Nintendo: Analysts Discuss Nintendo’s Failed Online Strategy And Project Cafe

We are all aware that Nintendo’s online offerings have been lacking in comparison to Sony’s PlayStation Network and Microsofts Xbox Live but will Nintendo be able to set things right with Project Cafe? Well, a number of games industry analysts have grouped together to discuss such a subject. Here’s what they have to say with regards to Nintendo’s online offerings and what we can expect from Project Cafe.

“Nintendo’s online strategy to date has been terrible. This is where Nintendo needs to completely turn around. Nintendo cannot afford to be last in online. DLC is necessary, but on its own is not the solution. I don’t think following the App Store is a good strategy at all. Apple’s approach is a volume game and a race to the bottom — quantity not quality. Dedicated handhelds and video game consoles have got to re-invent online gaming. Angry Birds is fine for the mainstream and priced for it. Hardcore gamers deserve better and won’t get it unless they pay for it.” — M2 Research analyst Billy Pidgeon.

“Nintendo has completely whiffed online, and I’m not sure if they will ever get it right. It’s ridiculous to speculate about when they will wake up and seize the opportunity, they appear years away.” — Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter.

“I don’t necessarily believe the mainstream market has opened itself up to DLC quite yet. It is going to take some time for the mainstream culture to accept and be open to the idea of DLC. I don’t necessarily believe any type of level based expansion pack would be successful. Of course, this has a lot to do with how many hurdles a network throws in front of a customer to make a DLC purchase happen. Simply put, for DLC to be effective among the mainstream, the purchase and install process has to be seamless.” — EEDAR’s Jesse Divnich.

“In several Parks Associates consumer studies, we asked consumers if their consoles are connected to the Internet and how they use their connected consoles. Unsurprisingly, the Wii has always trailed the other two. I think that’s a huge missed opportunity that would generate a lot of revenue if Nintendo does it right. The company needs to generate interest and make it user-friendly. On the positive side, more and more consumers are used to the idea of downloading apps on their phones and tablets. That helps with selling any type of digital content, including downloadable content on consoles.” — Parks Associates’ Pietro Macchiarella.

“Nintendo has had a history of making proprietary planned obsolete services and products. They like to see their competitors make mistakes before they jump into emerging technologies. The benefit of the pathetic Wii online experience is that they have not had to deal with a hacker attack like their Japanese counterpart, Sony. They are a lot like Apple in the sense that they wait for their competitors to stumble before they go in for the kill. The fact that Wii was able to outsell both Xbox 360 and PS3 without a viable online strategy is an achievement in my opinion. Although it has undoubtedly limited the longevity of the system. I am not sure if DLC is in Mario’s future but the potential for Pokemon or Nintendogs DLC is unlimited. As long as they can control it, I am sure DLC is in the cards for some first party Project Cafe titles.” — Asif Khan of Panoptic Management Consultants.



  1. Maybe online just really isn’t Nintendo’s thing? I wouldn’t buy a Nintendo console expecting an Xbox Live type system, but then again I wouldn’t want to PAY for Live myself.

    I believe that Nintendo will improve their online in time, but I think that people both wanting and expecting a massive turn-around and vast online features from Nintendo are seriously fooling themselves.

  2. i have a feeling that preject cafe will be a great improvement in online service. still probably won’t be as good as xbox live. but it will be thousands of times better than the wii’s current online.

    1. I want DLC!! Let’s say Skyward Sword has DLC with another temple and some awesome backstory. That would be great! It lets Nintendo keep working on parts of the game after its published.

    2. For the 360/Wii DLC makes sense, because the disc size is relatively small. But for the PS3 (with a disc size 6 times competitors’ discs), DLC is just a way for a developer to make more cash.

  3. Pachter’s quote is the shortest and the one that says the least. On second thought, it says absolutely nothing at all. That said, it’s as if Pachter didn’t even have a first thought when he said that.

    …I suppose what I’m trying to say is, guy’s a moron.

