Why Nintendo is Struggling with the Average Gamer

Tough to write about Nintendo as a thing of the past. Unfortunately, that’s just what it seems to be.

Sure, we have Zelda, and Mario and Samus, but you know what we don’t have? A console worth buying.

Maybe Nintendo got too cute. Maybe they hit exactly where they aimed. Maybe they’re simply out of touch with the modern gamer.

And in order to make a come back, offense is necessary. Where’s Nintendo’s offense? We’re wondering the same thing.

Why Nintendo is Struggling with the Average Gamer

To put this in perspective, I stress that Nintendo isn’t on its last blinking, half heart. Far from that. But Nintendo is almost completely missing out on a piece of a rather large pie: the modern gamer.

Before we address Nintendo, however, let’s look at how the other two major players in the console wars are faring: Microsoft and Sony. They finished second and third, respectively, in the last generation. Neither Raffman nor I predicted the Wii to outperform the PS3 or Xbox 360 – so kudos to Nintendo on that one.

Sony recovered (very nicely I may add) with the PS4. The PS3 was never in terrible danger of failure, but it came in third place in a very important cultural and financial race. Nothing truly changed between the feel of the controller and gaming system. It was an improved console, but it was too pricy at launch. I will stipulate though that it is one tough machine. I’ve moved three times since I purchased my PS3 and moved it countless times as well; it’s still ticking just like day 1. We can’t say that for the Xbox 360 though.

Microsoft made the correct console chess move by launching with a less expensive price point than Sony. Halo became even more possible (if that was even possible), and it took a respectable second place a well below the Wii but definitely ahead of the PS3. The controllers went from ungodly boxy to normal size, and the graphics seemed to outperform the PS3 even though Sony claimed otherwise. Unfortunately though, the Xbox 360 broke about every time it could. I went through three of them to my one PS3.

One would think following up on the heels of one of the highest volume console sales ever, Nintendo would have the resources, talent and panache to if not repeat, at least be on the podium at the end. Now, we’re not even talking about Nintendo. And if you think I’m being obtuse, think of a close friend that  owns a console. Is it a Wii U? Probably not. Now, think of a friend that does own the Wii U. I can’t. And I have a lot of friends that play.

And once again, I love Nintendo. Videos like this remind me of a permanently cemented love for the company. But we need something new. Something fresh. Something worth spending several hundred dollars.

Please don’t think we don’t want the Wii U to kick a metric ton of ass. We do. But we’re not even talking about Nintendo anymore. Like Allen Iverson talking about practice – we’re talking about Nintendo.


Nintendo needs to start targeting the modern gamer or else when we start having children (or start teaching our children the Contra code), we won’t be doing so over Nintendo. It’ll be Sony and Microsoft. Nintendo is a part of my youth culture. I don’t want that to die. And I hope neither do you.

One Reply to “Why Nintendo is Struggling with the Average Gamer”

  1. Nintendo was in the driver’s seat with Wii, and they’ve freefallen ever since. The Wii U got the epic fail started, and the fact they havent even tried to fix their image since has just made it worse. Didnt the CEO apologize publicly recently about this?

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