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Why doesn't Nintendo make a tablet?


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#1 Maurice Harris   Members   -  Reputation: 126

Posted 24 January 2014 - 04:40 PM

Watching Nintendo stumble out of the gate with the launch of their Wii U console I've been thinking about Nintendo's future as a console maker. I've read plenty of reports about how Nintendo isn't getting the numbers they hoped for with the Wii U and its games while the 3DS is still selling pretty well. I think a Nintendo has the potential to sell pretty well if it's marketed as a handheld gaming device that also functions as any mainstream tablet does. They could make it so the tablet could be hooked up or streamed to the TV like the Wii U tablet without the Wii U console, then when you want to move while playing just take it and go.

 

A sensor for the Wii motion controllers could be built into it so if you did play on the TV and used to own a Wii you wouldn't need to buy new controllers. They could also start making their traditionally handheld games for this handheld/home console hybrid and hopefully they could get all kinds of developers to trying to get their mobile only games onto their system. The new Ipad Air costs about $450 without tax, this new tablet could cost as much as a Wii U (about $300?) and compete against these types of tablets. If Nintendo were able to make this tablet look sleek and cool enough to get adults into it Nintendo could have the adults buying the tablets for themselves and for their children. So why doesn't Nintendo make a tablet?

 

I'm sorry if this seemed like rambling but this idea has been itching my brain for like a year now. Also, I'll be the first to admit to that I don't know everything about the console and mobile industry and I may be wrong, but I believe this would be a golden opportunity for Nintendo.



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#2 Ravyne   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6997

Posted 24 January 2014 - 06:21 PM

The perennial problem with Nintendo is that they are a stodgy, overly-conservative company. They were late to the party with optical media, 3D, networking (they still don't have a great story), selling downloadable software through an online store, and they still haven't tried to release a proper grown-up console in the living room. Handhelds are the only thing they've done right since the Nintendo 64.

 

The 2DS is a recent example of their continued conservatism -- Its a cost-reduced version of the 3Ds lacking 3D and designed for lower cost of manufacture (simpler body, no folding). One of the cost-cutting measures takes the form of there being a single large LCD panel inside, rather than two separate displays. The plastic bezel blocks the unused portion of the screen to mimic the traditional 3DS screen format. The entire panel is touch-sensitive too, but only works on the "lower" screen like the 3DS.

 

It was launched alongside the latest Pokemon games, and pitched as a cost-sensitive option for parents with pokemon-obsessed youngsters. Aside from the unusual form-factor, I think they mostly achieved in that promise -- sales of the 2DS have been good.

 

But, as usual, their overly-conservative approach has led them to miss a golden opportunity -- For literally no additional manufacturing costs, and little additional development costs, they could have simply exposed the entire LCD panel, and enabled developers to create titles specifically for that screen format. And by doing so, they could also have opened up the door for enhancing certain features on the 2DS -- for example, not having arbitrary screen-size limitations could have enabled virtual-console titles to occupy a larger portion of the screen (one not limited by having to mimic the limitations of the 3DS). Since they intended all along to launch it alongside Pokemon, they should have packed in a touch-enabled Pokedex application (either a pack-in cart, or build into the units firmware even). The screen format would have been suitable for an eReader application, and certain kinds of educational apps too, giving them even more ammunition to convince parents to part with their $130.

 

So why didn't they do this if it wasn't going to cost them anything, essentially? Because someone in a Nintendo boardroom was paralyzed with fear over thinking that consumers were too stupid to tell the difference between 3DS software and 2DS software sitting on a shelf at WallMart. Or scared shitless that they might "dilute their brand" -- No, they can release a hundred variations of every handheld since the original gameboy, but this one utilizing the entire screen was simply a bridge too far. And the kicker, well, that's the part where they've got their heads looking back over their shoulders at history to guide them so much so that they can't see the present -- a present where those quaint little online stores entirely obviate the problems of customer confusion, brand dilution, and competition for shelf-space with other software that they're so completely frightened of.

