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Nintendo Businesses

Nintendo Posts Yet Another Loss, Despite Mario Kart 8 203

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the mario-goes-back-to-plumbing dept.
redletterdave (2493036) writes Nintendo posted its third loss in four quarters on Wednesday. Even though Mario Kart 8, its big first-party game released in May, shipped more than 2.82 million copies by the end of June, the Mario-themed racing game was not enough to help Nintendo's struggling Wii U console perform in this particular quarter. The company said it lost $97 million between March and June. Nintendo shipped 510,000 units of the Wii U in the June quarter, bringing the total to 6.68 million consoles sold — it's a big jump from the 160,000 units it sold in the same quarter a year ago and a small improvement over the 310,000 units it sold in the March quarter. Still, the Wii U is still lagging behind the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, and Nintendo must also contend with mobile games available on Apple and Google's app stores, which cost but a fraction of a Nintendo game.
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Nintendo Posts Yet Another Loss, Despite Mario Kart 8

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  • Here's an idea! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EzInKy (115248) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @11:08PM (#47579269)

    Open up your platform so that anybody who wishes to can program for it, that way you aren't dependent on just a few titles.

    • so you want color dreams level games on wii?

    • by ZackSchil (560462)

      Heh, because so many AAA system sellers are deterred by the closed platform and DRM features. Slashdot readers are pretty out of touch I guess.

      Opening the platform would keep it alive and pretty much just move low margin hardware without any software volume. If investors saw nintendo heading in that direction, they'd jump ship faster than they already are. If it even worked to keep the platform alive, it would be a pyrrhic victory at best.

    • by tibit (1762298)

      Too little, too late. Their major problem is that, for whatever reason, there are no fucking games for it - and I don't mean indie games, I mean serious stuff. Just look at what comes out for PS3/PS4 - most definitely closed platforms. Then look at what comes out for Wii U. I made the mistake of buying one. Sure, I like the console, but after playing through every major title available for it (with exception of broken-by-ui-design AC3), there's simply nothing else left for me to do on it. And no, I don't co

      • Not all people are alike. We have a Wii and a WiiFit board. I play Tiger Woods Golf 2010 and WiiFit+ exercises pretty regularly.

        The young kids play WiiFit SKi Jump and some Mario stuff at weekends, and rest of the family play Quantum of Solace at Christmas.

        We bought a bunch of other stuff and its mostly not playable. Anyway Android games keep kids occupied, and everyone else watches Youtube.

        WTF is with yet another Mario title?

        Some needs tog et some originality. Where is "World Ndombolo Challenge"? th

    • by vux984 (928602)

      Oh yes... please do that. I want to log in and there be 500,000 "apps" to slum through. 100,000 phrasebooks for different languages. 200,000 photo retouching apps. Where my only hope of finding anything useful is to keep to the top 100 lists.

      Yes, lets copy apple and google and replicate their problems.

      There is definitely room for improvement on Nintendos store platform, OpenUp and do Apple or GooglePlay is just going full retard.

    • by MitchDev (2526834)

      Seriously.

      Nintendo is still missing some of it's big franchises on the Wii U (Zelda, Pokemon, Metroid, Smash Bros is months off still, etc) and checking the stores there's not a lot out there by comparison to the Wii or the Xbox360/1 and/or PS3/4

    • by NotDrWho (3543773)

      Open up your platform so that anybody who wishes to can program for it, that way you aren't dependent on just a few titles.

      This is Nintendo we're talking about here. They'll go bankrupt before they go open. Seppuku before dishonor.

    • by jgtg32a (1173373)
      I seem to remember shovel ware being a huge problem for the Wii.
    • by GuB-42 (2483988)

      Openness was never the business model of Nintendo. In fact not being open was a key to Nintendo success since the Famicom.
      Nintendo is all about good quality exclusive games.

      By going open they will compete with the much more versatile Android and iOS devices and the much more powerful PCs and to a lesser extant Xbone and PS4. They simply can't win in the open market.

