Width vs. Depth: Nintendo's New Interest in Fans

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#51 Posted by Nicked (248 posts) -

It will be interesting to see how the mainstream audience reacts to the controller. I think a lot of people bought the Wii because it didn't seem intimidating: I remember video after video of old people doing Wii Bowling. The screen on the Wii U seems hip, but I think the iPad is successful in part because there's only really one button (and volume controls/power, of course). Iwata seems to be trying to set investor expectations low for sales. Wii to Wii U isn't going to be the same as iPad to iPad 2.

I think the Wii U will do OK longer term, as Iwata suggests, but the market for it seems narrow. Realistically, how many Wii owners feel they need a half-step upgrade that seems more complicated? How many 360/PS3 owners want another console that's only as good as what they currently have? My view is that the Wii U seems too core for the mainstream, and unnecessary to the core gamer.

#52 Edited by Goldanas (546 posts) -

@jakob187: He probably means--aside from first-party Nintendo software--almost nothing but shovelware games catering to the Wii's audience are released for the platform. Certainly there is shovelware on every platform, but the major 2, Microsoft and Sony, at least have a wealth of support from 3rd parties directed specifically at "core gamers". That's their primary purpose after all.

Of course, I agree with everything you write after that point, except for maybe the "ton of good games".

Eh.

Patrick really laid most of them out, and even then, several of those are on other platforms, and some weren't even first on the Wii (I refuse to discount the PC as a platform). I can certainly think of several Nintendo products that I really enjoyed on my Wii, but apart from that, LostWinds and Tatsunoko vs Capcom are the only other titles that really come to mind when I think of games targeted for me.

I personally felt the Wii lacked more quality titles than either the Gamecube or even N64. Patrick really grasps for straws in that first statement, and it shows. You compare that meager list to what's on the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, or even just these past 3 years on the PC (not even as many years as the Wii has been out), and you'll easily outmatch that list.

I've had a Wii since day one, and I find I have almost no interest in even turning it on, with how infrequently games are released for it.

#53 Posted by Doctorchimp (4076 posts) -

@AhmadMetallic said:

...Why are they trying to get their devoted "hobbyist gamers" back? They made unprecedented BANK on the Wii by designing it for the casual masses, what do they care about the true fans?

Are you being sarcastic?

It's been proven that all those wiis just sat in the family room with nobody buying software for them where the company makes most of their money.

#54 Posted by soupbones (288 posts) -

No mention of Muramasa the Demon Blade, but mentioning No More Heroes makes me want to go all Hulk on Patrick's hair.

But I won't, cause I'm cool man.

#55 Posted by Claude (16254 posts) -

If I love the Wii U half as much as I loved my Wii, I'm good as gold.

#56 Edited by Draxyle (1860 posts) -

While it's probably all PR and fluff, I'm glad to hear this. The casual crowd is all well and good, but they are a finicky bunch that will leave once they get bored. You can't build a business around them exclusively, you need the fanatics around.

The debacle surrounding Xenoblade and the others was kind of the last straw for the Wii, but I hope that was a learning experience for them, since they eventually caved. I have felt let down by them, but I'll still keep encouraging them in the right direction.

@soupbones said:

No mention of Muramasa the Demon Blade, but mentioning No More Heroes makes me want to go all Hulk on Patrick's hair.

But I won't, cause I'm cool man.

I didn't even notice that omission. Muramasa was awesome and definitely worth playing for any Wii owner. Some of the Wii's best titles were really swept under the rug in favor of the senseless shovelware, sadly. The Wii is still a damn good console if you dig deeper for the hidden treasures.

#57 Posted by Tarsier (1065 posts) -

nintendo has been ignorant of what the 'core' wants for years.

