Staff Special | Nintendo Going Down?

By James Temperton 23.04.2003 1

Yes, the Japanese Gaming giant that we all know and love that has created such games as the highly acclaimed conversion to 3d platformer known as Mario 64 to possibly the best game ever. (Link to the Past)

Nintendo have changed the gaming industry, that innovation, that freedom and that imginaton of a child which has shaped and moulded the industry into what it is today.

Such a different way of making hardware and games that had dominated the gaming market for so long in some of the best consoles and games ever designed was massively popular and Nintendo built up a big fan base.

Still, this does not answer why today Nintendo games are "spat" at and "flamed" by casual gamers who now go for the "cool" option in the XBOX or mainly the PS2.

Even though, not trying to sound like a fanboy here but with such brilliantly designed hardware and games that not many other developers can come close to why are Nintendo still failing? The PS2 has gory, scary, violent games which appeal and have controversial content such as stealing, assasinating, hit and run and so on. These games, regardless of gameplay sell in the masses. Many culprits of this are the GTA series, Hitman 2, The Getaway and Dead Or Alive Xtreme Volley Ball. These are only a few, there are many more which use these "stunts" to sell.

Nintendo whereas concentrate on the gameplay, utilizing that imagination and implementing it to create brilliant games which because of their "kiddy" image sell masses for a week then fall to the pits of the chart.

Even with brilliant games such as Super Mario Sunshine which have always had a reputation for being an amazing game fall to the bottom because of lame advertising and games like Hitman and so on.
Even Resident Evil 0 fell to the bottom after a week. Casual gamers just don't want that overweight plumber any more...

Lots has happend to Nintendo recently, they've changed the way things are done and hopefully without losing that sheer gameplay that was seen in the Legend Of Zelda series they can make games sell masses, like they used to.

I think the main problem is that Nintendo are reluctent to pay attention to the rest of the industry. It is too stuck in its ways and obsessed with staying like the videogames hermit. Whilst they have done so much to enhance and mould the industry, this will never be enough for Joe Public. I really believe that Nintendo have tried to make themselves look 'cool' and 'hip' and in a strange way it might be working. The problem is they fail to promote this glossy and well tuned image well enough. Whilst the GameCube will never be a failiure, like nearly all Nintendo projects [excluding the Virtual Boy....] but it will not be the success it might/could of been.

I don't think Nintendo are in any real trouble, they are just lazy. They can't be assed to drag themselves out of their own little ways, but if they do it would be for their own good.

There are millions of people out there, yet to experience Nintendo gaming, and it is up to the giants of Japan to deliver gaming on a broader scale. They should be trying to push themselves, not just in terms of gaming innovation, but with sales and advertising.

I remain an optamist on this subject, I always try to be. I can see Nintendo putting in some more effort, and its paying
off, see the news for an example. So why not put in a bit more effort and make an even greater impact?


'Is Nintendo going down?' is one of those questions that gets asked from time-to-time. It seems that whenever a company doesn't hit the top spot and achieve nearly all of the limelight, then it's 'Bye bye...Arrivederci...You're outta here!' 'Tis not always the case, though. Take the controversial Nintendo 64 for instance. Just ask any casual gamer, or indeed most people in the Industry, and they will ultimately inform you that Nintendo fouled-up, taking heavy casualties in the last round of the Gaming War. Do you know what I do when I hear people say that? I laugh. I laugh in their naive little faces, because if making a considerable amount of money on both the console and subsequent games is 'taking heavy casualties', then I pity the folk at Sony and Sega!

Anyway, the GameCube. Obviously it's now inevitable that people assume Nintendo is about to curl up in a corner and die, simply due to the fact that it's in second/third position (depending on which of the pointless sales figures thrown at us you believe). Zat iz not ze caze, though. Sony was losing money hand-over-fist when the PlayStation 2 first launched, especially due to the amount of problems that accompanied said release. Microsoft was the same - piling heaps of cash into its first foray into the world of console gaming. But Nintendo has merrily trundled along as usual, with nary a care in the world for casual gamers. What is important to the Japanese behemoth, however, is that it comes up with enough Grade AAA games to placate the Industry critics and satisfy its loyal fanbase. Oh, and making money by not over-advertising and taking huge gambles, of course! Some would say that you need to take risks, or else you'll never win big - but Nintendo does not seem to agree with that. It has hefty coffers, and thus does not need to 'win big' average payout is enough to keep the Head Honchos happy.


I think that Nintendo's way towards video gaming is great! I would not change the way they approach it at all. It gives Nintendo a real quality as they seem to be able to have a original thing of their own.
I know that Microsoft and Sony are taking the gaming market in different directions, via internet gaming and making their consoles these mega machines full to the top with features. But Nintendo seem to be doing their own thing.
This I feel. Brings this certain freshness to the them. By this I mean that Nintendo making themselves so devoted to gaming by making their machine 100% games console. I enjoy playing the Nintendo console and games, and this is what probably makes them appeal more to me than the Playstation and XBox.
The only thing Nintendo needs to sort is the stupid release times between countries, and some marketing problems.

