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Sony Punked Nintendo: Nintendo Goes From Bully To Coward

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Nintendo, its time to knuckle up and fight back!! 

Let me start off by saying this first. I am, always have been, and probably always will be a huge fan and supporter of Nintendo as a company. I believe they are the reason gaming exists today and I have always applauded Nintendo on their family focused efforts in a world and industry were violence and sex sell. I believe that Nintendo brings a fresh and innovative approach to gaming that Sony and Microsoft could only dream of. With that said, Nintendo is NOT without their faults and I’m going to point out the major ones as I see them, so be warned. This article isn’t to bash Nintendo but I will not pull my punches. If you are a fan boy then stop reading now. If you are level headed gamer that loves Nintendo or just loves gaming in general, then I hope that you can appreciate what I’m trying to say in this article. Once again my intention is not to bash Nintendo but to try expose what I see as Nintendo’s biggest flaw at the moment. That huge flaw is the fact that they are cowards.

Nintendo Has Cowered Long Enough

Why does it seem as if Nintendo has become a shell of their former selves? Why does it seem as if Nintendo no longer has the desire to fight? Nintendo is fully capable of competing and they have done so since the early 80’s. Granted there wasn’t much competition then, but if you look at how they battled Sega and the Genesis you can see that Nintendo is a company that can go toe to toe with any company in the business. Remember when Nintendo was the bully on the block? Throughout the 80’s and 90’s, third parties had no other choice but to create games for Nintendo platforms especially if they wanted to remain relevant. See back then, Nintendo was top dog. Remember when Hiroshi Yamauchi would make third parties kneel before him in fear as they presented their latest piece of software? The gaming industry was Nintendo’s yard and everyone else was just playing in it. That is until Sony came along.

The truth is, Sony Punked Nintendo and now Nintendo acts less like the gaming giant we all know and love and more like cowards. When Nintendo backed out of the deal with Sony that would have resulted in hybrid gaming console between the two Japanese giants, that lit a fire under Sony’s butt. Ever since that day, Sony and its mighty Playstation brand has dominated gaming. Financial losses aside, the Playstation brand carries more weight than Nintendo today. What does Nintendo have to say about it…

“…Nintendo is not good at competing so we always have to challenge [the status quo] by making something new, rather than competing in an existing market.”

This is a statement that was made by Nintendo President Iwata back in late 2013. I find it to be a cowardly statement from Nintendo and an excuse on their part to not meet their competition face to face on the battlefield of gaming. I honestly feel that Sony scared them off with their original Playstation. They showed Nintendo that they are not the only game in town and that third parties in fact do NOT need them. Instead of responding with more aggression, they became more and more passive. Its a shame to watch. This is NOT behavior befitting the greatest gaming company of all time. Yes, I called them the greatest gaming company of all time but that title is slowly slipping away. It will be all but gone if they don not turn the ship around and head in the direction of the cannon fire. Nintendo can NOT be afraid of a good fight.

Get In Or Get Out

Now I’ll admit that Nintendo still had a bit of that fighting spirit left in them when it came to the Gamecube. I believe that most of the problems then were due to Nintendo not embracing popular trends and that problem still exists today. The real problem began when Nintendo just simply gave up fighting. Last generation Nintendo Introduced the Wii to the gaming world. It had an interesting motion control mechanic that got millions of non-gamers to board the hype train. It was a huge success and the second best selling home console of all time. So what’s the problem? Simply put, the console sucked! Outside of Mario Galaxy and maybe a few others, the Nintendo Wii pushed core gaming aside in favor of the casual experience. While fun at first, it quickly wore thin for most. Nintendo called it their new “Blue Ocean” strategy which in theory makes sense. It simply means that Nintendo strives to find an avenue to explore that no one else has done before or is doing so currently making them the only ones to explore this unique space. This is all fine but when you get so insulated that you forget what is going on around you then you become unaware of your weaknesses because you have nothing to compare yourself to. With the Wii, Nintendo got lazy and weak. They bet on the casual crowd and in the end they bet on the wrong horse so to speak.

This was done so that Nintendo did not have to compete in the same space as Sony. Iwata has no confidence that Nintendo can win a fight when competing in the same weight class as the Playstation and I think he is being a coward for running the company in such a way. Why am I using such a harsh word like “coward”? A coward is someone who looks at a situation that may seem bigger than what they can handle and gives up without trying even though they have all of the necessary skills and tools to handle what is ahead of them. They choose not to push forward because they are too afraid to take up the challenge. That to me is a coward. Iwata is being a coward.

I’ll end with this. Nintendo has better software than Sony hands down. Nintendo’s ip’s are more popular and far more profitable. Nintendo has better developers at their disposal. Now don’t get me wrong, Naughty Dog is a beast but they only make one type of game. Nintendo has what fanboys refer to as a “war chest” of money that Iwata probably spends his time diving into like Scrooge Mcduck. The idea that Nintendo cant afford to spend money on a high end gaming console is nuts! Nintendo has been in business for more than one hundred years and has been in gaming for more than 30 years so they definitely have the expertise and the knowledge. It’s time that Nintendo changed their thinking and started viewing themselves as the great gaming company they are. They have the capability to rule the gaming industry but to do so they must first face their greatest rival. The Sony Playstation. Nintendo needs to look Sony in the eye and commit to a good fight on equal ground. No gimmicks, no smoke and mirrors. Just a good ol’ fashioned console war fought with cutting edge hardware, advanced online capabilities, and outstanding software. Nintendo can do it. I know they can.

