Nintendo is "irrelevant" in console business, says former THQ president

Jason Rubin writes off Mario maker in the hardware space, calls for company to release Mario and Zelda on rival systems.

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Naughty Dog cofounder and former president of the now-defunct publisher THQ has spoken out to say Nintendo has no place next to Microsoft and Sony in the console business.

"Nintendo's irrelevant as a hardware manufacturer in the console business," Rubin said during the latest episode of Bonus Round on GameTrailers.

He said you can look to Nintendo's own financial data for proof. Nintendo has sold 3.61 million Wii U systems around the world since launch--below internal expectations--and plans to sell 9 million by the end of March 2014.

Despite his eagerness to write Nintendo off in the console hardware space, Rubin described Nintendo as a "worldwide treasure" and praised iconic designer Shigeru Miyamoto for his contributions to the industry.

However, he also lamented Nintendo's decision to keep its tentpole franchises like Mario and Zelda exclusive to first-party platforms.

"It is a crime that we do not play those games on the systems that we have," Rubin said.

The original Wii outperformed the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 by a healthy margin, selling more than 100 million consoles, compared to 80 million each for the aging consoles from Microsoft and Sony.

While not a home console, Nintendo's family of 3DS systems is a top-performer in the handheld hardware space. In October, the 3DS sold 452,000 units in the United States alone, outperforming the Xbox 360 and PS3.

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