slow start was anything but. But now it's on its feet and there's an almost constant supply of good games being released for it.

You're the one that brought up the games and their quality.

The problem the 3DS faces is how much Nintendo takes in from those sales and also that it doesn't have the same software support the DS had after the same amount of time

#26 Edited by turtlethetaffer (16788 posts) -

@Jaysonguy: I said that I own nine games already, which is no small feat considering my limited income. Never compared it to anything, just said there are a lot of good games.

Also, think about this. How many copies did Pokemon sell? Nintendo is doing fine, yeah there have been bad business practices but it's not like they're doomed or anything.

Also how many threads do you plan on making about Iwata's terribleness?

#27 Edited by KBFloYd (13794 posts) -

@Jaysonguy said:

@KBFloYd said:

@Jaysonguy said:

@bonesawisready5 said:

Iwata will probably have to go in the near future but to be fair, he also spear headed the DS and Wii.

No he didn't.

prove that he didnt.

Not complicated

He ran things all the way to 2005, The DS was done and selling selling like hotcakes and the DSLite was signed, sealed, and delivered only waiting to make it's entrance to help usher in the Wii. The Wii was finalized and it's course was charted for the first 18 months.

Iwata took over with the DS in full swing and his first full year on the Wii was 2009, oh yeah the same year the bottom fell out.

this is a nice little fairy tale to tuck my kids in at night but i needs facts to back it up...im not taking your word for it.

do you have anything to back this up?

#28 Posted by bonesawisready5 (4713 posts) -

@Jaysonguy: Yes because he totally did absolutely nothing and had no impact whatsoever on R/D until then. Jaysonguy can't you just post on your website or something when you've got things to say like this? At least then I'm sure you'd do well with flamebait headlines on N4G and probably make a decent buck with advertising instead of antagonizing GameSpot users. At least profit from all of this.

#29 Edited by REVOLUTIONfreak (18139 posts) -

I'm pretty sure the average consumer would think nothing of this. Not to mention that Nintendo has enough of a history that two blips in the radar won't forever hurt its brand.

Also, what is this nonsense about Iwata having nothing to do with the Wii and DS? He took over as president more than a decade ago, for goodness sake.

#30 Posted by bonesawisready5 (4713 posts) -

@REVOLUTIONfreak: Just JaysonGuy being JaysonGuy. Says something outlandish and when someone calls him out on it he either cherry picks what he wants to respond to or ignores everything. Like I've already said, dude should leave us alone and work on his website. He'd probably earn a nice living if he networked these things right, trolling all of the web instead of just GameSpot.

#31 Edited by EnoshimaJunko (209 posts) -

Jaysonguy, we get it already, you hate Nintendo (or at least Iwata).

The 3DS isn't a faliure. The WiiU, on the other hand...

#32 Posted by bonesawisready5 (4713 posts) -

@KBFloYd: 1. Wow you're math and prices are way off

2. 3DS is $169, XL is $199, that's a $30 difference.

3. I'm sure Nintendo makes a good profit on the 2DS, 3DS and XL. Probably $10-$30 per unit after retailers get their cut

#33 Posted by KBFloYd (13794 posts) -

@bonesawisready5 said:

@KBFloYd: 1. Wow you're math and prices are way off

2. 3DS is $169, XL is $199, that's a $30 difference.

3. I'm sure Nintendo makes a good profit on the 2DS, 3DS and XL. Probably $10-$30 per unit after retailers get their cut

yea the special edition 3ds xls are 220... and i didnt know what the price was of the regular 3ds these days.

#34 Edited by MirkoS77 (7572 posts) -

Killing off the DS brand? Uh, no....

I think Iwata's worst oversight and mistake he's made that's helped Nintendo down the path it's currently on is the continual neglection of the Western market and the belittlement of 3rd party support throughout all the years. In fact, from all I've read, I hear that Iwata not only chooses to neglect the Western audience, he holds it in complete contempt. He loathes the types of games that are successful here. Who knows if this is true, but the proof does seem to be in the pudding.

From Neogaf:

"From 1990-2000. Nintendo of America had production and management autonomy from Japan. NOA basically culminated its own production team, along a few co-designers, and started funding and producing games with developers.

