How is Nintendo successful?

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How is Nintendo successful when they're consistently behind the times, from not using CDs to having bad online?
 

Derangel

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Because their primary focus is on affordable hardware and simply making fun games. They've had their failures and their downturns, but they actually learned from those mistakes and moved on. They have the widest appeal of any game company on the planet and really have never diverged from that since they got into the console business. It also helps that they're a partial owner of the Pokemon, the single largest media franchise in the entire world.
 

toast0

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Many of their IP games are more like they made a fun game and then put characters you already know than they're trying to churn out the same game over and over. Or at least, they start that way, and then you know 70 releases of mario tennis and mario kart and flat mario in 3d adventure land. But, unlike the stuff Sonic got shoehorned into, most of the games with Mario are pretty fun. (Sorry, Sonic)
 

LukeTbk

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How is Nintendo successful when they're consistently behind the times, from not using CDs to having bad online?

Sometime some strength can come from those.

CDs for example, yes that made Nintendo game much more expensive and needed to fit into 25-30 megabyte instead of 3.5 gig if you did not mind multiple cds for your big Final Fantasy saga entry type.

But virtually no loading with their technology.

Bad online but destroy every competition in player in the same room experience usually (something that could have slipped if they would have had a more online focus).

Outside that some strength in that difference aspect and a niche for young family-kids that can be lacking in the marketing of the competition, it is I imagine in a really big part the strength of the Mario-Zelda IPs
 

Nytegard

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Because their primary focus is on affordable hardware and simply making fun games. They've had their failures and their downturns, but they actually learned from those mistakes and moved on. They have the widest appeal of any game company on the planet and really have never diverged from that since they got into the console business. It also helps that they're a partial owner of the Pokemon, the single largest media franchise in the entire world.

Their main goal isn't pushing graphical limits just for the sake of it. Fun vs shiny.
Pretty much this. I have all the 3 latest consoles, and the one I play the most is the Switch. Why? Because they have fun games. Sony and MS feel like they want to push graphics, but at the same time, almost all the games feel like they waste your time. The games are long, full of filler, etc. Yeah, they look pretty, but they're just not fun. And I feel that's something that's lost on Sony and MS, along with a huge chunk of the vocal audience. And it's also why indie games I feel are more fun than any AAA game you'll find coming from the west. Looking good isn't the same as playing good. But the problem with indie games is that they do feel unprofessional. Now, take into account a company that is professional such as Nintendo, and makes fun games, and they can also have fun games that feel polished, unlike almost every indie game.
 

Flogger23m

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Family friendly games, and their first party titles are highly polished. Not a lot of bugs in them.
 
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harmattan

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  • Capture of the "casuals" and "family-friendly" market
  • Artificial scarcity
  • Protecting their IP
  • Closed ecosystem
  • Semi-prestige pricing (esp. for games/software)
  • "Fun" and design over graphics and hardware capabilities
I'm with others who report they play their Switch more than any other console. While my XBoxX and PS5 will largely gather dust for their lives, I continue to go back to play games on my Switch. It's mobile, the games are more fun and unique, and the system just works without many bells and whistles. PC-PS5-XBox and Switch are really apples and oranges.
 
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M76

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The same question can be asked about Apple, so what does Apple and Nintendo have in common? I think it is the white color scheme :p
 

Denpepe

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Are they bad at making consoles?

Kind of, they are bad at making powerfull consoles compared to the competition, they are great at making games.

On the downside some of their consoles due to the lack of power had limited nr of third party games as they would have to be basically remade to run on the hardware.

Would be nice to see what the software people at nintendo could do given better hardware.
 

harmattan

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Kind of, they are bad at making powerfull consoles compared to the competition, they are great at making games.

On the downside some of their consoles due to the lack of power had limited nr of third party games as they would have to be basically remade to run on the hardware.

Would be nice to see what the software people at nintendo could do given better hardware.
I don't think they're "bad" per se at making powerful consoles -- they just don't need or care to.

In a sense, they're excellent at designing consoles from an innovation perspective which is arguably more difficult than throwing together a system that can compute and render fast.

Even so, having their flagship run on a 6 year-old Tegra X1 Maxwell derivative is inexcusable especially considering how far mobile APUs have come in that time, and that Nintendo has already "refreshed" the Switch. It's hard to make a comparison, but I'd guess my mom's 3 year-old budget snapdragon phone is more powerful all things e.g. voltage being equal (I think the Switch does .4 Tflops while a SD888 can do near four times that).
 
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Armenius

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I don't think they're "bad" per se at making powerful consoles -- they just don't need or care to.

In a sense, they're excellent at designing consoles from an innovation perspective which is arguably more difficult than throwing together a system that can compute and render fast.

