What Happens to Nintendo if the NX Fails?


With the confirmation of the new Nintendo NX system would be shown and possibly released this year, there is a lot of hype along with much speculation on what the system will actually be; a regular console with a unique remote, a console/handheld hybrid, and so on. This article is not that type of speculative article about the NX, but rather, a realistic view on the possibility that it may not sell well.

This is an article that talks about the possible end of Nintendo the way we know it now, not as a whole.

Let’s get this out of the way first; in no way do I think that Nintendo will fail as a business. I believe that Nintendo will be around for a very long time in one way or another. For a company that started off selling playing cards to turn into what is today is amazing and there is no reason to think that they will just go away based on another console failure.

The fact does remain that the Wii U is a failure as a console seller. Only selling one-tenth of what the original sold is terrible and can be compared to the Sega Dreamcast in many ways. The saving grace of the Wii U is its software; games like Mario 3D, Mario Kart 8, Splatoon, Super Smash Bros, and Mario Maker are excellent games that didn’t reach the audience that it could have.

There is no definitive reason on why the Wii U sold poorly. It could be that the confusion of the name and if it was an extension of the original console, or the lack of third party, the poor starting lineup of games. Maybe because consumers knew the PS4 and Xbox would have new consoles soon, or perhaps they couldn’t market the console out of a paper bag were reasons.  More than likely, it was a mixture of all of those scenarios.


While the Nintendo produced games were mostly great, the all-time excuse of “people buy Nintendo for Nintendo games” doesn’t hold true anymore, as clearly this is not the case. Older gamers have the nostalgia for Mario and Zelda that newer gamers do not have, and in order for Nintendo’s next console to sell, they need to understand that gamers are growing up and their older audience have a budget to abide by now for the most part.

They have to make something that speaks to everyone and not just a gimmick that sells consoles that are destined to collect dust. That statement may come off harsh, but it’s not without some validity either.

So the question comes into play, “What happened to Nintendo if the NX fails?”

For starters, the obvious answer is that we may not see a home console from them for a very long time, or at all. There is always the possibility for them to continue the handheld market, but since the 3DS sales are less compared to the original DS handhelds, it would be no surprise that may go away as well. The simple fact is that no company, including Nintendo, wants to hemorrhage money on something that is no longer working for them in sales. Nintendo has a massive amount of money and the idea is to keep it loaded in their accounts, not to lose it; that’s how business works with shareholders.

“So what does Nintendo do then?”

There are a couple of different ways that Nintendo could stay relevant. The first way has already been set in motion with the deal with DeNA, as Nintendo starts going into the smartphone space and eventually tablets. This opens the door for their franchises new and old to get into the mobile market.

The second way, and honestly, one of the most profitable ways is just to become like Sega and be a software company.

According to Pixelkin.org (Oct. 2015) these are the software sales for Wii U:

Wii U Game                                                              Units Sold

Mario Kart 8                                                              5.87 mil
Nintendo Land                                                          5.00 mil
New Super Mario Bros. U                                         4.88 mil
Super Mario 3D World                                              4.47 mil
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U                                     4.03 mil
Splatoon                                                                 2.42 mil
New Super Luigi U                                                    2.27 mil
Super Mario Maker                                                   1.88 mil
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD             1.62 mil
Wii Party U                                                               1.58 mil

With there being ten million Wii U consoles sold so far, that means on average, almost half of Wii U owners buy Nintendo software titles. Not too shabby for a low selling console.

Now imagine if they put out their software titles on the PS4 and Xbox One, as both platforms as of January 2016 have sold close to at least 60 million units combined. Nintendo could make huge profits with their original IP, and if the same hold true in terms of sales, Nintendo can be successful without needing to rely on a console. It can be almost assured that some of their investors want this anyways and it makes sense if the NX fails that this would be the next step; besides, no one probably thought we would see Sonic on Nintendo when Sega systems were still around.

“So what needs to happen to make sure the NX succeeds?”

In terms of the console and its mechanics, there is no real opinion at this point as no one really knows what it can do, or even what it looks like. Some actual third party support would be nice this time around for the long run instead of simply just porting already existing games to the NX library. Ubisoft did a great job of this during the Wii’s popularity, but that consisted of mostly party games and probably won’t have the same selling factor as it did several years ago.

Nintendo should come out of the gate with the NX firing on all cylinders this time. It is almost a certainty that The Legend of Zelda will release on the same day the NX does, but that won’t be enough. A new 3D Mario should make an appearance, perhaps another title from a classic IP. If the system is a hybrid of some sort combining console with handheld portability, then don’t be surprised to see some older DS games getting updates to the new system; like Trauma Center, some Castelvania DS games, The World Ends with You just to name a few that many people wouldn’t mind having again.

