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Nintendo's Biggest Problem

Nintendo’s Single Biggest Problem

 

When I was a kid, I could have possibly been considered a Nintendo fanboy.  However, even firmly entrenched in the Nintendo camp, I was still a huge admirer of other games and consoles, particularly Sega.  I had long admired and wanted the TurboGrafx-16 and Neo-Geo AES as well, and the first games I played were on the Atari 2600—so you can tell I’ve been doing this for a while.  I was never solely interested in anything Nintendo did, as I was fascinated by all gaming.  Sometime around my teen years, during the Playstation-N64 years, my pseudo-fanboyism started to die off.  For a while, I actually lost interest in video games (it wasn’t a very long while), and for a part of this time, I bought my first non-Nintendo console—the original Playstation.  Largely, because of Tekken 3.  These days, I am a collector, a developer, and beyond thrilled to be a “gamer” rather than a fanboy.  I will always defend any company that is receiving unwarranted attacks, be it Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft—Sega, Capcom, etc.  Though I will not deny that I have a soft spot for the Nintendo and their intriguing weirdness.

 

Back in the day (8 and 16-bit eras), there was really no “typical” Nintendo fan.  Nintendo and Sega fans were largely no different from Xbox and Playstation fans now.  The now-typical Nintendo fanboy was something spawned in the 90’s with the rise of Pokemon and the N64. 

 

And you know what Nintendo’s biggest problem is?  Its you, fanboy.  No single entity does more damage to Nintendo, than their own blatant fanboys.  If you’re the person I’m about to outline, then you—yes, you—are part of the problem.

 

 

No Way Man!!  You’re supposed to be on our side!

 

I’m going to try to keep this as light-hearted as possible and hope my point still gets across—but knowing who I am, I’m more Christopher Hitchens than I am Phil Plait (everyone should know who they are).  But you Nintendo fanboys suck.  I’m sorry, but I’m tired of your crap.  I’m sure some of you are thinking that this is some kind of totally unwarranted nonsense attack—that I’m in your camp, I’m your comrade.  I’ve defended Nintendo, and been called a fanboy for doing so.   I shouldn’t be doing this.  Well, I’ve also been called a Microsoft fanboy and a Sony fanboy for defending them—and I’ve been roundly called a hater of all three companies as well.  The fact is, people cannot stand criticism of that which they love, and fanboys especially lack the ability to see the negatives of what they love (I’ll get to that in the next section).

 

If you’re a gamer and you love gaming and are eager to see what’s new in gaming, then yes, I’m totally on your side.  If you’re blindly bashing a company or blindly worshipping it, at some point, I will not be on your side, because I have a low tolerance for that kind of crap.  Every company has moments of praise, and every company does things worthy of criticism, sometimes harsh criticism—and every company deserves the benefit of the doubt, even in troubled times—even if it is the Ouya.

 

Look, I’m a very atypical Nintendo fan.  I do not like Pokemon.  It came out when I was a teenager, and was clearly not for my age group at that time when I was busy playing Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, Doom, and Twisted Metal.  I have generally lost interest in anything Mario or Zelda.  I think both franchises are predictable.  I have New Super Mario Bros U—and it has none of the magic of Super Mario Bros 3, Super Mario World, Mario 64, or even Mario Galaxy.  The series is no longer fresh, so to speak.  My favorite Zelda games are Link’s Awakening and Majora’s Mask—otherwise known as just about the only Zelda games where you don’t rescue Zelda from Ganonndorf and fight Ganon.  The series is otherwise overly predictable and fails to evolve.  Look at the biggest changes in Zelda over the last three generations—they’re always more focused on graphics than anything else. 

 

I don’t lamely buy a Nintendo console “just to play Zelda” or for one or two singularly predictable Nintendo franchises—like Mario Kart.  I buy Nintendo consoles to experience the trademark experimental creativity of the company, because of first and third party exclusives, and anything else I feel like buying.  I always buy 3rd party games, and have ever since the NES days.  My first NES game (besides Mario and Duck Hunt which came with it) was Ironsword: Wizards and Warriors II—a third party game, otherwise known as the one with Fabio on the cover.  None of that is a joke.  Those are facts.

 


Try to unsee that.

