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Armchair CEO time! How would YOU steer Nintendo through the coming storm? [roundtable]
 
Pretty self-explanatory. The Wii U is in trouble. The 3DS isn't exactly lighting the world on fire (although Japan is pretty darned warm). YOU know more than those stupid, overpaid analysts and execs, right? What's your plan?

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Posted: 02/14/13, 01:13:10  - Edited by 
 on: 02/14/13, 01:14:10
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Moneyhat as much as I can.
Posted: 02/14/13, 01:33:05
I think on the Wii U side I'd be working darned hard on coming up with the next Wii Sports / Fit / etc. and I don't mean sequels, I mean the next big casual thing that will make casuals drop their iPhones or whatever it is they are supposedly doing nowadays instead of buying game consoles. Everyone got mad when Nintendo catered to the casuals with the Wii, but I think it was an important step forward and a huge one for Nintendo.

I'd also take Retro or someone and put them on some killer "core" title. As much as saying that makes me cringe. But I'm a CEO now, I have shareholders to answer to. Something that makes all of the people drooling over Watch Dogs and such actually take a look at Nintendo. Although I think that these people will be a hard sell whatever the case, unless Nintendo gets the price down enough that they can reasonably think of going OrbiiU or DUrango. Yes I coined those two terms right now, brilliant, huh?

On the 3DS side, I dunno. Is it really in that much trouble? The Vita is basically done for, so the real competition is what, smartphones? I guess just work on the digital side of things a bit more then. Create a better eShop from a user-friendly point of view, for one. And work on the next big casual title there too. And then push it.

Ah, push it
Ah, push it

Oooh, baby, baby
Baby, baby
Oooh, baby, baby
Baby, baby

Get up on this!

Ow! Baby!
Salt and Pepa's here!

[Now wait a minute, y'all
This dance ain't for everybody
Only the sexy people
So all you fly mothers, get on out there and dance
Dance, I said!]

Salt and Pepa's here, and we're in effect
Want you to push it, babe
Coolin' by day then at night working up a sweat
C'mon girls, let's go show the guys that we know
How to become number one in a hot party show
Now push it

Ah, push it - push it good
Ah, push it - push it real good
Ah, push it - push it good
Ah, push it - p-push it real good

Hey! Ow!
Push it good!

Oooh, baby, baby
Baby, baby
Oooh, baby, baby
Baby, baby

Yo, yo, yo, yo, baby-pop
Yeah, you come here, gimme a kiss
Better make it fast or else I'm gonna get pissed
Can't you hear the music's pumpin' hard like I wish you would?
Now push it

Push it good
P-push it real good

Ah, push it
Get up on this!

Boy, you really got me going
You got me so I don't know what I'm doing

Ah, push it
Posted: 02/14/13, 01:44:29
Hmmmm....In no particular order...

1.) Immediately figure out how to tie customer purchases to their Club Nintendo account.
2.) Start being a little more transparent about future projects like they used to be.
3.) Hire someone else to redesign the eShop on both of their systems
4.) Lower the price of Virtual Console games across the board.
5.) Buy a well known studio like Platinum or Level 5
6.) Don't wait until E3 to show screenshots and video of upcoming fall games - let people know that they can feel comfortable investing in the Wii U NOW
7.) Add some sort of systemwide voice chat functionality
8.) Add notifications to the WiiU so I can easily see that someone has come online or messaged me or what have you.
9.) Allow for free upgrades to Virtual Console games.
10.) Now that games are tied to an account, maybe ask for a small fee to play them on 3DS.
11.) Secure exclusives from publishers that make sense on Nintendo's platform - Mega Man, Kingdom Hearts, more Dragon Quest, etc.

Maybe I'll think of more later...
Posted: 02/14/13, 01:46:43  - Edited by 
 on: 02/14/13, 01:47:42
I shall take my turn.

General: Buy WayForward, maybe Platinum Games. Localize Zangeki No Reginleiv. Imprison Reggie.

Wii U: Start doin' some serious wheelin' & dealin' behind the scenes re: third-parties, similar to MS with the Kinect. Make tons of "Better on Wii U" type deals while that sort of thing is still possible. But not by bankrolling ports like a sap. More with marketing/co-marketing deals. Also, undercut the licensing fees on the other consoles and possibly go for some key timed exclusives. Focus on genres that Nintendo systems are generally deficient in. Make a crazy-ass Wario Ware game that leverages the Wablet, Wii U Sports, and possibly Wii Motor Sports. Advertise them well! BRING BACK ROLL-O-RAMA AND NINTENDO PUZZLE COLLECTION.

Also make some second-party type deals with good devs. Specifically, an exclusive, online TimeSplitters 4 from the remains of Free Radical (at Crytek).

