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Sony Punked Nintendo: Nintendo Goes From Bully To Coward

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Nintendo, its time to knuckle up and fight back!! 

Let me start off by saying this first. I am, always have been, and probably always will be a huge fan and supporter of Nintendo as a company. I believe they are the reason gaming exists today and I have always applauded Nintendo on their family focused efforts in a world and industry were violence and sex sell. I believe that Nintendo brings a fresh and innovative approach to gaming that Sony and Microsoft could only dream of. With that said, Nintendo is NOT without their faults and I’m going to point out the major ones as I see them, so be warned. This article isn’t to bash Nintendo but I will not pull my punches. If you are a fan boy then stop reading now. If you are level headed gamer that loves Nintendo or just loves gaming in general, then I hope that you can appreciate what I’m trying to say in this article. Once again my intention is not to bash Nintendo but to try expose what I see as Nintendo’s biggest flaw at the moment. That huge flaw is the fact that they are cowards.

Nintendo Has Cowered Long Enough

Why does it seem as if Nintendo has become a shell of their former selves? Why does it seem as if Nintendo no longer has the desire to fight? Nintendo is fully capable of competing and they have done so since the early 80’s. Granted there wasn’t much competition then, but if you look at how they battled Sega and the Genesis you can see that Nintendo is a company that can go toe to toe with any company in the business. Remember when Nintendo was the bully on the block? Throughout the 80’s and 90’s, third parties had no other choice but to create games for Nintendo platforms especially if they wanted to remain relevant. See back then, Nintendo was top dog. Remember when Hiroshi Yamauchi would make third parties kneel before him in fear as they presented their latest piece of software? The gaming industry was Nintendo’s yard and everyone else was just playing in it. That is until Sony came along.

The truth is, Sony Punked Nintendo and now Nintendo acts less like the gaming giant we all know and love and more like cowards. When Nintendo backed out of the deal with Sony that would have resulted in hybrid gaming console between the two Japanese giants, that lit a fire under Sony’s butt. Ever since that day, Sony and its mighty Playstation brand has dominated gaming. Financial losses aside, the Playstation brand carries more weight than Nintendo today. What does Nintendo have to say about it…

“…Nintendo is not good at competing so we always have to challenge [the status quo] by making something new, rather than competing in an existing market.”

This is a statement that was made by Nintendo President Iwata back in late 2013. I find it to be a cowardly statement from Nintendo and an excuse on their part to not meet their competition face to face on the battlefield of gaming. I honestly feel that Sony scared them off with their original Playstation. They showed Nintendo that they are not the only game in town and that third parties in fact do NOT need them. Instead of responding with more aggression, they became more and more passive. Its a shame to watch. This is NOT behavior befitting the greatest gaming company of all time. Yes, I called them the greatest gaming company of all time but that title is slowly slipping away. It will be all but gone if they don not turn the ship around and head in the direction of the cannon fire. Nintendo can NOT be afraid of a good fight.

Get In Or Get Out

Now I’ll admit that Nintendo still had a bit of that fighting spirit left in them when it came to the Gamecube. I believe that most of the problems then were due to Nintendo not embracing popular trends and that problem still exists today. The real problem began when Nintendo just simply gave up fighting. Last generation Nintendo Introduced the Wii to the gaming world. It had an interesting motion control mechanic that got millions of non-gamers to board the hype train. It was a huge success and the second best selling home console of all time. So what’s the problem? Simply put, the console sucked! Outside of Mario Galaxy and maybe a few others, the Nintendo Wii pushed core gaming aside in favor of the casual experience. While fun at first, it quickly wore thin for most. Nintendo called it their new “Blue Ocean” strategy which in theory makes sense. It simply means that Nintendo strives to find an avenue to explore that no one else has done before or is doing so currently making them the only ones to explore this unique space. This is all fine but when you get so insulated that you forget what is going on around you then you become unaware of your weaknesses because you have nothing to compare yourself to. With the Wii, Nintendo got lazy and weak. They bet on the casual crowd and in the end they bet on the wrong horse so to speak.

This was done so that Nintendo did not have to compete in the same space as Sony. Iwata has no confidence that Nintendo can win a fight when competing in the same weight class as the Playstation and I think he is being a coward for running the company in such a way. Why am I using such a harsh word like “coward”? A coward is someone who looks at a situation that may seem bigger than what they can handle and gives up without trying even though they have all of the necessary skills and tools to handle what is ahead of them. They choose not to push forward because they are too afraid to take up the challenge. That to me is a coward. Iwata is being a coward.

