A slew of analytical features and opinion pieces sprung up in the wake of Nintendo’s worrying profit warning last week.
Editors, analysts and journalists the world over seemed to know exactly what the company should do, or shouldn’t have done in the first place (always easy to say in retrospect, isn’t it?)
There’s no disputing the fact that Wii U is in crisis, but Nintendo is unlikely to listen to any of these articles, and perhaps they shouldn’t.
It’s true that if Iwata and his team had listened to the media about Wii U in the first place (it’s too expensive, confusing, not enough games, underpowered) then they might have avoided the situation they find themselves in now. But likewise, if they paid attention to the media then they probably wouldn’t have launched the Wii in the first place, or even the DS for that matter.
Nintendo is a company that moves to its own beat and takes creative gambles with its products – which don’t always come off. It is a company that has a CEO that stars in unboxing videos and reportedly designs Kirby characters in his spare time. It would be a crippling shame if they started to behave more like the corporate giants of the US and Europe.
The last thing Nintendo should do is what is expected of it.
Upon saying that, it certainly needs to do something, particularly when it comes to Wii U. Whether that’s cut the price and ramp up game production (a risky strategy when trying to return to profitability), scrap it and start again (an even riskier strategy) or perhaps become a third-party publisher (riskier still).
Yet if there’s one positive Nintendo can take out of 2013, it’s with its software. Zelda (3DS and Wii U), Mario 3D world, Animal Crossing New Leaf, Fire Emblem Awakening, Luigi’s Mansion 2 and Pikmin 3 were all amongst last year’s highest rated titles amongst critics. Nintendo may have lost the magic touch with launching big consoles, but it still knows how to make a fantastic game.
And you’d hope that it’s that last factor that will prove crucial in turning the good ship Nintendo round.