Its been a couple of months since my last post on this fine an nifty blog site but dry those tears and wipe those eyes ’cause I’m back. I took some time off to take care of important matters like family, work and ya know…stuff. To be specific, I began lending my writing abilities to the nice group of folks over at http://www.30kpolygons.com. I wrote a few pretty good articles for them and I hope to at some point re-post them here. After carefull consideration, i realized how much I missed writing for WiiUmadGamers. Don’t get me wrong, I love contributing to 30k and I will continue to do so but there is nothing like being able to just be myself from an writing expression point of view, if that makes any sense. Sometimes I like to rant, sometimes I like to just talk babble, but I love writing. So Ill be writing some small articles here and there and eventually I’ll be relaunching my site with a brand new visual overhaul and added content. So, I appreciate all of the support that you guys have given me, all 3 of you. Just kidding, but thank you for your continued support and stay tuned for brand new content coming soon.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
This episode is all about Nintendo. The Good. The Bad. And the Ugly. I talk about what I think Nintendo did wrong in 2013 and what they can do in 2014 to put the Wii U back on track. Enjoy.
Who Will Be Number 1?
Here We Go again Folks. I’m back with another Top Tuesday edition. This time I’ll be focusing on the best games of this generation. Keep in mind that these are my favorite games of the current generation so with that in mind, enjoy.
5. Metal Gear Solid 4
This game is the main reason why I bought a PS3 in the first place. Metal Gear Solid 4 kept me hooked from the first moment I booted up the game, with its impressive visuals and Kojima-style storytelling. MGS4 is the definitive stealth game.
4. Uncharted 2
Naughty Dog are kings of story telling
What can I say about the Uncharted series? The game is a masterpiece in cinematic storytelling and action. I loved the first Uncharted game but the second one blew me away. The characters were very interesting, the story was engaging, and the action was fun and addictive. I can see why many regard Uncharted 2 as the best in the series.
3. Red Dead Redemption
Probably The Only Rockstar Game I’ll Ever Play
I’m not a huge fan of Rockstar’s other game offerings but I loved me some Red Dead Redemption. What I loved so much about this game was that it made me feel like I was actually in the wild west. The world felt so alive to me that I would hardly try any of the missions, instead I would just hop on my horse and see what situations I could find myself in. With so much variety in the world of Red Dead, I was able to squeeze many hours of playtime out of the game before I decided to actually play the missions and finish the main story. I can’t wait for a sequel.
2. Batman Arkham City
Two Heads Are Better Than One!
This franchise isn’t considered the greatest among the super hero genre for nothing. I spent countless hours gliding around Arkham City beating the crap out of the inmates. Simply put, this game is outstanding. This game is as close to perfect as a game can get and a step forward for the super hero genre of gaming. Too bad no other super hero game has been able to match its quality yet, but oh well, there is another Arkham game on the way in Arkham Origins. If you have not played Arhkam City and you claim your a fan of the caped crusader, slap yo’self. Here’s a little incentive. I bought the game on Steam for 7.49 cents. Yup.
1. The Walking Dead
Story Telling Perfection
I had no interest in trying The Walking Dead simply because it is a point an click adventure game and those always seemed pretty lame to me. So I skipped it. One day I saw a Steam sale that had The Walking Dead season one at around 6 bucks or so and I said to my self “what the heck, I’ll try it”. Best decision I’ve made in long time concerning videogame purchases.
The Walking Dead is the best game I’ve played this current generation by far. No other game had been able to keep me as involved in the story as this game did. I don’t remember playing another game where I cared about the characters as much as I cared about Lee and Clementine. Th scenarios that played out were excellently crafted and overall this game is a testament that you don’t need over the top action and explosions to make an impact in gaming. I recommend this game to anyone who loves good storytelling. The Walking Dead will keep you on the edge of your seat at all times. I can’t wait for season 2.
The Future Of AAA Is Right Here
The indie game scene is exploding with more and more great content at a rapid pace. With the help of crowd funding sources such as Kick Starter, indie game developers can do what may have seemed impossible just a few short years ago and that is to get their game idea off the ground, funded, and on to a major home console. I sincerely believe that in order for the game industry to survive the next 10 years it is going to need the help of independent game developers. The industry needs their originality, their creativity and their raw passion. Without it the industry will remain stagnant and eventually find itself becoming irrelevant.