I’ll end with this. Nintendo has better software than Sony hands down. Nintendo’s ip’s are more popular and far more profitable. Nintendo has better developers at their disposal. Now don’t get me wrong, Naughty Dog is a beast but they only make one type of game. Nintendo has what fanboys refer to as a “war chest” of money that Iwata probably spends his time diving into like Scrooge Mcduck. The idea that Nintendo cant afford to spend money on a high end gaming console is nuts! Nintendo has been in business for more than one hundred years and has been in gaming for more than 30 years so they definitely have the expertise and the knowledge. It’s time that Nintendo changed their thinking and started viewing themselves as the great gaming company they are. They have the capability to rule the gaming industry but to do so they must first face their greatest rival. The Sony Playstation. Nintendo needs to look Sony in the eye and commit to a good fight on equal ground. No gimmicks, no smoke and mirrors. Just a good ol’ fashioned console war fought with cutting edge hardware, advanced online capabilities, and outstanding software. Nintendo can do it. I know they can.

That’s All Folks

My hope is that through all of my harsh criticism of Nintendo that you can see my passion for them to succeed. Lets get something straight, though. Nintendo wont succeed as long as they are being coddled by fanboys. Nintendo needs tough love and a kick in the butt. This only comes if you hurt their wallet. You mess with a companies money and they are bound to make changes. I won’t go into that now because I’m saving that topic for another day. Oh, and just in case you were wondering why I didn’t mention Microsoft its because I don’t feel they are any threat to Nintendo simply because MS carries no weight in Japan. Well there you have it folks. I hope you enjoyed reading. See you next time.


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Gamers Need To Grow Up: Not Nintendo

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So many gamers these days are criticizing Nintendo for not being more mature. They try and make the argument that Nintendo hasn’t grown up with them but instead insist on making “kiddie” games. Gamers want more mature experiences not found in games like Mario or Zelda. Gamers have supposedly outgrown Nintendo because they are now adults. Well my response to that is if your so grown up, why are you still playing videogames? Could it be that your not as “all grown up” and as mature as you think you are? Yes. That is it. What else could it be?

A Gamers Definition Of Mature

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A gamers definition of mature can’t possibly carry any weight behind it. How can a toddler lecture an adult about the facts of life when that child can barely wipe his/her own butt. Gamers are too busy burying their heads beneath the swearing, violence and perversion to understand what real maturity is. From a gamers perspective maturity is gritty, bloody, dark and full of swearing and dismemberment. Subdued colors, explosions and guns make up the bulk of what today’s gamer thinks of as mature. Its a sad truth, but the truth no less. Its as if gameplay no longer factors in anymore so long as there is competitive multiplayer matches where prepubescent brats can scream and curse at one another over their choice of online service provided by Microsoft and Sony. How long can this obstructed view of gaming maturity hold up? If the last generation was just a sign of what is to come then the gaming industry is in trouble. In its current form its becoming a joke. A shell of its former self in the sense that gamers are loosing sight of what has made gaming what it is since the beginning. It has been, should be, and should forever more be about having fun.

Let Me Guess, Should Mario Smoke Crack Too?

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You see the image above? Do you think that looks cool? Do you think it would be a great idea if the Super Mario games went all GTA and let gamers shoot Kooplings and bang Toadetts? If you do then your not alone and your also what’s wrong with gaming today. I remember when I visited a local Gamestop and one of the employees said to me that he thought it was time for Mario to grow up and go “GTA”. He actually thought it would be a good idea to make Mario more mature in the sense that he would now curse, kill and steal from the friendly citizens of the Mushroom kingdom. As humorous as watching Mario go Kart jacking would be, it would be the dumbest move Nintendo ever made allowing their famous mascot to be apart of a GTA style world. Why do people think Nintendo should make Mario mature or any other franchise for that matter? Should Mario sell crack too? How about smoke it? Clearly the people bashing Nintendo for its family friendly image are smoking it.

Nintendo Is Like Disney. Family Comes First

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Would anyone be taken seriously if they actually suggested that Disney make a Mickey Mouse Penthouse cartoon in which Mickey sexes Minnie, mouse style? How about a Disney Pixar film in which the protagonist is kills people and uses profanity? Would Mickey ever be seen smoking a cigar? The answer is HELL NO! Disney is a family company. They have been around since the 20’s and have catered to the young and old ever since. How come no one criticizes Disney for being too kiddie? Where are all the adults who grew up on Disney demanding that Donald pimp out Daisy? You know why you don’t get that from Disney fans? Its because they understand what family entertainment is. They understand the value of leaving something positive for the next generation after them. The gaming industry is the most childish and immature of them all. How dare you demand that Nintendo forget about what made its company in the first place. Do you know what the name of Nintendo’s fist console was? The Famicom. What does Famicom mean, you ask? FAMILY COMPUTER. Emphasis on the word FAMILY. Simply put, Nintendo provides entertainment for families. Yes I understand that Nintendo’s core audience as of right now are made up of gamers in their late 20’s and early 30’s but lets not act like the gameplay experiences that Nintendo provides isn’t as good or in most cases better than anything out there. Name one action adventure game that does what The Legend Of Zelda does as well or better. Name a better platformer than Mario. How about a better mash up fighter than Smash Brothers? Cant? Didn’t think so. So when gamers sit there and say they can’t enjoy Nintendo games anymore because they are too kiddie, what are you really saying? Your saying that you don’t care about gameplay. You want state of the art graphics and you want to watch crap blow up. Oh, and you want to shoot, stab and kill things. Be honest. What is the top game mechanic used this entire last generation? Shooting. Doesn’t matter if it was a 3rd person shooter or a 3rd person shooter, just shooting.

