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Nintendo Posts Yet Another Loss, Despite Mario Kart 8

Unknown Lamer posted about a month and a half ago | from the mario-goes-back-to-plumbing dept.

Nintendo 203

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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Here's an idea! (4, Insightful)

EzInKy (115248) | about a month and a half ago | (#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.

Re:Here's an idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47579287)

Companies hate the idea of openness, so I doubt that will happen.

Re:Here's an idea! (2)

EzInKy (115248) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579307)

Companies hate the idea of openness, so I doubt that will happen.

Shame so many of them chose death over sharing, isn't it? Even if they still die, their platform could live on indefinitely. Think of what would have happened if it weren't for the x86 clones.

Re:Here's an idea! (1)

jmhobrien (2750125) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579325)

Exactly. Nintendo has a window of opportunity to open up its system and avoid total collapse. It will be a lot more painful to escape once that window is closed.

Here's another idea (1)

popo (107611) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579635)

The reality is that you can build a decent set top box for casual gaming for under $50.

Do that AND open it up to developers with an App Store and Nintendo will create a whole new category.

Here's another idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47579753)

The reality is that you can build a decent set top box for casual gaming for under $50.

Do that AND open it up to developers with an App Store and Nintendo will create a whole new category.

This category was already opened by Ouya, a $99 Android-based game console.

Last month, I went into the local Target, looking for a Ouya for my kids. They were out, so I ended up buying a Wii Mini, Nintendo's downgraded version of the previous Wii generation. The kids are having a blast with it. The $300 Wii U was not even an option - 3 times more expensive isn't justified by the long list of irrelevant "advantages" like that silly game tablet which looks more like a liability than a real advantage (the nice thing about the Wii that you can enthusiastically play standing up and jumping around - a huge tablet just cramps your style ;-)).

Re:Here's an idea! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47579347)

Companies hate the idea of openness, so I doubt that will happen.

Shame so many of them chose death over sharing, isn't it? Even if they still die, their platform could live on indefinitely. Think of what would have happened if it weren't for the x86 clones.

It's the niggers. It's definitely positively their fault.

Why do police dogs keep on licking their own asses? To get the taste of NIGGER out of theri mouths!

Re:Here's an idea! (5, Interesting)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579513)

Shame so many of them chose death over sharing, isn't it?

The last time sharing was the norm, it caused the entire industry to collapse. There's a reason it was called the Nintendo Entertainment System, and not console. Nintendo, as it turns out, were the ones who led the industry's recovery, largely by instituting strict third party licensing. Sid Meier considers the Nintendo "Seal of Quality" one of the three most important innovations in gaming history because of the impact that it had.

Coming from that background, you can understand why Nintendo isn't going to take the decision to open up the platform as lightly as some open source keyboard warriors on Slashdot.

Re:Here's an idea! (2, Insightful)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579529)

You mean nintendo's price-fixing and marketing gimmick?

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

blackraven14250 (902843) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579633)

It's 1983. Atari just settled a lawsuit over Activision's ability to create games for the 2600, and did not get a restraining order against the practice. Shovelware is running rampant, and many of the companies creating the shovelware are small startups. Games are not selling because they were overall fucking terrible. Stores lose a ton of money on having merchandise they couldn't sell. Many of both the distributors and developers are going of business. The distributors that are diversified and survive, like Toys 'R Us, refuse to use inventory space on games. It's a business decision they're making based on what happens when games are completely shitty.

In comes Nintendo with a way to ensure that truly shitty games don't make it onto their console, and they rejuvenate an industry that almost killed itself entirely with too much openness.

Again, this isn't some hypothetical bullshit argument about whether open source is superior on moral grounds from someone who holds no real stake in the outcome. It's what actually happened in the industry.

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

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47580065)

But it's not 1983 any more. Shelf space is not really an issue. An abundance of crappy games does no harm in the age of the internet since they can easily be ignored.
Back then gems would not find their way into stores because they got drowned in all the crappy games. Now with all the information at our fingertips this won't be an issue. Opening up a platform now will make it more successfull and it will result in tons of great games which can easily be recognized.

