Has Nintendo been on a steady decline for years now...?

Is NX already doomed to fail...?

  • Yes....

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No....

    Votes: 6 54.5%
  • Maybe....

    Votes: 5 45.5%

  • Total voters


This guy seems to think so....


One simple chart shows that Nintendo's been on the decline since the NES

  • Ben Gilbert, Tech Insider

  • "Here's Nintendo's Wii U console stacked up against every other console the company's made in the past 30+ years:"

    "While many consider the Wii U's failure to be an aberration for the Japanese game company, the picture gets a lot more stark when you put the company's entire console sales history on a chart stacked up against time.

    In fact, the more accurate reading of Nintendo's history may be that the tremendously successful Nintendo Wii was the aberration in a decades-long decline in sales. Take a look at this:"


    "That chart, tweeted by game industry analyst "ZHugeEX," shows that Nintendo's home game consoles have sold less and less well as the years have gone on. More starkly, the tremendously successful Wii — Nintendo's most successful home game console by far — looks to be an outlier. More directly put: the Nintendo Wii's success was not a "return to form" for Nintendo, which once dominated the video game market, but an exception to years of hardware sales on the decline.

    Notably, the chart doesn't include Nintendo's massively successful portable consoles (Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, and Nintendo 3DS). This isn't a doom-and-gloom "Nintendo's falling apart" chart. The company's moving into mobile games, and the Wii U's successor — codenamed "Nintendo NX" — is getting announced in 2016.

    What the chart does tell us is that Nintendo isn't the dominant force it once was in gaming hardware, and that those halcyon days of the mid-1980s may never return."

These numbers can't really be denied....

So what do you guys think...? Is NX due to fail like the Wii U...? Or will it be a return to form...?

Does Nintendo have what it takes to be a dominant force in the industry again...?

Or are all future Nintendo home consoles doomed to be niche products forever in terms of sales...?

Can Nintendo return to greatness once again with NX...?

Or was the Wii truly a fluke and Nintendo already doomed to fail....

What say you....
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Megalomaniacal Robo-Zombie
At this point, Nintendo cannot afford anything but a return to form. Judging from all the news and rumours, they have been doing a lot of re-structuring when it comes to maintaining both their gaming console and handheld properties, so I'm assuming they know they can't mess up this time around.

Due to the nature of Nintendo, I really don't think they can become a dominant force in the industry, but they do have the ability to have someone like Microsoft bow out of the console market. After all, the Xbox brand no longer has a steady identity, and there's becoming less and less of a reason to maintain its market.

If anything at all I'd like to happen is if Nintendo can strike a deal with Microsoft and work on the NX together. I know it's a stretch and generally can be a can of worms by itself, but if they really want to dissolve some of the power from Sony while looking towards financial gain, I believe it'll work out neatly for them if they can combine the best of both worlds.


Well-Known Member
Same opinion here


Summing it up

I don't see a Nintendo-only box as a high quality game console for the masses. Don't get me wrong: It is for me, for TNE, for Nintendo Life, for Nintendo nuts like us, for a big part of Japanese gaming community, but not for the masses worldwide.


I can't see Nintendo as an HBO for gaming, so I don't believe Nintendo can sell itself alone.


If a Nintendo device isn't a platform for CoD, FIFA and Minecraft (the latter we don't know yet), that's because Nintendo devices are being sold only for Nintendo fans, but for how long will Nintendo fans be enough to sustain a corporation with multiple studios and high cost franchises? Shareholders dislike it. Shareholders need more users and more market share.


I'm not asking for Doom, Battlefield and Just Cause. I'm saying that I don't see a place for a console that doesn't have the games that everyone plays and talk about. FIFA, CoD, Minecraft are basic AAA multi-platform games. (GTA is one of them too, but ok, I understand that Nintendo doesn't need them all).


- I can't see Nintendo list of franchises alone as premium gaming for the masses. The taste for Nintendo is something very Japanese and it's not growing. Nintendo has been ignored in everything gaming in this generation. It's like the current generation is just PS4/X1 and Nintendo is just a weird thing.


- I think people who believe Nintendo games are premium and invest on them are dwindling while the masses are seeing Nintendo as niche. In my opinion it's not an opportunity to go by themselves, but a dangerous situation.

On the other hand, Is Nintendo doomed to fail?

No, not at all. 3DS is rulling. Japanese games are great and Nintendo will make a move on mobile that will change the game. Nintendo is a whole ecosystem with multiple IPs, it's not just a home console maker.

