2012, the Wii and the same old story.

The Wii is dead. There hasn’t been a game worth buying since before Xmas 2011, and it goes without saying 2011 was a pretty weak year for the Wii too. You could mention the success of operation rainfall, but sales of those games ain’t great. You could point to Rhythm Heaven but it’s hardly the drink that quenches your thirst. Basically whatever you can grab at is a poor offering for such a long amount of time, arguably the games drought on the Wii goes back to 2010.

This is an old story for Nintendo. N64 and Gamecube fans will remember how the last  1 to almost 2 years of their lives the ‘must buy’ games ran very thin. What you did get was the games that had been delayed time and time again. Much like Skyward Sword was. Preparation for the 3DS and WiiU launches clearly slows down games production on the Wii and DS, however it’s easily argued Nintendo have had more than enough time and should have prepared better for this situation. On a simple level one has to wonder why they decided to make so little for the Wii in the last two years when it has been their best-selling console and so many people now own one. People dont tend to go back to find great games they never brought, you have to give ppl new stuff…Or at least release special additions.

It’s the one lesson Nintendo really hasn’t learned and it is rather odd considering that it seems logical to make more games when more people own your console. This sudden absence of quality games and games in general when the most people own your console isn’t exactly going to do wonders for your reputation.

This is a fundamental business failure, not because I think so but because it stifles what Nintendo always hope for and a say to us will be the case. I’m talking about the hope the Wii can carry on existing alongside the WiiU, and the DS alongside the 3DS. They said the same about GBA and DS and GBA and GB. It’s not impossible. It happened with the Nes and Snes, and PS1 & 2 carried on doing well for ages. Nintendo want this to be the case for them too and can’t manage it, mainly because they seem to think it will just magically happen, ignoring the fact the ps1 & 2 carried on being supported with new games for quite some time. Well ignore is probably the wrong word, they can’t be blind to this.

Nintendo always have their reasons, but considering fan complaints, the hit the shares always take, and how it contradicts and hinders the desired longevity of the consoles, they are not reasons at all, they are poor excuses for very basic cock-ups and expecting something for nothing.

Maybe I’m wrong and perhaps it suits Nintendo to copy this behaviour. This lesson learned nonsense could be smoke up our asses; pretending to be sorry about a deliberate plan because there is a pattern here. At any rate it seems stupid to me. I think it’s down to mismanagement and much meandering at Nintendo. Why be a games maker and make so few games in a console war so many people think you should surrender in and go 3rd party at a time you have seem to have proven them wrong and have been criticised for doing this 2 times before.

In sure there’s many factors to Nintendos infamous gaming droughts but one must be time-wasting. Fans romantiscise over Nintendo projects that never come to be. It’s something of an urban myth that they have a vault of never before seen games and concepts that they can dip back into. People claim Miyamoto has left a treasure trove of ideas for Nintendo after he dies or something like that! Now there maybe elements of truth to all this, but basically what these stories amount to is things like 3 years of dithering on Pikmin 3 to conclude it would be best to keep things exactly the same but in hi-res with rather obvious gaming additions and the dissapointing lack of online. I can appreciate trying to find new things, but it’s amounted to nothing special in a game that never needed improving, we just wanted more! I suspect time is wasted on many games in the same manner.

Now this isn’t always a bad thing. Kid Icarus was fantastic and you can sense this was a game that was sent back to the drawing board and pushed again and again for constant improvements and extensions, and if that it the case it bloody well paid off. Very few Nintendo games are shoddy, even the tacky ones and classy tat (Wii Sports).  Nevertheless, delays and games shortages are the longest running complaints levelled at Nintendo, and from the gamers view-point it’s not acceptable. You’d think Nintendo would hold back on announcing games so the wait is shorter, but in actual fact they are also famed for never saying much at all. So I can only conclude they only work on about 4 games at a time and they are forced to announce games too early because otherwise they would have absolutely nothing to say half of the time.

A few title smay be all they need to survive. To be fair as well they aren’t a super massive company, rather a small company that’s made it big, we may expect far too much of them and to spend money on risky expansion that they save for a rainy day. A few 50 million sellers (Mario Kart Wii) beats making 15 games that have trouble breaking 4 million (most of the best Gamecube games). This is arguably a lesson learned from the Gamecube when Nintendo made huge efforts with the majority of their franchises and created a decent amount of new ones, only to find themselves in 3rd place. Doing comparatively nothing on the Wii has served them far better…Well if you want to argue it can be seen that way. I suspect it is argued that way but I don’t agree and as a fanboy is suspect it why I have seen so few of my favorites faces on the Wii.

However when it comes down it Nintendos reputation is not great, and this Exodus from the Wii looks bad. It plays right into image the Wii was a cheap limited gimmick that even Nintendo gave up on. And for those of us that plucked out the good Wii games and were happy for more, we’ve had no choice but to go elsewhere for ANY kind of gaming fix for around 3 years now excluding a few bursts in releases. Nintendo you failed. 360 gamers are fully satisfied, PC gamers and i suppose ps3 fans are too, but Nintendo, no one was ever happy with just the Wii, except the ardent fanboy wanting to pretend it isn’t all that bad fight.

There’s no reason to think Nintendo has learned these lessons with WiiU. At the very best they will improve the situation slightly while creating a host of new short comings by failing to get with the times, and these will become new generational shortcomings. I do love my Nintendo games, but Nintendo are slow to learn and adapt.

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