That’s All Folks

My hope is that through all of my harsh criticism of Nintendo that you can see my passion for them to succeed. Lets get something straight, though. Nintendo wont succeed as long as they are being coddled by fanboys. Nintendo needs tough love and a kick in the butt. This only comes if you hurt their wallet. You mess with a companies money and they are bound to make changes. I won’t go into that now because I’m saving that topic for another day. Oh, and just in case you were wondering why I didn’t mention Microsoft its because I don’t feel they are any threat to Nintendo simply because MS carries no weight in Japan. Well there you have it folks. I hope you enjoyed reading. See you next time.


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Top Tuesdays: Top 5 Games Of The Current Generation

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Who Will Be Number 1?

Here We Go again Folks. I’m back with another Top Tuesday edition. This time I’ll be focusing on the best games of this generation. Keep in mind that these are my favorite games of the current generation so with that in mind, enjoy.

5. Metal Gear Solid 4

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Snaaaaaaaaaake!

This game is the main reason why I bought a PS3 in the first place. Metal Gear Solid 4 kept me hooked from the first moment I booted up the game, with its impressive visuals and Kojima-style storytelling. MGS4 is the definitive stealth game.

4. Uncharted 2

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Naughty Dog are kings of story telling

What can I say about the Uncharted series? The game is a masterpiece in cinematic storytelling and action. I loved the first Uncharted game but the second one blew me away. The characters were very interesting, the story was engaging, and the action was fun and addictive. I can see why many regard Uncharted 2 as the best in the series. 

3. Red Dead Redemption

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Probably The Only Rockstar Game I’ll Ever Play

I’m not a huge fan of Rockstar’s other game offerings but I loved me some Red Dead Redemption. What I loved so much about this game was that it made me feel like I was actually in the wild west. The world felt so alive to me that I would hardly try any of the missions, instead I would just hop on my horse and see what situations I could find myself in. With so much variety in the world of Red Dead, I was able to squeeze many hours of playtime out of the game before I decided to actually play the missions and finish the main story. I can’t wait for a sequel. 

2. Batman Arkham City

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Two Heads Are Better Than One!

This franchise isn’t considered the greatest among the super hero genre for nothing. I spent countless hours gliding around Arkham City beating the crap out of the inmates. Simply put, this game is outstanding. This game is as close to perfect as a game can get and a step forward for the super hero genre of gaming. Too bad no other super hero game has been able to match its quality yet, but oh well, there is another Arkham game on the way in Arkham Origins. If you have not played Arhkam City and you claim your a fan of the caped crusader, slap yo’self. Here’s a little incentive. I bought the game on Steam for 7.49 cents. Yup. 

1. The Walking Dead

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Story Telling Perfection

I had no interest in trying The Walking Dead simply because it is a point an click adventure game and those always seemed pretty lame to me. So I skipped it. One day I saw a Steam sale that had The Walking Dead season one at around 6 bucks or so and I said to my self “what the heck, I’ll try it”. Best decision I’ve made in long time concerning videogame purchases. 

The Walking Dead is the best game I’ve played this current generation by far. No other game had been able to keep me as involved in the story as this game did. I don’t remember playing another game where I cared about the characters as much as I cared about Lee and Clementine. Th scenarios that played out were excellently crafted and overall this game is a testament that you don’t need over the top action and explosions to make an impact in gaming. I recommend this game to anyone who loves good storytelling. The Walking Dead will keep you on the edge of your seat at all times. I can’t wait for season 2. 

 

 


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R.I.P. Hiroshi Yamauchi

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The Real Reason You Play COD


I just wanted to share my thoughts on Mr. Hiroshi Yamauchi who recently passed away at the wise age of 85 years old. I just wanted to give respect to whom respect is due. I encourage all of you to go and read the article that IGN did on Yamauchi because I feel it was a very respectful and positive article that gives insight on a man who in my opinion is solely responsible for gaming being what it is today.

We all credit Miyamoto for making Nintendo what it is today because of his creation of franchises like Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda and of course Mario. What about the man who hired him? Would Miyamoto be who he is today without Yamauchi? No. He wouldn’t. Lets talk about the fact that Yamauchi took a gamble on the videogame market and decided to risk his entire company by tasking them with developing a gaming console and releasing it in western markets right after the western gaming industry had just suffered a crash. Hiroshi Yamauchi ran Nintendo as its president all the way through the release of the Gamecube. So everything good about Nintendo that you celebrate, a little of that credit is owed to Yamauchi. I’m not sure if major corporations even have presidents that last in the same position as long as Yamauchi did and not to mention push an entire industry forward with innovation after innovation throughout there entire career. This seems very rare.

Growing up with Nintendo, I have many fond memories. From the Original NES, to the N64, to now, all of those fond memories I have playing on Nintendo systems are because of the hard work and dedication of a man who was put in a position and made the decision to step into that position with boldness. What am I trying to say? What I am not trying to say is that we should lift people up on a pedestal. No. Not at all. What I am saying is that we often look at the end result of something without really factoring in the individuals who worked effortlessly behind the scenes to get that end result to where it is. I know most of us who grew up with gaming know the name Hiroshi Yamauchi but not many of us knew what he truly contributed to the industry and what he really meant to Nintendo and its legacy. Hiroshi Yamauchi will be missed and his influence will be felt in this industry for as longs as it stands. Even if the industry folds I believe Nintendo will be left standing again and in return preserving the Yamauchi legacy.

