Posted on June 26 2011 by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc
Nintendo has been telling us since E3 that the Wii U is, literally, for you. It’s both a casual and hardcore gamer machine. It has the gimmicks needed to sustain the Wii market, and the hardcore capabilities to provide epics such as Darksider’s 2, or Call of Duty. However Nintendo hasn’t been the best themselves when wanting to cater to said market from a pure software perspective. Outside of Zelda and arguably Metroid, Nintendo doesn’t have a lot of games targeted for an older audience.
Mario Galaxy was amazing, but it’s target audience was more of the teen age. It’s also a platformer, and sure we know Nintendo makes the best platforming games in the market. Nintendo also has rights to three major IP’s in Japan that have received severely high reviews and tons of praise, and they are all experiences even Sony and Xbox players have been begging for ever since Final Fantasy went to crap.
You all know what I am referring too: Xenoblade, The Last Story, and Pandora’s Tower. Arguably three of the best RPG games not named Mass Effect to come out in the last decade. 3 experiences they have decided wont sell in the United States. One of the original arguments to not release it here was sales based but it was also because of the cost of localization. Well, that’s no longer an issue.
Xenoblade and The Last Story will have english translations in Europe. Why is that market suddenly more viable than the United States? With the translation existing, why can’t they just release it in the states even in small amounts? It’s truly baffling, and there are really only two reasons I can come up with. They aren’t good reasons, but understandable.
Nintendo is Done with the Wii
Nintendo has repeatedly said they still had a lot of games in store for the Wii, but since those words were said it appears to be what everyone feared – Skyward Sword and Kirby are it. They are the big Wii send offs. I’m fine with that, but why not instead localize games from Japan which is much cheaper to do and simply use that to fill the void until Wii U? Nintendo’s Wii support seems to be dieing off, and I think it’s a clear sign Wii U must be coming early 2012.
Epic RPG’s are Counter Intuitive to the Image Nintendo has Built for the Wii
Nintendo recognized they created a reputation of not being for hardcore gamers. They claim to want to fix this with Wii U. Nothing was mentioned of starting that trend at the end of the Wii Cycle. The Wii’s reputation is bad with hardcore gamers, even core gamers as well, but they seem to be pleased with their overall image. They are for “everyone”, or to be specific, for your little brother, girls who aren’t gamers, and the over arching casual crowd. They tapped into the market that seems to be Apple’s forte and created massive sales because of it.
They don’t appear to have any interest changing that reputation. Skyward Sword could of been just the begining. With releases of the 3 major RPG titles from now to Wii U’s launch, it would further show the world wide gamer base that Nintendo is taking the transition seriously, and not just relying on third parties. What will sell Wii U is the exclusives.
I guess the one last hope is that they are going to remake the games for Wii U, but I don’t see that happening. In the end it boils down to the topic question: Why the hell is Europe suddenly more viable for JPRG’s than the United States? Especially when you consider the multiple languages they have to deal with while in the US they just have to use one.