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The W - Video Games - Nintendo: thriving or lying?
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Alessandro
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Worcester MA

Since last post: 39 days
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.04
From IGN :

Nintendo Dethrones Microsoft
Sales place GCN in second for 2003.
January 15, 2004 - Today, Nintendo announced that it has succeeded in seizing Microsoft's seat in the 2003 console wars, which places the GameCube as the second best selling console for 2003 (deferring to Sony's Playstation 2). According to Nintendo, recent global sales over the holidays increased by 70 percent over 2002s numbers. Nintendo believes that it will still be able to reach its target of six million global holiday sales for the GameCube this fiscal year.

Nintendo's latest estimates for 2003 state that GameCube sales in the United States increased by 35 percent over 2002, while the PlayStation 2's sales dropped 25 percent and Xbox showed no signs of market growth. December's sales of the GameCube (thanks to the price drop) increased by 69 percent compared to December 2002. Meanwhile, Nintendo claims that the PlayStation 2's sales dropped by 30 percent and that Xbox's sales have remained unchanged.

This sales boost in the U.S. is a result of the GameCube's September 25 price drop to $99. GameCube has almost sold 6.8 million units in the U.S. since its 2001 launch. Mario Kart: Double Dash!!! is currently the fastest-selling GCN game in the U.S. -- selling over one million units in seven weeks.

"With the price drop for Nintendo GameCube and strong games across the board, we expected to have a good holiday season, but these numbers surpassed even our best projections," explains George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. "Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance have become the engines powering the video game industry this year."

IGN was unable to obtain official hardware sales figures to confirm or deny Nintendo's claims. However, IGN did seek an official comment from Microsoft on Nintendo's alleged ascension into second place. "According to the latest figures, Xbox maintained its No. 2 install base overall in the U.S. and Europe. Xbox had a great holiday. Holiday momentum was driven by our strong games line-up, superior online gaming service and offers at retail. We will be updating more specific figures next week when Microsoft earnings are released," stated an Xbox spokesperson.

Sony was also contacted for a statement regarding Nintendo's recent announcement. A spokesperson said, "It's difficult to comment on Nintendo's announcement this morning, especially regarding holiday sales, specifically because Nintendo didn't list any sales figures." At the time of publication, IGN was unable to verify with Sony whether the Playstation 2 suffered a 25 percent decrease in sales in 2003.

IGN will update with more information regarding Sony's, Nintendo's, and Microsoft's 2003 market shares when sales figures are released.





Alessandro "Hercules" Boondy







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Nate The Snake
Liverwurst








Since: 9.1.02
From: Wichita, Ks

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.72
And, in tomorrow's news:

Microsoft Cleans Out Petty Cash, Buys Nintendo Outright
"I'll teach those jerks to talk trash about my company!" - Bill Gates

Mario title announced for X-Box in Q4 of 2005


:)



Kansas-born and deeply ashamed
The last living La Parka Marka

"They that can give up essential liberty to gain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
vsp
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Since: 3.1.02
From: Philly

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00

    This sales boost in the U.S. is a result of the GameCube's September 25 price drop to $99.
    ...
    December's sales of the GameCube (thanks to the price drop) increased by 69 percent compared to December 2002.


It worked well for them this fall... but what do they do for an encore, or if sales start slipping again?




"As far as my lack of professional courtesy and my obvious immature humor in referring to using your head as a pickle jar, well, I reserve my courtesy for those whom I respect. Your lack of personal integrity has given me much grief, and I find that thinking of your hollowed-out head sitting on top of my fridge and providing a safe haven for pickles is a comforting thought."
-- the immortal Bill Mattocks
Jaguar
Knackwurst








Since: 23.1.02
From: Phoenix, AZ

Since last post: 106 days
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.30
Finally finish Mario Tennis and sell the damn thing?

-Jag



"I'm going to go now and demand beer money from my representative. We simply must deal with the problem of my sobriety." - PalpatineW
Lexus
Bierwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: Stafford, VA

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.54
New Metroid, New Smash Bros., more nintendo exclusive stuff should keep them afloat.

