As I sit here writing this, my 51st article for Zelda Informer, there is one question that keeps coming into my mind. A question that I ask myself. A question that my friends and the people I know often ask. A question that you, as a Nintendo fan, have most likely been asked on numerous occasions. Why do you choose Nintendo? Why not the Sony Playstation or Microsoft X-Box? Often we just give half-mumbled, non-intelligible answers that in their own way say “because I want to”, and, “you wouldn’t understand anyway”. But there are numerous reasons why we are Nintendo fans. My problem wasn’t identifying them, it was compacting them into this bite-sized article.
First off the bat is the innovation Nintendo has engaged in since way back in the days. From things now taken for granted like the directional pad, the control stick or even saving, Nintendo was there making it a reality. Nintendo took gaming into the hands of its players with its Game Boy series, and more recently has amazed with the DS’s touch screen, microphone and wireless capabilities. The Wii was another advancement in gaming to motion controls, and the upcoming 3DS is yet another groundbreaking step in gaming being taken by Nintendo. On top of hardware, Nintendo also innovates with its software, having revolutionized many aspects of gaming with such classics as Ocarina of Time and Super Mario 64.
Nintendo is ahead of the pack, in all regards. Its competitors can do nothing other than copy what Nintendo does to keep up. In 2006 the Wii is released, and then in 2009 updated with Motion Plus controls. In 2010, the Playstation Move comes along with some sports game – a bit late to the party though. Then there’s the PSP – Sony’s attempt at something comparable to the DS, which it barely is. Along with innovation comes the fact that Nintendo is willing to try all of this. Whereas other companies stick to known territory, Nintendo tries new things. Sure, they’ve had flops – just look at the Virtual Boy, if you’ve even heard of it. But they tried it, and because of that we have what we have today.
Now let’s look at Nintendo as an actual business. It started as a trading card company, over 100 years ago, that is solely focused on gaming. Unlike Sony or Microsoft, this is all that Nintendo does. They don’t just make a console and let developers produce for it, they make games themselves. They have the longest experience in the industry of anyone and know what people want. Nintendo is a brand, not just a console produced by some sub department of a company Bill Gates or some other entrepreneur established. Gaming is everything to Nintendo, and Nintendo, you are everything to gaming.
Nintendo is a company that is passionately committed to what it does. Just look at any Eiji Aonuma, Shigeru Miyamoto, Reggie Fils-Aime or Satoru Iwata interview. Look at Miyamoto showing off Skyward Sword excitedly at E3 this year. These middle age guys are more excited about producing these games than the giddy teens unwrapping them on Christmas morning are. They are excited by and genuinely love what they are doing. Now, I’m not saying that there aren’t people elsewhere who are the same, but at Nintendo, everyone is. They share that passion with everyone, embodying Nintendo’s spirit of playing together (hence the “Wii”) and targeting people of all backgrounds as gamers. Some people would call it selling out, but personally, I call it sharing gaming with the world. I call it, bringing families together.
Why is it that the general conception of X-Box and Playstation is that gaming is shooters and fast cars? Gaming seems to only be for young to middle-aged males. Apparently if you play this stuff you’re a “hardcore” hero, and not a “casual” coward like those who play Nintendo installments. Some say Nintendo isn’t even gaming, but Nintendo has been gaming for long before the Playstation or X-Box’s grandparents were even conceptualized. Nintendo is gaming for Mii and for Wii. It’s for everyone. As full on, or full off, as you want it to be. Casual and hardcore dare I say. What sells other consoles is games like Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto and Halo – games that aren’t necessarily foreign to Nintendo consoles, but they aren’t what make Nintendo what it is. Nintendo has earned what it is, by creating legendary gaming icons and franchises. Mario, Donkey Kong, Zelda, Pokémon – that is Nintendo. Not some random shooter or racing game.
Other companies focus on a different type of expansion and improvement to what Nintendo does. They focus on improving the graphics, adding more explosions and speeding up the pace to give you the newest shooter game that is hardly anything new at all. In the meantime Nintendo is looking for new gaming experiences. Graphic realism doesn’t make a game – look at Mario galaxy or Skyward Sword – the experience does, and that is what Nintendo puts first. Nintendo’s experiences often times go far beyond just the game itself. Zelda provides so many inspiring messages and theorizing, while games like Pokémon garner some of the biggest online communities there are. Nintendo gamers share Nintendo’s passion and are given something to talk about. Thanks to Nintendo me, and others, have met many new people and sparked relationships due to a mutual love for Nintendo.
So why do I choose Nintendo? For all of those reasons. Why do I write for a Nintendo community website? Because it is my passion to share Nintendo’s excellent gaming with everyone. Microsoft should focus on making the next Windows operating system as good as XP was, instead or regressing, and Sony should go back to revolutionizing discs. Leave gaming to Nintendo, the gaming company. The only competition that Nintendo has ever really had was SEGA, and now that they’re with Nintendo, there’s no stopping them.
People can ridicule Nintendo all they want, but the fact remains that they are on top of the video gaming pyramid. Just look at the bestselling and most highly rated games of all time to see Nintendo’s domination. Look back to E3 this year where Nintendo stole the show. They were advancing to new territory with 3D gaming while Sony was living in the past and releasing its Move motion controller. So next time you’re asked why you choose Nintendo over other consoles, I hope you’ll have your answer prepared to fire back at them. Be prepared for some heated arguments mind you. Alternatively, just hit them up with this article for some light reading and let the facts do the talking.