Are Nintendo’s Best Days Behind It?

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Following my last post, I have wondered if Nintendo’s best days are over. At one point, Nintendo had the best consoles and best edition of (nearly) every game. Unfortunately, that trend ended after the Super Nintendo (SNES).

Graphically comparing the Sega Genesis and SNES multi-platform releases were usually a no-brainer with the SNES coming out on top. As always, there were exceptions: Aladdin anyone?

Moving towards the Nintendo 64 (N64), the company over promised on their 64 bit console, back when “bits” were relevant to customers. We did get some revolutionary games for the time, like Super Mario 64 and the Zelda’s this generation but Spyro on the PlayStation later showed that the extra 32 bits may not have been necessary.

By the way Nintendo, thanks for the PlayStation. Had you not completely humiliated Sony at that trade show, you would be their partner and still at the top of your game. (Where for art though Nintendo PlayStation?). You should have embraced optical media early on instead of those expensive cartridges.

Back to the N64 era; not only did the games exist on cartridges instead of CD-ROMs, but as a general practice, most games looked really washed out and had an abundance of fog. Oh, and that controller…I completely understand that we were still in a digital controller age and the analog stick was new but that thing was a monstrosity. It was good for games designed for it and that was about it.

Moving to the GameCube; this was a great console with a great controller, but like the N64, only for games designed for it. Don’t even bother with cross-platform games. At lease Nintendo finally moved to optical media, yet they chose the smaller discs at a capacity of 1.5 GB. Of course the competition used standard DVD at approximately 5 and 8GB respectively.

After the Cube, we got the Wii, which was the most asinine name until it’s successor the Wii U. The Wii was good for what it was but let’s not pretend that it was revolutionary like the NES. The Wii was a mildly upgraded GameCube with a motion sensored controller. Once the fascination of this gimmick wore off, the customer was left with a more powerful GameCube that still was not nearly as powerful as its competitors.

Mid-PS3/XBox360 life cycle, Nintendo decided to release their next generation system. Was this a competitor for Sony and Microsoft? No! It was a more powerful console that still maintained the Wii’s gimmick and added a new one; a controller with a screen attached to it. They did it! Finally a console that mimicked the gameplay of the DS console but locked you to a unit. The Wii U was the only other system to fail, since the Virtual Boy.

Microsoft and Sony released their next generation consoles and Nintendo eventually did as well. Nintendo is now on their own schedule. Fortunately they released the Nintendo Switch and it is; get ready for this, it is good. Nintendo’s online strategy is a disaster as outlined in a previous post.

Please Nintendo, stop making gimmicky systems and simply make powerhouses with the best games.


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