Even so, having their flagship run on a 6 year-old Tegra X1 Maxwell derivative is inexcusable especially considering how far mobile APUs have come in that time, and that Nintendo has already "refreshed" the Switch. It's hard to make a comparison, but I'd guess my mom's 3 year-old budget snapdragon phone is more powerful all things e.g. voltage being equal (I think the Switch does .4 Tflops while a SD888 can do near four times that).
I guess their last truly powerful console was the Gamecube, which didn't sell that well despite being a fine piece of technology for the time. I honestly don't understand why it didn't sell that well, to be honest, as it had one of Nintendo's best game libraries ever release in my humble opinion. Maybe the PlayStation 2 was too big of a juggernaut by the time the Gamecube came out.

On the APU in the Switch I can only believe that NVIDIA cut Nintendo a great deal, and that Nintendo doesn't want to sell their consoles for a loss like the other manufacturers are content to do. The lack of power and efficiency is obviously not hurting from a sales perspective.
 

Choopyplz

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I guess their last truly powerful console was the Gamecube, which didn't sell that well despite being a fine piece of technology for the time. I honestly don't understand why it didn't sell that well, to be honest, as it had one of Nintendo's best game libraries ever release in my humble opinion. Maybe the PlayStation 2 was too big of a juggernaut by the time the Gamecube came out.

On the APU in the Switch I can only believe that NVIDIA cut Nintendo a great deal, and that Nintendo doesn't want to sell their consoles for a loss like the other manufacturers are content to do. The lack of power and efficiency is obviously not hurting from a sales perspective.

I've wondered about that too, and the PS2 really did have a great library as well. It's sort of ironic now, since Gamecube stuff is highly desirable.
 

Domingo

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I loved the Gamecube and PS2 almost equally. The PS2 was a definitely better "mainstream" machine (arcade ports, multiplatform games, and playing DVD's) but Nintendo had a really, really strong exclusive lineup of titles at the time. They were varied with plenty of games aimed at adults, too. I miss that. That's before the Nintendo shelves of the store became infested with 90% shovelware. It was basically only a gaming machine, though. It had those weird little disks and couldn't do much else. The PS2 could do everything under the sun and had a hell of a lineup itself, so everybody else probably just got overshadowed.
 

ZodaEX

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I don't think they're "bad" per se at making powerful consoles -- they just don't need or care to.

In a sense, they're excellent at designing consoles from an innovation perspective which is arguably more difficult than throwing together a system that can compute and render fast.

Even so, having their flagship run on a 6 year-old Tegra X1 Maxwell derivative is inexcusable especially considering how far mobile APUs have come in that time, and that Nintendo has already "refreshed" the Switch. It's hard to make a comparison, but I'd guess my mom's 3 year-old budget snapdragon phone is more powerful all things e.g. voltage being equal (I think the Switch does .4 Tflops while a SD888 can do near four times that).

Her phone thermal throttles much worse than the switch. Her phone may benchmark better, but for how many minutes before it throttles down?
 

Choopyplz

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I loved the Gamecube and PS2 almost equally. The PS2 was a definitely better "mainstream" machine (arcade ports, multiplatform games, and playing DVD's) but Nintendo had a really, really strong exclusive lineup of titles at the time. They were varied with plenty of games aimed at adults, too. I miss that. That's before the Nintendo shelves of the store became infested with 90% shovelware. It was basically only a gaming machine, though. It had those weird little disks and couldn't do much else. The PS2 could do everything under the sun and had a hell of a lineup itself, so everybody else probably just got overshadowed.

Oh my god, I completely forgot that the PS2 doubling as a DVD player was a big reason for people to buy it over the GC (Xbox could be a DVD player as well). Super genius to have that functionality at the time, and they would do a similar thing with the PS3 and Blu-ray.
 

ZodaEX

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Oh my god, I completely forgot that the PS2 doubling as a DVD player was a big reason for people to buy it over the GC (Xbox could be a DVD player as well). Super genius to have that functionality at the time, and they would do a similar thing with the PS3 and Blu-ray.

The GameCube was avalanche with a built in DVD player too.
 

Choopyplz

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The Panasonic q GameCube had a built in dvd player, and looked nice to boot.

It was Japan only and sold poorly there. I'm not sure why, or if it had seen a wider release maybe it would have made a difference. It's possible the marketing was just confusing being made by Panasonic and not Nintendo exclusively.
 
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Domingo

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Looks like a 1960's toaster. I don't know if it really would have mattered anyway. Nintendo had already committed to those proprietary miniature optical disks and the Q came out later. Nintendo almost always tries to do something different for the sake of being different. They were all about quirky (but optional) stuff in the NES and SNES days, but they went all-in starting with the N64.
 