Why not a new Punch Out? Or hell, put Little Mac in a new Smash Bros. game at least.

That's it, I'm gonna bomb the damn 'who are you' ad campaign with pictures of Little Mac until I get what I want, dammit!







Kane gets flustered that he didn't get to do something silly this week. Ho hum.
Torchslasher
Knackwurst








Since: 17.1.02
From: New F'n Jersey

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.44
The problem with Nintendo is that it shot its load this past Christmas. They have nothing big coming anytime remotely soon, so they are going to have to tread water until the next hardware system.

There are no more must have 1'st party games. The next Mario will probably be held off until the next console. Zelda, Metroid, and the Mario Kart games are already out. I just can't see what Nintendo will do to keep this run going.

If the big announcement at E3 is that they will have a new system, then the GC instantly becomes obsolete. So I will accept that GC is number 2 in the US now, but in 6 months, without any more online capabilities, they could easily fall behind X-Box.



Damn you WWE for making me change my sig. I'm sure you have good enough reasons to get rid of Shannon, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. Let me thus be the first to say: BRING BACK DAFFNEY!
Jaguar
Knackwurst








Since: 23.1.02
From: Phoenix, AZ

Since last post: 106 days
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.30
Actually, Metroid Prime 2 and Mario 128 (or whatever their final titles will be) are both supposed to come out for the Cube as far as I know.

-Jag



"I'm going to go now and demand beer money from my representative. We simply must deal with the problem of my sobriety." - PalpatineW
jerm
Cotto








Since: 12.12.03
From: wangopolis

Since last post: 2057 days
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.68
It doesn't really make sense for them to announce their next generation system so early in the game... their last big annoucement was the GBA player, and the one before that was the eReader, wasn't it? it's hard to tell what kind of zaniness they'll announce next.

they also have a steady stream of GBA titles coming out, as well as whatever GCN titles they'll surprise us with...

drjayphd
Scrapple
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Since: 22.4.02
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.95
Well, it appears that this (gamingworldx.com) is the new system. There's some theories that it might even operate like iTunes, seeing as how it looks like an American iQue, which if it were the case, would Fucking Rawk. The iQue theory comes from here (nintendojo.com) too. This pic (dojomediaserver.com) seems to reinforce the idea, as well... what the hell else needs an emulator?

If this is sort of like that, expect Nintendo to take the gaming market by the scrotum. I really see this being a HYOOGE success if they don't fuck it up.



DEAN's Nuggets of Wisdom:

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Guru Zim
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.83
I'm a cynic.

I bet they are patenting this so that they can burn anyone who builds a multi-system ROM capable system. That way they can stop a ROM playing system with a patent (Although, you would think that MAME could on the DC could be used for prior art?)



Willful ignorance of science is not commendable. Refusing to learn the difference between a credible source and a shill is criminally stupid.
drjayphd
Scrapple
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Since: 22.4.02
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.95
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    I'm a cynic.

    I bet they are patenting this so that they can burn anyone who builds a multi-system ROM capable system. That way they can stop a ROM playing system with a patent (Although, you would think that MAME could on the DC could be used for prior art?)


Well, if they do this for that purpose, they have WAY too much time on their hands. 'Specially if I get nailed for trying to build an MP3 jukebox/PVR/classic console emulator. (We all know that wouldn't happen unless I sold 'em, which I don't plan on...)



DEAN's Nuggets of Wisdom:

"A-Train could wear a Vampirella outfit and I would toast a load to it."
EddieBurkett
Boudin blanc








Since: 3.1.02
From: GA in person, NJ in heart

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.11
Shacknews mentioned this Friday night.

Note: the GamingWorldX link above references the same Mogusland article mentioned below.

    Originally posted by Shacknews
    evil-cow sent along this news update at Mogusland that contains images from a mysterious Nintendo patent filing, that seems to hint at some kind of hardware capable of reading from various different media, including CDs, game cartridges, floppy discs and so on. Mogusland believes this to be something related to Nintendo's mystery system that's being unveiled at E3, but I don't buy it. For those curious, here's the actual patent filing (it's patent number 6,452,600 if that link doesn't work for you) which is actually for a graphics system, and was filed back in November of 2000. Considering that it's directly linked to other patents filed during that year and 1999, it seems pretty likely that this is in fact GameCube-related, and not any indication of a future hardware product. It was certainly worth investigating, of course. You may recall that Nintendo's wireless GBA adapter was revealed because of a patent filing, so it's possible that somewhere within the tangled web of patent filings lies some sort of hints about Nintendo's future. But I don't think there's anything here to suggest that we've found it just yet.


