.. and it fails to shock me. I am not surprised at all that Nintendo is attempting to capitalize as much as it possibly can on Mario and Donkey Kong. That’s what Nintendo has always done.
This said, in terms of corporate stability, you have to give it to Nintendo. Not posting a loss since 1989 is a powerful thing for a company who’s core business is in the electronic gadget territory. Say what you will about the gameboy, it was the first widely available, relatively inexpensive handheld video game unit. Being first, has its perks.
The first serious competitor for the Gameboy is the PSP. Yes, we know the Atari Lynx was cool, and the Sega Game Gear was even neater (my mom had one, I thought they were neat), but in terms of brand staying power, and the sheer level of financial backing, and not to mention style factor, Sony makes the former Atari and Sega look like gaming companies in miniature.
When Sony decided to tip their hat into the video game console arena, Nintendo gracefully bowed and stepped to the side as Sony took control of the market by a landslide. Nintendo would be wise to be in fear of a repeat event. If Nintendo loses in the handheld arena– and let’s face it, the DS is an absolutely ridiculous offering when pitted against a PSP– Nintendo will lose their profit margin and start posting losses, and that’s not good news no matter which way you slice it.
The market in terms of handhelds, is quickly heading toward an all-in-one device like the PSP. Movies, music and games on the go… does it get any better? Sony’s answer is a resounding “Yes!” With the mere availability of a wireless access point, you can surf the web with it too.
I think the next five years will see a drastic shift in video gaming power and quite possibly the end of Nintendo as a force for anything in the video gaming market, and if you think about it like that, Nintendo’s ploy, while well considered, isn’t going to work in the long term.