The Way of Nintendo

13 12 2008

by Wayne Shayler

nintendo_gamecube_silver

These days, it is widely accepted that Nintendo has a licence to print money, but that hasn’t always been the case.  Even they couldn’t have been this optimistic with their sales forecasts for the Wii and DS.  After the Gamecube ‘failure’ of the last generation, which was a machine that I loved, I would want to wish them every success in this generation’s campaign.

Except they don’t need my good wishes.  They don’t need me to add to my massive collection of Gameboys, in every iteration.

In sales figures alone they have chewed up the opposition, spat them out and left them to survive on scraps by the wayside, and we may be approaching the third Christmas in a row with Wii shortages.  That amount of dominance is unheard of.  If anyone does deserves it though, it is my beloved Nintendo.  We have been through so much together.

So why do  I feel so down about it? 

Nintendo has captured the market of the casual gamer that Sony started to create with some of their games on the PS2.  PC flash games have been a factor as well, but Sony really started the ball rolling.  They never forgot about the gamers that bought into the PlayStation brand in the first place though.

I think that’s my real problem.  Nintendo has forgotten that I exist, and now Sony and Microsoft are re-thinking their strategies to take a bite of that ‘casual cash cow’.  We all have our reservations about Microsoft’s New Xbox Experience, which is designed with the casual gamer in mind, but agree that there are some excellent features in there.  Namely the ‘Party System’, which can have you and seven of your friends chatting together, regardless of which games you are playing.

Now, Sony have let me, and everyone else, into the open beta of Home.

Do I want a Second Life clone on my PS3? 

Not really.

Do I want to purchase ‘virtual’ items for my ‘virtual’ space with my hard earned, real world cash?

No.  I just want to play some games, like we used to, in the olden days.

It may be fun for a while, to dance around with my avatar, but my real problem with this situation is, it is a beta.  It’s not the final polished product.  Why would Sony want to subject the masses to an unfinished product?  It has taken them a long time to get it to this stage, but I’m willing to wait a little while longer for a decent product.

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Then it all boils down to the casual gamer ruining my pleasure.  I’m not a true hardcore gamer but enough is enough.  The big N’s philosophy is bleeding into all areas of my gaming life, and I don’t like it one bit.  Even the franchises that I love are being re-issued and toned down for an audience that has never played them before.  Can you hear me Mario Kart?  My heart bleeds…

I’ve got my roast beef sandwiches and my flask of tea, and I’m going to sit here like Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead, fighting off the torrent of mini games, waiting for Nintendo to give ME something.  One game a year just doesn’t cut it.

zulu3

Nintendo, I always thought I’d miss you
Nintendo I thought that we’d always be friends
We said our love would last forever
So how did it come to this bitter end?

I hope that Sony and Microsoft will continue to do what they do well, and will not give in to this tide of casual interest.  Then one day, Nintendo may remember me, and remember what we once had.

For today though, the wait goes on, with a gentle tear in my eye.

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2 responses

28 12 2008
Alex Marcham

I entirely agree – I dread to think what they’re doing for the next Zelda game, with Ocarina Of Time often decried as ‘too difficult’ (I’m looking at you, water temple) but without the satisfaction of solving the puzzles with some degree of thought and ‘zelda logic’ the games would lose all enjoyment for me. It’s a bit of a ‘I like it my way’ sort of feeling really, and I know Nintendo will do what makes them the most money and no one can really blame them for that, I just personally wait with baited breath for ‘Link’s Interior Decorating’ and ‘Mario teaches the economy’ – The first one was made up, that second one is actually real. Oh Dear.

29 12 2008
Wayne Shayler

Like I said Alex, they don’t need us anymore and it is a very sad day.

Nintendo are quite happy for us to play on our Xbox360 or PS3.

One day, a new Zelda will be released, and I pray that it may look something like Shadow of the Colossus in graphical style. Something that looks a bit gritty, a bit more adult, but still with all those great puzzles. I’m not going to hold my breath though.

I’m just going to get my Hyrule kicks from the 8-bit original, then Ocarina after that. Still great games all these years later, but rock hard. I still have nightmares about the water temple. The casuals just wouldn’t keep up with it!

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