Thursday, January 23, 2014

The state of Nintendo

Recently a lot of speculation has surfaced around Nintendo’s announcement that 2013 was a very poor fiscal year regarding the Wii U. It should be noted though, that the 3DS on the other hand has become the best selling handheld of all time in the same period.
I of course have my own opinions on this, so I have actually compiled a list of what I would do to “fix” the state of the Wii U. But first I’d like to clear up 3 things:
  1. This is not a loyalty post, I love Nintendo but I also have great memories surrounding Microsoft and Sony. I fully expect to also acquire a PS4 and Xbox One when I reach the funds necessesary to do so.
  2. I consider the Wii U to be part of this “generation” of consoles.
  3. This is not a rumor mill, I’m not going to concern myself at all with the Nintendo Fusion rumor.

Are we clear? okay let’s go.

  • Re-brand the Wii U.

I love my Wii U, and so does anyone else I’ve talked to that has actually bothered to get one. However, Nintendo pulled a very stupid move in the naming department. It’s no secret that most of the impressive sales of the Nintendo Wii came from the casual market. Nintendo managed to create a console that scratched that itch between button pressing and joysticks that a lot of the population apparently missed. That friend you had as a kid that would move the controller along with the directional button? Yeah the Wii was made with him or her in mind and it didn’t hurt that you could actually lose weight by using it.

Let your kids play video games and still get a bit of exercise: BRILLIANT! However none of the people who thinks that way will actually notice that the Wii U is an entirely different machine. Why would they? And Why would they want a Wii U? They’ve got their Wii Fit board and their copy of Wii Sports. Here’s what to do: Bundle the Wii U with the Wii U Pro Controller.

The most off-putting part of the Wii was it’s controllers. Nintendo hasn’t exactly been traditional with it’s controllers for quite some time now but they’ve generally stuck to the two-handed approach. The Wii Remote and Nunchuck however was just way too far from the comfort zone of your general audience, they wanted something that felt familiar. So they went to Playstation and Xbox instead. The Wii U pro controller however is just “hardcore” enough, if you play your cards right you can still save some of the audience that takes itself far too seriously.

  • Third Party is your friend

Nintendo, you produce some of the finest installments in the way of puzzle adventures, platformers and action experiences. What you don’t produce, is modern wartime shooters, realistic racers, stealth based horror games, or some of the other genres on which the best games of the last generation were based. So why does the Third Party not like the Wii U? Well if you ignore the fact that the Wii U is not as powerful as the competition, it’s that the Wii U Controller is a big hunk of a controller. I like it, but it’s not exactly similar to the competition. This is where the last point comes in, if you can guarantee third party developers that people who own a Wii U probably owns a Wii U Pro Controller, cross-releases won’t be a hassle.
There won’t be that big of a difference in programming to make up for, currently if a developer wants to release a game on the Wii U they have to take the Wii U controller and the ugh Wii Remote into consideration. That’s at least 10 extra hours of programming. Either take the Wii Remote out of the equation, or provide a coding skeleton they can copy/paste into the games code when doing a cross release.

  • DVD/Blu-ray player

Okay so this one is a bit circumstantial, as I am not sure it’s possible to actually pull off on the current hardware. However you released the Wii Mini, didn’t you? - while no “gamer” will outright tell you this, and Sony will probably never own up to it, but a lot of the successful sales of the Sony consoles has been the fact that they doubled as media devices. The PSOne doubled as a CD player, to a lot of people from my generation the PS2 was their first DVD player, the same goes for the PS3. Even Microsoft tried to emulate this by being able to play HD DVD’s on the Xbox 360. Why you guys never decided to get on the media wagon outside of apps I have no idea, but it’s a small add-on that apparently means a lot.

  • Use the 3DS.

This is a Super Game Boy. It allowed you to play game boy games on the Super Nintendo. The 3DS has two screens, one being a touch screen, so has the Wii U. Do I really need to take this argument any further? You even have advertisements for the 3DS online store ON THE WII U ESHOP. Take the next obvious step. Please. The DS literally prints money.

  • Smartphone games

Speaking of eShop. Look at all that awesome creativity on the Google Play store and the Apple App store. Now if only you guys had the possibility of offering the people’s favorite app games in 1080p on their TV’s at home without having to try and find a comfortable spot over their tablets or smartphones. It’s not like you have a CONTROLLER WITH A TOUCHSCREEN THAT COMES WITH THE SYSTEM OR ANYTHING. Too bad, that would’ve been nice.

And that’s my suggestions, what do you guys think? If you liked this article please share it with your friends or try using it to open up discussion

(this is a cross-post from my tumblr)

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