Why hasn't Nintendo ported any of their first-party games to PC?

Worldblender

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Of the other two current console producers: Microsoft is releasing almost all of their games for both Xbox and PC (Steam and Microsoft Store), and Sony is going to release one of their first-party games (that being Horizon Zero Dawn, because a former 3rd-party exclusive Death Stranding runs on the former's engine; how lucky for that to happen) for PC soon on August 7. In the case with Sony, releasing just one of their games for PC is better than none ever getting ported at all, although there could be some more of their first-party games that I haven't heard about that are also going to be ported to PC.

But with Nintendo, not counting licensed PC games not published by them (mainly educational ones) and mobile games, has never ported a single one of their first-party or second-party games to PC for however long they began producing video games since getting popular in the 1980s. If many of the big Japanese game studios are at least porting some of their games to PC, why won't Nintendo join with them and catch a growing trend? Some of this I could understand (it's all about the profits, I know! I don't want to look I'm forcing anyone to do things they don't want to do), but I still don't have the complete picture.
I'm grateful for unofficial efforts like the Super Mario 64 PC port for existing (I tried it, but did not complete the whole game due to various graphical and control issues inherent with most 3D Nintendo 64 games), but I wish that there could be some efforts started by Nintendo for porting their games to PC, so that we have fewer legal issues to worry about. Even porting just one of their games, if it has to be a lesser-known or obscure franchise of theirs, is better than not porting any of their games to PC at all.

While I do own an unpatched Nintendo Switch, for getting into their first-party and third-party exclusives, I would prefer that I can do as much of my gaming on PCs as possible. I can reduce how many computers I excessively own (I count video game consoles among them), and possibly reduce e-waste when they are no longer usable or repairable.
Some of this reads like a pipe dream I know, but I wanted to get my feelings out and see whether I'm alone in this or not.
 

Taleweaver

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Some of this reads like a pipe dream I know, but I wanted to get my feelings out and see whether I'm alone in this or not.
Erm...sorry, but can you point out the part where this isn't a pipe dream? Because the only arguments in your post are "other companies do it" and "I would like it". Not exactly bad ones, but not really convincing ones either. :unsure:

Perhaps during the days of declining popularity in the wiiu period they would listen, but with switches selling like hotcakes, there's not much chance of them listening. Like you said: they never ported anything to PC since...well, ever. I'm not 100% sure, but they seem to follow the same approach apple doe: to be able to control the environment.

Also: they probably know what comes next. After at most a few months of people being happy of finally having a nintendo game on their PC, they want either more ports or these games to follow the same routine as other PC games, namely discounts upon discounts (which, if followed, would disgruntle console owners). So why would they bother the costs of expanding their audience if the expanded audience wouldn't be grateful? It's the 80-20 rule, really: that 20 percent would take 80 percent of the cost(1)...so it's not really worth that much pursuing.



(1): console games are relatively easy in that there's only one hardware to build for. On PC, just about any sort of configuration (with keyboard, controller, mice? screen resolution? windows version?) is fair play, and every small error will be made big by people posting and sharing it everywhere.
 

FAST6191

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Microsoft sells operating systems and has made it reasonably clear for years now that the console stuff is almost a loss leader to keep themselves and their technologies relevant in the gaming space which in turn helps their main businesses.

If Sony does anything it is usually some time after the release on their devices when the vast majority of profit has been extracted from sales, and likely any future stuff would have happened anyway.

Nintendo is in the business of selling exclusive access to things, tightly controlling distribution and quality (no mods on their consoles really save the super hardcore technical peeps), and then selling it back to you time and time again where the PC... with minimal effort you can play anything back to day 0 on a PC really and will be able to forever more. Not to mention do most of the main demographics care about the PC?
To that end directly against their own long term financial interests.
 

Worldblender

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Erm...sorry, but can you point out the part where this isn't a pipe dream? Because the only arguments in your post are "other companies do it" and "I would like it". Not exactly bad ones, but not really convincing ones either. :unsure:

Perhaps during the days of declining popularity in the wiiu period they would listen, but with switches selling like hotcakes, there's not much chance of them listening. Like you said: they never ported anything to PC since...well, ever. I'm not 100% sure, but they seem to follow the same approach apple doe: to be able to control the environment.

Also: they probably know what comes next. After at most a few months of people being happy of finally having a nintendo game on their PC, they want either more ports or these games to follow the same routine as other PC games, namely discounts upon discounts (which, if followed, would disgruntle console owners). So why would they bother the costs of expanding their audience if the expanded audience wouldn't be grateful? It's the 80-20 rule, really: that 20 percent would take 80 percent of the cost(1)...so it's not really worth that much pursuing.



(1): console games are relatively easy in that there's only one hardware to build for. On PC, just about any sort of configuration (with keyboard, controller, mice? screen resolution? windows version?) is fair play, and every small error will be made big by people posting and sharing it everywhere.

All that you pointed out of what could be a pipe dream is right. Now that you say some additional things, some of which I already heard about before (single hardware config for consoles to make it easier to target), this makes it slightly easier for me to understand (full control over the environment like what Apple does, possibility of PC audience not being fully satisfied). If that's the best case, emulation of Nintendo games on PCs is the best option we have so far.
 
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Clydefrosch

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because they have no real reason to do it.
porting their first party games to pc devalues their own consoles and devalues their financial gain too, because pc games are very much expected to drop in price within a month, unlike nintendo, who loves to sell 3 year old games at launch price.
 

