Can Nintendo ever have success with a traditional console again?

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osan0

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#51 osan0
Member since 2004 • 16375 Posts

I dont think so, no.

They could certainly build a console that would be competitive on the hardware side. relatively speaking thats easy now. They could probably have a PS5/XSX killer ready in 18-24 months. Hell if they stick with nvidia and put the equivalent of a 3060ti/3070 in there it could be a fairly big ouch for MS and Sony. The punch of a 3070 with the extra umph of DLSS AND better RT performance out of the box.

When it comes to services though they can't really deliver. they are not a services company. MS and sony have been at that game a long long time. even before PSN and xbox live they were doing it. Nintendo are years behind. They don't have the expertise to directly take on Sony and MS in the online gaming department. i cant even think of a company they could buy to bring those expertise in and build those services. any chance MS is willing to fork xbox live for a fee and rebrand it under the nintendo banner? :P. actually its MS: they probably would. Services as a service :D.

The really big thing though is the cost of production of games. Its relatively straightforward to build a PS5/XSX killer. its a lot harder to make software that makes such a machine stretch its legs. Nintendo can't spend 100-150 million on their games. its far too risky for them. MS and Sony have cracked under the financial pressure and they are far far bigger companies than nintendo. Building a high spec console brings with it certain expectations and nintendo simply wouldn't be able to meet them.

Nintendos biggest successes have come from left field. from using old tech in interesting ways. any time they have tried to Out MS and sony on their own turf they have lost quite badly.

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Jag85

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#52  Edited By Jag85
Member since 2005 • 15788 Posts

GameCube was a powerhouse for its time. It was more powerful than the PS2 and was able to hold its own against the Xbox. Yet all that power didn't help the GameCube much because it had a fundamental image problem: Nintendo was seen as a "kiddie" company. All those years of Sega bashing Nintendo as a kiddie company had a long-term lasting effect. Sega's ghost was continuing to haunt Nintendo. And they failed to change that image. GC looked like a purple toy box. Many gamers thus dismissed the GC as a "kiddie" console. It didn't help that Mario Sunshine and Zelda Wind Waker doubled-down with "kiddie" cartoon visuals.

Nintendo cornered themselves as a family-friendly company, and couldn't escape that image. Even with Resident Evil games on the GC. Unless Nintendo started marketing themselves as a "mature" company, they wouldn't have been taken seriously as a powerhouse, no matter how powerful the console. But a "mature" image goes against what Nintendo is known for, being a family-friendly company that appeals to all demographics. So they stopped focusing on specs and doubled-down on their family-friendly image with the Wii, and started favouring innovation over specs, and they found great success doing so. There was no turning back. This was the future of Nintendo.

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Nonstop-Madness

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#53 Nonstop-Madness
Member since 2008 • 10801 Posts

Probably not. I think the current approach works quite well.

They'll likely just expand it to support mobile devices in some way through remote play and/or cloud streaming with new universal joycons and wireless peripherals.

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onesiphorus

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#54 onesiphorus
Member since 2014 • 4080 Posts

Unlikely due to the existence of the "red ocean" duopoly that is Microsoft and Sony. It is unlikely that Nintendo will ever release a traditional console as it has found success in the "blue ocean" it has monopolized. As long as it has a monopoly over that "ocean," it will continue to be relevant in the console and general video game market regardless of Microsoft and Sony.

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Miyomatic

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#55  Edited By Miyomatic
Member since 2005 • 2983 Posts

Fantastic thread, very well researched. Props to the creator for making a topic actually worth our time and thoughts.

I was absolutely one of those people who said Nintendo lives and dies by their first party titles prior to the Wii U, which smashed that narrative to pieces. Having this precedent set, I still think their first party titles help push their systems more than any other company, and if they created a traditional console with no gimmicks (like GC), it would sell just fine.

That said, they can't drop another hot turd like the Wii U and expect it to sell well. As was correctly pointed out, hardcore fans will buy no matter what, but that's still not enough to make it a success.