One of the Nintendo IPs alone, Pokemon, is more than enough to show how strong Nintendo is. Pokemon isn't just a game title, it's a true global sport. Pokemon is as huge as COD and GTA.


The Architect
TO answer the name of the thread: Yes.

Nintendo can turn things around and/or steer towards a different market, but they have willfully carved themselves out of the main video game market by neglect and marching to the beat of their own drum ten too many times.


Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Has Nintendo been on a steady decline for years now...?
On the home console front, yes. This is why I always argued in the threads about Nintendo's stock value that using 2007 was silly - those years were outliers. In the modern home console era of 3D game worlds pushing ever more polys, the trend from N64 to GC to Wii U tells you one thing, while the Wii says another (because it was a market disruption).

And on a related note, this is why I thought @theMightyME was always onto something with the hybrid idea, because in the post-SNES world, Nintendo's bread has been buttered with handheld sales. They should play to their strengths and be the best version of Nintendo they can be, because trying to be diet-Sony has pretty much always failed them.

They aren't Nintendoomed because there is a market for Nintendo stuff. They simply have to diversify and not put so many chips on home consoles. That's why Amiibo is great for them.


Owner of The Total Screen
the solution:
1. hybrid system unifying library between console and handheld, a single place for all your big nintendo games, zelda, pokemon, fire emblem, etc.. some 3rd party support, but mostly the stuff that would have been on 3ds rather than the stuff on ps4 and xbone, as well as some aprtnership deals like they did with bayo 2.
2. sell on nostalgia, amiibo sells less because of the functionality and more because of the beloved nostalgia for the characters, and the collect-ability... nintendo is making all the right moves here a theme park, movies, toys, merch, etc...
3. mobile... so far nintendo is doing it right here as well, but some of nintendo's key franchises should switch completely to mobile... mainly their more broad appeal titles like animal crossing, brain training, rhythm heaven.... animal crossing would work great as a f2p game, brain training would be perfect for in app purchases of content packs, and rhythm heaven could sell well as a $5 game series (smaller, more frequent releases)

so basically, nintendo has 3 things to do to best position themselves, and they seem to be VERY close to nailing 2 of those.... the last piece of the puzzle is the hybrid system... which, again, I have to reiterate is not necessarily what I think nintendo WILL do, but what I think they SHOULD do... but even if they do it... they might not "nail" it... nintendo often makes little bad choices that can add up... for example... if nintendo goes with a resistive touch screen on the NX, or a 480p screen, or goes less powerful than the wii u, or focuses too much on a gimmick to the determent of play-ability. There are TONS of ways that nintendo can fuck up even when taking the right path, just as their are tons of ways they can overachieve on the wrong path


Well-Known Member
Yeah I think all of us here are pretty well informed on the steady decline in terms of home console hardware. The Wii was an exception. I personally don't expect Nintendo to make a big comeback... ever. I do expect NX to sell more than Wii U, but that's not really saying much, now is it?


Twintelle's loyal Husbando
I don't think anyone can really argue the number as far as the home console market is concerned. Ever since the PS1 arrived, Nintendo has struggled to maintain top tier market share for home systems. Now, I will kind of quibble with the thought that the Wii was an aberration. I think that the Wii was Nintendo accurately assessing the current mood of the market at large, not just gamers, and seeing into the future about 5 years and knowing what to do with that knowledge. As huge of a Nintendo fan as I am, I think it's very true that Nintendo becomes too mired in its own nostalgia. Most of the market doesn't care about that nostalgia; they want something new and really fresh that is well executed. I don't think Wii was a fluke, I think it was a very well thought out business plan married to good tech that was executed damn near flawlessly.

As far as the poll is concerned, no, I don't think the NX is doomed to fail. Honestly, I don't remember there being nearly this much hype for the Wii U before it was revealed/released. The NX level of hype is reminding me a lot of the Wii, and that's a good thing. The rumors surrounding the NX seem to be pointing in the general direction of that Nintendo is going to try something new, coming at gaming from a different angle than before, and I think that gives the Big N hope for great success.


