Monday, January 21, 2008

Nintendo, 3rd Party games, Online

What is up Nintendo? I love you and all, but you can be infuriating sometimes. I know delays are just a way of life for first party titles, and I would rather have it delayed and good, then on time and crappy. The longer you delay though, the higher the bar gets set. I'm not too worried about Brawl though, as that 40/40 from Famitsu was high praise indeed. Just make sure you get the Online play as good as it can be.

Now, in regards to your online, please don't drop the ball. Look at how long the DS has been around now - 3 years. Yet we've still got first party games coming out with NO online features. Mario Party DS would have been the PERFECT candidate for some online action - I totally would have bought it. As it stands though, I have plenty of games I can play locally with friends and family, and I really don't need another.

Then we have games that DO have online, but could have had better online - Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass should have included Four Swords. The Force Gem collecting it has is nice, but man, what a missed opportunity! I even would have been satisfied if it was flat out ported from the GBA cart and given online capabilities. (PS, I still LOVE Phantom Hourglass - so hot...)

Now we've got the Wii, and hardware sales are through the roof. Demand is by far exceeding supply. I'm really happy about that, because I think that if the Wii had been another Gamecube for Nintendo, they may have called it quits for home consoles, and focused more heavily on the DS domination. But the hardware numbers are good, and that's a great start. However, the software numbers for 3rd party games are not so good. A Nintendo home console curse.

This is partly Nintendo's fault, and partly 3rd party developers' fault. Nintendo makes such great games that they're purchased into the millions in a matter of short months. But the mass majority of 3rd party titles suffer almost always.

Nintendo made a system so different than PS3 and 360, that developers have to do something different for the Wii. They can't just make a game for all three systems, they have to either exclude the Wii altogether due to lesser graphic capabilities, or change it and add in the motion controls (extra work).

This can be good and bad in my opinion - good, because we get original games like Zack and Wiki, and Elebits, and bad, because we get games now that are PS2 ports, or games like Soul Calibur Legends instead of Soul Calibur IV (or even SCIII).

How can we expect Capcom to make some hot games for us when a game like Zack and Wiki, which is absolutely brilliant, but only sold ~35,000 copies in its launch month? More than 6 million Wiis were sold in 2007, and a ridiculously high percentage of said owners are missing out on this great game.

If Wii owners continue to neglect 3rd party games, and/or 3rd party developers continue to make crappy games for the Wii, those same 3rd party developers could end up pulling their support from the Wii, just like they did with the Gamecube.

I guess the bottom line is - Nintendo can NOT succeed on first party games alone.

Hope that made sense... /ramble


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