By TreyoftheDead 1 Comments
Nintendo is a company of scurvy traitors who have turned their filthy backs on the hardcore gaming audience.
Ever since Nintendo's rather disappointing casual-focused E3 press conference, the above idea has been grasped by a large number of hardcore gamers across the web. People are angry and sometimes even hurt by what they see as the final piece of empirical evidence proving that Nintendo, once considered the greatest gaming company on the planet, has finally completely abandoned it's hardcore audience. That they've now thrown off their mask and revealed the new Nintendo, hero of the casuals and foe to the world of hardcore gaming.
This evidence lies in the lack of hardcore titles announced at E3. As Nintendo focused their press conference on games such as WiiSports Resort and the toy-like "rhythm game", WiiMusic, gamers have begun mourning the loss of the Nintendo of old. The fact that Nintendo's head of marketing in sales came on stage and told us that Nintendo was interested in making the whole world smile (and doing so by using the word over and over)and Reggie Fils-Aime telling us that Nintendo was hardcore because they announced a new Animal Crossing was just too much for most to take.
Has Nintendo really abandoned those who made it what it is today? The answer is a bit complex or, at the least, it has two sides.
Yes, Nintendo has obviously moved their primary focus away from the hardcore gamer, but we've known this for a while. The casual market is what made the Wii the powerhouse console it is today. Sure it's also true that Nintendo loyals and curious gamers helped the Wii reach sky high sales, but it was still the casuals who gave the system its biggest push towards glory. Nintendo knows this and they also know that they must keep these people interested so that they will continue buying games and introducing new consumers at the same time.
To accomplish this they must continue putting games that are similar to WiiSports and WiiFit, games that casuals eat up, onto store shelves. By announcing the sequel to a wildly popular pack-in in Wii Sports Resort and the entirely new IP, Wii Music, Nintendo hopes to do this. Should they succeed, these two games alone should keep it's new audience happy for at least another year. Plus, they are obviously easier to develop and yield cheaper production costs than the types of games the hardcore crowd are usually interested in.
Hardcore games take time and lots of money to develop. They aren't simple games that throw a Mii into a simple landscape doing simple things. They require lots of effort on many levels and sometimes take years to complete. Throw in the fact that Nintendo is notorious for pushing back release dates for the sake of quality and you have a long cycle between big, franchise releases.
With this in mind, we must acknowledge that Nintendo has already put out several big IP's in the Wii's 1.5 year lifespan. Thus far we've already seen two Mario's, a Metroid, a Zelda, a Super Smash Brothers, and the latest MarioKart. That covers all of Nintendo's heavy hitting, enduring franchises but StarFox and Kirby. And considering that all of those games are well thought of among professionals and consumers a like, the Wii already supports a strong first party line up.
So why are we surprised that E3 lacked first party titles that cater to the hardcore audience? They take time to develop and Nintendo simply may not be ready to reveal what they are working on yet. Plus, gaming legend Shigeru Miyamoto practically confirmed that the in house Mario and Zelda teams are both currently working on Wii projects and that Pikmin 3 is in development. With a great first party line up out before the Wii hits the two year mark and the confirmation that new titles are on the horizon, why are gamers shaking their pitch forks and torches at Nintendo and crying foul.
It's because they don't want Nintendo to focus on the casuals. They feel betrayed and anything that does not meet their very specific desires is a mark against the company. Simply confirming that core appealing titles are in development is not enough, they want to see them and be given a relatively specific release window. Isn't that a bit unrealistic? Nintendo has given us some great games thus far this generation, including the almost universally acclaimed Super Mario Galaxy. Shouldn't we have patience instead of pinning all our hopes on one event that is admittedly not what it used to be?
Apparently not. Patience no longer exists and gamers are turning their backs on Nintendo and looking for other options. The real question is, will these gamers swallow their pride and forgive when it becomes clear that Nintendo really does still have us on their mind? Only time will and a few more big gaming conferences will tell.