Nintendo released their latest console, the Wii U, in late 2012 and sold pretty well during the holiday season. As of 2013, sales are struggling due to a small library of software. Nintendo won the 7th generation of gaming with the Wii, but can they do the same in the 8th generation with the Wii U? It's possible, but if Nintendo's new system ends up proving to be a flop, they could be in deep trouble.
Nintendo is known for it's classic flagship properties such as Mario, Link, Donkey Kong, Zelda, Luigi, Kirby, Yoshi and more. Nintendo also invented the D-Pad with is used in all gaming controllers to this day. Nintendo has defined gaming innovation plenty of times and since they're up against Sony and Microsoft, which are much larger and broader businesses, they could be going downhill if they lack innovation.
Nintendo is known for releasing software on their hardware only. If Nintendo stopped making hardware, they could stop releasing software as well. Becoming a "software-only" business isn't in Nintendo's plans and they refuse to do so, so if it comes down to it, what would happen? It's simple. Nintendo would be bought out by a larger company.
Apple, creator of the iPhone and iPad, would be making a smart move if they ended up purchasing Nintendo and owning all of it's assets. Nintendo would end up being an American-based company for the first time. Also, if Apple owned Nintendo, software wouldn't be underpowered in any way, shape or form.
If Apple purchased Nintendo in the middle of the 8th generation of consoles, Apple would instantly start work on an extremely powerful console to defeat the Xbox 4 and PS5 in the 9th generation of gaming. Controllers would resemble Wii U GamePads, but be smaller and double as a portable gaming device. All games for the future console would be playable on all iOS devices with the purchase of an extra peripheral. Nintendo, being only a gaming company, has a very limited point of view in terms of hardware.
The 9th generation of gaming will arrive around 2020. By then, 200GB of RAM will be standard. Apple will release 3 Nintendo-branded consoles for the 9th generation. One system for casual gamers, one for hardcore gamers and a mobile gaming platform. The first system would be the Wii 3 which would be aimed towards families. The second system would be similar to the GameCube with a controller like the Wii U. The third system would be the second system's controller with downloadable titles. If Apple can pull this off, they could save Nintendo and every IP they own.
Of course, Apple probably won't buy Nintendo and this article is pure speculation. If something like this ended up happening, you better expect shock waves throughout the world of gaming.