A Lot Of People Wonder About Nintendo’s Console Decisions, But It Makes Complete Sense When Looking At Their Sales History

I see on the internet all the time and am even asked about it in person a lot. That is, everyone says something along the lines of “I don’t understand why Nintendo make such weird consoles and dumb decisions. Why can’t they just make consoles with good graphics. GRAPHICS, GRAPHICS GRAPHICS!”

Firstly, just improving graphics is super boring, and Nintendo is all about doing something the competition isn’t. Unfortunately, most people have that, “if it doesn’t have good graphics than it’s not a good game” mentality. Interestingly, Nintendo’s unique consoles probably have benefited not only themselves, but Sony and Microsoft as well, for many people have a Nintendo console plus one of the “high-powered” consoles, and some people have all three!

But all one needs to do to understand Nintendo’s console decisions is look at the console sales.

NES-Console-Set

Doing a quick wikipedia search, the original NES sold just under 62 million units, which blew literally everything that had come out prior to it completely out of the water and revitalized a dying industry. There wasn’t really any competition against this console, hence it’s high sales.

snes classic

The SNES, as the name implies, is really a super version of Nintendo’s original console. Sales dropped to 49 million units, probably due to the stiff competition from the Sega Genesis. It was during this rivalry that the “Bit Wars” really took off. Sega kids and Nintendo kids constantly argued about graphics and processing speed. This takes us right to modern day, where nothing seems to have changed. PC, Xbox and PlayStation fans are always talking specs and obsessing over graphics and frame rates. I believe this stems from the veterans of the 90’s bit wars, and most people heavily involved in today’s arguments and technical interests were probably kids in that era. And since current kids always look to be more adult, they have fallen into the same tech-obsessed attitude.

n64

Winning out against the Genesis and it’s many add-ons, Nintendo’s next console, the N64, ushered in the first 3D-gaming and four-player multiplayer. This new console sold around 33 million units, seeing even more decline in sales. Sega might have had something to do with this, but the monster Nintendo created is actually to blame.

After backing out of a deal with Sony to make a disc-based gaming console, Sony made their own. The PlayStation took the world by storm for some reason. Probably due to it’s discs, which allowed for bigger games and full-motion video. The console got a lot of exclusivity from third-party developers and also brought a lot more mature games to the industry. At this time, a lot of the kids who played Nintendo and Sega consoles were now teenagers and young adults, so I imagine, like humans inevitably do, they associated those companies and their games to stuff only kids play, like watching Power Rangers and Nickelodeon. It was time to move on to something for big kids. Hence PlayStation became by far the highest-selling console of all time (at that point).

gcn

Seeing how the world was absolutely obsessed with power, Nintendo entered into the next generation with a powerhouse…the GameCube. From what I understand, this was the most powerful console on the market, surpassing Microsoft’s new Xbox, and Sony’s PlayStation 2.

Nintendo had the power, but not the third-party support I suppose, and this one only sold 21 million, coming in third just behind the Xbox. The weakest of the consoles, PS2, for reasons unknown, sold an enormous amount and is still to this day the highest selling console of all time.

nintendo-wii

So with an overcrowded market of everyone competing with power, Nintendo, at an all-time low, must have said, “Clearly it isn’t just all about power, the heck with it, let’s do our own thing.” Thus they birthed the Wii, a console that sacrificed power for innovation. The Wii, especially in it’s first few years, completely obliterated the Xbox 360 and PS3. This was due to the fact that the console was half the price of the others, and more importantly, because literally everyone was curious about the first fully motion-controlled system. The Wii targeted casual gamers like no other console has done before as well.

But after a while, people reverted to criticizing the graphics, thanks to it’s significantly lower power and lack of HD. And casual gamers didn’t really do all that great of a job supporting it through it’s lifespan. Third-party support began to dwindle due to this as well, not to mention the extra work required to put their games on the console.

But that didn’t stop it from becoming by far the highest selling console of the generation and one of the highest of all time, destroying even the NES sales with almost 102 million units sold. But unfortunately, by the end of it’s lifetime, the masses lost interest in the console.

wii u

Which is probably why no one cared about the Wii U. This console tried to capitalize off the commercial success of the Wii, keeping it’s focus on casual gamers, but also putting more of an effort to please serious gamers as well.

