Oct 30, 2013
Despite a rather underwhelming year, Nintendo still retains many fans in the gaming world. Everybody, for the most part, seems to have a soft spot for Nintendo that just does not seem to exist for either Sony or Microsoft.
Nintendo are always looking for new ways to push for something new and innovate their products, and possibly bring about a new style and method to gaming that will revolutionise the way we play. This is probably their strongest and weakest feature simultaneously. For instance, the motion controls for the Wii allowed gamers to play games unlike any we’d previously been able to. On the flipside, there were many occasions where the motion controls felt rather gimmicky.
One of the great things going for Nintendo is the fact it has a whole host of great first party characters at their disposal, all of which are very popular. Even with a quick glance at a select few of Nintendo’s characters (where the Super Smash Bro’s roster comes in handy!) it is fair to say many are iconic and hard to whole-heartedly dislike. Obviously opinions will vary, but I personally find it difficult to pinpoint a Nintendo character I would say I hated. Except for maybe Jigglypuff. And maybe Gruntilda from Banjo- Kazooie, but that is because she deleted my save file after I entered too many cheat codes in game. My own fault, really.
Nintendo have made a habit of being exceptionally likeable, which can never be a bad thing. Although their next gen content has been disappointing so far, everybody is willing Nintendo to succeed and make money from their content. Although it was upsetting when Sega bowed out the console race soon after the Dreamcast launched, it would be devastating if Nintendo suffered the same fate. However, there still remains every chance that they will pull it out the bag. We are nearly one year into Nintendo’s Wii U crusade, but they will surely have more to offer down the line.
One of the key things to note about the next generation of console gaming is that it is anticipated to last even longer than the previous generation. Nintendo seem to be gearing themselves up for the long-haul, which may be one of the reasons they are playing their cards close to their chest regarding their biggest franchises. They have yet to announce titles that will truly generate the levels of hype surrounding that of its competitors, but they certainly do have the franchises for it. Who is to say that they won’t have a landslide of sales further down the line?
In the build up to the 2014 holiday season, what if Nintendo unleashed the big guns onto the scene, all within the same six weeks. Imagine, if these titles were a brand new Legend of Zelda, or a new 3D Super Mario platformer that will define the Wii U, much like how Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy did for their respective consoles. Or, alternatively, if they released a new Metroid game, continuing the theme of potential remakes with a Metroid Prime style title. But the biggest revelation they might announce could be a brand new Pokémon title, that would play similarly to their handheld titles, that may incorporate MMO elements. If that doesn’t get people to purchase the Wii U, not much else will.
These are all massive titles that will have gamers throwing their money in Nintendo’s direction when they finally launch. Perhaps this stage of the Wii U’s life-span is the calm before the storm. Having taken a year out from E3, perhaps next year they will return with a conference that will have the gaming world on its knees, and questioning why we ever doubted Nintendo in the first place. Hopefully.
In the last month, the Wii U has seen a vast improvement of sales. The release of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD has helped dramatically, where Wii U sales peaked at 205,847 units sold, the highest amount since March (222,661). It will be interesting to see how the total sales figures look at the end of October, as it would be the first full month since The Wind Waker was launched, and also since the hardware price cut. So far, sales have increased by approximately 685% in the UK, whereas in North America, The Wind Waker Wii U bundle selling approximately 55,000 units (equating to an approximate 31% boost in US sales.)
Although obvious, it is worth pointing that the improvement in sales is down to the pulling power solely generated from a gaming remake – not a new title. Furthermore, the HD remastering of The Wind Waker only took six months to make. Quite a worthwhile investment, it would seem. This just emphasises how popular the great Nintendo franchises are at generating hardware sales. Surely the Wii U iterations of Nintendo’s titans will make up for the lack of sales made so far.
It’s hard to believe that Nintendo will truly mess up their next gen console. They’re an experienced company that always manages to achieve greatness and keep themselves clear of any potential disastrous situation. Although they are taking their time to announce their heavy hitters, it’s impossible to imagine that they are being neglected – they are just too important to the company.
Nintendo are in it for the long-haul, and will have certainly planned for the elongated console generation that we’re moving into. When the time comes, and when their first-party software giants are unleashed on the gaming scene, I’m sure that the Wii U will flourish, and all the short-comings made this year will soon be patched up. They may not sell as many as the Xbox One and Playstation 4 are anticipated to sell, but the sales should at least be respectable.
Also, who knows, Sony and Microsoft may have several hiccups in their launch year, which Nintendo might be able to capitalise on. Nintendo have yet to reveal the true potential of their hand, but it’s highly possible that they have a trump card hidden firmly up their sleeves.