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Why Nintendo Will Stand When The Rest Fall

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Don’t Think Nintendo Doesn’t Have It In Them!

I know, I know. The last article I wrote didn’t really go over in Nintendo’s favor. I called them Cowards! I stand by that for the most part. I called them cowards because I know that Nintendo is better than what they have shown us this past year and a half. I called them cowards because if someone has something special about them that if shared, would definitely benefit the world yet they decide to stifle their own potential due to fear and lack of confidence, I believe they are deserving of the title of coward. That person should still try! I believe Nintendo is that person. I believe that Nintendo has something so unique to share with the world and every inch they give up to Sony and Microsoft is such a tragedy because that means more people will now be turned away from getting to know the Nintendo that I grew up with. This cannot continue. Nintendo must dig down deep inside and pull out the desire to compete. Here is why.

Family First

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In Life, This Is What Really Matters. 

Ever since Nintendo released very first home console, the NES, it was evident that they were all about family. In case you weren’t in the know, the Japanese name for the original NES was Famicom. It means “Family Computer”. As you know Nintendo went on to create the Super NES or Super Famicom as it is known in Japan. Throughout Nintendo’s entire gaming history they have always been about bringing families together in the living room. All of Nintendo’s characters appeal to children, teenagers, and adults. Nintendo’s IP’s are meant to be enjoyed by a wide demographic, not just older ones. I like to refer to Nintendo as the Walt Disney of the gaming industry. You loved Disneyland as a kid, right? Going there was almost like a magical experience for lack of a better word. Even as an adult the magic really never fades away. It doesn’t matter what age you are, I feel Nintendo is the exact same way. For the young and young at heart there is Mario and everything Mario related. You can be a 7 year old kid or a 17 year old young man and still enjoy the pure fun there is to be had when playing a Mario title. I’m much older than 17 and I still love to visit the Mushroom Kingdom to defeat Bowser and the Princess. The experience is even much more meaningful now that I am a father and I can watch my kids play together and see the smiles on their faces. It is simply priceless.

No other console manufacture strives for this level of family fun. Sony and Microsoft try there hardest to cater to the most “core” of the hardcore gaming crowd. Much like the gaming media, Sony and Microsoft see family gaming as “kiddie”. I mean, how many times has Nintendo been accused of creating kiddie games in the last decade alone? The truth is no other developer can capture both the young and older markets like Nintendo. I often compare Nintendo’s approach to software creation to that of Pixar and the way that they can create a movie that will immediately attract kids while still having enough emotional impact to make a grown man cry. Pixar and Nintendo have a few things in common. When you look at Mario what do you see? A brightly colored character who runs and jumps through a brightly colored world full of sights and sounds that would attract the attention of any child with a set of senses. When you move beyond the visuals then you begin to uncover a gameplay experience so rich that several Mario titles have been rated and referred to as the greatest game of all time.

My point is this. It’s not Nintendo’s job to create mature content. Its not Nintendo’s job to cater to those gamers that have “grown up”. However, it is Nintendo’s job to preserve its legacy of amazing content that like no other can create such an amazing atmosphere fit for families of all sizes and ages. With Nintendo there is something for everyone. Nintendo caters to the youngest child to the oldest person with experiences like catching little critters called Poke’mon, to exploring the Tolkeinesque land of Hyrule in the Legend of Zelda. What you won’t find is sex, profanity and violence. That’s just not Nintendo’s style and I’m thankful for that.

I understand that Sony broadened the gaming demographic with the very first Playstation and as a result, gaming is enjoyed by men and women in their late 20’s all the way up to their early 40’s. Lets not forget about the generations that are coming after us gamers that grew up in the 80’s and 90’s. Lets remember that our kids deserve to be able to play games that aren’t filled with goals that require you to blow someones head off from across the map or sneak up behind another player and snap his neck. I know that I can let my kids play on a Nintendo platform while I’m out of the room and feel confident that they won’t be exposed to anything that their little eyes cant handle.

Its All About The Gameplay Experience

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Innovation Or Gimmick?

Say what you want about Nintendo and the Wii U but one thing you can not deny is that Nintendo has a strict focus on gameplay experience. You may think the Wii U Gamepad is a gimmick but it’s clear that when Nintendo designed it they had in mind the unique ways that gamers could potentially interact with the game they are playing. Dating all the way back to the original NES Nintendo was always thinking about control and how it effects the player experience. From adding more buttons, to less buttons all the way to motion controlled gaming, Nintendo is all about re-thinking what it means to control your game.

