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It’s Not Nintendo’s Fault: It’s Ours

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It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that last week’s Nintendo Switch reveal disappointed, outraged, and dampened the hype for a lot of vocal Nintendo fans, fans who have expressed their frustrations on social media, hammering new titles such as ‘1-2-Switch’ with a vitriol unseen since the dog days of the Wii’s motion-control dominance. A melancholic spirit of doom and gloom seems to have descended upon the Nintendo fandom in the past week, it’s inception the belief that Nintendo somehow mishandled the presentation and missed out on a golden opportunity to market the Switch to new customers. That statement is false, however. It wasn’t Nintendo’s fault for how the reveal went over with fans. No, it was our own.

With every new console release, especially since the Nintendo 64, it seems as if Nintendo is the subject of unparalleled examination and rebuke. Every console since the N64 has had a narrative attached for why it was somehow a failure; the N64 used cartridges, the GameCube used mini-DVDs that made it hard on developers, the Wii was under-powered and oversold, and the Wii U was a poorly named, improperly marketed disaster. Now, the narrative seems already crafted for the Switch, “Wii U 2.” For nearly twenty years, we’ve lambasted Nintendo for their peculiar design limitations all while ignoring the fact that such limitations didn’t hamper great games from coming to those consoles. They never prevented amazing experiences from developing nor prevented Nintendo from creating the masterpieces that they are known for. Because the ideas weren’t popular in the West, they are considered failures (so goes the narrative.)

We, as gamers, are too focused on making Nintendo, a Japanese company founded in the 19th century, fit into our modern, Western ideas about the way their consoles should be manufactured. We tell them they need third party games when, to be honest, few third party games stand the test of time on their consoles. We tell them we need a solid online system when they are the only major video game company that still cares about couch co-op. We tell them they need Madden, FIFA, and Call of Duty to succeed when those games are rarely, if ever, exclusive to one console. To tweak the famous Einstein quote, we are consistently judging Nintendo on their ability to climb the proverbial tree (i.e. act like a Western console manufacturer) and not by the amazing experiences that they ultimately craft.

Nintendo does not need to imitate studios that it pre-dates in order to succeed. They do not need to take from Sony’s playbook and manufacture a console so Western and vanilla that it practically oozes of imitation. They are not a Western company and they do not need to imitate one to succeed. They simply need to be themselves.

They need to stop being judged on their ability to sell their platform to hardcore gamers. Gaming needs a Nintendo interested in developing games for casual audiences. The casual market, since the Wii and the explosion of free-to-play titles, is a market with few quality experiences; Nintendo is a lone exception. We shouldn’t discourage Nintendo from entering the casual market with games like ‘1-2-Switch,’ but should instead keep an open mind regarding similar titles. Sure, games like ‘1-2-Switch’ aren’t going to be winning Game of the Year anytime soon, nor are they experiences that stoke deep thought, but in a world filled with micro-transactions and games carefully designed to make money above anything else, they are quality experiences that can bring together gamers and non-gamers alike. The rejection of casual games doesn’t make gaming better, it only makes it more homogeneous. There is deep irony in the fact that we decry publishers, such as Activision-Blizzard, for a series like Call of Duty (which has evolved very little in six years), but we criticize the most innovative company in the industry for their refusal to talk and walk like everyone else.

Gaming needs casual games. Nintendo is one of the last bastion of AAA games that are family-friendly and also accessible for all ages. Walk into any modern GameStop, or similar store, and one is often greeted by marketing focused exclusively on older teen and mature titles; games that, while enjoyable for older audiences, are not appropriate for most children. For gaming to thrive as an artistic medium, it needs to inspire children around the world from a young age. Nintendo appeals to this younger audience (a fact recently attested to by Sony president Shuhei Yoshida) and is one of the few game publishers focused upon experiences accessible to the entire family. In an age where electronic devices separate families rather than bring them together, criticisms of Nintendo’s focus on family-friendly experiences are more short-sighted than ever. Embracing non-gamers should be an important part of Nintendo’s strategy, not only with the Switch, but with every experience that they craft.

The Switch showcase on January 12th was critiqued for being too slow, too awkward, and for being translated instead of localized in a Direct-esque format. This criticism shows how easily we ignore the significant cultural differences between Japan and the West. Nintendo is a traditional, Japanese company and there are bound to be things lost in translation. The gulf between Japanese and Western cultures becomes more apparent when we consider the setting of the event, Japan. In the past, Nintendo has shown their ability to operate much as Western companies do, such as when they revealed ‘Twilight Princess’ at E3 2004, but this event was aimed toward a primarily Japanese audience and was tailored with that audience in mind. Events set in the West, such as E3 have often given Western consumers the exciting reveals that they have craved. However,given the differences between Japanese and Western cultures and the degree to which, unlike a traditional Direct, this event wasn’t aimed toward a Western audience, it is no surprise that the slow, low-key pace failed to impress Western games media.

Ultimately, Nintendo has never done things as other companies have, especially in the United States and, in light of that, it is paramount that we understand who they really are, a team of talented artists, programmers, and businessmen whose job it is to develop fun, accessible, and well-crafted experiences that stand the test of time. It is time that we respect them for who they are in the industry and understand that they saved gaming as an artistic form. They do not need to be like Sony or Microsoft. They don’t need to appeal to hardcore gamers, Western fans of Japanese games, or any other market segment. They simply need to continue what they have been doing for the past forty-five years, making great games for everyone.

