Nintendo’s stocks tumble five per cent following conference
Despite a number of high profile new game announcements and public unveiling of the controversial Slide Pad expansion which adds a second analogue stick, Nintendo's shares have dropped five per cent following its pre-TGS conference.
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata claimed that the event had introduce an unprecedented range of games: "From the end of this year to the beginning of next, we are planning the kind of extensive line-up that has probably never been seen before in the history of video games," he said. "We will make an all-out effort to see that the 3DS sells enough to become the successor to the DS."
But analysts and investors were left unmoved, pointing to cheaply priced and widely available iOS and Android games.
"I don't think the new games will make any difference," said Ichiyoshi Investment chief fund manager Mitsushige Akino. "Nintendo succeeded by pulling in people who weren't gamers and their needs now are no longer being filled by Nintendo, they are happy playing games on their mobile phones."
The share value slide means Nintendo's stock price has now nearly halved over the course of the year in as disappointing 3DS sales, early price cuts and doubts over the Wii U's potential to replicate the company's astonishing success with Wii all take their toll.
"The only possible way for Nintendo to revive would be to stop concentrating on [portable] games and switch to Wii-type games for the whole family," said Myojo Asset Management CEO Makoto Kikuchi. "However, at the moment, I can't see this change coming."
It's difficult to believe that Nintendo, the clear market leader of the past generation, could see its fortunes so sharply reversed, especially in the face of such a strong 3DS line-up. But with its consistent refusal to embrace new business models such as free-to-play and mobile game pricing, combined with Sony apparently positioning the upcoming Vita as a bridge between the console and mobile worlds, the sad truth is that the Nintendo seal of approval simply doesn't seem to be enough anymore.