Saturday, November 05, 2011

Nintendo


It's about now where we might be surprised about Nintendo's projected annual loss (almost $1 Billion USD for 2011). I'm not, I have personally expected this. Nintendo hasn't done anything impressive in years and it's been utterly astounding that they have made as much money as they have year-over-year continuously while putting out uninspired and technologically behind systems. The Wii, the DS and the DSi have printed money for Nintendo for a while, but that time is now over.
Honestly, I hate Nintendo and I hate what they do. Want to complain about sequelitis? Nintendo isn't just infected, they are the disease. Nintendo has the capitol, the means and the raw power available to make a great, new game with a great, new IP, but they don't. I can't remember a single game Nintendo has developed of the past 10 years that's new in anyway. Ravin Rabbids was new, and kind of great, but they choose to stick Rayman on the tag to try to get it to move. It didn't make any sense, but he was plastered all over the game for no reason. Nintendo is honestly trying as hard as they can to rehash something.

Anyone involved with games, and many, many people who aren't, know that there will be a new Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Pokémon and whathaveyou each year, or at least close to it. It's fucking nuts. How does this happen? I know plenty of other people do it. THQ is probably the only publisher trying to put out new IPs, but utterly failed even with the most reserved game in history. Activision and EA spit out as many sequels year-over-year as they can. Activision is far worse than EA, but they both do it still. Activision milked Guitar Hero up until the point it died in a fiery death.

But I'm complaining about Nintendo. The Wii wasn't a bad idea, it just wasn't a great one. It made a shit ton of money and had some cool concepts, but all of them were executed wrong. The Wii, in no way, is up to any standards. Besides being incredibly ugly, it lacked any type of external storage (for a long time at least, and it's still funky even now) or expandable storage. Its online store is horrible to say the least and what is on there is amazingly expensive. Friend codes, by the way, can fuck right off. There are about 1,000 other problems with this, but I think my point is proven.

What I'm trying to say is that Nintendo has no idea what they're doing. The Wii and DS weren't just a fluke, they came at the exact right time for Nintendo to make any money. The Wii came at the end of an era where contemporary PC Gaming ideals were starting to take over, but not take effect. The Wii's lack of those functions went widely unnoticed. The Wii has marginally better (if not the same) graphics as the PS2, Wii and Xbox. The 360 looked great at the time, but it was also very expensive. Only the core and rich people picked it up. When the Wii swung around (overpriced as it was and stayed that overpriced for way too long), it looked better than the PS2, it had a very wacky looking controller and an amazing bowling game.

Most people might as well call the Wii "The Wii Bowling Machine." I don't know the statistic, but I'll make one up: 99% of all Wii owners never buy another game. Seriously, I can't say how many people I know, have met and heard about who play nothing but Wii Sports and don't own any other games nor ever intended to buy other games. Wii Sports is probably the sole reason why the Wii sold at all.

The DS was a great idea, but it's lack of functionality (functionally it is far inferior to the less popular PSP) over its lifetime showed as hard as it could near the end. Nintendo has yet to implement any kind of comprehensive social network which could be used to keep track of purchase information as well as purchases and fuel network play. I will say this again: Nintendo has the means, capitol and power to make great games, but also to make great, intelligent and modern software. The DS might not have been capable of some of the features I explained before, but the Wii can, so can the DSi and 3DS, but they don't have those things.

By now, anyone who owns a Wii knows they haven't played it in over a year, why would they buy another one? Why would they buy another DS? 3D has become a hated trend that grows exponentially. I hear more complaints about 3D than ticket prices. The 3DS is also crazy expensive, has no battery life and is a hassle to handle. It lacks a second joystick, the 3D is difficult to deal with because it's inconsistent and precise (you can't move the handheld or your head around too much without breaking the effect). Along with all that, there is a gryoscope in it. When a game uses the Gryoscope it means that 3D is impossible to maintain. The 3DS just isn't what anyone wanted.

Nintendo has been making the wrong moves for a long time and it just now catching up with them. They had an accidental fortune with the Wii and it's all but gone to their heads. Nintendo doesn't understand their competition and openly admit that they don't care but it's high time they step into the game, it's high time they start doing something new and exciting, and then use it correctly.

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