Gaming

Nintendo FY2016 Earnings Results: the madness

A few hours ago, Nintendo announced their results for the just-ended FY 2016 (from April 1st, 2015 to March 31st, 2016), and outlined some of their plans for the upcoming Fiscal Year and OH GOD WHAT HAPPENED. Yeah, I’ll have to admit, most of the news I’ve read left me surprised, a bit baffled, and shocked. Now that a few hours have passed, and reactionary feelings have cooled off a bit, here’s my take on what has been already stated, before tomorrow’s Investor Meeting. A long introduction is not necessary this time, so I’d say to get right into the

No, not that. Already enough on the web today, seriously.

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Gaming

Guessing time! ft. Wii U-to-NX ports

 

Well, it’s one of the first thoughts most people had in the past months, right after NX was announced (me included).

“Good! I hope they bring Wii U games to NX, games that could have better chances of success on a more successful console, or games that act like a service / have big online communities, and it would be bad to see them end with the Wii U, …or Zelda at least”.

And we got news on the matter. Or, better, rumours. From our good old Emily Rogers (who is used to leak infos for Nintendo, with a great track record, especially after the less-than-respectable reliability back in 2011) through Twitter: several ports coming, and among them four games: Zelda Wii U, Smash Bros., Super Mario Maker and Splatoon.

There are different reasons for these titles, and they’re all valid: Zelda is ported because it would see its sales potential strongly limited by Wii U’s small installed base, and it represents a great title for the “launch window” on NX; Smash Bros. has a living and kicking online community going on, which is something that can be said for Splatoon too (see those amazing Splatfest numbers for Japan I reported in my latest article). Also, both Splatoon and Mario Maker, even more than Smash Bros., are both games and services, due to all the free content released (and releasing). And the aforementioned periodical Splatfests for the former. Now, it’s important to highlight that, while both Zelda and Smash Bros. are (almost) 100% happening, Mario Maker is around…90% right now, I think, and Splatoon is the port which is characterised by the biggest uncertainty on its actual release; just to be fully honest on the matter. Ok, good, great, these ports can be good …But what about the others?

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Gaming

The good things in the Nintendoom

This generation has probably represented a slap in the face for Nintendo. Most of their beliefs from the Wii/DS era were shattered, especially about their power towards consumers, but there are so many areas where they failed to capitalised on or that saw a devastating collapse compared to the past, as well as factors they clearly undervalued / ignored. A rapid list?

  • The complete misreading of the market with Wii U and the partial misreading for 3DS
  • The inability to bring a steady lineup of games for both their consoles without way too long dry pauses: 3DS’s really anemic first year, the need to re-focus their resources on the handheld in order to readjust the sales trajectory, thus giving to Wii U the shaft for a long time of its first year, the lack ofa decent amount of big 3DS Nintendo titles (especially in the West) in the off-year for Pokémon, etc.etc.
  • The concrete, real and unavoidable treat of mobile gaming to not just their handhelds (3DS is going to end its life with sales higher than 1/3 of DS’s lifetime sales, but not that much…not bad per se, but not good historically), but to Nintendo itself due to the crossover between their classic audience and the mobile audience
  • The fact their online services, while growing and with a sparkle of interesting ideas (see: Miiverse), are still way behind what Xbox One and PS4 offer
  • How they tried, after releasing consoles that were innovative because they had a clear vision of what they wanted to achieve, to release consoles that were innovative just for the sake of it, lacking the aforementioned clear vision
  • Among all the markets they went down, the drastic fall in the UK market. Yes, the UK market is even more hit-driven than the rest of the gaming market, and they have a lot less affection for Japanese-style of gaming compared to even the US (let alone continental Europe), etc….but their numbers went way too down, their retailer presence is too low

And the list could still go on, it’s true. So, finally time for the Nintendoom, right? I mean, there’s absolutely nothing good coming from this generation of consoles, no?

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Gaming

First analysis of a new membership system

We are all eager for news on NX. I’ve already started the countdown to April 27th since before knowing the exact date of the upcoming Financial Results meeting. No, that’s a joke, because I’ve started the countdown since March 2015, when Iwata mentioned it. Blue balls as a way to live. Ok, let’s stop with the hyperboles (…sort of), but seriously, I’m so both interested and scared by knowing more about what’s next for Nintendo, the new idea that detaches itself from the Wii U / 3DS philosophy era, the fresh start, and I’m sure I’m not alone. But, just ten days ago, we got something NX-related, in our own hands, after all. Just remember what Iwata said back in March 2015

https://www.nintendo.co.jp/corporate/release/en/2015/150317/03.html

Iwata:

Nintendo, together with DeNA, will jointly develop a new membership service which encompasses the existing Nintendo 3DS and Wii U systems, the new hardware system with a brand-new concept, NX, and smart devices and PCs, and Nintendo will be the primary party to operate this new membership service. Unlike the Club Nintendo membership service that Nintendo has been operating, the new membership service will include multiple devices and create a connection between Nintendo and each individual consumer regardless of the device the consumer uses. This membership will form one of the core elements of the new Nintendo platform that I just mentioned.

The membership service as one of the core elements of NX. We had a delay, features outlined in subsequent shareholders’ meetings, a “beta version” in Japan, and earlier release in Japan too, but finally it’s here in the West as well. MyNintendo is a thing!

https://my.nintendo.com/

And here’s my (flying, of course…and sort-of analytical) thoughts about it as a whole in its current state.

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