Growing up I was a Nintendo fanboy. I had a Super Nintendo (I’m young, sorry), Nintendo 64, Gamecube & Wii.The Wii was ,in fact, the first console I had ever bought on launch day. I spent hours upon ours discussing the Wii leading up to, and post launch on forums. I knew of the system before we knew about the controller, back when it was only known as “The Revolution”. My fanboyism didn’t stop there. As a young year 8 student I was one of those infuriating people that defended the Wii’s name online and refused to back down, because in my eyes, Nintendo could do no wrong. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door is still one of my favourite games of all time and it still is, despite me not being interested in any other turn-based RPGs. But, as many listeners and maybe readers may have noticed, I am no longer the Nintendo fan I once was. Sometime during the Wii’s life everything changed.
I changed. Gaming changed. The world changed.
Nintendo, sadly enough, did not.
Nintendo have remained as they were back in their glory days. They have remained happily content with isolating themselves from the progression of the rest of the gaming industry over the last (almost) 10 years. They happily sailed off the coattails of the Wii’s success only to be completely dumbfounded by their lack of audience by the time the Wii U rolled in – and it was their own fault.
Nintendo had betrayed their core demographic: gamers. The people they had helped raise were now young adults ready to get into deeper games and were begging for more adult content that Nintendo; with their combination of unfriendliness to third-party developers and lack of their own adult IP simply did not provide. So for the most part, these people have left for greener pastures, moving to Nintendo’s competitors. The people that Nintendo continued to focus on had moved on too The casual gamers, people who wanted something quick and easy – a pick up and play. These people, or just people in this mood, had moved on. Moved on to mobile gaming or tablets. Devices that are perfectly capable of capturing their attention and are already right there, in their hands, offering billions more and far more inexpensive games. This leaves Nintendo where they are now in the home console market: stuck.
I remember the time that I felt left out by Nintendo well. My Wii had gathered dust. I could no longer play the fresh hot games I wanted on it. Assassin’s Creed I had to play on PC or Xbox, Bioshock too. The Wii simply couldn’t play these titles. Nintendo themselves were still releasing some quality titles like Super Mario Galaxy, but those releases were getting few and far between. But the straw that broke the camel’s back for me, so to speak, was Super Paper Mario. This is a game that from a franchise that was known for a particular type of gameplay, and they ripped it apart, leaving it nothing like what the player base wanted and or was expecting. From this point Nintendo failed to catch up and stay in the ring with their competitors. As the world moved towards multiplayer online gaming, Nintendo shunned it and even now still fumble trying to get what Xbox Live and PlayStation Network have been doing effortlessly for years to work. The gaming community as a whole saw motion controls for what they were: a gimmick – a very lucrative gimmick for Nintendo at the time, but one that had moved out of the collective conscious.
Point after point Nintendo seem to behave in an outwardly anti-consumer manner and I’m unsure whether this is through actual malice or if they just have no will to even acknowledge that they are competing in a market. If they treat consumers like shit for long enough, we will just leave.
Take the 3DS for example; if you were to trade in your old 3DS for a New 3DS and you wanted to transfer your purchases; these are the steps:
Buy the New 3DS at full price. Take it home
Get a Micro SD card and put it in an SD Card adapter and put it in the Old 3DS.
Initiate a console move.
Take the SD Card out of the Old 3DS.
Put the Micro SD card in the new 3DS.
Initiate the other half of the console move.
Take both 3DSs back to the store.
Return the New 3DS for full price.
Now trade in your Old 3DS for the New 3DS you just returned.
THIS IS THE SIMPLEST METHOD TO ACHIEVE THIS.
THIS IS INSANITY!
Imagine if Sony or Microsoft expected this madness. They would be laughed at for days. This is completely consumer hostile and that isn’t even mentioning the lack of power adapter included in the New 3DS that must be purchased separately.
How this would be achieved with Sony or Microsoft is:
Trade in console.
Take new console home.
Sign in and download all your stuff.
This isn’t even on Nintendo’s radar. They are quoted by 3rd party developers working with them that they have no knowledge of how their competitors systems actual function. Nintendo’s only store and accounts systems have always been a major pain point for me and all users; they just seem to operate in the most counter-intuitive way possible. Did your console die? Oh well, there goes all your purchases too. Again, this is unacceptable. I could go on for days about all the questionable things Nintendo pulls on its fans, but I do need to move on.
I don’t hate Nintendo, I was raised by them and they have created some of my most cherished gaming memories. I just want them to be better. I don’t think making excuses for their ineptitude is going to help. We as consumers can make a difference; the Xbox One that Microsoft originally announced is stupidly different to the one we have today – even EA and Ubisoft have turned themselves around after community outrage.
I don’t want Nintendo to go away. I want to see them trying, I want to see them competing, not sitting off in their own little world pretending that they’re still relevant. We should be pushing for them to be better, not excusing some of the absolutely crazy things that they expect to get away with. Being critical of things can only make them improve and that’s all I want, I want Nintendo to improve. I want them back at the top of their game, because when it comes down to it; I’m still a 90s kid with a soft spot for them too.
Author note: I feel like I need to state that I am in no way saying that everything Nintendo does is bad or that a lot of their games aren’t fun. I enjoy a lot of their games, I merely have some issues with them as a company.