You Lunkhead, Nintendo!
Nintendo, we gave you an opportunity to kick the football, and for once we weren’t going to yank the football away from you… and yet you still missed the kick and landed flat on your back. How is that even possible? How do you miss what should have been an easy field goal? Nobody was asking Nintendo for an E3 style touchdown replete with an end zone dance, just some sign that there was a solid plan for the 2016 fiscal year. We did not get the sign. There apparently is no grand plan. Essentially, they are adapting the Square Enix mantra of “please be excited” even though they are giving us absolutely no reason to be excited.
What in the hell am I going on about? Today Nintendo released their 2015 fiscal year financial results and held a press/shareholder meeting to discuss their plans for the 2016 fiscal year. The problem was simple: they had no plan for FY 2016. None. Not only did they not have a plan, they had a host of unwelcome news as well. The new Legend of Zelda game for the Wii U was pushed back to 2017. The new gaming device code named the “NX” (that could be a handheld or it could be a home console, or apparently both depending on who you talk to) got pushed back to March 2017. The “NX” was originally expected to launch during the 2016 Holiday shopping season, tentatively in November. No new console or handheld games were announced. The only positive information given was that Nintendo would be releasing 2 new mobile apps based on Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing sometime in the fall, so essentially no new mobile content through the summer. The rest of the meeting was financial data, and I could go over that as well but why bother, it’s not good news. 3DS and Wii U sales are down, and there are apparently no killer apps coming this holiday to bolster sales. Needless to say, investors, the press and fans alike were less than impressed with Nintendo’s presentation and plan (or lack thereof). For the full details, please read this rundown of the presentation by the Wall Street Journal.
Insult to injury: Nintendo will not be unveiling the “NX” to the public at E3 later this year, instead using that time to “focus” on the new Legend of Zelda game, you know the one that isn’t even coming out this year. Look, I understand that Nintendo is going to pull a few crowd pleasing rabbits out of their hat at E3, but unless they announce something majorly significant for this holiday season, what will they have to offer that will excite gamers and drive new revenue? Nothing, that’s what they’ll have. Absolutely nothing. It is so weird watching Nintendo crash and burn like it has over the last few years. They hardly do their Nintendo Direct videos anymore. Their release schedule for both the 3DS and Wii U have been anemic over the last 6 months or so. With the passing of their President, Satoru Iwata, it feels like a part of Nintendo died with him and the new President, Tatsumi Kimishima, has not been able to breathe new life into the legendary game entertainment provider.
Bottom Line: I’m done with Nintendo for a while. Not forever. I’m not some jaded little kid that is mad that he didn’t get his way. I’m a mature fan of video games that is no longer interested in rubbernecking the Nintendo train wreck. It’s frankly too damned exhausting. They have always been a company that has marched to the beat of a different drum, and I have always accepted that, and usually it works out for them. Also, I’m not going to go on some tirade about what they should do to fix this. I already wrote Nintendo an open letter with suggestions for successfully launching the “NX” on this very blog that you are reading, way back in October of 2015. Nintendo needs to figure their current quandary out on their own and focus on exciting their customers and investors again. I can’t help them figure that out, and I’m not going to try to (unless they want to pay me to do so, and then I will gladly try to help them). Hopefully they will figure out how to make their products “print money” again in the near future. For now, I’m gonna take a break from following the big N’s every move. When they are ready to unveil the “NX”, and if whatever it turns out to be is actually a smart product with some quality games that is worth my support, then I will come back to the fold.
Until then, I’m not taking any calls Nintendo, just leave a message. BEEP.
Update: June 14 2016 – I’m still done with Nintendo due to their pitiful showing at E3 2016. Seriously big “N”, finally showing us comprehensive game play of the new Legend of Zelda (which isn’t coming out till 2017!) is not enough. You needed to bring your “A” game, and instead we got your “JV” team.