Nintendo Is ‘Already On Track To Become Primarily A Software Company’

Bing Gorden, a former veteran at EA and a board member of several large companies including Amazon and Zynga, believes that Nintendo is well on its way to becominga software only company. While Gorden admits that Nintendo make exceptionally good games, he still foresees them going the software only route.

What do you think of the Wii U’s chances this Christmas and beyond, especially facing tablets like the Nexus 7 for $199 that are pretty good game devices? Is that going to make it tough for the Wii U?

I think Nintendo’s already on track to become primarily a software company. We saw that with Sega back in the day; Sega made some missteps and became primarily a software company. Nintendo hasn’t really made missteps, Nintendo probably has better creative talent and better leadership now than Sega did. It’s got the most robust business model, the best creative talent; Miyamoto’s still the best in the business. Apple’s most directly competitive with Nintendo. So far, when Miyamoto makes a perfect game, in his career he makes games worth $200 – it’s worth buying a system for. I think the handheld is going to be under a lot of pressure. I can imagine a day when Nintendo wonders – and maybe it’s generational change – when Nintendo wonders if they ought to take some of their best games and make them apps.

That will be an interesting evolution to watch.

That will be stunning. Neither Apple or Nintendo – both those companies like control – is likely to want a partnership, but a partnership would be stunningly cool. I think if you’re Nintendo, as long as Miyamoto’s coming to work, you can sustain a proprietary platform. He’s that good.

113 thoughts on “Nintendo Is ‘Already On Track To Become Primarily A Software Company’”

    1. This guy clearly doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Nintendo already IS primarily a software company. They primarily make games, so since he felt he had to state the obvious, then he’s not doing so well.

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    2. Why does everyone worry about being first or not. your suppose to make a comment for the sake of stating an opinion. Not boasting about your quick posting skills. It doesn’t matter what place your in. This isn’t a Contest! And that’s my opinion.

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    1. Thats not even remotely right… only the portable handhelds like 3DS are in competition with tablets. As far as home consoles like Wii U or even PS3 and 360 are not remotely in competition for apple, tablets ect. because its on the big screen and has far more engaging titles.

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      1. i agree but lol did he mention nexus 7. first off games on phones and tablets sucks and the game play controls are horrible. tablets are dying nobody cares about that crap its nothing but a dumb down pc with with no usb or dvd support .i really never saw a purpose for a tablet when you have laptops pc’s and macbooks

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    2. And you know this because of your extensive experience as a business analysts? Years of service in the game development industry?

      Oh wait… you’re just some punk kid on an Internet website.

      Got it.

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    1. they already said that they would destroy their IPs and no one would get them on another system if they stopped making hardware. I back them on this- these guys are just hoping Nintendo would put mario on there platforms

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  1. “Nexus 7, pretty good game devices.” Lmao hard. He just hopes Nintendo don’t try to steal some consumers from the tablet market. It shouldn’t, folks will buy Wii U mainly for the games, not much of that other bullcrap.

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  2. Oh look, another person who makes shit phone apps, and believes that mobile gamin is the future. Shut up, you prat, of course you’re goin to say stuff like that, you work in that business -___-

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  3. “Even when we were going to launch the Wii system, there were a lot of voice saying ‘Nintendo should stop making hardware.’”The reasoning behind that was Nintendo would not have any chance against Microsoft and Sony. The fact of the matter was: I did not think Nintendo should compete against these companies with the same message and same entertainment options for people.” – Nintendo president Satoru Iwata speaking to Gamasutra.

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    1. Exactly. Ive never met anyone whos had both a ps3 and 360, its either one of the other (normally a 360, then its break 4 times and they buy a ps3). But nintendo is always that partnet console, people always say, ive have this, and a wii. It’ll be the same, even if the WiiU turns out in the same position as the wii, it’ll still be bought. But since the DS, the games have been made to make full use of the console. From the NES to the GC, its been pretty standard, back then, the whole “nitendo should software only” would make a bit of sense, but then DS and Wii came, and now the games cannot go to software only, because theyre designed with the console in mind, normally so well, that playing it any other way would just be boring.

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      1. I have both but only because my 360 got rrod like thrice before switching to PS3. Then I managed to buy the kit to fix my 2 360 (One didn’t make it). Now I have all three consoles, the least used one is the 360 because that’s a ticking time bomb and I’m not gonna risk my saved games on that.

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  4. I used to download tons of apps on my ipad but now I can’t stand touch screen 3d games on there. Puzzle games are great but other than that mobile gaming sucks. I just want Nintendo to fully reveal everything about the WiiU seeing as we’re just a few months away til its release.

