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Have I gone through gamer puberty?

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. 


  1. Daniel

    I know the feeling .
    was excited when the Wii came out , saved money to buy one and after the initial period of excitement it went downhill .
    it was good for the tennis which everyone in my house loved but after a little while it became clear just how lacking it was .
    I even brought resident evil darkside chronicles thinking that as a shooting game and a story I liked anyway it would bring me back over , after ten minutes of playing a game I could play at any arcade i was very disappointed .
    The Wii u has not enticed me at all as I felt a little let down by the Wii.

  2. I know the feeling. I had a Wii and it was good, being the new technology that it was at the time with the wiimote etc.

    I’ve recently got a Wii U though, and to be honest, its pretty underwhelming after the first couple of days of playing on it. I don’t get excited by the catalogue of games available and found myself thinking I should have even got the older PS3, had to sell mine due to circumstances at one point and I really miss it.

  3. Danny Morgan

    I completely agree – the Wii U is incredibly underwhelming. At least the Wii had something different about it, even if the novelty wore off and it looked very dated, and was missing multiplayer titles. But Wii U just looks like it had jumped on the tablet bandwagon, rather than innovating.

    But I still wonder if it’s my age and if I was seven again, would the Wii U actually be really cool? I honestly don’t know.