Are Franchises Are All That’s Selling Nintendo Game Hardware?

NES_Super_Mario_BrosIn the world of PCs, what makes or breaks an operating system most of the time is what’s known as the "killer app". In Microsoft Windows, the killer app is Microsoft Office because it’s the best there is for office suites (and Microsoft knows this). On Mac OS X, the killer app is iTunes. While true iTunes can be run on Windows, it runs best on a Mac and creates Apple brand familiarity (e.g. connect your iPhone and iPod to your iMac). With any Linux distribution, Linux itself is the killer app because it’s free.

In the world of video game systems, what makes or breaks a system all of the time are killer games, because if the hot titles aren’t available for X brand console, X will die and that’s just the way it is.

The Nintendo 3DS (a handheld system for those who don’t know what it is) had a rocky start from introduction. People really didn’t seem to take a liking to it all that much, and the 3D effect it has is so-so at best. Yes, the 3D does actually work, but for many it’s not much of a sell.

Very recently, Nintendo announced their hardware sales for the 3DS last year. Four million units. Sound good? It isn’t considering they sold 7 million Wii consoles in 2010 (and only 4.5 million in 2011).

In the end, what’s keeping the 3DS and the Wii afloat are game franchises, namely The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario titles. That’s it. Yes, the same game franchises that gained popularity in the 1980s are what still sells Nintendo hardware today.

The real sad part here is that it takes rehashes/reboots of decades-old franchises just to sell modern Nintendo game hardware.

This should clear any doubt in anyone’s mind as to why PC gamers stick to PCs for gaming. At least they have stuff to play that’s good besides Mario and Zelda.

Comments

  1. Nintendo’s first party titles, like Mario and The Legend of Zelda, are what keeps their consoles afloat, but that’s okay because Nintendo almost always release solid offerings. The 3DS is starting to sell better now than when it was first released, but that’s aided by an $80 price cut and the fact that the majority of the bigger first and third party offerings that people were hearing about to begin with started being released in fall 2011 and on through the spring of this year.

  2. Also, Nintendo has quit even trying to compete for the hardcore gamer, instead choosing to position itself as the “family gamer”, for better or for worse.  Apparently, worse it is.

  3. Also, Nintendo has quit even trying to compete for the hardcore gamer, instead choosing to position itself as the “family gamer”, for better or for worse.  Apparently, worse it is.

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