Posted on June 28 2011 by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc
Nintendo has made no secret that the major goal with Wii U is to win back the hardcore gamer, and to bring back in the core gamer that may have fluttered away from Nintendo due to the massive lack of core titles. Destructoid recently discussed 10 games they could release at the end of the Wii cycle to really help solidify the reputation Nintendo is hoping to gain as it heads into the Wii U era, and of course most of not all of the games already exist and are in countries that happen to not be the United States.
While there are definitely a lot of software and software packages Nintendo could do to usher in a new a era, there is really so much more than that available to use and abuse, specifically with Nintendo of America. We may love Reggie here at ZI, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been some really questionable decisions made, and some of which are really a turning off point for many gamers.
Stop Dancing Around Serious Game Questions from Serious Gamers and Analysts
This is really a broad spectrum topic that Nintendo of America keeps dancing circles around, and the dancing needs to stop. One of the biggest features hardcore and core gamers care about, as an example, with the Wii U is the online structure. Instead of officially commenting on the topic, they danced around the issue entirely leaving gamers only to speculate based on words from third parties. Even if the system isn’t finalized, you could reassure us of a few things people are worried about.
Not commenting on such a major factor is disheartening, especially given Nintendo’s track record. The E-Shop on the 3DS isn’t too well received either so far in terms of the functionality people hope to have. Is it really going to have everything Xbox Live has and then some? Gamers want to know, but Nintendo apparently doesn’t want us to. They will eventually share the information, but it’s something they should of been ready to talk about the moment they debuted the console and said it’s for “U”.
In addition to that, Nintendo of America does a lot of dodging when it comes to software questions. Why isn’t such and such game coming to the states? No comment, it just isn’t. That’s not good enough Nintendo. You need to start by, first and foremost, being open with the gamers. Let them know why, and let them know what they want to hear. It seems the Wii era has distracted Nintendo more than it’s distracted the gamers.
Release Already Made Hardcore Titles from Japan, sprinkled over the next 8 months
Pretty simple. We want Xenoblade, The Last Story, and Pandora’s Tower. Of course, does it have to stop there? Even packaging and officially translated Earthbound 3 for 30$ in the states is a nice start. Do “something” with releases to show gamers you’re serious about Wii U’s new direction. Were not saying abandon the casual crowd games – it’s definitely a market you should stick with. However, if you want the gamers that are spending several hundred dollars a year on games, you need to show them that it is a direction you are fully committed to. As in, don’t “just” rely on third parties to pull it off.
Skyward Sword is great, Kirby is nice, but it’s not enough. There is a major drought of true rpg’s right now that Nintendo can tap into. It’s cheap to do, they games already exist… so just do it. Are you going to make massive profits? Maybe not, but it sends the right message to those debating on Wii U and it’s value to the consumer. Of course this leads into my next point…
Stop Holding Back Serious Titles out of Fear
This ties into the last point, but is very relevant for the Wii U and the future of Nintendo. If you see sites grab something like Pandora’s Tower and start talking about it on major sites in the US, it’s likely a good idea to at least “plan” to bring that game to the states. The point in saying this is that Nintendo seems to be afraid to do such things, and that fear needs to stop. Not just in making a strong final library push for the Wii, but for all future game releases.
Prove That WMP Is Actually Viable
In the next era of gaming, you’ve made it very clear that Wiimotes are here to stay, so it’s time to prove WMP is actually viable for gaming. While it make work wonders in Red Steel 2 and Skyward Sword, it clearly hasn’t been wildly accepted despite making the device really have much more accurate controls. This may stem from it being a periphial, but the fact remains you need to do something to prove it’s viable outside of Zelda. Maybe release some downloadable tech demo’s showing it’s use in various genre’s leading up to Wii U? Shooter, RPG, and maybe Mini Game specific would be great choices. Build some confidence in present consumers to realize the Wiimote can be a serious gaming tool.
Openly Change Your Entire Marketing Strategy
You know how to market your own games to your own core. Too bad no one else knows how to do it. If another company made a title that was up to Zelda quality, it would likely sell poor because no one knows how to market to your audience. Some of this is solved in working with 3rd parties directly, but the fact remains that your entire marketing strategy since 2006 has been based around moms, grand parents, and little children. It’s true. Even in videos where you show teens and young adults, it’s almost always with a game they are enjoying with their family.
It’s brilliant marketing when trying to appeal to the casual. That is, of course, if casual fans actually paid attention. You know why my parents bought a Wii? They played Wii Sports at best buy. They didn’t even know what it was, hadn’t seen any commercials, or anything online about it. Casual fans don’t actively seek out hype. They don’t go to Nintendo.com, IGN, Game Trailers, Zelda Informer, Destructoid, etc. to get hyped. The people who do, the people marketing truly works for are the real “gamers”. You need to find out how to make your marketing appeal to them, or Wii U is already a repeat of the GCN before it even hits store shelves. It also wouldn’t hurt if you added another new adventure title to the mix as well to compliment Zelda. Why not? You have a ton of platforming games…