Nintendo has been a staple of gamers’ lives for decades. Mario is one of the most iconic characters in history. Pokémon has enchanted people’s childhoods (and adulthoods) since the ’90s. Whether you grew up playing NES, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Gamecube, or Wii, there’s a good chance the Mario company holds a place in your heart. But lately, Nintendo has made some bad decisions. We’ve already looked at why everyone is angry at Nintendo. But since then, fans have racked up even more reasons to be pissed at Nintendo.
Here’s what Nintendo has been doing wrong, and what it can do to fix it.
1. Severe inventory problems
If you’re a Nintendo fan, there’s a good chance you’d like to buy an NES Classic. The mini console comes with 30 awesome games built into it and only costs $60. Unfortunately for you, they’re out of stock everywhere, and when a retailer gets a shipment, they sell out in seconds.
That means Nintendo is either making too few machines on purpose to create false scarcity (which is a crappy thing to do to fans) or it failed to predict how successful it would be (which would mean Nintendo is bad at its job). Neither of these scenarios is good for gamers, and gamers are pissed.
This isn’t a new problem, either. The Wii was nearly impossible to find in stores for years after it launched. Popular Amiibos went out of stock and never came back. Pokémon Go Plus wristbands are nowhere to be found. Heck, ever since Black Friday, the 3DS has been out of stock everywhere, and that system’s been around since 2012. Nintendo needs to fix its supply chain problems before it does irreparable damage to its relationship with fans.
2. Super Mario Run backlash
In 2016, Nintendo finally caved and did the inevitable: It started making games on smartphones. Pokémon Go was a worldwide phenomenon, so people had high expectations for Super Mario Run. Unfortunately, many people suffered sticker shock when they found out it cost $10 to unlock the full game. That caused many people to pepper the user reviews with one-star ratings, sending Nintendo’s stock on a downward slide after the game’s release.
Nintendo isn’t the only company to sell its mobile games at premium prices (*cough* Square Enix), but it does indicate a certain tone-deafness on Nintendo’s part.
3. Wii U’s early demise
Relatively few people bought a Wii U (about 13 million), which is why Nintendo sent it to an early grave to work on the Nintendo Switch. But if you were one of the diehard fans with a Wii U, you’re probably not pleased to see Nintendo abandon the platform roughly three years after releasing it.
Sure, the Wii U has some good games. But seeing as the Wii was around for six years before being supplanted, Nintendo fans thought they’d get more value from the Wii U.
4. The Switch sounds underpowered
The Nintendo Switch will be powered by a modified version of NVIDIA’s Tegra X1 chip. While that may not mean much to the average person, Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry dug into the specs and found that it’s significantly less powerful than a standard PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. (And that’s saying nothing about the PlayStation 4 Pro or upcoming Xbox One Scorpio). What that means is that it’s too weak to run most modern AAA games.
A number of third-party developers have signed on to support the Switch, but don’t be surprised if they flee the platform if it doesn’t take off quickly — just as they did with the Wii U.
5. Too many Nintendo ports
If you look at Nintendo’s recent and upcoming software output, you may notice that it’s riddled with ports of other Nintendo games. We’ve gotten updated re-releases of a number of Zelda games, like Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. Super Mario Maker made its way from Wii U to 3DS, and Yoshi’s Woolly World will soon follow. As for the Switch, we already know (or have trustworthy rumors suggesting) that it’s getting souped-up versions of Splatoon, Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros., and Pokémon Sun/Moon.
The big question being: Where are all the new games? Sure, we have The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and a new Mario game coming to Switch, but that’s it. There’s been little to get excited about when it comes to Nintendo games these days.
But there is hope. On January 12, Nintendo will host a major Switch reveal event, laying out a number of games that are either coming at launch or by the end of 2017. Let’s hope Nintendo has some incredible surprises in store for us then. If not, it may lose fans forever.