While it was the most powerful console out for a year, the new Xbox and PS4 were just around the corner, which again completely overpowered it. This, with the lost interest of the Wii, led to low sales, which basically made the console lose almost all third-party support after it’s first year. That and again the difficulty to develop on and lower power. This became the lowest-selling console ever for Nintendo with only 13.5 million sales.

nintendo-switch

The Switch fixed a lot of the problems with third-party and they relaxed on some of the rules as well. The console is easy to develop on, they got rid of region-locking, and are far more open to putting third-party games on the console. And the console was deliberately weak from the start, so no one can really complain that it was failing to compete with the other consoles, because by now, clearly they don’t care. Though this does still create issues with development, for the Switch is missing out on some big AAA releases, though it does seem to get ports with all DLC included years later, so clearly it’s powerful enough to run the big guns.

But the biggest appeal to the Switch is the fact that it can be played as a home console, or as a handheld, something people have been wanting for a long while.

For whatever reason, while Sony generally dominates the home consoles, Nintendo has always been king to the handheld market ever since the original Game Boy came out in the late 80’s.

There has never really been serious competition in this market, save for the PSP, which sold very well, but the DS, it’s competitor, nearly sold double. While the 3DS fell short of of even PSP sales by just a little, it’s main competitor, the PlayStation Vita, sold practically nothing at all. I don’t know really anything about this handheld so I can’t imagine why.

So with the Switch giving both handheld and home gamers something to love, with all the support from other developers one could hope for, the system has become very successful and is currently the second best selling system by Nintendo to date, and will likely rise to be one of the highest-selling consoles of all time.

I have no idea if anything I said is true, but just looking at the sales and the consoles and their competition, it’s not hard to come up with these theories, and it’s easy to see that this was what Nintendo was thinking, at least to some degree. I’m sure they put a whole lot more thought into it, but this is the gist.

Maybe. But I think it’s clear a hybrid console will be what Nintendo will be sticking to, at least for a while. They might realize they made more money with separate home and handheld consoles and probably will eventually switch back to that, but at least the next gen console will be a hybrid as well.

 

Nintendo’s Metroid Series: Proving They Might Care About More Than Just Money

In case you haven’t heard, Nintendo is hard at work developing two brand new Metroid titles, Metroid Prime 4, and the newly announced Metroid Dread, the long-awaited Metroid 5.

A couple years back, Nintendo announced that they would be scrapping a couple years worth of work on Metroid Prime 4, giving Bandai-Namco, the developers on the project, the boot, and replacing them with Retro Studios, the company that made the first three games in the Metroid Prime series. They made this decision because Nintendo felt the game, and the direction it was going, wasn’t really up to snuff, so much in fact, that they had to start completely over.

This move really impressed me. I feel like most companies would just shrug their shoulders, and instead of wasting all the resources up until that point, would just carry on and say, “Hey, so what if the game is crap, it’s a Metroid game, so people will buy it up regardless.”

This shows Nintendo actually care about their customers and are striving to meet expectations, which always seem to be extremely high for these folks thanks to their ridiculously impressive history of routinely making some of the best video games in existence.

This is even more welcome news, because Metroid is a series that doesn’t get nearly as many releases as other Nintendo titans like Mario and Zelda, so at least they are being very delicate and thorough with the first new release in over 10 years, not counting the remake of Metroid 2 in 2017.

And of course, I am sure they are most concerned about their own reputation and how it might be damaged with a bad game, not to mention possibly destroying the following for Metroid.

And then we have Metroid Dread. This name has been popping up since all the way back in 2005, right after Fusion was released.

The developers said they had to put the project on hold because the DS did not have the capabilities and technology to do what they wanted. They then tried again later, I’m assuming for 3DS, only to hit the same walls.

Again, I give Nintendo respect for this. They could have easily changed up their plans to make a game fit within the platform they could develop the game on, but no. They chose to wait it out for the technology to fulfill their vision and ensure they give us the best experience possible.

This also begs the question, why not put it on Wii or Wii U. Certainly at least the Wii U could have done what they were looking for? Then again, what do I know about developing and what hurtles they needed to overcome?

Regardless, judging by the trailer for Dread, the nearly two decade wait looks to be worth it!

So thanks Nintendo, for making sure you give us the best games possible for one of my favorite series.

Multiplayer-Only Games Over-Crowding The Gaming Industry?

Each year, there are tons and tons of game announcements and reveals. But there are not quite as many as when e3 rolls around, which is just getting started at the time of this wrtiting. For years now, it seems about half the reveals are multiplayer-only games, and most of them are first-person-shooters, and if not those, then third-person-shooters.