 

I like Nintendo and will support Nintendo, but I am not blind to their blunders.  Nor, for that matter, do I buy a Nintendo console just for their stuff.  Obviously, that’s going to be a big reason—Nintendo has a lot of franchises (though you wouldn’t know it looking at the overly Marioed Wii library), so there’s ample reason there.

 

 I’m sure a few of you more pissy individuals are adamant that I’m a fanboy for Nintendo and just some kind of “hater” for everything else, and while I’m unlikely to change minds that have religiously formed an opinion just because, let me highlight some of my more recent sentiments:

 

  • I criticized Microsoft’s reveal of the XBO, and noted that it is clearly a set-top box first and a game console second.  I think players should buy new, but not be coerced into doing it—this created an anti-consumer sentiment (which they changed with a dozen other things)—and I was correct in stating that they would have to make some sacrifices in order to make the changes they have.  For instance, that “fast, smooth switching of games/programs/apps/TV” which was such a high selling point has now been damaged in order to remove the always-online element.  I was also a huge X360 gamer, and it is, outside of the Atari 2600, my largest single game library for any console.  
  • I think the Vita is a solid game system with a lot of potential, but I have stated many times that Sony is doing an absolutely horrible job of giving that system its own identity, which is so immensely important for a portable game system.  While Sony is doing a horrible job giving the Vita its own identity and selling its value to consumers—they have been at the top of their game revealing and promoting the PS4.  That console is going to be the top seller of this next generation—hands down.  
  • I think that Android is a great place for indie gamers to get their feet wet (worked for my team), but phones and tablets are ultimately a dead-end for everyone that isn’t working for Rovio.   
  •  I think microconsoles have a lot of potential, but not if they’re going to do this awful “demo everything, emulate the rest” policy of the Ouya.  That is a self-defeating policy that is only going to drive away third party support.
  • I think if your primary arguments are “hardware power, who is more powerful, etc,” you’re an idiot if you buy or game on anything other than PC.  Hardware power does not define video games, and if you think that, then the last place you should be playing games is on a console—which is technically obsolete up to a year before it even releases.  These are fallacious arguments on all sides, and I’ve already shown in another blog that hardware power means absolutely nothing when it comes to popularity or sales. 
  • Nintendo needs unified user accounts for players on their machines, they need to stop making so many damn Mario and Zelda and Pokemon games.  They murdered Metroid, and they need to seriously pick up the pace on Virtual Console releases, developing new IPs, and courting 3rd party developers and publishers (especially publishers).  That said, the 3DS, DS, NES, and SNES remain among my favorite all-time game systems because of their massive libraries, oodles of variety, and general high quality.

 

I have repeatedly noted that the launches of the Wii U, XBO, and PS4 are largely identical—and even largely similar to the launches and launch line-ups of the Wii, PS3, X360, PS2, Xbox, GameCube.  Not one of these had a truly better launch than any other.  They were all fundamentally the same—lots of multiplatform games, lots of ports, lots of cross-generational games, relatively few exclusives, almost no system sellers, and a few high profile failures.

 

So, back to you nerds!

 


Oh crap, do I finally agree with him?

 

OH YEAH? SCREW YOU! WHAT’S A FANBOY ANYWAY?!

 

I guess we should define that turgid creature known as “the fanboy.”  Or, at the very least, we’ll examine my humble interpretation of said species.

 

The fanboy does not see failure.  The fanboy does not accept criticism.  Indeed, the fanboy does not even have criticism of that to which he is a fanboy.  And if he does, it’s rare—almost desperate, a bid to attempt to prove that no, he’s not a fanboy, he labeled a criticism!  You can probably decide for yourself the level of the fanboy by the criticism they have.  Is it weak, or is it punctuated by an excuse defending the company for it? 

 

Here’s an example of fanboy criticism of their favorite company:  “They really need to release that system in more colors,” or “I don’t like how much they’re charging for that remake, but I bet it’s probably worth it.”

 

Here’s an example of a valid criticism: “The CEO promised to avoid this 1-st year drought, but it happened anyway,” or “$50 is too much for any HD remake, especially when Sony gave us HD sets with multiple games for $40 on the PS3.”