 

Nintendo gets given a pass for their past 10 years in the living room, but their apparent direction and past performance IMO is far more troubling than the one monumental fuckup that Microsoft perpetrated with the pre-launch XBox One DRM scandal. Microsoft's issue blew up, Nintendo's issue is fizzling out.

 

 

... So no, I don't see Nintendo launching anything like what you described in the near future, and if to my shock they did, I would be doubly amazed if they didn't ruin it by steadfastly hanging on to their own obsolete notions.



#3 L. Spiro   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 13004

Posted 25 January 2014 - 06:37 AM

Because someone in a Nintendo boardroom was paralyzed with fear

I cut off your quote there because reality has nothing to do with WalMart.

I happen to have inside information on the board meetings at Nintendo of Japan passed down through my CEO, who the youngest and most progressive/liberal chairman at Nintendo asks for advice frequently.

There is a youngin’ among them who is really desperate. He knows Nintendo should be doing all these “new fang-dangled” things but inside Nintendo the majority vote wins, and in most cases he is the only progressive vote among them.
As told to me, it’s a group of old farts who think they know what consumers demand and this youngest guy (in his 40’s) is doing all he can to try to show them that times have changed etc.

He got so desperate he has asked outside companies to help him in persuasion, which is where the CEO of my company enters.

As the CEO set up this story, I thought to myself, “Come on, just tell him to have those old guys assassinated.” I didn’t say that of course.
The CEO said, “So when he asked me what could he do, all I just said was, ‘All you can do is have those guys assassinated.’” My CEO thinks a lot like me.


You can’t blame Nintendo itself. You can blame 6 old pieces of crap who all need to get lost (and if death is the only way then so be it) and keep thinking they know what the world wants.


I used to be a fan of Nintendo. Now I am just a fan of a few games made by Nintendo. Thanks a lot old farts who don’t know when to retire.


L. Spiro
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#4 d000hg   Members   -  Reputation: 723

Posted 25 January 2014 - 09:27 AM

The perennial problem with Nintendo is that they are a stodgy, overly-conservative company. They were late to the party with optical media, 3D, networking (they still don't have a great story), selling downloadable software through an online store, and they still haven't tried to release a proper grown-up console in the living room. Handhelds are the only thing they've done right since the Nintendo 64.

 

The Wii was not conservative, and they definitely did that right.



#5 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4688

Posted 25 January 2014 - 10:43 AM

Their biggest problem is not the hardware (although that is becoming a big problem). Their biggest problems are games and price. The Wii U should have started at $300 and then dropped to $250. They are maybe 10 good games and 5 need to have games on the Wii U. It's been out for over 18 months. Their IP hasn't grown in over a decade. Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, Metroid (where the hell is Metroid?!), Pokemon, and Pikmin. This old dog needs a new dog with completely different tricks... abilities/talent.

 

Nintendo could make games for Nintendo and be a closed off system. But they have to make games that are new and compete with what's out there. I mean, someone explain to me why we haven't have an epic Metroid FPS yet? But every Halo that comes out is more and more epic than the last.

 

And it couldn't even get GTA V and Tomb Raider. So 3rd parties have pretty much given it the shaft.


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#6 Maurice Harris   Members   -  Reputation: 126

Posted 25 January 2014 - 02:49 PM

I agree that the software is a problem that they've had this generation as well. I think they should have waited until they were sure they could have their flagship games like Zelda, Mario, and Pikmin out when the Wii U launched, of course I am saying this in hindsight and looking at the launches of the PS4 and Xbox One they seemed to do okay despite the software so maybe I'm wrong.

 

Regardless of whether or not the software had as huge an affect on Wii U sales as we might think I believe having a Nintendo tablet with an app store like Apple's except ran a bit more conservatively could have them getting tons of indie and big time mobile developers to develop for their tablet if they provide a proper infrastructure for developers. Unfortunately for Nintendo opening up their console to this extent would increase competition.



