What is Nintendo waiting for?
A very interesting opinion piece written by (site was down during posting of this article): videolamer.com
Nintendo has a chance to regain some market share this generation. The Wii is still hard to find five months after launch and there are reports that NintendoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s stated mission of expanding the market is succeeding. But for every smart move they make, a dumb one Ã¢â‚¬â€œ like keeping the friend code system intact Ã¢â‚¬â€œ is soon to follow. I have compiled a short list of things Nintendo really should do sooner rather than later.
The most grievous sin Nintendo has committed is their neglect of online play. What were they doing while Xbox Live took off? ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s as if they only started thinking about the structure of Wii online after the system launched, instead of seven years ago when SegaNet showed us how cool online gaming could be. Personally, I think the lack of online capability (for gaming right now) is what makes the Wii feel a little old, not the weaker comparative processing power.
Neglecting the online component doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t only hurt the consumers, though. Wii Sports Online would be more popular than Jesus, Mohamed, and Pee Wee Herman combined. Nintendo is really missing the opportunity to have a second money printing game machine. Conversely, the lack of a strong online component may scare off fence sitters. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a little silly that you can play free MMO games on your PC but canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t play much Wii online.
That Nintendo refuses to enable Virtual Console games for online play is their second stupidest move. Playing Double Dungeons may be less amusing than playing Saga Frontier while being murdered, but if I could play it online with Pat, there is no doubt in my mind I would. Streets of Rage, Toejam and Earl, Tecmo Bowl, Contra III, Puyo Puyo, Gunstar HeroesÃ¢â‚¬Â¦IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d even play Altered Beast online once, if only to pretend itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 1989 again (it was good back then, especially if you were seven and retarded).
SURGEON GENERALÃ¢â‚¬â„¢S WARNING: Prolonged exposure to Saga Frontier has been proven to cause cancer in lab rats.
According to the programmers IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve spoken to, it likely wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t take an inordinate amount of time to rework these games for internet play. Nintendo has played the, Ã¢â‚¬Å“true to the originalÃ¢â‚¬? card pretty well, but most people can still see through it. Ã¢â‚¬Å“True to the originalÃ¢â‚¬? really means, Ã¢â‚¬Å“no extra work for us.Ã¢â‚¬? Why they wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t enable these VC games for online play is mysterious. Sales would surely improve enough to make the effort payoff.
HereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s something Nintendo actually said was a possibility Ã¢â‚¬â€œ translated VC games. Imagine Lady Stalker, FEDA, Fire Emblem, Der Langrisser, Bahamut Lagoon, Battlemania 2, Monster World IV, Shin Megami Tensei, Rent-a-hero, or Bahamut Senki fully localized and available for eight bucks. You may not recognize many of these games, but I assure you they would change your lifeÃ¢â‚¬Â¦but only if they are in English (the language of change)!
And then there are all those indie games on the Wii that we are still waiting for. A fully realized Indie Channel would be extremely cool. This component is more important than Nintendo realizes because it can justify their entire business strategy. The Wii is cheap to develop for and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d argue a democratic view on development follows naturally from an attempt to widen the market.
Ideological nonsense aside, the amount of unique content that an Indie Channel would offer could keep gamers glued to their Wii in these drought periods between big games. Murmurs of this channel have been heard for a while now, but if Nintendo knew what they were doing theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d already have half a dozen smaller games available for download.
Finally, there are the improved GameCube games Miyamoto mentioned. Better graphics, possibly new features? This isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t necessarily a great idea, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s another bullet point on the list of things Nintendo Ã¢â‚¬Å“mayÃ¢â‚¬? do on the Wii. I have no idea how it would work, but letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pretend you can pay a few bucks to download the super code that will improve the game, which you already have a disc for. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d probably play a prettier, extended version of LuigiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Mansion, and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d certainly pay some money for an online multiplayer version of Pikmin.
Part of the problem Nintendo runs into with this improvement concept is that historically, sequels are nothing but better graphics and a new mode taped on to an original game. Online Double Dash would eat into sales of the Wii Mario Kart, and why would they give us multiplayer Pikmin when they can just release the same game as Pikmin 3 and charge $40 more? Still, no one lesser than Shigeru Miyamoto himself said they are looking into the concept of beefing up GC games. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d prefer it if this panned out and wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t another thing Nintendo talked up then ignored.
It is clear why Nintendo havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t done these things yet Ã¢â‚¬â€œ they cost money and take time. But every half assed game or product they make impedes the progress of these listed goals. Instead of spending the time and money on the new reportedly shitty Wario game for the DS, they could have localized four Japanese RPGs.