Armenius

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Looks like a 1960's toaster. I don't know if it really would have mattered anyway. Nintendo had already committed to those proprietary miniature optical disks and the Q came out later. Nintendo almost always tries to do something different for the sake of being different. They were all about quirky (but optional) stuff in the NES and SNES days, but they went all-in starting with the N64.
They made the "reverse" spinning optical discs as a form of copy protection. That is why they were reluctant to move away from cartridges with the 64. Loading times was a secondary concern to the pirating concerns with the smaller form factor. Bugger all that did as people found a way to rip Gamecube games using the network adapter, anyway.
 

Derangel

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Kind of, they are bad at making powerfull consoles compared to the competition, they are great at making games.

On the downside some of their consoles due to the lack of power had limited nr of third party games as they would have to be basically remade to run on the hardware.

Would be nice to see what the software people at nintendo could do given better hardware.

I wouldn't say they're bad at making powerful consoles, but their goals don't align with creating loss leader systems. Nintendo generally prefers to make a profit on each unit sold.
 

LukeTbk

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IIRC, Microsoft has NEVER made a profit on Xbox.
That a very general statement.

Do you mean on the hardware sales itselfs ? That would be something true on launch maybe but when the consoles are 3-4 year's old and cheaper to make editions with fully mature process all around I imagine it is not the case, that they make very small ones, but it is not there I imagine that Microsoft or Sony make their money, versus licensing fee and monthly subscribing.

If you mean has an enterprise has a whole, that sound hard to believe, 2019 Microsoft gaming revenue were of 11.6 billion, I am not sure we have breakdown of operating income-profit granular by division, but it would be surprising if did not turn a profit.
 

Armenius

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That a very general statement.

Do you mean on the hardware sales itselfs ? That would be something true on launch maybe but when the consoles are 3-4 year's old and cheaper to make editions with fully mature process all around I imagine it is not the case, that they make very small ones, but it is not there I imagine that Microsoft or Sony make their money, versus licensing fee and monthly subscribing.

If you mean has an enterprise has a whole, that sound hard to believe, 2019 Microsoft gaming revenue were of 11.6 billion, I am not sure we have breakdown of operating income-profit granular by division, but it would be surprising if did not turn a profit.
Microsoft's report rolls Xbox division numbers into a "personal computing" category, so that $11.6B of gross revenue includes things like Surface and the like. The $11.6B number is also just for a single quarter. Total gross revenue for the segment that includes Xbox was about $54B for FY'21 with an operating income of about $20B.

https://view.officeapps.live.com/op...?version=80dd75ed-068d-1e12-245e-cd5e85b95cee
 
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LukeTbk

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Microsoft's report rolls Xbox division numbers into a "personal computing" category, so that $11.6B of gross revenue includes things like Surface and the like. The $11.6B number is also just for a single quarter. Total gross revenue for the segment that includes Xbox was about $54B for FY'21 with an operating income of about $20B.

https://view.officeapps.live.com/op...?version=80dd75ed-068d-1e12-245e-cd5e85b95cee
That for me to reading a website called workingcasual.......

https://workingcasual.com/microsofts-annual-gaming-revenue-exceeds-11-6-billion-for-the-first-time/
As you’ll see in the above chart, Xbox gaming revenue exceeded $11.6 billion for the trailing 12-month period for the first time since the company began reporting this specific metric.

So it was not xbox gaming revenues and not 12 months .....


But it does seem right, Microsoft seem to break down personnal computing in sub division (and split surface and gaming) and look like around 11.xb the 2018q4 to Q32019 just looking at their numbers:
Microsoft-More-Personal-Computing-2019-Q3.png
 
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Nytegard

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I guess their last truly powerful console was the Gamecube, which didn't sell that well despite being a fine piece of technology for the time. I honestly don't understand why it didn't sell that well, to be honest, as it had one of Nintendo's best game libraries ever release in my humble opinion. Maybe the PlayStation 2 was too big of a juggernaut by the time the Gamecube came out.

On the APU in the Switch I can only believe that NVIDIA cut Nintendo a great deal, and that Nintendo doesn't want to sell their consoles for a loss like the other manufacturers are content to do. The lack of power and efficiency is obviously not hurting from a sales perspective.
Nintendo first went down the wrong path with the N64, which was a flop. They tried staying ahead in terms of hardware, but their flaw was trying to push hardware rather than games, while keeping tight control on their system (hence the cartridges), and they paid dearly for it.

