State of the Game Ep.2
It’s time for me to take on the “Doom Sayers” in the ever present world of Nintendo. In all honesty it wouldn’t really feel like a Nintendo launch window without someone calling out the end of Nintendo. The 3DS’s launch and the concept of the Wii both brought a lot of negative vibes towards them. Even before the SNES people were calling in doom:
You can thank Good Morning America for that bit of prophetic wisdom. I’m not calling them dumb, but it’s a bandwagon that will be hopped on a few times in Nintendo’s life. Two things you can take away from this video though is (if it’s really him) Michael Clarke Duncan is a boss, and that Nintendo (even back then) relied on their Gameboy to help in a slump.
Right now the Wii U is in the same boat no matter how you look at it. While I may have received my monies worth with my purchase of Monster Hunter Ultimate and my some 200+ hours plugged into that game, I (unfortunately) don’t think I’m in the majority. Most owners are probably feeling the drought of games.
The 3DS is still doing it’s own thing not really fearing much competition. That’s a good thing since it’s not just fighting the PSP variety of the year, but also tablets and smartphones. While most gamers who have been gamers before gaming on a phone was actually a thing may not consider phone apps to be games, you can’t deny that they are getting better and more popular. I personally feel that they have a while to go before they become the disrupters of the market that I believe indie games (via Steam/XBLA/PSN) will be soon.
There is no doubt that Nintendo has some games coming our way later this year and definitely in 2014. This year they’ve got a new Donkey Kong, Pikmin 3, The Wonderful 101 and others. Next year we get our Smash Bros. and Mario Kart. It’s all very exciting, but other than the Nintendo first party titles, mostly everything else is a game that will be cross-platform. This wouldn’t be an issue if Nintendo would have sold the public on how integral, multipurpose and awesome the Touch Pad can be utilized. They haven’t really. If Square Enix with Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Ubisoft with Watchdogs would go all out and support and advertise the use of the Touch Pad, I think Nintendo would see some sales that don’t rely on first party titles. I’ve said it before, they could survive on first party titles, but they can’t thrive. As a super long-time fan of Nintendo, I would like to see that for once.
Wow… that was a lot to have in that last paragraph. I intended this to go longer, but there I’ve said it. Nintendo needs to have 3rd party devs show off their wares because that is where a good chunk of sales will come from. You have to admit that while people will always buy Halo for their XBox (because they have too), if there was a obviously superior version of a wildly popular game on the Wii U, people would tend to buy that instead. That’s not the only place for profit though; there is one more I can think of: indie games.
I would say that a new dawn is starting to rise on the world of indie games. With titles like Interstellar Marines trying to launch a AAA quality game with the cost and list price of an indie game, the industrial machine of the video game complex could be shaken. It’s a bold statement, but it’s one born out of hope. If Nintendo can continue to make a case and be a welcoming environment for independent games then Nintendo could not only be the console of chose for a great selection of indie games, but all the classic Nintendo titles as well. Maybe if they can’t fully compete with the other two main consoles on the 3rd party side, they can carve out a profitable slice out of the money cake there.
One final thing that Nintendo needs to work on is online capabilities. They have made big strides towards a better online interface, but they have a ways to go. With other such great systems in effect out there like Steam and XBLA, I wonder why they haven’t tried to copy one of them in some fashion. Come on Nintendo, you can do it!