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A Letter To Nintendo: "Quit Playing Games With My Heart"

Apologies for the boy band reference. My final letter to the big three current gaming console companies, I look at the good that Nintendo has done. The direction for Nintendo seems bright. But the cost of expansion looks to be spreading the company thin.

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The last of my three letters to the top three gaming console manufacturers finds my first love, Nintendo. I saved Nintendo for last, because out of all of these rants, I think the least chance of a response would come from the makers of the Wii. Out of the current gaming consoles, Nintendo panders to their core gamers the least. An admirable quality [reword] in one respect, but Nintendo holds so much power in this every-changing gaming community. The odd thing is, I think the past will reflect kindly on what Nintendo was able to accomplish in this generation. Unfortunately, that reflection will show us a lot of Mario games buried deep under peripherals and various other titles ending with "Babies" ,the letter "z", or both.

I am very resistant to change. I don't start wearing sweaters and boots until the snow is melting. When I saw that Microsoft and Sony were soldiering on with this bigger, better and more bad-ass approach with their current consoles, Nintendo gave me hope. As a cheap gamer and recent owner [three years ago] of a PS2, seeing a console with similar specs and an end-goal of reaching old and new consumers -- how could I be against Nintendo's movement? I was all for Nintendo damning the status quo and showing gamers that games of quality shouldn't need high fidelity as a barrier for entry.
 
Mario's, Metroid's and Zelda's are still being made for the console and the handheld powerhouse -- the DS(i). As a prisoner of your own success, Nintendo has pigeon-held itself as a first-party only system. The result of catering to an audience that buys two-to-three games a year, as opposed to a group that buys more but demands more. Because of the "low-risk low-reward" that strategy publishers have accepted, developers are forced to work in parameters that confine the size and creativity of their games. The Conduit, Madworld and No More Heroes are conceptually rich games that -- for better or worse -- couldn't find the soccer mom or stay-at-home dad audience that has been proven exists on the beefier consoles.

Is Nintendo/Ubisoft Reforcing Patriarchal Stereotypes Or Is This Game Actually Fun?
 
The image of Nintendo is both admirable and confusing. Games like: Petz, Poniez and Nintendogs cost companies like Ubisoft peanuts to make [I'm assuming] so if they flop, making a Catz or Imagine Babies weeks later doesn't carry the same sting of a poor first week for Dead Space: Extraction. How mad can we still get for the pitiful sales for independent and/or mature rated games on a Nintendo console? Publisher's like Capcom and Ubisoft have voiced their concerns and will produce less games for Nintendo consoles. Turns out creating a game of any quality still costs a fair amount of coin.

This Is Fake And Does Not Exist...Or Does It?
 
There is still hope for Nintendo. I still have hope. It is my firm belief that there are people who are working on DS & Wii games with art and innovation in mind. Much like the NES, the Wii and DS will be rife with small quality titles that may take years for an audience to attach to. The DSi and WiiWare could be the best platforms for creative indie titles to find a consistent audience. However it doesn't matter what I think, if Nintendo can't see this then introducing a new High Definition Wii or larger version of the DSi will do little for a movement that seems to be treading water.

Hilarious Image Courtesy of Destructoid.com

Sony and Microsoft seem to be suffering from the opposite problem Nintendo has inherited. If games don't have a reticule or a sequel attached to the title, finding an audience will be like selling an original idea on the Wii. Multiplayer and online communication in-game has always come second to protecting the ears of children from racist predators. Sales have slipped for the Wii -- meaning, that the console is only making less than a fortune currently. For Nintendo's success to NOT look like a fad, they have to see the future of games as a potential to re-evaluate what audience supports them the most and what games are important to that audience. This year Nintendo has the perfect line-up of games, but how to push these games to their user base will determine the future of the legendary company.

***Article Compliments of The Brog ***

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