This is merely an opinion. It is in no way to slander or attack Nintendo in any way. In order to show that this is opinion based off of fact, some wording has been changed, and links to various sources (mainly Wikipedia) have been left here.
Before you think that this is an open attack on a company from someone who doesn't know a durn thing what he's talking about, let me start by saying that I am a Nintendo fan. I live and breathe Nintendo. I am very passionate about the company, and Luigi is one of my all-time favorite cartoon characters. I've watched some videos with Kit and Krysta, and I have done extensive research on everything Nintendo.
That's why I hate Nintendo.
But if I'm a fan, how can I hate what I'm a fan of? Well, let me elaborate on that - I hate what Nintendo has become. Let me try to explain a few points, which includes a brief history of Nintendo as a video game company.
Nintendo Initially Did Well in Video Games
Most of the historical facts come from the Nintendo article on Wikipedia. A big majority of the history focuses on Nintendo's impact on the U.S. and it's home country Japan.
Nintendo has actually been around for almost 130 years. They first started looong time ago as a hanafuda card company. It wasn't until the founder's grandson, Hiroshi Yamauchi, came to the United States in the 1950s to manufacture licensed playing cards, that Nintendo would later become a video game giant. During the 1960s and early 1970s, Nintendo ventured in toys, taxis, a subway station, rice products, and even a love hotel. Then, after they started distributing the Magnavox Odyssey, they got into developing video games. It started with the "Color TV Game" series, then branched to arcade machines (including the highly successful Donkey Kong), then they started the the Game & Watch handheld units (Pong being the first).
Then, the Video Game Crash happened. By 1983, many manufacturers of dedicated game console systems and their games either went out of business, suffered bankruptcy, or decided to manufacture the increasingly popular platform - microcomputers. These computers hooked to your television sets were much more flexible than consoles which just played video games. That reason, along with the overflow of low-quality games and money mismanagement, hurt many video game companies during the early 1980s.
That was before the Nintendo Entertainment System, the savior of the video game industry. The innovative, yet surprisingly out-of-date technology that made up the NES was top-notch for the day, and really hit on all over the U.S. by 1989, with it's new handheld partner the Game Boy and the release of the first Nintendo Power magazine. Nintendo was flushed with success, and flourished even more with the Super NES (which also spawned the PlayStation - but that's another story).
Kimishima Caused a Downfall in the U.S.
Before you hit a brick wall, you're supposed to stop. Nintendo, unfortunately, didn't. The mid-1990s started a terrible period for Nintendo. The Virtual Boy was canned after seven months, the Nintendo 64's cartridges were financially difficult to manufacture, and the design flaw of the N64's controller caused many customers to complain. While the Game Boy Color did well, it didn't do as well as Nintendo hoped. To top it all off, one of Nintendo's key hardware designers, Gunpei Yokoi, left the company and was soon killed in a car accident. Despite all this, Nintendo kept pushing on. The success of the Pokemon Game Boy games did help Nintendo keep going, and a strong fan base still backed the company. It's true that no matter what, when you're going through hell, you must keep going, but while the worldwide headquarters were changing for the better which would eventually reach Nintendo of America, the american division of Nintendo first made a very costly mistake.
By "costly", I mean the changing the president in 2002 to Tatsumi Kimishima. Kimishima graduated from an economics and commerce school (Hitotsubashi University), and was in charge of financial departments in a bank and as president over the Pokemon Company. His financial business sense should have helped Nintendo overcome their difficulties, and they somewhat did, but at a cost. Kimishima, although intelligent in the monetary sense, is by no means a sociable man. After becoming president of the Nintendo of America division, he jacked up the prices of new consoles, games, and accessories. The Game Boy Advance, released during his presidency in the U.S., sold for nearly $150 nationwide - later Game Boys, with better and more expensive hardware, sold for less than $100! On top of that, the Club Nintendo service, a loyalty program which started in 2002, did not reach North America until after Kimishima left. Due to ridiculous pricing and mismanagement of Nintendo services, the company began losing fans. Nintendo managed to make more money in the U.S., but not particularly due to Kimishima.