Please check out the link below and head over to the IGN article on Hiroshi Yamauchi.

http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/05/25/hiroshi-yamauchi-nintendos-legendary-president


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Nintendo: The Company The Industry Needs. The Company It Doesn’t Deserve

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A Seat At The Masters Table

Nintendo may not be able to walk on water but they did resurrect gaming from the dead. Look, they aren’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination but without them we would probably witness another videogame crash.

WHY THE INDUSTRY NEEDS NINTENDO

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Without Nintendo There Would Be No Great Innovation

When Atari killed the industry for us westerners it was Nintendo that brought gaming back from the dead. You wouldn’t be sitting there now enjoying your PS3’s and your Xbox’s and God help me if you actually enjoy gaming on the ipad but you owe that to Nintendo as well. The house that Mario built rekindled a flame for the love of gaming with it’s very first home console. The Nintendo Entertainment System or NES for short. I know what your thinking. Why dwell on the past? That was the Nintendo of old. Today they are a former shell of themselves. Well unfortunately for the Nintendo naysayers i can prove that to be false. Bare with me.

The Super NES is regarded by many as the greatest home console of all time. Why? Well Nintendo took the NES controller and turned it into what has become the standard by which all modern controllers are based off of. Just ask Sony. Nintendo gave us unbelievable software and a piece of hardware that was second to none. Sorry Genesis fans. By all accounts the Super NES was exactly what its named implied. A Super charged NES. Everything was bigger and better.

Nintendo doesn’t seem to feel the need to stick to the same formula for two long. After the success of the Super NES, Nintendo released the Nintendo 64. A console capable of 3d graphics that featured an awkward looking yet ingenious controller design. Full analog control via the analog stick which is still standard on controllers to this day. You like how your controller rumbles when you play games? Credit that to Nintendo as well for launching StarFox 64 with the “Rumble Pack”. Speaking of software. Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time set a new standard for platforming and adventure gameplay which is still unmatched to this day. 3D action games would be nothing without the road that Mario 64 paved for them. How about multiplayer? Nintendo was the first to allow gamer’s to plug in multiple controllers to a home console for local multiplayer. Of course there were always add-on’s that allowed it but with the N64 it was standard.

Now lets look at the curious case of the Gamecube. This is the first and only Nintendo home console that didn’t pack in any new innovations. It had a weird yet perfect controller built for games like Smash Bros but it lacked any real difference from its competitors. The Gamecube actually lacked features. No DVD playback and an inferior optical disc format that held less data than XBOX and Playstation’s DVD formats. The Gamecube while profitable, didn’t fair too well against SONY and Microsoft’s consoles. Something had to change

With the Wii, Nintendo went a completely different route. They turned their backs on cutting edge visuals in favor of a new way for gamer’s to interact with the gaming world. Enter motion controls. Say what you want about Motion gaming but for a short while it was fun. Nintendo set out to attract those who had never picked up a controller before and bring back into the fold those that lost interest in the hobby. They succeeded and the sales prove it. No one cared that the Wii was inferior in every way from a power standpoint compared to it’s competitors. In the first few years of the Wii’s lifespan Nintendo brought game after game and the console was a mega success. As soon as the games stopped coming, the console died. Which brings me to my last point.

Software sells hardware. Nintendo announced a successor to the Wii last November called the Wii U. Nintendo’s goal was to continue the Wii’s legacy of offering gamer’s a new way of interacting with their game. Tablets are mega popular these days and it doesn’t seem as if that trend will end anytime soon. Nintendo integrated their new home console with that very technology. They even went a step further and added a huge social media component to the Wii U’s infrastructure. So…why isn’t the Wii U selling. Simple. The games haven’t started rolling in yet. Do you think the original Wii would have been as successful as it was i the beginning if it didn’t have the software that it did? NO. It wouldn’t have. The proof is in the way that the sales quickly declined once new software stopped being introduced. With the Wii U things seem to be the opposite. There aren’t any really strong pieces of original software for the Wii U to keep people interested and that is all Nintendo’s fault. Good news, folks. The games are coming and once they do the system will begin to sell very well. Very well.

What is the moral of this story? The gaming media sucks and it spins stories to get hits. The Wii U is not “Dead in the water” and Nintendo is not doomed. The same exact things were said about the PS3 when it launched and all it took was a price cut (Ps3 was too damn expensive) and a steady stream of games. Let’s just wait and see what Nintendo does during this years E3.  Lets just wait and see.

WHY THE INDUSTRY DOESN’T DESERVE THEM

Simple. Nintendo can’t seem to catch a break. They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. If they do exactly as Sony and Microsoft then everyone thinks they are doomed. If they innovate then they are doomed. People are actually saying that Nintendo should and will become a 3rd party publisher only. Lets say Nintendo does actually stop making hardware. This is what will happen. Nintendo will be out for good. They are too stubborn to make their software for competing platforms. Like it or not, loosing Nintendo is bad for the industry. Very bad. If it happens it could be the beginning of the end. What? You think Sony is going to take over the mantle of innovation? Microsoft? Electronic Arts is more likely to win “The Best Company In America” award two years straight before that happens.

Let me know what you think about today’s topic.

Wii U Mad?


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2013 could prove gaming’s best years are ahead

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This next generation could be the best one yet

 2013 could prove to be one of the best years in gaming thus far. With many new titles coming this year for current consoles as well as the expected announcements of both Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen machines, gaming’s best years could very well be just ahead of us. 