#7 Ravyne   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6997

Posted 26 January 2014 - 04:02 PM

The perennial problem with Nintendo is that they are a stodgy, overly-conservative company. They were late to the party with optical media, 3D, networking (they still don't have a great story), selling downloadable software through an online store, and they still haven't tried to release a proper grown-up console in the living room. Handhelds are the only thing they've done right since the Nintendo 64.

 
The Wii was not conservative, and they definitely did that right.

The Wii was conservative in every way but the gimmicky WiiMote. I'll hand it to them that they moved a lot of units, but most of them sit idle, only to be pulled out occasionally for an hour or two at a party. I'll even hand give them that they moved a lot of first-party software.

But the rest of the Wii very much was conservative. The hardware was *literally* a game cube running 50% faster. The GC could barely keep up with 480p on a 4:3 screen, going to 16:9 raises the pixel-count by 50% -- so they really had no graphical advance to speak of from the GC generation to the Wii. They launched a new system with a 6 year old architecture, a single < 800mhz CPU, and a GPU that struggled to achieve even the minimum 16:9 resolution that by then most consumers had adopted, and their online story was hinky and underdeveloped. They launched that against the Xbox 360 and PS3. Now even with the WiiU their hardware is still nearly a generation behind the competition.

So, what few cross-platform titles came their way always looked (and often, worked) worse on the Wii. I think only ubisoft and, to a lesser extent, THQ made any significant money on the Wii, outside of Nintendo itself. Most publishers made little, lost big, or skipped it entirely. And if you don't have a healthy 3rd party ecosystem, your console has no legs, which is why all those Wiis sat idle after the honeymoon period was over.

They hung innovation on one feature that was great fun for a very narrow subset of games, and failed to understand that it just didn't translate so well to others, or that no one wants to sit on their couch waving their arms to relax.

The Wii was a success. The Wii was interesting, and I think even important to games (in the same way the Amiga was important to computing). But the Wii was still conservative in all ways but one.

In some ways, I wonder if they thought the Wii would fail, and so didn't want to put big resources into the rest of the machine. But when it was so successful they suddenly realized they had no long-term game plan or 3rd party support.

#8 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4688

Posted 26 January 2014 - 05:58 PM

 

Because someone in a Nintendo boardroom was paralyzed with fear

I cut off your quote there because reality has nothing to do with WalMart.

I happen to have inside information on the board meetings at Nintendo of Japan passed down through my CEO, who the youngest and most progressive/liberal chairman at Nintendo asks for advice frequently.

There is a youngin’ among them who is really desperate. He knows Nintendo should be doing all these “new fang-dangled” things but inside Nintendo the majority vote wins, and in most cases he is the only progressive vote among them.
As told to me, it’s a group of old farts who think they know what consumers demand and this youngest guy (in his 40’s) is doing all he can to try to show them that times have changed etc.

He got so desperate he has asked outside companies to help him in persuasion, which is where the CEO of my company enters.

As the CEO set up this story, I thought to myself, “Come on, just tell him to have those old guys assassinated.” I didn’t say that of course.
The CEO said, “So when he asked me what could he do, all I just said was, ‘All you can do is have those guys assassinated.’” My CEO thinks a lot like me.


You can’t blame Nintendo itself. You can blame 6 old pieces of crap who all need to get lost (and if death is the only way then so be it) and keep thinking they know what the world wants.


I used to be a fan of Nintendo. Now I am just a fan of a few games made by Nintendo. Thanks a lot old farts who don’t know when to retire.


L. Spiro

 

 

I wonder they are the way they are because Nintendo is still a hit in Japan. If X1 became the number one console in Japan, I'm sure the Nintendo Board would start embracing modern ideas more quickly and aggressively.


Beginner in Game Development? Read here.
 
Super Mario Bros clone tutorial written in XNA 4.0 [MonoGame, ANX, and MonoXNA] by Scott Haley
 
If you have found any of the posts helpful, please show your appreciation by clicking the up arrow on those posts Posted Image
 
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