The Future Of Nintendo Is...Interesting
So I've heard Nintendo won't be holding a press conference at E3 this year. That got me thinking.
For the most part, I think many consider the Wii U to be woefully outmatched if compared directly to the new consoles from Sony and Microsoft.
It's also true that Wii U sales haven't been overly brisk and not long after the system's launch, I don't even hear about it anymore. Are they even making games for that thing?
That isn't meant to be insulting; I may have grown out of Nintendo's offerings, but they are the company that introduced me - me, and millions of other fortunate individuals - to the world of interactive entertainment. Granted, I first played Pong on the Atari 2600 but that didn't fascinate me the way Super Mario Bros. did. Obviously, that impact has proven to be a catalyst, as I am now a video game journalist.
And while I'm not even remotely interested in the Wii U, it's a little scary to learn that Nintendo won't have an E3 press conference. It could imply so many things... But we've been fooled into thinking Nintendo was in trouble before; heading into the current generation, many believed Nintendo would follow the path of Sega and go full-on third-party. Nobody expected the new Nintendo system to dominate the way it did. It was just a gimmick and it didn't have the software to support it, but that gimmick resulted in huge sales for several years, and furthermore, Nintendo continues to own the handheld market. And they really own it.
But now we're looking at the possibility of the Wii U floundering badly when the PS4 and Xbox 720 arrive; Nintendo's new system is already showing signs of fatigue and things haven't even gotten started yet. Furthermore, as smartphone and tablet gaming continues to eat into the world of portable entertainment, there's a chance that even Nintendo's vice-like grip on that particular industry could weaken. I really don't see the Wii U lasting through the entirety of this generation and if it doesn't, it'll be very, very interesting to see what Nintendo does next.
What do you think will happen? Because I have to confess, I haven't the slightest idea. I was already shocked once with the Wii and despite the apparent dire future of the Wii U, I won't lose faith in Nintendo's marketing ingenuity again. I prefer to remain, at worst, on the fence.
5/3/2013 Ben Dutka