Owner of The Total Screen
I think that the Wii was Nintendo accurately assessing the current mood of the market at large, not just gamers, and seeing into the future about 5 years and knowing what to do with that knowledge.
yes, nintendo doesn't get enough credit for this.. the wii was a HUGE risk, they didn't cover their bases, the system wasn't HD, the controls were very far away from traditional, etc... to act as if that was a fluke is pretty ridiculous, especially considering the amount of business strategy talk coming out of nintendo BEFORE the wii was even revealed.. all the blue ocean/red ocean disruption talk, etc... it is not a success they can recapture though... that new market, that blue ocean is now the smart phone industry

As huge of a Nintendo fan as I am, I think it's very true that Nintendo becomes too mired in its own nostalgia. Most of the market doesn't care about that nostalgia; they want something new and really fresh that is well executed.
nostalgia wasn't the problem nostalgia DOES sell... the problem is Nintendo's conservative nature... when they make the same game concept over and over, that isn't nostalgia, that is conservative business... when they make mario maker, amiibo, or get involved in toys and merchandise, theme parks.. THAT is nostalgia, and nintendo should HEAVILY play on it... hell there are entire buisnesses outside of nintendo thata re pretty much entirely based on nintendo nostalgia... that is money that Nintendo should have anticipated and made themselves, and I think they realized that... the issue is that nostalgia shoyuldn't encesarily be presented so purely like the VC, that is niche.... when you cna grab an hd remaster of street fighter 2 on ps3 or 360 with online play for just a bit more than what nintendo sells a rather poor snes port of the game that is then perfectly emulated on the wii... nintendo looks stupid... I think adhering to the "purity" of the VC was a really bad idea... it should have been aproached on a case by case basis... sometimes it is better to play the games as we remember them, rather than as they were... that is still nostalgia, but a less conservative and niche version of it. Hell, even Splatoon plays on nostalgia, it is basically a modern 90s game... it plays on nsotalgia, but it isn't a conservative product, it is new but reminiscent of old... that is how nntendo should be thinking... instead of tryign to make call of duty and gta, they should be trying to capture the same kind fo audience with soemthing only they can do... and a big part of that is nostalgia.... but it can't be so damn conservative


Your Resident Beardy Bear
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What is interesting is the downward trend also stems from the fact on how Nintendo continued to reply on withered technology for their consoles. With SNES, it was sticking with mostly 2d sprite-based games, and only a handful of games using the Super FX chip, which in reality should've been included in the system from the get go. It was still the best selling system of its time, but the downward trend was starting to sink in.

With the N64, it was CDs vs. carts, and it was no surprise that CDs were vastly superior in storage space, and price. The only real advantage back then was loading times and perhaps durability. 3rd aprty devs had games that were much bigger in scale compared to the N64, hence why a lot of the JRPGs are the day went to PS1 over N64. Nintendo's stance on sticking with carts back in the day because CDs weren't withered enough for them I think cost them dearly.

With GCN, hey look at this. They've gone with CDs this time. Only issue is it's a proprietary disc that only holds 1.5GB whereas DVDs hold 4.7GB. Ummm. I'm not saying the system wasn't capable, because it clearly was, but there were some 3rd party games that did not come to the GCN, or were a bit hindered because of the small disc size. While it may have did Nintendo favors in the piracy department, it likely did them no favors for appealing to 3rd party devs, and consumers alike, especially when games such as GTA never came to the system.

With the Wii, Nintendo finally uses DVDs (dual-layered capable nonetheless), so it appears that now Nintendo is getting the idea now. And they've used this unique little controller device that had a lot of potential. Only issue? The power was massively hindered, and it of course could only output 480p compared to the competition would do up to 1080p. Nintendo should've gone for if nothing else 720p, but that was only part of the issue. Due to Nintendo's completely difference hardware features and specs, it forced devs to completely rebuld games from scratch from their HD twin counterparts. So unless the game was made only for the Wii, it was very much gimped, and many developers simply did not bother. Yes, there were some developers who did work their asses off into making games work, and yes the Wii was commercially very successful, but this stance on withered technology for Nintendo also cost them market share in the end.

Now we come to the Wii U. Oh Wii U, how I adore thee. I truly do, and always have, but that doesn't mean it's without faults. While the Gamepad is a very cool device, and I enjoy using it, it would've been better served had it used a capacitive touchscreen I think over a resistive one. Price was the deciding factor here though. As far as hardware goes, Nintendo of course loves to keep its BC, and so by heavily modifying their previous hardware from the GCN and Wii days, they got this CPU which wasn't the worst CPU ever made, but I believe hindered a lot of their potential. It also didn't help that while the competition was using x86 architecture, Nintendo opted again for PPC, which in their minds worked well because Nintendo has used it for over a decade, but what about everyone else? When it came to indie developers, their games were a lot more simple compared to the AAA offerings, so going from platform to platform was less of a hassle for them (with the exception of a few of course).