Zombie U is a perfect example. Yes I know the critics weren’t so nice to this title but I don’t think ever wanted it to succeed in the first place. Zombi U required the player to use the gamepad to interact with the environment while being mindful of the dangers on the tv screen. Using the gamepad as a virtual backpack, the player must rummage through it to find an item while being exposed to any potential dangers lurking on screen. While in this state, the player would be somewhat helpless until the virtual backpack was closed. Now some reviewers claimed that this process broke the experience for them because it felt out of place to look down at the gamepad and then have to lift your eyes to look at the tv screen. What a lazy thing to say. Its not like they had to look in a different direction or get up and start flailing their arms or something like that. This is to be expected though. In a generation of gamers and journalist more fixated on system specs, how could anyone expect them to admire anything that only benefits gameplay?

For the most part, gamers today only care about the level of graphical fidelity that a game displays. Hardly do I ever hear an argument over what game controls better than another or what game is more fun to play. Don’t believe me then just go on any gaming related message board and see for yourself. Everyone is worried about what console does 1080p and what console runs games at 60fps? All this is going on while Nintendo is focusing on gameplay. The fortunate thing about Nintendo’s development teams is that their games speak for themselves. It doesn’t matter what resolution they run at because regardless, they look awesome. It doesn’t matter what fps they run at because regardless, they run awesome. While Sony and Microsoft try and outdo each other, Nintendo just sticks to business as usual. In some cases that is a bad thing I will admit, but in the case of gameplay it is the best course of action for them.

No Money, Mo’ Problems

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Real Talk…

The Gaming industry seems to be in a bit of a transition and I’m not sure if it is entirely for the better. Don’t get me wrong, change is definitely good but something else seems to be going on. Publishers and developers seem to be closing their doors left and right and even the “Big Three”  seem to be taking some hits. Now I won’t make this about who’s got more cash than who, that’s not my point. My point is that there is a bad trend in the gaming industry that really became noticeable within the last 4 or 5 years. Lets take Capcom for instant. Capcom is one of the most talented and beloved developers in gaming history yet they seem to be on the verge of closing their doors. Why? For one, taking a beloved franchise like Resident Evil and pouring an unnecessary amount of money and resource into changing the franchise into “The next big thing” was definitely a blow to Capcom and its fans. Speaking of fans lets talk about DLC. On disc DLC anyone? How about what overcharging for crap that should already be in the initial purchase of a game? Look at what Kojima just did with Metal Gear! $30 dollars for a over glorified demo! THQ is gone! Irrational Games is gone with the hopes of restarting with a new studio focused on digital downloads. Why? For one, fans are getting hooked on what I am now referring to as the “Fast Food” of gaming syndrome. They rush out and buy these yearly iterations of games that are barely different from what they bought the year before and instead of waiting for something better to come along, gamers buy these titles out of habit. What happens when the sales start to slip for one of these franchises? I’ll tell you. The publisher becomes Capcom or Square-Enix. How is it that Square can sell 6 million copies of Tomb Raider and not turn a profit? Developers try and cram as much over the top audio, visual filler into these games as possible instead of just relying on gameplay, all of which requires bigger teams and more resources which in turn results in more risk. When the risk isn’t outweighed by the reward then we begin to see companies file for bankruptcy, and even close their doors entirely.

My belief is that if developers created games with a greater emphasis on gameplay over graphics then the quality of that game would sell itself. Nintendo has often talked about their approach to game development versus the way most developers tackle game creation. When you look at behind the scenes documentaries on the matter, you often see developers try and sell you on concept art and high quality character models and environments. They often go into how grand the story will be and so on. While there is nothing really wrong with this approach it does bring up an interesting point. Using this logic, one would come to the conclusion that most developers fancy visuals and grand spectacle over gameplay. Nintendo’s approach to game development is quite different. First, Nintendo nails the core gameplay element that will be featured in a particular game. They make sure that they have a fun, unique and interesting gameplay structure that will hook the gamer and bring them into the experience. Once they have solved how the game will play, they can begin to decide what franchise would best be suited to this style of gameplay. So a game may start out as an idea for a Zelda title but could turn out to be the next Mario or Metroid.