My point is that Nintendo thinks about how to best serve the family. Not everyone gets off by shooting people in the head or cutting their throat in a videogame. There are still those of us who just want to save the princess and that’s ok. Nintendo’s titles may look kiddie at times but if you know anything about gaming you understand that their games often represent the pinnacle of gameplay and best represent what is good in this industry. Sure, they don’t give you everything you may want on a technical level, things such as blood and sweat dripping off a character model but just look at how beautiful Super Mario 3d World looks. Its like a Pixar film. Immediately Pixar films appeal to children do to their colorful nature but behind it all is a deep and rich story in which all adults can enjoy. That is Nintendo. Simple yet complex.

Look, I’m not saying that liking games that feature explosions and shooting is wrong. What I am saying is that if you feel that EVERY game should be similar to that and anything that is geared towards family is somehow inferior, then you are just plain dumb. I understand that most people who play games today are adults but how can you expect a family company to forget about its most important customer…the family? Nintendo will always cater to its core fans with titles like Mario and Zelda but they can not deny the younger audience who will one day take our place as Nintendo’s core fan base. Think about the experience today’s kids would be getting from gaming if all they hat to play was GTA and Gears of War? Is that fair? No. We all grew up on Mario and it turned us into the core gamer we are today and it even turned some of us into developers. There is little substance in today’s gaming. You aim and shoot. Little more. With Nintendo they do their best to preserve the legacy of what gaming is all about. Fun gameplay. You shouldn’t be able to separate the too.

A Little Mario In All Of Us

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Lets stop being critical of what Nintendo is doing in the industry and start being more supportive. I hate when people make the statement that they “used to be big Nintendo fans” until they got older. Nintendo’s emphasis on gameplay is the same its been since the 80’s. If you were a Nintendo fan all those years ago, why should you stop now? Sony and Microsoft can often behave like Zombies. They rarely innovate, they just feed. On your wallet of course. The regurgitate the same ideas over and over again except that each time they just add more. More power, more power, more money you have to spend. Nintendo thinks about how they can deliver the consumer a fun experience that won’t violate their bank account. Listen we need all three console makers to survive and do well so that this industry can do well. When you route for Nintendo to fail, you route for the industry to fail. Period. Grow up.


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SHOULD NINTENDO RETIRE?

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Time To Hang Up The Gloves, Nintendo?

FORMER GLORY

I will keep this one short and sweet. Nintendo is not who they used to be. The Nintendo we all grew up with has changed from being the gaming industries prize fighter to an old legend desperately trying to hold on to glory. All is not lost. This former champ definitely has what it takes to step back in the ring with the competition and regain the title. It won’t be easy. Nintendo’s training regiment needs an overhaul. They must get stronger. They must get faster and hit harder and above all, they must find the heart to once again compete with Microsoft and Sony. It feels as if Nintendo has already given up on that fight but if things continue to go the way that they are going then Nintendo may have to consider retirement.

NINTENDO = BOXING

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Once The Greatest

Like boxing is to combat sports, Nintendo is to the world of gaming. Boxing is known as the “sweet science”. Nintendo is known as the “innovator”. As a fan of boxing, i can appreciate  this beautiful art and as someone who has strapped on the gloves a numerous times i can also appreciate the skill involved as well. Nintendo is just like the great sport of Boxing in that they are the oldest gaming company around and have accumulated much respect over their long life. Millions have lined up to buy Nintendo’s consoles much like millions at home watched the great fights of the sport of Boxing. At one point in time, Mario was even more recognizable than Disney’s famous rodent, Mickey Mouse. At one point in time the mere mention of the name Nintendo sparked excitement among gamer’s. Just as with Boxing, though,  some things never stay the same.