Memoir

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Nintendo has a heavy reliance on their hardware and business model. If they ported their titles to PC? It'd be great, as it would provide an objectively better experience. However, it would drive people away from buying their hardware and services. This next bit is just me thinking. However, they're also adamantly against piracy, and they're probably worried about it happening in an environment they can't control.
 

Worldblender

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Here's something that came up: for all of Nintendo's franchises that are considered "dead" (haven't had a release within the past 5 years, or at least since the release of the Nintendo Switch, excluding their appearances in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate), couldn't they end up with PC ports as they're not the company's primary money makers? Which could help keep or resurrect such franchises for newer audiences? I wonder what would happen if these "dead" franchises were stay put for longer...
Well, a trademark registration or renewal could mean something, but them alone don't mean much.
 

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I think a big part of why is they lean heavily into the experience of playing their game in a controlled environment, built for being on their console, making full use of the "gimmicks"/console features that entails. The same way they're the only out of the three who isn't porting to PC, they're rather separate and different than the other two console manufacturers anyways. Porting their games to PC would limit the controlled environment they like, and would also miss out on the ability to build the games around their consoles' features / "gimmicks".

Honestly, I'd say I'm pretty content with Nintendo emulation on PC. You can run most Nintendo games worth their salt, and rather well at that. Not much is truly being missed out on by Nintendo not porting to PC, something that just wouldn't happen anyways, honestly.
 

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I'm going to revive this with the news that Sony is now considering doing more PC ports in the near future: https://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/News/Press/202008/20-071E/

Once enough of their games get ported to PC, this would leave Nintendo as the only one out of the three console producers that doesn't release PC versions of their games.
Some would say a large part of Nintendo's continued survival relies on their exclusives. Sony, on the other hand, has barely any exclusives left and I doubt their exclusives are a particularly big selling point anymore.

Look at Sega's old Genesis catalog. They've sold and re-sold most of the games there so many times they can barely give them away. Nintendo's approach seems quite reasonable.

Clearly what Nintendo needs to do is find some way to make money off of all the people who insist they know exactly what Nintendo should do, I always say.

Some of this reads like a pipe dream I know
Hey, you should start a petition! That'll show 'em! /s
 

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The PC is a developer's nightmare. Users expect your game to behave properly on hardware, from multiple vendors, ranging all the way from the lowliest netbooks to beastly desktops. What if your game works great on AMD GPUs, yet struggles on Nvidia? Anything like that. And a PC version with few graphics/control customization settings is going to be derided as a "bad console port".
 

Nobody_Important4u

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Just give up, Nintendo is never going to make ANY pc games unless they get into serious financial trouble.

The people above said it all.

First of all they like having control over environment and they like making they hardware unique in a way that can't be made the same way on pc, like how would you even do motion controls work?

And making games for one consoles is really good you can take full potential of the hardware and create something trurly unique and all the consoles are the same so if games works bad it's the developer fault only.
And no pc is made the same you have to make game compatible from weak laptops to nasa-like desktops, all the possible combinations of components are trurly insane, and it can also change depending on software too...

And you know well how they act when it comes to piracy, and the pc is basically a heaven for piracy!

And even if they did that, they would make the hardware they make much less appealing to the avarage consumer.
And when it comes to the argument "what if they realised they dead franchises because they don't make money out of it" the people would obviously want more.

It's better this way in my opinion, industry needs something like this and if you really want Nintendo games on pc, just use an emulator, maybe even go support developers of the emulator because those are people who trurly care about game preservation!

So as said at the beggning Nintendo is not going to touch pc unless they start having problems with money.
 

Kwyjor

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they like making they hardware unique in a way that can't be made the same way on pc, like how would you even do motion controls work?
What makes you think motion controls can't be made for the PC? There have been unofficial Windows drivers for the Wiimote for ages now; they're standard Bluetooth devices. (And the "sensor bar" is just a couple of infrared light bulbs.)

Granted, most people don't have a PC in a place where it's comfortable to use motion controls, but that's a different matter.
 

Hells Malice

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This might actually be one of the dumbest questions I've ever seen asked on this site.

Sony and Microsoft basically sell lite PC's with a few exclusives. Microsoft owns windows so really having games on Windows and Xbox is all the same to them.

Nintendo thrives and survives purely on its first party titles. They don't need to expand their market. And they probably never will. They barely branched into mobile despite the potential of it, so they very likely will never go to pc.
 
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What makes you think motion controls can't be made for the PC? There have been unofficial Windows drivers for the Wiimote for ages now; they're standard Bluetooth devices. (And the "sensor bar" is just a couple of infrared light bulbs.)

Granted, most people don't have a PC in a place where it's comfortable to use motion controls, but that's a different matter.
Controllers like that for PC exist, the problem is getting people to buy them. With the Wii (U) and Switch, they're already included with the console, everyone has them, games can be made with the assumption that everyone already has the controllers, so that they can be taken full advantage of.
 

Worldblender

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Nintendo thrives and survives purely on its first party titles. They don't need to expand their market. And they probably never will. They barely branched into mobile despite the potential of it, so they very likely will never go to pc.

The mobile games that I have seen, while I have never touched them (and likely won't, since they are fully proprietary software, unless I can find a way to play these games 100% for free), look like to be break from the usual console stuff. The microtransactions laden in most of these games may likely turn me off of them, however. At least for the Android versions of those games, it's possible to run them on a desktop or laptop computer with http://www.android-x86.org/ or a virtual machine. If these games happen to be natively compiled for ARMv7 (32-bit) or ARMv8 (64-bit) however, things will get harder, as running in emulation or another ARM-based device with native GNU/Linux then become the only options for running these mobile games on a PC, and in the case of the former, there may be performance hit.
 
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