Nintendo is sitting gloomy today after the company posted its first annual loss – $531 million in the red. Most of the loss can be attributed to Nintendo’s handheld devices getting beaten out by smartphones and tablets in the mobile gaming sector.
Now, in the wake of this, many analysts are speaking out and saying if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. In other words, Mario needs to be shimmying down pipes on your iPhone.
Nanaki Imazu, an analyst for CLSA in Tokyo, said, “Nintendo has to deal with the change and let Mario games be played on non-Nintendo devices. I think it will take at least couple of years to see that.”
Whether or not this is an overreaction remains to be seen, but it’s clear that the handheld market could be in some trouble as smartphone and tablet gaming continues to rise in popularity daily. With high-quality games being an almost incidental feature on devices such as iPhones, dedicated gaming devices begin to make less and less sense.
Nintendo isn’t budging however, having said multiple times that they will not allow their games on devices they don’t manufacture. Nintendo will now be looking to their Wii U launch to make up some of the losses, where price will be everything. This was demonstrated by the saving of the 3DS through a price slash last year. Turns out people like buying cheaper things more, go figure.
Imazu is advising a price point of $350, but does caution this would make the U a lot more expensive than its predecessor.