Re:Here's an idea! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47580205)

Have you tried browsing in the iStore, Google Play, or to a lesser extent, Steam. If you just want to see what is there, you have to wade through pages of flappy bird clones, runners, and all the other crap just to see anything interesting. Don't count on ratings either, many of the good games get bogged down with "Overrated - 1 Star" and "Doesn't fold my laundry - 1 star" while the horrible shit games get enough 5 star reviews (usually by the developer and their friends) to at least look legitimate.

Re:Here's an idea! (2)

Alioth (221270) | about a month and a half ago | (#47580219)

As an antidote to that anecdote, in the UK during the same period the completely open Sinclair ZX Spectrum had one of its best game years, along with the completely open Commodore 64. Titles for both machines kept selling well right through the 1980s. Shops stocked games. It may have also been that a full price C64 or Spectrum game was half the price of a full price cartridge game.

Re:Here's an idea! (1)

hibiki_r (649814) | about a month and a half ago | (#47580343)

There were many reasons, not just price: The Spectrum demographic was a bit older, the games were cheaper, and it was far, easier to figure out if you were buying something good like Knight Lore or the terrible Uchi Mata, because cheap. monthly magazines reviewed them: If you were old enough to buy the games, you were old enough to read the magazine first. Game magazines got tapes from the studios and publishers in time, so it's not as if you had things like the ET debacle. ET didn't hurt the industry because it was a bad game, but because enough kids actually got it.

Re:Here's an idea! (2, Interesting)

evilviper (135110) | about a month and a half ago | (#47580249)

Games are not selling because they were overall fucking terrible. Stores lose a ton of money on having merchandise they couldn't sell.

No, stores bought a bunch of fucking terrible games that wouldn't sell, because it was common practice that unsold units could be returned to the manufacturer for refund, so they didn't expect any downside. A ton of sham game companies sprung up over-night, unloaded a ton of merchandise on toy stores, cashed the check, and then closed-up shop before anybody asked about returns.

The stores set themselves up for a failure, and the video game industry was only involved because it was the hot market at the time... kinda like smartphones today.

Re:Here's an idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47580265)

It's just as well that Atari went on [wikipedia.org] to issue such highly regarded games to shore up the dearth of quality titles.

Re:Here's an idea! (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47580317)

Here's some details about modern and historical game markets that make the "Nintendo's monopolistic licensing saved the industry" story less like settled history and more like propaganda:

  * European PS2 and worldwide Wii markets were absolutely flooded with shovelware and those systems did not suffer for it anywhere near the shovelware-laden Atari market did.
  * Atari itself was abandoning quality control even faster than the third-party software distributors.
  * The games market was not anywhere close to mature; as an offshoot of the fad-driven toy market, people left videogames because they assumed the fad was over.
  * Personal computer platforms did not see the same kind of massive games crash that console platforms did, despite being explicitly designed for unlicensed third-party development *and* having even more crapware than Atari ever did.
  * Nintendo's licensing program did not improve software quality. There were plenty of licensed Nintendo games which were absolute garbage. While Nintendo may have started the program specifically to avoid another Atari crash, they were sure happy to license everything LJN put out, despite said games being barely-functional licensed titles of at-best mediocre quality. The main purpose of the licensing program was to monopolize third-party software and skim a royalty fee off the top of everything.

Nintendo primarily won on the strength of their own first-party software, not because they had a stricter licensing program.

Re:Here's an idea! (0)

the_fat_kid (1094399) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579583)

I believe the phrase I'm looking for is:
[Citation Needed]

Re:Here's an idea! (3, Informative)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579673)

Lazy. [lmgtfy.com]

name caller (0)

the_fat_kid (1094399) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579791)

You see, I know how to Google. I even remember "The Great Video Game Crash Of 1983"
I also know that just name dropping Sid Meier does not make your argument any stronger.
A snarky link to a Wikipedia article with warnings to its factual accuracy and reliability doesn't help.