A good business makes a lot of money, but a better business cares about people just as much as making money, or perhaps more so. Kimishima didn't really care so much about if it was good enough for the customers; he cared more for the welfare of Nintendo. Quite possibly because of this, the Playstation 2 outsold the GameCube by a landslide (GameCube Sales v.s. Playstation 2 sales).
Iwata and Fils-Amie Saved the Company
Ironically, both Saturo Iwata, president over all of Nintendo, and Tatsumi Kimishima, president of NoA, were appointed in the same year. Those first few years, during Kimishima's time as presidency over NoA, were miserable for Nintendo. However, things started taking a turn as Reggie Fils-Aime took the stage, and eventually Kimishima's position. Fils-Amie and Iwata became very good friends, and Nintendo started seeing success with the introduction of the Nintendo DS.
Saturo Iwata saw how Nintendo seemed just like any other gaming company, and decided to kick it up a notch with a new console that would not only be innovative, but help tackle the problems of technology isolating people and helping them be immobile. That's why the Wii was released, and it was such a huge success, Nintendo had problems keeping up with the demand for two whole years! Not long afterwards, Iwata began creating videos and attending conferences all across the globe to better interact with his customers.
Although the Wii U was critiqued and didn't sell well at first, Iwata's stubbornness for doing what he called "creating something unique" (which he says at the beginning of Nintendo Direct Pre-E3 2012, along with his ideas for helping people become "connected", or physically interact with each other) helped to boost sales and gain better reviews. Wii Sports, Wii Fit, Brain Age, dual screens, Wii remotes - anything that would be considered cool, keep people active, and perhaps even teach them a thing or two, Iwata allowed to be incorporated into his ideas. Yes, I very much believe that these things were his ideas. He was indeed a visionary, and took careful steps into providing the customers what he saw they wanted.
Reggie, too, was outspoken up until shortly before the reveal of Nintendo Switch (and he plans to retire April 15th of this year). Reggie is known as "the Regginator" due to his aggressive approach at showing that Nintendo was unique from other game developers.
Iwata's Death + Kimishima's Presidency = Nintendo's Doom
Good fortune never lasts long enough. In 2014, it was discovered that Iwata had bile duct cancer. After treatments, it was assumed that he would live, but the very next year, it returned with a vengeance and killed him. The death of Iwata left Nintendo in a shambles. Progress on current projects simply halted for a time. Desperation calls for drastic measures, and that can lead to unintended - and often disastrous - consequences. Kimishima stepped in, and took charge. I have reason to believe that Nintendo searched for another Iwata-like president, and when none could be found, Kimishima stayed.
As I've said before, Kimishima has more expertise in economics than he does in socializing. While he was able to boost sales initially, and was able to promote the Switch well, things started to go downhill. Their decision to keep Kimishima as president for all of Nintendo was a great mistake. Under Kimishima, a dozen services and legacy shops were closed or announced to be closed, including Miiverse, the DSi Shop, and the Wii Shop - critical services which consoles relied on. Also, E3s of times past had ranged from mediocre to awesome, but during Kimishima's time as president, it went from pretty fantastic to abysmal in just three summers (2016 - 2017 - 2018).
It is in the wake of the latest E3 that I am now no longer crazy about following everything new in Nintendo as I was once upon a time. As long as Nintendo doesn't seem to care for their customers, I will never buy a Nintendo Switch, nor will I partake in anything Switch related. I have the next-to-latest console, and that's good enough for me. As far as I'm concerned, anything new in Nintendo is just to make money, not to connect with customers.
What's Taking Furukawa So Long?
