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Aaron Waite Aaron Waite
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Getting Better, Not Older

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Nintendo Nintendo

Nintendo, meet the modern age

While I may have been extolling the virtues of Nintendo's newest 3D Mario game last week, that doesn't exactly take them out of the hot water that they've placed themselves in. They recently lowered their Wii U sales forecast by 6.2 million units. Now, I don't follow the mindset that Nintendo is immediately doomed by this, but I will absolutely say that they are completely out of touch with all the possibilities that could give them a huge boost in income and potential console sales. Lemme break it down for you:

1.  Marketing, marketing, marketing

I honestly don't know if even a quarter of the 80+ million Wii users knew about the Wii U launch, but if they did, they probably didn't even know it was a brand new system. Nintendo completely dropped the ball on this one, which is why their newest system feels like the unknown little brother of some celebrity. The Wii U needs a unique presence between Microsoft and Sony's chest beating, something that shows that it's not in competition with these two graphical juggernauts. This is an incredibly unique console that has a huge amount of potential in terms of gameplay, and that needs to shine through if this system is going anywhere.

2. Third party support

Since the N64, Nintendo has struggled with getting high-quality games on their system outside of their wings. The Gamecube wasn't awful in this respect, but by the time the Wii came along, there was very, very little in terms of non-Nintendo games. The Wii library especially was a cesspool of shovelware and gimmicky minigame collections. Nintendo needs to get these third-party developers back, give them their full support and teach them the console inside and out so they can showcase what this little console-that-could can do.

3. Enter the digital age

Nintendo has been incredibly stubborn in regards to online offerings and their hostile attitude toward a unified multiplayer experience a la Xbox Live or PSN. They've started to take some baby steps in this regard with the Nintendo Network ID system stretching between your Wii U and 3DS and allowing games to be attached to your ID rather than your console, but when it really comes down to it, it's below barebones. The original Xbox Live almost had more features than this over a decade ago. Nintendo has to have a unified online front if it wants to have a presence in this generation of consoles.

4. Give me your old games

This is a HUGE mistake on Nintendo's part. The Wii's Virtual Console wasn't terrible, with a decent list of 403 games on eight consoles (not including the Virtual Console Arcade). However, if you take a peek at the Wii U Virtual Console, hardly any of them have made the jump from the previous generation. It doesn't get any better on the 3DS, where all of the best games were reserved for the earliest adopters of the 3DS and never released on the actual VC. Paltry and unpopular Game Boy games wisp about like tumbleweed on the VC's storefront, with barely a mention of Nintendo's vast library of portable classics. On the Wii U, we need more NES, SNES, N64 and, dare I say it, Gamecube. Emulation isn't hard anymore, and other than some rights management, there's no excuse for Nintendo's stranglehold on their classic library. The 3DS needs GBA and SNES games in the VC and DS games available for digital download. Outside looking in, Nintendo could be printing money on their digital games, but some sort of stubborn, backwards mentality holds them back. Speaking of mentality

5. Start listening to your customers. No, really.

Nintendo has this superiority complex that results in them treating their customers like children. We tell them exactly what we want from them, and they immediately shoot it down. Remember Iwata (Nintendo's CEO) saying that we didn't want online multiplayer on the Gamecube right around the time that Microsoft's Xbox Live was skyrocketing past a million subscribers? Remember how well that worked out for the Gamecube? You do need to stand your ground on certain issues and not be swayed by the tide, but there comes a point where you need to change and listen to someone other than the guy in the mirror. Fans want Nintendo to shut up and take their money, but they continue to jabber away and ignore all of the opportunities in front of them. Listen to your fans, Nintendo, because they're the ones who have been carrying you for decades and will continue to do so if you let them.

Aaron Waite made it to the fourth level of the NES 'Ninja Gaiden.' That's probably good enough, right?


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