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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tech Time 2DS: Has Nintendo gone insane?

Nintendo has unveiled a new handheld gaming system. Nintendo 2DS sounds a lot like 3DS, but as you would expect it is a 2D system.  It looks like a door stop and does not have the ability to fold like the 3DS’s clamshell design.
It makes you wonder why would they release a 2DS which would appear to be a large step backwards. It is larger heavier and makes no improvements in the areas of battery life or screen resolution or features.  According to insiders at Nintendo the 2DS is for the under seven crowd.  
The DS family has grown from the DSi, 3DS, 3DSXL to the 2DS. The 2DS is not a new gaming format it will simply play the 3DS games in 2D and regular DS games as well.  So it does nothing that the 3DS you probably already have does.  
It makes you wonder. What is Nintendo thinking?

The 2DS cost $130.
The 3DS costs $170.
The 3DSXL costs $200.
The DSi costs $100.
The average 3DS game costs about $40.  
The average used 3DS games cost about $20 keep in mind Nintendo get 0% of this money.  

Android Angle
Most people get a new cell phone every 2 years which typically costs them between $100-200.   There are MILLIONS of old Android phones out there that can run the DS style games just not in 3D.  If you ask most 3DS players very few of them play in 3D anyway due to headaches caused by the 3D effect.  It would seem logical for Nintendo to get involved in the Android market. Nintendo has always been able to create addicting games.  They would probably do very well. The question then is, Why dont they?

Super Pirate Bros
The answer can be revealed in an earlier story from Nintendo where they decided not to include cut-scenes in the latest Super Smash Bros because they did not want them to leak on YouTube.  How every other game maker has deemed it beneficial, by way of free advertising, to allow people to post videos from games dating back to “Blue vs Red” Machinima from the early Halo days.  Nintendo is worried about pirating.  
You can already get emulators on Android to play Gameboy and DS games, but that is simply because there is a void in the market created by Nintendo.  Emulators are a pain to deal with.  You have to find ROM’s and sometimes buy an emulator.  They could clean up that piracy by releasing their own games with Bluetooth controllers if they wanted to.  Games would be much cheaper than current cartridges, and Nintendo would not have to bother with the investment of a handheld system.

Sega Angle  
Imagine if you could buy Super Mario Brothers or Super Smash Bro on a Sony or Microsoft system.  Sega learned that they could not compete in the console wars and made the next logical step. They became a game developer only in 2001 when they abandoned the Dreamcast.  It was a very smart move.  Look at the graph below.

In 2001 they were at $-530M in two years they made positive net revenue of $30M and today they are estimated to be at $410M.  You can also look at UbiSoft's revenue of $1.5B and EA’s revenue of $6.2B.  Compare that to Nintendo’s net Profit recently that was at 50% of its forecast at $88M.  

Next Step
It is not likely that Nintendo will make the switch anytime soon.  Companies tend to spend sometime in the red with huge yearly deficits before they completely overhaul their model.  
What do you think about Nintendo?
Would you like to see Mario on other systems?
Do you think the Android/Apple route is viable?

Is this all way off?

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