 

Did you see that?  Do you notice?  One fanboy criticism is flimsy, and utterly pointless.  The color? Who gives a crap?  What does that matter?  Does that affect anything outside of your tiny personal choice?  NO!  It’s not a criticism, it’s just a hollow complaint!  What about the other fanboy criticism?  It’s pretty apologetic.  And you’ll find that a lot in fanboy criticisms.  “I don’t like such and such, but now I’m going to validate such and such.” 

 

Now, I’m not saying you can’t think like this—indeed, all of us at some point will.  I didn’t like the colors of the original launch Game Boy Advances. So what?  I picked the one I thought was the best and I got over it.  My complaint was not a criticism of Nintendo, and I didn’t dwell on it or try to pass it off as such (I guess you’ll have to take my word for it. The NSA wasn’t keeping track of me as sternly back then, so I don’t have a video for you).  We’ve all, at some point, been apologetic in a criticism.  I’ll routinely criticize, for instance, politician Rand Paul but follow it with some apologetic point such as, “well that was a stupid thing for him to say—still, though, he’s better than most of the current warmongering politicians.” 

 

What I’m saying, however, is that if these are the pervasive ways you “criticize” your favorite company, you’re a fanboy.  If you really want to criticize, put aside your Big Boy pants (the ones you pee in) and put on your Angry Man pants and let loose with your criticism—say it!  “Nintendo makes way too damn many Mario games. It’s *** lazy.”  Someone will disagree, that’s fine! But suck it up and speak directly!  Speak the same way about your favorite company as you do any other!

 

Now, this is not the be-all, end-all.  The worst fanboys will go one step further from constantly praising their favorite—they will adamantly attack that which they don’t like.  Lately, the Xbox One fanboys have been particularly bad at this, constantly attacking the PS4 crowd outside of constantly praising Microsoft.  The Sony side hasn’t appeared to be doing this as badly.  Usually, it would seem, that this kind of behavior not only stems from fanboyism, but a perception in said fanboy of an inferiority on their side that they can’t handle.  For example, it appears that the PS4 is more powerful and less obviously designed as a set-top box for watching television, so the XBO fanboys uncomfortable with this have tended to launch into attacks on the PS4 attempting to seek inferiorities.  You may feel free to disagree if you wish (I can think of one group who will), but this has been my perception online since the reveal of the XBO.

 

 
Another "angry Nintendo nerd." Hey, wait...

 

SO WHAT MAKES US WORSE, YOU NINTENDO HATER?!

 

Well, I no longer think the Nintendo fanboys are the worst in the industry.  I do think Nintendo still receives the worst haters, but the worst fanboys are the XBO fanboys now (congrats guys!). 

 

But, here’s why you’re the worst thing to ever happen to Nintendo and the single biggest problem the company faces.  And it’s really quite simple.  I know, there’s an awful lot of writing to just get to this one point (I like writing, so there. Also it takes a long time to balance a good point), but we’re almost here.

 

Nintendo fanboys are Nintendo’s biggest problem, because they force the company into narrow development paths and drive off third party support. 

 

That’s right.  While I hold Nintendo partially responsible for not doing enough to court 3rd party publishers, I am putting most of the blame for them abandoning Nintendo squarely on the fanboys. 

 

You guys are the reason the 3rd party games are gimped at times.  You guys are the reason EA isn’t here (well, to be fair just a bit more, EA has also been very childish pertaining to the Wii U these days for no apparent reason).   You guys are the reason the latter years dry up on Nintendo consoles.

 

Let’s do some history.  Now, Nintendo has always been wacky and experimental, from the NES controller to the Wii U GamePad, nothing they’re doing is really any different from what they’ve always done.  To say otherwise is, frankly, ignorance of the history of gaming and the company as a whole.  The NES and SNES went out with a bang—each console seeing a multitude of releases well after the successor console had released.  Some of the most popular and best reviewed SNES games launched during those last two years.   The N64 launched in 1996—and so did Donkey Kong Country 3, Doom, Dragon Warrior 3, Harvest Moon, Kirby Super Star, Fifa Soccer 97, Lufia II, Madden 97, Street Fighter Alpha II, Tetris Attack, Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3.  The SNES had an incredible year—the year the N64 launched.