WiiUWare: Actively pursue promising Indies, secure exclusives, sweeten the licensing agreement where necessary. DONKEY KONG CHAMPIONSHIP EDITION w/ level sharing features.

3DS: WayForward on a 2D Kid Icarus title. Focus on localizing Japanese games, by whatever means necessary (like downloadable-only). Work with Atlus, XSeed, NIS.

3DSWare: More Nintendo stuff! Intelligent Systems, NST, Q-Games, etc. (Probably already happening.) Also, pay any amount for Spelunky port.


Off the top of my head. I might revise or add to it later.
Posted: 02/14/13, 01:48:59
Total relaunch of all online systems like eShop, VC, and Miiverse. These all need to be redone from the ground up so they are better integrated with the system OS. As part of this, registered digital games are moved to accounts and made available for all platforms they are compatible with. The ability to move from one system to the other across saves.

On to the topic of games, they are doing pretty well although I would sit down with major publishers to try and hammer out versions of their games for the Wii U but with exclusive content/features.This could be helping fund it financially, or maybe setting up an internal team to help with these matters. Make sure we have plans in every franchise. If Star Fox is just idling, shop it around to development teams to see if anyone has an idea they are really excited about for it.

On the note of casuals, we need something big like Wii Sports and Wii Sports U isn't going to cut it. Get the Wii Fit and Wii Sports teams brainstorming the next big thing. It needs to be simple for anyone to pick up and get yet being novel at the same time.
Posted: 02/14/13, 01:54:06
@Stephen, what do you think is lacking with the eShop & Miiverse OS integration? They're accessible everywhere and you can hop back and forth seamlessly. I much prefer the eShop over the PSN store and the GamePad makes everything super easy to use.
Posted: 02/14/13, 01:58:34
@Infinitywave

A consistent problem with the way Nintendo has things set up is that the online shop experience is walled off from the rest of the start up screen. Users need to be able to see new content, and quickly access content without launching a whole separate app. This may be handled better on the Wii U, I haven't used one in any meaningful capacity.

Miiverse is fine but it needs to be integrated in to 3DS as well.
Posted: 02/14/13, 02:15:44
Honestly I'd virtual-boy the WiiU and just cut my losses. It's not compatible with and/or doesn't appeal to 3rd Parties and I don't think it's possible to survive the coming generation without getting the same multiplatform releases as the PC/Xbox/PS.

For the 3DS I'd release s slimmer, sexier, more adult-looking model, and incorporate the right circle pad. Plus make the eShop as fast and as easy to use as the App Store, and lower the price of all it's games by at least half.
Posted: 02/14/13, 02:24:37  - Edited by 
 on: 02/14/13, 02:27:41
Strong software is the best they can do right now... no droughts, no lazy half efforts, significant innovations, brand new franchises with the Nintendo charm and quality, more exclusive partnerships with external developers. Maybe a goddamn Pokemon MMO already?

All easier said than done, but what else can be done? They are stuck with the Wii U and 3DS for awhile. Abandon them prematurely or fail to deliver on great software and more confidence will be lost.
Posted: 02/14/13, 02:32:00
@deathly_hallows Developers choose the price of the games on the eShop now, apparently. Nintendo could influence this, of course, but ultimately I think that it is best to leave it in the hands of the developers.
Posted: 02/14/13, 02:34:34
Steer them through?

I think maybe get some billboards up, get some awesome TV spots, something outside of Nintendo Directs, maybe get a celebrity fan (someone that isn't The Biebs), maybe get some awesome EXCLUSIVES and not allow them to get snaked by other systems. More things that can only be found on Nintendo Wii U and 3DS. And then push it.

Ah, push it
Ah, push it

Oooh, baby, baby
Baby, baby
Oooh, baby, baby
Baby, baby

Get up on this!

Ow! Baby!
Salt and Pepa's here!

[Now wait a minute, y'all
This dance ain't for everybody
Only the sexy people
So all you fly mothers, get on out there and dance
Dance, I said!]

Salt and Pepa's here, and we're in effect
Want you to push it, babe
Coolin' by day then at night working up a sweat
C'mon girls, let's go show the guys that we know
How to become number one in a hot party show
Now push it

Ah, push it - push it good
Ah, push it - push it real good
Ah, push it - push it good
Ah, push it - p-push it real good

Hey! Ow!
Push it good!

Oooh, baby, baby
Baby, baby
Oooh, baby, baby
Baby, baby

Yo, yo, yo, yo, baby-pop
Yeah, you come here, gimme a kiss
Better make it fast or else I'm gonna get pissed
Can't you hear the music's pumpin' hard like I wish you would?
Now push it

Push it good
P-push it real good

Ah, push it
Get up on this!

