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By Shawn Tempesta

We all remember growing up with a Nintendo Entertainment System. The Mecca of all gaming machines that gave us Super Mario Brothers, Duck Hunt, Excitebike, Mickey Mousecapade, Metroid, Zelda (I cannot stop typing these, so many classics).

“In the day” they went up against Sega’s Genesis with an equally powered Super Nintendo. Then look Playstation to task with the Nintendo 64.

Well, lately Nintendo seems to have lost it’s way, opting against great graphics that even younger players yearn for, depending instead on it’s Intellectual Property (see Mario) to sell under-powered systems. And it finally bit them.

According to a report by Nikkei, Nintendo plans to stop manufacturing the Wii U (yeah, that system you may have JUST bought for your kid a few months ago… or maybe Santa got one for them). The system under-sold, true “gamers” scoffed at it, and despite the public’s love of Mario and Mario Kart, the prospect of spending $350 for a lackluster system that only played a few great games did not appeal to many.

Sega had the same issue many years ago. After a ton of success with the Sega Genesis, the company released a REAL stinker of a system, the Sega Saturn. The system crashed and burned. Their next system, Sega Dreamcast, was actually pretty incredible for it’s time, but by then it was too late. The company lost the faith of the people, and the company stopped making systems, instead opting to license out it’s IP: Sonic. That’s when Sonic and Mario started playing each other.

Nintendo faces the same fate if a new system, the rumored Nintendo NX, doesn’t make waves immediately. If that system falls flat, look for Mario and friends to make it to Xbox, Playstation and mobile sooner rather than later.

As a parent it makes investing in a system for your kids a frightening prospect. Will there even be a system to come? Will it just be apps on their phone you need to worry about? Possibly. It’s certainly a far less expensive proposition.

Makes me long for the days of blowing in a cartridge.


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