As hard as I try, I can’t get excited.
No, that isn’t a common complaint of mine. I’m struggling to get excited
about Nintendo. There I said it. Maybe I’ll regret publishing this here, but I’m surely not alone in feeling a bit “meh” about Nintendo’s latest offering.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted, and bought, each Nintendo console. But I find myself eagerly anticipating the release of the PS4 and not thinking one bit about the Wii U. Has Nintendo abandoned me or am I leaving Nintendo behind?
It’s a question of whether my gaming tastes have changed or if Nintendo has changed too much for my liking. I’ve not regretted any Nintendo purchase… except my last one.
For me, it all started with the Wii – which sounds like the explanation to an experimental sex session that could only go downhill and should be forgotten about. But it’s not a terrible comparison because after Wii came s**t.
I resent a lot of the money spent on that white box. Sure, I had some fun experiences, but none really delivered what Nintendo had promised – or at least what I imagined the Wii would deliver. I wanted to dive out from behind the sofa shooting stuff like those generic people in the ads. I think the resentment drove me elsewhere. It drove me into the arms of rivals – the grass seemed greener, much greener.
The magic has almost faded between me and Ninty. We are like a couple who have gradually shifted apart. Initially drawn together by a mutual passion, the early days were a hot, sweaty affair. Hours upon hours spent on Mario Kart, Mario 64 or Smash Bros. But now, we sit separately, the Wii hidden away, looking on as I flirt with other objects of desire.
I can’t help wondering whether gamers have a gaming lifecycle, progressively moving from the gaming equivalent of bikes, marbles and cartoons to members of the opposite sex. I now look at Nintendo with a nostalgic fondness, remembering the fun I had aged 10 – but I would always choose booze and women given the choice. Have I gone through gaming puberty?
I hoped the next Nintendo console would somehow bring us back together. I distinctly remember the moment the name was revealed at the console’s unveiling.
“Wii U”. “Oh, for f*** sake” was more or less my response.
The name alone suggested things weren’t headed where I wanted them. As far as I was concerned, it was just an extension of the Wii, which it is; an extension of Nintendo’s strategy and target market.
So has the target market really changed or am I just not in that bracket anymore? You could argue Nintendo’s target audience has always been the younger age brackets and gamers mature beyond that.
I have great memories of playing Mario Kart, Donkey Kong and Starwing – all fantastic games, but hardly mature cross platform titles. I know there were some, but as a child I was drawn in by Mario, which makes him sound kind of dirty. He wasn’t; he was a gentleman.
My taste has changed and the games that satisfy that taste have changed dramatically also. A game has to offer so much more to the consumer these days – a decent single-player campaign, co-op, multiplayer, rip-off DLC etc.
I like these games. I like Battlefield. I like Assassins Creed. I like GTA. Nintendo lags behind on almost all of this. Despite still wanting the authentic Nintendo experience, for economical reasons I have to pick one console. That’s why I wanted Nintendo to surprise me and give me the capability to have both experiences – the Nintendo magic and big multi-platform titles.
But it didn’t. Nintendo let me down big time. Plus, Sony has made remote play on Vita through the PS4 mandatory for developers – a key selling point of the Wii U effectively crossed off for me.
Like an old lover, I’ll always have fond memories of Nintendo, but I can’t see myself or Nintendo compromising for a while yet.