Although a gamer since before I can remember, there is not a better definition of me than these three words: Christian, moderate, and learner. I am steadfast in my Faith, my Beliefs, and in my Opinions, but I am always willing to hear the other side of the discussion. I love Nintendo, History, and the NBA. Currently a PhD Student at Liberty University.

74 Comments

74 Comments

  1. John Cal McCormick

    January 23, 2017 at 8:55 am

    This is what battered housewives say about their husbands.

    • Izsak “Khane” Barnette

      January 23, 2017 at 9:04 pm

      While I don’t agree with your analogy, I agree with what your profile says about Rocky IV’s soundtrack. Vince DiCola certainly produced good ’80s music.

      • John Cal McCormick

        January 24, 2017 at 9:00 am

        If excerpts from the Rocky IV fight with Ivan Drago music played every time you turned on your Nintendo Switch, I’d be like 40% more excited for it.

        • Izsak “Khane” Barnette

          January 24, 2017 at 7:05 pm

          Lol, that would be pretty nice. Personally, I would enjoy “Training Montage” more, though.

    • YOUDIEMOFO

      January 24, 2017 at 2:12 pm

      Love it…..!.!

  2. James Fox

    January 23, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    Well said mate!

  3. Skybichou

    January 23, 2017 at 11:28 pm

    This is just Wow! Very good! Well said!

  4. Sylmaron

    January 24, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Paid online and getting one (!) thirty year old (!!) game for rental (!!!) is what baffled me the most. How can they even hope to compete and even more so, how can they think they can sell this to their loyal fans?

    • James Fox

      January 24, 2017 at 1:02 pm

      Have patience grasshopper
      Let the Big N be themselves and in time, They will explain their paid online serivce

      • YOUDIEMOFO

        January 24, 2017 at 2:00 pm

        Explanations are just about over as their “system” drops in about a months time.

        Not sure about you, but I’d like to know what my money is being set aside for before I attempt to save for it.

        • Izsak “Khane” Barnette

          January 24, 2017 at 7:08 pm

          I understand your frustrations, but I have confidence that they will reveal more about the system in the month before launch.

      • Izsak “Khane” Barnette

        January 24, 2017 at 7:07 pm

        That’s a great attitude to have!

  5. AlucardPR

    January 24, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    I’m going to be blunt about it. Stop nitpicking on Nintendo consoles and focus on the goddamn games.

    • YOUDIEMOFO

      January 24, 2017 at 1:58 pm

      Well….one would focus on something else like games…..if there were to be “games” for it….

      That is the biggest issue for this system. I personally do not accept a four plus year old game as being the pinnacle of this systems “launch” capabilities.

      • AlucardPR

        January 24, 2017 at 2:08 pm

        LOZ, Bomberman, USF2, Splatoon 2, MK8 Deluxe (and possibly Xenoblade 2 if they had been working on the project for longer than 2 years)… I think that will keep us warm and comfy till Mario Odyssey, not to mention everything else that will be announced on the way.

        • YOUDIEMOFO

          January 24, 2017 at 2:28 pm

          All confirmed at launch and or in the first six months…..?? I think not. I’ll always be there waiting for something to make me change my mind, but with the current lineup I am out as of now.

          • ShadyKnights

            January 25, 2017 at 10:39 am

            All of what he listed save for Ultra Super Street Fighter II and Xenoblade 2 are confirmed for the first six months yes. There are actually 18 confirmed games for roughly 6 months that we know about now. A future Direct or E3 will possibly inflate that number.

          • YOUDIEMOFO

            January 25, 2017 at 1:01 pm

            I sure hope so. I’ve been waiting a long time for Nintendo to do something….. I personally do not care for the “gaming on the go” approach to begin with. I’ve always been the person to do what I need to do and get on with where I’m at.

            Here’s hoping to this system having a true future of at least four years….. HOPING!

          • ShadyKnights

            January 25, 2017 at 1:28 pm

            I don’t get why you have been waiting long, Nintendo has been making and putting out games regularly. The fact that they supported the Wii U for as long as they have after the campaign against them by the gaming media and those who would rather listen to others than thing for themselves, should instill confidence, not cynicism for their support for the Switch.

          • YOUDIEMOFO

            January 25, 2017 at 2:58 pm

            I’ve expressed why I have my reserves and they’re personal to me…..not others’ influence on my own expressions.

            I have not enjoyed what Nintendo has put out since the GameCube and that could have been solely due to being deployed at that particular time. Especially when I saw the gimmicky Wii sell like it did after I played it/experienced it I was floored. Floored how the sheep bought into it all. Standard 480p connections in an HD era at that time was not a “retro throwback” feeling… Because I do like motion controls and the idea behind them, but I do not like when those controls are such a gimmick that they can allow one to win with the flick of a wrist. All the while somone actually doing the movements are being pummeled…..

            And the fact that they released the WiiU like they did when they could have released the “switch” instead was a huge mistake. One that could have made an impact then and I’m hoping does still today. Nostalgia lost its luster next to dollar the signs and these systems’ lack of backwards compatibility (unless you want to re-purchase the original again….). I’ll run my emulation station for my nostalgic purposes.

