Nintendo's Future Business Plan

This is entirely rumor and speculation. There is no fact here, simply opinion.

Nintendo is doing it again, they are doing the smart thing from a business standpoint. They are releasing four of their major franchises within the span of the first year of the Wii's lifespan (Zelda, Metroid, Mario, Smash Brothers) in order to get a larger install base for their system. This will help third parties feel confident that a more "hardcore game" can sell on the system and the install base will be huge right out of the gate.

At the same time the company is starting to build an install base of "casual gamers" by releasing new and old franchises (Wii Sports, Big Brain Academy, WiiPlay) to allow them to make more money then they even know what to do with. Big Brain Acedemy is essentially the same game as the DS version with an added "sort of" online mode and the game cost the same as a full priced Wii game, $50. The DS version only cost $20 new and they are essentially the same game for a different system. Not only does the game cost more but it is currently still in the top five for game sales in the UK and Japan. If you can't see where I'm going with this then let me say it straight out: Nintendo makes far more money on a "casual" game than they do on a "hardcore" game that sells the exact same number of units. The reason for this is they can pump out a game that sells the same but costs them a much smaller amount of money, not to mention time. I would be willing to bet that Nintendo could design five Big Brain Academy type games in the same time it would take them to make a Zelda. So essentially, they could make 5 times the money by switching to "casual" games.

What they are going to rely far more on, but not entirely, going into the next few years of the Wii's lifespan is larger third party support. They are going to be banking on the Capcoms, the EAs, the Ubisofts, and the other smaller guys to create these "hardcore" games while they sit back and rake in the dough with "casual" games.