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.