Today I’m introducing a new segment entitled Let’s Talk. This will be a place for strong opinions about gaming news and the industry and hopefully a place for conversation amongst fellow fans. So without further ado…
Let’s talk about Nintendo.
It was a bad day for them and honestly it looks like it’s not going to get any better for another year or so. Another consecutive year of losses was a big bummer, but the cherry on top was the announcement that not only will their new console, the NX, release in 2017, but so will their last big thing on the WII—The Legend of Zelda.
Now this hurts and a lot of people have thrown in the towel and loudly voiced their groans online already. But that’s not what I’m here to do.
Let’s talk about why this may be the best decision they could have made.
We’ll start with the sad facts.
The Wii was a huge success and it put a lot of money in the Mario bank, but the Wii U has literally eaten up all of the gains. It flopped hard and here’s why—the technology is a dated concept. The appeal of a second screen was useful for a portable console, but not entirely necessary for a home console. Sure, some games have used it well enough to validate its existence, but most of the time it’s the “I don’t want that controller to beat your ass in Smash Bros with, gimme the Gamecube controller” controller. Its other use was to free up the TV so Mom and Dad could watch the news and you could still play your big-girl games at the same time, but what Nintendo failed to understand was that the world was past that. TVs didn’t need to be freed up anymore, because TVs exist everywhere. Phones, tablets, laptops, on freakin’ watches now–EVERYWHERE. And TVs aren’t as hard to come by anymore either. So you playing your little game isn’t hindering anyone else from pirating that new episode of Game of Thrones and watching it wherever they want. It was a bad idea and it flopped, because Nintendo lost their connection to the outside world. If they were paying attention, they would have come up with this idea way back before the age of streaming.
Okay, that was harsh, but true. Let’s get scarier.
I’m betting by 2020 we will either have a Nintendo or we won’t. Simple as that. And I think they know it and I think they are preparing. Investors and fans are losing faith over years of lackluster products and negative sales figures. Their only hope was pushed back another year and we still don’t even know what the hell it is yet.
Now to the good stuff.
Many fans are upset that Zelda isn’t gracing the Wii U until next year and then there’s nothing else in between. They say it’s a slap in the face of Wii U owners everywhere and it won’t sell anymore consoles. I say, “Duh,” and I bet Nintendo would echo that. They know the Wii U failed and they know that any more money thrown into that broken basket is money wasted. So why not send it off with some fireworks that were already being prepped anyway? They shouldn’t spend money or time on the Wii U and that’s why there are all these rumors about developers working on “secret projects” for Nintendo. Newsflash: It’s probably stuff for the NX! And here’s another prediction I’m making—Nintendo will reveal the NX as a next gen console on par or greater than the current systems. Why do I think that? Because it would be an instant flop if it wasn’t. No gimmick and no nuance design choice can save them against a market dominated by Sony and Microsoft. VR is taking the world by storm and right now only PCs and those consoles can handle it. Nintendo is the odd plumber out. So they will make a grandiose console that can match weights with the big girls. So if the NX is such a huge deal then why is it so far out? Because Nintendo is smart enough to survive long enough for the biggest cash cow in their stable to finally hit the scene and you’ve probably already forgotten about it.
A mother****ing theme park.
Universal announced earlier this year that a Nintendo theme park was in the works for worldwide distributions and Nintendo was sinking lots of dollars into its investment. There was no release date and no official statements other than the initial announcement so it’s been off the map for a lot of you. Just think about it. A gamer/ nerd heaven based on everything you loved and still love in the industry. A Disneyland of Gaming. And it’s going to make so much damn money that Nintendo will no doubt bounce back up to where they need to be to stay in the game indefinitely. You think Sony could pull that off? Or Microsoft?! Only Nintendo has a legacy stable so strong and consistent that they could pull a Mickey Mouse with their main man Mario.
So that’s the game plan. Stay afloat until the money rolls in. And hedge all bets on the NX being a competent console that will have consumers begging for the next Unreal engine-looking Zelda. But there’s a scary part to that too. All the eggs are in one basket. It’s a long game gambit that will either make or break Nintendo in the next 3 years. Yeah, the portable market is still their bitch and yes, they could always do ONLY handhelds, but that’s not who they are. They are Nintendo—the Godfather of gaming. They invented most of what the other companies are beating them at and it’s high time they started re-claiming that throne.
Here’s how I see it—if the NX isn’t a hit based on first impressions alone, Nintendo is up the creek. And if it is, then that’s icing on the cake that will take them just long enough to eat that the theme park money will make it just in time.
Nintendo did the right thing for once—they planned ahead. And hopefully they will find themselves more involved in the current state of worldwide technology so that they can develop stronger products to compete in their field. It will all depend on whether or not the NX is good enough, but one thing is for sure: either way we’re getting the coolest ****ing theme park ever and Nintendo will remain alive in some form or another.
Hail Bowser and tell me what you think! Did Nintendo screw the pooch so badly that there’s no coming back, or do you think what I’ve said could save them? What else do you think they should do? Let me know in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter @RAT_FOX .