Iwata faces troubles ahead. What can he do?
IGN is reporting that Nintendo president Satoru Iwata is concerned about whether or not investors will vote to keep him in office this summer. While I really do appreciate a lot of Iwata's contributions to Nintendo, I hope this serves as a wake up call and gives him a push to get the company to be more aggressive in a number of key areas:
It's not like the company is completely behind the times, but they would be well-advised to spend some of those big cash stores to be faster, leaner, and more innovative. This means new features, more built-in software on their consoles, continued improvements to UI and OS speed, etc. Get messy and take risks!
Third Party Support
Nintendo has got to do something to fix the extreme lack of third party content. Yes, this is an uphill battle because they decided to make the Wii U less powerful than the competition, but they can’t just afford to let companies like EA just walk away from making content on their home platform. Paying for some big third party exclusive content that really highlights the strengths of the GamePad could finally give some “on the fence” gamers a reason to grab a console.
I know that Nintendo focuses on a lot of "all ages" franchises, but adding a new franchise that was more mature would extend an olive branch to many "core" gamers who now claim Nintendo to be too family-friendly for them (still not sure why that's a problem, but clearly it is for many people). Creating a franchise that also hinged on a unique gameplay that relied on the GamePad should be a top priority for the company.
I’ve mentioned in two of the above points, but I’m going to say it again. The GamePad needs its killer app. Nintendo Land laid the groundwork for some cool ideas, ZombiU got the ball rolling, and now we have Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze (http://kotaku.com/bold-move-nintendo-1522251610) effectively turning off the GamePad. Iwata should be organizing a task force (or at least a suggestion box in the breakroom) to develop new GamePad ideas every day. This should be a major company focus if it isn’t already.
Minimal Online Multiplayer
Okay, I might be a little biased here as someone who isn’t a big fan of online multiplayer gaming, but I really don’t think this is a logical or competitive area for Nintendo. There are some opportunities for it (for example, online co-op Super Mario 3D World would be kind of awesome), but putting a big push behind trying to go toe-to-toe against Xbox Live or PSN just doesn’t seem like the path to Wii U’s success at this point. If anything, they should continue looking for quirky, Nintendo-esque online opportunities.
So what do you think Nintendo should do? Share your thoughts in the comments below.