The dates are what make me think its a red herring. If Nintendo patented this in 2000, why are we only hearing rumblings about this now? I think its something else.



Time to go kick more dark side ass, KotOR style!
AJ_Levy
Mettwurst








Since: 31.3.02

Since last post: 3778 days
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.43
""According to the latest figures, Xbox maintained its No. 2 install base overall in the U.S. and Europe. Xbox had a great holiday. Holiday momentum was driven by our strong games line-up, superior online gaming service and offers at retail. We will be updating more specific figures next week when Microsoft earnings are released," stated an Xbox spokesperson."

In related news, the former Iraqi foreign minister announced earlier that he's found a new job as a Microsoft spokesman.

* * * * *

About the iQue:

One thing that I've always wondered about Nintendo is why they never bothered with backwards compatibility. The reason I har is that most video game console manufacturers lose money on each console they sell, to be recouped by people buying games. The theory goes that, if no backward compatibility is there, people need to buy, say, 3 or 4 games for their new console.

Where this falls down is that, when someone already has a collection of games, being able to still play them (without having 2 consoles hooked up at once) would be a selling point. The fact people are bothering to buy a next gen console implies that they want to buy next gen games.

Do people who bought a PS2 still buy Playstation games? Sure they do, but this isn't as bad as it seems. When someone buys a PSX game for PS2, Sony still gets the licencing fee. And it means that developers have more motivation to develop good games later in the product cycle. Thus you got new PSX games for the first part of the PS2's life cycle, while N64 development died as soon as the GameCube SDK's came along.

During the 16-bit wars, giving the Super NES backward compatibility for GameBoy and NES games would have been a huge selling point against Sega Genesis. And I know it was possible; there was a 3rd party adaptor that let you play NES games on the SNES, and the "Super GameBoy" let you do GameBoy games on the SNES.

The other big mistake Nintendo made during the SNES era was not pulling through with SuperCD (the CD-ROM add-on for SNES) and perhaps, as a half-step, a SNES II with a built in CD ROM. True, MegaCD was a flop, but it would have gotten Nintendo prepared for the N64 / Playstation generation.

N64. CD ROM drive. Out of the box NES / SNES / Gameboy / SuperCD support. Oh, and going with cartridges for it was a mistake, in my opinion.

GameCube. DVD-ROM drive (a huge selling point for XBOX and PS2 early on). Out of the box NES / SNES / SuperCD / N64 / GameBoy support.

Instead of building NES / SNES / N64 support into GameCube, my *guess* is that they'll want consumers to shell out for a console to play classic games, and quite possibly to buy and download those games again. Why not just build in classic console support? If the "revolutionary" new product is a westernized version of the iQue, it seems to me to be another cynical money grab by the Big N.

BTW, from what I gather, iQue will be a different animal to N5, which will compete against Microsoft neXtbox, and Playstation 3.

* * * * *

Is Nintendo doing well? Yes and No.

Yes, in the sense that they are doing a lot better than I expected them to, and have some strong competitive advantages. No in the sense that I doubt I'll ever see them become #1 again, and they face perils around the corner.

Like I said earlier, the money with consoles is usually in the games. And one advantage Nintendo faces is that it has a string of titles that will move consoles to their target audience. Once the consoles are bought, those consumers are locked into buying Nintendo's games, most of which are 1st and 2nd party.

While XBox and PS2 are battling it out for the "mature" gamer, Nintendo creates family friendly games. While there's certainly a profitable nieche there, it also adds to the perception of Nintendo as being a "kiddie" game company. Something it will take Nintendo ages to break out of (if they want to).

