I heard you'll be having a nice Nintendo Direct sometime later today, and as Nintendo had stated, it will be all about 3DS games we already know about. Nothing new, unless they decide to surprise us. But really, at this point, what could they announce that could dramatically shift the tide in their favor? A new Zelda? A new Mario? Even a new Metroid? Look, I don't want to have to be the one to break it to you, it's over for Nintendo. It's a slow oncoming death like Cancer or Alzheimer's Disease, where all you can do is sit and watch it happen, occasionally Nintendo will feel better, have a moment of clarity... but really it's just a fleeting moment that can't reverse the long term situation.
In the past week with the new console launches approaching, I haven't heard much from Nintendo themselves, but from fans, mostly on twitter. Saying things like "There is already a Next-Gen system available, it's $100 less then PS4 and $200 less then Xbox One." or "Call of Duty Ghosts best version is on Wii U!" then showing a 20 minute video of them using the Wiimote as a controller for justification. They even try to quote other industry rivals, like Sony's Shuhei Yoshida saying they hope Nintendo survives. Just do a quick twitter search for "Nintendo" and you'll come up with several excited tweet from die hard Nintendo fans.
Fanboyism usually makes me annoyed or angry...
Whenever I try to talk to a diehard Sony or Microsoft fan about the faults of any of their products, it's like talking to a brick wall. It never budges, it never moves, and at some point you realize it isn't even listening.
But with Nintendo fans, I just feel sad. They really love Nintendo, I love Nintendo! I grew up with some of my fondest gaming moments with their console, I've told people multiple times about how me and my Father drew out on foam-board the entire NES Metroid map with ruler and pen, mapping out every item and platform to try to get the big picture on where everything was. I will never forget that... I will always love that moment. But the people involved in that moment will eventually fade away... Eventually my father will pass away, I will pass away at some point, you who is sharing this moment will pass away sometime too, and so will Nintendo. Sadly, it seems Nintendo (or at least the Nintendo we know) will pass away long before me and my Father will.
So in seeing other Nintendo fans try to justify Call of Duty Ghosts being best on Wii U, or talking about how there is already a cheap Next-Gen console called Wii U... I don't want to get angry at them, I want to give them a hug. Cause I think that's the only way they will face the truth of that it's over for Nintendo.
How did this happen?
In a previous post I've spoken about questioning Microsoft Leadership and wondering if they are the cause for Microsoft's shaky Xbox One launch. When it comes to Nintendo Leadership, all I can do is look at Satoru Iwata for Nintendo's failings. Miyamoto is making great games, and that's his job... but Satoru Iwata is the one who has to make the business decisions, and I don't think his business decisions have helped the company for the long run. Yes the Wii was successful, but it was also the most dust covered product in any entertainment center, and everyone who bought a Wii knew it. So who would be excited about Wii 2, or Wii U, or Wii anything?
This was the question someone at Nintendo did not ask themselves, cause the answer is no one. "Mom! I want Wii U!" a kid says, this will eventually lead to the follow up "Wii U? But you don't even play with your Wii!" and the kid will say, "Oh right." then go right back to playing on Xbox or their iPad Mini, which is where the kids are. They don't care about Mario or Zelda, they only want their GTA and Call of Duty. The only people looking forward to a new Mario or Zelda, are in the ages of 25 to 40. You want to know why there were no fights at Best Buy for the new Pokemon game? Cause the parents weren't buying it for their kids, the kids, now adults, bought it for themselves.
But the biggest problem with the Wii U is it's lack of 3rd party titles that people actually care about...
Nintendo, and their fans, continue to insist that 3rd parties are not important to keep Wii U viable, that all it takes is the right game, and most likely, the right game from Nintendo themselves. But strong 3rd party games are great at doing two things for a console; they offer free publicity, and they offer a line of revenue while the 1st party develops their potential AAA title. Without 3rd parties, the Wii U market will starve itself out, waiting for the 1st party title to arrive.
Remember when people went in droves to pick up a Gamecube when Resident Evil 4 came out? How much of that did Nintendo cause? Not a God-damn thing (mostly). They counted on Capcom to offer a AAA title that would spur sales, all Nintendo had to do was sit back and let the funds roll in, and they did. These funds would help generate revenue for Nintendo, and allowed them to use it on ambitious projects like Wii and other future titles. But right now 3rd party Wii U titles offer up less then 5-10% of sales for a given game. The PS4 version of Call of Duty Ghosts has OUTSOLD the Wii U version, the PS4 isn't even out yet, and already more people have bought the physical copy of that game over the Wii U version...
Without this line of 3rd party revenue to generate console sales, Nintendo money has to be used to hope to generate more Nintendo money. Nintendo resources have to be split up to figure out what game will generate sales for the company. Is it a Mario game? A Zelda game? A Smash Bros game? Wii Sports U? We don't know! They don't know.Even the 3rd party exclusives like Fatal Frame and Bayonetta 2 are funded and produced by Nintendo, so again, more Nintendo Money is being used to generate more Nintendo Money, it's becoming a wash to keep the company, and console, a float.
Nintendo will end up dividing themselves thin...
Anyone else notice that the quality of the games is suffering while Nintendo is trying to find that "one game" that will turn the Wii U around? Is it just me? Mario 3D World looks fun, but okay. We remade Wind Waker just so we can get a Zelda title on the unit. Seems the excitement for Smash Bros U is thinner then it was for Smash Bros Melee. Wii Sports U? Meh. Even Nintendoland was quietly removed from the Wii U shop... Why was that?
Not just the gaming division of Nintendo is spread thin, but the hardware side of the console has as well, and you can tell. When is second Wii U Gamepad controller getting implemented? It's already been a year. When are Gamecube games coming to the Virtual Shop? Why can't I use the Gamepad controls when playing it in Wii mode? Why do I still have to buy Mario on 3DS and Wii and Wii U seperately? Why does this all feel half baked? It's sad, and it's sad to see Nintendo Fanboys continue to carry that love blindly.
Yes a drop in price has brought on a sales boost, but eventually once the PS4 and Xbox One come out, again no one will care, cause all their friends are on PS4 and Xbox One, and no one they know has a Wii U. Maybe they will eventually for that "one game" but that's all it will be for, a handful of games.
I'm sorry guys, the Nintendo we know is fading out... They may go software only like Sega at some point, or get bought up by someone else, Apple if you want to be an optimist. But a situation that was fixable is now to the point beyond repair. Unless there is something I'm missing, no one game is going to resurrect the console into the dominance at this point, that time has already come and gone.
Think about that, as I give you my virtual hug.