Nintendo Stock: How the Wii U Is Becoming an Unexpected Catalyst

Two Fools take to the Internet to discuss the risky bets that could make Nintendo stock worth owning again.

Jun 17, 2014 at 11:30AM

Following a slew of announcements at E3, Nintendo (NASDAQOTH:NTDOY) stock moved up more than 2% as the broader market slid. Does that mean it's time for investors to get back in? Is Nintendo finally putting the Wii U's disastrous sales performance behind it?

Fool analysts Nathan Alderman and Tim Beyers address these questions and more in this  episode of 1-Up On Wall Street, The Motley Fool's web show in which we talk about the big-money names behind your favorite movies, toys, video games, comics, and more.

While Nintendo doesn't have a lot of new stuff in the works for 2014, save for Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U, that all changes in 2015 when a brand new open world Legend of Zelda game arrives. There's also Mario Maker for creating your own classic Mario Bros. levels and sharing them with other gamers, and a kid friendly first-person shooter called Splatoon where the goal is to cover the map with paint bombs. Nintendo also previewed a new version of Star Fox from revered designer Shigeru Miyamoto.

Tim says that Nintendo is making a lot of intriguing bets but that it's most interesting idea may be amiibos, which are similar in style to what Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) offers with Skylanders and Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) sells in Disney Infinity. The key difference: amiibos are customizable. Changes you make to the toy are reflected in the game.

Offering a customizable Nintendo experience could be an interesting driver of Wii U sales, and as we know from data, the integrated real-world, digital-world experience of Infinity and Skylanders is resonating with gamers of all ages. Indeed, Activision's most recent 10-K filing confirmed $2 billion in Skylanders sales since the toys debuted in 2011 while NPD ranked Infinity as 2013's 10th-best selling video game title.

Nintendo E

Unlike alternatives from Disney and Activision, Nintendo's amiibos are customizable. Credit: Nintendo.

Nathan also likes the strategy, arguing that Nintendo is veering toward kids as its competitors race to see who can make the more violent title. He also says that the original Wii succeeded not because of the hardware but because it offered a kind of gameplay that no one had ever seen before. With amiibos and titles such as Splatoon, we're seeing that same sensibility at work once more -- as if lagging Wii U sales have kicked off a desperate burst of creative output.

Now it's your turn. Click the video to watch Nathan and Tim discuss the news, and then leave a comment to let us know your take on Nintendo stock at current prices. You can also follow us on Twitter for more segments and regular geek news updates!

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Nathan Alderman has no position in any stocks mentioned. Tim Beyers owns shares of Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends Activision Blizzard and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Activision Blizzard and Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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