Nintendo thinks “it’s not giving up” by not building Android and iOS games of their own. But they would be mistaken to believe that. They’re just giving up, just in a different, slower way.
“Nikkei’s article contains information previously stated by Mr Iwata during past press conferences, including statements which relate to Nintendo’s willingness to make use of smart devices to promote our products.
However during such past announcements Mr Iwata has also stated that Nintendo’s intention is not to make Nintendo software available on smart devices and as such, we can confirm that there are no plans to offer minigames on smartphone devices. “
I’m not saying building games for Android and iOS would help them grow, but at least it would help them adapt to the times, and then go from there. It could however, kill their hardware business, so it’s definitely not something to do without some serious planning. But Nintendo has had years to think about this by now, yet they almost give the impression that they’ve only recently thought about whether to port their games to Android and iOS, or at least build some other related games for these platforms.
Since the answer to that is no for now, it seems Nintendo will keep doing what it’s been doing so far. That’s very dangerous, because if that’s all they are doing, then they are in for a decline anyway, just a slower, yet inevitable one.
If Nintendo “doesn’t want to give up”, and wants to keep making hardware and games for its own hardware only, then they are going to need to build some radical new features for its upcoming consoles. Releasing something slightly better or slightly more gimmicky than the competitors is not going to work for them. They need to pull out another “Wii”, and by that I don’t mean just another Wii successor. I mean they need to change the gaming landscape the same way they did when they first launched the Wii.
I’m increasingly more certain that they can only do that with some kind of cutting edge VR or AR technologies (I’d be on VR, unless they have something really cool in mind for their Nintendo-specific games that would be a lot more appropriate for cutting edge AR than for cutting edge VR).
I’d say these are their only two options right now, unless they know of an even more cutting edge gaming technology that nobody else is aware it could come to market in the next few years. But other than that, chances are the rest will be just gimmicks that won’t help them succeed in the market, especially when alternatives like Oculus Rift for PCs are coming out.