Nintendo NX could find wider success by targeting the “largely ignored” under-12 age group, according to DFC Intelligence.
The market research company see Nintendo being positioned with a “tremendous opportunity” to capitalise on the situation, given Sony’s PlayStation 4 attracting a mature audience and Microsoft’s “multiple missteps with Xbox One.” That has resulted in a “lost console generation,” which are well suited for Nintendo to attract given their family-friendly approach.
“One of the ironies of the latest generation of console systems is how children under the age of 12 have been largely ignored,” DFC writes. “The Nintendo Wii U is the only dedicated system remotely targeted at kids and it has been a failure. Twenty years ago many casual outside observers viewed children as the ONLY market for video games. The fact that console systems can thrive without targeting a younger audience speaks volumes to how the industry has grown. However, it also highlights a major missed opportunity.
“Arguably Sony and Microsoft don’t need younger gamers and can simply rely on the trickle down effect where kids come on board several years into the lifecycle. Really it is hard to point to major specific new generation games targeted for kids outside of LEGO titles and toys to life products. Furthermore, these products play fine on older console generations and do not really justify an investment in expensive new hardware.
“Of course, the company that has had the greatest success with targeting children is Nintendo. Nintendo is currently in a holding status until they can launch a new console system but the company has a real opportunity to reinvent the groundwork in the game space by introducing an easy to use system that targets the entire family.”
With PlayStation 4 and Xbox One being “targeted towards sophisticated gamers,” it means that Nintendo could strike success as they did with Wii by delivering a console that doesn’t choose to sacrifice ease of use.
DFC continues, “The original beauty of the console business was a kid could push a button and in seconds be playing games. In the current generation, that appeal has been lost and the immediacy of being able to play games is now found on Apple devices, the Nintendo DS and even PC games. Of course, it is not only kids that want to get in and out of games as fast as possible. Apple, Supercell, King Entertainment and other major growth stories are all about giving consumers quick access to games.
“The current hole in the market for accessible high-end games that are NOT on Apple devices could be a real opportunity for Nintendo. Nintendo really helped pioneer the easy in and out accessibility that is a major appeal of Apple devices. Of course, saying there is an opportunity and doing something about it are two different things. The market is ready for an easy to use system that targets the family. The question is will Nintendo be able to capitalize on what is clearly a major vacuum in the game space.”
Their lengthy discussion closes, “The unveiling of the Nintendo NX will of course be the next major hardware news story in the game industry. Many observers are rightly skeptical of Nintendo’s chances. DFC also believes Nintendo is a dark horse. However, we truly believe that there is a major market void that creates a huge opportunity for Nintendo. Poor recent execution has not been encouraging but the opportunity to turn things around is clearly there.”