GameCube is also profitable, unlike the subsidized PS2 and heavily subsidized Xbox, so they can afford to cut their margins. But they should be careful of entering into a price war - Sony and Microsoft (which has something in the ballpark of $50 bn. in the bank) can afford a price war a lot longer than Nintendo.

And certainly, from the rumours I've heard, Microsoft will be putting up a lot more of a fight during the N5 / PS3 / neXtbox generation. From what I've heard, N-Box will run on PowerPC (like Macs, and PS3's) rather than being a scaled down PC. MS has also built a lot of headway into the online gaming sphere. And they have a lot of cash to burn.

(edited by AJ_Levy on 18.1.04 0712)
Jaguar
Knackwurst








Since: 23.1.02
From: Phoenix, AZ

Since last post: 106 days
Last activity: 106 days
#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.30
Fact is, none of these companies are going anywhere anytime soon. The only reason Sega had to drop was the fact that both the Saturn and the Dreamcast flopped. Nintendo isn't losing money on their consoles, and they have the biggest userbase in the world with the Gameboy. They're here to stay, and so are Sony and Microsoft as long as their parent companies don't cut them off.

-Jag



"I'm going to go now and demand beer money from my representative. We simply must deal with the problem of my sobriety." - PalpatineW
Alessandro
Lap cheong








Since: 2.1.02
From: Worcester MA

Since last post: 39 days
Last activity: 18 days
#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.04
GamingWorld X's forum partner, Mogusland, has recently dug up a few patents that Nintendo has registered with the United States Patent Office. Apparently, these new patent entries describe many features of what will very likely be Nintendo's next home console.

And judging from the patent descriptions, Nintendo's "System50", as it's currently codenamed, will be compatible with numerous formats, including PC, MAC, N64, NES and SNES. The system will use ROMs and optical discs as its primary media.

Diagrams of System50 also reveal various connections for a floppy disk drive, CD-ROM, Mouse and keyboard, and even the ability to connect a separate PC and monitor. The console also includes a built-in Ethernet port and a hard disk drive.

System50 has two controller ports that accept both wired and wireless gamepads. These ports will also support memory cards. As of now, it is unknown what media type Nintendo is using for these new memory cards.


Oooh, this is certainly interesting news ... But as far as Nintendo's upcoming "big secret project" is concerned, I'm pretty sure it's been established that this is NOT a new system coming out. Rather, I like the theory proposed here, that Nintendo is actually working on a "rebirth" of the Power Glove. This makes sense (to me at least), because now there are actually 3D environments in which the player can manipulate items/characters, rather than the old skool 2D games that originally hampered the idea of the Power Glove (an idea ahead of its time, tis true).



Alessandro "Hercules" Boondy







AJ_Levy
Mettwurst








Since: 31.3.02

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.43
    Originally posted by Jaguar
    Fact is, none of these companies are going anywhere anytime soon. The only reason Sega had to drop was the fact that both the Saturn and the Dreamcast flopped. Nintendo isn't losing money on their consoles, and they have the biggest userbase in the world with the Gameboy. They're here to stay, and so are Sony and Microsoft as long as their parent companies don't cut them off.

    -Jag


Didn't Atari's VCS (aka 2600) have the biggest userbase in the world? The Commodore 64 still holds the record for the single biggest selling computer model. But if I had money, I'd invest in Coleco - I'm sure there's a big enough installed base out there. Oh, and don't forget Intellevision. And NEC - they're a big company, and they had the first 16 Bit console! Magnavox! Phillips! And what about Amiga CD32 - there are enough great Amiga games to make an Amiga console a can't miss prospect!

And there's a whole heap I've forgotten. Look, my point is Sega isn't the first major player to bow out of the home console industry. Willing to wager they're the last?

Look at Nintendo's marketshare since the NES, vs. Sony's or Microsoft. Willing to wager Nintendo isn't the next player to eventually "consolidate"? Or get themselves cornered into a nieche?
Oliver
Scrapple








Since: 20.6.02
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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.36
If the Gamecube is being sold for $99 US, how the heck are they making any money with it? Are they hoping the sales of their software will cancel that out?