Apart from that I feel that Nintendo will stay in the console market. It will only be a certain amount of time before Nintendo do something to take the market back! Just the way Sony took it from them in 1995 - 1996.

Also Nintendo probably will never go down due to the increasing support for the Game Boy. This machine is awesome and Nintendo seem to be getting this right.
So why not the main consoles? Why are these failing?


Nintendo's attitude to gaming is a very traditional one. Everything must be done as it was years back, and this shall continue into the future if Nintendo are lucky enough to be around then. Nintendo rely on their reputation far too much. It's as if casual gamers almost don't even exist, and that advertising is nigh on pointless. This is where Nintendo are so very wrong.

Advertising was great for the PS2 and the XBOX, but the GC? Nintendo need to show off their new products on the TV, in cinemas, and in magazines. People just don't know about their product
s, and because of this - they aren't selling enough.

It really is a shame, as the GameCube is regarded by many as a brilliant console, so to see Nintendo treat it like an old pair of socks is quite painful. It isn't getting the attention and publicity it deserves, and although advertising may be difficult, in the long run - it'll be hugely beneficial.

If Zelda doesn't save the GameCube, Nintendo really should quit while they're 'ahead'. Should such a problem arise, all of Nintendo's money and attention should really be focused on the successor to the GC, but churn out the odd game here and there.

But that's the current problem - the classic Nintendo games are pretty much here and there. They are not often enough, and because of this, I think people are beginning to lose interest.


'Is Nintendo going down?'... Something that fans usually retain in the back of their minds, something that no-one with some gaming repertoire wants, well, the only people who would actually want the company to diminish from the gamin industry would probably most likely be rivals of the Japanese giant. The reason, in my opinion, for the public's reputations towards Nintendo, their feelings of a wash out, will probably relate to the term "casual gamer" or someone who doesn't regard it as something you would do normally, but more as a "fad" or something that wouldn't last.

Was the Nintendo64 the last true console? Let me explain. Well, the machine was aimed for gamers totally, without the company seeking commercial dominance. It wasn't exactly as mass advertised unit, in fact, it appeared that promoting the retro console was non-existent, but what makes a console something not commercialised? Hmmm.. It seems that the Playstation was, and still is, something that was aimed at the casual gamer, and that, something that you can't really deny, but, to balance this argument, had some excellent titles that a gamer would dream to have. Well, every console does have its "killer" games that would apply to most people. Although, the "death" of the Japanese giant, in most people's, including fan's, eyes, was the days of the Nintendo64. Ask a regular person about the retro console and they will probably inform you of it's "lack" of any Non-Nintendo titles, and that is probably true, but, it was a unit with some excellent games for both the young creative mind and the "cool" older gamer. But, most do think that the N64 meant... that's it, the end... But, it was maybe, just maybe, the downfall of the company. After being nuked by entertainment dominance, Sony, it seemed that they had fallen into the dedicated consumer hell.

But, the company managed to pull itself up... they spawned a nice new machine, the GameCube, as well all know, but also producing some excellent advertising schemes and probably, most likely, hired some concept artists and employees from this century, for their new approach to the industry has appeared to be refined and they have risen back to Earth from the hells pit of dieing companies, to something that is slowly, but successfully, gaining it's ground in the reviving industry, where, once again, true gamers are being born. Perhaps they won't surpass the other entertainment giants, but, they have confirmed their stay in an ageing industry, and perhaps are churning out titles to sustain their stronghold in their strengthened areas, as well as creeping into newfound aspects that had remain previously untouched from their days on their 1/2 build wonder, the N64.

Now with a new developing body, evolution of existing franchises and exploration into new areas, it seems that the company is nourishing their position in the industry, and is managing to keep their heads high in the industry verging into high consumer electronics. It seems that "multifunction" is what Ninte
ndo doesn't really want to seep into, but perhaps this concept of evolution could be the only way to survive.


I don't see the point in padding it out at the moment because this recent trend of naysaying at Nintendo is just some of the most fripperant garbage i have ever read*. Nintendo are sitting on $6 billion, i don't think they are going down at all.


As with many people, I just laugh off the comments about Nintendo "going down" as it were, because quite frankly, they're not.

Heck, if the Mario Kart first pics can make the front page of places like MSN, it tells me they're still very much seen as the "Daddy of gaming", and that there's very little to worry about. The biggest worry really, is that younger gamers aren't interested: If this trend continues it could be quite hard for Ninty to carry on, but I don't really believe that will happen either!

Going down? In reputation, possibly. In finances? Nope.

Over to you...
Right, now we want your views. You don't have to agree with us, have a good debate about this one and then we can move on and lay it to rest.Oh, and as a further bonus, all good comments will be added to this when it is published under the articles section, so get writing!

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