Re:Here's an idea! (1)

rworne (538610) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579607)

That means little when looking at the state of more recent consoles like the Wii. The absolute crap shovelware released for that system is an embarrassment. Every console has stinker titles, but the Wii had a ton of them.

Re:Here's an idea! (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579665)

The point is that coming from that background, of being one of the few survivors thanks to a licensing regime, they're going to think much harder than someone writing one sentence saying "the console should be opened up, that would solve all their problems!".

Given that they have billions in capital and a proven track record of turning around poor initial sales with killer apps, they're not going to immediately switch to an open platform when one generation seems to be faltering halfway through. If they fail for 2 generations consecutively, and don't turn them around mid cycle, then you might see a change.

Re:Here's an idea! (1)

Therad (2493316) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579669)

The same is true for the ps2. And will probably be the same for ps4. The console that sells the most, attracts the most shovelware.

Re:Here's an idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47580151)

The google play store is an almost completely open market. Google don't care if your app is shovelware or not. Just so long as it doesn't put malware on your phone/tablet , allows you to bypass carrier tethering restrictions, DRM, or block ads. It does not seem to have made android unpopular.

Re:Here's an idea! (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a month and a half ago | (#47580171)

Yeah which is why the PC died in the 80s, it being open killed any reason to develop for it...oh wait [destructoid.com] ...hell if anything I'd say being open is what has caused the indie game explosion, with anybody with a really good idea (and a little help from kickstarter) coming out with completely new takes on traditional gaming.

Re:Here's an idea! (2)

evilviper (135110) | about a month and a half ago | (#47580239)

The last time sharing was the norm, it caused the entire industry to collapse.

It was retailers falling for the stupid scams, that caused the collapse.

Nintendo, as it turns out, were the ones who led the industry's recovery, largely by instituting strict third party licensing. Sid Meier considers the Nintendo "Seal of Quality" one of the three most important innovations in gaming history because of the impact that it had.

Yes, and it was important at the time, when people had very little confidence in the quality of games, games were expensive, and there were no magazines doing reviews, services that allowed gamer rentals, etc., etc.

IMHO, whatever high standards Nintendo may have set in the 80s, were gone in one fell swoop, with the flood of crap games on the PSX.

And PC games never had a central authority, yet they did just fine.

Re:Here's an idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47580333)

"It was retailers falling for the stupid scams" is not much of a defense. Retailers today are not any smarter than they were then. If a closed market protects against damage from retailer stupdity, that is reason enough to have a closed market.

Re:Here's an idea! (1)

DrXym (126579) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579805)

Shame so many of them chose death over sharing, isn't it? Even if they still die, their platform could live on indefinitely. Think of what would have happened if it weren't for the x86 clones.

Because open & open source consoles have such a long and glorious history. And I include forcibly opened consoles in that list, those which have been cracked.

Opening the console up either voluntarily or involuntarily would be the final nail in the coffin for their platform.

Re:Here's an idea! (1)

aliquis (678370) | about a month and a half ago | (#47580393)

Yeah.

PC gaming is dying.

They hate open platform and low prices.

so you want color dreams level games on wii? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579293)

so you want color dreams level games on wii?

Re:so you want color dreams level games on wii? (2)

EzInKy (115248) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579311)

If that sells more Wiis, and more Wii games, why not?

Re:Here's an idea! (1)

ZackSchil (560462) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579489)

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.

Re:Here's an idea! (2)

tibit (1762298) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579629)

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 consider junk like "NintendoLand" to be a major title. It's a game collection, with some good games, but once you master one or two of them, it all becomes rather tedious. Heck, I even got the Wii Fit U. What a total waste of perfectly good hardware. The mini games ("exercises") seem to be something students would do for a class project, and the setup is the most annoying thing ever. You can't simply just get on it and have fun, nosiree.