What does this all mean? I’m glad you asked. Nintendo is often seen as being cheap and unwilling to take risks but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact I believe they take more risks than anyone else, that more likely than not, end up resulting in huge rewards for Nintendo. Because of Nintendo’s focus on gameplay, gamers know what to expect from them. I personally don’t know any gamer that says they will wait until they see the review of the next Zelda before they buy it. It’s Nintendo’s proven track record when it comes to software quality ensures that gamers have no problems “blind” buying their software. Nintendo’s software tends to sell steadily over long periods of time resulting in the price of that software retaining its value. How often do you see price drops for Nintendo titles? Not often at all. So while other companies pump out sequel after sequel as they watch the value of their IP’s steadily decline along with  revenue, Nintendo takes a slow surgical approach ensuring that the quality of their games as well as the revenue generated from them retains its consistency resulting in a healthy business.

That’s All Folks

Now don’t get me wrong. Like I said before, Nintendo has their work cut our for them. The Wii U seems to be all but a failure if the mainstream gaming media is anything to go by and Iwata seems to be unaware of how to fix Nintendo’s misfortunes. I’ve already spoken in the past about how I feel Nintendo let Sony come into the industry and punk them out of their market share, and why Nintendo needs to compete directly with the Playstation brand. It’s no secret that Nintendo dropped the ball this generation. Horrible marketing efforts as well as inferior hardware are just a few of their problems.

With that said, Nintendo is still the king of software, and the “Once and Future King” of the gaming industry. Even with the Wii U not selling as well as everyone hoped it would, Nintendo can and will still release what will eventually be considered some of the greatest games this generation will probably ever see. No matter what missteps Nintendo has taken this generation, none of it should detract from the fact that as a company, Nintendo holds a higher moral standard than what is expected from an entertainment company. Nintendo should still be applauded for going after the family unit. Nintendo’s efforts to get the next generation of the young as well as the old into gaming should not go unnoticed. The fact that Nintendo refuses to dump unnecessary amounts of money and resources into making a “cookie cutter” title should be praised by the industry. Nintendo uses business practices that while may seem ancient and out of touch, has kept them alive and strong for over 100 years. Yes, they need to adopt some of the more current trends. Yes, they need to pay more attention to what their competitors are doing, just not at the expense of loosing what makes Nintendo…Nintendo. They are a family run company that focuses on family. I have more respect for them as a multii-billion dollar corporation then I probably ever will for any other billion dollar corporation that focuses on entertainment. I truly believe that when the dust settles, Nintendo will still be around doing thier thing long after that inevitable day passes when Sony and Microsoft both bow out of the gaming industry to pursue other business ventures.

One last thing. There is this notion that if you play games on a Nintendo platform then your somehow a “man child” or you need to “grow up”. Have you ever thought to yourself that the very fact that you play videogames as a grown man, that this means you are a man child that needs to grow up? Now I believe that videogames were meant to be enjoyed by people of all ages but if your going to have that sort of attitude towards one corner of gaming than have that attitude towards all of it. Include yourself, ok?

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my latest article, I hope it was a good read for you. Come back soon, thanks.


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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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R.I.P. Hiroshi Yamauchi

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The Real Reason You Play COD


I just wanted to share my thoughts on Mr. Hiroshi Yamauchi who recently passed away at the wise age of 85 years old. I just wanted to give respect to whom respect is due. I encourage all of you to go and read the article that IGN did on Yamauchi because I feel it was a very respectful and positive article that gives insight on a man who in my opinion is solely responsible for gaming being what it is today.

We all credit Miyamoto for making Nintendo what it is today because of his creation of franchises like Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda and of course Mario. What about the man who hired him? Would Miyamoto be who he is today without Yamauchi? No. He wouldn’t. Lets talk about the fact that Yamauchi took a gamble on the videogame market and decided to risk his entire company by tasking them with developing a gaming console and releasing it in western markets right after the western gaming industry had just suffered a crash. Hiroshi Yamauchi ran Nintendo as its president all the way through the release of the Gamecube. So everything good about Nintendo that you celebrate, a little of that credit is owed to Yamauchi. I’m not sure if major corporations even have presidents that last in the same position as long as Yamauchi did and not to mention push an entire industry forward with innovation after innovation throughout there entire career. This seems very rare.

