Dear Nintendo: Just Put Out A Digital-Only Set-Top Box Already

11.26.12 5 years ago 13 Comments

Dear Nintendo:

All of us gamers know you will never let your games escape its ecosystem: Mario, Link, and Pikachu sell consoles, and lots of them. The problem is that the gaming market is rapidly expanding and we can tell you’re not sure of your place in a new mobile world. Sega’s last ten years likely make you shudder with fear.

But you can’t go mobile, because you need to sell consoles. So you need to expand your ecosystem, and start making a set-top box. Here’s why.

They Can Be Built Cheaply And Sold For A Profit.

Seriously. Look at Roku, Vizio, and other set-top boxes. You can put your name on one of these things, Nintendo, and sell it for $150. It doesn’t need a disc drive. It doesn’t even need an elaborate controller. It just needs some USB ports, a decent amount of internal storage, and a rock solid Internet connection.

You Have The Base Of Games People Want To Play.

It is perhaps understandable that you don’t want to be seen as a nostalgia factory, but let’s face it: You haven’t been cultivating much in the way of new franchises, Nintendo. You let Killer Instinct, Banjo Kazooie and Conker slip away to Microsoft. You haven’t exactly been supporting your newer franchises either; it took us how long to get Pikmin 3 again? And you’ve happily been adding games from your past to the eShop.

So why screw around? Put out a box that works exclusively with the eShop and streams video, and spend the money to get as many beloved carts in there as possible. You get two markets that way: Parents who want simple games for children and Netflix when they go to bed, and dorks like me willing to buy Super Mario Bros. 3, again, because it’s great.

You Are A Trusted Name

Here’s the most basic thing, though. Yes, you see yourself as a toy company, but you are a trusted toy company.

Nintendo has been synonymous with consumer electronics for more than two decades. People know Nintendo, they like Nintendo, they trust Nintendo. You don’t want to be Google, you definitely don’t want to be Sony, but you do like selling video games, and this would be a great way to sell games and put yourself in even more living rooms.

So think about it: Remember, dorks and parents have money.

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