I love Nintendo. I have owned every piece of hardware since the NES.
But i gotta say, as a Wii U owner, i have no great hopes for Nintendo.
While neither my Wii U or Wii has ever truly been collecting dust (the Wii for a time between Galaxy 2 and Xenoblade - which i got in '11 by the way - it was fairly unused between that time. This means, that i'm fairly happy about Nintendo and their products.
It's no secret that Nintendo is sitting on mountains of cash, but cash has to keep coming in, otherwise investors and shareholders back out, they sell, and in the end Nintendo is truly on their ass. Appearently they how so much money right (not worth, but actual money in cash), that they could easily live with no profits for the next ten years, and that's provided they don't expand.
This naturally is why people say "they will never die, they will never have any issues, mario and zelda forever, Nintendo is the best", and while i agree with the last parts, i must see the reality of the situation as it is.
The market changes a lot. The iPhone and iPad has changed A LOT. Your hatred towards touch-based gaming means NOTHING in comparison to the reality of the situation; those systems are prioritized by most casual gamers, and casual gamers are the majority. I don't even like that term "casual gamer", to me it's people who like to play games once in a while, that's it, everybody likes a good game once in a while.
Kids dig the iPad. Why? It has Angry Birds, it has Cut The Rope, it has a ton of fun small games that are easy to pick up, and hard to master, they have great replay value, and the appstore STILL has a lot of seemingly core games like N.O.V.A, Real Racing and so on and so forth, and kids do not know the difference between those games and 100 million dollar games. Another aspect of it is the popularity. Kids look at adults. Adults with iPhones and iPads make kids want those things even more. Why do you think they always have grown ups and teenagers in kids commercials? They look up to that crowd indirectly. Lastly: it's hardware that suitable for adults too. Many adults like it because it's fashion - it's in, and kids get to play with it, and they never talk about the 3DS or PS Vita.
Okay but what about the Wii U then? The Wii U is bad hardware. It's just bad hardware. I have one, and i absolutely hate that dreaded GamePad. It's not bad as such, but it's unecessary. There's NOTHING on the market right now that makes good use of it. It's an absolutely abyssmal piece of hardware that emulates touch-screens on smartphones, and only does it worse. The battery life is also absurd. It's NOT a systemseller, and i can't believe Nintendo ever thought it was. The machine itself is fairly slow, it's still an ugly piece of hardware (looks like an old DVD-player) and it forces you to buy an external hdd if you want to get in on the indie action or cheaper e-shop deals.
People say that HDD's are fairly cheap today, but it's not true. It very much depends in the first place. Secondly the USB ports in the Wii U is 2.0, which means you'll want an HDD with it's own power source, so it functions properly. These are more expensive than USB 3.0. Besides that, who wants an extra hardware next to the Wii U? What's the deal with getting a proper amount of gigs to begin with? The Playstation 3 did 40 when it released and Xbox did 20. Both of those machines were quickly increased. Both of those systems were 7 years ago.
Bushnell said Nintendo is "on their way to irrelevance". A lot of people seem to misunderstand this word, thinking it means "on their way out of the market", or doomed or something. Naturally the two things hangs together somewhat, but fact of the matter is taht "irrelevant" is the EXACT word for their situation. Mario, Zelda, Samus, Donkey Kong, all of these characters are slowly phasing out. They're no more than memories and nostalgia. Master Chief, Nathan Drake, Kratos, Ratchet and Clank etc. - these are all characters more familiar to the current generation of kids and young teens. Pachter has several times said this too, and you know what? I hated him for it in the beginning, those 9 months ago when i bought my Wii U. But you know what? Over 9 months Nintendo hasn't changed their pattern one bit. They constantly make mistakes, apologize, come off as victims trying to gain my sympathy - for what? I'm somewhat loyal, but when i put money down, i expect something to happen, and that something hasn't happened; software has not come out, the "revolutionairy" GamePad has not been put to proper use, and Nintendo is falling behind more and more, becoming as Bushnell says, irrelevant.
And now what? We're closing in on the PS4 and Xbox One release. What's gonna happen? I don't know, but it's not gonna boost Nintendo's sales, only diminish. It made me think of something funny that Reggie Fils-Aime said, that Pikmin increased the sales of the Wii U by 50% in Japan (which was like 20.000 units, falling behind it's own predecessor), and he was so extatic about it, saying that they had been seeing a steady increase in sales overall.... well what the hell do you expect? The numbers can't ever go down?! I mean of course weekly sales can vary, but as soon as 1 unit is sold worldwide, the numbers still increase.
Here's my gripe with Nintendo overall: their hardware is bad. It's ugly and outdated. The leaders of Nintendo are too conservative and afraid of taking risks. The fact that they willingly dismiss any new characters in case their old ones might fit in, that says it all. They make bad marketing decissions and they have no idea how to communicate to a specific crowd. 3DS wasn't for small kids, but neither for adults, not according to their commercials. Same goes for the Wii U, even though they called it "the console for core gamers" when they revealed it.
I believe Nintendo has some of the best developers in the industry - at least with regards to gameplay ideas. Their games always have a certain charm and huge replayability, simply because of their gameplay, no necessarily collectibles or anything, levels and gameplay - that's where it's at!
So i hope Nintendo wakes up. I hope they dismiss the Wii U after 2015 (i honestly don't know what they could possible come up with after the new Zelda their working on. My belief is that Mario Kart 8 and SSB offers great replay value, and is gonna be there before the next huge drought, 'cause 2014 is gonna be a tough year for Nintendo, especially when Japan gets the PS4). I hope they quit their DS-scheme and goes back to the GBA formula, creates good looking games on a good looking advice, same goes for consoles.
i don't like TV and trashapps on my game systems, but the fact that Nintendo has yet to implement a dvd-player in their consoles is beyond me. People want the practical options. This might not be true for teens and people living alone, but for family's and practical people - we wish to have as little shit lying around as possible.
Stop being stupid Nintendo. Acknowledge your strengths and focus on that. If you're so damn set on having a console on the market, don't "go your own path" 'cause there's no such thing, you're in the gaming industry, you're gonna compete against other brands, and when they offer things that are so obviously better in every way, you're gonna become irrelevant. People can skip Zelda and Mario, especially when those games aren't offering anything new in terms of gameplay where you're the strongest, were the strongest...
If you stay arrogant, and you don't keep your eye on the market, adapt and make the necessary changes, you won't even have any problems to deal with, you'll be completely finished. I can think of no company with one piece of hardware that has ever survived by making a continuous chain of mistakes. Get yourself together, and stop being so naive.
I want Mario to live on.