Posted on January 28 2011 by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc
They have much more to say on the matter than this simple video. It’s been a constant ongoing discussion amongst Nintendo fans specifically about the kind of audience Nintendo has lost with the Wii. The hard part about blaming the Wii for what they lost is that the Wii happened because the Gamecube failed commercially. Sure, Nintendo still made a profit (they have never posted a year of losses) but in general 3rd parties started to gravitate away from Nintendo because of the failure of the Gamecube.
Most of that is thanks to the Wii. It’s the only console to simultaneously “win” and “lose” a console generation. On one hand, the Wii has outsold its direct competition nearly two to one, and is the home to some very profitable games, like Wii Play, Just Dance 2, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and New Super Mario Bros. Wii. On the other hand, many developers, publishers, and gamers have been repulsed by the Wii from day one. As a result, the vast majority of today’s most popular and influential third-party games aren’t on the Wii, leading many gamers to consider the console a failure at best, and an embarrassment at worst.
Alright, so destructoid makes a valid point here. We’ve known for awhile that third party support has simply vanished. We use to get Goldeneye, Resident Evil 4, Conker’s Bad Fur Day – Hell Final Fantasy use to be on Nintendo’s home console. Point is they have lost almost all of that support. Sure, we still get stellar titles like Monster Hunter Tri, or the very overlooked and brushed off Dead Space: Extraction. There have been other good titles like No More Heroes, Madworld, and Red Steel 2. There has been some support – but a lot of the major companies have turned their shoulder. Sure, we get modern warfare on the Wii, but it’s watered down because the console just can’t handle the full game. It’s undeniable that Nintendo has lost the big name third party support. I don’t think this is entirely the Wii’s fault – they were behind on switching from catridges, and when they did they took a risk with minidiscs. Well, those never caught on. By the time they finally went to CD-Roms, the world was already moving into Blue-Ray and HD DVD. Point is that they got into the DVD disc realm a bit late.
How to Make the Lost Gamers Fly Back to Nintendo… According to Destructoid:
Step one: Drop the Wii Name
The Nintendo “Wii” may mean “an all-inclusive console for people of all ages, races, genders, and cultural backgrounds,” but to most dedicated gamers, it means “pandering to my parents and my younger siblings because the GameCube failed so Nintendo has given up competing with Sony and Microsoft for my attention.” In short, Wii equals “Nintendo’s betrayal” to a lot of people, and it always will. Just uttering the word causes some people I know to recoil in disgust.
There are a couple fundamental problems with simply dropping the Wii name. Before you get too deep into winning back the consumers that they lost, they can’t forget about the consumers that they gained. To the casual fans, the Wii is massive brand. To them, the Wii IS gaming, and just to hear it uttered them means “fun”. My mom loves the Wii, and if another console from Nintendo came out without Wii in the title she wouldn’t even know it existed. Nintendo isn’t going to abandon the audience that they have really captured with their products. However, most analysts are agree that casual fans are casual for a reason – they buy games sparingly wont be looking to buy a new console if they are still having fun with the old. Very true points.
So, it’s a matter of how badly Nintendo feels they need to win back what they lost to have future success. Of course, a rename isn’t going to really fix the perceived real problems.
Step two: Add Some Damn Power
There was a time when gaming occupied the same space in people’s minds as newspaper comic strips; light diversions for adults, fully engrossing for kids, and a career path for artists. With this console generation in particular, gaming has become much more than that. While gaming may still be comparable to the porn industry in terms of how much respect it gets from the mainstream media, it’s much closer to the realm of Hollywood films in terms of how much money they cost to make, and how much money the generate, and how deeply they’ve penetrated our culture.
Just as people want variety in their blockbusters, they want variety in the games as well. People want the option of seeing Toy Story 3 and Avatar. If Nintendo wants to keep up with Microsoft and Sony in the next console generation, they’re going to have to provide those options, and every option in between.
