a reply to: EternalSolace
Here is the thing...
The only Nintendo products I own at the moment, are a Nintendo 64, and several games for that platform. I have not properly enjoyed a Nintendo game
since they stopped making games for that platform. The GameCube was OK, but in my opinion did not have any games that stood out and really waved the
flag for Nintendo.
The Nintendo 64 had some great games, made by some really amazing developers. What it did, that no Nintendo machine since has been able to do worth a
crap, is compete with other machines of its era in terms of playability of its games, the beauty of the experience visually, and the quality of all
the key elements of game design which went into creating games for the system. Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the 64 was just mind blowing to play,
visually stunning for its time, and the story was engrossing and the characters engaging. More over, the game was a standout not just amongst Nintendo
games, but amongst ALL games of the period in question.
While I understand why it would be economic suicide for Nintendo to try and compete with the several generations newer, faster, more powerful
machines that are out on the market at the moment, it has to be said that the moment their games and machines stopped being able to compete with other
machines out there, is the exact moment that Nintendo stopped making games which were relevant to the computer games industry as a whole, and stopped
making games that engaged the player in anything like a noteworthy fashion. That is how I see it.
While the crucial thing about a gaming console is not how beefy it is, but how well it uses what it has, it must also be able to take advantage of
the genius of animators, developers, writers and so on. The 64 did that well, and what they are making now does not. I would argue that this is
because Nintendo as a company have lost direction, to the point where they do not know where in the market place they are trying to get to, or indeed,
how to approach moving forward, given their unenviable position in the industry.
My attitude to Nintendo at the moment is as follows. I love what they were, but do not like what they have become. I would have thought, by now, that
it would have become obvious to the people running the company, that bringing out consoles which do not take advantage of the speed of technological
advancement, and making tortured sequel after tortured sequel to play off childhood memories to sell games, as opposed to making groundbreaking games,
is a sure fire way to run a company into the ground. At the same time, I would also have thought it was perfectly obvious that they have not the clout
to put together a top quality, current, and competitive console at this point.
They either need to start slowly working toward a blinding hardware release, which abandons all the nonsensical toy store bull crap they have been
obsessed with for years, and concentrates on being a gaming machine for gamers, or accept that their days as a player in the hardware market are over,
and concentrate on making games for other platforms instead. All I know is, if I was a games developer working for Nintendo right now, I would be very
depressed. They are trying to paint the Mona Lisa with the tools of cavemen, trying to build the Eiffel Tower with a bucket and spade, and no iron
what so ever. More precisely, they are trying to make games for a platform which is so far behind the times, that all it can really cope with and do
well, is party games.
Nintendo need to seriously consider whether they wouldn't be better off just making games for the other platforms out there, ceasing making consoles
and games for themselves entirely, and start making games for the other, bigger, more powerful and better quality machines, so that their games
designers are not atrophying while unable to properly exercise their badassery due to the pathetic limitations of the hardware they are creating for.
It's either streamline the business in this fashion, or take the risk of making a new console, a console so hardcore that it makes everything that is
coming out over the next ten years look shabby, and relying on that being successful enough to cover the cost and make a profit.
However, what ever it is they end up doing, they need to get it over with one way or another. All that is happening right now, is that the company
appears to be stagnating and failing in every particular to make a go of things, and so change, of one sort or another, must come soon, if there is to
continue to be a business for them to operate at all. They will just fade away at this rate, unless something changes.