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    Nintendo's Current Direction
    Wednesday, 13 August 2008
    Now I don't want this article to come across as me going on a long rant about Nintendo because I am still quite a big fan of theres. The problem is that I rarely plan out what I am going to write ahead of time and some anger that I have about Nintendo's direction in gaming may bubble to the surface in here.

    I just wanted to write down my feelings about how Nintendo have approached this generation, with the Wii and to a lesser extent the DS.

    I guess my main problem at the moment would be the same as a lot of people. Nintendo seem to be focusing more and more on the casual gaming market. Now for them this is an approach that has paid off, their profits have been very good. Especially considering how poorly the GameCube did for them. Unfortunately for those of us who have been with Nintendo for a long time, we are starting to feel left out and un-catered for. Yes, Nintendo made a point of releasing some big names early in the Wii's life but this just isn't good enough, not when its competitors are getting big name exclusives.

    Nintendo's view on graphics and power for consoles would be my next complaint. They have stated time and time again that you don't need a powerful console to make good games. Now I may agree with this to a point (If you read my retro posts you will know I prefer older games anyway) but because of the Wii's lack of power we are missing out on multiformat games that could bring more credibility to the console. Graphical power is unfortunately a big draw in the current gaming world. I know a lot of people who consider the Wii a kids console because of its more cartoony graphics. Once again I do not agree with this personally but the way things are going at the moment, games are taken less seriously by certain people if their graphics are not top notch.

    The lack of third party interest in the console would be another worry. I mean the sheer amount of party games released for it is terrible. I think there are several reasons for third parties shying away from the console. They are still not sure yet what to do with this new control scheme. I have read interviews from many developers praising Nintendo in taking this step but how many of them have actually used them well? I think the power and graphics points I made earlier will be more problems for developers. They will know that creating more complicated games will make them more profit on the other two consoles so the Wii will once again be relegated to easier, more casual games. Finally I believe Nintendo's example is influencing developers. They will see Nintendo releasing brilliant games like Super Mario Galaxy or Resident Evil 4 (Wii Edition) but then for every one of these games they will release a load of party games.

    Taking a quick look at the Best Sellers List for Wii here are the top 10 games:
    • Wii Fit
    • Guitar Hero III
    • Wii Play
    • Mario Kart
    • Carnival: Fun Fair Games
    • Mario & Sonic At The Olympics
    • Big Beach Sports
    • Super Smash Bros. Brawl
    • Family Ski
    • Big Brain Academy
    Now I would say roughly half of those are worth playing and possibly the best on the list (SSBB) is near the bottom.

    Considering how well Xbox Live has done you would think that Nintendo would have finally caught on to creating a proper online gaming community. Once again though, not so much. Instead we have overly complicated Wii Console Numbers and we get a weather channel, something im sure a lot of gamers were just gagging for!
    Now yes I think the Virtual Console is good and WiiWare is coming along. But it also just seems so small compared to the Xbox Live Arcade or the PSN. I may not be the biggest fan of online gaming but I have had hours of fun playing Call Of Duty 4 online. I cannot say the same for the Wii. I really do hope Nintendo take a hard look at online gaming for their next console, they need to build a proper community which is easy to access.

    Now, onto the control system. I was extremely sceptical when it was first announced but I gave it the benefit of the doubt. When the Wii was released I spent months trying to get hold of one. Once I did, I enjoyed playing Zelda and Wii Sports. But soon all that started to change, I began feeling like the controls were losing their appeal and feeling almost gimmicky (a word I usually hate being attributed to Nintendo). I actually sold my first Wii, I was missing the more simple controls I was used to, being able to sit anywhere instead of in front of a bar on top of my television so that everything registered properly.
    I think with the controls that Nintendo possibly tried to do too much too fast. As I mentioned earlier, developers just haven't done much with these new controls but I think if they had been introduced gradually this may have led to some games using them a lot better.

    Now I did mention the DS at the start of the article but I think it has fared a lot better than the Wii when it comes to a good selection of games for all interests. We still have all the casual and party games that I have been complaining about but there is also some brilliant games on there, in a wide range of genres. This is how Nintendo need to start working on the Wii, they need to make sure all their audiences are happy instead of just throwing the more loyal Nintendo fans a Mario game every now and again.

    Well, reading back on that I realise that it does in fact come across as very anti-Nintendo. But I guess that's the way I am feeling about them currently and theres no point trying to change that.

    I think this years E3 would be the obvious thing to mention for Nintendo's current direction. They seem to think that showing the more hardcore of the fans a new Animal Crossing game will appease them and then filling the rest of the conference with a snowboarding game and the new Wii Sports title.

    A change is definitely needed in Nintendo, unfortunately though I don't see it coming anytime soon. They are making the money they want and unless these new markets they have opened up are a temporary thing then they will keep making that money.

    If you want to talk about this article you can either post a comment on the blog or join the forum as there will be a thread in the "Articles" section.

    Labels: ,

    posted by Happenstance @ 17:42  
    • At 14 August 2008 at 18:29, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      I am so sick of hearing "hardcore" gamers and self-proclaimed "long-time Nintendo fans" bitch and moan about the Nintendo Wii. Boo-stinking-hoo. They have given you an entirely new way to play videogames with the cheapest console price of this generation. They released numerous triple A exclusive Nintendo franchises like Zelda, Metroid, Mario Galaxy, Smash Bros., Mario Kart, Mario Party, etc. They have opened up their library of old school Nintendo and Third Party games that you can download and play for relatively cheap. They have done numerous great things with the Wii that we should all be thankful for, yet all I read are non-stop rants about how the Wii sucks ass. Give me a break and go complain to that brick wall over there while I have fun with my Nintendo system.

    • At 14 August 2008 at 18:39, Blogger Happenstance said…

      Thankyou for your constructive comments, I really appreciate them. I am glad to know that my opinion on the direction Nintendo has taken is wrong and that yours is the correct one.

    • At 27 August 2008 at 00:39, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      Lovely Stuff. Keep up the good work mate.

    • At 4 August 2011 at 12:53, Anonymous Keylogger said…

      these makes for a good title

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