Ah, Nintendo. It’s a video game company I grew up with. In fact, my first handheld console I owned was a Game Boy Color with both Pokemon Red and Donkey Kong Country.
Now, take my opinion with a grain of salt as it is mine and mine alone. I’ve been supportive of the company throughout the eras – I’ve owned to date the following consoles: Game Boy (original phat), Game Boy Color (Pikachu Edition), Game Boy Advance (Purple), Game Boy Advance SP (Silver), Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo DS (original phat), Nintendo 3DS (original cosmos aqua blue), Nintendo Wii, Nintendo 3DS XL (“New” quad-core model) and finally the Nintendo Wii U. Some of these consoles are still with me today – the others sadly were sold, stolen or broke down.
What I’m writing about is the fact that Nintendo seems to be sliding down the mountain at an alarming rate. A lot of people have said ever since the legendary Iwata died, Nintendo’s been back flipping. There’s a lot of debate on the subject and I don’t wish to go on that tangent, so I’ll just give a brief summary of what my overall thoughts are.
Personally, I am worried about the future of Nintendo. I do think Iwata was one guy that drove Nintendo’s mine cart down the right path. However, now that he’s no longer with the company, the mine cart is being steered with other people that just don’t understand what Iwata did to keep the company alive.
The Wii U, while it is a good, fairly capable casual gaming console, is starting to show its age. With all the Wii U hate aside, the console is one of my preferred platforms (heck, I even have a development license for it) but it’s lack of third party games makes it feel left out in the cold. Sure, it doesn’t have the same grunt as a Xbox One or PlayStation 4, but it can still pull off a comfortable frame rate with nice visuals at the same times – the games just require careful optimization.
Wii U aside, there’s also the jerks at Nintendo of America (SJW bullshit included) and the whole “Fire Emblem” drama that basically equated to NoA scrapping translations of the Japanese version story line and replacing the story with ones full of memes and other stupid decisions. When fans did comparisons of the retail and a fan-translated japanese version (google Fire Emblem IF fan translation project), they were alarmed to see what NoA did to IF/Fates. Oh, and the head-patting activity that allows you to show your affection towards a party member in the Japanese version? I found that cute, especially Aqua. That’s been ripped out of the western release because “OMG HEADPATS DISGUSTING EWWW KILL IT WITH FIRE!!!!1″.
It feels like Nintendo is driving the brand name into the ground without giving it a second thought. And if they keep it up, they’ll be six feet under. What I do hope is that Nintendo wakes up to themselves and the Nintendo NX puts them back on the course. It has to – otherwise we might see Nintendo very well sink into the depths.
The others, Sony and Microsoft might appreciate Nintendo no longer being there if they do sink, but all three companies need each other to innovate. This isn’t console wars all over again. It’s a matter of seeing what console owners are playing, how they use their console, etc. From that research, you can build a new device that gives the owners something new to play with and ultimately that will spark attention.
As a rule of thumb, I always put Nintendo into the casual bracket, while PlayStation is for the “exclusives” and Microsoft is for the whole Microsoft ecosystem. That’s the way I see it. I owned a Xbox 360 and still have my PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. All are good consoles, and do what they are intended to do very well.
Bottom line is this. Nintendo isn’t full of assholes and jerks. While it seems like that, it’s mostly the American branch that’s the offending bunch. Nintendo of Europe and Japan have been keeping their heads down, like they should.
I just hope Nintendo can catapult themselves back into the mainstream with the Nintendo NX. If rumors are to believed, I think it will be a very interesting device. The question is, will it get third party support or will it suffer the same fate of the Wii U?
I guess we’ll find out. Soon.™