  4. Ik think Asaf Kahn is in the right line of thinking here. Nintendo always uses experience (albeit from other companies sometimes) and tried and tested formulas to gain the upper hand. People blame them for milking existing IP’s and not being up to future standards but from a business point of view it is the profitable road to take. It also helps deliver a product that has quality and durability written all over it. One of the reasons they are choosing to go HD now is because the numbers of HD tv’s arround the globe is increasing rappidly most last generation CRT tv’s are breaking down and are being replaced. It’s very sound thinking of Nintendo to go HD with Café this “late”.
    As for online it’s the same principle, the mainstream is just getting used to buy apps and games thru e-shops and online services. I think a lot of gamers will be surprised how seamlessly Nintendo will blend in the online content. If i take a look at the 3DS and the availlable DLC for a game like DOA:D it litteraly is seamless, it downloads itself, it tells the user where to look and how to use it, you even get a message explaining what to expect (wich you can opt out of). For people who don’t game 24/7 and aren’t using a smartphone, this is the way to go. Now bring on the E-Shop and show us you damn well know how to do online Nintendo! P.S. got a little carried away there XD

  5. “download content” is a bunch of bullshit and not worth anyone’s time, if it doesn’t change the story then I don’t give a shit.

  6. You know for once, I (sort of) agree with Pachter. Nintendo has not got it right at all. I feel… disappointed with the Wii’s offerings after playing Xbox for so many years. While I adore the Wii’s games and would pick it over Xbox anyday, I can’t help but think, wouldn’t the Wii be so much better with an Xbox Live style online…

    And while I love the 3DS too, they haven’t improved the online with it. A friends list with no way of interaction between friends is like a chocolate teapot. I suppose though, it IS a step in the right direction but a very small one.

  7. Brawl would have been so much better had it had a good online system. Mariokart’s, they got right. I think many of the games would have been much better had they had an online component (Wii Sports, Wii Play, …). I don’t expect something like live, but I do agree this area has much room for improvement.

    I did see an article on another site with Reggie or some other Nintendo executive stating that Nintendo wants to improve the online experience on this next console. Let’s just hope it’s available at launch and not 3 months later though.

  8. This Asif Khan guy is exactly right- he seems to actually understand why Nintendo is successful, unlike the idiot Pachter, who every couple of weeks starts screaming “OMG NINTENDO ISN’T DOING WHAT I WANT THEY’RE DOOMED!!!1!!”

  9. I really hope Nintendo brings a good system that can be easily accessable for online play and better friend codes.

  10. This is pretty much all true. I have only owned Nintendo systems since i was 5, but i have had a lot of experience with the Xbox Live and Sony’s online gameplay. Nintendo really REALLY needs to get their A** in gear if they don’t want to get blown over like they did to Sega (and i guess Atari too). Nintendo needs to ge that people want DECENT online gaming, (it’s ok but, cmon guys). However, Nintendo has the biggest franchises of anybody, and that will keep it running for at least 10-15 more years, if they get pokemon and zelda on a REALLY GOOD online Console, it’s over, they won forever. but, inevitably, EVERYTHING will be online in 10 years, so they need something good FAST.

    1. Dude, no matter how crappy you think his opinions are they’re just opinions. Just don’t click on articles with the word “analyst” on them, and you won’t have to see his comments.

  11. Didn’t Iwata admit that the Wii’s online wasn’t sufficient? And furhtermore, I can’t think of very many games that would work well online in the same sense as Xbob and PS3. Although, if I know Nintendo, they won’t be too late if they can do something to blow customers’ minds with online.

  12. I honestly think DLC is a rip off. When a game’s DLC is up the day the game is, that’s just the company taking something out of the game to sell it separately online for more cash. And I like how Nintendo’s not all hardcore about their online features. There’s no way in HELL I’d be paying for a Live account, and Nintendo’s wifi system is free- which works just fine for me. I also don’t have good enough internet to support a wireless connection to the game system anyway (Damn parents being cheap and only getting me dial-up…), so I suppose this issue doesn’t entirely pertain to me.

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  14. Project Cafe: The Return of Nintendo, sorry had to make like a Star Wars reference there :P, I think Nintendo will get online right this time around, as long as they keep support in for Wii games, I don’t wanna have to keep my Wii to play the Wii games online, make this happen Nintendo

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