Boy, you really got me going
You got me so I don't know what I'm doing

Ah, push it
Posted: 02/14/13, 02:42:25
Stephen said:
@Infinitywave

A consistent problem with the way Nintendo has things set up is that the online shop experience is walled off from the rest of the start up screen. Users need to be able to see new content, and quickly access content without launching a whole separate app. This may be handled better on the Wii U, I haven't used one in any meaningful capacity.

Miiverse is fine but it needs to be integrated in to 3DS as well.

Ah, well you would know this if you had the machine but as well as popular games, the recent stuff (physical and digital) appears on the main Wii U screen as game icons. Then you see a constant stream of Miiverse comments about them. It's better than just having little graphics scrolling somewhere in the menu, like the PS3. There's a more live and human connection to what's new. (I think you can formally get notifications about additions to the shop too)
Posted: 02/14/13, 03:16:21  - Edited by 
 on: 02/14/13, 03:16:58
I would have Mario Kart U ready for November, plus one other big game for October [my gut tells me this is going to be Wii Sports U, but with a unique theme a la Resort], with Wind Waker HD in September, and confirm Super Mario Universe for early 2014, with Smash Bros dojo starting up this fall, for a fall 2014 release date. Build dat hype.

It's all about the games.

Edit: oh yeah, and advertise the damn thing. Show what it's all about, in a clear way: off-TV play, Miiverse, async multi, Mario, etc...
Posted: 02/14/13, 04:18:06  - Edited by 
 on: 02/14/13, 04:20:11
I like everything wii u is doing except the launch price which should have been $250 base and $300 with NL and wiimote+ like I always predicted. NL/NSMBU get bad traction with expensive hardware, likewise for Lego City, Wii U Party, Wii Fit U, negating their selling powers.
Posted: 02/14/13, 04:18:18
There's a storm coming?

I dunno, I guess I see it differently. I kind of see there's a storm now (or anti-storm, as there is a serious drought) and then we're going to get Pikmin 3, Mario Kart Wii U, Wii Party, Wind Waker HD and who knows what else now that Nintendo appears to be further down this "We'll announce things randomly when we FEELS like it" kick.

I guess having lived through the tail end of the N64 and Gamecube days, I don't see any real trouble coming for the Wii U. It will get great first party games, a handful of incredible no-where-else third party stuff (like Wonderful 101 which it my most-wanted on any system besides Pikmin 3) and the Sony/MS campers will throw rocks at it and laugh at Nintendo fans (while missing out on great games) just like always. Same old same old, no need to really change course.

Of course I don't play like I used to, so I'm sure it's a much bigger deal for other folks. (Maybe why I shouldn't be CEO for Nintendo, ha ha.)
Posted: 02/14/13, 05:21:41
@-JKR- I think for most of us here, things will be fine. The storm is probably going to be the media / "core" gamer / etc. sh*tstorm that is going to happen if the Wii U doesn't get any significant 3rd party support.

Negative World is the safe haven from the storm.
Posted: 02/14/13, 05:26:56
@Zero

Indeed! :)

At this point I'm a little sick and tired of being worried about the media/core gamer nonsense that apparently is just "what you do" with Nintendo systems, every time. So I'm good, and they can play the games they enjoy and we'll all be happy. *hugs all around*

(Of course if the media spawns fun things like "Interesting news!" then I'm all for their craziness.)

EDIT: In all honesty, do we really think if the Wii U got every 3rd party title the 360 and PS3 did that would magically stop the "Doomed" crowd? They find things to hate on. They always will, if you ask me...
Posted: 02/14/13, 05:32:35  - Edited by 
 on: 02/14/13, 05:33:47
@Zero
But wouldn't it be nice if Nintendo would just make hardware on par with the other guys so Nintendo fans could play the same games as everyone else? The Witcher 3 was recently announced for PC and "next gen" consoles. I bet you $100 that "next gen" doesn't include Wii U and that's a huge problem. Maybe not a problem for the 5 - 10 million ultra hardcore Nintendo fans who primarily care about 1st party franchises, but a problem for everyone else, and a problem for Nintendo's bottom line. I could be wrong but selling 10 million Wii Us and 10 million copies of NSMB6 won't be enough for Wii U to be considered a financial success.
Posted: 02/14/13, 05:42:28
deathly_hallows said:
Honestly I'd virtual-boy the WiiU and just cut my losses.

Things an idiot would say?

Posted: 02/14/13, 05:45:20  - Edited by 
 on: 02/14/13, 05:59:21
@deathly_hallows
But wouldn't it be nice if Nintendo would just make hardware on par with the other guys so Nintendo fans could play the same games as everyone else?

Yes, because that worked so well with the GameCube.
Posted: 02/14/13, 05:54:57
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