When it comes down to it, Nintendo can’t simply rely on their older IP’s regardless of how great they still are. Taking chances with new titles may be Nintendo’s saving grace the next time around, and this has been proven with Splatoon, already showing that it can be done. It’s time for a new group of developers to come into the fray and create something new that resonates with new and older gamers alike.

Nintendo-NX-FeatureTo reiterate and conclude, I do not wish for the Nintendo that I grew up with to go away. It’s sad to think that there could be no more Nintendo consoles anymore, but if that is the way it goes then I believe that Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Kirby, and Yoshi, to name a few will be around for a long time. The sad truth is that with competitors like iOS, Sony, and Microsoft out there, there is a possibility that this could happen.

What do you think? Do we have a long time left with Nintendo consoles? Do you care? Would you rather play Mario on your PS4? Let us know in the comments below.

You know the usual...Writer of articles, novels, and anything else that pops into mind. Lover of nostalgia, film, books, and playing video games.

  • Cloudman

    What is this article?

    • Ryuken13

      Click bait for flame wars.

  • Meret

    r u stupid? lol

  • yarinoma

    I don’t want to call your article skewed but it seems to be the case as your options for Nintendo are the same as they have been from everyone else since the WII.. You missed a 3rd option that companies normally do when they feel they’re loosing too much money. Cut staff. As of 2015, Nintendo has 5,120 employees, which is very small for a billion dollar company. If they trim some fat, close a few needless offices, they can save plenty of money, and still exist as a console maker..
    Remember, the N64, and the GameCube, sold just as bad yet Nintendo held on and didn’t throw in the towel then..
    Your article is descent but it’s still riding the caboose of the gaming public doom and gloom train that chugged down the track with each new N console in the last 9 years.. Why don’t you save your views on Nintendos potential failures AFTER they announce and show just what the system is and is capable of….

    • Bryan

      You seem to be under the assumption that I think it will fail. The title is “What if” and in the article it states that no one knows what it is yet. Cutting staff doesn’t make too much sense either as you said the it was a very small staff anyways. Cutting the fat would probably cut in to them being able to run the company effectively.

      With the Wii U at ten million sold there is no just as bad when compared to others seeing as the Gamecube twice that in comparison and the N64 more than that. The fact is that no company would continue making something that doesn’t profit well for them, and the article is talking about other options.

  • Ryuken13

    Absolute click bait for ad revenue and attention.


    If NX fails 3ds will still be some sort of success and they will simply go back to the drawing boards again and come out with another home console, a key part of Nintendo’s business (Wii U WAS PROFITABLE it simply was not as profitable as forecasted)..
    Bryan Dull really needs to do more due diligence before writing articles such as this.

    Mario on PS4…

    I do respect Brian for covering his butt by calling this a “what if” article.. You can really get away with quite a bit of speculation there..

    What if I win the 1.3 billion Powerball Drawing in the US on Wednesday?? One lump sum or payments..

    The odds of Mario on PS4 are higher than my Powerball 1 in 292 million but low enough I give them the same consideration I give my potential Powerball winnings.. None at all.

    • Bryan

      Wait..We have ad revenue?

      • Ryuken13

        Again.. If you get no revenue from ads that is even worse.. Click bait for absolutely no purpose?? You are doing nothing more than pure uninformed speculation. As stated, Wii U was profitable it simply missed sales metrics..Until Nintendo makes a console that makes zero profit (a loss unlike Wii U) there is absolutely no chance they will exit the home console market. The damage to their brand and credibility among shareholders and customers would be irrevocably damaged if they exited the home console hardware business. Nintendo is a 100 plus year old company and will be making some form of home console as long as home consoles are being manufactured in some form or fashion.

        I have no idea why people such as yourself armchair quarterback and speculate the strategies of large corporations. I personally don’t beyond resasonable GUESSES based on past behavior. I know Nintendo (along with the rest of the big 3) have more knowledgable and trained staff (than either you or I) that handle long term hardware development strategies. Guess as you wish but it is pointless and Nintendo is very secretive of their strategies. You have absolutely no(neither do I) firm or verifiable information to use to make an informed opinion.

        We might as well be speculating on bitcoin prices or China’s effect on the US stock market. Too many variables (many unknown) to predict anything of value.

        Feel free to continue to bait people into this pointless discussion. Respectfully I am done.

        • Wii U is profitable? I am guessing this is why Nintendo has posted year after year of operating losses, with the Wii U directly impacting Nintendo’s profits.

