Saturday, 18 February 2012

Just say no to Nintendo

I wrote yesterday that I would be worried about investing in a fund that thought Nintendo was a good buy.

Today, I've found some evidence to back up that initial gut feeling. That article reports from Japan that Nintendo's upcoming huge losses are being blamed on its obsession with Mario. Certainly from the outside it does appear that everything they do seems to have to be attached to the character. A character more than 30 years old now. And he appears in every game they make. And then they make that game over and over again for whatever console they're trying to flog that year. Then they do a sequel to it. And another and another. Then a new console comes out and the whole thing repeats....grrrrr.

Nintendo have real problems. Not just poorly designed rehashes of the same game over and over again. The handheld market has been stolen from them by Apple. No self-respecting parent would buy a 3DS or whatever it's called this week over an iPod Touch. For near as the same price you get a touch screen device with mega cheap amazing games, plus a world of other apps, the internet, email, cameras, etc.

Likewise, the major console market. Their refusal to let the Wii have decent graphics so they could keep the price down could be justified I suppose to shift units but it really shows in comparison to the PS3 and Xbox 360 now. Not allowing their console to have multimedia capabilities like playing DVDs or network movie playing was a mistake. Their wiimote device, while interesting at first, is now laughable as you watch your 6 year old kid beat you at tennis or bowling by flicking their wrist and not even attempting to make the action of the sporting event you're playing. Xbox now own interactive part of the market with Kinect. Everything looks bad at Nintendo. The upcoming Wii U or whatever it is called looks mega lame too.

If you own Nintendo stock, sell it - sell it now. In five years time they'll be a very different company (theme parks, movies maybe, character licensing, some gaming, etc.) but right now you don't want to have to pay for their mess.