Re:Here's an idea! (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about a month and a half ago | (#47580349)

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"? that is what I want to know! I am still waiting!

Re:Here's an idea! (1)

vux984 (928602) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579837)

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.

Re:Here's an idea! (1)

aliquis (678370) | about a month and a half ago | (#47580365)

Why shouldn't they code for PC instead?

Guess the Wii U have specialized hardware but rather release such hardware for the PC too then.

Re:Here's an idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47580441)

It is

Fortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47579271)

Sony's Vita doesn't compete on mobile because of reasons. Only Nintendo has to compete with mobile games.

Nintendo bleeds (1)

BenJeremy (181303) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579273)

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:Nintendo bleeds (1, Flamebait)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579327)

about as long as Sony can bleed 5-6 billion a year. And they did that for most of the PS3s lifespan.

Re:Nintendo bleeds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47579331)

When you have BILLIONS in reserve, you can bleed $100 million every 4 months for a pretty long time.

Re:Nintendo bleeds (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579333)

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

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

Re:Nintendo bleeds (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47579359)

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

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

As a shareholder (not a lot, but enough to be concerned), I am happy with the direction shown at the previous E3. I had many concerns, but products don't make themselves instantly. They are putting their reputation on the 2015 line-up, and it looks good.

I just wish they had a Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate for the Wii U.

When comparing consoles, aside from the amount sold, is there a place to track the amount played or used? How many hours per week total across each console and how many hours on average per console in use? I'm interested in if the consoles are being treated as bricks or if they are actually being used. The Wii U has the best library of this generation right now, and looks like that will continue up through next year. I am certainly interested in games like No Man's Sky, which looks like a AAA Starbound. Because it is a AAA version of an indie game, I doubt it will have the same level of satisfaction even with a more structured development cycle.

Re:Nintendo bleeds (1)

tibit (1762298) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579647)

Wii U the best library? What on Earth are you talking about. The Nintendo store looks downright depressing compared to what you get for other major consoles.

Re: Nintendo bleeds (2)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about a month and a half ago | (#47580409)

Call of Duty and Halo don't make an impressive library. What the other two consoles have is diehard brand loyalty(fanboism), which cause cause sales of their consoles despite having an unimpressive game library.

Re:Nintendo bleeds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47579377)

As of March, they had enough money to run a deficit like that for 38 years.

Re:Nintendo bleeds (1)

stms (1132653) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579433)

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 idiots will eventually buy a Wii U for the latest Zelda or Whatever ends up being the first big killer app for their system.

App stores compete with the 3DS (1)

Vyse of Arcadia (1220278) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579283)

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.

Re:App stores compete with the 3DS (1)

DrXym (126579) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579843)

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 cynically set out to make the lowest spec console they could get away (basically parity with the PS3/360) and charged a premium for a gimmick. Consumers didn't buy it (probably remembering the Wii, remote, balance board + assorted shit gathering dust in the cupboard) and without the sales the 3rd parties slipped away.

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. Personally I think they should be looking to emerging markets and price their console at those markets.

I want to believe! (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579285)

Next week: Nintendo miraculously saved from impending doom by the the slashdot effect.

just make a Mario phone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47579295)

Bonus points if it is waterproof.

just make a Mario phone. (1)

Cryacin (657549) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579323)

He's a plumber, of course it's going to be water proof!

Re:just make a Mario phone. (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579337)

this is honestly a great idea. i would also buy a nintendo smart watch in a heartbeat, over anything made by samsung or apple...

PS4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47579317)

This generation of consoles seems like it will be lead by the PS4. The PS4 typically outsells [vgchartz.com] both the XBox One and the Wii U week by week, and Sony's gaming division is seeing increased revenue [vgchartz.com] .

Re: PS4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47579421)

I'd buy a PS4 except it's made by Sony. So nope, never going to happen.

They lost their market (2)

sandytaru (1158959) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579321)

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.

Re:They lost their market (3, Interesting)

Fallen Kell (165468) | about a month and a half ago | (#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.