            I’d love to have seen an actual system from them truly is what I want to say. Handheld systems aren’t for me. Especially in 2017 when 10nm chips are going to be the norm in cell phones the switch has one good year of mobile gaming based on its three plus year old hardware. Regardless if it is custom it’s still old as hell. And that is just me saying this over the price point of these new phones. Because at years end those very said phones will have much cheaper rivals and cheaper versions themselves.

          • ShadyKnights

            January 25, 2017 at 10:00 pm

            Oh, you are upset they are not making a third console like Sony or Microsoft? Odd to be worried about considering there was only one generation where they were more like their competitors, and that was the Gamecube era. The NES, SNES, and N64. Wii and Wii U were fairly different than their competitors and carried that on their sleeve. Not saying the Gamecube was just like the other two, but it was most simmilar in terms of how games in the indusrty looked and played.

            We don’t know what they were doing with the Switch at the time the Wii U was coming out so that’s an odd thing to suggest or assert what they should have done. Not nearly enough information on our end suggests they even could do it or if it was even ready. And to assert nostalgia lost it’s luster ignores how well HD Remasters sold and are selling and how well virtual console games are selling. Also precious HD gaming has bankrupted and ruined many developers and I’ve heard no complaints on their end from the console, so it couldn’t have been all that bad. Specially since they made money there. The HD generation ushered in the death of many companies and is when the nose dive of the gaming hit it’s stride outside of Nintendo due to that expense.

            With all due respect it just seems like you don’t understand that stronger specs do not equal quality or what determines a “real” console. Nintendo isn’t trying to make computers or phones, but video game consoles. Chasing the newest thing means you need to be replaced regularly which is more expensive and costly to the consumers and developers, a fact that is often ignored or glossed over every time we reach for greater technological strides in our home consoles. The phone logic also fails when one looks that the higher end phones that one could argue competes, but even then those are cheap only with contracts. Those that are cheap without contracts are not all that competitive technologically speaking. That argument also suggests against going for the most tech because they’d only be obsolete come the end of the year. The glossing over it being customized also ignores how one stays competitive, and that’s by having what others do not. Being older also has the advantage of people are more familiar with working with you, are more comfortable working with you, and can be more efficient in working with you. Kinda why the Wii got as many games as it did compared to the PS3 and, to a lesser extent, the 360.

          • YOUDIEMOFO

            January 26, 2017 at 2:40 am

            Riiiiiiiiiiight. Took a minute, but I got there. And good to see that the people like you are still out there. Only taking what you wanted from what I might have slightly said and running with.

            How’s that gloss over there……..!.? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

          • ShadyKnights

            January 26, 2017 at 2:52 am

            Not really sure what you’re going on about sport. You said that was how you felt and what you saw. I was pointing out what I saw in what you said. I added nothing more other than my thoughts on your opinion. Though you do seem to be using internet argument tactic of shift conversation from what you said to me as a person, so I suppose that’s the cue that you’re done talking points or having a conversation so I guess I’m out too.

            Nice discussing with you.

          • Pinkie-Dawn

            January 26, 2017 at 5:09 am

            “Being older also has the advantage of people are more familiar with working with you, are more comfortable working with you, and can be more efficient in working with you. Kinda why the Wii got as many games as it did compared to the PS3 and, to a lesser extent, the 360.”

            Now if only Westerners understood this because I’ve recently been seeing comments about how the Senpai-Kouhai mentality is hurting Nintendo (with one of the comments I’ve read using Star Fox Zero as an example).

          • John Cal McCormick

            January 26, 2017 at 8:32 am

            “Kinda why the Wii got as many games as it did compared to the PS3 and, to a lesser extent, the 360.”

            That’s putting 2 and 2 together and getting 7. The Wii got as many games as it did because it sold as many units as it did. It’s not coincidence that the Wii library is huge, and it got lots of third party support, and it’s their best selling console. Publishers go where the money is. Of course, the attach rate on Wii was dire so most of them didn’t make huge amounts of money, but they still tried.

          • ShadyKnights

            January 26, 2017 at 9:25 am

            Then why does the PS4 not have a comparatively larger amount of games than the XBone does? It has roughly 3 times the consoles sold with a near 1:1 game ratio. The Wii got as many games as it did because it was much cheaper to develop for and because it sold as many units as it did. But that ease of development is the kicker. Again, how many new and random games came out on the Wii vs the PS4? What’s the scale? Far greater on the Wii because it was cheaper and easier.

            If publishers went where the money was then why have many of them gone out of business last gen and why has over 100 gone out of business this gen? Because HD development is expensive. The cost to develop tends to be more than what they get back, even for smaller games.

          • John Cal McCormick

            January 26, 2017 at 9:46 am

            First, the PS4 does have a lot more games compared to Xbox One. There are over 1,300 games currently on PS4 with lots more on the horizon. Xbox One has around 1,000 with less on the horizon. The PS4 also doesn’t have roughly three times the number of units sold as Xbox One. At last count it was just under two to one. It’s hard to judge now given Microsoft stopping giving out figures, but from what information we’ve been given, it seems reasonable to assume it’s still around 2:1.

            The Wii got as many games as it did because the vast majority of them were cash grabs. If you actually take the time to sit and look at the library, it’s huge, but a massive chunk of that is shovelware.