 

Remember, the N64 is the start of the Nintendo fanboy era.  Where the modern Nintendo fanboy came into being.  Here’s the N64’s line-up in 2001, when its successor launched: Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Dr. Mario 64, Madden 2002, Powerpuff Girls—and almost nothing else.  I didn’t even include the entire list of SNES games for 1996.



"System seller."

 

The GameCube and Wii would peter out in the final years in an identical form to the N64.  The days of a console having long life well after the launch of the successor had effectively ended for Nintendo.  Thanks to the fanboys.

 

Well what did they do?  How… How are they to blame?  This is simple, it’s because Nintendo fanboys have buying habits that ultimately harm the company as a whole. 

 

What happened on the N64 started off as Nintendo’s fault.  They were still trying to out-grow the negative “evil overlord” perception the company had during the NES days, and their stupid choice to go with cartridges over CD’s drove off even more 3rd party support.  So the N64 largely consisted of games from two places:  Nintendo and Rare.  And they dominated the landscape.  Thus, the Nintendo fanboy/apologist came to the defense of this small cross-section of barely existing variety.  Nintendo botched the N64, and the apologetic fanboys stepped up their game.

 

Let’s face it, the N64 was not a good system.  Hell, the hardware of the N64 was originally offered to Sega, and they didn’t want it (granted, the Saturn’s hardware was arguably worse).  It was clunky, kinda ugly, awkward, and archaic.  It was powerful, but simultaneously limited disallowing that power from being properly used.  Its crappiness made buying a Playstation very easy for me.  The Nintendo fanboys clung to the thing and defended its crappiness through and through.  But Nintendo listened to the valid criticisms.

 

The GameCube was amazing.  It was efficient, it was disk-based (still with Nintendo’s notable weirdness), it was powerful (second only to the Xbox), and it featured a boatload of texture memory—something very lacking on the N64.  The GameCube received praise for it hardware if not its physical design—Microsoft folks made fun of it for having an optional purple color and a handle, which again, is more a complaint than a valid criticism.  What else did the GameCube have?  It had a lot of third party support.  Damn, did it ever!  It was actually pretty easy to port a PS2 game to the thing, and just as easy to port a Dreamcast game to it—which it received in quite a decent number! 

 

But of course, the fanboys had now taken over.  And they went to work right quick driving away third party support.

 

Here’s a pattern we’ve seen for three generations of Nintendo (N64, GameCube, Wii, and even the Wii U so far, so four generations):  The console launches, it has initially strong 3rd party support, and its initial sales are quite decent (okay, so this part doesn’t appeal to the Wii U).  The N64 actually set initial sales records that were broken by the Dreamcast later on—if nothing else, this is a lesson that initial sales mean absolutely nothing to the overall performance of a console in the open market.  At any rate, the console launches with good support.  Then that support begins to stagnate, and then it drops off almost completely. 

 

 This appears to be precisely because Nintendo fanboys tend not to support third party games and in that regard, end up harming Nintendo as a whole by driving them off.  Now, I’m a fan of science, so with that in mind, I do not go about this so nonchalantly, or without evidence.  Which I will now give you.  I will use the GameCube era to highlight this as the GC received many of the same multiplatform titles as the Dreamcast, PS2, and Xbox as it’s hardware and capabilities were very much in line with its contemporaries, much more so than any other generation.

 


"This line represents how crappy my life will be after my wife finds out..."

 

Total lifetime sales for the generation (we’ll exclude the Dreamcast as it died prior to being able to get  most of the multiplatform games):

 

PS2:  153.6 million
Xbox:  24 million
GameCube:  22 million

 

Looking at this, it’s pretty fair to say that sales of third party games should be pretty identical across the Xbox and Gamecube, both in actual numbers and in percentage—if gamers are universally about the same, and if all fans are roughly the same.  In essence, if gamers are the same across the board, then the sales of the GameCube version of a game should be roughly 92% of the sales of the Xbox version (give or take a few percentage points).

 

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
PS2: 2.22 million
Xbox:  0.94 million
GameCube:  0.32 million

 

Wow.  The GameCube version sold about one third of the same numbers as the Xbox version.  This would seem to indicate that Nintendo fanboys actually do not support 3rd party games nearly as much as the other guys.  Now, the PS2 percentage is going to be way off merely because it was by far the most popular console of the generation—which means it was also the casual console of the generation.  But this is only one game.