Re:They lost their market (1)

Nyder (754090) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579695)

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.

Re:They lost their market (1)

TitusC3v5 (608284) | about a month and a half ago | (#47580183)

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 scratch that retro itch. Backwards compatibility to hundreds of Wii titles. If the above isn't enough reason to grab a Wii U, one game isn't going to make a difference. Smash Bros isn't *that* good of a game to sell a system by itself.

good work! (1)

UmarOMC (569335) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579373)

Thanks, Nintendo, for the Wii-U

Good. Fuck Nintendo. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47579399)

I bought a Wii U because I moved overseas and wanted a console. The entire concept of their "Virtual Console" is the biggest scam in the world. When they choose to bleed the few customers who still buy their products, the train's come off the rails and it's time to abandon all hope for the country. Bought some games on Wii Virtual Console? Oh I'm sorry that 25 year old copy of Mario has to be repurchased OR you can choose to pay $1.99. Didn't keep your Wii/Lost your SD Card? Even though we have record of your sale, there's nothing we can do. Oh you bought a $40 accessory for the Wii U, but you want to play a Wii Virtual Console game (because we haven't "ported" it?)? Too bad. Completely anti-consumer with the classic titles.

They should stop making consoles (2, Insightful)

Undead Waffle (1447615) | about a month and a half ago | (#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.

Re:They should stop making consoles (2)

TitusC3v5 (608284) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579541)

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.

Re:They should stop making consoles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47579565)

I have never heard such a novel idea before, particularly not concerning Nintendo, and certainly not for the past quarter of a century.

Re:They should stop making consoles (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47579599)

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

With the Wii, they realized that the core to getting people to buy their games was making games more people wanted to buy. Unfortunately, that larger market is heavily saturated by people who see no reason to buy WiiU Sports Resort U or whatever just to get the higher resolution support they clearly didn't care enough about when getting their Wii. In any case, the notion of "keep up with" is almost always a losing competition when dealing with conglomerates that can leverage other departments to ramp up performance and vertically integrate down production costs. Besides, it's not graphical fidelity that makes games fun per se--smooth art has more to do with artistic care than CPU/GPU horsepower--and it's precisely that graphical fidelity that's causing the massive cost issues for development houses--HD costs a lot more to draw because it takes a lot longer to draw--(from the Cryamore Development Blog on shrinking sprite size by 30% (which still leaves it as "HD" in most respects): "The time estimated to do a single frame is now cut down from a little over an hour per frame to about a little over 30 minutes per frame for Esmy or a basic NPC."

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

Except the whole point of owning their own consoles is to (1) avoid having to pay the developer fee per copy of every game they sell and (2) collecting the developer fee for every copy everyone else on their console sells. Really, why would they want to give up that edge? Of course the fact that Nintendo makes great games, generally, means that (2) appears to give Nintendo some sort of magic advantage--ie, I'd say that it's more a psychological effect and is just the general aspect of competing against Nintendo and if they followed your suggestion the same developers would have the same issues on the PS4 or Xbone or whatever.

Even if they required custom controllers for some of their games I doubt it would be hard to come out ahead.

Actually, this is the one thing that really keeps killing Nintendo. I think Nintendo has a belief that (1) various gadget controllers will open up new ways to play and their relative low cost will mean a high profit margin for each new doodad and (2) if the controller ends up being a whole expensive separate console (basically or literally) it'll create some sort of magic synergy that'll double sales (this is at least as old as the Gamecube/GBA linking). Yet the truth is that, as you sort of imply, they're not really making much if anything on the (2) option (in large part because people are already buying the stupid things and hence there's no real "double" anywhere) which even if they're technically ahead still leaves them well below budget projections.

