On June 6th of this year Nintendo’s recently-appointed president Satoru Iwata announced that his company will be making many changes because “the effort to produce machines with better technology has reached its limit." Nintendo is now going to be focusing on games more than ever, and this could mean that the GameCube could be Nintendo’s last system. It certainly sounds like they are going to stand firmly behind the GameCube for some time.
I fully support Nintendo’s decision to place more emphasis on games since this is what they have been best at since the beginning. In reality Nintendo needs to take more drastic measures than what they announced. Nintendo either needs to totally change their image and overall approach to marketing and gaming in general, or they need to do what Sega did last year, and that is back out of the hardware business altogether.
I like how Nintendo is becoming more and more modern by slowly showing more and more violent and graphic games like Resident Evil and Eternal Darkness. I also enjoy the fact that Nintendo still supports the games for the children. Really what this company should do is not be so secretive about their upcoming games. I believe that turns away customers. No other software developers are as secretive as Nintendo. I can see some secrets, but it has gotten ridiculous and annoying.
They also need to not be so stubborn about online gaming, since that is the tool of the future and they really believe it is a big gamble. It may be in the beginning but with enough good online games, they will generously profit from online games. Both of the other big hardware companies, Sony and Microsoft, have plenty of online games and even have their strategies fully mapped out. If Nintendo wants to compete they have to go online.
Also, Nintendo should start producing sequels that are actually sequels, not just upgrades to previous games. For example, Wave Race: Blue Storm was not really a sequel and Mario Kart 64 comes to mind. Majora’s Mask was not a sequel to Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Super Mario Sunshine looks a lot like Super Mario 64, and according to some, it basically is Mario 64. Metriod Prime is going to be a huge flop, and hopefully the next Zelda game is an actual sequel and not just another Ocarina of Time with cel-shading. Nintendo has so many huge franchises under their belts. If they would just drop hardware altogether they could dominate the software business.
Since Nintendo most likely will not go online, and since they will continue to be stubborn, and the GameCube will continue to have no games that nobody wants, Nintendo’s hardware days are numbered. I really think they should save their money now and leave the hardware business. Imagine playing Mario on Playstation 2 or Xbox... Of course Nintendo would make so much more money that way. I cannot believe that I am saying this considering how much of a Nintendo fan I have been my entire life. I’ll say it one last time: Mr. Iwata–drop the hardware business.