Will Online Gaming Be Nintendo’s Final Boss?
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Will Online Gaming Be Nintendo’s Final Boss?

September 7, 2019


What do taxis, playing cards, love hotels, and Game Boys have in common? At one point, they were all a Nintendo venture. These products are among the mega-hits and
mega-flops in Nintendo’s 130 year history. Whenever the end was near, they bounced back
with an innovative, company-saving product. And their secret to modern success: great
games with classic characters. This is how Nintendo periodically turned reports
of its imminent demise into Nintendo mania. From 2010 to 2015, Nintendo was in trouble. Its most recent major console, the Wii U,
was considered a flop next to its rivals. Profits were tumbling, and its stock price
was near a low. Worse still, some analysts saw the surging
popularity of mobile smartphone games as a major threat to Nintendo’s cash cow: its
portable gaming systems. Another major blow came in July 2015 with
the death of the company’s president, Satoru Iwata. But then, Nintendo’s fortune suddenly reversed. In late 2016, it released a mobile smartphone
game, the wildly popular Super Mario Run, and capitalized on fan nostalgia with the
limited edition NES Classic. Then in March 2017, the company released the
long-awaited Nintendo Switch, which became an instant hit. It’s just a very sleek and nicely designed and pleasing hardware to have in your hands. But that said, it really comes down to the
games and they had an incredibly strong lineup of games from the start. With the help of these reimagined classics,
Nintendo sold more than 20 million units in the first two years and it’s now become the
fastest selling console in U.S. history. They have this kind of Disney-like
ability to introduce their characters in one format and then maybe your interest in their
products fades away a little bit and then years later they’ll reintroduce those same
characters again with a new product. The Switch was hardly the first time Nintendo had pivoted successfully to a new type of entertainment. Nintendo began in Kyoto in 1889 with hand
painted playing cards called “hanafuda” or “flower cards”. Because western style playing cards were banned,
Japanese gangsters, called “Yakuza” favored these in their illegal gambling parlours. And Nintendo made a killing. They made every kind of playing card imaginable
until 1963, dubbed “Nintendo’s experimental years.” During this time they did everything from
food, taxis, and love hotels, before circling back to toys. There was even a self made extending arm – called
the Ultra Hand, The Love Tester, Ultra Machine, and even a laser clay shooting system that
would later morph into NES’s classic Duck Hunt. The success of some of these toys cemented
their place as a toy maker, leading them into the gaming industry. Nintendo only started developing home gaming
consoles about 35 years ago – with the introduction of the Famicom in Japan and Nintendo Entertainment
System in the U.S. Their timing however, couldn’t have been
worse. The gaming industry was crashing. There were too many consoles and too many
terrible third party games. But Nintendo succeeded where others didn’t. They bundled a hit game called Super Mario
Brothers created by visionary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto. To date, this game has sold over 40 million
copies worldwide, holding the record for a full 18 years. Miyamoto, who joined Nintendo in 1977, would
go on to design other hits like Zelda, Mario Kart, and Starfox. “I like making games so much that
I would like to do it for free.” And each new gaming console over the next
few decades had the key hit games to go with it: The Game Boy had Tetris and Kirby’s Dreamland. The Super Nintendo had Super Mario World and
Donkey Kong Country. And the N64 had Mario Kart, Goldeneye and
Zelda: Ocarina of Time. They now have people like you and me who grew up playing with games with Mario and Link in the case of Zelda. It’s pleasing to pass along those characters
to your own children But, they had their share of flops as well. Like…the Virtual Boy: a headset that allowed
the user to play games in virtual reality. The Game Cube was also less than successful. And while 2018 was the best year in over a
decade – the forecast is once again not so positive. In September of 2018, more than a decade after
rivals Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo debuted its first online subscription service. But the reviews haven’t been great. Gamers complain that Nintendo’s platform
lacks must-have features like in-game chat. They say it’s susceptible to cheating and
get frustrated with its connectivity issues. They seem to manage, whether it was
the Wii or Game Boy or the Switch most recently. They do seem to come back just when people
have written them off, and they do seem to come up with these new things to push things
forward. So it’ll be interesting to see how they react
to this shift to online multiplayer games. They’ll probably come up with something new
in that arena too if you give them enough time. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time
Nintendo reinvented itself.

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  1. growing up poor never had a chance to own any NES so now im a bit older had enough money year ago got me 3ds XL loved it and now switch..super awsome

  2. Let's just hope Nintendo continues to make consoles instead of turn into a software only company like Sega which I also loved.

  3. do you really think nintendo switch is in crisis? well, let's see if the 2019 Pokemon Generation 8 will make switch sales explode again

  4. Bring the virtual console to switch and add as much of those titles as possible to try to get as much of those libraries as possible and this will give them more people. But the switch is doing very well reaching 30M units sold.

  5. This video and only this video on Youtube is just a black screen, i can see what its meant to look like in the preview when you hover over the timeline but that is all.

  6. Did you even fucking listened to their last financial report. Nintendo is really stepping up their business. Movies, theme parks and stores are coming up. And what's up with the attitude that they solely rely on nostalgia. Do you even play their games. They release the best games of each generation ,even though most of them don't get recognition from people who play cinematic games which are barely even games.

  7. The video title/question, "Can Nintendo Beat Its Latest Challenge?" wasn't really answered in this video. You guys really didn't even show any issues it had other than the online needing an upgrade/features, and whether or not it sold enough to a competing system that's been on the market for 5+ years already.

    All you did was look at the last, but didn't consider what would could potentially "beat its latest challenge" for the future? This was more or less a dumbed down history lesson about Nintendo and a comment about the online not being up to par. Maybe next time, maybe actually attempt to answer the question, yeah?

  8. Online gaming is garbage gaming.
    And internet connectivity is still junk in 2019.
    The best games are still essentially offline solo experiences.

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