Many 3rd party devs simply didn't bother due to the hardware, but there was also because the Gamepad was seen as a bit of a requirement for developers, rather than something optional. As an example, you could not design a game with only the Pro controller, and not the Gamepad. The gamepad always came first, and while there were quite a few games that made clever and really good uses for the gamepad, many simply tacked stuff on for the sake of it, and in many ways did not use it effectively. It should've been the template for allowing more complex genres such as RTS, or more specifically games that were seemingly tailored and made for PC due to the use of the KB/M. But it never happened, and while I don't like to always put the blame on hardware, it was the fucking hardware. It also did not do Nintendo any favors for not keeping with the times with their online infrastructure, and catering to what others were doing in terms of features and other ideas. It would not have been difficult to implement, but instead Nintendo was just Nintendo; always doing their own thing without as much regard to the consumer or 3rd party developers as much as they should have.

But there are likely some other underlying reasons as well. Perhaps Nintendo's stance and relationships with developers over the years has become a lot more sour, and it still hasn't recuperated since the days of Yamuachi running things. But I also know that Ninendo still incorporates a lot of the hhilosophies that Yamuachi laid out back in the day, and for many developers, they would rather take their business else ware, possibly for freedom reasons.

There's also the notion of marketing, which while did seem to work during the Wii days, it did them no favors during this gen with the Wii U. My God, how could they have gotten it so wrong? What were they thinking? You can't just assume that because the Wii sold 100 million systems, it means that 1) People are even remotely interested in a system catered towards the hardcore and 2) there are even that many people who were still playing their Wiis. I'd wager by the time the Wii U arrived, only about a 1/10th of the entire system base were still playing their systems, and guess what? It does of reflect that with the Wii U's sales. But that could easily be misconstrued as confirmation bias, so...

I have no idea with Nintendo trying to do things differently. In fact, I think it's helped them understand where games can go and how they can be evolved. But for heaven sakes, at least cater enough to the developers and make it seem like they're welcome, and design your hardware so it makes it easy for them to use. It also wouldn't hurt if Nintendo would step up their fricking marketing (I have seen some SFZ ads on Hulu lately, so maybe there's a glimmer of hope?), and also realize once and for all...that they are in competition with Sony and Microsoft. I know some people would rather make it seem as though Nintendo are doing their own thing, but consumers don't see it that way, and I'm willing to think that developers are realizing that as well. Whatever did back in the day to piss off developers is probably not just one reason, but a myriad of reasons. And it's going to take them a while to get that back.

If the discussions I've been reading are any indication, it's likely this time around that at least from a power standpoint, Nintendo are willing to not fuck around, but can still provide their own unique twist into making games. I'm ok with that. But don't butcher 3rd party devs at the expense of your visions of what YOU think games have to become, because they don't. Gaming does not revolve around you, Nintendo. You have to cater to everyone else and not just yourselves, because otherwise that makes you extremely snotty and pretentious.


Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Now, I will kind of quibble with the thought that the Wii was an aberration. I think that the Wii was Nintendo accurately assessing the current mood of the market at large, not just gamers, and seeing into the future about 5 years and knowing what to do with that knowledge. As huge of a Nintendo fan as I am, I think it's very true that Nintendo becomes too mired in its own nostalgia. Most of the market doesn't care about that nostalgia; they want something new and really fresh that is well executed. I don't think Wii was a fluke, I think it was a very well thought out business plan married to good tech that was executed damn near flawlessly.
Well, an aberration is merely a deviation or departure from the "normal" course. I don't think it's really arguable that the Wii ended up being an aberration - they aimed to disrupt the market from its usual course, did so, and then the market reverted to "normal." But it definitely wasn't a fluke. The Wii was so successful that pretty much all of its innovations (simple motion controls and simplified inputs to streamlined games) carried into smartphones and mobile software. Nintendo was kinda too successful for their own good. They created something that they didn't have the bandwidth to capitalize on, and as a result, all of their influential design carried into a market they had no part in.

That's why, IMO, it seems a Sisyphean task for NX to compete on the home turf of Sony and MS. There's always a caveat (carts, low storage disks, touch screens), but the end result of Nintendo being relatively conventional on the home console front has been the same - a lower and lower level of success. It seems like the home console market is a duopoly (just as mobile operating systems are mostly a two-horse race), and it's tenuous territory to run a company via the occasional commercial aberration.

