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'Largely ignored' kids market could be Nintendo's golden goose

Intelligence outfit DFC believes Nintendo is well placed to capitalise on the "tremendous opportunity" presented by the under-12 market, described by the group as the "lost console generation."

Intelligence outfit DFC believes Nintendo is well-placed to capitalize on the "tremendous opportunity" presented by the under-12 market, described by the group as the "lost console generation."

The firm says Nintendo is the natural fit for that market, as many of its IPs are already child-friendly.

The Wii U failed to carve out a significant share of the current console market, putting pressure on Nintendo to make its next console, codenamed "NX," a big success.

DFC said the Wii U's lukewarm reception in the kids market is laced with irony, given that compared to the PS4 and Xbox One, it's one of the only dedicated consoles remotely aimed at kids. 

"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," reads a DFC dossier.

"Sony's PlayStation 4, and to a lesser extent the Microsoft Xbox One, have done very well targeting a core gamer audience this console generation. These systems have really been about game developers creating the type of games that they want to play."

A major hurdle keeping from Nintendo fully capturing the kids market is competition from ubiquitous mobile devices, which have games that are highly-popular among young audiences. Nintendo has partnered with mobile game developer DeNA on mobile games, and plans on releasing more games for mobile in the future, on top of its core console business.

But DFC says that competing in the wider mobile game market isn't the answer for Nintendo. "Nintendo’s efforts in the world of generic smartphone and tablet apps is a minor distraction to the real issue," says DFC. "The opportunity for Nintendo is to create a quasi-mobile/console device that is easy to use for both children and adults alike."

You can find the complete dossier over on the DFC website

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