#58 Posted by fargofallout (289 posts) -

I've been thinking a lot about Nintendo recently, and I'm surprised at how successful they have been (not in the last year, but prior to that) while not giving a shit about whether their hardware is capable of delivering the same sorts of games as the competition. I have purchased all of the Nintendo home consoles, but unless I find myself with more money than I know what to do with, I won't be picking up a WiiU. I only played about 8 games on the Wii, so it was sort of a waste of money (especially those three extra controllers), considering how many I've played on the 360 and PS3. Nintendo can only create so many of their own games, and if history is any guide, the big third party games won't be on this system. If I have to choose between a console that will get Bethesda, Rockstar, 2K, and BioWare games, and a console that will get Nintendo games, the choice is pretty easy. Nintendo can say they plan on being friendlier toward third parties all they want, but they always say that, and they always seem to fail.

#59 Posted by Enigma777 (6074 posts) -

I'll believe it when I see it. Till then, Ninty can go suck on my dong.

#60 Posted by BBQBram (2238 posts) -

I want to believe!

#61 Posted by patrickklepek (4796 posts) -

@Goldanas: I wouldn't make the argument Wii had as much quality content as Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, only that much of its quality content was ignored because people had written off the console, interested in playing games elsewhere.

Staff
#62 Posted by BonOrbitz (2193 posts) -

@soupbones said:

No mention of Muramasa the Demon Blade, but mentioning No More Heroes makes me want to go all Hulk on Patrick's hair.

But I won't, cause I'm cool man.

There were a bunch of other Wii games not listed as well, but he probably didn't want to go all Family Guy with listing off every single game like Peter Griffin did with all the cancelled Fox shows.

Along with Muramasa that didn't sell well, there's A Boy and His Blob, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, Metal of Honor: Heroes 2, Rage of the Gladiator (an extremely fun Punch Out clone), Boom Blox Bash Party, Red Steel 2 (one of my favorite Wii titles and one every Wii owner should try), and Dead Space Extraction.

#63 Posted by downtime58 (224 posts) -

The strange position Nintendo finds itself in is something that fascinates me - somehow they ended up a victim of their own success and now reside in some kind of console maker limbo.

Last year, I wrote an epically long post about the possible Wii U and its potential challenges - and now reading Iwata's comments, clearly Nintendo isn't sugar coating the issues it will face come fall of this year.

This is the main challenge I foresee for Nintendo regarding the Wii U::

I suspect Nintendo will try to appeal to both worlds – using an upgraded system to leverage its unique IPs in order to appeal to core gamers , while trying to provide enough quirky functionality to try to appeal to the casual market again.

The risk they run is simply this – go too far towards core and they’ll lose the casuals and end up competing with better prepared competition that will eventually have better hardware.

Go too far toward casuals and they repeat the Wii’s mistakes – make a system that’s difficult to develop for, and doesn’t sell enough to justify the effort – thus being relinquished to the dreaded causal zone.

I’m curious and hopeful for Nintendo’s efforts, but honestly it’s the most treacherous path I think they’ve ever taken. Because as the old saying goes…try to satisfy everyone and you end up what….?

#64 Posted by algertman (852 posts) -

@patrickklepek said:

@Goldanas: I wouldn't make the argument Wii had as much quality content as Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, only that much of its quality content was ignored because people had written off the console, interested in playing games elsewhere.

People seem to ignore Wii had a far better exclusive line up than the other consoles.

#65 Edited by vinsanityv22 (1064 posts) -

The problem is the disconnect between Nintendo Japan and Nintendo of America. With Reggie in charge - the goon that came from marketing - they'll just keep focusing on nongamers. Because they're more profitable when something comes out that does resonate with them. Except instead of Wii Sports, it's now Kinect, or Angry Birds, so they're not there. Core gamers, at best, give them sales of 10 million-ish (Super Mario Galaxy), but those idiots that are sometimes labeled as "casuals"? When they show up, they'll propel a title to 18 million in sales, like with New Super Mario Bros. or Mario Kart Wii or something. Since Reggie's an idiot who is only concerned with getting THEM to buy games, that's what they'll focus on. NOA is retarded now.