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Mesome713

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#56 Mesome713
Member since 2019 • 684 Posts

@Miyomatic: A major issue with Wii U was it didn’t have a 1st party game to support it at launch. And it’s first big 1st party game was Pikmin which came way later and wasn’t too popular to carry the system. They relied too much on 3rd party at launch.

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Casey-Wegner

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#57  Edited By Casey-Wegner
Member since 2021 • 788 Posts

Why would they want to when they have the best selling platform ever?

If anything you should be worried about Sony going handheld only.

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HalcyonScarlet

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#58 HalcyonScarlet
Member since 2011 • 10215 Posts

They just don't get good third party support on home consoles and they don't design their consoles in a way that would make third parties happy.

Let's go through their consoles.

N64: Difficult to develop for and expensive small storage.

GC: Small storage.

Wii: I mean, it was weak in pretty much all areas. But that GPU was painful.

Wii U: The CPU was horrendously weak. They designed it that way because they put the form factor of the console first (small console, lower powered, low heat emitting CPU) despite third parties warning them against it.

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LuxuryHeart

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#59 LuxuryHeart
Member since 2017 • 1427 Posts

@TheEroica said:

From this point you could argue Nintendo took its biggest risk... The Switch. In theory I can see personally I've been asking for a switch for years before it existed, a console that plays the biggest and best games on the go? Sign me up... Nintendo delivered! But the risk was in combining their handheld and console division into one experience...

Not really. It's actually their safest bet. If you combine both handheld and console, you're guaranteed to sell because it's just one system with Nintendo games. I'll explain more below.

Moving forward.... I see a sentiment in system wars that claims Nintendo sells better than everyone else because of the strength of their first party games... This is false... Its the console design that grabs fans of Nintendo offerings.

I disagree.

While it is true they consistently sell the most of their own games when stacked against third party games and their games possess a kind of polish uniquely their own in the industry, it's really not a true statement to say that Nintendo lives and dies based on their first party games selling product. It's the other way around. The Gamecube and the WiiU offset that theory in pretty clear ways. In the same way people embraced motion controls and a hybrid handheld, they rejected the wiiU and to an extent the Gamecube in lieu of better experiences elsewhere... The first party games do not sell systems if the people don't like the console design (wiiU) or believe another console is doing the same thing with better games (ps2, Xbox).

The issue with the GameCube is that the games really just didn't appeal to that many Nintendo fans. It had the worst Mario and Mario Kart, no 2D Mario, Wind Waker didn't grab attention, etc. The best games on the GameCube were some of the third party games, Smash Bros, and Metroid Prime as far as most fans are concerned. Like Mario Sunshine was probably one of the worst games in the 3D series, and most didn't really care for Wind Waker like that. Mario Kart was meh, and you could theoretically get Mario Kart and 2D Mario on the Game Boy Advance, along with Pokemon by the way. So why get the GameCube?

The Wii U was even worst! The 3DS had 3D Mario, Mario Kart, 2D Mario, Smash Bros, etc.

Look at how many similar games they share? Why get the Wii U, which is more expensive and has less third support, when you can get the 3DS that is cheaper, has more third party support, and has Pokemon? Especially when they play in similar ways. Wii U's advertising was "you can play Nintendo games on the go!" Wow! Thanks! A platform that is portable and allows you to play Nintendo games on the go? If only Nintendo had thought of that before! /s The Switch essentially got rid of the problem of redundancy. Which is why it's the safest bet for the future. Wii and DS combined outsold the Switch, but those were platforms that each had a unique way of playing games. DS was duel touch screen that was portable, while the Wii had motion controls. Which is why they were able to co-exist beautifully. The Wii U and 3DS weren't like that. The GameCube, well that was just plain bad. lol.

My reply is bolded.

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2Chalupas

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#60 2Chalupas
Member since 2009 • 7234 Posts
@robert_sparkes said:

The next system will be the switch pro I think they won't innovate that much. If it's working why change it.