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  5. Why does everyone try to compare Nintendo with Sega in regards to going software-only? The day when Nintendo is near bankruptcy is when they’ll probably stop making hardware. Sega stopped making hardware because they couldn’t afford to do so and were on the verge of bankruptcy. The Dreamcast mainly lasted a little longer than it would have due to Isao Okawa personally paying off some of the company’s debt with his own money. Nintendo’s not anywhere near that situation.

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  6. First of all, it took SEGA literally YEARS to get out of the console race. SEGA had MULTIPLE systems that failed, just about 7 including the SEGA Master System, SEGA CD, Sega Saturn, Sega Genesis, etc. If that’s true at all, it will take Nintendo YEAAAARS to give up. And most likely, they won’t, because unlike Microsoft and Sony, Nintendo actually cares and listen to their fans and grants their wishes. That’s what we’re looking for in console manufactures and software manufactures. Bing Gordon, you obviously need to THINK about what you say before you go out and say it. I bet he go for Microsoft anyway, his first name is even the name of their search engine. I bet anyone money that if you asked him about the 720, he’ll be all over Microsoft’s cock. IMO

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  7. what the fuck is that moron talking about. he sounds like another turd who desperately wants nintendo to quit making consoles and make fucking stupid apps and ruin themselves. and the nerve of that asshole comparing the wiiu to a fucking android tablet.

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  8. Somebody tell this Bing idiot to FUCK OFF!

    What sort of fucked-up name is Bing, anyway?

    Hey, Dinner is in the microwave … BING …. Foods ready!

    FUCKING WHACK-JOB HONKY MOTHERFUCKER

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  9. This guy obviously didn’t read Nintendo’s statement that they will NEVER got full software.
    He’s an ignorant fool and should be ashamed of his lack of research before making such a statement.

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        1. They aren’t doing paid DLC. Unless you’re referring to them making games available as a physical and digital, downloadable copy.

          And that isn’t DLC. It’s another way for the consumer to get their game.

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        2. There’s a gigantic difference between Paid DLC, which is a smart business move if done right, and going full software, which is not a smart business move for Nintendo.
          They’ve already stated that if they are ever forced out of the console races that their IP’s would DIE WITH THEM.
          That’s a promise I think we can bank on, especially considering all of the slander the competitors who want their IP’s have tossed at them over the years.
          Nintendo would NEVER want them to get their hands on Nintendo-1st-party titles after all that crap.

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          1. Also, I do not remember Nintendo ever stating that they would not do Paid DLC in the future. Just that they would not charge for their BASIC online services. But even if they are going back on half of that for the sake of profit, it’s not as if it’s some sort of taboo being broken.

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  10. Mario with phone touch-screen controls? Fuck that. The major reason people hate phone games is because of the controls. They are awful. Nintendo should never stop making games on handhelds, because there is no reason for them to stop. Phones do NOT have such a significant effect on hardware sales as everyone is making it out to be, the 3DS, a system in the middle of the smart phone era, is outselling the DS at the same point in its lifespan, a system where smartphones were no mainstream yet. Screw smart phone gaming.

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  11. I think TechReviewUSA said it best: Nintendo didn’t release 2 unsuccessful add-ons to a console, a new console suddenly after the second before developers were ready and then ditch that platform for a new one. Oh, and a handheld that didn’t capture the Game Boy market.

    SEGA lost the trust of the industry by consistently being a loose cannon, never really committing to their present hardware. By the time Dreamcast rolled around, it was too late to get developers back from Playstation. Putting all that money into Shenmue didn’t help, either. Nintendo are still far from being in SEGA’s position as a console maker, and they certainly use their familiarity w/ their hardware to produce most of the best games on their system.

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      1. Agreed that it’s very sad. I didn’t play w/ Dreamcast much, but I enjoyed the times I did. I also had many good years playing Genesis at my aunt & uncle’s place (they had a SEGA CD, so I got to play Night Trap).

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    1. I forgot to mention SEGA’s poor decisions over multiple generations cost them sales, and that poor financial state by the time of Dreamcast was only exacerbated by all the money they put into Shenmue.

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  12. The president of Nintendo already stated his “disgust” will people saying they should stop making hardware because they can’t really compete others. The president also stated that Nintendo isn’t trying to compete with anyone. They make innovative systems and games because they want to bring new, innovative ideas to gamers. That’s their main goal. People don’t understand that.

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  13. Why is everyone picking on Nintendo? Sony is doing worse with their Vita and game releases so why not pick on them?

    Oh wait, people think Nintendo isn’t “Hip” enough… modern society is going down the shittier faster than you can say “BOO”.

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    1. I don’t think people realize how bad sales are for the Vita. I mean, the PSP is -still- outselling it. Whereas the 3DS has sold more than the DS in it’s time in retail than the DS did.

