It’s no secret that Nintendo had a abysmal showing at E3 this year. Fans, including your friendly neighborhood beast, were up in arms seemingly more than ever after Nintendo’s digital conference. This year even more than others Nintendo seemed to really display the message that “we do not care what you want, we are going to do what we want”. So as I watched the conference this year I sat and thought to myself, what happened?
There are a handful of answers to this question but ultimately they lead to the summation that Nintendo is stuck in the past. Time and time again they prove this but they then want everyone to believe their still the same innovator’s we all know and love. How can one possibly claim to be an innovator of the games industry when you don’t accept the online experience as a part of the future of gaming? Party chat, user friendly online store, a simplified interface to access and add friends to game with, these are all standards of the current console generation. Scratch that last sentence, these have been the norm since the beginning of the LAST console generation.
Nintendo’s shielding their consumers from the harms and dangers of the real world and some of the more unfriendly gamers on the internet. Well that’s all well and good but that tells me one thing, the company is not growing with their fans, the same fans that grew up with the NES and SNES that help them build their legacy. No, Nintendo is catering to a new audience, the casual gaming audience, fine this is also all well and good…except even that audience doesn’t know what the hell a WII U is exactly. The messaging and marketing has been nothing more than messy and confusing from the beginning of the Wii U’s seemingly short life span. So how do they decide the best way to come back from these hiccups?
Well let’s discuss Nintendo’s 2015 E3 digital event, the company brings back some of it’s most renowned franchises! We’re talking Star fox, we got Metroid Prime back, we got a new Yoshi game, this should be plenty enough to revive the dwindling life span of the Wii U! Shouldn’t it? NOPE because Star fox looks like it’s running on an NES system, Metroid Prime came to us in the form of a family soccer game (kill me, kill me now) and Yoshi is made of yarn. Granted Yoshi’s Wooly World is a cute enough concept that could have been a great game but early reviews are pulling in 6’s and 7’s, not enough Nintendo. Also that’s not the kind of game changing move the company needed right now.
This years E3 conferences not only disappointed fans, but it out right infuriated them. What made matters worse is when Nintendo’s representatives came out and said something to the effect of “We know everyone wants a proper Metroid Prime game but…trust us, you want this soccer game, it will be fun!” STOP NINTENDO, stop. You’re listening to us and flat out ignoring us at this point which is quite possibly just the most unfriendly consumer message ever. To make matters worse Iwatta tweeted an apology to fans for the lackluster E3 showing and shortly after Reggie Fils-Aime attempted to retract it by saying “he wasn’t really apologizing”. It’s time to get it together guys. Stop talking for a while because you’re only making things worse for yourself. Regroup, retreat to the shadows, get your messaging worked out, get your strategy worked out and come back out with a big Nintendo shaped foot ready to cram down people’s throats. I want this company to succeed, I love Nintendo as I said and their success is healthy for the entire gaming industry.
Now Nintendo has recently come out and announced a new piece of hardware their working on called the NX so I would assume their in the middle of a crossroads. They’re no doubt saving their best assets for that system and so I’m sure it’s rough not really being able to show more on the Wii U as of right now which is a shame. But that doesn’t excuse the poor handling of the situation, the message needs to be clear this time around with the NX if Nintendo wants to come back from possibly their worst console generation ever. What will the NX be? No doubt some convoluted piece of hardware that will bring about too many questions. But if Nintendo was smart, this machine will be powerful. This machine needs to be able to compete with PS4 and Xbox One, third party developers need to WANT to make games for this console and first party developers need to be excited about what they have to work with.
I hate to come down so hard on the company but i’m tired of hearing things like “oh well, it’s Nintendo” or “they have so much money in the bank it doesn’t matter”. Quite frankly that’s bullshit, sure they deserve to make mistakes now and then given what they’ve done for video games but the money well will run dry eventually especially if they keep sinking dollars into failing hardware. I want Nintendo to make great games, that’s what they do best and I’d love to see them do that again. Give us a powerful box with a comfortable controller and an awesome library of games to play on it. We brought you the level of success you’ve achieved Nintendo, it’s time to start talking to us again, the gamers.