Nintendo are incredibly Japanese. What am I talking about?
Just look how they operate; they seem to work in a more, traditional manner, than their brother – Sony.
Nintendo has always been about doing their own thing. That’s how it’s been for a pretty good while now. They’ve always been the source of everything that was against the mainstream. They created these weird, quirky, and sometimes weird worlds that housed their equally unique characters – and it’s worked well for them. That’s why over 30 years from since making a debut into the videogame market; they’ve had an incredibly strong presence. Many developers point to Nintendo as their source of inspiration; whether for the titles they ended up making, or just getting them into gaming in the first place. Yes, Nintendo has done a lot of great things in their past, thus the reason why they’re the biggest video game company (financially) on the market.
As time has accelerated, and the age of the Internet has become arguably one of the biggest things ever, many companies have embraced it as being the ultimate way to connect with their customers; across seas, across oceans. Sony and Microsoft showed us last generation, just how wonderfully well it fits in with gaming. It gives players the ability to download full titles, stream media, and connect with each other. It also allows each company to connect with their fans on a personal level, by using social media such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
Nintendo has been a little different with their approach. Not only are they a generation late to the whole proper Online Infrastructure stage, but they, just as before, have a very bad habit of keeping quiet about their inner workings. Like I said before, they’re terribly traditional; a practice that still holds true for them today. As we’ve seen many times, Sony and Microsoft’s PR department has kindly taken to social media networks to talk to fans, and get their feedback. They constantly go at it with one another as well; making cheap shots every now and then.
Nintendo on the other hand has opted to stay in their little corner, and play with their toys in almost total silence. They've always done this. While the other two are loud and proud; constantly making noise about something – Nintendo stays completely quiet. About two years ago, they decided to really embrace the online world and start connecting to their fans just a tad bit more. "Nintendo Direct” – is a bi-monthly webcast that Nintendo does, to give updates about their projects “DIRECTLY!” to their audience. This ingenious idea is something I wished they did eons ago, and also something that would be cool to see other companies do. There’s always a sense of mystery and subtle hype when one is announced; which is always a day before it actually airs. These have proven to work well for the company, as thousands of fans tune in each time. And then when they re-upload it to YouTube, the view-counter is always in the multi-thousands.
But yet, while these little webcasts give us updates; they usually aren’t huge. Looking back at January of last year; Nintendo released what I would personally call one of their best Directs ever. It was dubbed the “Wii U Direct” – as it focused exclusively on the major titles that would be gracing the system in the foreseeable future. Many of the titles that were talked about have now been released, or will be in a short period of time. But then there are titles, like X, Shin Megami Tensi x Fire Emblem, and Yarn Yoshi that haven’t gotten any real updates. X only has 3 trailers. SMT x FE has nothing but a teaser trailer, and Yarn Yoshi only has a small thread (pun intended) – of gameplay clips with no audio.
Nintendo has always been the type to keep their cards close to their chest and not really say anything for large amounts of time. Big personnel in the company don’t even have their own social-media accounts, for fans to go to them “DIRECTLY!” and talk. While it’s certainly a good practice, since it’s always a big surprise when a top-tier game is revealed; it’s rather worrying.
Look at the Wii U. Nintendo has been twisting and turning with the system from since it was first released. There were many bold promises that were made both before and after the system went on market; and for the most part, they haven’t been fulfilled. But what has Nintendo done? What have they said? Not much at all.
“It’s coming.” “We’re working on it.” “Please understand it’s going to take a little more time…” – These are phrases that are starting to seem like automated-responses from them; as they keep apologizing for their lack of support – but they don’t seem to be doing much about it. And the question is, why? Why does the cat suddenly have their tongue? Their fans are tapping their feet, and shaking their hands, hoping for some kind of news – but this slow drip-feed of words isn’t cutting it. Nintendo needs to say something, no DO something, and they need to do it fast. The Cloak of Secrecy is neat when your system is actually performing well (a la – 3DS) ~ but when it’s flat-lining, something needs to be said. Hopefully E3 will prove to be a grand moment for the company. Hopefully they’ll dazzle us with a huge reveal of top-tier games that will keep Wii U gamers entertained for the rest of the year. This one major release every 3-4 months isn’t cutting it, and the blatant silence from the company isn’t helping either. You have a voice Nintendo, a huge one.