  • I know they have some large cash reserves, but how long can you bleed $100 million every 4 months?

    The Gameboy/DS line is the only thing keeping them afloat, but even that looks to be winding down, bowing to smart phones and tablets.

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by Moheeheeko (1682914)
      about as long as Sony can bleed 5-6 billion a year. And they did that for most of the PS3s lifespan.
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      they can do it for at least two years afaik..

      but the question is this: do the shareholders want to bleed or cash?

    • by stms (1132653)

      I read somewhere that Nintendo had 15 billion dollars of cash reserves. So assuming that's true they can do this for 50 years.
      It's kind of a shame actually. I love Nintendo's philosophy in game design. If Nintendo had a platform that was helpful to third-party developers I might want a Nintendo system. If Nintendo Developed for systems other than their own I would likely buy more of than half the games they release. But I have no interest in buying a Wii or Wii U.
      I'm not worried about Nintendo. Plenty of id

    • The 3DS has one big advantage over smartphones and tablets: it can handle games in genres that need directional controls and trigger buttons. A touch screen is good for racing games (of which runners are a subgenre), shmups, and point-and-click, but not much else.
  • Nintendo must also contend with mobile games available on Apple and Google's app stores, which cost but a fraction of a Nintendo game.

    Very few console gamers are buying cell phone games in favor of console games. Where Nintendo is competing with app stores is with its 3DS handheld, not really with the Wii U. I'm sure that's still contributing to the big N posting losses, but the summary makes it sound like Mario Kart 8 is losing out to Crappy Mobile Minecraft Clone no. 873.

    • by DrXym (126579)
      The Wii U is the filling in a shit sandwich. On one side it has the PS3 & 360 which are technically comparable yet cheaper and have a massive catalogue of games and industry support. On the other side they have the PS4 and XB1 which are technically superior, rapidly picking up steam and have industry support. They're in the middle with no industry support and few if any reasons to justify themselves to consumers over other choices.

      The problem is fundamentally one of Nintendo's own making. They cynical

      • by captjc (453680)

        A single title like MarioKart is a shot in the arm but it can't turn the ship around by itself. Nintendo will have to hope they can keep throwing out good titles for long enough that sales pick up and some 3rd parties come back.

        Worked for Sony. Remember for the first 4 years of the PS3's life, it was a joke. Horribly expensive, almost no games worth playing, and it took developers years to finally figure out how to make game on par with the 360, much less better. Then there were the cries that Blu-Ray was just a gimmick and that they should have gotten rid of it. After a few price cuts and once Sony stepped up their game with first party and indie titles did the PS3 finally gain steam. And this was against a console with paid subs

  • by sandytaru (1158959) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @11:21PM (#47579321) Journal
    As the summary says, their market, the casual gamer, can get their fix on their cell phones. Candy Crush did more damage to Wii U sales than the PS4 or Xbone could do.

    Most people I know are still holding out until the next Zelda game, which might finally be the killer app Nintendo so desperately needs.
    • by Fallen Kell (165468) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @11:29PM (#47579345)
      They have been holding out for at least 3-4 games that people want to play. Right now, there are maybe 2 games that people want. That isn't enough to warrant a console purchase. When there is a Zelda, Metroid, Smash Bros., Mario Kart, and maybe a couple others out, people might finally pickup a Wii U. Otherwise, it just doesn't have anything worth getting that you can't get a better version/experience of on the other consoles.
      • by Nyder (754090)

        They have been holding out for at least 3-4 games that people want to play. Right now, there are maybe 2 games that people want. That isn't enough to warrant a console purchase. When there is a Zelda, Metroid, Smash Bros., Mario Kart, and maybe a couple others out, people might finally pickup a Wii U. Otherwise, it just doesn't have anything worth getting that you can't get a better version/experience of on the other consoles.

        When they finally hack the WiiU to do homebrew, you'll see an increase of console sales.

        I know I'll purchase one then. Or they could drop the price by $50 and probably get a bunch more sales. Though I'm sure this will happen during the Xmas holiday.