I love the GBA...I can't say I like the GBA SP very much, though. They seem to have a lot of luck with hand held systems, but (console-wise) I lost any love I had for them with the release of the Gamecube.

I don't know how well the iQue would fly if it were released here in North America; or for that matter how quickly people would figure out how to hack the system to get the games for free.



SD2: December, Year 2; playing as the Big Boss Man
FF7: Disc 1; 18h into game; At the old Mako Reactor outside Nimelheim (again).
FF8: Disc 2; 20h into game; Ready to fight Reijin/Fujin in Balamb.
jerm
Cotto








Since: 12.12.03
From: wangopolis

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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.68
It's hard to know for sure if Nintendo's making any money on console sales (unless there's some research out there I'm unaware of), but the fact that they manufacture their own hardware makes me think that they wouldn't price the GCN in such a way that it would damage them.

I have a feeling the iQue was never meant to see American shores. It's being sold in an area known for rampant piracy, where people buy pirated games not because they don't want to pay full price, but because they can't afford to. The original Playstation is still the most popular console in parts of Asia because it can be played so inexpensively. I'm assuming the iQue will sell to that market, where a great number of people live in close proximity to stores where download kiosks can easily be set up. I think it shows Nintendo's business sense, and that they realize that the game industry in other parts of the world can't realistically operate the same way it does in the "west".

In its current form, the iQue wouldn't work here. Most people aren't going to drive out to Wal-Mart or EB Games to download a $2 rom onto a flash card. And I'm sure it would be quickly hacked if it ever came out here, with people figuring out how to play downloaded ROMs... but that could be the case in Asia, as well.

I'd love it if their new project was a device (preferably an add-on to the 'Cube) that I could plug into my router and download from Nintendo's immense library of games for a small (and I do mean small) cost. Maybe at that point, similar to what Zim was saying, they could get the ball rolling towards cracking down on ROM distribution on the internet. As it is now, there's no reason for them to because aside from GBA conversions, they're not going to make any money off of this software library. I mean, I don't have a problem with ROMs being out there, but I'd much rather play them on a tv and system that could emulate them perfectly rather than on a little window on my PC screen.

I doubt that's the case, though. If they didn't even want to add online support to the Cube this generation, they probably don't have the resources to set up a massive ROM sharing infrastructure. I'm betting on it being a crazy periphreal, too, but they need to leave the Power Glove buried, in my opinion.

Of course consoles will come and go. Nintendo isn't dead or dying, and Sega is still releasing a steady stream of software titles as well as arcade games. It seems like they're going through a lot of corporate restructuring, but as long as they keep the major members of their dev teams (Yu Suzuki, I <3 U), I wont give them up for lost.

It seems like the next direction for hopeful console creators is, at least in part, online distribution. If Nintendo did that ROM sharing system, they'd be ahead of the curve... but that somehow doesn't seem like something they'd risk.


(edited by jerm on 19.1.04 1228)
Smackfiend
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Since: 11.11.02

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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.07
EVERY company loses money on their systems, it's just a matter of how much of a loss they're willing to eat. They make their money on software sales and liscensing fees to 3rd party software devolpers.
Doc_whiskey
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Since: 6.8.02
From: St. Louis

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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.03
    Originally posted by Jaguar
    Fact is, none of these companies are going anywhere anytime soon. The only reason Sega had to drop was the fact that both the Saturn and the Dreamcast flopped. Nintendo isn't losing money on their consoles, and they have the biggest userbase in the world with the Gameboy. They're here to stay, and so are Sony and Microsoft as long as their parent companies don't cut them off.

    -Jag


Actually I heard the Dreamcast did OK, but not well enough to overcome the huge failure of the Saturn, and since the PS2 was out and x-box & GC was on the way, I think Sega saw the writing on the wall.



Mr. Burns: You are of course familiar with our state usury laws?
Homer:U-sur-y?
Mr. Burns: Oh silly me, I must have just used a word that doesn't exist.
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I'm going to go out and pick up an adapter tomorrow, preferably with a game as well. What should I pick up? Considering I'm buying the adapter at the same time, I want a game that makes awesome use of the online experience.
- ParagonOfVirtue, Best online PS2 games? (2003)
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