What's Happening to Nintendo?
I love Nintendo. I may not be as tight with them as I am with Sony, but Ninty and I go way back. Heck, Super Mario World for the SNES was the first videogame I ever encountered, at the age of four, so it's possible I never would have taken up gaming as a past time, if it wasn't for good old Ninty.
But, many of their decisions lately, have been questionable, at best. It's no secret that the Wii U has been struggling from day 1. Sales have been lower than projected, and third parties have been slowly backing off.
Third party support is one thing, but Ninty's first party support has been questionable too. Sure, there's a new Super Smash Bros coming out, which is an IP that typically moves consoles, but it has been announced for the 3DS too, and a handheld entry is a first for the company. Sure, the Wii U version will probably be the better version, and it's a timed Wii U exclusive, but do they really think that's enough to get 3DS owners to buy Wii Us?
I will admit that they have given the system some good Virtual Console support, but that alone is not sufficient to move systems. Sure, Earthbound turned a few heads, given the game's tragic history in the West, but if they really wanted to move systems, they would focus more on new games, because that's what people are waiting for.
The Wii U is the weakest of the three major consoles, so it needs a hook to sell it. Perhaps next gen, if Ninty stays in the console market, they'll actually try on the hardware front, and not focus too much on a gimmick.
Also, bringing Gameboy Advance games to the Wii U, and not the 3DS makes no sense, since handheld titles have always been best suited to handhelds IMHO, and not big tablets. Sure, the 3DS has GBA games, but Ninty has refused to allow anyone but ambassadors to play them, probably because they hate money. All they're accomplishing is making 3DS owners angry. I doubt very many people want to invest in a Wii U, purely for GBA titles.
Actually, the 3DS has proven to be compatible with games from all of Ninty's handhelds, through emulation, and backwards compatibility with the DS. You'd think we'd have even more GBA games on there now, and some DS titles. I think those games would sell more than the even older stuff 3DS owners have received so far.
For the most part though, Ninty has had much better support for the 3DS than the Wii U. It got a new Zelda. Sure, the Wii U got Wind Waker HD, but a brand new Zelda game would have sold Wii Us. You would think they would have been working on such a game well in advance of the system's launch, so they could have a killer app in their arsenal. Apparently, a Wii U Zelda game is set to be unveiled at E3 this year, but the Wii U may not have been in the trouble it's in, if it had hit sooner.
The 3DS got Ocarina of Time 3D, which is also a solid port, and A Link Between Worlds. A Majora's Mask 3D would be awesome. Make it happen Ninty! But, at least on the Zelda front, 3DS owners have more to celebrate, for the time being, anyways.
I could talk all day about things Ninty has done, or should be doing, but one last big no-no is Ninty's insistence on not having an E3 conference for the second year in a row. It's like Ninty has given up, and simply opts not to run with the big boys.
Sure, their fans will catch their Nintendo Direct stream, but does that mean that Nintendo now thinks of themselves as a fans-only company? Have they given up on winning over the general gaming population? Only Nintendo knows for sure, but they really need to step up their game if they want anyone to take them seriously anymore.
What do you think. Is Nintendo in trouble? Do you think they've made some terrible decisions, or have their choices not been so bad in your opinion? Leave your comments below. Also, feel free to check out my blog @ landofgaming.net