Open letter to Nintendo

Posted by Jim_Efantis (36 posts) -

Dear Nintendo:

Hi! Loyal fan here. Other than the Virtual Boy, I’ve owned every major console you all have put out. Yes, I was a little late to the Wii U party, but that’s OK as I’m here now. (To be fair, I was waiting to get Smash Brothers, but my wife decided to surprise me.)

I won’t pretend you’re hurting, we all know it to be true. I’m here to tell you why things happened they way they did, and to offer some friendly advice on how best to proceed.

I'm glad you decided against mobile gaming via cell phone applications, etc. I have a (3)DS for that. And to be frank, it’s pretty amazing. Not every game lends itself to a DS experience, and more often than not I’m just looking at a blown up map of the area on my second screen, but when games like Advance Wars come along, that always-on tactical information is pretty amazing. I know not everything can be turn-based, information-centric, but that’s the kind of innovation I bought into.

The same applies to your Wii U Gamepad. I knew trouble was on the horizon when New Super Mario Brothers U uses the Gamepad to display what I’m already seeing on my 60 inch television. It wastes battery and is a distraction. I’d love to see that turned off. I’m not really sure what a second screen could be used for in Mario anyway (outside of Boost Mode, but let’s not kid ourselves – that feature great for grieving and that’s about it). I can’t imagine your engineers sat around and decided to make a second screen to mirror the first. So step it up a notch. Now Ubisoft got it right with ZombiU, and I love what’s going in with Pikmin 3 and Wonderful 101 – that’s where your effort needs to be right now.

Let’s face it, you hoped that third party support would come in and lend a hand. News flash: you haven’t had third party support since the Super Nintendo (I’ll give you N64 too). That’s OK because your first party titles are amazing. Mario, Donkey Kong, and Pikmin are amazing games. Trust me when I tell you there’s no experience like it on any other console.

But those are your bread and butter games. So where are they? Star Fox, Metroid, Kid Icarus, Pilotwings… all are sadly missing from the Wii U library. Why? I mean, I’m not buying a Wii U for Arkham City: Armored Edition, so let’s figure out a way to keep the classics going, ok?

I’m happy you’re starting to focus on the Miiverse because that’s what people want right now: social experiences. You know: trophies, Twitch broadcasts, party chat, that sort of thing. I’m in the minority that doesn’t care about that stuff, so don’t beat us over the head with it – but it’s funny when a “Dear Bowser” letter slips through the filters on New Super Mario Brothers U with a picture of a wang on it. Yep, I’m immature. And people can draw very well with that stylus. Which reminds me, where’s Mario Paint again?

Let’s stop floundering. Don’t worry about your next console, it’s way too soon for that. And let’s drop the Wii name altogether. You confused people and the marketing was all over the place. Your best felling features (backwards capability, even with virtual store purchases!) took a back seat to everything. And you’re even DRM free! That’s sad that Microsoft made this a selling feature anymore, but I digress.

So get back to work. Make some must have games that will define this generation. Don’t expect anybody to find innovative purposes for the Gamepad. That falls to you now. Maybe you’ll get lucky and get some ports that send traffic your way, but I can promise that a majority of people playing Call of Duty aren’t doing so on your console.

I love you guys. I’ll stick with you to the bitter end. I know we aren't anywhere near that, either. It’s just sad to see you guys doing so poorly right now.

You are better than that; prove it to those of us who don’t know it yet.

Your Pal,


#1 Edited by Flappy (2411 posts) -

You're a pretty swell guy, Jim. If Nintendo responds with a heartfelt message, make sure you ask them about the 3DS region-lock!

Thanks Pal.

#2 Posted by crithon (3572 posts) -

glad someone said it about the problems with third parties since the SNES days.

#3 Posted by Veektarius (5526 posts) -

I suppose it's possible that Nintendo could solve its own problems by expanding its studios to output a higher number of games. I guess they kind of have been, it's just these ancillary teams aren't allowed to mess with core franchises, I guess.

#4 Posted by Gard3 (28 posts) -

They were on the verge of greatness with the Wii, then Kinect hit, and suddenly motion control was lame. You need buttons in your hands to increase the variability of the characters' actions.

Go back to what they did better than Sony or MS. Immersive games with a motion controller in your hand. Win that battle first.

#5 Posted by frankfartmouth (1048 posts) -

I'm a big Nintendo fan too. They're probably my all-time favorite developer. But they've clearly been flying without a map for awhile. I don't agree at all that what they need to do is just keep cranking out classics. They've been cranking them out. That's part of the problem. They're tiring people out with these endless iterations of New Super Mario, etc. Yeah, no Metroid on the WiiU yet, but it hasn't been that long since the last one came out on the Wii. Back in the day, it always took a long time between major 1st party titles. How many true Mario games came out for the 64? One. That's it. 2 Zelda games. No Metroid. The system was good, though, because it had cool, innovative 3rd party stuff like Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, Conker, etc.

They need 3rd party support. They have to get off their addiction to their own franchises. As great as they are, they're beating that shit to death. They clearly have nothing else to go on in the console race. Handhelds will be fine for a while to come, but even that's likely going to be challenged soon.

#6 Edited by Pezen (1907 posts) -

Dear Nintendo,

As a big fan of the NES and SNES I can with some amount of confidence say you have an issue in your plan. Don't listen to this guy Jim. I am sure he's a swell guy with good intentions but he's missing a really crucial piece of information; You're making games for two audiences and pleasing neither. Most of your games are built for the age range of 13 and below, but using characters and themes that only appeal to 30 year olds with an blooming onset of nostalgia. The first group of people want to play the big popular games of their generation, the second group of people want more sophisticated hardware and software. Mario is no longer the de facto icon for games.

The main problem for you is getting a new audience. Wii almost did that, but that audience is showing to not necessarily be an audience that will follow you. They liked the Wii and maybe that was enough for them. How will you appeal to kids these days? Remember, NES and SNES didn't just have Mario and Zelda. They also had Battletoads, Ninja Gaiden, Contra, Double Dragon, Street Figher, Shadowrun, Doom.. the list goes on. There was an edge to you that you have since lost. Probably a lot due to lack of third party support.

You can keep on working on your classics and ignore the fact that you're an island by yourself.

Or you can quit thinking you're ibiza and do something about this mess.


The dude that sold his NES to buy Fighting Force.

#7 Posted by Jim_Efantis (36 posts) -

@pezen: I like it! We can agree to disagree! :) They definitely need to do something. This reminds me of how Blackberry slowly melted into abyss, all-along singing their own praises...

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