Really, I have to say the fundamental issue with the WiiU is precisely that it was trying too hard to fight the tablet market and the PS/XBox market head on while ignoring that most users were content with the Wii. Some sort of CPU/RAM expansion would have been enough to placate most developers and would have forgone all the needless price battling that has resulted from trying to cram so much physical hardware into their new system. But Nintendo wanted to experiment and recreate the Wii's success ignoring that the whole motion control thing as a success was mostly a fluke (once the novelty wore off, MotionPlus had to come along and really plaster over how wonky/lame the initial hardware was) and that Nintendo clearly doesn't "get" trying to cram multiple consoles together--and honestly, I don't know of a system that ever succeed based upon the need for an expensive peripheral.

If tomorrow Nintendo announced a Wii U Lite and made the tablet mostly optional--through possible an on-screen emulation of enough of its functionality for some games--and cut the price by $50 or $100, I think Nintendo might stand a good chance on moving forward. Of course to really make it? They'd have to change the policy of charging developers per copy (or at least drastically reduce it) and pushing game retailers to accept a smaller cut and make clear a lower MSRP, both steps to make a much larger cut to go to the actual developer while making games cheaper for the consumer. Because going head on with PS/Xbox is a problem but in no way is switching to a game-only company and becoming beholden to PS/Xbox any sort of a solution.

Re:They should stop making consoles (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579825)

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.

Re:They should stop making consoles (1)

Undead Waffle (1447615) | about a month and a half ago | (#47580013)

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 in Nintendo's offerings than the PS or Xbox. And everyone else has no reason to buy a console when their phone/tablet/computer works well enough. If they made a phone or tablet OS the majority of the market wouldn't care and as we're seeing here they aren't having success competing with the other console makers. Sony and Microsoft don't need to make money from their gaming divisions because they have other products that make money. Nintendo doesn't have this luxury so they are at a disadvantage. Thus, they should really consider trying to reach a wider audience by focusing on just the games than trying to control the entire stack. If they have another breakthrough idea it might be smarter to integrate it with Steam Box or something and make a deal with Valve. Then they can capture the PC market as well. Maybe I'm wrong and they'll come up with an amazing console for their next generation, but I think it's much more likely that they will change strategy.

Re:They should stop making consoles (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47580019)

No, with the Wii they realized they didn't need to keep up with the PS and Xbox.

In that generation. The same idea isn't working out for the Wii U [vgchartz.com] in this generation. The PS4 launched one year later than the Wii U and has already sold more. The Xbox One will also overtake the Wii U soon enough.

Re:They should stop making consoles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47580117)

They are arguably competing against the mobile phone, not the Xbox or Playstation.

Nintendo's problem is also includes competing with incipient game streaming services like PlayStation Now [wired.com] . Cheaper devices (like PlayStation TV [wikipedia.org] ) will be able to stream games via PlayStation Now and the service will expand to Sony Smart TVs and perhaps more devices later.

Re:They should stop making consoles (4, Interesting)

evilviper (135110) | about a month and a half ago | (#47580225)

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.

Except... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47579441)

That those mobile games that cost a fraction of a nintendo game, are complete and utter shit. Most of them are pay to win grind fest or boring social network "game" for the filthy casuals.

The market is getting tighter and tighter (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579487)

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.

I know a lot of people had fun on the N64,gamecube,wii, and WiiU, but the last game system I took serious that Nintendo made was the Snes. It was the last game system which controller wasn't a gimmick, and before PC games became generally better in terms of content. Now don't get me wrong, there were a couple games there after SNES that I know are popular, but I didn't get into. I always thought the idea of console gaming was focused on the controller to be action reflex oriented, and hidden buttons underneath the controller, or motion sensors just distract. The best games link your brain with pure cerebral responses to what happens in the game. If your controller requires 200 extra milliseconds just to engage the button, or you can't hit all the buttons with any hand configuration, you screwed up as a game controller designer. The games should be the toys, not the gimmick controllers.

