As the resident Nintendo fan on the site, this will be an article highlighting some of the issues I see plaguing Nintendo at this current time with the Wii U. Another “Wii U doomed article”, they’ll say, but hear me out. Because I’m a die-hard Nintendo fan, I want to see them grow, but at this rate, they’re steadily dwindling into irrelevancy in the minds of consumers. Here are my thoughts as to what is setting Nintendo back: 1) the lack of dedication to acquiring a strong third party presence, 2) being slow to employ more developers, team members, and people that can help bring content to the system, and 3) their persistent hesitation to building a cohesive online network.
I feel that until these objectives are met, Nintendo will not be taken seriously as a contender for consoles to own in the 8th generation (unless you like Nintendo first party games). I’m not saying that Nintendo won’t do well or turn a profit, because contrary to popular belief, their home consoles always have, but if they want people other than Nintendo loyalists and new, budding, gamers to hop on board, they have got to change the way they look at the current gaming market. Instead of shunning some of the modern advancements in the gaming world, they need to embrace them or find ways to Nintendo-fy them, in a good way. Let’s begin
Nintendo’s lack of dedication to acquiring strong third party support is, for the lack of a better word – disconcerting. Back at E3 2011, there was hope. Nintendo gave me promise that as a Nintendo fan I would finally be able to have the experience we have not seen from Nintendo in years – strong first party support as well as strong third party offerings. It is now 2013. The Wii U has seen a few titles that have not been on Nintendo home consoles before, or in many years, such as Tekken, Assassin’s Creed, Mass Effect, Ninja Gaiden, and others. Don’t get me wrong, I applaud Nintendo for attaining these titles for the Wii U launch window, but there is a problem – a consistent, annoying, unpleasant problem. The third party games were either a) late launches from their PS3/360 counterparts, b) lacking essential content that their counterparts had from day 1 (here’s looking at you Sniper Elite v2), c) were rushed ports with little polish, or d) the games were competing against much better offerings on the other systems (which was the case with Mass Effect 3 and the Mass Effect Trilogy not coming to Wii U). I remember a time when Nintendo had stricter policies regarding the content developers brought to their consoles. While, that was a time that most development companies despised, it was necessary to make sure that game makers weren’t putting terrible games on Nintendo platforms. It seems as though Nintendo has lost sight of this. Most people say that it’s up to third parties to make quality content for the Wii U, but I say that Nintendo needs to start putting their foot down and assuring that these companies put out quality content of equal or better value. Nintendo needs to fight for their consumers and stop allowing self-entitled publishers to do what they want. Call me a jaded fan without a lick of business sense, but I think it’s up to Nintendo to make sure that quality games are represented on their consoles, as at the end of the day it’s Nintendo’s problem if the Wii U flourishes or fails.
I’ve read countless articles about how Nintendo underestimated the time and resources it took to create high definition games, and to that I say – duh! It’s baffling how Nintendo could overlook what seems to be such a common sense notion. I’m just a regular chick from Texas and I could have told you that, Nintendo! If Nintendo would have thought of this potential problem sooner, I’m convinced that the Wii U’s release schedule would look far less…scattered. The Wii U needs convincing content, but until Nintendo rounds up enough staff to fulfill deadlines and a higher work load, they’re screwed.
When looking at the Wii U’s online infrastructure, it’s a great idea and has a ton of potential. Miiverse, in my opinion, is one of the most social applications seen on any console that is currently available on the market. I know what you all are thinking. “What about Xbox Live? It has party chat!” Yes, that is true, but anyone who has ever experienced Miiverse understands what I mean. Miiverse is technically the Nintendo version of Facebook or Twitter. In fact, you can now share Miiverse posts via Facebook and Twitter. You can message friends, participate in communities that are liken to Facebook’s “Groups”, share hand drawn photos and screen shots, video chat, and talk directly to Nintendo personnel in the official Miiverse community. There are also future plans to create private and tournament communities. However, there are some key components of Miiverse that are missing. Status updates are in your friend’s list opposed to your profile on Miiverse, you cannot send game invites through the Miiverse – this can only be done in-game, and although you can video chat with friends, which is limited to one at a time, there is no cross game chat that allows you to communicate verbally with friends while you are playing a game. In this day and age, especially in the west, online gaming is huge. It is one of the most engaging parts about online gaming, and for a lot of people, is the main reason why they continue to play video games. If Nintendo wants the Wii U to be a truly connected console, they have got to realize that more online options is going to give them a ton of praise from Nintendo fans and non-Nintendo fans alike. I understand that Nintendo is a video game only company and there are some things they truly don’t understand, but in the age of technology, there are many places that specialize in online connectivity that could help Nintendo build a capable online network.
In conclusion, Nintendo is not going to die. They have the money and the resources to stay afloat for many years to come. They could survive on their own content alone, but as a Nintendo fan and a gamer that has enjoyed the hobby since childhood, I expect more from Nintendo and I know that they can do more than what they are currently doing. They’re simply choosing not to…for…whatever reason. My hope is that Nintendo will continue to listen to the pleas of their fans through the Miiverse and we will finally get the games, features, and content we have been crooning for.
Until then, they will be destined as the “secondary console” for many gamers – if people consider purchasing it at all.