It was honestly Sega which struck this huge blow to Nintendo. Nintendo had always focused on kids, and Sega came up with the idea of selling to teenagers. Sony took it a step further by selling to everyone. But now that parents are of the age that they too played video games, which are you going to get? A console only your child plays, or a console you and your child will play? And Nintendo's tight control they held from the NES days upset a lot of developers who were happy to go elsewhere. Nintendo tried the same thing with the Game Cube and still failed miserably.

It was the Wii where they realized they couldn't compete with Sony or MS. Then they went back to focusing on games, rather than hardware, and that paid off big for them. And while the Wii U failed (it's hard to guess which gimmicks will work and which ones will sink), the Switch paid off. And with Japan being mainly mobile now, yeah, I can see the future being similar to how the Switch works.
 

Axman

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Nintendo first went down the wrong path with the N64, which was a flop.

This is the first time I have ever heard that the N64 was a commercial failure for Nintendo. And, I really don't remember that being the case. I mean, people were willing to spend $60, $70 for N64 games -- back in the day -- and they were good.

It wasn't until Sony parted ways and launched the Playstation that Nintendo finally seemed behind the curve. I mean, technically they were behind Sega but they kind of worked in different markets, even when Sega was relevant. And it took years for the Playstation to really come into its own. Just look at the differences between FFVII and FFIX, and that was well before the end of mainstream PS1 development.
 

Krenum

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How is Nintendo successful when they're consistently behind the times, from not using CDs to having bad online?
They may not always be successful in shear numbers, but they are the most popular name in gaming and have the most recognizable characters in gaming history. Quality over quantity. They also innovate, just look at the Switch, now all companies with handhelds are copying it. They also make games that are fun to play, which is why anyone picks up a controller in the first place.
 

Armenius

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Nintendo first went down the wrong path with the N64, which was a flop. They tried staying ahead in terms of hardware, but their flaw was trying to push hardware rather than games, while keeping tight control on their system (hence the cartridges), and they paid dearly for it.

It was honestly Sega which struck this huge blow to Nintendo. Nintendo had always focused on kids, and Sega came up with the idea of selling to teenagers. Sony took it a step further by selling to everyone. But now that parents are of the age that they too played video games, which are you going to get? A console only your child plays, or a console you and your child will play? And Nintendo's tight control they held from the NES days upset a lot of developers who were happy to go elsewhere. Nintendo tried the same thing with the Game Cube and still failed miserably.

It was the Wii where they realized they couldn't compete with Sony or MS. Then they went back to focusing on games, rather than hardware, and that paid off big for them. And while the Wii U failed (it's hard to guess which gimmicks will work and which ones will sink), the Switch paid off. And with Japan being mainly mobile now, yeah, I can see the future being similar to how the Switch works.
Don't know how you can assert that Nintendo stopped focusing on games with the N64 and GCN when they both had some of the most beloved entries in their storied history. Super Mario 64 was really the first game to do 3D platforming correct and set the standard that is still used to this day. Nintendo kept tight control on their licensing for both systems, and look what happened when they opened it up on the Wii. There was a lot of shovelware put out on the Wii. I actually don't think I heard the term "shovelware" in popular parlance until after the Wii came out.
This is the first time I have ever heard that the N64 was a commercial failure for Nintendo. And, I really don't remember that being the case. I mean, people were willing to spend $60, $70 for N64 games -- back in the day -- and they were good.

It wasn't until Sony parted ways and launched the Playstation that Nintendo finally seemed behind the curve. I mean, technically they were behind Sega but they kind of worked in different markets, even when Sega was relevant. And it took years for the Playstation to really come into its own. Just look at the differences between FFVII and FFIX, and that was well before the end of mainstream PS1 development.
Sony is truly an anomaly in gaming consoles. 100 million in hardware sales was unheard of until Sony came along. Nintendo consoles typically sold 30-40 million units for the lifespan of the console, so 33 million for the Nintendo 64 I would not consider failure by any stretch of the imagination.
 

Krenum

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Sony is truly an anomaly in gaming consoles. 100 million in hardware sales was unheard of until Sony came along. Nintendo consoles typically sold 30-40 million units for the lifespan of the console, so 33 million for the Nintendo 64 I would not consider failure by any stretch of the imagination.

Indeed. Sony used to make a great product, they had games I'd want to play. Now days? I don't even bother. They make shit. Or rather, the industry makes shit?
 

Domingo

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I don't know if anyone was ready for Sony back in the 90's. The N64 smacked Sega around, but Sony was playing a different game than everyone else. Plus, there was a certain level of polish to the PlayStation that captured casual and serious gamers. The PS2 kept that going. I don't recall hearing or thinking anything negative about Sony (videogame-wise at least) until the PS3. I don't know if that was negative so much as just Microsoft brining something really good (maybe better) to the table at the same time.
 
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