A Seat At The Masters Table
Nintendo may not be able to walk on water but they did resurrect gaming from the dead. Look, they aren’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination but without them we would probably witness another videogame crash.
WHY THE INDUSTRY NEEDS NINTENDO
Without Nintendo There Would Be No Great Innovation
When Atari killed the industry for us westerners it was Nintendo that brought gaming back from the dead. You wouldn’t be sitting there now enjoying your PS3’s and your Xbox’s and God help me if you actually enjoy gaming on the ipad but you owe that to Nintendo as well. The house that Mario built rekindled a flame for the love of gaming with it’s very first home console. The Nintendo Entertainment System or NES for short. I know what your thinking. Why dwell on the past? That was the Nintendo of old. Today they are a former shell of themselves. Well unfortunately for the Nintendo naysayers i can prove that to be false. Bare with me.
The Super NES is regarded by many as the greatest home console of all time. Why? Well Nintendo took the NES controller and turned it into what has become the standard by which all modern controllers are based off of. Just ask Sony. Nintendo gave us unbelievable software and a piece of hardware that was second to none. Sorry Genesis fans. By all accounts the Super NES was exactly what its named implied. A Super charged NES. Everything was bigger and better.
Nintendo doesn’t seem to feel the need to stick to the same formula for two long. After the success of the Super NES, Nintendo released the Nintendo 64. A console capable of 3d graphics that featured an awkward looking yet ingenious controller design. Full analog control via the analog stick which is still standard on controllers to this day. You like how your controller rumbles when you play games? Credit that to Nintendo as well for launching StarFox 64 with the “Rumble Pack”. Speaking of software. Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time set a new standard for platforming and adventure gameplay which is still unmatched to this day. 3D action games would be nothing without the road that Mario 64 paved for them. How about multiplayer? Nintendo was the first to allow gamer’s to plug in multiple controllers to a home console for local multiplayer. Of course there were always add-on’s that allowed it but with the N64 it was standard.
Now lets look at the curious case of the Gamecube. This is the first and only Nintendo home console that didn’t pack in any new innovations. It had a weird yet perfect controller built for games like Smash Bros but it lacked any real difference from its competitors. The Gamecube actually lacked features. No DVD playback and an inferior optical disc format that held less data than XBOX and Playstation’s DVD formats. The Gamecube while profitable, didn’t fair too well against SONY and Microsoft’s consoles. Something had to change
With the Wii, Nintendo went a completely different route. They turned their backs on cutting edge visuals in favor of a new way for gamer’s to interact with the gaming world. Enter motion controls. Say what you want about Motion gaming but for a short while it was fun. Nintendo set out to attract those who had never picked up a controller before and bring back into the fold those that lost interest in the hobby. They succeeded and the sales prove it. No one cared that the Wii was inferior in every way from a power standpoint compared to it’s competitors. In the first few years of the Wii’s lifespan Nintendo brought game after game and the console was a mega success. As soon as the games stopped coming, the console died. Which brings me to my last point.
Software sells hardware. Nintendo announced a successor to the Wii last November called the Wii U. Nintendo’s goal was to continue the Wii’s legacy of offering gamer’s a new way of interacting with their game. Tablets are mega popular these days and it doesn’t seem as if that trend will end anytime soon. Nintendo integrated their new home console with that very technology. They even went a step further and added a huge social media component to the Wii U’s infrastructure. So…why isn’t the Wii U selling. Simple. The games haven’t started rolling in yet. Do you think the original Wii would have been as successful as it was i the beginning if it didn’t have the software that it did? NO. It wouldn’t have. The proof is in the way that the sales quickly declined once new software stopped being introduced. With the Wii U things seem to be the opposite. There aren’t any really strong pieces of original software for the Wii U to keep people interested and that is all Nintendo’s fault. Good news, folks. The games are coming and once they do the system will begin to sell very well. Very well.
What is the moral of this story? The gaming media sucks and it spins stories to get hits. The Wii U is not “Dead in the water” and Nintendo is not doomed. The same exact things were said about the PS3 when it launched and all it took was a price cut (Ps3 was too damn expensive) and a steady stream of games. Let’s just wait and see what Nintendo does during this years E3. Lets just wait and see.
WHY THE INDUSTRY DOESN’T DESERVE THEM
Simple. Nintendo can’t seem to catch a break. They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. If they do exactly as Sony and Microsoft then everyone thinks they are doomed. If they innovate then they are doomed. People are actually saying that Nintendo should and will become a 3rd party publisher only. Lets say Nintendo does actually stop making hardware. This is what will happen. Nintendo will be out for good. They are too stubborn to make their software for competing platforms. Like it or not, loosing Nintendo is bad for the industry. Very bad. If it happens it could be the beginning of the end. What? You think Sony is going to take over the mantle of innovation? Microsoft? Electronic Arts is more likely to win “The Best Company In America” award two years straight before that happens.
Let me know what you think about today’s topic.
Wii U Mad?