They're also cheap as shit. They need to advertise, but they're too fucking cheap - and have seen too much success NOT doing it (how DID Wii Sports and it's ilk sell so fucking well, anyway?) - they refuse to advertise anything. If they DO advertise stuff, it's only first party Nintendo ads. Whereas Microsoft and Sony will gladly have ads that show off all sorts of games for their platforms, Nintendo refuses to do it - haven't done it since the "Wii would like to Play" days of the Wii launch. As long as NOA refuses to support third party exclusives, they'll fail. And we saw it with the Wii; it's painful watching games like Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, Fragile Dreams, No More Heroes 2, and Xenoblade die at retail.

NOA needs a massive shakeup. Until then, this is all just bullshit.

Oh, and it's also BS that they can't launch this thing with a rich software lineup. I mean, it's an HD console. There are HUNDREDS of developers who have been working with that tech for 5 years+ now. If Nintendo insists on launching technically backwards consoles, they should AT LEAST be able to launch it with a ton of solid games.

#66 Posted by MormonWarrior (2595 posts) -

I am one of those fans they lost. I was a SNES kid, thought the GameCube was the best of its generation, the GBA and DS are fantastic, and I was looking forward to the Wii so much, but aside from the Mario Galaxy games I left very, very disappointed. I don't own a Wii now - I got an Xbox and never looked back. It's definitely met my gaming needs this generation (the PS3 has had some cool stuff too that I've played) but I'm considering trying Nintendo out again next generation if the Wii U (terrible name) turns out to be legitimately awesome and worth getting.

#67 Posted by MormonWarrior (2595 posts) -

@hollitz said:

Calling No More Heros a terrific game seems like a stretch. I liked the game a lot, but there are equal parts awesome and terrible in it.

And Zack & Wiki. And NyxQuest. And many of the bit.Trip games. And Yet It Moves as well. Most of those he named are...alright. Most of them are very flawed or just quirky and small.

#68 Posted by briangodsoe (487 posts) -

I would love to be proved wrong but I'm getting to the point where I don't want Mario, Zelda, and Metroid to go away but I don't want to play them on a Nintendo console either. For several years I went Wii only and I had some good times there are some really really great games on that system. But when I finally got a 360 and just dove head first into it, then my Wii stopped being where I spent my gaming time and ended up becoming my Netflix machine and that was only until I got blu ray player that runs Netflix in HD. Now It gets used by my wife to play some shite dancing game or I might play Link to the Past or something when I'm feeling nostalgic.

There were some great games on there though, some I would have overlook completely if I had another console at the time. For instance, if I had a 360 and you told me that I would have fun playing The Godfather: Blackhand Edition, I probably would have laughed at you. But I threw dudes through windows, into bakers ovens, and chocked the shot out of them and had a great goddamn time doing it!

#69 Posted by ptys (1964 posts) -

I was Nintedo exclusive in the GameCube era, but they screwed me with the Wii, which I ended up trading for an Xbox. I want a 3DS, but only when they refine the design and give it dual sticks. I really have no interest in the Wii U as an avid gamer, part of the fun of a new console is seeing how the visuals have improved since the previous generation.

#70 Posted by Veektarius (4867 posts) -

If they're trying to move away from consumer brand perception toward the Wii, then branding this new device as an extension of the Wii seems illogical.

#71 Posted by Zor (656 posts) -

@algertman said:

@patrickklepek said:

@Goldanas: I wouldn't make the argument Wii had as much quality content as Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, only that much of its quality content was ignored because people had written off the console, interested in playing games elsewhere.

People seem to ignore Wii had a far better exclusive line up than the other consoles.

I think that might have been greatly affect by the constant 'it's a fad' remarks that were made against it for the first 4 years it was out. From what i saw over the years (checking video game news sites and forums (because i like those things, not because i was researching it)) it seems like a lot of people wrote it off from the start, so they ignored anything on it that was good, on purpose.

#72 Posted by Brackynews (4087 posts) -

@Goldanas said:

I personally felt the Wii lacked more quality titles than either the Gamecube or even N64.