Microsoft

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Should XBL be free this time?

Ok. I’m not even going to touch on the often absurd rumored specs of Microsoft’s or Sony’s next-gen consoles. I’m going to take a look at the best case scenario from both a core gamer and casual consumer perspective which would result in affordable next-gen machines. Lets just say the next Xbox isn’t leaps ahead of the Wii U in terms of visual fidelity. So what? Look at the advantages developers will have just having a bit more ram and processing power. Take Halo 4 and Uncharted 3 for example. What could Naughty Dog and 343 have done with those games if they had a bit more to work with in terms of system performance. Imagine Halo 4 with increased resolution, better texture detail, and enhanced AI. When Uncharted 3 released it represented some of the best visuals this generation had ever seen and i believe that still holds true. What if that game ran in native 1080p at 60fps with a higher level of atnti-aliasing and shader support? Next-gen games may not make the same visual leap that the Xbox 360 did over the original Xbox but rest assured that next-gen titles will feature some truly breathtaking visuals.

People seem to be complaining about having to pay for a 6 year old XBL when Steam, Nintendo network, and PSN are all free. Those complaints are very valid. I would bet Microsoft is going to do one of two things with their new machine. First, make Xbox live free (though i’m doubtful) or keep charging and completely revolutionize the experience making 60 dollars a year seem like a steal for such a great service. If it weren’t for XBL we wouldn’t have the slightest idea in the first place as to how  a real console online experience should operate. Microsoft set the bar and they could very well raise it again. What could they add? For starters, day one digital downloads for every retail game should be a given. How about a digital rental service for games? Cloud saving would most likely be a standard next-gen as well. I doubt Microsoft will go for a complete digital only service which would alienate many consumers who either have very slow internet connections or no internet at all but like it or not, digital is the future. 

Lets talk Next-gen innovation. Does Microsoft go in the direction of creating a tablet controller and try to out do Nintendo? Or is their big innovation going to be an enhanced version of Kinect? How about the IllumiRoom? in case you are unfamiliar with the IllumiRoom it’s a new project being designed by one of Microsoft’s research teams to be used with Kinect and most likely the newest Xbox. IllumiRoom will take the image currently displayed on your tv screen and expand it across the entire area around your tv. The effect is similar to having your game projected onto your wall except in this case the active area is still your tv screen but the environment is displayed all around your living room. I’m curious as to what the final design will shape up to be and how it will be used to enhance your gaming experience. 

As far as software goes, Microsoft doesn’t have a deep reserve of first party content. What Microsoft does well is ensure that games being released for their console receives exclusive content first. Take Call of Duty, GTA, and Skyrim as examples. These games released all of their expansions first on XBL making owning these titles on Microsoft’s console more rewarding. Microsoft will most likely continue this trend going forward. If you also take in account the fact that the Xbox has always been the easiest platform to develop for and you can see why developers tend to side with Microsoft as their lead platform. Expect this trend to also continue with the Next-Gen consoles as well unless Sony really does decide to abandon the Cell processor in favor of off the shelf parts. 

Sony

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Goodbye Cell processor!

Current rumors would have you believe that Sony is finally ready to abandon the Cell processor. This would be a good thing. While powerful, the Cell processor isn’t the easiest to develop for. Apparently Sony is going to go with off the shelf pc parts which would put it in line with the 360 in terms of ease of development. Can you imagine a Sony console that’s easy to develop for? The PS4 may end up being more of a beast than the PS3 was and we all know that games built from the ground up on the PS3 tend to look much better than anything on the 360. I don’t expect the PS4 to be a major enhancement over the PS3 though. Just a lot more capable. More ram, more processing power. Hopefully this translates into deeper immersion than ever before. 

Sony has done a fantastic job with the Playstation Network and even the Playstation Plus service packs tons of value. I suspect that going forward that Sony would make PS Plus it’s premier service while still offering a free PSN for users. Although i feel that a completely free online service is the way to go, even Nintendo has hinted at a paid service in the future. With much talk about Sony purchasing Gaikai, Sony could unveil  some sort of digital rental service similar to what OnLive was. Speculation has led many to believe that the Gaikai service would provide users a way to stream the entire PS2 and PS3 catalog freeing Sony from having to include the tech into their new console resulting in lower costs. It will be interesting to see what Sony does with Gaikai. 

When it comes to innovation Sony is often accused of copying Nintendo but to be fair Sony will often take those innovations and improve on them. The Super Nes controller became the Dual shock, the Wiimote became the Move, and Smash Bros became Playstation All-Stars. Wait…What? Forget that last one. Actually forget the last two. The point is that Sony makes quality pieces of hardware. A current rumor also has Sony ditching the Dual Shock design entirely. What could be up their sleeve? Will they go with a tablet controller. It wouldn’t surprise me and if they did i can pretty much guarantee it will out-class Nintendo’s Game Pad in terms of specs. That’s what Sony is good at. I don’t view Sony as much of an innovator as they are a company that can take an idea and beef it up tremendously. I’m interested to see what they bring to the table next-gen.

While not as deep of a roster as Nintendo, Sony’s first party line up is with out a doubt full of heavy hitters. One thing i will give Sony is their ability to spot talented teams and have them produce new IP’s for them. Sony introduced several new franchises this generation and i believe they did a much better job at supporting their franchises on the PS3 then Nintendo did on the Wii. Seeing this trend continue would result in more new IP’s for the PS4 as well as continued support for their current ones. What new studio will Sony discover next? The next Naughty Dog perhaps? Sony has some of the most talented teams in the business so Playstation fans have plenty to look forward on the PS4. 