        • When they finally hack the WiiU to do homebrew, you'll see an increase of console sales.

          If someone wants something comparably capable to the Wii U for running homebrew, why doesn't he just buy a slim PC, such as a Mac mini or Intel NUC, and connect its HDMI out to a TV?

      • by TitusC3v5 (608284)
        It's really sad to see people holding out for the same titles that defined the last two generations. There are already great original titles for the Wii U - ZombiU and Wonderful101 immediately come to mind. Plus, for me personally, the backwards compatibility is a godsend for those of us who skipped the original Wii.

        A small library of original but great titles. Established franchise entries like DK Tropical Freeze, NSMBU, and Mario Kart 8. A fantastic lineup coming down the pipe. Virtual console to scrat
      • by MitchDev (2526834)

        Meijer having a sale was what finally got us a WiiU. Buy the deluxe set with Mario/Luigi World included and get another game free. Getting a $60 game free made that sale.

  • by Undead Waffle (1447615) on Friday August 01, 2014 @12:12AM (#47579437)
    With the Wii they realized they couldn't keep up with the PS and Xbox. Instead of trying to get people to buy their consoles for their games they should switch to just making games. Even if they required custom controllers for some of their games I doubt it would be hard to come out ahead.
    • by TitusC3v5 (608284)
      There's no reason to try to keep up with the PS and Xbox. They're underpowered PCs. Nintendo at the very least is trying to enable experiences that can't be had on other mediums.
      • Why can't the Wii U GamePad experience be had in theory on a PC plus an Android gaming tablet? I was under the impression that one could use an NVIDIA Shield, an Archos GamePad, or a JXD tablet as a PC controller and get the same experience.
    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      With the Wii they realized they couldn't keep up with the PS and Xbox.

      No, with the Wii they realized they didn't need to keep up with the PS and Xbox. They created a new type of gaming market and made billions because of it. They are arguably competing against the mobile phone, not the Xbox or Playstation.

      • With the Wii they realized they couldn't keep up with the PS and Xbox.

        No, with the Wii they realized they didn't need to keep up with the PS and Xbox. They created a new type of gaming market and made billions because of it. They are arguably competing against the mobile phone, not the Xbox or Playstation.

        They didn't need to at the time, no. They had the motion sensor which was a novel new idea and got a lot of people who had no interest in consoles to buy a Wii. But that wore off fast and those people lost interest years ago. They went for that market because Microsoft and Sony were spending a ton of money making more powerful consoles and selling them at a loss and Nintendo knew they couldn't stay in that game. The console gamers, the ones who buy consoles every generation, are clearly less interested

    • by evilviper (135110) on Friday August 01, 2014 @06:11AM (#47580225) Journal

      With the Wii they realized they couldn't keep up with the PS and Xbox.

      They don't try (at all) to keep up on raw benchmark-type specs. That helps them sell their consoles at a profit instead of a loss. And yet the Wii really caught on, and looked like it was going to take over the world. The pundits were talking non-stop about how genius Nintendo was... until the Kinect and Move were rushed to market in response, and took the wind out of Nintendo's sales.

      Instead of trying to get people to buy their consoles for their games they should switch to just making games.

      Because that has worked out so incredibly well for Sega over the past decade???

      You might as well say that all 3 should pack it in, and just make games for PCs and smartphones/tablets.

  • Between old games still being there for us to play, new free to play web games, playerbases condensing into specific multiplayer games, and the extra power XBOX and PS4 go, Nintendo can only offer us sequels to popular games they had. Cell phones and Tablets are huge competitors to Nintendo too. I think Nintendo could pull out a win by stop gimmicking it up with their controller. Better yet, they could make the defacto standard controller designed for cell phone/Tablets and continue to make software.
    • Again, I'll say it that I think Nintendo would have a lot of success in Android/iOS/PC markets just making games and controllers. I mean what they could do easily is have their old games available on Android/iOS/PC through some sort of official emulator instead of the underground doing it. Then they could use Steam and people could buy old Nintendo games for whatever discounted price they wanted to sell them for. People living today can't get all those old games easily unless they go the illegal rom rout
      • As game designers, Nintendo is absolutely willing to be creative and take risks. As a business, they are absolutely not. I did some consulting work for them last summer as they were trying to roll out a new ERP system and data warehouse. Their corporate culture was...unfortunate. Everything was very top-down controlled with every little thing you wanted to do, tiny change you wanted to make, had to be presented with Word documents and screenshots and impact cases and blah blah blah that had to go through fo