            The Wii was extremely popular among casual audiences who picked it up for Wii Sports to play on Christmas Day but not as popular among what would be considered hardcore gamers. You can extrapolate that from the numbers we know. A hardcore game like Skyward Sword for example, did not sell in huge numbers despite the massive install base of the Wii. Many other what we’d call traditional games fared similarly. More casual games sold in greater numbers, and so studios aimed for that market. Seriously, sit and peruse the library. It’s shocking how low the quality to quantity ratio is.

            It was easy for developers to send out any old shit to the Wii hoping that the market – largely made up of more casual gamers who tend not to have their fingers on the pulse of the industry – might pick it up. Cheap to develop, low risk, potentially high reward games. Shovelware.

            The other side of the coin is the Wii U. The Wii U was a machine that was marketed more toward hardcore gamers and made little to no impact on the casual market. It failed commercially, and third parties abandoned it as soon as it became obvious that sales weren’t going to pick up. That’s what publishers do. Remember Ubisoft holding back Rayman Legends so they could release it on PS4 and Xbox One at the same time as the previously timed-exclusive Wii U version? Publishers love money.

            The Wii got games because publishers wanted money. If the PS4 had tanked then it wouldn’t be getting anywhere close to the support it is. If nobody bought Xbox One then studios wouldn’t bother porting multiplatform games to it. It’s the way that the industry works.

          • ShadyKnights

            January 26, 2017 at 10:09 am

            I’m sorry 1,300? Could you please reference that number because that sounds like complete bunk, with all due respect. To clarify, I was speaking on current gen, physical disc games.

            I never once said those games were not cash grabs, I said different games. See people who talk about the Wii U in a negative sense always argue it didn’t have a lot of games. Okay the Wii did, and when that is brought up, as you did, people talk about attachment rate meaning this is a damned if you do damned if you don’t kinda deal you’re arguing which is not the point I am speaking on, but even if we argue the PS4’s attachment ratio is better than the Wii’s devs are still not making as much money from their games, so that’s a moot point.

            The over all point is the cheaper hardware was easy so it got more games and money was made over all for the popular console of last gen. The console that sold the most this gen, which I’ll admit my numbers were mixed up (I thought the PS4 had around 60m to XBOne’s ~20m), has a lot of games coming to it and no money is being made. What’s the diversity of the PS4’s games to the Wii’s Yes WIi had shovel ware, but devs could make shovel ware which is good for them and the people who work there, and for people who actually like those lil games and would form happy memories from them. Where there was diversity in the SD market is sterilization in the HD market. Why? Expense.

          • John Cal McCormick

            January 26, 2017 at 10:28 am

            Why would you only include physical releases? Games are games. The 1,300 number is made up of current-generation games available both physically and digitally, not including PS2 games available on the system, or any of the games available through PlayStation Now. If you want to arbitrarily ignore digital games, then the number is much smaller, but I don’t know by how many without sitting and counting them, which I’m not going to do.

            Well, we can’t know how much money developers are making from their games. Shovelware is cheap but then a huge amount of it doesn’t actually sell very well. It’s low-risk because it’s cheap to develop, but then studios just throw it out there and hope that enough people are silly enough to buy it. Perhaps those games made millions for the devs, but given the poor attach rate of the Wii, it seems fairly unlikely.

            The proof is in the pudding really. Nintendo abandoned the Wii well before Sony or Microsoft abandoned their consoles, and the 360 came out a year and a half earlier than the Wii did. If it was making big money they probably wouldn’t have done that.

            AAA games are certainly more difficult and more expensive to make, and studios have suffered as a result. That’s why there’s no middle ground in gaming any more, or certainly less of one. Games are either big AAA titles expected to sell millions, or smaller downloadable titles arriving with much less fanfare. We live in a world where Square Enix consider Tomb Raider a sales dud because it only sold a few million.

            I don’t think it’s fair to say no money is being made this generation though. Software sales are currently extremely strong. Hardware sales are strong. Attach rates are high. People are making money.

            Also it’s not fair to say that there’s less variety in games now. There’s more than ever. Look at the number of genres making a comeback – Metroidvania games, adventure games, 2D side-scrollers, 8-bit homages – as well as the advent of new genres like walking simulators combined with all the stuff we already had. There’s a tonne of new ideas out there, mostly in the indie scene. For gamers, there has never been a time when we’ve been more spoiled for choice.

          • ShadyKnights

            January 26, 2017 at 11:02 am

            Because inflating the numbers with PS1 titles and indie games is disingenuous to the subject matter at hand which is the cost efficiency for your standard publisher and not the smaller indie crowd who’s games do not have to be overly ambitious and who honestly very little is expected from. It is not an arbitrary subtraction, but a reasoned one for clarity’s sake.

            Well the fact that the same publisher may put multiple of the games out and have not complained once is a fair indicator on how much they made back. Very likely much less than what they put in with the Wii. Again you’re arguing Nintendo when I’m talking about other publishers. Nintendo is well known to have made a nice bit of change on the Wii with the console by itself, and in general, their games sold well on it. The fact that 9 of the top 10 best selling WIi games are in the double digets says a lot about how much they made on that. Even still, that’s not the point. EA, Ubisoft, Activison, Sega, even Square tossed more than a couple of games on the Wii and have spoken nothing bitter about it. Likely because even with a poor attachment rate, they sold enough to, at the very least, break even.