DMA Design: Uni Racers, Body Harvest (Nintendo dropped it in 1997, Midway took it)

Angel Studios: Ken Griffey Baseball, Buggie Boogie (canceled)

Bits Studios: Warlocked, Riqa (canceled)

Rare: Donkey Kong Country, Killer Instinct, Goldeneye 007, Perfect Dark

Software Creations: Ken Griffey Baseball, Tin Star

Silicon Knights: Eternal Darkness (N64 version)

Left Field Productions: Kobey Bryant in NBA Courtside, Excitebike 64

Looking Glass Studio: Mini Racers (canceled)

Mass Media: Star Craft 64

H20: Tetrisphere

Saffire Corp: Nester's Funky Bowling, James Bond 007

Midway: Cruisn Series

Nintendo of America also procured the Ken Griffey and MLBPA license, NHL License, Kobe Bryant and NBA license, PGA license, Disney license, James Bond license, StarCraft license. Star Wars Episode I license. They were producing their own first-party games separate fromNintendo of Japan.

That all changed when Iwata transitioned from Global Marketing Chief to President. NOA Production was killed, and Nintendo of Japan's SPD Department took over all Western development (Star Fox Adventures, Geist, Eternal Darkness GC). Henry Sterchi, Brian Ullrich, Ken Lobb, Ed Ridgeway, Jeff Hutt, Faran Thomason, and the whole crew left NOA to Microsoft and other developers. Since then, we've seen the Western model we have today. Western developers reporting directly to Japanese management, and pretty much making B/C sequels to Nintendo IPs."

All thanks to the brilliance of Iwata.

#35 Edited by so_hai (1713 posts) -

@MirkoS77:

Hard to argue with that. I agree that Iwata should step down. The bungling of the Wii's successor is something that he could never live down anyway.

#36 Posted by Herox95 (13 posts) -

@Jaysonguy: Wrong. The 3DS is doing fine. Wii U sales are bound to go up, eventually. JUST DON'T LOOSE HOPE.

#37 Posted by tocool340 (20542 posts) -
@MirkoS77 said:

Killing off the DS brand? Uh, no....

I think Iwata's worst oversight and mistake he's made that's helped Nintendo down the path it's currently on is the continual neglection of the Western market and the belittlement of 3rd party support throughout all the years. In fact, from all I've read, I hear that Iwata not only chooses to neglect the Western audience, he holds it in complete contempt. He loathes the types of games that are successful here. Who knows if this is true, but the proof does seem to be in the pudding.

From Neogaf:

"From 1990-2000. Nintendo of America had production and management autonomy from Japan. NOA basically culminated its own production team, along a few co-designers, and started funding and producing games with developers.

DMA Design: Uni Racers, Body Harvest (Nintendo dropped it in 1997, Midway took it)

Angel Studios: Ken Griffey Baseball, Buggie Boogie (canceled)

Bits Studios: Warlocked, Riqa (canceled)

Rare: Donkey Kong Country, Killer Instinct, Goldeneye 007, Perfect Dark

Software Creations: Ken Griffey Baseball, Tin Star

Silicon Knights: Eternal Darkness (N64 version)

Left Field Productions: Kobey Bryant in NBA Courtside, Excitebike 64

Looking Glass Studio: Mini Racers (canceled)

Mass Media: Star Craft 64

H20: Tetrisphere

Saffire Corp: Nester's Funky Bowling, James Bond 007

Midway: Cruisn Series

Nintendo of America also procured the Ken Griffey and MLBPA license, NHL License, Kobe Bryant and NBA license, PGA license, Disney license, James Bond license, StarCraft license. Star Wars Episode I license. They were producing their own first-party games separate fromNintendo of Japan.

That all changed when Iwata transitioned from Global Marketing Chief to President. NOA Production was killed, and Nintendo of Japan's SPD Department took over all Western development (Star Fox Adventures, Geist, Eternal Darkness GC). Henry Sterchi, Brian Ullrich, Ken Lobb, Ed Ridgeway, Jeff Hutt, Faran Thomason, and the whole crew left NOA to Microsoft and other developers. Since then, we've seen the Western model we have today. Western developers reporting directly to Japanese management, and pretty much making B/C sequels to Nintendo IPs."

All thanks to the brilliance of Iwata.

I think this sums up my thoughts on Nintendo's current situation and why I believe Iwata should step down. Problem may be finding someone competent to take his place though. Would Reggie be a good candidate? Who within Nintendo can bring Nintendo back to glory?...