There are literally like 3-5 of these types of games to every one single-player game. I remember when e3 was something exciting, as it gave gamers something to look forward to. Not so much anymore. We might get like 2-5 interesting single-player games now. Though I suppose if you are into the countless multiplayer games, then things are more amazing in gaming than ever.

But let’s be honest. All these games are designed to play forever, until servers inevitably shut down, which depending on the success of the game, could take over a decade. So it baffles me that they could make so many of these games. If players are being loyal to one or two games, how can there ever be a fanbase large enough to sustain 90% of these endlessly released games, especially when so many of them constantly add on to their games to hold player interest?

And I imagine if a player wants to become really good, they are sticking to one game, so that they can eventually dominate most matches.

Online multiplayer has become such a priority, that games that are thoughtful enough to give us a single player are usually, and sometimes weak little game, but we still have to pay full price, mainly to help the company sustain it’s multiplayer software.

What’s even more baffling, is local multiplayer, aside from Nintendo games, has become practically non-existent in most games. Why can I play every game in the world online if I pay a subscription fee, but I can’t play with a friend in my own living room? Obviously, the games that are solely huge battle arenas and the like, local multiplayer is not possible or necessary, but smaller-scaled games that can allow 2-4 players to play don’t have a local multiplayer option.

And yes, I did answer my own question. It is probably due to the fact that they want you to pay for PlayStation Plus and XboxGold or whatever it’s called.

I just watched Ubisoft’s presentation, and it was pretty much four multiplayer games, 2 single player games, and a game that teaches you guitar, which I guess can be considered¬† single player.

Happy e3 to you online shooter fans. For a pre-event I also watch contained a large amount of games, more than half of them multiplayer shooters, so you’ve got your great selection of picks, even though you’re probably going to stick to what you’ve been playing the past five years anyway…

Us single players will be treated to maybe 10 AAA single player games and a thousand lame indie titles. Woohoo!

Amazing News Reporting Differences When Attacker Is Black Instead of White

Let me start off by saying I don’t watch the news. I probably see about a minutes worth collectively over each week from when I walk through my living room when I get home from work and my wife has it on. So I don’t see much.

Yet somehow, every few months I manage to see the same type of crime- a black guy sucker-punching some old person in New York City.

Every time, it’s a youthful, say, 20-year-old black guy just walking past a 70-80-year-old white guy, and they just punch said old guy in the back of the head as they walk by. Because, you know, nothing says your tough like knocking out unsuspecting folks who are walking with canes and are 60 years your senior.

But the one I just saw a few days ago changed it up a bit, and this is the one I want to discuss today. This time it was a 40 or 48-year-old black man who sucker punched a 55 or 65-year-old Asian woman. Sorry, I don’t quite remember those age details, but it was definitely one of the those for each of them.

What’s astounding to me is how the news reported it. The attacker was constantly referred to as “a man.” Usually, the terms to describe an attacker are a little more detailed than “the man.” And they had his name, but did not use that either. Not once did they mention the man’s race.

So it seems a little unfair that the victim was immediately identified as Asian. Obviously, the news is trying to rile things up, but as the attacker was black, they could only do so much.

So the news showed footage of the attack, and basically summed it up to, “A man just walked up to a 55-year-old Asian woman and struck her on the back of the head with his fist, leaving her unconscious. Motives behind the man’s attack are unclear at this time. Police are investigating to find if it was racially motivated.”

This astounds me. Because the victim was Asian, everyone immediately jumps to a racial attack, but because the attacker was black, it might not have been. On all the other sucker-punch stories, when it’s a white man attacked, whether it was “racially motivated” or not is never mentioned or even thought of. Hmm…

Now imagine if the attacker was white. Suddenly, in big bold headlines, this story would become “Middle-aged White Male Attacks Senior Asian Woman! Hate Crime! It’s A HATE CRIIIIIIIIIIIME!!!! White Supremacy Must Be Squashed. It’s Burying The Minorities In The Streets Of The Big Apple!”

Following this news report would be all sorts of fun riots and protests.

So yeah, an interesting observation. More evidence that you can’t be racist against white people, but everything a white person does is racist. And fortunately black lives matter, maybe just a little more than Asians.

And by the way, they arrested the attacker. It was his 40th arrest. Why is he still among the living? He has certainly used up his life, and is doing nothing now but wasting valuable resources. They should have drowned him in the Hudson, like…38 arrests ago.