Hey Mario, Ready To Be On Sony And Microsoft Consoles?
After Sega's final and admittedly valiant effort to stay in the hardware race, Sonic ended up on platforms that didn't say "Sega" on the box. Going into this generation, many believed Nintendo might not even release another console and follow Sega's route by becoming a third-party software developer. Well, after the immense success of the Wii and DS, that obviously isn't necessary. ...for now.
But, the DS aside, the Wii's days are numbered. I'm not speaking of what may be an insurmountable lead in the hardware race; I'm talking about the future. We all know that the Wii doesn't require software to sell; it has sold and will continue to sell on the accessible, affordable motion-sensing gimmick. And just in case the rabid Nintendo fans are primed and ready to freak, let me make one thing very clear: it was an ingenious marketing tactic and nobody bet on Nintendo dominating anything after the last generation. We knew they couldn't compete on a technical level but so did they, and somehow, they managed to turn a negative into a gigantic positive by appealing to...well, to non-gamers. It was an amazing maneuver. But with PlayStation Move and Kinect right around the corner, the prices of those technologies destined to fall, and both the PS3 and Xbox 360 continuing to prove popular month after month while the Wii continues its decline, Nintendo could be facing its Waterloo.
What can Nintendo possibly do for another round of consoles? I believe the Wii to be their hardware swan song, although their lucrative portable business should continue to flourish. They can continue to sell their legendary mascots because the Wii is in so many homes but it seems exceedingly unlikely that a Wii 2 is in the works. What, they're somehow going to top Move and Kinect? With what technology? It also seems unlikely that Nintendo would want to keep Mario, Zelda, and Metroid limited to the handheld market, when they know hundreds of millions exist in the PlayStation and Xbox universes. The bottom line is that the mascots we all grew up with will eventually be on other consoles. It's almost inevitable. Sonic, we've had you for a while...Mario, we're waiting. Your coming-out party is nigh!
7/20/2010 9:28:35 PM Ben Dutka