Nintendo Is Killing Itself

The company needs to adapt to the new gaming landscape

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Nintendo is dying. Today the company attempted to wow gamers with an "extensive line-up that has probably never been seen before in the history of video games," announced company president Satoru Iwata, but the offerings failed to impress, Reuters's Isabel Reynolds reports. "Nintendo's attempt to rescue its failed 3DS handheld games gadget failed to dispel market gloom, triggering a 5 percent share slide and stoking deep worries for an iconic brand desperate to win back users." Nintendo's not just some one-hit wunderkind to come out of the digital revolution. For many decades the company has popped out gaming and console hits alike. But things are different now; gaming has changed. Its gone mobile and Nintendo refuses to jump on that. And its reluctance to evolve is suicidal.

Nintendo doesn't get that nobody wants Nintendo gaming systems anymore. The 3DS stinks. From NES to N64 to the Gameboy to Wii, Nintendo has produced gaming systems that people want to play. Not many want to touch the 3DS. Sales are way down, reports The Wall Street Journal's Juro Osawa. This might have something to do with a general lack of support for 3D tech, argues The Guardian's Charles Arthur. "It may also signal that 3D technologies --which were held up at the start of 2010 as a new way to encourage people to buy new laptops, TVs and consoles--are not grabbing the attention of buyers in the way that hardware makers had hoped." But, more likely, it's a result of Nintendo's bad timing, explains Osawa. "An attempt to replicate the great success of its predecessor, the DS, released in 2004, the 3DS hit the market at a time when smartphones such as Apple Inc.'s iPhone are rapidly emerging as videogame platforms." Gamers prefer playing on their iPhones, iPads, or laptops. And Nintendo's not adapting, as Reynolds explains. "Nintendo has been criticized for sticking rigidly to its own hardware, meaning it has no access to the new generation of mobile devices." We bet you'd buy Super Mario for your iPad if you could.

Not only has Nintendo not segued onto hipper platforms, but the company hasn't developed the types of games people play now-a-days. "Analysts and investors dismissed the line-up as lackluster and largely irrelevant in the face of cheap or free games played on the likes of Apple's iPhone and iPad and Google-powered Android devices," continues Reynolds. The whole gaming scene has gotten less expensive and more social--Nintendo hasn't adapted. Like we said, the company hasn't opened itself up to smart phones nor has it developed games for the changing consumer. Think: More Farmville, less Mario.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.