They probably thought that with the Wii to Wii-U. Even though the tablet was obviously a big change from motion controls of the Wii, there were a bunch of similarities with the hardware and even full backwards compatibility with Wii, so clearly they thought it was a good iteration on the Wii formula. With the Switch they basically abandoned the console market entirely. The Switch is primarily a handheld. So it's hard to say if they can ever have a hit again with a "traditional" console. The Gamecube was really their last effort at a modern traditional console, everything else was a generation behind.

You can't assume anything from one gen to the next, since these companies all seem to do inexplicable stuff, and the market itself can be fickle (not always rational).

That being said, if they actually did a Switch 2.0, it would probably be pretty safe. I actually still think if they had just made a next gen "Super Wii" with a bit more invested in power instead of the dumb failed Wii-U tablet, a Super Wii would have done OK.

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lamprey263

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#61  Edited By lamprey263
Member since 2006 • 39666 Posts

What I think works best with the Switch is that it combined the console and handheld efforts into one device. This to me made the biggest difference because game development can focus on all their games on one device, not deliver each device their games few and far between.

Maybe next time Nintendo can do like the Xbox Series S and X, basically make the 4K console, and a handheld, and they can make games that scale to each device. Players can buy one device or other, or both.

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Pedro

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#62 Pedro
Member since 2002 • 52568 Posts

@luxuryheart: I agree 100%

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pmanden

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#63 pmanden
Member since 2016 • 1668 Posts

@xantufrog said:

@TheEroica: I agree. I think if Nintendo launched a direct XSX /PS5 competitor it would make a lot of people on here happy, but it would actually sell worse than the Switch

My thoughts exactly. Old-school gamers who owned NES, SNES, N64 etc. would pick up this new traditional console without hesitation, myself included. But a lot of Switch fans would not buy it. It could probably sell around 30 million units and make me happy but leaving Nintenso disappointed.

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Sagemode87

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#64 Sagemode87
Member since 2013 • 2332 Posts

No. They had to fuse their console and handheld markets to be where they are now.

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outworld222

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#65 outworld222
Member since 2004 • 3371 Posts

If I could sidestep the question. But It’stime for Nintendo to make a traditional console. They’re not confined to making gimmicky consoles, I don’t think they should be. I think the last traditional consoles were the N64/GameCube.

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Casey-Wegner

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#66 Casey-Wegner
Member since 2021 • 788 Posts

Thread seems like a cope because Switch is clobbering the competition.

It's not Nintendo's problem that the competition can't compete with them in the more lucrative mobile/hybrid space.

We've see what happened when Sony tried to release portables.

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Eoten

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#67 Eoten
Member since 2020 • 4414 Posts

The Switch is largely successful not because of the handheld gimmick, but because once you dock it and pick up that pro controller it is essentially a traditional game console. At least, the closest Nintendo has been to one in a very long time.

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ellos

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#68 ellos
Member since 2015 • 2485 Posts

Agree for the most part but the sentiment others have made about the switch is correct. It wasn't really a risk. Nintendo quietly solved the issues there were having by merging there more popular handheld market with the traditional console.

I remember some folks in sw thought that another pure handheld device was coming to exist along side the switch. Nintendo quietly said nope this is the new market for us now.

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hardwenzen

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#69 hardwenzen
Member since 2005 • 10817 Posts

@casey-wegner said:

Thread seems like a cope because Switch is clobbering the competition.

It's not Nintendo's problem that the competition can't compete with them in the more lucrative mobile/hybrid space.

We've see what happened when Sony tried to release portables.

It looks like the Switch is getting CLAPPED in this thread. I wonder if you have an opinion on the matter.

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Litchie

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#70 Litchie
Member since 2003 • 28436 Posts

@luxuryheart: Never seen anyone call Double Dash meh before. Personally, it's the best Mario Kart of them all. It added a really fun strategy to a pretty stale formula by having two dudes per kart so you could switch between items. Also had unique special items for all the characters. Then it was back to same old again. A glider? Wow. Now we can... glide.. sometimes..

I miss Double Dash so damn much.