      And as for people picking on Nintendo, it’s probably because Nintendo is trying to be a more innovative company; and aren’t trying to be another cookie cutter video game company. Personally I applaud Nintendo for bringing fresh, new ideas to the world of gaming. It’s refreshing.

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  14. There games wouldn’t work. Nintendo makes consoles so they can make games that fit that console. If they made games for other devices then they would be limited to that device’s hardware and I don’t think they would ever do that. I mean if they did that, who would Sony and Microsoft take their ideas from.

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    1. They’re comparing the Wii U’s gamepad to a tablet. The other guy then goes on to talk about the 3DS and its competition with Smart devices. Overall, the Wii U/tablet comparison makes some sense when you think about it in the eyes of a “casual” gamer. While we know what the Wii U is, others will see the gamepad and think “This kinda looks like my phone or tablet. Why should I buy this over something else?” without realize what the Wii U can do.

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  15. This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. People always say that they buy Nintendo systems to play Nintendo games so wouldn’t it be good for the consumers to be able to play the games without having to buy the systems too? I know they make unique ways to play like the Wii remote and Gamepad but I doubt people would stop playing their games if they had to use regular controllers. Plus I think it’d be a good way to get people who don’t like Nintendo hardware to buy Nintendo software. Nintendo are financially and creatively better than Sega so I don’t think they’d have the same problems as them. They’re also well known so I’m sure they’d have no problem finding a home for their games while keeping their creative freedoms.

    I’m not saying I want Nintendo to go software only with their console games, but I don’t think it’d be a bad thing if they made handheld systems and console software only. Would you all stop playing their games if they went software only?

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    1. Good to see someone with some sense. I agree, nintendo going the software only route would not be that bad; I can also imagine sony and microsoft fighting over nintendo for exclusivity deals (sony + nintendo *drools* ).

      Nah forget that, lets just hate on the guy because he has a different opinion!

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    2. Actually, I almost gave up on gaming because I was tired of playing with regular controllers. I lost the love for gaming. Then the Wii gave me something different and the love came back. If Nintendo would have went software only last gen. I wouldn’t still be a gamer today. It was getting old and stale. Each gen was about better graphics and an extra button and it was getting old for me. But I’ve been gaming for 30 years. I started when I was 5 so it would get stale for someone like me.

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      1. The feeling is mutual dual analog was terrible the wiimote rejuvenated me as a gamer im motion only now i use classic for classic games been gaming since 85

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    3. maybe not stop playing it.. but the games will stop being, well, not conventional… their games have always fully utilize the extra feature their console has to offer… making it hard to replicate on other console… like skyward sword, it will be not possible to replicate that game on other console, had sony didn’t invented the psmove few years back, you can only experience it on the wii… or maybe some games like the nintendoland… can you experience it on other console? no way…

      nintendo had to bring out their own console… because the other company won’t put the non-conventional control method with their console release… but they put it as optional.. and optional things won’t get much support… it’ll die before you know it… just look at the psmove and kinect games selection… moreover, nintendo has always been to first to do these kind of things, and the other company follow suit… imagine nintendo stopped doing it…

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  16. Keep dreaming, dude. It ain’t gonna happen aytime soon. Is Apple sweating Nintendo now because the Wii U has a tablet controller? Don’t worry Apple, it’s 2 completely different markets. Leave luck to heaven.

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    1. finally someone that understand it! Just because WiiU GamePad has a touchscreen it doesn’t mean that it’s competing with the tablets! Why can’t they understand it? Why?

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  17. If you’ve heard 1 single statement from Nintendo, you know they’ll never become a software company. Every system they create is made for their games, and their characters are rarely ever used on anything that doesn’t have a big, fat Nintendo logo. Furthermore, as a true console gaming company, Nintendo repeatedly affirms that they have no desire to put Mario on smart phones or tablets, nor any other Nintendo character. This guy has the same stupid, unfounded cynicism that Patcher has been flaunting all these years.

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    1. I feel compelled to do hardware reviews now in addition to my game reviews just to prove how great Nintendo consoles are.

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  18. Why is everyone comparing the WiiU to tablets? Just because WiiU has a touchscreen, it doesn’t mean that it’s a tablet. it’s still a console, for true games. I’m not saying that the mobile games aren’t good. They are pretty good, I love Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja. I’m just saying that those aren’t “THE” games

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  19. Hope so… That’s the only reason why I keep purchasing Nintendo systems… To play there games I can’t play anywhere else. Ever since Iwata took office nintendo has gone down miserably.