Nintendo

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Will we see this at E3?

The Wii U has been on the market for two months now and opinions range from the system doing quite well, to the system not doing well. I know one thing is for sure, people who own the console seem to be pretty happy with what they have seen and played so far. One question that is still up in the air is just what can the Wii U really do? When a game is produced from the ground up and fully optimized for the console what kind of gaming experience will come out of it? Can it be duplicated on the Xbox 360 or PS3? We know that the Wii U has much more ram than both of those systems combined. We know that the architecture is much different as well. The Wii U uses a GPPU and games most definitely need to be optimized to take advantage of this set up. So far we’ve seen good ports of games like COD and AC 3 and we’ve seen decent ports such as Batman and Ninja Gaiden. Trine 2 does look better on the Wii U then it does on the PS3 and 360 withe crisper textures and better lighting. What we all want to know is how much will Zelda blow us all away?

Everyone just assumed that Nintendo would botch the Wii U’s online. Lets be honest though, the original Wii’s online was all kinds of “trash” It was the kind of garbage that Oscar the Grouch would make his home in. Wii U is a much different story. Miiverse in itself is a much better social network than anything we have ever seen on a gaming console. This is a feature that is sure to be copied by Nintendo’s competitors. If you love Face Book and Twitter you will feel right at home with Miiverse. It was very smart for Nintendo to allow this service to interact directly with the game your playing as well. You always feel like your connected to people at every moment. The Nintendo E shop is a big step up from the original Wii as well. Overall Nintendo’s online experience is much more in line with what your used to on PS3 and 360. It’s by no means perfect though. The OS is friggin’ ridiculously slow. On average i wait five minutes to load up the Wii U plaza. It usually happens after iv’e watched Hulu or Netflix. Once it loaded so long that i turned on my pc to play Batman and after two friggin’ hours the damn thing was still loading. I ended up having to pull the plug. Needless to say Nintendo needs to improve the OS. Other improvements that would benefit Nintendo’s online is a more streamlined E Shop. Right now everything just seems to be thrown on one page with no real organization. Being able to see your friends list at any time as well as having a on screen notification when friends get online or send me messages would be nice. Hopefully some or all of this will be addressed by E3

Innovation is Nintendo’s specialty. You know this, Microsoft and Sony even know it. So we have been playing around with Nintendo’s new innovative Game Pad for two months now and it’s easy to see its potential. So what does Nintendo have in store for us? How will they surprise us in the future. I’m interested to see how the Metroid franchise uses the Game Pad. I think it could be a cool idea to have the game run in the 3rd person similar to Metroid Blast, and have a more Metroid Prime first person experience on the Game Pad. You could lift the controller to scan areas and switch visors as well as access maps and weapons. You know that sounds cool. Your  probably trying to picture it in your head right now as you read this. How about the successor to Mario Galaxy? How will Nintendo use the Game Pad in a new and unique way for that franchise? Maybe the game switches completely to the controller when ever you enter a pipe much like the Gameboy Advance to Gamecube connectivity feature in Zelda Four Swords. One thing is for sure, Nintendo needs to really show developers that the Game pad can be used for more than just a map and inventory. I’m really excited to see what Gearbox has in store for the Wii U version of Aliens. If used correctly, the Wii U Game Pad can most definitely revolutionize the way we interact with games. 

Speaking of games, Nintendo has by far one of the deepest roster of hit franchises. More so than probably any other developer. I believe those big name franchises were underused on the Wii. Wii U could change this. We know Pikmin 3 is coming. We haven’t seen that franchise since the Gamecube. What about other dormant franchises? We would all love to see Nintendo return  to franchises like Starfox and Wave Race. Miyamoto has been talking a little bit about the F-Zero franchise and it was featured in Nintendoland so that’s always a good sign of things to come. While the tried and true franchises are always welcome i think what most people want is to see Nintendo try it’s hand at something new. It’s been a while since we’ve been treated to a brand new Nintendo IP. No. Wii Music does NOT count! There has been talk of Miyamoto working with smaller teams so that he can concentrate on new projects. I think this would be great for Nintendo. Something new and refreshing from the house that Mario built is just what Nintendo needs while maybe not at the expense of overlooking a fan favorite or two. Bring us Mario, but give us something new. Increased third party support should be just as high on Nintendo’s priority list. Third party support for their platforms hasn’t been strong since the days of the good ‘ol SNES so it’s crucial that Nintendo do something about that. Maybe they can take a page out of Sony’s book and start buying a few small development teams here and there. Maybe Nintendo could purchase Platinum games. That would be awesome! I look forward to E3 as i suspect Nintendo will have some huge news to drop in light of an imminent PS4 and 720 announcement. 

PC

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Bow down!

The PC. Are you a part of the “Master Race”? If you can afford it, you should be. PC gaming has a bright future. On one hand you have Valve announcing a PC built around Steam and dedicated to gaming. It has been dubbed the “Steam Box” . The “Steam Box” was meant to compete directly with the PS4 and 720 while offering PC quality gaming. Something that is truly beyond what the current consoles can achieve. For those who already game on PC you probably won’t see the need to purchase a “Steam Box”. I myself bought my PC for graphic design and video editing but the moment i witnessed what Batman Arkham City looked like running with all settings on max, i was sold. Damn right the PC is King! With the ability to constantly upgrade your PC you are always assured that you will have the latest and best when it comes to gaming hardware. You my friend are future proofed. 