            Again, you’re using the indie market when the subject matter is established developers. I’m not being unfair or overly myopic, nor did I say AAA only. I’m speaking of AAA, AA, A, B, C games. Games made from a larger developer where they just spit ball or try a new thing. People with an actual budget who are paid seriously to make a game, make something with relatively little time, medium effort, but plenty of love and fun tossed in there. Games that can sell 200 and be considered a success because they made a profit for an experienced team, or that can fail and not hurt the company in any significant way.

          • John Cal McCormick

            January 26, 2017 at 11:36 am

            That’s not inflating the numbers. From memory there’s only one PS1 game on PS4 – although I might be missing something completely obvious – and I don’t see how talking about indie games is any less relevant than talking about shovelware. There’s so many indie games on PS4 because there’s never been a better time for smaller, independent studios to get their games seen on popular platforms than right now.

            Both the Wii and the PS4 have big libraries of games. Both the Wii and the PS4 have fairly healthy AAA, third party and first party support (although PS4 is obviously stronger in regards to third party, Wii is stronger in first party). The difference, of course, is that Sony’s mantra with the PS4 was “gamers first” while Nintendo’s with the Wii was that everyone could play. Hence, a huge portion of the PS4 library is indies, while a huge portion of the Wii library was shovelware.

            PS4 has naturally attracted developers and indies who are trying (not always, of course) to deliver quality titles while with the Wii devs focused more on titles that would appeal to the casual market, which largely became shovelware, and many of which didn’t sell in any great number because of the nature of the Wii customer base.

            The point was that the Wii didn’t get a big library of games through carefully cultivated third party relationships, and nor did it get them through developers committed to making quality titles for the system (both of which can be said about the two main consoles today). They got support because the Wii was popular among casual gamers and studios thought they could peddle any old tripe to them and get away with it.

            That’s not to say that third party studios didn’t try and make quality titles because they did, but their instantly lukewarm approach to the Wii U should tell you all you need to know. There were a few token efforts by third party publishers on Wii U, and then they gave up very quickly. But even when they were trying it was more of “let’s see how this does before we actually commit to it” type of scenario.

            The attach rate on Wii was poor, and that’s been well documented. Studios got burned. The Wii U suffered.

            I’m not arguing Nintendo, either. I was using them as an example because we know they abandoned the system early, and they make a cut of every game sold on the system whereas the various third party studios obviously only make money on the ones they publish. That combined with what we know was a poor attach rate for games on the Wii means that we can form the fairly reasonable assumption that studios weren’t, generally, making as much money as you’d think on Wii games.

          • ShadyKnights

            January 27, 2017 at 1:47 am

            Developers who have security of working with a larger company that can afford to print a game on disc/cartridge to reach a larger audience, is not quite the same as developers who can only afford to keep their games digital. There’s pros and cons to both, but they make inherently different games over all and it is unfair to both to lump them together. It is also telling when a company is willing to throw out several small games, have them printed, then do it again. A large company that is more into making more money would not keep doing that if there was not a healthy return on interests, attachment rate or no. The most logical reason as to why they wouldn’t do that for any console, would be when they cannot get those returns.

            Large developers are afraid of taking risks and many of them are shutting down because of expense in development. Even parts of large developers are closing up because of this expense. If there was a grand shift in going where the money was, these devs would be viciously on the 3DS if on nothing else. You keep arguing the attachment rate, but that means nothing if enough profit is made with lower attachment rates. The 360 had a higher over all attachment rate than the PS3 and Wii, yet it seems (from as best as I can currently find) the games on it are over all lower than both from large developers. If a dev puts 100k into a game and makes back 1 mil from 70k sales, they don’t care about attachment rate. That’s why the games were shotguned out. If there was no money then, those games would not have been made at the rate they were. They couldn’t pull that off with the Wii U, because they couldn’t cut as many corners and make it work. That and they made stronger efforts to resell last gen games to current gen consoles with the PS4 and XBOne and gamers migrated to where effort was shown from said third parties. There’s no proof or nothing else to infer, because that was the norm for Wii U ports. Not what always happened, but it was the standard practice that noted by many early Wii U adopters.

            All this “carefully crafted relationship for games” stuff you’re arguing has nothing to do with the point at all and is actually pointless to most development over all unless we’re speaking of second or first party. I’m breaking it down to the lowest common denominator for a big company which is money. They see big console numbers, they see ease of game development because their developers are used to working with the hardware and technology (meaning less money they need to spend making the game), they see easy money to make. With the PS4 and XBOne they see higher console sales and, traditionally, higher attach rates for third party which means more potential money for them. Problem is the expense of HD development. Answer that we’ve seen all this gen? Reselling games already made by slapping HD paint on them and tweaking some things in certain games, more DLC, reducing diversity, shorter game length, down size studios, rushing games out and patching it later, misleading demos, and in some cases restricting what can be said in a review. Those problems were always apart of gaming, but they flared up notably last gen and have exacerbated even more so this gen from third parties mostly. Because if they don’t make money from these games, it doesn’t matter how many of them they actually sell.

      • Izsak “Khane” Barnette

        January 24, 2017 at 7:07 pm

        While there aren’t a large amount of titles at release, there are more to come. I understand where you come from. Thank you for your comment!

    • Izsak “Khane” Barnette

      January 24, 2017 at 7:04 pm

      I agree. Thank you for you comment!