Continued (dodging Slashdot filter) (2)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579491)

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 route, and not everyone feels it is right to use ROMs they didn't pay for. Sure some don't care, and I have nothing against piracy, but some do. I bet there would be a bunch of money in either: A: releasing those old games on other platforms, or B: Lowering the price drastically on the WiiU on those old games so they're not 30$, but maybe 1$. If people knew they could buy a WiiU and a ton of old games on the cheap, they would be buying the WiiU.

So yes, if I was CEO of Nintendo, I'd have as many old games to buy on WiiU for as cheap as possible: like 30-90 cents. If your WiiU system had such legacy dominance that people could know they had all the old games, more people would be buying WiiU. I bet they'd fly off the shelves. Then once having paid the overhead of having the system, they'd buy more premium games. It is time to stop pretending pirates aren't out there, and competing with them for your legacy software. Every sale of legacy software is one more than you'd have otherwise. Not every 12 year old has been around for the past 30 years or has parents who have been video gamers. You start giving kids the ability to play video game history on the cheap, and your system will be loved.

In fact I'd make it a selling point of every Nintendo system from here on out to provide an online network to buy legacy titles at the appropriate price point. There's a point where you don't want to sell the last generations titles which are still around for too cheap, but the general concept to allow legacy titles to be purchased on future Nintendo systems, and this could be a way Nintendo not only dodges today's storm, but sures up an unsinkable ship moving forward. It would be almost similar to a homebrew Steam store... Nintendo could even swing license deals with people who made old games to get them on there.

Re:The market is getting tighter and tighter (4, Interesting)

mandginguero (1435161) | about a month and a half ago | (#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.

Re:The market is getting tighter and tighter (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about a month and a half ago | (#47580073)

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 of quality reflex games that are fun to play, Battletoads doesn't really make my list for a game to be remembered. There are actually a lot of quality relfex games for the NES era such as The Legend of Zelda 1&2, SuperMario Bros, Contra, etc etc. Calling reflex games bad by nature by picking out one that isn't an example of a good one is disingenuous.

3:I think you simply misunderstood me: Cerebral has another definition than "Brain to computer interface", it means it feels good to your brain. Tasks that map well to the brain with low frustration are cerebral. I'm sure you've heard this before as a brain researcher. When I say link your brain, I'm talking NES/SNES or PS3/XBOX360 controllers, but some game developers should take the pressure off to map every last button to a unique action. Sometimes having less buttons and actions to select from puts the user in more of a comfortable box to play from with limited choices. Not every game would benefit from limited number of actions, but some would.

Re:The market is getting tighter and tighter (2)

evilviper (135110) | about a month and a half ago | (#47580279)

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.

Re:The market is getting tighter and tighter (2)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about a month and a half ago | (#47580383)

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!

It is too bad Apple doesn't do join ventures. (1)

TheGeneration (228855) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579507)

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

Re:It is too bad Apple doesn't do join ventures. (1)

JDeane (1402533) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579663)

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.

I owned a WiiU for 1 month..... (2)

Kr1ll1n (579971) | about a month and a half ago | (#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.

Re:I owned a WiiU for 1 month..... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#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.

Re:I owned a WiiU for 1 month..... (1)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579615)

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)

Re:I owned a WiiU for 1 month..... (1)

Kr1ll1n (579971) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579667)

I had my WiiU in the tail end of 2013.

Re:I owned a WiiU for 1 month..... (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579845)

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.

That has changed. (2)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579835)

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.

Nintendo Has an R&D Problem (2, Interesting)

Kr1ll1n (579971) | about a month and a half ago | (#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.

Re:Nintendo Has an R&D Problem (1)

JDeane (1402533) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579691)

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 gen was bad enough with most of the great games released on the PC it felt pretty redundant to own a PS3. Now with easier ports... I am not sure I should even bother with the PS4 at all. I am already going to own a PC anyway, why not just spend the extra 400 bucks making it a gaming PC and enhance my PC experience at the same time.

Re:Nintendo Has an R&D Problem (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579765)

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

Re:Nintendo Has an R&D Problem (2)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579863)

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 the PC since programming for either can be done using DirectX, however even then there are some massive differences between optimising a game for a PC and the Xbox, which has lead to some horrendous experiences on both platforms due to poor porting.