You have Nintendo Network which is off to an amazing start. You have PSN which is well established and gives you amazing value when you add in PS Plus. XBL at one point was the industry standard and still to this day delivers outstanding value. Then there is steam. Its free, and you can not and i repeat can NOT find an online service dedicated to gaming that offers a better value. Period. I said PERIOD, stop trying argue against me in your head! How much did you buy Arkham City for on your Xbox? I got the Game of the year edition on Steam for 7.49. Yep. Seven dollars and fourty-nine cents. Sales like that are common place on steam and with over 30 million users its hard to not see why Steam is the best service for online gaming provided you aren’t a die-hard first party Nintendo or Sony fan.

I don’t generally associate PC gaming with hardware innovations but the Oculus Rift could change all of that. What is the Oculus Rift? It’s the most advanced VR headset you have ever heard of. Or not heard of, doesn’t matter cause there is nothing else like it. Which ever direction you turn your head and look you will be immersed in the game. Hear someone creeping up behind you? Turn your body around to see who or what it is? Hear some birds chirping above? Look up to watch them soaring through the sky. Or how bout stepping out on a ledge of a steep cliff and looking down? Thanks to the headset incorporating stereoscopic 3d you will feel as if you were actually starring down a steep cliff. Be warned though, motion sickness may occur. It is uncertain how much the OCulus will cost or when it will even be consumer ready but one thing is for sure, the Oculus may revolutionize the way we are immersed in gaming more so than any console hardware has ever achieved. 

When it comes to games, the PC in 2013 will enjoy many of the consoles best offerings all in glorious PC fashion. Higher resolution, crisper textures, higher frame rate and the list can often go on and on. There are also a ton of games that will never make it to consoles. MMO’s for the most part will stay exlusive to the PC. Have you checked out Age of Wushu? I don’t care for MMO’s but damn this game looks fun! The PC is the perfect choice for any gamer who just wants to play the definitive version of the latest multi platform games. Chances are you will even get them at a cheaper price on day one than you would purchasing the console version. Not to mention the various mods that can be done on PC and not on consoles. Have you seen the “Macho Man” Randy Savage dragon mod for Skyrim? Or how about the mod that gives your character and certain weapons a Legend of Zelda makeover? PC gaming can be the definitive place to play and i promise once you go PC, your PC for life. Maybe. 

Closing

2013 is looking like it could shape up to be the beginning of an even bigger and brighter future for gaming than we could have imagined. With so many choices for gamer’s between Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony and PC/Valve i can’t see an instance were the gamer’s loose out. If everything goes right we could also bare witness to the greatest E3 showing in history with two, maybe three new consoles being announced (including Valves “Steam Box) and a plethora of software due to come out this year, 2013 may be one for the gaming history books. Stop with the fan-boyism and enjoy what each of these companies has worked so hard to bring to the industry. You owe it to them and to yourself to do so. As always, i want to know your thoughts on the matter as well as what makes Wii U Mad?


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Why Nintendo does it better than Sony and Microsoft

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They have been to this dance before

Now for the bright side of things

Yesterday in a post entitled Nintendoomed, i wrote about why Nintendo could be down for the count if they don’t change some things up. The industry is clearly changing and Nintendo seems to be moving at a much slower pace than its competitors. With not many third party games to look forward to in 2013 and not much news coming from Nintendo themselves it would seem as if the company may be unequipped to handle what Microsoft and Sony may have in store for them with their Next-Gen offerings but Nintendo has been here before. This dance isn’t new to Nintendo and here are some reasons as to why Nintendo moves at their own pace and can quite possibly come out on top this Next-Gen.

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No one makes a controller like Nintendo

unparalleled Controll

Nintendo has been innovating new ways for gamer’s to interact with the gaming world since the early 80’s. The NES gave the D-pad and an A and B button. If it weren’t for this simple yet monumental little adjustment we would still be using the inferior joystick of the Atari console. The NES made platforming a dream to play.

The Super NES is arguably the greatest gaming console of all time and it gave us the template for what all modern day console controllers are based upon. Left and right shoulder buttons were added to the NES’s original design as well as two more face buttons bringing the total to four. Games like Street Fighter and Super Metroid couldn’t be played on a lesser controller. Remember trying to play SF2 on the Genesis? The SNES controller was such a great design that Sony borrowed and modified the design for its Playstation console a few years later.

The N64 controller was perhaps Nintendo’s most unique design ever. Setting aside the fact that it looked like an upside down pitchfork, the N64 controller brought us the analog stick. Never before seen in a home console, the analog stick is probably the most significant addition to the console controller ever. Think about it. Could you play any shooter without one. (Keyboard and Mouse not withstanding) The analog stick revolutionized how we move around in a 3d space giving you full control over your characters movement. Not to be outdone by the analog stick, rumble or otherwise known as force feedback was also introduced in the N64 era with a little game called Starfox 64. Could you imagine modern games today lacking rumble. Sony tried it with the first Ps3 controller. Remember. They said something about how rumble was so last gen and the 6-axis was the future. That changed rather quickly, huh?

The Game cube controller was just weird. I don’t think there was anything to significant about it. It’s just that having that one huge green “A” button kinda changed things a bit. Mashing on the large “A” button to attack felt good and the shape of the “X” and “Y” buttons, while awkward did give the controller a unique feel. One that you got so used to that it grew on you. No one knows this better than a Smash Bros. fan. Playing Smash on any other controller just isn’t the same.