          • Ryuken13

            The Wii U is profitable with 1 game sale. Licensing, royalties, too many stats to name give them a small profit for the total lifetime of the console IMO (from what I have seen may be wrong). At one time they were taking losses but the user base is large enough they have a small profit now IMO. Not what they wanted but not total devastation. Take a tax and or accounting class if you want to get more informed about corporations writing off losses. A product can become profitable LATER IN IT’S life cycle and generate a net profit after years of getting written off as a loss.

            Respectfully, I avoid these financial discussions like the fucking plague. Feel free to consider me absolutely wrong. You and everyone else that disagrees with me wins. I do not pass go, I do not win 200 dollars.

            Enjoy the dialogue with others I am out. Cheers and good night.

          • I normally make a statement that can be rebutted, and then leave so I don’t have to back up my thoughts. Nintendo has been taking a yearly loss since the 3DS first came out, the Wii U has compounded that, but by all means, it is a profit console. Of course you’re right.

          • Ryuken13

            Sarcasm is great bro if that is how you roll. I could be wrong but I am telling you there is quite a bit of variables to determine profitability of a product over it’s entire life cycle. Those metrics are often not disclosed or they are buried in tons of charts and data to shareholders.

            More accurately, I will say Nintendo is a smart company financially. Has to be it has survived over a century and have the ability to take losses for decades and still survive. I hope that Wii U turns out to be profitable over the entire course of it’s life cycle. If so great.. If not, I hope Nintendo makes changes that improve the chances of NX hitting sales metrics and performing better.

            I have said all that I have to say on the matter. Please feel free to disagree or disregard my opinions. As stated, I despise game financial forecasts and in retrospect simply should not have posted.

            In my defense, that stupid ass comment about Mario on ps4 was an absolute joke and I posted on impulse after reading that absolute absurdity.

          • GGundam

            Uhm, no bro, you got schooled. Just like Raymond said, Nintendo reported operating loses, yet you ran away with your tail between your Ryuken legs because you first stated that the Wii U was profitable, but it’s entirely NOT! And you didn’t even fucking counter him. All you said was:

            “Respectfully, I avoid these financial discussions like the fucking plague.”

            Why’d you even bring it up??? Hahahahaha… you ran away scared! Please, you got burned boy! LOL

            God Fingaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa~!!!!!

          • Ryuken13

            Wow great what a wonderful and reasoned response.

            Based on your post I am just not going to go there.. If that is “schooled” perhaps I am.

            That or I simply won’t waste time with people like you. You really can tell a lot about someone by their posts. What your post says about you is quite sad indeed.

          • Bryan

            It’s ok. I tried to write a opinion piece about different avenues of what Nintendo could do if it were to happen, but instead people who don’t agree need to rude sometimes. If you agree than its an article, if you don’t it’s click bait.

  • Peter Capaldi

    I could see Apple buying out Nintendo if this were the case. They are already working together right now, and Apple could use Nintendo IP as a selling point for not only iOS devices, but also the Apple TV. Nintendo exclusives on tvOS could push the Apple TV to a more serious position in the market. That said, I don’t think that the NX will fail (enough) to warrant Nintendo putting themselves up for the highest bidder.

    • Apple is working with Nintendo?

    • Hseus

      I actually hope that happens, all the more justification for not supporting them anymore.

  • disqus_1S1GyNUnq5

    there is just one reason the nintendo consoles are not popular anymore: their refusal to take a look around their market. they are still stuck in the belief that they created the videogame market hence they are still owning it. this is an arrogance one can hardly describe. it is so out of touch with reality. as long as they are not willing to accept some standards set up by the market leaders sony and mickysoft there will be no more success for this company. it is as simple as that. and i really don’t see them learning.

    • With their recent(and upcoming) restructuring of their corporate self, I can see them approaching the market differently.

  • Hseus

    Not what happens if the NX fails, it’s what happens WHEN the NX fails. Will Nintendo finally learn a lesson? Doubtful, not like they’ll be hurting for cash any time soon.

    • What makes you think they WILL fail? I am sure people had similar thoughts of “What happens WHEN the Wii fails,” what makes you so sure about the NX?

      • Hseus

        I am using a crank prank time ipad in your year 2735 to educate poor misguided people on the internet from my past.

        • Sounds more like you’re just generally hating to hate.


    I think they gonig into mobile and as a 3rd party dev would be the best sceario.

  • onstrike112

    I doubt the NX will succeed now. They sealed their fate when they chose Nvidia Tegra, which is all but confirmed officially now.

  • Klent Foster

    Nintendo needs to get out of the hardware business and focus on making games. They aren’t willing to invest and compete hardware-wise, and they’re too proud to release their games on another company’s console. Either they get with the times or they fade into history like Atari did.