Growing up with Nintendo, I have many fond memories. From the Original NES, to the N64, to now, all of those fond memories I have playing on Nintendo systems are because of the hard work and dedication of a man who was put in a position and made the decision to step into that position with boldness. What am I trying to say? What I am not trying to say is that we should lift people up on a pedestal. No. Not at all. What I am saying is that we often look at the end result of something without really factoring in the individuals who worked effortlessly behind the scenes to get that end result to where it is. I know most of us who grew up with gaming know the name Hiroshi Yamauchi but not many of us knew what he truly contributed to the industry and what he really meant to Nintendo and its legacy. Hiroshi Yamauchi will be missed and his influence will be felt in this industry for as longs as it stands. Even if the industry folds I believe Nintendo will be left standing again and in return preserving the Yamauchi legacy.

Please check out the link below and head over to the IGN article on Hiroshi Yamauchi.

http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/05/25/hiroshi-yamauchi-nintendos-legendary-president


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Nintendo: The Company The Industry Needs. The Company It Doesn’t Deserve

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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

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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?


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Why Nintendo does it better than Sony and Microsoft

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They have been to this dance before

Now for the bright side of things

Yesterday in a post entitled Nintendoomed, i wrote about why Nintendo could be down for the count if they don’t change some things up. The industry is clearly changing and Nintendo seems to be moving at a much slower pace than its competitors. With not many third party games to look forward to in 2013 and not much news coming from Nintendo themselves it would seem as if the company may be unequipped to handle what Microsoft and Sony may have in store for them with their Next-Gen offerings but Nintendo has been here before. This dance isn’t new to Nintendo and here are some reasons as to why Nintendo moves at their own pace and can quite possibly come out on top this Next-Gen.

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No one makes a controller like Nintendo

unparalleled Controll

Nintendo has been innovating new ways for gamer’s to interact with the gaming world since the early 80’s. The NES gave the D-pad and an A and B button. If it weren’t for this simple yet monumental little adjustment we would still be using the inferior joystick of the Atari console. The NES made platforming a dream to play.

The Super NES is arguably the greatest gaming console of all time and it gave us the template for what all modern day console controllers are based upon. Left and right shoulder buttons were added to the NES’s original design as well as two more face buttons bringing the total to four. Games like Street Fighter and Super Metroid couldn’t be played on a lesser controller. Remember trying to play SF2 on the Genesis? The SNES controller was such a great design that Sony borrowed and modified the design for its Playstation console a few years later.

The N64 controller was perhaps Nintendo’s most unique design ever. Setting aside the fact that it looked like an upside down pitchfork, the N64 controller brought us the analog stick. Never before seen in a home console, the analog stick is probably the most significant addition to the console controller ever. Think about it. Could you play any shooter without one. (Keyboard and Mouse not withstanding) The analog stick revolutionized how we move around in a 3d space giving you full control over your characters movement. Not to be outdone by the analog stick, rumble or otherwise known as force feedback was also introduced in the N64 era with a little game called Starfox 64. Could you imagine modern games today lacking rumble. Sony tried it with the first Ps3 controller. Remember. They said something about how rumble was so last gen and the 6-axis was the future. That changed rather quickly, huh?

The Game cube controller was just weird. I don’t think there was anything to significant about it. It’s just that having that one huge green “A” button kinda changed things a bit. Mashing on the large “A” button to attack felt good and the shape of the “X” and “Y” buttons, while awkward did give the controller a unique feel. One that you got so used to that it grew on you. No one knows this better than a Smash Bros. fan. Playing Smash on any other controller just isn’t the same.

Now we all know the innovation that the WII remote brought to the industry. Motion controlled sword combat and archery probably stand out the most. Swinging the Wiimote like a tennis racket felt natural and intuitive. Its a shame that third parties didn’t really take advantage of this gameplay innovation. Instead most of them used it as tacked on gimmick. Skyward Sword showed the true potential of what the WIimote could have meant for gaming had developers really put time and effort into it.

Now, everyone loves tablets. Why not fuse one with gaming controller? Nintendo did and the Wii U Gamepad was born. The jury is obviously still out on this one but at least we can say it’s off to an excellent start. Games like Zombie U and Nintendoland show off what’s possible with a little hard work and imagination. I cant wait to see what innovations Nintendo has up their sleeve for this device in the future.

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Game Changer!

