During a time when Nintendo gamers were satisfied with duking it out in Smash Bros. Melee, or cleaning up an island tarnished by the graffiti of a mysterious dark Mario, the company behind it all turned the tables.
With the release of the Wii, designed to appeal to a much wider audience, it was almost as if Nintendo went under the knife. Ever since then, the word ‘Nintendo’ is synonymous with wanna-be-sleek white channel layouts, motion control, Miis, and that electronic beeping ambiance we hear on the Wii homepage. Their newest handheld, the 3DS, and the upcoming WiiU seem to follow this new face. The question is; is it working? And if not, (after the recent nubageddon nightmare), what will happen to the company?
The Wii’s initial release was a total success. Newcomers made their purchases alongside many hardcore gamers, and while lobbing a tennis ball back and forth or boxing with the nunchuck were exciting experiences at first, it wasn’t long before the dust began to settle for the more dedicated players. Realizing there was no wizard after all, just an awkward bumbling man behind a curtain, the hardcore gamers very quickly lost interest. The Nintendo Wii became “the system your grandmother has,” instead of “the system your older brother won’t let you play,” not necessarily a bad thing given Nintendo’s original goal for the product. They most certainly snatched up tons of new customers, non-gamers everywhere became casual gamers in the blink of an eye.
Not much has changed since then, as far as the Nintendo fan base is concerned. Of course, there are those who will always have a nostalgic soft spot for the company and their franchises, but for the most part – hardcore gamers tend to laugh at the Wii, while spending their time with the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Has Nintendo taken the right steps to change that, and bring back the audience that they’ve lost?
The shorter answer is no. With the disappointing sales, launch titles, and online interaction service of the 3DS, it’s looking like the competition with the Playstation Vita will be far heavier than originally expected. Currently, there is but a single 3DS title worth owning, and it’s a remake; The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D. The recent Starfox 3DS remake had so much potential to be a success, but with Nintendo’s overwhelmingly stupid decision not to include online multiplayer, it just isn’t a game that’ll hold gamer’s interest for longer than a week or two. The future 3DS titles don’t even look particularly promising yet. A new Mario 64-esque game sounds alright, another Animal Crossing is okay, Mario Kart, sure, but where’s the new and exciting releases?
So far, it’s looking like Luigi’s Mansion 2 might be the best shot they have at “new and exciting.” And if you disagree with that, dare I even mention the infamous nub? It’s as if they’re seriously just pulling our leg now. They can’t honestly think we’re supposed to take that little attachment seriously. And if they really do think that, they’re more delusional than we’ve imagined.
Not to mention the massive groans of disappointment that spread like wildfire once the WiiU was announced. Originally built up to sound like a second gamecube, Nintendo very well may have lost their chance to appeal to the hardcore demographic once again. Times like these get people talking. Will the WiiU save Nintendo, or destroy it? Will it even have the opportunity to destroy it after nubageddon? Will we see Nintendo follow the path of Sega, and end up focusing only on software development? The gamers are speaking out, and it doesn’t sound pretty! What will Nintendo’s future hold? Only nubs will tell.