Nintendo chief, Satoru Iwata, has announced today that the company has failed to meet its sales forecast and commentators are of the thought that devices like Apple’s iPhone could be blamed for Nintendo’s flop show this holiday season.
For any gaming company the Christmas season has always been the high point of any year and Nintendo too was hoping to salvage their fortunes with high sales. However, the numbers were far from the expected volume and the company was forced to slash the sales forecast for its flagship Wii U tablet by almost 70 percent.
The fall in sales has been particularly alarming and hurting since it came at the back of the highest U.S spending on gaming consoles for the last three years.
Ideally, the blame should have gone to Sony’s PS4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One which both have had bumper sales this season. However, the blame flopped on smartphones like iPhone and tablets which are run on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android OS. The market share that these devices hold today has resulted in thousands of free and paid gaming apps being made available to its customers negating the need for Nintendo’s gaming consoles.
Tech analysts are also warning the entire gaming console industry about the possible surge in the competition from the non-traditional gaming hardware dominated by the ever evolving smartphones and tablets. These mediums are backed by a huge army of freelance game developers and such a cut-throat completion could result in a shift in the general buying trend within the customer base for its gaming needs.
Sony in a press release earlier this month in CES 2014 had indicated its intention to use its cloud platform in the future to allow users to play its PS4 games in devices other than PS4 consoles. It stressed on the fact that they want to delight the customers by providing them the flexibility to play all PS4 games on devices like Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s galaxy devices.
This clearly highlights the recognition of this very completion that is digging down Sony’s neck and the company clearly wants to join them before it beats them. It is expected that Microsoft too will follow suit and whispers are already been heard in this regard.
As both Sony and Microsoft get into the race to offer services through the cloud platform they hope to avoid the situation that Nintendo has found itself in today.
Nintendo chief has indicated that there would be a churn in the top management and there is an urgent need to overhaul the company’s strategy.The early indications coming from Osaka Japan suggests that Iwata is focusing his attention to the smartphone-tablet industry.
Whether the company will work on similar platform like Sony’s or intends to decouple the hardware from its gaming software remains to be seen.
Iwata added that,
“Given the expansion of smart devices, we are naturally studying how smart devices can be used to grow the game-player business. It’s not as simple as enabling Mario to move on a smartphone.”
Iconic franchises like the Mario Brothers and the Legend of Zelda put the company on the top of the gaming industry but with the turn of the century and the rise of Apple, Nintendo’s fortunes have surely been dented badly. However devices like iPhone being blamed for Wii U’s flop show is not the way ahead and the company is reportedly mulling to join the bandwagon soon with its smartphone-focused strategy.
By Daris Abraham