That's easy to agree with. I own more Wii disc games (~30) than GC & N64 combined (~25), but every one of those earlier generation games is a showstopper or collector's item that I didn't trade away, and I paid full price for less than a dozen of my Wii titles. I just got Sin & Punishment at $15 for chrissakes. Same as I paid for Lost In Shadow.

It's entirely possible I have spent more on Wii points cards than retail discs. That seems absurd as catalogues go. The fact I can get more hyped about a VC release than a new Zelda game is equally absurd. But maybe that's part and parcel with being "oldschool"?

I still haven't got a 3DS, but if I have the money I'll probably be in line to get a Wii U. It will be really interesting to see what the third parties try to do with it. Shovelware be damned.

#73 Posted by Skanker (254 posts) -

Yo you forgot to put Monster Hunter Tri in that list.

#74 Posted by BlatantNinja23 (930 posts) -

As long as it doesn't have the name zelda in it... can't wait to see what comes out for this thing

#75 Posted by huser (1084 posts) -

@Zor said:

@algertman said:

@patrickklepek said:

@Goldanas: I wouldn't make the argument Wii had as much quality content as Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, only that much of its quality content was ignored because people had written off the console, interested in playing games elsewhere.

People seem to ignore Wii had a far better exclusive line up than the other consoles.

I think that might have been greatly affect by the constant 'it's a fad' remarks that were made against it for the first 4 years it was out. From what i saw over the years (checking video game news sites and forums (because i like those things, not because i was researching it)) it seems like a lot of people wrote it off from the start, so they ignored anything on it that was good, on purpose.

Seriously. The isht thrown Nintendo's way even before it came out was prodigious. I had to leave a sports forum because of the bad feelings based on the vitriolic rejection.

#76 Posted by RetroVirus (1475 posts) -

The only games I would want to play on Wii U are exactly those: Smash Bros, Metroid and Mario, but I can't see myself justifying a purchase when I really only want to play 4-5 games.

#77 Posted by Doppelgamer (320 posts) -

Mario, Zelda, and Metroid are all great, but if I'm honest with myself, I have to say that the reason I don't play Nintendo much anymore is that I can only play the same thing so many times before it starts to get old. Perhaps this isn't so much of a knock against Nintendo though, and something that's simply inevitable.

#78 Posted by huser (1084 posts) -

@bonorbitz said:

@soupbones said:

No mention of Muramasa the Demon Blade, but mentioning No More Heroes makes me want to go all Hulk on Patrick's hair.

But I won't, cause I'm cool man.

There were a bunch of other Wii games not listed as well, but he probably didn't want to go all Family Guy with listing off every single game like Peter Griffin did with all the cancelled Fox shows.

Along with Muramasa that didn't sell well, there's A Boy and His Blob, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, Metal of Honor: Heroes 2, Rage of the Gladiator (an extremely fun Punch Out clone), Boom Blox Bash Party, Red Steel 2 (one of my favorite Wii titles and one every Wii owner should try), and Dead Space Extraction.

I hated that bit. It's funny taken shallowly, but for a canceled show that clearly believes it was canceled unfairly to throw stones at OTHER canceled shows...not exactly the most self aware moment, especially given what the show has turned into since.

#79 Posted by egg (1469 posts) -

They lost me with N64 and Gamecube, I doubt I'm even on their radar.

Still, well said:

“Once consumers have a notion that ‘this system is not for us,’ we have learned that it is extremely difficult to change their perceptions later,”

#80 Posted by MindOST (215 posts) -

I honestly hope the WiiU does well.

The DS showed that the second screen could be used to great effect when put in the hands of clever developers and even though I'm not a huge fan of the waggle, I'm glad that the Wii did something different. Traditional controllers (As well as keyboard + Mouse) are good and well, but I'm not exactly ready to say that they're the be-all and end-all of gaming.

After all, gaming is an interactive medium; and the quality of our interactions can only be as good as the quality of our input devices.