  6. YOUDIEMOFO

    January 24, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Not sure how I feel about this system as of now. Everything being said a sorry of late seems to go back to the ol’roots of the big N……Japan. This Japanese company that, their ways, being innovatively driven and not having to prove anything….

    Guess what. They have a lot to prove and not to just themselves either. Nintendo has a huge platform (ideals) to encapsulate and a path that is ladened with potholes and massive gaps in their strategic planning in my opinion.

    I hope for good things. I am just sickened with the past gimmicks and seriously over marketed controlling schemes. I ditched out on it all when playing against a five year old that could twitch their wrists and beat out someone who uses the controls with actual (lifelike) movements.

    Overall cost of this console with everything one would need out the door on day one is going to be to much for what it does not offer. I choose not play my games on the “go” as I actually “go” to do shite.

    Mobile gaming is going to destroy the switch with the newest 10nm hardware being dropped for cell phones this year. Screens on a cell phone that are better, hardware that is better on a platform that can do much more than just play a few games.

    Hope I’m wrong and this system can sell outside of Japan.

    • Izsak “Khane” Barnette

      January 24, 2017 at 7:09 pm

      Regardless of how it sells in the West, I agree that this system will sell massively in Japan. Thank you for your comment!

  7. Justin Avery Drysdale

    January 24, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    The kind of universal ignorant hatred thrown in Nintendo’s direction these days sickens me. Nintendo is a great company are they perfect no no company is perfect. But what sickens me is not that people highly criticized Nintendo it’s that it’s become cool almost hate them. Don’t you bastards realize if it wasn’t for Nintendo there wouldn’t be an industry. Yet you were so quick to blatantly disrespect them. A company that has accomplished more incredible things in two decades that you will probably ever accomplish in your lifetime. It’s not criticism that bothers me it’s human to be critical. Its the pure hatred they get from so many people.

    • Izsak “Khane” Barnette

      January 24, 2017 at 9:50 pm

      Nintendo certainly was the progenitor of the modern video game industry. Thanks for the comment!

    • John Cal McCormick

      January 25, 2017 at 8:19 am

      It’s not universal hatred. It’s criticism – justifiable criticism – aimed at their product. That’s what reasonable consumers do.

      • Justin Avery Drysdale

        January 25, 2017 at 6:13 pm

        Whatever helps you sleep at night pal. You can be disillusioned into thinking there’s no bias going on but I’ve seen even the gaming media run click bait doom and gloom articles. Its as it they want Nintendo to keep failing, so they can keep people invested in their site.

      • ShadyKnights

        January 25, 2017 at 11:09 pm

        Justifiable? That is a hard stretch. Criticism? Yeah that’s true. I’ve never heard what I’d call good criticism since it usually boils down to stating what someone didn’t like as factually bad, while what they like as factually good, but yeah, sure. Definitely criticism.

        • John Cal McCormick

          January 26, 2017 at 8:54 am

          So you’ve never heard good criticism because the criticism is just people saying things are bad because they don’t like them, but then you’re pointing that out by saying the criticism is factually bad because you don’t lik…. okay… I’m not even going to bother pointing out the hypocrisy in that statement. Let’s move along.

          That’s not how this works.

          People talk about things. That includes our beloved Nintendo. When it comes to analysis and whatnot, there’s a spectrum. There’s the Nintendo fanboys who cry any time somebody says something mean about their favourite unscrupulous, money-grabbing corporation on one end of the scale. And then there’s the people who’d hate on Nintendo even if they cured cancer on the other end.

          In the middle is the normal people. Now the normal people are going to look at things and like some bits and not others. That’s life. Nothing’s perfect. I love Kettle Chips. But I wish the bag were bigger. That doesn’t mean I’m all up in here hatin’ on Kettle Chips. That just means I’m a consumer that is looking at a product rationally.

          Some criticism of Nintendo is bullshit, just as some of the praise heaped on them is. But you can’t dismiss justifiable criticism of Nintendo with a hand wave just because it hurts your feelings when someone on the Internet doesn’t like exactly the same things that you do. It’s fine to be different. Embrace it. But not everyone else has to be wrong just for you to feel like you’re right in what you like.

          Nintendo get criticism because they make mistakes. Now you can either look at that with some level of objectivity and deal with it, or you can spit your dummy out. Look at the comments on this article. Some of them are actually delusional. There’s one claiming the media hid the Wii U and that’s why it didn’t sell. Sycophancy isn’t ever going to help Nintendo. Yes Men don’t help. Constructive criticism does. Someone piping up and saying, “Maybe this isn’t the best direction to go in” helps.

          There’s lots of things Nintendo are doing that you can be critical about. That doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to like them. It doesn’t mean that either party is inherently right or wrong. I’m not saying you’re an idiot for liking what Nintendo do. Dismissing people who are critical of them is just as silly.

          • ShadyKnights

            January 26, 2017 at 10:21 am

            Didn’t say criticism was bad because I didn’t like it. I said I’ve never heard what I’d call good criticism as a means of being polite to people who like to think criticism is all good and fun times. It’s a technical reason for that, but since you wish to assume hypocrisy I shall clarify. Artistically speaking, criticism is about breaking a work down. It forms no positive thoughts or opninions, only focusing on the bad. I’ve yet to hear anyone criticize any work positively and by nature, you almost can’t. Artistically, Critiquing is about focusing on the structure of things. It tells what works, what doesn’t, and is about improving or building up. I’ve heard and been given many good critiques in my life and career. I find critiquing is best done by someone who know’s what they’re talking about i.e. someone in the field versus an outsider, but that is not a hard fixed rule, they can just articulate themselves better on average.

