Wednesday, June 08, 2011

A Simple Prop to Occupy My Time

So Nintendo has finally revealed their new controller and next console, dubbed the Wii U...and investors responded by sending the company's stock price to its lowest level in five years.  These investors are smart.

If anything, they're a year late. Nintendo has fallen back into their selfish, lazy ways, lost in daydreaming and personal vanity projects, while deliberately ignoring (if not starving) their Wii market. The E3 presentation did a poor job of selling the new controller, and only left us with more questions than answers. And despite what everyone may wish to believe, the demo games shown will become retail games next year. It happened with Wii Sports and Wii Play in 2006, it happened with the 3DS' "augmented reality" demos last year.

Nintendo has shown that they are selfish and lazy. No support for the Wii...why? Only one newly-announced game for the 3DS...why? A sequel to the failed game that sank the Gamecube? Really? And are we really going to get barely-updated versions of Wii Sports and Wii Fit with tablet features no one ever wanted? Mii characters cut and pasted onto a hacked rerun of Super Mario 5?

Nintendo is also building a reputation for being unreliable and undependable. They build a new gadget, use it only once or twice, then throw it away and move onto the next little trinket. Where are the Motion Plus games? Where are the Wiimote's motion-control games? What about the Wii Balance Board? Remember the Gamecube-GBA connector? Remember the E-Reader?

Nintendo promises a new world of innovative videogames, then they quit and walk away after one or two pet projects because they just can't be bothered to put in any effort. Here's a sequel to Luigi's Mansion that nobody asked for. It was a miserable failure on the Gamecube, and it will be a failure again. But Shigeru Miyamoto makes it beacause that's what he wants. Building on Wii Sports and Wii Play? Can't be bothered. They're through with motion controls. He can't even be bothered to come up with new games for the Wii U! These new versions of Wii Sports, Wii Fit, and Super Mario 5 are what the kids call "hacks." Hmph. Pretty much sums up the company, too.

What reason is there to believe that Nintendo will show any more support to their tablet controller? They'll come up with a novel use or two, publish a couple of early launch games, and then walk away. We're done! On to the next trinket! To hell with what the market demands and what the fans demand. Miyamoto will only do what HE wants, and on his schedule. And on your dime.

Last year, the Wii got Wii Party (from the makers of Mario Party) and Kirby. This year: another Mario Party and another Kirby. And the latest Puzzle Zelda that has been sitting on a shelf for over a year. It will do just about as well as the last three or four Puzzle Zeldas. How about a 2D, 4-player New Legend of Zelda? How about a new Ice Hockey, or Rad Racer, or RC Pro Am, or Gauntlet? How about something like Wii Tanks? How about a Wii sword fighting game? Why don't I have a damned lightsaber game? Who the hell's legs do I have to break to get something done around here?!

Nintendo absolutely refuses to fulfill their promises or provide the market what it demands. Meanwhile, the Wii's core audience - the fans who turned the Wii Series, Mario Kart, Mario 5, and Just Dance into megahits - are seething and frustrated. There's a lot of anger bubbling under the surface.

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