 

Call of Duty 2:
PS2:  2.67 million
Xbox:  1.12 million
GameCube:  0.33 million
(Nintendo, less than a third)

 

TimeSplitters 2:
PS2:  0.70 million
Xbox:   0.64 million
GameCube:   0.44 million
(Not as bad, but still well below)

 

Tomb Raider: Legend:
PS2:   0.52 million
Xbox:   0.13 million
GameCube:   0.08 million

 

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon:
PS2:  1.94 million
Xbox:  1.76 million
GC:  0.15 million
(Not a typo)

 

Burnout2: Point of Impact:
PS2:  0.85 million
Xbox:  0.24 million
GC:  0.15 million

 

Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Vortex:
PS2:  5.42 million
Xbox:  1.23 million
GC:  0.59 million
(Wow, right?)

 

Need for Speed Undergound:
PS2:  7.20 million
Xbox:  1.71 million
GC:  1.21 million

 

“Stop! Stop!  Oh come now!!” you say.  “Certainly there must be something that did well on the GameCube!” 

 

Here, you guys get one, and it’s a cheat:

Soulcalibur II:
PS2:  2.06 million
Xbox:  1.07 million
GC:  1.50 million
This is about the only time that a game that was on all platforms (or at least, both the Xbox and GameCube) that the GameCube actually outsold something.  And do you know why? 

 

That’s why.  That is the ONLY reason why.  Because it catered heavily to Nintendo fanboy—and that was it.  Now, I’ll be fair.  Link easily fit the game better than either Heihachi or Spawn, and he played beautifully (Spawn wasn’t too bad).  But still, the idea that Link arguably made far more sense in the game than Spawn or Heihachi is hardly the reason the game sold pretty well on the GameCube.  It was simply because he was in there, not that he worked.  He could’ve been the worst character in the game, and the Nintendo fanboys would have still eaten it up. 

 

In every standard case, the Nintendo version of a multiplatform game didn’t just sell worse, but often very noticeably worse.  So much so, that it skews obvious numbers.  Remember, the original Xbox only sold about 9% better than the GameCube.  That’s it.  So, unless Nintendo fanboys purchase games drastically differently, then the numbers should reflect this. 

 

Instead, Crash Bandicoot on GameCube sold only 48% of what the Xbox version sold.  Need for Speed Underground sold 71% (so that one is close, but still low).  Burnout 2, 62%.  For Call of Duty 2, it sold a staggering 29% of the total sales of the Xbox version.  The evidence here is that Nintendo fans simply do not support 3rd party games.  And that is precisely why 3rd party publishers abandon the consoles.

 

But wait!  The Wii was different!  It sold way more and still lost third party support!  True, it did.  And guess what?  It maintained the same problem—initially strong third party support, then lingering, then abandoning.  The casual audience that the Wii brought in simply didn’t know any better what to buy, so they bought what was obvious.  Crap like Carnival Games (which I distinctly remember had strong televised advertising so that it could reach those people) and the standard Mario-centric Nintendo titles.  Walk into any Best Buy or GameStop or game department of a store sometime.  Try to carefully observe any advice given to the casual Wii owners (I’ve worked at both Best Buy and GameStop, so I’ve seen it in action)—the lazier the employee, the faster they just showed the customer the standard Mario-centric Nintendo fare.  Even if they weren’t necessarily lazy, they would go the obvious route—handing the customer a Mario game.  (To my defense, I generally tried to steer them away from the obvious crap to inform them of what was actually there. Turned out I actually generally enjoyed helping customers at this.)

 

Hell, when I was at Best Buy, which was easily during the height of the Wii’s success, there was an endcap made up almost entirely of Mario games.  That’s an anecdote, and not a verifiable fact—unless you were to wander into any GameStop or Best Buy and take a gander at which games are most obviously displayed for the out-going Wii.

 

I can almost guarantee that it isn’t MadWorld.

 

 


Damn, that thing was ugly.

 

WE’RE NOT A PROBLEM! WE SUPPORT NINTENDO!

