So, we all remember the news about Nintendo’s stock crashing after they showed the Wii U at E3 this year. The new box seems like it has potential, but the presentation on the show floor was muddled and confusing. Couple that with the fact that considerably more ideas were on display than games and I think it’s fair to call it a pretty uneven debut. Nintendo’s shareholders seemed a little less on the fence about it, though, and the stocks responded immediately.
And now we’re getting a bit more insight into why they were so perturbed. Apparently, they were expecting Nintendo to announce a Mario port on the fucking iPhone or something.
Gamasutra and just about everybody else is reporting that the investors are up in arms about Nintendo roundly ignoring the phone-gaming market. Evidently these great minds of our time have set aside their Proust and taken time out of their weekly Mensa meetings to grab up torches and pitchforks and storm the Kyoto offices with a list of their mobile-gaming-related demands.
With mobile devices being the future of gaming, they say, Nintendo needs to either whore out ports of their best franchises to cell phones, or buy their way into the market with a completely new device. Like a goddamn N-Phone or something.
This, as any intelligent gamer with a sense of history will be able to tell you, is basically the exact opposite of how Nintendo works. The company has had its ups and downs over the last, how long again? Oh yeah, ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-TWO YEARS that it’s been around, but ever since they started making video games, they’ve been about doing their own thing, and that’s the way it is. They have never, ever been content to sit back and follow fads or industry trends, and they have instead introduced almost every major industry standard since the days of the Game & Watch. Oh what. D-Pad? Game Saves? Analog sticks? Rumble? The motion controls that everyone is copying these days? Yeah, that would be Nintendo. And I’m fairly certain they didn’t dream all those up by listening to what their pinhead stockholders were telling THEM about where games were headed, either.
But no, you guys go ahead and school Nintendo on how “mobile gaming” is a big deal. Maybe they forgot how they, y’know, invented it in the ’80s. Game Boy? WHAT’S THAT?
And it’s not like they just stumbled upon the original Game Boy and then got steamrolled by the competitors’ superior iterations on the idea. Pretty sure they’ve had complete dominance over that particular market since its inception. And they’ve even just recently hit their peak with the DS!
Oh, what’s that, shareholders? You’ve never heard of the DS? Well, that would be the “Nintendo Dual-Screen”, perhaps more commonly known as “The Second Best-Selling Video Game Device of All Time”
In late 2004, amid news that industry-leading Sony was planning to portable-ize their PlayStation 2 (which is, of course, the first best-selling console of all time), Nintendo had somewhat of an uphill struggle ahead of them. Their Game Boy Advance was kind of samey and not terribly thrilling, and the PSP sounded awfully impressive. Nintendo’s dominion over the handheld market seemed like it might be in jeopardy for once.
So what did they do? Did they panic and just say, ‘fuck our entire business model, what’s the latest fad’? No, they found a graceful and wildly innovative way to push the industry forward and make themselves a ton of money in the process. They took a whole new form factor and design–which everyone immediately wrote off as a gimmick–and used it to tap into a huge cache of creativity that would intrigue the old gamers while broadening their audience significantly. They used unintimidating hardware to entice developers AND new gamers AND keep costs low on production and pricing at the same time. It was pretty smart, and it’s almost like they kind of knew what the fuck they were doing, huh?
This is, of course, to say nothing of the creative renaissance that the DS has fostered. The touch and dual screens have ignited the creativity in a ton of developers while their console projects have stagnated, and seemingly dead genres (JRPGs, adventure games) and styles (sprite graphics) have found exciting new life on the system. Seriously, I have more DS games than 360 and PS2 games combined. They came up with a completely new concept and managed to parley it into the most consistently great gaming machine in the last decade. It barely has the power of an N64, but there is more creativity and innovation on that little thing than in anything else you’ll find today–and here’s the part that YOU care about again, investors!!!:
This, of course, makes it all the more idiotic that the 3DS ‘failure’ is being used as a talking point with these guys. A system has a bumpy launch and then all of the sudden it’s THE END OF NINTENDO AS WE KNOW IT and the Wii U will be a DISASTER, too. Let’s give it a little while, fellas. The games are coming. If we all can just give it the chance, there’s no reason the 3DS won’t follow its predecessor’s lead and become the most interesting platform of the next ten years.
That is, if bored office workers playing shitty Flash games on the bus don’t SINK THE FUCKING INDUSTRY FIRST.
I really can’t even articulate how annoying I find this whole movement in ‘gaming’. Holy shit! I can play meaningless time-wasters from the late ’90s on my fucking phone? For a dollar at a time? Sign me up!
You know what? Here’s how I’m gonna become a billionaire in today’s cell-phone game obsessed market. I’m gonna create the stupidest, most barebones smartphone imaginable and give it one, ONE application: a web browser that takes you straight to Newgrounds. Hey dipshits! Here’s all those nothing games you love to DEATH…for FREE. AND THEY’VE BEEN THERE FOR TEN FUCKING YEARS. I’ll own my own island in no time.