Like Boxing, Nintendo is loosing fans rapidly. Sure, the most hardcore fans remain (The smart ones i might add) but like Boxing, the excitement seems to have died down. Less and less fight fans talk about the Sport of Boxing like they used to. Equally less and less gamer’s talk about Nintendo like they used to. It would seem as if the gamer’s who grew up with Nintendo are the ones displaying unwavering loyalty much like  older fight fans are with Boxing. It would also seem that as with the sport of Boxing, the younger generations could care less. And by younger i mean tweens and young adults in their twenties. So what do they care about these days?

SONY/MICROSOFT = MMA

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This Is How Sony And Microsoft Battle It Out!

Mixed Martial Arts. Or MMA to the uninitiated. MMA is one of the fastest growing sports and like MMA, Sony and Microsoft have a hold on the 20 something year old demographic. When you ask people why they prefer MMA to Boxing you pretty much get a unanimous sentiment. “Boxing is boring”. “MMA fighters are more complete”. MMA is more exciting”. Although i think its complete BS, must people may agree. In fact when you look at why most gamer’s today choose Xbox and Playstation over Nintendo you also see a similar sentiment. People say that Nintendo is stuck in the past and they don’t innovate anymore. People don’t seem to want the familiar experiences from Nintendo even though they have brought them joy in the past.  Boxers stick to punching and Nintendo sticks to Mareio, Zeldo and Metroid etc. On the other hand MMA brings knees to the face, takedowns, ground and pounds and chokes. This is very exciting to newcomers who watch the fight game. To Some, MMA brings advancements to the fight game that the sport of Boxing can’t match.  Likewise with Sony and Microsofts machines you get exciting new advancements in tech  capable of rendering visuals that Nintendo’s last and current console clearly can’t match. Like it or not visuals are what attract people to games just like the violent blood shed of a cage fight attracts younger fight fans today.

Simply put, people want more. There was a time when using your fists was enough to entertain the fight audiences around the world  just like good solid gameplay used to be enough to entertain gamer’s. Now fight fans want blood and brutal knockouts. Gamer’s want over the top set pieces with explosions and head shots. They want cutting edge visuals complete with realistic army dogs. The old ways are not enough anymore. People are moving on. Boxing and Nintendo are being forgotten.

NOT OUT OF THE GAME YET

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The Oldest Fighter To Ever Win A World Title

Boxing can still draw an enormous crowd and generate revenue that MMA wished it could duplicate. MMA has no fighter with the draw power of Mayweather or Paquio and old fight fans still come out in droves to support what i call the greatest combat sport on the planet. Similarly, neither Sony or Microsoft have an IP with the selling power of Mario or Zelda. Gaming fans of the 80’s and older still turn up to support the greatest software company in gaming and like Bernard Hopkins they are not out of it yet. Nintendo just needs to adjust its fight strategy. They need to be more aggressive. Here are my keys to success for Nintendo going forward

  1. BE AGGRESSIVE. FORCE MICROSOFT AND SONY TO FIGHT NINTENDO’S FIGHT. (SOFTWARE QUALITY AND INNOVATION)
  2. ADVERTISE. SHOW THE WORLD NINTENDO STILL HAS WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A CHAMP AND REGAIN THE TITLE.
  3. INVEST MORE IN INDIE DEVELOPERS. THEY ARE THE FUTURE OF THIS INDUSTRY
  4. INVEST MORE IN 2ND PARTY PARTNERSHIPS. NINTENDO NEEDS MORE COLLABORATIONS LIKE WHAT THEY HAVE WITH PLATINUM GAMES.
  5. DONT MAKE ANYMORE GAMES WITH THE NAME WII IN THE TITLE. NO WII FIT, NO WII SPORTS. ETC. THAT BATTLE IS OVER
  6. FOCUS ON THE CORE GAMER’S THAT GOT YOU TO THE TOP
  7. IF THE WII U IS GOING TO BE JUST A NINTENDO DELIVERY SYSTEM THEN MAKE IT THE BEST ONE NINTENDO FANS HAVE EVER SEEN. TOP OCARINA OF TIME AND MARIO GALAXY. AND BRING BACK DORMANT FRANCHISES

I believe that if Nintendo can do these things than they can have a comeback story like Bernard Hopkins and regain their title. Nintendo may in fact need new leadership since it seems Iwata spends most of his time apologizing for mistakes (which is a good thing, don’t get me wrong) and we have yet to see him really improve on any of them. Nintendo’s reputation is hurting. I don’t even know if i will ever purchase another Nintendo console day one again because of how they handled the Wii U. Nintendo’s only saving grace is to make this console the best damn first party machine they have ever created. They can salvage this mess but they have to do a hell of a lot more than what they are currently doing. Boxing needs to change the way it’s perceived. They need to make sure that people know they are still relevant. Nintendo needs to do the same.

So, as always…What makes WII U MAD?