And if the WiiU experiment ends up sucking then hey, we have two other big, successful consoles to fall back on.

#81 Posted by mo60 (3 posts) -

I'm really excited for this console.

#82 Posted by Jayzilla (2563 posts) -

I loved Nintendo when I was younger. Their sensibilities don't appeal to me anymore. I want a mature gaming experience without the language and nudity.

#83 Posted by Danterion (147 posts) -

Hey, people are finally realizing that the Wii was a gimmick console, and not "the next evolutionary step in games". That only took what, five years?

#84 Posted by FreakAche (2953 posts) -

I don't think Nintendo even knows what their target demographic is anymore. I still like the majority of their games though, so I'll probably still keep supporting them.

#85 Posted by TheGorilla (230 posts) -

Not with those awful pads.

#86 Posted by believer258 (11948 posts) -

@DoctorWelch said:

“Once consumers have a notion that ‘this system is not for us,’ we have learned that it is extremely difficult to change their perceptions later,” he said.

Well they have pretty much already done this exact thing with the Wii U. I am pretty sure no one thinks that this crazy screen gimmick is going to cater to the kinds of people that they lost and are trying to gain back with this console, especially on a console only as powerful as the ones in the current generation. Obviously there is no way in knowing what the Wii U's future is, but I personally don't think it's very bright, at least not in regards to the "depth" they are talking about.

I think they could do it. Nintendo have dug themselves out of ditches before, and I don't think this time is any different.

As for the nutty controller? I hated the idea of the Wii mote from the time I first touched one. I don't hate it as much as I hate the idea of complete motion control a la Kinect, but I hate it nonetheless, and not in the cheap sense that overuse of the word "hate" brings. However, aside from concerns with the weight, their new controller has me far more intrigued. There's a possibility of mapping many things to the touch screen or using it in ways that help gameplay and not hurt it like the Wii mote did. And then remember that the Wii U's controller is set up so that traditional games look perfectly feasible - you could port an Xbox game to it, for instance, without a ton of control changes. If the Wii had had enough power and you did that, you would have to remap and reconfigure everything.

#87 Posted by liako21 (523 posts) -

i want to believe the wii u will be a great console. i took a leap of faith with the 3ds and I honestly have to say i have very very few regrets. bravely default, the new fire emblem, paper mario, luigi's mansion 2, and new super mario bros 2. sounds pretty good to me.

#88 Posted by Branthog (5562 posts) -

I'm certainly going to buy this, but I doubt I'll actually bother playing it. The last time I played my Wii was the week that Boom Blox launched and I think that was about four years ago. I packed it up when I bought my house two years ago and I have no idea where it is, now. I unpacked every other console and piece of gaming equipment. I just couldn't be bothered to hunt down which box had the Wii in it. Might still be out in the garage. Or maybe lost in transport. Or maybe it's a doorstop upstairs. Or maybe someone stole it. Makes no difference to me, though -- while the couple of Mario and Zelda games might be nice, it was mostly a shovel-ware platform.

#89 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -
@Doctorchimp said:

@AhmadMetallic said:

...Why are they trying to get their devoted "hobbyist gamers" back? They made unprecedented BANK on the Wii by designing it for the casual masses, what do they care about the true fans?

Are you being sarcastic?

It's been proven that all those wiis just sat in the family room with nobody buying software for them where the company makes most of their money.

Oh so the hardware sold like hotcakes but the games that came after were barely touched by the Wii-owning masses? Damn.
#90 Posted by kindgineer (2733 posts) -

Honestly, I just want Nintendo to focus on making great first party games that they have been famous for. I look to consoles for my casual experience, and sometimes a dedicated competitive one (like Trials). Other than that, I really stick to PC for the competitive and hardcore "scene."

I just want my beautifully fun and engaging Nintendo games!

#91 Posted by Dalai (7033 posts) -

I'm just happy Iwata didn't go into his "length vs. girth" schtick this time.

#92 Posted by MmaFanQc (102 posts) -

two nubs instead of proper joystick? how is this can even be called "hardcore"?