 

Actually, if you’re not buying third party games on that Nintendo system, you’re not supporting the company at all.  Nintendo may have survived “going it alone” once before with the N64.  But that can’t happen again.  They may be able to survive one more “going it alone” trip, but if things don’t turn around for them after that, Nintendo will gradually spiral down to obscurity. 

 

Mario is certainly extremely popular, but do you—do any of us—honestly think that Nintendo could survive indefinitely on just Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon?  To be blunt, you’d have to be a fanboy to think that they could.  You’d have to be a fanboy to not care if they have any 3rd party support.  I personally think they might be able to survive another generation of “going it alone,” not just barely, and not more than that.

 

Buying Nintendo’s games does support them—of course.  But when all you buy is Mario and Zelda, and no third party games, you are not helping.  Even if you bought the Nintendo system just for these couple games, your behavior is that of a closed-minded fanboy.  Hey, don’t get offended.  If it’s your buying habit, then you can’t complain when the console gets poor third party support, or no support.  You can’t complain if the console struggles or if it fails. 

 

Oh, but what of taste?

 


I wonder what the "Yield" sign says...

 

EXCUSES! WE HAVE EXCUSES!

Having different tastes is all well and good, and important that we are not all the same mindless robots. Who would disagree with that?  But let’s face it.  When you buy a Nintendo console, and you only target a couple key Nintendo franchises to purchase, that’s not taste.  That’s closed minded, and arguably intentionally so—a deliberate attempt to refuse to let anything else in.  It’s pretty inconceivable that there is absolutely nothing else to play on the console.  Even the vast wasteland that defined the N64 featured a decent collection of worthwhile titles to play or even collect.  Four Turok games, Ogre Battle 64, two (somewhat shaky) Castlevanias, Starcraft, Vigilante8, Extreme-G, Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Mortal Kombat 4, Command & Conquer, Doom, Quake II, Rogue Squadron, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, Madden, 3 Bomberman games, Clayfighter, Cruis’n, Duke Nukem, Fifa, etc. 

 

When you say, “well, that’s my taste—just Zelda and Mario,” you’re essentially saying that you enjoy having very little taste, a very narrow interest in games.  I know that, as a gamer, I have never had much trouble in finding great things to play on any console, including Nintendo consoles—unless of course the console is exceptionally crappy, like the HyperScan that I own.  I have better Jaguar games—but as noted, pretty much every console has something valuable and worth playing on it, and outside of maybe the Virtual Boy, no Nintendo system has ever been devoid of great gaming experiences (to be fair, the VB is known to have a couple gems).

 

What reason is there to ignore such a wealth of gaming besides fanboyism?  Who ventures out, buys a Nintendo console, and deliberately chooses to get the least possible amount of value out of it?  Maybe its me.  Maybe I’m the weird one—I won’t dismiss that possibility.  But why is it weird to want to have a wealth of experiences on a Nintendo console—or any console?  Am I really so strange for wanting to play more games on my Nintendo console than a constant eye-rolling influx of the same old Mario and Zelda stuff?  After all, we don’t buy an Xbox just for Halo and Gears of War.  We don’t buy a Playstation just for God of War and Uncharted, do we?  Of course not—sales numbers would seem to indicate that Xbox and Playstation owners have no problem buying third party games—certainly not compared to Nintendo gamers.
(Note: These three links have been added later.  They are the top-selling games per X360, PS3, and Wii--feel free to note how Nintendo overly dominates it's list, whereas the Microsoft and Sony consoles feature a wealth of 3rd party games in the top selling.)

 

“Well, the Nintendo versions are always gimped in some way.”  Well, this statement is loaded for deconstruction, isn’t it?  First, no they aren’t.  Not every multiplatform game on a Nintendo system is gimped—especially during the GameCube days.  Hell, during the SNES days, the Nintendo version was often the superior one on many levels (barring Mortal Kombat 1, which was technically superior, but heavily censored, which was kind of a big deal). 

 

But then, far be it from me to deny that there is some truth there.  Many ports, especially on the Wii, were gimped.  Why?  Well, why do you think?  This doesn’t take a lot of thought.  It’s because the Wii was technically inferior to the X360 and PS3—but then, would you want to put that extra effort into putting everything into the Nintendo version of a game knowing full well that it’s statistically guaranteed to sell far fewer copies?  Of course not.

