Monday, 19 November 2012

Nintendo Loading Content, Please Wait...

  Ladies and Gentlemen.  Please clear the next ten minutes of your life, as I shall now demonstrate to you why Nintendo has found themselves too busy to make new games for the Wii in its last year.

  The video is posted by RawMeat Cowboy over at GoNintendo with credits to Rodriguez.  It is hosted by Youtube.  Thanks all.  Now, for our feature presentation, one Nintendo fan shall proceed to froth his anger at Nintendo.  Don’t forget to get popcorn.

  Okay, all kidding aside, my first reaction to this video was probably what Nintendo intended.  I sat down to watch a tedious and overlong process about data transferring between computers and thought – Pikmin!   Cute!   And don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against, and many things for, Pikmin.  But as I watched, my mind could not help but appreciate the stage design.  Stages – the rocket in between is a logical break point between the two.  I started to imagine all of the great games you could play on those stages: Super Mario, Kirby, Metroid, and hey look, Pikmin. 

  But this isn’t game footage.  This is a video about data transferring.  A slightly more Spartan effort in the data transfer footage, which you’d be hard pressed to ever find reason to watch again, might have freed up those stages, and other assets beyond, for more games.  We’ve had a spectacular dearth of good games last year, folks; maybe I’m just angry at the man sloshing water in a desert here, but am I the only one who feels Nintendo needed more content on the Wii in its last year?  I can’t be!
Now in fairness, I complain while decidedly not rushing out to buy a WiiU.  I have my reasons, among them cost and Christmas deciding in favour of delay.  There’s a lot of options today, and I don’t want to be mistaken for complaining about a lack of content today.

  I’m talking about a lack of content all of last year, in the very midst of the Operation Rainfall fiasco, which, lest we forget, is nothing new.  Adding New Play Control Pikmin 2 to the North American marketplace was a reasonable move by Nintendo, but is literally a drop in the bucket, and represents appeasement rather than genuine dialog.  They did bring one of the Operation Rainfall titles to us, the already localized for UK audiences Xenoblade Chronicles, and that should count for something.  Then again, we haven’t yet seen or heard anything of Pandora’s Tower, and it was XSeed who snapped up the English version of The Last Story to bring to us.  Nintendo hasn’t won many favours for this, and I have loudly asked before what Nintendo of America, the primary agency for distribution for the console, was doing during this drought.  Should I just let it go?  I fear with Nintendo purchasing so many Japanese studios, they may find it economical to do it again!

  It made sense at the time to appeal to patience.  I could find games without breaking the bank (yeah, Retro City Rampage), whether they be on Nintendo platforms or not.  And I have saved just about every disk I ever bought, giving me a good bit of fat to live on while Nintendo decided whether they wanted more money or not.  And it kind of made sense then, that Nintendo was working on launching two new consoles, the 3DS with a slow and stymied run (as demonstrated by the early price drop), and the WiiU, just now out of the gates.  These events have traditionally been rare, necessitating all hands on deck and promising more titles later, when the hardware is secure.  This can be seen on the timeline online, with examples like the Gameboy lasting seven years, and a stable recurring five year pattern for the home consoles. 

  It is, however, hard to appeal for calm based on this argument; things don’t have to get better later.  As of six months ago, Nintendo was already commenting on the next bit of hardware coming down the pipe.  I might be overreacting, but it seems like a new and disturbing pattern is developing, one where Nintendo buys the original content from others, and focuses more and more of their in-house staff hours specifically to hardware development, or to apps like this loading video.

  And that’s a problem for me.  The reason I back Nintendo over other, more powerful (PS3, Xbox) or cheaper (iOS) alternatives, is because I want to see more Nintendo games.

  At least I get to see Pikmin…

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