Growing Pains

Posted in Games
By Sam Bathe on 30 Sep 2008

Given the outstanding sales of its Wii and DS consoles, the former still selling out in parts of the World despite being first released almost two years ago, it’s unsurprisingly Nintendo’s financial results are simply remarkable. Employing only around 3,000, the majority in game development and R&D, with the video game companies profits bursting through the roof, Nintendo makes more per employee than Wall Street band Goldman Sachs.

And yet when the Wii’s get home, after the Wii Sports-induced honeymoon period is over, seasoned gamers are now leaving their little white box to do little more than collect dust. The same was the case for Nintendo’s last effort, the Gamecube. While both offer brilliant hardware capabilities, the real pull of Nintendo consoles has always been in the games, and their trademark innovation. In between Mario and Zelda titles, however, the quality often runs dry, with third party support never really matching home grown talent. When you’ve got a few friends over, Wii Sports will always be ready for an appearance, but for the more serious gamer, another console, a Microsoft 360, or, dare I say it, even a PS3 is a must. In a recent poll on Gadget website, almost 70% of the 15,000 polled replied that their Wii obsession was just a fling, and it now sits unplayed.

Nintendo certainly made huge steps with the Wii, their bank balance proves it, but it is still far from the perfect package. So the gamer’s dream of needing only one console for all their entertainment addictions will have to wait.

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