Unparalleled Gameplay

It’s well know that Nintendo develops ideas for gameplay well before they even know what game this particular idea will even turn out to become. Game play has always taken center stage when it comes to Nintendo often resulting in groundbreaking new ways to interact with the game world your in.

Take Mario 64 for instance. Never before had anyone played a game that gave you the freedom of full 360 degree movement. Mario 64 allowed you to run, jump and climb just about anywhere you desired and the level of pin point precision usually reserved for 2d platformers was no for the first time realized in 3d. Mario 64 is number one on several “Best of all time” lists and rightfully so.

The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time. Arguably one of the greatest games ever created. In the past we played games in this genre without any sort of lock on targeting system. Zelda OOT changed all of that. Introducing a targeting system that allowed you to stay locked on an enemy while still being able to move and dodge was a thing of genius. Can you imagine modern games without this feature? Oh…wait. Some games still don’t use a lock on system. Anyways, Zelda OOT delivered an unparalleled landscape were if your eye could see it then you could travel there. Just about everything could be interacted with. It still astounds me that Nintendo was able to take every significant piece of gameplay from the original Zelda games and successfully transition it all into 3d gameplay. Nintendo has always been able to make games excel at what they were meant to. Fun. Regardless of the genre, regardless of the content, Nintendo focuses on gameplay first which in usually always results in pure gaming bliss, but hater’s still gonna hate.

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Unparalleled franchises

The legend of Zelda. Donkey Kong Country. Starfox. Metroid. Kirby. Smash Bros. Super Mario. F-Zero. Pikmin. Punch Out. Wave Race. Mario Kart. Fire Emblem. Pokemon. I’m sure i am missing a franchise or two but i just named off fourteen “triple A” franchises that are big sellers for Nintendo. Franchise that have a proven and dedicated fan base. Microsoft can’t claim this and although Sony has some very well established first party franchises none of them are on the level of the ones i have just named. Anyone of these Nintendo titles would cause a stir if announced at any given time for the Wii U and anyone of these could be announce at any time. Very few developers can say they have franchises that can compete with the likes of what Nintendo have in-house. Capcom, Sega and maybe Namco can but neither of them have kept up the level of quality that Nintendo has since the early 80’s. Think about that. These 80’s franchises are still relevant today because of the quality of the product and the overwhelming dedication from fans.

It’s been said time and time again that Nintendo software sells Nintendo hardware. Think about it, though. It’s true. Is it a surprise? How many developers create games with the level of quality that Nintendo does especially in the gameplay department? If Nintendo is in trouble right now, and everyone seems to think they are, then it may be time for them to start pulling out some of these franchise. We know Zelda is coming. We know Metroid and Mario are coming. What about the franchises that have remained dormant for some time. We need to see Star Fox make a console return. F-Zero and Wave Race, too. The roster is too deep too ignore. Provided Nintendo has the teams available to handle these franchises, they could very well put themselves in a position to make the Wii U as attractive as the SNES was to gamers and developers alike. Only time will tell. Nintendo could always announce something in a new Nintendo direct video and E3 is not too far away. Lets not count Nintendo out yet.

The wild card. This is an instant win for Nintendo

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The Game Master. Nuff said

Closing

The industry loves to doubt Nintendo. The industry usually ends up being wrong. Journalists seem to think they have Nintendo figured out. They are most always wrong. Just look up Michael Pachter’s predictions about the company. He has never been right. It’s true that Nintendo can be a frustrating company at times to stand behind. They seem to only give us what we want when they are ready to, and they release information at a snails pace. Its usually for the better though. Remember how every one wanted a realistic link but got the Wind Waker? It turned out to be one of the best Zelda titles ever and then when Nintendo did give us a more realistic Zelda, gamers broke out in tears. Literally. Nintendo has been in business for over 50 years and have been making consoles since the early 80’s. Although no company is perfect, when is the last time Nintendo as a company has made a stupid business decision? Lets not count the virtual boy. Even that was just an ambitious project that just didn’t pan out the way Nintendo wanted to. If your a Nintendo fan then keep supporting them in the meantime and lets see how 2013 shapes up for them. Sony and Microsoft may have more powerful consoles on the way but since when did power determine anything. Ps2 was the weakest of the three consoles in its generation but still dominated due to software. Lets just hope Nintendo is working on bringing some truly unique and great software to the Wii U from both first and third parties. As always let me know your thoughts on the matter and tell me…what makes Wii U MAD?