What is the biggest genre in gaming? Shooters. What are the biggest games in the industry year in and year out? Shooters. The gaming industry is in a season where over-hyped “Dude-Bro” shooters sit atop the alter to be worshiped by the masses. They capture the attention of millions and generate billions, but popularity isn’t exclusive to good game design. Gaming is in dire need of originality from the major publishers but they care more about their bottom line than integrity of the industry. For them its more about large set pieces, explosions and profanity because lets face it, this is what sells units. Fortunately originality isn’t something that is lacking in the indie gaming industry. Indie developers can afford take risks on gameplay ideas that would otherwise go untouched by the so-called “Triple A” developers.
In 2009 programmer Markus Persson, better known as “Notch”, developed a little game called Mincraft and released it on PC. Mincraft is an open world game with no specific goals for the player to achieve, just a large procedurally generated world for them to play in and re-create to their hearts desire. Seems simple, right? Simple yet very deep. This sort of game is almost sure to never have seen the light of day had it been pitched to a large development team yet Minecraft went on to sell over 33 million copies across all platforms. How many “Triple A” titles sell that much? The mighty Call of Duty sure hasn’t.
One Of The Best Games Of Last Gen
Indies are free to explore new gameplay ideas without the fear of someone looking over their shoulder, worried if their design decisions will be attractive enough to the global market. Luckily indie games tend not to attract the prepubescent, loud-mouthed, obnoxious crowd that loves to just shoot stuff in the face. Gamers who enjoy the majority of indie titles seem to have an appreciation for one thing .Gameplay. Unique an interesting new types of gameplay mechanics may not be exclusive to indie games but it’s where it seems to stem from the most these days.
Take the game Journey for instance. Journey is a PS3 exclusive that is the complete opposite of what current gaming trends demand. You play as a mostly silent character who’s main goal is to get to the peak of a distant mountain top. Gameplay mechanics include the ability to interact with cloth, forming your characters scarf that allows the player to defy gravity to reach new areas. That’s it. No shooting, no upgrades, no perks, no real enemies and no real combat. There is one thing Journey has in common with its “Triple A” big brothers. Journey can be played online but not like your used to. Every now and then another player will enter your game and they only way you can communicate with each other is by having the character make sounds to alert a near by player. You can help each other progress or completely ignore one another. Very simple yet very effective. So much so that there have been many mentions and references towards Journey for having made the industry re-think how we see online gaming. Because the crew at That Game Company, the folks behind the development of Journey, we now understand that online play doesn’t have to be intrusive, and plagued with foul mouth idiots. Once again, an indie game leads the way.
Say What You Will About Kick Starter, It Opens Doors That Are Otherwise Shut To Small Devs
Their are a wealth of indie devs that have a passion for games. Most of them don’t have the means to create and publish their own games on the various platforms available. That’s where Kick Starter comes in. Crowd funding is responsible for giving many indie devs their time in the sun. Young men and women who have a deep passion to create exciting game worlds for us to play in can now continue to dream big knowing that they have every opportunity to be successful. Passionate developers no longer have to go to big publishers and potentially sell out their creations just so their games can see the light of day. They can interact directly with their audience who are as equally passionate to play these games as the devs are to make them. All of the hard work and dedication that indie devs put into making their game can be appreciated by all. The only thing that can hold them back is themselves.
Mighty NO. 9 is probably the biggest example of this. Created by famous Mega Man co creator Keiji Inafune, Mighty NO. 9 is a direct result of what the passion to create can produce. No just the passion of a developer but of the fans eager to get their hands on something they understand will probably never be made by the likes of EA or CAPCOM. Many well known developers choose to go down this same development path as well. It’s not about Kick Starter or any other crowd funding source, its about developers knowing that true creativity and freedom cannot properly be nurtured and cultivated at a large development house but only in an environment where creativity wont be stifled by the need to create the next blockbuster.
Independent developers are the future of the gaming industry. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo know this all too well. Nintendo has done and excellent job at inviting indie devs to make games on their platform even going so far as to waive the costs of dev kits. Sony has been hard at work courting indie devs for their Playstation 4 platform and Microsoft has made sure indies will be able to create for the Xbox One by making every Xbox One console an actual dev unit. The industry needs to continue to support indie developers and gamers need to support them with their wallets. Who knows, the next indie game you purchase on XBLA, PSN, and Nintendo’s eShop or support on Kick Starter could be made by the industries future Naughty Dog. Think about it. Indies are the future.
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?