 

So this goes back to the Nintendo fanboys.  If you want better experiences on your Nintendo system, then by the glory of Ever-Dying Mantorok, maybe you should give third party publishers a reason to give you those complete games.  Yes, we can lay some blame to the developers and publishers—and even some to Nintendo for occasionally making these extra elements unnecessarily difficult to implement.  But honestly, if there was money in it, developers would do it regardless of how hard it is to deal with Nintendo.  How could I know this?

 

Because of the Playstation 2!  The PS2 was notorious when it launched for being extremely difficult to work with (the exact opposite, mind you, of the Playstation 1).  Compare to the GameCube, which Nintendo worked to make extremely efficient and easy on developers, and that the Xbox had so much extra headroom (at the time) that devs didn’t have to cut corners.  But the difficult-to-use PS2 destroyed the GameCube and Xbox.  Why?  There was money in it

 


There's apparently also money in drugs, but we're trying to have some self respect, here...

 

Finally, there’s the wildly subjective “Nintendo’s games are the best on the system.”  What do you base this on?  Personal taste?  Because let me tell you—if you aren’t even playing anything but Nintendo games, then this statement is made in ignorance.  How could someone know if Nintendo’s games are the best if they aren’t even playing anything else wherein they could actually make that informed comparison?  Are you going by Metacritic?  Because if you are, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars should’ve been the highest selling DS game.  This is a statement made from fanboyism.  I think Nintendo is a good company that often makes great games.  That said, they still lazily crapped out numerous unnecessary Mario Party games, Wii Music, Wii Play, and FlingSmash.  They still supported and allowed Metroid: Other M to exist.  Obviously, Nintendo is not incapable of making mistakes—and in the case of the latter, horrible, horrible mistakes.

 

If Nintendo gamers and fanboys want better games on their Nintendo systems, then they need to give developers and publishers a reason to actually go there!  Let’s say you’re a pizza delivery guy (because I can reference this from personal experience, of course) and you get the option to choose whichever order you want (unrealistic, but bear with me)—to whichever neighborhood you want.  And you know the town well enough that you know which addresses don’t tip well, or at all, and which parts of town tend not to tip well.  Would you willingly go to the places that pay crap when you know they pay crap?  Of course you wouldn’t.  And this is the exact reason 3rd party companies avoid Nintendo—because the Nintendo fanboys have spent three generations telling them they aren’t welcome and they won’t make any money here

 

 

 

 

Now for the part where I coddle you and explain my rantings and we all get along again.  Maybe.

 

Here’s the gist of this hullabaloo:  Latter-day Nintendo consoles struggle with third party support, and it seems that the most obvious reason for this is Nintendo fanboys.  The N64, GameCube, and Wii were all drastically different consoles.  The N64 was a fanboy machine, the GameCube a mostly a hardcore gamer box, and the Wii a casual-consumer box.  But they all maintained the same ugly standard—initially high 3rd party support, then it plateaus, then the third parties begin abandoning the machine, and it dies a slow, pathetic, lingering death—not only the opposite of the NES and SNES, but also the opposite of what we’re seeing with the X360 and PS3.  The Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 are not going out with a whimper the way the Wii is.

 

The only consistency is Nintendo fanboys.  That’s it.  I have shown that, even when the consoles are equal in a generation, Nintendo is treated worse by gamers, specifically it’s fanboys who think they’re supporting the company.  By the way, this is also how I know that everyone who says “if Wii U was just like the Xbox One or Playstation 4, I’d buy it” is spouting nothing but utter ***.  History has already shown them to be wrong.    If that was true, the GameCube would’ve sold better.  To be fair, the GameCube ran into marketing hurdles and confusion of changing tastes and demographics in Nintendo of Japan’s view, but again, I’m never saying the fanboys are the only problem, just the largest and most consistent problem.

 

Now, I’ve called people closed minded.  And indeed, if you buy a Nintendo console for just a couple key things—Zelda, Mario, whatever—you are indeed closed minded.  What else would you be?  If that’s taste, why be proud of such a small focus?  Even if you’re an Xbox gamer who bought a Nintendo console for this reason, you’re really no different.  Your buying habits are fanboyish—and when you complain that “there’s nothing to play on the system,” the reason for that is you (well, partially—but putting in these caveats really ruins the impact of my harsh statements).  And again, if you only play Nintendo games, how do you even know they’re the best games on the system? 