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  20. maybe we should get the troll hunters to pay all these trolls a visit, give me a break some these people just hope that Nintendo become software only. I don’t think it will happen any time soon, mainly these people have vested interests and non of them have Nintendo in them

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  21. the bigshots keep forgetting that the apple ios devices mostly has games catered to non-gamers, they spend money an time on fremium games such as farmville and words with friends. Not Zelda or Mario. Its a different market. This freemium model might become a fad, who knows. One thing is certain as long as there is a core audience for game consoles, they will be made.

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  22. Another racist. Just because they cannot say it and Nintendo butt hurts their beloved front court mascot xbox they want Nintendo to be a software company only. How about xbox line becomes a software company only. That way no brainwashed idiots will be on gaming consoles. Wise and smart people will get my point.

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  23. All of these big wigs want Nintendo to go software only so they only have to pay $5 to play one of their games rather than buy a system… well too freakin’ bad. Or at least that’s all I get from them.

    Seriously why don’t any of these people say anything about Microsoft’s or Sony’s IPs? Is it because Nintendo has the biggest amount, most diverse, and highly acclaimed IPs versus other developers? It’s not like they would get more money by doing it, in fact they would LOSE money because now they have to share their profit with someone else. Going that route is the DUMBEST business decision I’ve ever heard, especially when they’re making a butt load of cash already. It would only be beneficial if their hardware business crashed, which it hasn’t.

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  24. As much as i love Nintendo, i would be grateful to see every software company united under one console

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    1. then we might see how much the money grabbers will charge for it 800 maybe even 1000 for a console. na competition helps in keeping prices low and helps in product development. I say just look at apple they have a captive market of disciples and look hot much they charge for a mac

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  25. I seriously don’t understand this whole concept of tablet/mobile gaming taking away from, or being considered competition for handheld systems, let alone console systems. These analysts need to get a grip on reality. The only reason Angry Birds has sold as many games as it has, is due to the fact that it’s available on internet browsers, phones and tablets, which make up hundreds of millions of devices. It’s comparable to Minesweeper or Solitaire. Popular time wasters that are easily accessible and dirt cheap.

    Real gamers aren’t going to be satisfied with only the likes of Angry Birds or Cut the Rope, and will purchase consoles or handheld systems to get their gaming fixes. Even high end games on the iphone like Resident Evil 4 and Infinity blade, aren’t anywhere near a console experience. People who are satisfied with farmville, would never have purchased a gaming system in the first place, but they need cell phones/tablets/computers for their daily lives, and therefore decide to get a few cheap games to keep them busy in dull moments. They are not gamers. This generation of consoles has sold more combined than the last generation, even with iphones and ipads.

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  26. WHO CARES WHAT A HOMO DICK SUCKING ILLUMINATI PIECE OF MONKEY SHIT SAYS HE NEEDS TO GO PUT A GUN TO HIS TEMPLE AND BLOW THE SACK OF SCUM HE CALLS A BRAIN ONTO HIS RUGS

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  27. Nintendo will make consoles for many years to come. Perhaps one day they will become strictly software, but that wont happen for a VERY long time. So long in fact that we might not even be alive for it…

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  28. Please. Nintendo will never stop making hardware. I love their consoles as well as their games. Don’t forget that the NES saved the video game market in the 80s. He probably just wants mario on other systems. Keep dreaming. Nintendo Forever!

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  29. Although I don’t believe Nintendo will fall anytime soon, Nintendo should really stop relying on Miyamoto all the time, It sometimes appears as if he is the only one with the brains in all the world of Nintendo that can come up with new IPs…

    Give others a chance and when they get the chance advertise it as much as his games.
    It’s funny how all these men that “hates” Nintendo always looks and behaves like stupid republicans.

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  30. Aeolus likes to suck off monkey dicks, and the monkey is Icy Dead People, and they also seem to be a idiots says:

    Guess why he works for Zynga and Amazon, one of which has nothing to do with games apart from selling them, and one of which makes some of the worst games out there (As if Farmville is a good game, lol.).

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  31. A partnership would be stunningly sad….
    Because the day a partnership comes between Apple and Nintendo is the day I will stop playing Nintendo games.

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    1. I don’t think that there is any danger of that happening any time soon :)
      Nintendo has been around for over 100 years and the have been making video gaming devises since te late 70’s. it is more these companies won’t access to Nintendo software. so what they won’t to do is to sow the seed of doubt in the consumer, it a very cheep shot.

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  32. I would love to see that Nintendo has to stop making consoles and will survive as a third party software publisher/developer company. And the old Nintendo IPs will never out at all, and also make games for PS4, Xbox 720, Ouya, Steam Box and the new Apple & Google video game consoles & the new Xbox handheld system & maybe the PS Vita.

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