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Friday, January 31, 2014

Quitting Game Not An Option For Nintendo Boss

Same as it ever was… same as it ever was.

You either have to admire his pluck and stubbornness or see that he's just someone who enjoys a paycheck.

Video game maker Nintendo’s president Iwata Satoru (surname first - and pictured in the middle in the photo above, flanked by Mario on left and Yoshi on right) says that even though the company has been suffering from dismal sales of its games and systems he will not resign.

In fact… he won't even cut prices.

In fact, and you'll love this one, he vows to stick to the company's old ways.

That's right, big guy… stick with what got you to the top… innovation. Uh… you did mean more innovative stuff, right? Like basically creating an arcade video game industry… or creating a home video game industry… right?

Or did you mean living off former glories with outdated thinking circa the 1970s? Pssst… Iwata-san… I think that's what everyone believes you meant.

Iwata did say that Nintendo plans to enter the health care industry.

Whaaaaaaa-?! Or, WTF?!

Nintendo in the health care industry. Let me see if I can picture that. Yup: You're sick and dying and on your last legs… you step into a Nintendo hospital, give them 100 gold coins and you get an extra life. Awesome!

Iwata did not provide any details of the what he called his “quality of life” business plans. All we know is that it won’t be a wearable device.

Hmmm… maybe Nintendo will hide golden stars all over the world, and when you find one you become invulnerable for a short time - maybe even long enough to take over some islands?!

Now… the news story DID say Nintendo was getting into the health care business… and not getting into creating health care video games… BUT, the same article makes it a point of declaring that "Kyoto-based Nintendo already offers fitness games."

By putting THAT in the story, I'm a little less sure about the veracity of the 'health care industry' statement. Thanks, Associated Press (I say sarcastically).

For some reason - and I don't understand this - video game makers are being hit hard (they aren't making as much money as they used to) by the fact that people are spending lots of money on smartphones and other mobile devices… as people just can't seem to stop diddling their hand-held devices, rather than sitting comfortably in their home playing a video game on a large screen television.

Yes… give me eye strain and weak thumbs anyway. D'uh.

Anyhow… Nintendo has resisted coming into the 2014s because it does not want to change its business to incorporate tablets and smartphones.

Well… actually… that's good. Why follow the crowd? The only complaint would be to hurry the fug up and start your new market segment.

"Nintendo has value because it is different from others," says Iwata.

Nice mustache!
Note that he said that one day after he - and other top Nintendo executives took a pay cut… as a form of hari-kari (ritualistic suicide) for the company's poor 2013 performance.

Now… wait a minute… just how badly did Nintendo do?

Well… apparently between April-December 2013 the company ONLY made ¥10.2 billion (US $99 million). That's profit. Not sales… not before costs… profit.

So why the pay cut?

Well… for the same period in 2012, the company had profits of ¥14.55 billion (US $141.78 million).
Hmm. I would be upset if I lost ¥4.2 billion, but Nintendo did not LOSE ¥4.2 billion… it MADE ¥10.2 billion… it still made a profit, just not one as large as it hoped.

What sort of fudged up world is this? World #FU47 in Donkey Kong Country? (I made that board up).

The guy - Iwate - still made a 10-billion profit. No wonder he's not quitting. No wonder he wants to stick to the old ways - the old ways still know how to make a ¥10-billion profit!!!

Personally, I think Nintendo failed with the Wii game system. Yes, it had the innovative game play where gamers are encouraged to move… but screw that! If I wanted to exercise I'd go for a walk… but I don't! I want mind-numbing video game reality that helps me forget that the real world sucks. Sucks Donkey Kongs.

Any video game player worth his salt will tell you that the Wii systems are video game systems for people who don't usually play video games. Like little kids and grand parents (Me - I'm a parent and I play video games).

None of them will ever kill a zombie. In fact, one day they will all be killed by a dyslexic zombie. The Wii running game will not help them at all. Briiiiii-aaaaannnnnssss.
The graphics and game play are kiddie. If you wanted a real video game system, you played X-Box or PS3/4.

But… you have to love the fact that Nintendo came up with the motion control system.

Anyhow… Nintendo's Wii U sales are sucking. The company says it has dropped its 2014 forecast from 9-million units to just 2.8 million units… which tells me they need a new game plan.

In fact… earlier this month, Nintendo says it forecasts a LOSS of ¥25 billion (US $242 million) for the fiscal year through March 2014. It had earlier forecast an optimistic (in my mind) profit of ¥55 billion (US $532 million).

Nintendo, 25 years ago you may have created the Famicon - Family Computer video game system (image above)… but let's face it… it wasn't a family system… it was a teenager video game system. So why try and create and market the Wii as a real family video game system?

Teenagers will buy all the new, cool video games… not families for their weekly game night… all they need is bowling… or tennis…. or (yawn).

Microsoft's X-Box and Sony's Play Station… the ones the teenagers and young adults prefer (and older adults young at heart)… you can play rock guitar, kill zombies, aliens, smack a home run against 'real characters', drive real cars rather than race against oil-slick dropping turtles… There's simply not enough room for the Wii player to grow as they - the kids - turn into ugly teenagers.

Okay… that's my 25-cents (US $0.22) worth,
Andrew Joseph

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