These days, it is widely accepted that Nintendo has a licence to print money, but that hasn’t always been the case. Even they couldn’t have been this optimistic with their sales forecasts for the Wii and DS. After the Gamecube ‘failure’ of the last generation, which was a machine that I loved, I would want to wish them every success in this generation’s campaign.
Except they don’t need my good wishes. They don’t need me to add to my massive collection of Gameboys, in every iteration.
In sales figures alone they have chewed up the opposition, spat them out and left them to survive on scraps by the wayside, and we may be approaching the third Christmas in a row with Wii shortages. That amount of dominance is unheard of. If anyone does deserves it though, it is my beloved Nintendo. We have been through so much together.
So why do I feel so down about it?
Nintendo has captured the market of the casual gamer that Sony started to create with some of their games on the PS2. PC flash games have been a factor as well, but Sony really started the ball rolling. They never forgot about the gamers that bought into the PlayStation brand in the first place though.
I think that’s my real problem. Nintendo has forgotten that I exist, and now Sony and Microsoft are re-thinking their strategies to take a bite of that ‘casual cash cow’. We all have our reservations about Microsoft’s New Xbox Experience, which is designed with the casual gamer in mind, but agree that there are some excellent features in there. Namely the ‘Party System’, which can have you and seven of your friends chatting together, regardless of which games you are playing.
Now, Sony have let me, and everyone else, into the open beta of Home.
Do I want a Second Life clone on my PS3?
Do I want to purchase ‘virtual’ items for my ‘virtual’ space with my hard earned, real world cash?
No. I just want to play some games, like we used to, in the olden days.
It may be fun for a while, to dance around with my avatar, but my real problem with this situation is, it is a beta. It’s not the final polished product. Why would Sony want to subject the masses to an unfinished product? It has taken them a long time to get it to this stage, but I’m willing to wait a little while longer for a decent product.
Then it all boils down to the casual gamer ruining my pleasure. I’m not a true hardcore gamer but enough is enough. The big N’s philosophy is bleeding into all areas of my gaming life, and I don’t like it one bit. Even the franchises that I love are being re-issued and toned down for an audience that has never played them before. Can you hear me Mario Kart? My heart bleeds…
I’ve got my roast beef sandwiches and my flask of tea, and I’m going to sit here like Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead, fighting off the torrent of mini games, waiting for Nintendo to give ME something. One game a year just doesn’t cut it.
Nintendo, I always thought I’d miss you
Nintendo I thought that we’d always be friends
We said our love would last forever
So how did it come to this bitter end?
I hope that Sony and Microsoft will continue to do what they do well, and will not give in to this tide of casual interest. Then one day, Nintendo may remember me, and remember what we once had.
For today though, the wait goes on, with a gentle tear in my eye.