Nintendo has always been a well-known figure in the video game industry. The company is credited with bringing gaming back into a viable industry following the crash of the ’80s. It has always been on the forefront of innovation and technical excellence, and was practically synonymous with “video gaming.” My how times have changed.
Today, Nintendo is not the power it once was. Sony’s Playstation has captured most of the market and while Nintendo currently enjoys financial success brought on by Pokemon, many industry experts view Pokemon as a passing fad, doomed to go the way of Tamagotchi and others like it.
So is Nintendo in trouble? In the words of the venerable eight-ball, “all signs point to yes.” Here’s why.
(Please note, the majority of this editorial is based on rumor and conjecture, and therefore shouldn’t be taken as absolute truth, but merely opinion)
Rumor has it that back when Sega Dreamcast was announced, both Sony and Nintendo were working on their new systems which were far superior to Sega’s machine. The two companies had a relatively easy time at it, considering the amount of information that was available about the Dreamcast in the year prior to its announcement. The rumor goes on to state that Nintendo was ready to announce its new system, but Sony beat them to the punch.
Some time before the official Playstation 2 announcement, Ken Kutaragi went on record saying that Sony wanted to create an experience that was closer to film than games were in their current form. Many theories were forwarded about what Kutaragi meant, the most popular of which was that Playstation 2 would feature amazing graphics capability and would be able to render a movie like Toy Story in real time. This particular theory was hotly debated, and there was much skepticism about its feasibility, given the state of 3D graphics at the time. However, most experts were willing to give Sony the benefit of the doubt, and shortly after the Dreamcast announcement, Sony unveiled Playstation 2, which proved the theory true.
The Playstation 2 was way ahead in terms of technology. Way more ahead than Nintendo had expected, and the rumor says that Nintendo was sent scrambling back to the drawing board in an attempt to put together a system that was superior to, or at least on par with, Sony’s offering.
Although this was all just rumor, several pieces of evidence serve to corroborate it, including, most importantly, Nintendo’s silence on Dolphin’s capabilities, and the constant delays the system is facing. After all, with the exception of Microsoft, none of Nintendo’s competitors can possibly change the specs of their systems, and Nintendo’s president himself considers Microsoft to be a minor threat, if any.