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Wii U hasn't yet gone on sale, but already Electronic Arts' ex-COO Bing Gordon believes that Nintendo is "already on track" to bow out of the hardware business.

"I think Nintendo's already on track to become primarily a software company," Bing told GamesIndustry.

"We saw that with Sega back in the day; Sega made some missteps and became primarily a software company. Nintendo hasn't really made missteps, Nintendo probably has better creative talent and better leadership now than Sega did. It's got the most robust business model, the best creative talent; Miyamoto's still the best in the business."

But rather than Microsoft or Sony, Gordon believes Nintendo's greatest competitor is Apple thanks to the steps they've taken in the handheld market.

"Apple's most directly competitive with Nintendo," he continued. "So far, when Miyamoto makes a perfect game, in his career he makes games worth $200 - it's worth buying a system for.

"I think the handheld is going to be under a lot of pressure. I can imagine a day when Nintendo wonders - and maybe it's generational change - when Nintendo wonders if they ought to take some of their best games and make them apps."

"That will be stunning," he added. "Neither Apple or Nintendo - both those companies like control - is likely to want a partnership, but a partnership would be stunningly cool."

Gordon believes that Nintendo can still sustain a proprietary platform "as long as Miyamoto's coming to work".

"He's that good."

If Nintendo were to become a third-party publisher, the move would echo SEGA's decision to become a software-focussed company in the early noughties.

SEGA announced that it would be leaving the console business to become a third-party publisher in 2001, following debt accrued by its failures with Dreamcast and Saturn.

Nintendo reported its first annual loss in April of this year, owing to flagging sales of its Wii console.

Its next console, Wii U, is due to go on sale later this year.

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altaranga's Avatar


Bing Gordon's alive?
Posted 09:36 on 29 July 2012


Three seems to be the magic number at the moment, with Sony, MS and Nintendo all selling millions of units. This achievement is often hidden under the artificial 'console wars' where apparently only one can survive, but the truth is that there is room for as many consoles as people will buy in large capacity.
Posted 23:52 on 28 July 2012
MutantMonkey's Avatar

MutantMonkey@ CheekyLee

I do grow tired of rubbish predictions and wonder if they are some sort of media reverse psychology or maybe an attempt to hinder or even just that they feel only negative stories get a response... usually I save my breathe but sometimes nobody else says a thing and I cant just let it be :)

I reckon there will always be room for two home consoles on the market especially when they take diiferent stances - POWER vs Innovation, Multimedia vs Dedicated Franchises, Expensive Vs Affordable.

Competition is a good thing, its even better when both sides are strong.

...oh and of course there should always be space for a handheld or two and PC
Posted 22:49 on 28 July 2012
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee@ MutantMonkey

Well said that Monkey!

To be honest, even though I agree with you 100%, I almost find myself wishing that Nintendo would leave the hardware market if only just to shut these idiots who spout these nonsensical predictions, with alarming frequency, up once and for all. And then, once they have stopped harping on about the underpowered consoles, all they will have to complain about is the family friendly software, which will upset them all the more when it consistently outsells the titles that are littering (and I use that word deliberately) the release schedules of the HD machines.

Plus, it would be another step towards the single-platform future that is not just needed, but also increasingly inevitable.
Posted 09:52 on 25 July 2012
MutantMonkey's Avatar


Nintendo have been around for more than two decades and this is their first financial loss correct? Thats not a trend. Unlike Sega Nintendo have not bet all their money on a very powerful console (relatively speaking) nor have they been sinking for years, quite the opposite. I am not saying that Nintendo are doing brilliant at the moment but people should stop being so against them and the changes they bring which are usually for the better. Analysts said the Wii would flop, I disagreed, who was right?

This is merely an expected drop at the end of a consoles life cycle NOT anything to do with Apple or the mobile/tablet market. The kind of games available on these devices just don't compare, they are mostly like games from a bygone era with little to offer except the price reflecting their cheapness.

I certainly WILL be buying a Wii U because I believe in what Nintendo are doing as nearly always - evolving the gaming market. Without Nintendo the gaming industry would be very linear, it would be a sad day if Nintendo left the hardware side. The quality of their products speaks for themselves. The rest of the market mimics Nintendo's ideas.

Where would we be without them...?
D-pad cross, revival and improvement of the analogue stick, rumble pak, shoulder buttons, motion controls (before even the Wii), handheld glasses-free stereoscopic 3D... was it not Nintendo's idea to move to CD media? Was that not the reason Sony entered the games industry?
Posted 23:37 on 24 July 2012
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