Despite Amiibo Shortages, Nintendo Heads For Holiday Profits
Even the most dedicated Nintendo fan would be hard-pressed to ignore the company's recent woes. Despite the house that Mario built entering the eighth console generation before its competitors, the Wii U hasn't managed to gain the traction a head start would afford. Between a lack of support from outside parties, marketing issues, and the general stigma surrounding the console, Nintendo has an uphill battle to fight if it wants to win over more than just devoted fans. To do that, the company has begun pushing its amiibo figurines - interactive toys that are compatible with Nintendo hardware and affect its software.
While clearly taking inspiration from Skylanders and Disney Infinity, Nintendo has gone on to see successes from its new line - and its games, as well - in spite of unexpected shortages.
Unsatisfied demand has left many wondering if certain lines would be discontinued - a theory debunked by Nintendo of America representative David Young. Given that the amiibo haven't even been on store shelves for a month, it seems far-fetched to assume that customers would be denied. That said, the fact that Amazon has apparently been forced to cancel amiibo pre-orders - on top of retailer-reported shortages - doesn't paint the best picture. It's still a safe bet that Nintendo and its production cohorts will try to fix the situation quickly.
Figurines aside, the gaming company is bringing in both money and goodwill. Thanks to games like Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Mario Kart 8, the console's software library has made a stronger case for purchase; said library is only going to grow as 2015 progresses. It remains to be seen if the upcoming lineup will be enough, but for now Nintendo can find some solace, knowing that it's seeing its highest numbers in years.
It remains to be seen if the company can do something about its persistent problems - again, the lack of third-party support - but at the very least, the Wii U has gained momentum, and the 3DS remains a solid contributor. Still, if Nintendo is going to remain a competitor, it should be - and perhaps will be - by virtue of its games.