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Friday, September 9, 2011

Why Is Nintendo Panicking?

Why is Nintendo panicking?

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to notice the panic coming from their offices. The massive 3DS price cut and the weird second thumb stick accessory they're releasing for the 3DS appears to be proof. But why?


I mean, the 3DS' sales, while not stellar, are OK. Nintendo should be sitting on a pile of DS and Wii money that would seemingly take them through any rough patches. Plus, the Wii U is coming out in 2012, and that promises to change console gaming for good. So what's making Nintendo nervous?

It may appear obvious what the problem is:
  1. Nintendo makes their money in handhelds.
  2. Their latest handheld isn't working like they hoped.
  3. PANIC
On top of that, the sales of the Wii are slowing down from their peak. With so many things going on at once, that big pile of cash they built up is going to shrink quickly.

However, they've sold a lot of 3DS units since the price drop. Nintendo crowed about this in a press release today: Since the price cut, their sales jumped up 260%. So, once again, why is Nintendo panicking?

We have another story in waiting in the wings. Apparently, Nintendo might be having major issues with the Wii U. Developers are complaining that it's not strong enough to do what they want it to do and that the tablet controller isn't up to snuff. Software updates for the tablet keep getting pushed out, and there's still no resolution. A rumor states that the release date, which might have been July 2012, has been pushed to September 2012 due to these major issues.

So, if the sales of the DS are starting to tail off, the 3DS isn't as big a hit as Nintendo was hoping, the Wii is starting to lose steam and the Wii U isn't working like they planned, where does that leave the Big N?

I'm not going to fall in line with commentators who run around predicting gloom and doom for Nintendo every time something goes slightly wrong. I'm not that guy, and I like taking a longer view. Besides, the Wii U stuff is just rumor (albeit rumor from a pretty credible source).

But Nintendo is a little besieged right now, no doubt. It might explain the waves of panic wafting out of their doors.