After the massive success of the original Wii, Nintendo (OTC:
) was expected to develop a popular successor. Thus far, the
Despite the sales declines, Nintendo execs had vehemently
the prospect of developing software for smartphones. PC downloads
were also off the table.
That may be about to change. While Nintendo has not announced
that it will develop a game or two for smartphones, it is
bringing Miiverse (the company's social network-inspired
communication tool) to
smartphones and PCs
While this may sound like a way to encourage smartphone users
to get a Wii U, it is unlikely to have any positive effects. The
only kinds of people that care about Miiverse already have a Wii
U or will buy one in the near future. If Nintendo is only looking
to serve those customers, then it had no reason to take Miiverse
to other devices.
The problem with this decision is that it dilutes the Nintendo
brand and diminishes the value of the Miiverse program. Consumers
who may have once thought of it as a cool Wii U edition may now
see it as an application that is available everywhere.
No one buys specific devices for ubiquitous apps. They do not
buy game consoles for that reason either. Nintendo needs every
exclusive feature -- no matter how trivial -- to sell this
machine. Without exclusivity, Nintendo is doomed.
Unfortunately, this may be a part of the company's view of the
entire gaming industry. In the past, Nintendo would have never
dreamed of bringing Miiverse to other platforms. Now that
smartphones are popular and Wii U is not, Nintendo seems to have
changed its tune.
Consumers should not expect to see Mario running around an
) iPhone anytime soon. Two years ago, diehard gamers would have
that it would never happen.
If all goes well, it won't. Nintendo will learn from its
mistakes, fix Wii U's problems, produce a
better marketing campaign
and sell a ton of consoles.
That would be ideal situation.
In the event that Nintendo fails, the company is likely to
release one or two more consoles before it shovels all of its
software onto smartphones. Thus, it could be a decade or more
before The Legend of Zelda is available on an Android device.
One can only hope that day never comes.
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer
of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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