#93 Posted by Doctorchimp (4076 posts) -

@AhmadMetallic said:

@Doctorchimp said:

@AhmadMetallic said:

...Why are they trying to get their devoted "hobbyist gamers" back? They made unprecedented BANK on the Wii by designing it for the casual masses, what do they care about the true fans?

Are you being sarcastic?

It's been proven that all those wiis just sat in the family room with nobody buying software for them where the company makes most of their money.

Oh so the hardware sold like hotcakes but the games that came after were barely touched by the Wii-owning masses? Damn.

Yeah, it actually makes it look worse for Nintendo because they have this huge install base that didn't buy anything for their Wii so Nintendo has to prove to them to take another stab at a Wii U.

They're in a tight bind right now, their biggest fear is everyone who bought a Wii that turned down all the Wii games will continue to turn down Nintendo products and the Wii U. They more or less showed a huge population of potential buyers that they don't know what they're doing with games and there's a good chance they won't try the Wii U. I know I won't.

#94 Posted by El_Rickhead (150 posts) -

Giggidy

#95 Edited by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

If Nintendo wants me back as a fan (I haven't owned any of their consoles since the N64), I require two things:
 
1.  Online functionality equivalent to services offered by their competitors
2.  They must repair their relationship with all third party developers

#96 Posted by Murtaug (309 posts) -

@patrickklepek: "There were plenty of terrific consoles games released for Wii I’m guessing most people never played. I accept that."

Online
#97 Posted by TheRamboFetus (51 posts) -

@HerbieBug: Haven't they been pretty clear on both of those they that are fixing those problems.

#98 Edited by DoctorWelch (2774 posts) -

@believer258 said:

I think they could do it. Nintendo have dug themselves out of ditches before, and I don't think this time is any different.

As for the nutty controller? I hated the idea of the Wii mote from the time I first touched one. I don't hate it as much as I hate the idea of complete motion control a la Kinect, but I hate it nonetheless, and not in the cheap sense that overuse of the word "hate" brings. However, aside from concerns with the weight, their new controller has me far more intrigued. There's a possibility of mapping many things to the touch screen or using it in ways that help gameplay and not hurt it like the Wii mote did. And then remember that the Wii U's controller is set up so that traditional games look perfectly feasible - you could port an Xbox game to it, for instance, without a ton of control changes. If the Wii had had enough power and you did that, you would have to remap and reconfigure everything.

Oh no, I completely agree that they have the ability to make some cool shit with that screen, in fact, I'd bet on it. Nintendo is known for having crazy ideas that people hate and then coming through with good ideas in their first party games that no one expected. I'm just saying that it seems like a long shot for them to regain any "depth" Iwata was talking about. Basically, I don't see the next game like Mass Effect, Call of Duty, or Assassins Creed selling more on the Wii U than on the other systems, especially when they are going to be in another giant technological disadvantage when the next Xbox and Playstation come out. We will see what they announce at E3, but I would be much more into this system as a default platform for everything I'm playing if they decided to go in a few directions 1. Make the system on par (or at least closer) to what the next systems from their competitors will be and 2. Give the system REAL controllers along side the new touch screen thing, but also make the Wii remotes compatible with the system. I really think if they did those two things I think they would be much closer to reacher their "more depth" goal than they are now. It's basically a given that Nintendo is going to make some good, probably great, games with this thing, but the third party support is a big deal in trying to determine whether or not people like you and me decide that the Wii U is sufficient to be the main system we use from the get go. As it stands right now, I don't see that happening. I feel it's much more likely that me, my friends, and people that play games a lot buy the new Microsoft or Sony console before we buy the next Nintendo console.

#99 Posted by 0xDEADBEEF (5 posts) -

If Wii remotes will work in the thing, then so will Classic Controllers connected to those remotes, so there's your REAL controller right there.

#100 Posted by Drebin_893 (2918 posts) -

Great article, really interesting read.

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