#ChangeStory: Nintendo

1st Feb, 21

Do you know how Nintendo went from raging success to almost failure and back to success again?


I was and am a big Nintendo fan and have to confess to perhaps having had a little Mario Brothers addiction in the past.


Let’s face it, they were huge in the 80s and 90s. And then they launched the Game Boy on 21st April 1989, allowing their fans to take their games with them wherever they went. 

Game over, right?  They had won the video game market.

Ummm not quite.  In March 2000, Sony happened, coming out of nowhere with their PS2 followed by Microsoft and the X Box in 2005.

Nintendo's response was to bring out the Wii in November 2006 and it sold more than 100 million units over the ensuing 8 years of its life.

Great.  They were back in the running then?


Well, they were until they brought out the Wii U GamePad in September ’12.  It was a significant failure and Nintendo’s performance went downhill during the years of 2012 and 2016.  In January 2017, Nintendo actually ceased production of the Wii U.

What!  How did they get it so wrong?

  • It seemed that people were confused right at the start, not knowing whether the unique GamePad controller was an add on to the Wii or a new and standalone product

  • There were rumours that although the machine would be more powerful than the PS3 and the Xbox 360, the second screen on the Wii U would eat up the graphics processing power

  • Games media were also complaining that there was limited first-party content

  • AND a year later, PS4 and Xbox One arrived

So, game (*cough*) over then?


Absolutely not!  In March 2017, Nintendo brought out the Switch and it was an instant success, selling almost three million units in the first month and becoming the company’s fastest selling console.


They basically regenerated the Wii U GamePad concept, with the GamePad effectively becoming the console with built in controllers.


The Switch has become China’s most popular console.  “The 1 million sales figure is bigger than the combined sales of Sony’s PS 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One over the same period”, said Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad.

Do you want to know an interesting fact?


Nintendo started out as a playing card maker in the 19th century and didn't set up their games development department until the mid 1960s.

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