Shuntaro Furukawa, I assumed, was going to be another Iwata. However, despite his initial statements about uniqueness and support for older devices, it seems that we have lost contact with the man. He's not in the lime light as Iwata was. Is it possible that he's just another Kimishima - or worse? How much do we really know about the man? It is my lack of hope in Nintendo that has led me to believe that Furukawa is not going to do anything new or exciting, nor does he seem interested in keeping the Wii U and 3DS as there is no longer any more news on them.
Stop Overpromoting the Switch!
Don't get me wrong; I like the concept of the Switch, simply because it has Iwata's handiwork all over it. He was a key developer in the project before his death. I like the fact that you can take it with you, and the Joy-Cons being like handheld Wii remotes - even better since they have cameras which help them interact with things! The Switch sounds like a fun toy... so why do I refuse to get one? Several things...
I see how the Switch has become the sole gaming console for Nintendo. This means that Nintendo has abandoned 3DS and Wii U users, because there are no news or other improvements for those platforms. Iwata would have made sure that services for these older platforms were extended.
Nintendo seems to be more focused on competing with other consoles with such features as Nintendo Switch Online. This is not "Lateral Thinking of Withered Technology". This is not "creating something unique". This is Nintendo trying too hard to best their competitors, instead of doing what they were doing all along - being unique. Now, Nintendo Switch services are no better off than Playstation 4 or Xbox One, because they're just like them.
I've had bad experiences with trying to reach out to Nintendo support. It appears to me that Nintendo has stopped listening to their customers. It's almost as if they're isolated on an island, listening only to the praises of reviewers, partners, and extremely loyal fans, while ignoring the problems of technology and barging on with what seems exciting and new, but is actually not that much different from competitors.
The price for the Switch is ridiculously high, and as far as I can see, Nintendo refuses to put it on sale. This does not mean that there hasn't been any sort of deal, as GameStop allows credit to go towards one, and recently you can get $35 eShop credit for a specific package, but the price itself will not bend from $299. Playstation 4 and Xbox One both have gone on sale multiple times, sometimes lower than the Switch price, and they're even more expensive than the Switch!
Paying for playing online, although cheap, had to be conceived by Kimishima as a way to make money, not as a way to reach out to customers. Gaming online before the Switch has always been free, and for those Nintendo consoles that still allow playing online, it still is free.
I could list more, but these statements I provide here, based off of my own experiences as well as those I've talked to and chatted with on the internet, tell me that Nintendo is going to lose fans again, if not already. In fact, I can't go into any store that sells the Switch without hearing complaints from employees about Nintendo's "typical" marketing strategies. It seems to me that Nintendo is no longer popular with people anymore - it's actually a pain in the neck!
The Future Looks Bleak, Yet Hopeful
Upon hearing about the Wall Street Journal's announcement of two new Switch devices, my heart sank. I knew this would mean the final nail in the coffin for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. Whenever they come out, expect to toss your old consoles in the closet shortly afterwards - Nintendo will soon cut the eShop from both Wii U and 3DS, as well as any other internet-related services still active. If they do not, I will be utterly surprised.
Nintendo will probably receive mixed reviews on two devices that perform like the Switch. People want something new and exciting, not a repeat of an old product. If Nintendo expects to receive thunderous applause (which I'm afraid they do), they may only get crickets.
There's a likely possibility that if Nintendo continues the way it's going, bankruptcy is in its future. People have already started to lose interest, and the fan base is shrinking steadily. If Nintendo keeps making high financial goals, they will suffer greatly.
Is there hope for Nintendo? There is always hope. As I've stated, I am a fan. I appreciate things Nintendo has done in times past, but I not only am disgruntled about Nintendo's current status, I am also concerned that they may not be able to make it without something bad leaving a lasting stigma on their name.
However, Nintendo's failures could actually improve the company. Any kind of financial low could mean changing the current employees to those who might actually listen to their customers, and perhaps a revival of old services (under different names). It could be a wake up call for them.
Or not. Only time will tell.
What do YOU think? Please tell me! If you have some links to share, or would just like to leave input, post a comment below.
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