What Happened to Nintendo Co., Ltd (ADR) (NTDOY)? Sony Corporation (SNE), Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)

What about Nintendo’s handheld devices like the 3DS that you can play in the car? Parents can hand their kids a smart phone or a tablet now to keep them entertained. Not to mention, kids can use smart phones and tablets to help with their homework too. Single use portable devices are less and less desirable in today’s market. Most parents are going to maximize usability over arguably better game play on the handheld systems. As games designed for phones and tablets get better and better, handheld gaming systems like the Nintendo 3DS or Sony’s PlayStation Vita will disappear entirely.

How about games, can’t Mario save them? Nintendo is known for its family friendly and engaging games. Mario and his cast of cronies is a big part of that. While Mario is still a popular character, he’s got a lot of competition out there now and since the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 both offer a nice suite of parental controls, there isn’t really a need to spend the extra money on a kids-only console just to play Nintendo’s proprietary games. If Nintendo wants games to save them, they’re going to need to release titles like the beloved Mario games and the beautiful Legend of Zelda games for use on other consoles. Now some would say that would be the end of the console business for Nintendo, but I disagree. There is room to improve what’s currently available in gaming consoles, but the direction they’ve gone is not the way and releasing some of their most beloved titles to other platforms may give them the cash infusion they need to go back to the drawing board.

While some might see Nintendo’s current stock price as a bargain, my risk-averse sense tells me that it’s not.

The article What Happened to Nintendo? originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Marie Flanigan.

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