It's been a relatively slow week in news thanks to the July 4th holiday, but one of the more interesting reads to come from across the Pacific was the Nintendo investor Q&A session. Frankly it's stunning to see that a company as experienced as Nintendo would just assume that a follow-up to a successful console would also automatically become successful. That the Wii U didn't make it to 100 million units like the Wii is one thing, but the fact that it's become literally the worst-selling console in Nintendo history is quite another.
At barely 13 million units sold and given the fact that Nintendo already discontinued Wii U production (let alone the fact that everyone's now preparing for NX), there's zero chance of the Wii U even catching the poor performance of the GameCube (almost 22 million). The fact is that Nintendo caught lightning in a bottle with the Wii, and to expect lightning to strike in the same place twice is foolish. The Wii was an outlier in a continuous decline for Nintendo's console business. When looking at the worldwide sales totals for its console hardware (not portables), it's been steadily dropping with each iteration since the NES, if you remove the Wii effect; at the same time, the audience for games has actually been growing, making the Wii U's failure all the more discouraging in 2016.
The bottom line for Nintendo is that the company is about to face its greatest challenge to date with the NX. It's make or break time, and if the NX can't convince tens of millions (if not more) to buy into the Nintendo ecosystem then very legitimate questions about the company's future in gaming hardware will have to be asked. Shareholders pushed and pushed and Nintendo is finally working on mobile titles - there's no denying the value and power of Nintendo IP, and those franchises and characters could make a killing for Nintendo on platforms not manufactured by the Big N. Whether that's Nintendo's fate is hard to predict at this juncture, but the reception to the NX will be telling. This is quite possibly a turning point in Nintendo's storied history.
Another big story this week has been the shameful conduct of CS:GO gambling site owners Trevor Martin and Tom Cassel who failed to reveal that they run the site while they promoted it with YouTube videos. Martin went on to post a half-assed, vague apology on YouTube, which seems to have since been pulled. Furthermore, there is now litigation pending against both CS:GO Lotto and Valve. The legal action doesn't come as a surprise, but as Rob Fahey points out for us today, the ramifications of an uncontrolled gambling site are even bigger for YouTube/Google and Valve. I highly encourage you to check out Rob's piece on the matter if you haven't already.
Also on GamesIndustry.biz this week:
Ubisoft fights for independence against Vivendi, nominating two directors
An eSports Integrity Coaltion was launched to address problems with cheating
Other news in brief:
Kudos to Hello Games for persevering and completing No Man's Sky this week
LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens took over as the new #1 on the UK charts
Epic announced that there are now more than 2 million developers using Unreal Engine 4
Goat Simulator dev Coffee Stain Studios has announced a VR publishing initiative and is taking pitches through July 10
The second wave of UK Games Fund winners has been announced