Nintendo could be on the way to withdrawing from the console hardware market, according to one of gaming's most senior executives.
Bing Gordon, former marketing boss, CCO and studio specialist at EA, seriously believes that Nintendo could follow in Sega's infamous footsteps.
I think Nintendo's already on track to become primarily a software company,” Gordon told Games Industry.
We saw that with Sega back in the day; Sega made some missteps and became primarily a software company. Nintendo hasn't really made missteps, Nintendo probably has better creative talent and better leadership now than Sega did. It's got the most robust business model, the best creative talent; Miyamoto's still the best in the business. Apple's most directly competitive with Nintendo.
So far, when Miyamoto makes a perfect game, in his career he makes games worth $200 – it's worth buying a system for. I think the handheld is going to be under a lot of pressure. I can imagine a day when Nintendo wonders – and maybe it's generational change – when Nintendo wonders if they ought to take some of their best games and make them apps.”
That's not the only change Gordon predicts, either. Like an increasing number of industry observers he sees tough times ahead for both home console and dedicated portable games systems.
I think handhelds are going to come under pressure from phones, and TV's going to come under pressure from tablets,” he added.
I think what's going to happen is increasingly consoles are going to be primarily 3D systems rather than all, and handhelds will be primarily puzzles rather than all. Just as we saw back in the day with PCs, PC games began losing categories. I think we're kind of beginning, like PCs - PCs lost categories over a decade - we're probably starting to see the beginning of attrition of categories on console.”