            Considering people like to ignore everything surrounding Nintendo that causes a lot of it’s troubles, I cannot say I’ve heard many genuinely objectively good critiques of much of what they’ve done. Not that I have seen none, but the average Joe believes faults are more important than achievements. A creator knows how difficult even one achievement is and tend to do their best to kindle and help nurture that achievement and grow it better. Constantly harping on what is bad as the average consumer does tells the creator effectively nothing about what they did well. It is as counter intuitive as over focusing on the positives.

            SO as you should be able to see, it is not hypocrisy, only a different stance in verbiage and technical understanding.

  8. Rebecca

    January 24, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    This is gaslighting. You’re blaming critics for a system’s limitations and the lack of third party support.

    • Izsak “Khane” Barnette

      January 24, 2017 at 9:47 pm

      Thanks for your comment! It’s all in perspective. I’m saying that the critics blame Nintendo for system limitations that, in reality, never really impacted the development of great games for the consoles. Again, thanks for taking the time to comment!

      • Rebecca

        January 24, 2017 at 9:51 pm

        How many AAA Third Party titles were on the Wii U?

        • Izsak “Khane” Barnette

          January 24, 2017 at 10:44 pm

          To be honest, in the first year or two of the Wii U, we had quite a few third party ports/titles: Zombi U, Mass Effect 3, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition, etc. despite the GamePad’s reticence and limited graphical fidelity. In my opinion, Nintendo should take a “build it and they will come” approach for their consoles. If they produce a hit, even if it is underpowered (like the DS, Wii, 3DS), it will still draw third party support.

          • Rebecca

            January 24, 2017 at 10:48 pm

            Only three games there were third party AAA.
            Want to know why third parties didn’t go to the Wii U? It wasn’t just because of the bad stats, it was the fact that people didn’t like the Wii U and there wasn’t enough of them in people’s houses to even consider making games for it. It wasn’t just advertising, it was just a bad system.

            And now another bad gimmick system is going to suffer the same fate.

          • ShadyKnights

            January 25, 2017 at 10:44 am

            Would you please define what a AAA game is? Because your posts suggest you either have a different definition of AAA than I often hear about, or you don’t know what AAA is.

    • John Cal McCormick

      January 25, 2017 at 8:21 am

      ^That.

  9. Fingers41

    January 24, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    The switch has sold out everywhere, the hype is still there

    • John Cal McCormick

      January 25, 2017 at 8:18 am

      That means nothing. Nintendo fans were clamouring to buy a bottle of water with Nintendo Switch written on it on eBay. You need to wait for the initial allocation to sell out and then see what sales are doing.

  10. Ray01X

    January 24, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    Great piece! It’s always good to see someone who doesn’t always jump at the chance to talk sh*t about Nintendo.
    I can’t help but feel that people hold Nintendo to a higher standard. So many folks badmouth and nitpick about the silliest things with Nintendo. But when Sony and Microsoft(especially Sony) commit some unfavorable deeds, you don’t hear a damn peep!

    • Cody Kolbinskie

      January 25, 2017 at 1:07 am

      in fact you hear praises from the hypocrites -.- just…….wow!

    • Izsak “Khane” Barnette

      January 25, 2017 at 2:02 am

      Thanks for your comment! I appreciate the compliment!

  11. Cody Kolbinskie

    January 25, 2017 at 1:05 am

    Dude, Well Said. I mean, I could not have said it better myself. Im glad i pre-ordered my Switch at Walmart during the Treehouse event, All Pre-orders are Sold Out. I am personally excited for the Switch

  12. John Cal McCormick

    January 25, 2017 at 8:19 am

    ^This one made it through approval?

  13. Jewelwriter Moonstar

    January 25, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Thank starlight for this piece.
    (I got redirected to this by friends in VGF)

    I feel like it’s true that Nintendo gets so much hate for things they can’t fight back against since it is what makes them who they are.

    N64: They used Cartridges despite CDs for the fact they are using trusted technology and because of that people used $ to pull people from Nintendo.

    NGC: Used mini discs to combat pirates which tried to plunder every game console alive and looted the Dreamcast to the point that it sunk faster than the titanic and with how high powered it was, it was ignored still by those who called for it.

    Wii: One of the best selling systems alive at it’s time didn’t go HD and showed that graphics aren’t everything and people tried to scoop money from the “fountain of treasure” so they can use it to support…trash that barely sold enough to keep things afloat.

    Wii U: Minus the naming (which I will not hate on since wouldn’t you keep the name of success?) and the marketing (Though on this note… THAT is the fault more on other people than the N themselves…since they did explain it with showing ads when they could but apparently the media kept it hidden.) the Wii U was sabotaged nearly from the moment it was revealed and then when giving thirds a chance to show what they can do… they showed their true colors and ran tot he PS4/X1 the moment they could and tried to force Nintendo to as much the same fate as Sega. The only problem here is they made green on nearly every title they let rip.