      • I think Slashdot's filter is detecting the word "troll" multiple times in your comment. Otherwise, thank you for your insight.
    • by mandginguero (1435161) on Friday August 01, 2014 @12:57AM (#47579511)

      The leap from SNES to N64 controller definitely took some brain rewiring, but the move to analog thumb controlled joysticks is a move that the other game developer consoles made as well. It freed up additional fingers for more buttons. I get what you're saying with regard to the inability to access every button without changing up hand configurations, a problem Xbox and Playstation never had with their models. Newly positioned buttons and motion sensors don't have to be distractions once you've reprogrammed your premotor cortex and cerebellum to deal with them. I think there is an aspect of timing that was integral for many older system games that may be less important for some games now. When you look at the feature space of games in the 8 bit era, there were very limited interactions you could have. You were relegated to 2 dimensional environments and games like side scrolling action were quite common and relied on incredibly precise timing to pull off. How many people made it past the damn rocket sleds on Battletoads consistently? But newer games with immersive 3D sandboxes to explore don't have to rely on tight timing to hook a gamer. These tight timing aspects are probably what attracted many gamers to action games, and continue to make first person shooters so appealing.

      As a researcher in brain computer interfaces (BCI), I have to disagree with the more literal interpretation of your statement that the best games link your brain with pure cerebral responses to gameplay. I think you're getting at very quick sensorimotor contingencies, where you get 'in the zone' but there is a huge amount of somatosensory/tactile feedback that goes into these sorts of interactions that are currently missing with direct brainwave interfaces. Let alone the fact that even the best BCI algorithms can classify a handful at most different responses, you have access to more combinations of discrete input with your fingers for now than reading brainwaves.

      • 1: I'm not complaining about the analog inputs on the N64, but more the "lets stick a trigger under neath the whole thing". Look at Wii games like Donkey Kong Country or New Super Mario Bros, and you'll be holding the joystick one way playing the game fine, but then have to shake the controller for another input which could simply have been another button. It disjoints your game play like having to switch from 2 handed keyboard to mouse and back on some web games.

        2:I think calling when we're talking
      • by evilviper (135110)

        As a researcher in brain computer interfaces (BCI), I have to disagree with the more literal interpretation of your statement that the best games link your brain with pure cerebral responses to gameplay.

        Slashdot... it's a lot like Central Park... except PhDs may stop by at any time to painstakingly pick-apart the logical and factual errors in the rant of the crazy homeless guy that's yelling at the pigeons.

        • except PhDs may stop by at any time to painstakingly pick-apart the logical and factual errors in the rant of the crazy homeless guy that's yelling at the pigeons.

          But what makes it worth while is that the pigeons often win the argument!

  • I feel like Nintendo and Apple would make a really great team with similar attention to detail and customer experience.

    • by JDeane (1402533)

      Would be interesting with Apple handling the OS and user experience plus media stuff like iTunes. Nintendo handling the games end of things.

      I don't think it will ever happen, but then again I never expected to see Sonic games on a Nintendo platform either.

  • by Kr1ll1n (579971) on Friday August 01, 2014 @01:13AM (#47579535)

    ...took it back, and then spent the money on a PS4.

    The UI was abysmal, the controller was abysmal, and the lack of account unification just drove the final nail in the coffin.
    With my PS4, I can grab the controller, which has minor changes in comparison to the previous 3 generations, pick up a game, and get started.