Nintendo's task with NX isn't to replicate past glories. It's to carve out a space for themselves.


Well-Known Member
I've just summed up Nintendo's net income data:

1998 $629m (exchange rate March 31, 2002) N64, GB Line

1999 $645m (exchange rate March 31, 2002) N64, GB Line

2000 $421m (exchange rate March 31, 2002) N64, GB Line

2001 $726m (exchange rate March 31, 2002) N64, GB Line

2002 $800m (exchange rate March 31, 2002) GC, GB Line

2003 $560m (exchange rate March 31, 2003) GC, GB Line

2004 $316m (exchange rate March 31, 2004) GC, GB Line

2005 $816m (exchange rate March 31, 2005) GC, GB Line, DS Line

2006 $840m (exchange rate March 31, 2006) GC, DS Line

2007 $1477m (exchange rate March 31, 2007) Wii, DS Line

2008 $2573m (exchange rate March 31, 2008) Wii, DS Line

2009 $2847m (exchange rate March 31, 2009) Wii, DS Line

2010 $2458m (exchange rate March 31, 2010) Wii, DS Line

2011 $935m (exchange rate March 31, 2011) Wii, DS Line

2012 -$526m (exchange rate March 31, 2012) Wii, 3DS Line

2013 $75m (exchange rate March 31, 2013) Wii U, 3DS Line

2014 -$225m (exchange rate March 31, 2014) Wii U, 3DS Line

2015 $348m (exchange rate March 31, 2015) Wii U, 3DS Line

Sales numbers doesn't quite show a company's health, but net income does.

From 1998 to 2002, you can see the income growth with one bad year (2000).

From 2003 to 2006, net income remained quite stable. 2003 wasn't as bad as 2000, but they could recover it before 2007. 2006 is a record year.

So until 2007, I wouldn't say that we can see Nintendo in decline.

From 2007 to 2010, we've got Wii years. The numbers shot up. It's a bubble. It's Nintendo making money from a market that mobile would eat very soon. We can forget this number for analysis purpose or we can say that until 2010, Nintendo was growing.

In 2011, we can call it a sharp fall, if we're considering Wii years. If we aren't, it's still better than before 2007. So Nintendo is still healthy in both cases.

The problem is from 2012 to today. It's not quite a steady decline. In fact it's a substantial drop on the net income history where in 2013 there's little profit and in 2015 a small recovery.

In don't expect to see a sharp increase in 2016, but even if Nintendo pulls off a profit like 2015's, it's still too little. (Yes, before someone quotes me saying that little profit is still profit, I've got to remember you that by little profit I mean not enought profit. An international conglomerate like Nintendo can't make this level of profit. I'm not talking about market share. There are small companies like Ferrari that survives with a tiny market share. Ferrari makes huge profit from the small number of cars they make. Nintendo on the other hand has a lot of assets to maintain and games like Xenoblade and Zelda aren't products that you can make and deliver without a huge team).

So, in my opinion, no, Nintendo hasn't been on a steady decline for years. Sales aren't growing, yes, but Playstation had awful financial years while selling tons. Nintendo for me is in a sharp fall from its minimum healthy net income, since 2012. Considering 30 years of gaming business, it's not that bad, but in a digital world where everyone has so much entertainment and games right there on their pockets, it's a bad situation.


resident remnant robot relic
A quick addendum to the initial graphic: while it's true that Wii aside, Nintendo's home console sales have declined every generation since the NES - the opposite was true in the handheld sphere. The absolute numbers on the GBA are deceptive because it had such a short lifespan compared to the Game Boy. Every Nintendo handheld was doing stronger yearly sales than its predecessor - until the 3DS (I believe, but would have to double check, the drop off began in the last pre-3DS year of the DS). This doesn't undermine the basic concern, but I thought I'd toss that out there on the fly.


Active Member
Come on guys, we all know that Nintendo is far from bankruptcy here.

According to this fact, they can last for decades!

As for the NX, no I don't think the NX will fail them for two reasons.

1. I'm positive that they learnt their mistakes from the Wii U that they sure as hell won't do the same thing for the NX.

2. Even if the NX does fail, its not going to be worse than the Wii U because it will have better marketing campaigns than the Wii U.


Nintendo Switch Lite 4 Ever
Well here we are in March 2020 and it looks like the Switch and Switch Lite are still doing well and show no signs of failure.