The second casualty of the console war
Nintendo chief shows new direction for Mario giant as console war starts to bite.
With aging legend Hiroshi Yamauchi finally out of the frame, Nintendo appeared to make a drastic change of tack yesterday, hinting that, like Sega, the future for the company was in games, as opposed to hardware.
Satoru Iwata, the newly instated president of indisputably the most successful company in games, made a not wholly unexpected move last night from a Tokyo meeting by saying that Nintendo "can't be optimistic about the game market," referring to hardware. "No matter what great product you come up with, people get bored. I feel like a chef cooking for a king who's full," he said.
Many senior sources from all territories have been predicting such a move for months. "The way things are shaping up, this is Nintendo's last hardware," said one, referring to GameCube. "Nintendo's all about the games. You have to ask whether or not they actually need an under-the-TV console for the next hardware generation."
While Nintendo's money continues to roll in – the corporation currently has Ł4.96 billion ($7.25 billion) in the bank – Iwata made the first indication that the world of the games-only console is finally over, pointing towards entertainment systems for the future in the line of Xbox and PlayStation 2. "We're reaching the limits of how far we can appeal to consumers by boosting the machine's performance or providing more compelling graphics and sound," he said.
The new Nintendo stance will send shockwaves through the company's faithful fans. Mario on Xbox? Zelda on PS2? Or possibly a new Nintendo hardware with multimedia capabilities? You already know the answer...