    With the WiiU it's an annoying game of;

    1. Power on WiiU.
    2. Pick up tablet to start actual game.
    3. Grab WiiU Pro controller and play actual game.

    With the PS4, it goes like this;
    1. Grab controller.
    2. Press power button to turn on controller and system.
    3. Play game.

    With the WiiU I had to touch 3 devices to play 1 game. With the PS4, just one device. Simplicity is key and king, so Nintendo needs to beat their R&D over the head with that concept. It is especially sad since Nintendo pretty much introduced the world to what is now the Sony and MS controller styles.

    FWIW, I have been a gamer since the Atari 2600, so Nintendo has a place in my heart, but after the SNES, I was almost exclusively Sony.
    I did buy a Gamecube at one point, but the lack of content and Mario Sunshine pretty much killed it for me.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 01, 2014 @01:25AM (#47579563)

      I'd just like to point out the WiiU changed significantly after the launch. The procedure nowadays is:

      1. Grab Tablet.
      2. Press home, click game from menu (in *under one second* if it's one of your eight most recent picks or the disc in the drive - Even many smartphones are slower than that).
      3. Modest load time (shorter than what it was at launch, comparing Nintendoland then versus Nintendoland now), and play.

      Pointedly, Nintendo's quick-in element is something that the PS4 and XBox One cannot emulate (since it relies to no small part on the screen on the controller, which can turn on faster than most modern TVs).

      That said, it's not like the PS4's short on good stuff either. Overpriced demo though it may be, Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes is quite lovely.

      • Confirming the above.

        Also, I'm not sure what exact problem the GP ran into with their Pro Controller, but at least in 2014 the Wii U can be started and controlled completely from the Pro Controller; no gamepad is required for the menu system. (Though games can still require it)

        • by Kr1ll1n (579971)

          I had my WiiU in the tail end of 2013.

          • by thegarbz (1787294)

            Ignore my other post.

            Just like to point out the update which created the quicklaunch only came out in March or April of this year so your original post is not surprising at all. The Wii U used to have a horrible loading system.

    • There's been software updates recently that change that quite dramatically. There's no more waiting for the disc and there's no requirement to pick up the Wii U controller.

      With a single click on the controller the Wii you will power up and start the game. Just grab your controller of choice. If the game disc isn't in then it will ask you to insert it. I haven't seen the home screen of the Wii U for a long time.

    • by gmhowell (26755)

      I've heard of lazy, but this takes the cake. Or maybe, in your case, has the cake delivered, not to your front door, but to your sofa.

  • by Kr1ll1n (579971) on Friday August 01, 2014 @01:18AM (#47579549)

    Let's see;

    Sony = x86 Architecture
    Microsoft = x86 Architecture
    PC = x86 Architecture
    WiiU = PowerPC Architecture

    Hmmm, If I was a developer, I am going to save a ton of porting\translation time, and money, by going with anybody BUT Nintendo.

    • by JDeane (1402533)

      Some developers are still making 360 and PS3 games, those are also PPC based systems.

      So lots of tools and talent will be available for the only PPC platform going into the future.

      I guess it depends on how you look at it. Yes going X86 has an advantage for easier PS4 and PC ports (Xbox One has "issues" so it requires a lot more effort that it looks like when your just considering the CPU arch alone.)

      Another thing to consider, if I can get the port for my PC why would I need to buy a PS4 or an Xbox One? Last

      • As someone who owns a PC and just bought a backwards-compatible PS3, I can say that owning a PS3 really isn't redundant. Owning a 360 is, because MS is pretty open about having 360 games ported to the PC, but Sony are tightwads with anything that lands on their system. For instance, after how well-received Dark Souls was on the PC, FROM wanted to port Demon's Souls... but couldn't, because Sony insisted upon owning the IP to Demon's Souls when it was released.

        Now, owning a PS4 is a different beast altogethe

    • by phantomfive (622387) on Friday August 01, 2014 @02:32AM (#47579765) Journal
      FWIW the biggest problem in porting isn't the CPU architecture. It's not like you can share binaries between the platforms, and most of the code is not written in assembly anyway. The biggest time-suck tends to be different APIs
    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      Who cares about the architecture? You're talking as if people didn't port games between consoles on the XBox 360 and the PS3 the latter which was also a Power based architecture.

