The Great Nintendo Debate
Note: I was going to cover several debate clubs this week, but it turns out that I had a lot to say about this, so I’m just going to focus on it.
In a very ironic twist, I too have changed my feelings on Nintendo since my original post. While there is little doubt that the company is struggling, I don’t think Nintendo is going to get completely swept away during this current generation. I’m not sure when my opinion changed, but I know that I’ve swayed pretty far in the opposite direction of my original argument. In no particular order, here are some of the reasons why.
The new consoles suck.
At least that’s how it feels right now. I said before the PS4 and the Xbone came out that I was planning on eventually getting both boxes and completely rejoining the console gamers of the world. That still might prove true eventually, but for now there is absolutely zero reason for me to go out and buy either of those consoles.
There have been several new releases this year, but the three most notable ones that I can think of have all been available on my PC, Dark Souls II, Titanfall, and Watch Dogs. Of the games that are legit consoles exclusives for PS4 or Xbone, none of them are even out yet. Infamous: Second Son isn’t an “OMG I have to go buy a PS4 for this game!” type seller, and Dead Rising 3 isn’t that game for Xbone. So what reason do I have to need a PS4 or an Xbone.
Meanwhile, Nintendo cranks out incredible game after incredible game for it’s console. Yes, Nintendo has a bent toward releasing kid friendly type of games, and yes I long for more than just that, but for my money right now, I’d rather play some really great games regardless of art style, than a bunch of mediocre crap.
Who cares about value adds.
I’ve come to realize that the blu-ray functionality of the PS4 and Xbone is kind of dumb. So is the Twitch support, the Skype stuff, etc… Yeah, it’s all kind of cool, but let’s be honest, how many gamers actually do Twitch streams, 5% maybe? Furthermore, who wants to Skype, Twitter, or use Facebook from their console. Most importantly though, blu-ray, like all physical media, is on it’s way out the door. Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, and other services are going to push physical media out sooner than later. And even if you don’t want to use your Wii U to use those services, you can always buy a Roku and still only have spent about the same amount you would have for either of the other consoles.
Nintendo doesn’t make consoles.
It was hard for me to really accept this for a long time, but Nintendo simply doesn’t make consoles…at least not in the way Sony, Microsoft or any other company ever has. Nintendo makes machines to play Nintendo games on. If some third parties make some games for it too, and those games are good, cool. If not, who cares? You buy a Wii U to play Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, Smash Bros. etc…, not for the definitive version of Call of Duty. So while Sony and Microsoft clamber to lock up those exclusives, dance around each other on price drops, and constantly look for new ways to outsell each other, Nintendo just sits back, makes it’s machines and great games for them, and laughs.
No, Nintendo is not selling a ton of consoles right now, and yes, that’s kind of bad. It would be great if Nintendo was selling Wii U’s faster than it could make them, but the truth is that measuring Nintendo’s success against Sony and Microsoft is like comparing apples and oranges. Nintendo doesn’t operate that way.
Believe it or not, if I was going to go buy one console for this whole generation, and I had to do it today, I’d buy a Wii U. I’d miss out on Destiny and Halo 5, and whatever other games that those consoles had, but instead I would get several consistently amazing titles from Nintendo every year. I feel like that’s a great trade off, especially with there being some question in my mind as to whether games like Destiny will even live up to their potential anyway. At least with a Nintendo console, I know that I’ll be getting fantastic games with every release.