All of this doesn't really matter for Nintendo, just look at the titles they have released. They have always played their console hand very close to the chest and the vast majority of hit titles on their console are actually their own titles.

Big News... (1)

vasilevich (2969463) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579575)

This story is bigger than it looks. You can also find this in non-English online newspapers.

Content atrophying... (2)

DKroos (3326275) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579641)

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.

We have untouched 3DS's and a WII, why buy more ? (2)

bobjr94 (1120555) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579649)

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.

Re:We have untouched 3DS's and a WII, why buy more (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47580331)

Thats more an indictment on the intelligence of your kids and their low attention spans I'm afraid. Not a good point to be bragging about.

Your point being? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47579725)

Neither Sony nor Microsoft's gaming divisions are doing particularly well right now either. Whats your point?

not just the wii-u (1)

luther349 (645380) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579797)

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.

Lagging behind Xbox ?! (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a month and a half ago | (#47579885)

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.

Re:Lagging behind Xbox ?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47580095)

EXACTLY.

People need to let go of this bullshit narrative that the WiiU is doing worse than the Xbox1 because the latter STILL HAS NOT CAUGHT UP with the former, and seeing how it is now selling fewer units on a monthly basis DESPITE the price cut(!), means it's highly debatable if it ever will.

There's been talk of MS selling the Xbox division, and for good reason.

But don't tell this to the scores of teenage Nintendo haters and/or sad grown-ass adult Nintendo haters who are still butthurt about Sega losing the console war and developing games for Nintendo systems. Because these people are incredibly persistent. It's pathetic.

Nothing beats a Nintendo game (1)

strstr (539330) | about a month and a half ago | (#47580001)

Nintendo's games are great. The problem is the console hardware themselves. The Wii for example was basically an underpowered piece of shit that didn't do serious gaming.

Wii U hardly fixes that, but at least they moved back to a physical control stick and gamepad setup. However the issue is the console is like a quarter as powerful as the Xbox One and even slower yet than the PlayStation 4. In gamers and developers mind this makes the console unattractive and not worth owning or supporting.

The handheld consoles suffer the same fate. Basically Nintendo is not living life as if people give a fuck about the quality, style, power, and functionality of their hardware.

The 3DS could also use 2x higher res screens and better graphics. It's an improvement over say Nintendo DS which had the worst quality graphics imaginable, but it doesn't even come close to the quality I am used to on my cellphone which today literally have 4xHD screens.

The screen quality and overall lack of resolution seems to be a limiting factor to better games coming to 3DS.

I don't like cellphones however for gaming because there's just a bunch of retarded HTML5 style games, 2D little pieces of shit puzzlers mostly. Flappy Bird and Flappy Chicken, and Angry Birds, all these games suck. And don't compare to a good Zelda or Animal Crossing style game.

There are a few craptactular platform games like Sonic 4 but the graphics don't utilize the hardware and the controls suck lacking a control stick or buttons.

Cellphone hardware + Nintendo 3DS controls + Nintendo 3DS games = win.

"cost about a fraction" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47580123)

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.

That's because they're only worth a fraction. What a bullshit comment to make. I'm sure McDonalds is cheaper than your local star restaurant, but fuck me if I'll ever eat at one.

Also, "the Wii U is still lagging behind the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles", I'm sure you'd love to believe the Xbox is doing so well but NEWSFLASH, it's selling less than the WiiU right now despite the price cut and still hasn't caught up with it in total sales numbers. Nintendo will soldier on, the most likely party to bow out of the console race at this moment is MICROSOFT whether you like it or not. I'm sure it's not what you want to believe, because the bullshit "Nintendo is doomed" narrative is something you're so goddamn invested in. Why? What the fuck is with you people?

I'd gladly pay them for real online Mario ... (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about a month and a half ago | (#47580129)

... 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.)
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