 

But am I part of the problem?  No, of course not, I wrote this blog.  I’m obviously perfect.  Screw you. 

 

Seriously, though, I don’t think I am.  I rarely buy anything of Mario or Zelda.  I dislike Pokemon.  I have always supported third party games on a Nintendo system—and it’s possible that this stems from me growing up during the “gamer” days of the company, and not it’s “fanboy” days of the N64.    I was a pretty huge Doom fan back in the day (still haven’t gotten around to shooting anyone because of it, that stuff was probably asinine hyperbole), as well as Mortal Kombat and Turok.  Apparently I was big on violence or something.  At any rate, if I am part of the problem, then I’ve also targeted myself, and it’s time for me to change.  But then, I actually bought Splinter Cell for the Wii U.

 

 

Look, there’s no nice way to say “you’re the effing problem.”  There might be, but I might be incapable of reaching it.  But Nintendo fanboys… You guys are not helping Nintendo and when you ignore everything third party for anything first party, you are actually seriously harming the company.  Nintendo cannot go it alone anymore.  It might last for one generation, but it would eventually sink Nintendo.  I know some some who would love nothing more—indeed, I’ve seen at least one obvious Xbox One fanboy state this very hope—that Nintendo would completely and utterly fail, “burn to the ground,” even.  I don’t want Nintendo to fail, and I don’t want anyone else to (with the obvious exception of, you know, truly evil people like the Westboro Baptist Church/Cult).  I do want to see industry upsets that reshuffle the console makers, because these elements spur creativity and can be very exciting.  But failure is a wicked thing to wish onto so many good people who are simply trying to give us another form of entertainment.

 

It’s this simple. Do you, as a Nintendo fan/fanboy want Nintendo to succeed?  Then you need to support the third party games a helluva lot more.

 

You don’t want gimped versions of games?  Then guess what?  That’s right, you need to support the third party games and give them a reason to deliver the goods. (Splinter Cell is missing offline co-op, but honestly, I wasn't going to play it that way anyway.)

 

Oh, you’re not a Nintendo fan but you’re reading this anyway? Why? 

 

Now, I’m not discounting that Nintendo has a stake in this—which again, you as the Nintendo fan could very easily affect these days, by constantly requesting more third party games in Club Nintendo surveys.  But for three generations, three drastically different Nintendo consoles have, regardless of overall sales, seen the same pattern in their libraries and 3rd party support.  Fanboys are the only link—the only mainstay—the only continuing element.  Even Nintendo’s rampant weirdness could not have affected this, as I have shown, the GameCube was every bit the same console as it’s contemporaries, right down to having almost all the same multiplatform games. 

 

You may feel free to debate me on my noted sales numbers or toss other questions my way.  You may debate the use of VGChartz, and indeed, I implore you to find better numbers that disprove me, or that are more accurate.  I’ve found, however, that VGChartz gets the most criticism when it features sales numbers someone does not want to be true, for whatever reason.  If there’s better, then let’s start using that.  But I went there because it is well known, and fairly well documented—oh, and is partially run by Nintendo fanboys. 

 

If I offended you, it’s probably because you fall into that “Nintendo fanboy” category, and it would do you well to realize that ignoring 3rd party for Nintendo games is actually not helping the company you so dearly love.  I don’t care what you say your tastes are to try to defend buying only Mario or Zelda or whatever.  There is little reason to be fearful of trying something new, and indeed, sometimes playing multiple games from other developers may actually give you a better understanding of why you love the Nintendo games you love.  You deserve better than to keep your tastes cloistered up and shut out, developers who support Nintendo deserve better than to be ignored, and frankly, Nintendo deserves better than for the fans to be slowly killing them in the guise of blindly supporting them.  Just keep in mind, I’m not saying fanboys are the only problem—indeed, Nintendo has made mistakes in the past and we should never just forget about them.  Even though another blog I wrote recently highlighted how we don’t always learn from our mistakes, sometimes we still need to make them.

 

 

Disclaimer: This blog is a personal viewpoint of RezidentHazard and represents no other person, team, company, or anyone else.  If you take issue with this, take it up with him!


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