Now we all know the innovation that the WII remote brought to the industry. Motion controlled sword combat and archery probably stand out the most. Swinging the Wiimote like a tennis racket felt natural and intuitive. Its a shame that third parties didn’t really take advantage of this gameplay innovation. Instead most of them used it as tacked on gimmick. Skyward Sword showed the true potential of what the WIimote could have meant for gaming had developers really put time and effort into it.

Now, everyone loves tablets. Why not fuse one with gaming controller? Nintendo did and the Wii U Gamepad was born. The jury is obviously still out on this one but at least we can say it’s off to an excellent start. Games like Zombie U and Nintendoland show off what’s possible with a little hard work and imagination. I cant wait to see what innovations Nintendo has up their sleeve for this device in the future.

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Game Changer!

Unparalleled Gameplay

It’s well know that Nintendo develops ideas for gameplay well before they even know what game this particular idea will even turn out to become. Game play has always taken center stage when it comes to Nintendo often resulting in groundbreaking new ways to interact with the game world your in.

Take Mario 64 for instance. Never before had anyone played a game that gave you the freedom of full 360 degree movement. Mario 64 allowed you to run, jump and climb just about anywhere you desired and the level of pin point precision usually reserved for 2d platformers was no for the first time realized in 3d. Mario 64 is number one on several “Best of all time” lists and rightfully so.

The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time. Arguably one of the greatest games ever created. In the past we played games in this genre without any sort of lock on targeting system. Zelda OOT changed all of that. Introducing a targeting system that allowed you to stay locked on an enemy while still being able to move and dodge was a thing of genius. Can you imagine modern games without this feature? Oh…wait. Some games still don’t use a lock on system. Anyways, Zelda OOT delivered an unparalleled landscape were if your eye could see it then you could travel there. Just about everything could be interacted with. It still astounds me that Nintendo was able to take every significant piece of gameplay from the original Zelda games and successfully transition it all into 3d gameplay. Nintendo has always been able to make games excel at what they were meant to. Fun. Regardless of the genre, regardless of the content, Nintendo focuses on gameplay first which in usually always results in pure gaming bliss, but hater’s still gonna hate.

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Unparalleled franchises

The legend of Zelda. Donkey Kong Country. Starfox. Metroid. Kirby. Smash Bros. Super Mario. F-Zero. Pikmin. Punch Out. Wave Race. Mario Kart. Fire Emblem. Pokemon. I’m sure i am missing a franchise or two but i just named off fourteen “triple A” franchises that are big sellers for Nintendo. Franchise that have a proven and dedicated fan base. Microsoft can’t claim this and although Sony has some very well established first party franchises none of them are on the level of the ones i have just named. Anyone of these Nintendo titles would cause a stir if announced at any given time for the Wii U and anyone of these could be announce at any time. Very few developers can say they have franchises that can compete with the likes of what Nintendo have in-house. Capcom, Sega and maybe Namco can but neither of them have kept up the level of quality that Nintendo has since the early 80’s. Think about that. These 80’s franchises are still relevant today because of the quality of the product and the overwhelming dedication from fans.

It’s been said time and time again that Nintendo software sells Nintendo hardware. Think about it, though. It’s true. Is it a surprise? How many developers create games with the level of quality that Nintendo does especially in the gameplay department? If Nintendo is in trouble right now, and everyone seems to think they are, then it may be time for them to start pulling out some of these franchise. We know Zelda is coming. We know Metroid and Mario are coming. What about the franchises that have remained dormant for some time. We need to see Star Fox make a console return. F-Zero and Wave Race, too. The roster is too deep too ignore. Provided Nintendo has the teams available to handle these franchises, they could very well put themselves in a position to make the Wii U as attractive as the SNES was to gamers and developers alike. Only time will tell. Nintendo could always announce something in a new Nintendo direct video and E3 is not too far away. Lets not count Nintendo out yet.

The wild card. This is an instant win for Nintendo

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The Game Master. Nuff said

Closing

The industry loves to doubt Nintendo. The industry usually ends up being wrong. Journalists seem to think they have Nintendo figured out. They are most always wrong. Just look up Michael Pachter’s predictions about the company. He has never been right. It’s true that Nintendo can be a frustrating company at times to stand behind. They seem to only give us what we want when they are ready to, and they release information at a snails pace. Its usually for the better though. Remember how every one wanted a realistic link but got the Wind Waker? It turned out to be one of the best Zelda titles ever and then when Nintendo did give us a more realistic Zelda, gamers broke out in tears. Literally. Nintendo has been in business for over 50 years and have been making consoles since the early 80’s. Although no company is perfect, when is the last time Nintendo as a company has made a stupid business decision? Lets not count the virtual boy. Even that was just an ambitious project that just didn’t pan out the way Nintendo wanted to. If your a Nintendo fan then keep supporting them in the meantime and lets see how 2013 shapes up for them. Sony and Microsoft may have more powerful consoles on the way but since when did power determine anything. Ps2 was the weakest of the three consoles in its generation but still dominated due to software. Lets just hope Nintendo is working on bringing some truly unique and great software to the Wii U from both first and third parties. As always let me know your thoughts on the matter and tell me…what makes Wii U MAD?


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NintenDoomed? Caution: must be read with an open mind!

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“you cant do this on Nintendo!”

If your’e a “fanboy” then…

DON’T READ THIS!!

