Who remembers the Gamecube’s unique selling point? If you’ve forgotten, let me remind you: it had a handle. So you could carry it. Yup, Nintendo vetoed HD quality graphics and online multiplayer in favour of a fucking handle.
Sadly, it’s been downhill for Nintendo ever since.
Advocates of the Wii are wrong. It is a terrible console, perhaps even worse than its purple predecessor. The initial excitement generated by the idiot-proof Wii remote soon turned to apathy and eventually hatred. In its current state, motion-controlled gameplay lacks the sophistication and accuracy enjoyed by those brought up on traditional control pads.
In short, it’s shit.
Rare glimpses of genius – most notably Mario Galaxy – were smothered beneath an avalanche of cheap and nasty third party titles. Only the prospect of another Zelda title – Skyward Sword – is keeping the Wii from total redundancy.
But it’s too little, too late.
With the Wii U on the horizon and - at last! - the promise of a full-on HD Zelda, anticipation for Skyward Sword has waned, even among the hardcore. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Before we jump on the fanboy bandwagon, let’s have a look at just what Nintendo’s next console is all about.
Come on Nintendo, pull your finger out and give us gamers what we want: an end to gimmicky peripherals and a Zelda game that finally tops Ocarina of Time
The unveiling of the Wii U at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo was a total balls-up. Even the tech-savvy journos that comprised the audience let out a collective ‘eh?’ after the Wii U was revealed. The source of confusion was Nintendo’s barmy decision to show only the controller. The actual console was nowhere to be seen. In an attempt to placate the bewildered attendees, Satora Iwata hastilytweeted a pic of himself holding both the console and the controller.
It gets worse.
Nintendo's share price hit its lowest value in five years following the Wii U’s calamitous unveiling. "There were high expectations from the new version of the Wii and this fell far short," said analyst Yusuke Tsunoda.
In fact, the Wii U is looking less appealing with each passing day. The console’s “unique” tablet-style controller will feel like yesterday’s news when it finally makes an appearance in 2012. Nintendo’s new console will be born into a world where tablets have already successfully established themselves as alternative gaming platforms.
It’s time Nintendo had a serious fucking reality check. Console sales used to make up 80 percent of the industry as recently as 2000. Today that percentage has halved due to the proliferation of ipads and mobile phones. The revolution is here. Unfortunately, Nintendo seems to be floundering in its wake as opposed to leading it.
The 3DS is a perfect case in point. Mere months after it launched Nintendo instituted one of the deepest and swiftest price cuts in its history. A whopping third of the retail price was lopped off to counter disappointing sales figures. Nintendo released the 3DS into an intensely competitive market – a market where the iOS platform is growing as a gaming destination at an exponential rate.
Times are changing and Nintendo needs to sit up and take notice or drown in the coming tide. Gamers can pick up their ipod, download several fun, high-quality games for free, almost every day. Nintendo continues to flog us shite like Xevious – originally released in 1982 – for over a fiver. It’s a total fucking shambles. Unsurprisingly, Japanese fund managers and investors have called on Nintendo to move, or buy, into smartphones.
So then, is this the end for the almighty Nintendo? Will the Wii U go the way of the Dreamcast?
I certainly hope not. My heart sinks at the thought of a world without Mario, Link and Samus. Come on Nintendo, pull your finger out and give us gamers what we want: an end to gimmicky peripherals and a Zelda game that finally tops Ocarina of Time. Preferably in HD. Cheers.
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