    And seeing how people are about the Switch makes me think the hate machine is still at it and I HATE IT. With the exception of online payments required (a thing I’ll HONESTLY worry about.) I see the switch as another attack on Nintendo for being who they are: A game company that cares about the quality of their product coming into the hands of the people who gain it, be it adult, child, or somewhere in between, and make sure they have a rare thing on them at the end of the day… a smile that is made from enjoying it all.

    • Izsak “Khane” Barnette

      January 25, 2017 at 6:22 pm

      Thanks for your comment! As for the Wii U’s naming, I personally would have preferred “Super Wii.”

      • Jewelwriter Moonstar

        January 25, 2017 at 7:17 pm

        Welcome and yea…naming department needs to get some R&D research. [Though the Super Nintendo probably would say high from the past to counter the argument.]

    • ShadyKnights

      January 25, 2017 at 10:06 pm

      The hate on the name of the Wii U is why I write off so many people who complain about localization and call it censorship. It’s a PUN. The Japanese love their puns. Wii is We. Wii U is We and you. The Wii was about getting more people to play with you hence Wii (we). The Wii U was about asymmetrical gaming, pitting the gamepad holder against the Wiimotes, being we vs you or Wii U. It was a simple joke that no one got. This is why games are localized and not directly translated people. Because you don’t get the joke otherwise.

      • Izsak “Khane” Barnette

        January 25, 2017 at 11:07 pm

        I believe either Reggie or Iwata said this when the Wii U was revealed. Thank you for the comment!

      • :)

        January 26, 2017 at 5:29 am

        I want to say Reggie even directly explained it in an interview. If you have to explain the joke, something’s amiss. Yet, people get Xbox 360/ One, NEW 3DS, 2DS, and Vita juuuuust fine…

  14. Pinkie-Dawn

    January 25, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    This article is truly refreshing from all of the negativity Nintendo’s been getting since the N64 days.

  15. ShadowHero43

    January 26, 2017 at 4:40 am

    Finally got around reading this. Damn good read

  16. VHS

    January 31, 2017 at 2:57 am

    1 2 Switch will be great. IRL video game fans like it, just not angry nerds that accept the cartoon games from Nintendo, but somehow think creative minigame collections are lesser genres, when you have jrpgs recycle the same gameplay and repetition since the snes ps2 era. Not sure how they identity as fans but hate the bulk of what the company is about. I get alot of the closet Nintendo fanboy crowd over- scrutinizes and hates on the company to fit in and appease the Xbox, Sony gamer hardcore minority out of insecurity. But they know who what to expect.

    Hd rumble gameplay will be great, the Nintendo fans in the real will appreciate the game, they’re already calling 1 2 Switch a highlight of the early preview events. Internet is a hive mind of nerds that want to fit in with the insecurity of their industry. They then backtrack once something becomes successful. Nintendo is openly casual, video games are for children and families, they just admit it and are open about it. The hardcore mentality is ironic, given most of the genres that sell and still get attention (open world, sports games, shooters) are casual genres. Games thinly disguised as films are made to bring in the teen film going market.
    This divide is silly and shows the resentment and toxic attitude self identifying core gamers have cultivated with the clickbait obsessed games culture of constant outrage at parts of the industry not pandering to their snowflake ideas of what gaming needs to be.

    That attitude needs to change again, and this is why the rest of the industry takes less risks… But then the market shrinks… IRL there was alot of positive attention for gaming during the middle market, Guitar Hero, Wii, motion, early Xbox era and I think bringing some of that back isn’t a bad idea at all.

    • Izsak “Khane” Barnette

      January 31, 2017 at 8:09 pm

      Thank you for your comment! I agree with you that most gamers out there are casual and that Nintendo has almost always (with the exception of series like Xenoblade and Metroid) appealed to casual gamers. By the way, your username reminded me of Regular Show. “VHS is VHBEST!”

  17. Anubisseesall

    January 31, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    I see your points but Nintendo’s failures are theirs to own. Also you make it sound like PlayStation is a western console which it clearly is not, in fact the PS4 is the first Sony console to not be completely custom hardware thats easy to develop for.

    People pick on Nintendo for not being more like the others only because they fail to really understand what people are asking for. People don’t really want Call of Duty and Madden on there, what they want is competent hardware capable of running third party games (who stands up and shouts hey I’m WEAK!).

    Nintendo needs to get out of their “happy to be odd” mentality and play on the nostalgia that sells their hardware. They need to make a new Metroid that can knock a series like Gears of War on its ass, they need to proposition dead classics that use to be exclusive to them to be revived, like CastleVania. Also they need to stop shoehorning stupid ideas into both their hardware and game development. Star Fox on Wii U didn’t have to suck but forcing people to use the game pad to aim wasnt fun.

    Also you can’t lambaste gamers and Nintendo diehards for thinking the Switch presentation was lame. It kind of was, no one cares about casuals or the games they like to play, in fact pandering to them is why despite sales the Wii was a colossal failure. Seeing any kind of motion controls return are more then enough of a reason to be cautious about the Switch, no one wants that crap back, it ruined many of the games on Wii.

    • Izsak “Khane” Barnette

      January 31, 2017 at 8:06 pm

      Thanks for commenting! You had a lot of good points, but I have to disagree with you about system power. The GameCube was quite a bit more powerful than the PS2, yet, it still languished behind dramatically in sales. Sometimes, it’s more than just raw graphical output.

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