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64 bits of failure

       A New generation of gaming brings on a whole new set of reasons why Nintendo is once again doomed. Remember the N64? Of course you do. It gave us Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Mario 64, Wave Race 64, Mario Kart 64, and Smash Bros. alongside a few other honorable mentions. Outside of the legendary first party support, the N64 didnt get much support from third parties. Not like the playstation. No Final Fantasy, no tekken, no street fighter, no resident evil (until a port of RE2) no Metal Gear and i could go on and on. The point is that the N64 may have been the beginning of the end for Nintendo. Relationships with third party developers weren’t as smooth as Nintendo probably wanted and the fact that no one wanted to put their games on  a cartridge based format anymore proved to foreshadow the events that would one day reshape the industries perception of Nintendo. 

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Nintendo forgot to pack enough delicious third-party support in my purple lunch box!

The purple piece of #!!##**!!!##@@@ (don’t try and think of a word that fits)

       Continuing the trend of not wanting to be like everyone else, Nintendo released the Gamecube. At a time when Microsoft and Sony were releasing consoles that had built in DVD players Nintendo opted out  instead going with a proprietary mini DVD format. Third party support for big games was once again all but absent. I can remember many people in the gaming media calling the Gamecube a purple lunch box and poking fun at the fact that Nintendo included a carrying handle on the back of the console. Hard core Nintendo fans were treated to Smash bros. Melee, Resident Evil 4, Metroid Prime, and Zelda Wind Waker but anyone who owned a PS2 or Xbox would have little reason to pick up Nintendo’s purple box. When the consoles lifespan was nearing its end, chants of “Nintendo is doomed” filled the air. Despite being a successful console for Nintendo it was clear that the industry was moving past the 80’s gaming giant in favor of a more realistic and “mature” (i use that term loosely) gaming trend. 

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You want me to come over and play with your WHAT!

       The Wii. Stupid name, fun innovation. When the Wii first launched it had everyone excited. You. Me. Our mom’s and grandma’s. Everyone was on the Wii bandwaggon. No one cared that the console was pretty much a Gamecube with a motion controller attached. They cared about what mattered most. The innovative new way to play games. Once you got beyond Wii sports that’s when things looked different. Where were the great first party games. We got Mario Galaxy 1 and 2. We got Zelda , Metroid and Smash Bros. Brawl. The consoles first few years looked pretty bright. Fast forward to about year 3 and its a different story. A complete drought. Don’t you dare mention Kirby! I do acknowledge the Last Story and Xenoblade. What else? Not only was the Wii under powered which began to become more noticeable as the years went on but the console had the worst representation of Nintendo’s first party titles outside Mario Galaxy. Nintendo even stopped supporting it in the end. Oh and i didn’t even touch on how everyone made fun of the stupid name. Yeah the Wii sold far greater than any system not named the Ps2 but lets be honest. The Wii was crap. Worst Nintendo console of all time. Period. 

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Will this time be any different?

       By the way things are going with the Wii U i’m not sure things will be any different than they were with the Wii. I’m speaking in terms of third party support in which the Wii had none. Already  the Wii U is missing out on franchises like Bioshock, Tomb Raider, GTA5, and Crysis. Developers have even stated that making a game for the Wii U just doesn’t make business sense for them. That’s sad. Analysts are now predicting that Nintendo will have to consider bringing its first party titles to other platforms. I think Nintendo would willingly go under before they do that but the point is that as it stands right now no one seems to have any faith in Nintendo and once again are calling it “The End” for the company. Apparently sales of the Wii U aren’t even that stellar. What can Nintendo do to change this?

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This could be a game changer

Nintendo could make or break themselves at E3

       Nintendo has a lot to prove with the Wii U. Anyone who doesn’t believe this needs to stop being a “fanboy” for just two seconds. Key titles are missing from Wii U’s 2013 line up. We don’t know of any first party titles coming outside Pikmin 3. Why should anyone buy this console. Nintendo’s E3 event could provide the answers. Ken Levine once said that Bioshock would never come to the Ps3. Look how that turned out. We could very well see an announcement made for a Wii U version at E3. What about GTA 5. Unlikely but if Miyamoto was really out and about personally trying to persuade third parties to jump on board then you would have to think his influence holds some weight. Lets just say we get the worst case scenario at E3 and the Wii U gets virtually no third party support. Nintendo would have to bring out its major first party franchises in a way that revolutionizes them in the same way their N64 counterparts did. We would need to see major Nintendo titles release in 2013 and starting early in the year, too. With no announcements yet, Nintendo needs to make waves before E3. Nintendo needs to give us one of their Direct video’s detailing a major release that’s not Pokemon related. At the end of the day i think that the worst case scenario for the Wii U is that it could end up another Gamecube. This isn’t all that bad since Gamecube gave us some amazing software. Nintendo doesn’t need another Gamecube though. It sure as hell doesn’t need another Wii. Nintendo needs the Wii U to be looked at as the second coming of the greatest console of all time. The SNES. I think next gen they should hang up the “Wii” name and focus on a more core experience. Its what people want. Gamers don’t want innovation. They don’t want fun. They want realistic graphics, and shooting. Period. And sex. And cursing. And nudity. Point is Nintendo is looking mighty outdated the more time time passes. Microsoft and Sony could very well push Nintendo out the door with their new consoles. Heck, this may be the last Nintendo console i support on day one. As of right no my Wii U is a Netflix player. 

As always, i want to know what you think and tell me…What makes Wii U Mad?

 

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