So Nintendo had a very viable excuse to not go ultra powerful at the start of this present generation. For starters the tech was just overly expensive. The Xbox 360’s main version debuted at 399$, and the Playstation 3 cheapest model chimed in at a cool 499$, with the premium model going for 599$. That is a lot of money for a home console. Nintendo decided such prices just weren’t acceptable to the gaming market at the time and thus wanted to create a much cheaper console, but one that offered something no one had seen before. They successfully pulled that off with the Wii coming out at the 250$ price point. It’s commercial success speaks for itself.
More than that, the Gamecube competed with the PS2 and the Xbox, but it failed commercially. Although, some can point to the difficulty of converting to a minidisc as the main problem. That, and the lunchpale box itself just didn’t look like something you wanted to show off by your TV.
I agree in part that the next Nintendo console must advance power wise. Now that the PS3 and Xbox 360 tech has become much more affordable (you can get a good 360 for the price point the Wii Launched at, and a PS3 for merely 50$ more), it only makes logical sense that the next console is AT LEAST as powerful as the PS3. Sure, that may be so “current gen, not next gen” – but I think you will find that the next generation of powerhouses from Sony and Microsoft will not be notably much better than the PS3 can produce. This would allow Nintendo’s next console to still be affordable, and able to compete with the competitors. They ability to also throw in a blue ray player would be great, but isn’t required. In fact, it would make the console cheaper to not have it.
Step 3: Publish one T- or M-rated game, just to say you did
This one is really just for Nintendo of America. In Japan, Nintendo publishes all kinds of games, from the ultra-violent Zangeki No Reginliev, survival horror favorites like Fatal Frame, auteur-produced RPGs like The Last Story and Mother 3, obvious long-time favorites like Mario and Metroid, and of course, the sterile and tame Wii Play and Wii Party titles that have become the public face of the Wii brand.
So true. Nintendo of Japan has published a large scope of games, where as in America we seem to not get the more “violent” Nintendo games. I don’t get this strategy. Why do I have to import the Wii’s best titles not named Mario and Zelda? This shouldn’t be a problem in this age of gaming – so next time they help create an epic like The Last Story for a future console, at least announce plans of release in the western world, even if it’s a year later. Nintendo knows how to get involved in T and M rated games (sorry Twilight Princess, you just don’t count) despite the claim that they just don’t “do that genre well”. Yeah, well, in Japan you’re doing just fine. Don’t you realize western gamers want that too? No worries, your image for the Just Dance players wont change because an M game is released.
Step 4: Never force us to waggle again
Still, there are millions and millions of gamers that see the NES controller as far from adequate. They won’t touch a home console unless it comes armed from day one with a dual-analog stick controller, and an army of games to go a long with it. If Nintendo can find a way to make their first motion controller have the built-in functionality of an NES controller, I’m sure they can find a way to put motion controls together with a traditional dual-analog set up. Don’t ask me how they could do that. They’re Nintendo; I know they could pull it off if they wanted to.
I think the real strategy for Nintendo in making the dual analog stick controller become a more realistic option (not requiring us to buy an Classic Controller in order to play those type of games) is to include both at launch. When you get a Wii 2, or whatever it’s called – give us an improved motion controller AND a wireless dual analog controller. Show the system can support both brands and push them equally. This will keep the motion audience you have captured and show the rest of the audience you still find value in the old controls. Sure, us purist know you do (hello Brawl), but the rest of the world doesn’t.
Step 5: Go overboard with online
No quotes here – this one is is obvious. Nintendo either needs to decide they aren’t an online system, or they need to go all the way. They can’t offer some demos, some DLC, and call it good. They need to fully commit or stop trying all together. The 3DS shows that Nintendo is more than willing to commit to the online aspect of gaming. They need to bring that system, but improved, into the next console.
In the End
Destructoids piece says a lot more, and while I agree with a lot of it there is some parts that make me scratch my head. The Wii is great, I love it, but it’s no secret it does gather a lot of dust, and that’s saying a lot considering I play it frequently. Still, I haven’t touched my Wii in a week, but I just played my xbox 360 yesterday. I wouldn’t even have an xbox 360 if Nintendo could find a way to provide the complete package.