|Oh, bro. Come on.|
Back in the 1983 we had the storied and now legendary "Video Game Industry Crash". There were approximately 60 gazillion consoles saturating the market. Grassroots developers were spewing out shoddy, hastily developed games like the infamous "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial". The entire ordeal left dozens of developers bankrupt and several consoles went the way of the dodo. Back then, video games weren't the staple of popular culture that they are now. It was a niche market, and it was completely feasible that it could disappear forever. Enter Nintendo.
|Emerson Arcadia... wut...?|
This time, the Playstation was the gamers' console. While Nintendo was clinging to old cartridge technology, Sony's Playstation was embracing these newfangled disky type thingies called "'CDs". Sony made it very easy for 3rd party developers to cheaply make games for their platform. Because of this, the PS1 has an enormous catalog of games, 1,238 games to Nintendo's 296! Admitedly it was all quantity over quality. But, like the shotgun effect, some were hits. And boy were those hits hits! Final Fantasy VII, Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil... new and edgy and in 3D!
|oooOOOOoooooo, fancy! CDs and stuff!|
and still hadn't really loosened up regarding gore and language. N64 games are markedly more family friendly than the PS1's.
This only got worse in the next generation and this time it really showed. The Gamecube was decimated by the Playstation 2 and Microsoft's new Xbox. This time, Nintendo had the technically weakest console in comparison to its competitors. And now that there were TWO options for developers besides Nintendo, it was much smarter financially to make games for the more developer-friendly consoles in the Xbox and PS2. Gamers often viewed the Gamecube as "for kids", which wasn't helped by Nintendo's line of games for the system. Gamers were getting older, the adult gamer was a large demographic now. They were starting to get a bit tired of another Mario game, another Zelda game and another Smash Bros. game.
|Yeah, how'd that work out for you?|
Not much has changed; the Wii U is still the technically weakest system, it's still a nightmare for 3rd party developers to make games for them and they're still releasing yet ANOTHER Mario game and yet ANOTHER Zelda game. Don't misunderstand me, Nintendo still makes very high quality games, and there's nothing inherently wrong with the Wii or the Wii U. However, when is the last time Nintendo created a new IP? It seems that all they've made for the last 10 years is Marios and different Wii sports. By the end of the Wii's run, there was a pretty bad stigma surrounding the Wii name, so instead of distancing itself from that name, they call the next console the Wii U? Most people probably think it's just a Wii peripheral (of which there are many).
While the folks at Nintendo clearly love videos games, I think they're a bit detached from reality. They need to do something to compete. The Wii U is a flop, they admit that at least. They've lost vast amounts of dough for three years straight now. Luckily, they have a huge cash pile from the Wii's short heyday, but I can't imagine that will last much longer.
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