It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster month for gaming giant Nintendo
They started off so well with a certain mobile app rearranging the very fabric of society, and ended the month with worrying new console rumours, deflated stocks and the slow death of a gaming favourite.
So what happened? Here’s everything – good and bad – the company has endured in July:
Good: Pokémon Go takes over the world
At the very start of the month, the long-awaited Pokémon Go began taking everyone by surprise, springing up in app stores without much warning and sending the mobile gaming world into a frenzy.
Over 75 million people downloaded the app worldwide, and the game became more popular than Tinder and even Twitter in the US.
The augmented reality experience has had a monumental effect on popular culture in just the few weeks it’s been out, transforming a quick trip to the shops for some milk into a monster hunting adventure for many.
Nintendo’s shares rocketed, buoyed by the success of the app – which looked to have found the company a new lease of life in the mobile market. At one point they were worth more than Sony.
Bad: People work out Nintendo doesn’t own Pokémon Go
But it couldn’t last forever could it? And those that bought into the increasing shares no doubt suffered a nasty shock when those shares plummetted.
The reason for the fall? People worked out that Nintendo wouldn’t directly profit from Pokémon Go‘s success.
Well, they didn’t so much work it out as were “truth bombed” by Nintendo’s honesty.
In a letter to investors, the company admitted that it didn’t develop or publish the game, and its 32% stake in The Pokémon Company – the business that markets and licenses the Pokémon franchise to outside developers – means Nintendo only actually sees a sliver of the game’s revenue.
Good: Nintendo announces a new console… sort of
Nintendo lit up the internet mid-month when they surprise announced a new console. But this wasn’t so much a generational leap in hardware (more on that later) as a nostalgia fuelled, “classic” version of its iconic NES machine.
The palm sized (and stupidly cute looking) console comes pre-loaded with 30 of the consoles’ most classic titles, and while there are no plans to bring more titles to the device, the current list should keep you occupied for a good deal of time.
And the best bit? It’s only about £50 and will be out by Christmas!
Bad: NX details reportedly leak – aren’t what anyone expected
Speculation has been rife about the NX – Nintendo’s next console that is schedule to be available as early as March next year – for months now.
Rumours suggested that we’d be seeing a console way more powerful than anything on the market currently, with graphics unmatched by either the Xbox One or the PS4.
But that is starting to look far from the case.
Unconfirmed details of the new console leaked this past week [via Eurogamer], suggest we’ll be seeing a fully portable machine. Think of the Wii U’s gamepad – with the sides on which the buttons lie being detachable – sitting in a docking station for play on a big screen, and then being removed to be played on the bus to work.
Welcome news for fans of innovation, a worrying development for more traditional gamers; the machine reportedly uses Nvidia’s Tegra mobile processor technology, and will play Nintendo’s mobile games (like Pokémon Go), so won’t nearly be as powerful as some had hoped.
Sad: Nintendo basically confirms the Wii U is dead
In a bizarre move, Nintendo highlighted that the Wii U has been a criminally under-supported console in terms of third party support in the last four years, by releasing a number of interesting figures last night (July 27).
For instance, the NES saw 72 games released in the United States by Nintendo, with a further 590 games coming from third parties. The N64 was 53 to 244, the GameCube 48 to 504, with the Wii boasting a staggering 55 to 1206.
The little ol’ Wii U though? Just 39 Nintendo developed games, with third parties accounting for a mere 118.
These don’t take in to account digital only games, but as one commenter pointed out: “Only seven games (3 ‘Tendo, 4 others) from now till April next year.”
Goodbye Wii U, we loved thee so.