      People program in high level languages and then compile for different systems. The only thing really left then is optimising, and that is still an incredibly complicated task because while the remainder of the systems are x86 based, they are actually very different hardware architectures. Arguably the most portable is the Xbox and t

    • by gman003 (1693318)

      On the other hand, look at the previous generation:
      Sony: modified PowerPC architecture
      Microsoft: PowerPC architecture
      Wii: PowerPC Architecture.

      And before that:
      Sony: MIPS
      Microsoft: x86
      Nintendo: PowerPC
      Sega: SuperH

      Prior to the PS4/Xb1, the only consoles to use x86 were the original Xbox, and a Japan-only handheld called the WonderSwan.

      Remember, the WiiU was developed without knowledge of the PS4 or Xb1. You can't fault them for not following a trend that started after they released the WiiU.

  • I just went to a major game review site, scrolled down the ample front-page list of recently reviewed games...not a single one for Wii-U. Every other platform had multiple games reviewed in the last few weeks, not a single Wii-U title. Imagine saying that for any previous Nintendo platform - it's unthinkable.
  • Why keep paying 30$ - 50$ for each game the kids may play for a few hours to a few weeks at most. They can download tons of free to 3$ games on their tablets or phone.
  • seems everything next gen is lacking when it comes to games. then again so did the ps3 360 halfway threw there lives just some random fps every 6 months or so.
  • The Wii U had more systems sold the last time Microsoft gave numbers for the Xbox. In their last report Microsoft refused to clearly state how many xboxes sold were xbones and which were 360s so it's doing badly and probably still in third place. Hell they were / are taking a breaking from manufacturing in order to sell through what's on the shelves. Let's not try and pretend Nintendo is in some distant 3rd place position given they're probably in a somewhat distant 2nd place position.
  • ... but instead, my kids will just drive up ad revenue for those sites with all the Flash ripoffs. (To be fair, some of them quite creative.)
  • The WII-U has a well known issue where the consoles get harder and harder to turn on and then die. We had this happen. When sent back to Nintendo they said "no warranty - you modded the console". Well sure the kids downloaded some mod to make their own maps in a game or something, but that does not cause power issues. Well we'll suck it up and PAY for the repair, right? Nintendo says NO - they wil NOT repair it for any amount of money. To add to the insult, if they repair it or you buy another one, either w
  • by wynterwynd (265580) on Friday August 01, 2014 @07:52AM (#47580609)

    iOS and Android games don't share the same market as the Wii U, it's dumb to compare them just because they're games. PS4 and Xbox One, sure, but mobile gaming is its own ecosystem. 95% of the iOS and Android games available don't even come close to major release titles in terms of scope and depth, and their prices reflect that. A person is extremely likely to own both a smartphone/tablet and a gaming console, and I seriously doubt anyone is going to have to weigh a purchase of a console game against that of a mobile game. It's like comparing Wii U games to board games just because they share a word.

  • by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Friday August 01, 2014 @08:18AM (#47580757)

    If there's both Zelda and Metroid made for the Wii U, I'll strongly consider buying it.

  • The type of people who bought the Wii will use it until it dies. Nintendo saturated the market and should have focused on selling Wii games or attachments. Of course, some MBA tool will decide that future consoles should self destruct when a newer console becomes available. That will kill your brand faster than anything.
  • Wii had an easy controller, easy appealing games, like Wii Sports and Wii Fit. With WiiU, they said they gone hardcore. But the hardcores don't want Nintendo products. So, I'm a casual gamer. I loved Wii. My wife loved. My tiny kids loved, because it was easy. Now, with WiiU, they offer a bad tablet experience, that requires recharge all the time. No easy controller, no wide appealing games. Wii Sports, Wii Fit, all the best selling games for all the times. Nintendo is the only company over the world,

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