Op-Ed: Wii U’s Third Party Question

Jon discusses the looming issue of third party support on Wii U and what Nintendo can do to fix it.

By Jon Stevens. Posted 01/29/2014 09:00 12 Comments     ShareThis

The current state of Wii U is no secret, with Nintendo forecasting sales of only 2.8 million for the current financial year (down from the originally predicted nine million). While there are numerous factors which have influenced this, a key issue that has surrounded the console since launch remains the question of third party support. It’s an area which has been debated extensively, but in light of Wii U’s ongoing troubles and the recent releases of Xbox One and PS4, I believe it needs to be revisited once again.

At the E3 2012 Nintendo press conference, there were plenty of third party games being flaunted, like Darksiders II, Scribblenauts Unlimited, and Batman Arkham City: Armored Edition.  Alongside this, it had the likes of ZombiU and (the then exclusive) Rayman Legends. In fact, at this stage it wasn’t so much the lack of third party games that was an issue. The fact that that many of these were ports of games that had been out for some time led many to question whether Wii U would be doomed to another generation of sub-standard ports. Mass Effect 3, FIFA 13, and Tekken Tag Tournament 2 all added something beyond their standard versions (with Tekken Tag Tournament 2 even adding Nintendo-themed touches), but failed to make any substantial changes to make the Wii U versions the definitive ones to buy. It also didn’t help that most people who would have bought them, probably had already done so at this point!  This was not universal and certainly changed over time (in my opinion Assassin’s Creed III was actually best played on Wii U), but from release, ports of fairly successful games had trouble succeeding on a console which, as would be expected at launch, already had a relatively small install base.

screen_MassEffect3WiiU

Even console exclusives were not seeing the sort of sales that third parties were hoping for. ZombiU, one of the biggest third party games available at launch, sold so badly that Ubisoft has no desire whatsoever to develop a sequel.  It was this, in fact, which led to the delays faced by Rayman Legends and the decision to port it to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The Wii U version of Aliens: Colonial Marines never even materialised– although that probably turned out to be a blessing.

This has led to a bit of an odd situation for the console. While certain third party developers, like Ubisoft and Activision, are still supporting Wii U to some extent, Electronic Arts has had to constantly defend its position with regard to the console. What started out as an “unprecedented relationship” between the two has turned into a tug-of-war for support. While EA has no confirmed games in development for Wii U, numerous anonymous (and not so anonymous) comments prompted COO Peter Moore to have to reassert that Nintendo “never have been, and never will be ‘dead’ to EA.”

The recent launch of Microsoft and Sony’s new consoles has further exasperated the situation for Nintendo, as the sales for both consoles have already exceeded that of Wii U for the entirety of 2013. In August, Reggie Fils-Aime’s dismissal of the largely third party launch line-ups of Xbox One and PS4, offers a glimpse at how Nintendo considers first party games far more important for a console’s success (a view which is perhaps justified with Nintendo). If we look solely at the sales figures alone though, games like FIFA, Madden, and Battlefield have helped tremendously to sell these new consoles. Nintendo’s own offerings, like Zelda: Wind Waker HD and Super Mario 3D World, meanwhile, have thus far failed to help drive sales, and while Mario and Zelda will always be central to why most people buy a Nintendo console, even Iwata himself recognises that a major third party hit is required to encourage third party development on Wii U.

art_zombieU.jpeg

But there is no reason to suspect that 2014 is going to see the current trend continue. Despite competition from two new consoles and disappointing sales in 2013, Nintendo is still in a position to turn Wii U around, just like it did with 3DS. We all know that Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart 8, and (way off somewhere) Zelda are coming. But what about the future of third party games on the system?

Xbox One and PS4 are undeniably far more powerful machines and the continued porting of games to Wii U may lead to the issue of sub-standard versions of games again, just like with Wii. This could become increasingly more likely as the lead development of many of annualised games shifts inevitably to these two consoles, with games like FIFA and Call of Duty looking to capitalise on the more advanced hardware.

One possible solution would be for these games to officially migrate to the largely similar Xbox and PlayStation. While the popularity of these franchises would be incentive to keep them on Wii U, one only has to look to the number of players on the Wii U version of Call of Duty: Ghosts to see that they are far more popular elsewhere. The absence of these could allow developers to focus more on exclusive games which could further separate Wii U from its competitors. These may have to be smaller in scope initially due to the install base of the console, but Nintendo could support these projects in the same way that it has begun doing so with games like Bayonetta 2, or even through partnerships, like the recently announced Hyrule Warriors. I haven’t even begun to look at the eShop, which has seen numerous exclusive third party games on a regular basis (even more so on 3DS). While a greater focus on digital offerings in general is important for Nintendo in 2014, this could be an area where smaller third parties can continue to flourish, especially if given just the right amount of encouragement!


Is this the future of third party games for Nintendo?

Nintendo has already shown that it that it can turn a console around, and that it understands what gamers want, far more than people realise. I’m still confident that it has a number of surprises in store in the coming months, and some more third party support is hopefully one of these.

Are you worried about third party offerings on Wii U, or are you happy to spend your weekends touring the Mushroom Kingdom and Hyrule? I am curious to hear what you all think.

12 Responses to “Op-Ed: Wii U’s Third Party Question”

  • 0 points
    says...

    Actually Jon, Nintendo has shown us that it can’t turn a console around. Realistically, very few (if any) ever have. Was the N64 ahead of the PS at the end of its generation? Or the Gamecube ahead of the PS2 at the end of its? Did the PS3 or 360 catch the Wii?

    Usually these things are set in stone right from the start.

    Your editorial asks good questions – but like most pieces featured here – not very many good answers. I like how everyone here keeps blowing the “Well, when they release Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash 4, it’ll all turn around!”

    Says who? Super Mario 3D World and Wind Waker HD? Correct me if I’m wrong, but those are two of Nintendo’s biggest franchises right there. And the combination of those two prompted a total of . . . how many new Wii U’s sold? If I’m to understand correctly, they didn’t fully hit that 9 million units, so the draw of these titles must come into question.

    If Super Mario – the main draw of the Nintendo brand – alongside Zelda – it’s number two – can’t drive a hearty upbeat in consoles sold – what makes you think that the spin-off titles of these franchises will suddenly do the trick? That thinking is, at best, questionable. The market has already proven as much.

    And not just this generation. But previous ones too. The N64 really showed people that Nintendo, all by itself, can’t make the same machine as with the 3rd party support. Yet, with the way they construct their machines these days, 3rd party support are left trying to make games that sell a great deal due to their visuals work on a machine that’s a generation old (re: almost a decade). More than anyone, I admit that graphics will always, always hold second place to game-play.

    But Nintendo dropped the ball there too. They came up with this amazing secondary screen – and the best ideas they could come up with it were reconfigurations of tasks that used to be done on the controller. The name “Wii” didn’t just stick to the “Wii U,” but the development philosophy as well. The idea that you could convert old game-play idioms into new fantastic experiences by replacing traditional inputs with motion controls.

    It worked the first time around, because the lack of innovation in exactly that field had created a rather stale playing field amongst their competitors. This time around, with the Wii U’s second screen, they had a chance to take the innovation beyond just control mechanisms, and into the very ways you conceive of a video gaming experience . . . but they didn’t.

    And they didn’t advertise. And they didn’t inform anyone that the Wii U was actually going to be a new machine, and not another one of the dozens of peripherals they had already released.

    So, overall – according to the N64 and the Gamecube – Nintendo’s key franchises are good for netting that guaranteed, but rather small, group of hardcore Nintendo loyalists. But as far as the rest of the world is concerned, that isn’t enough to encourage a $350 down-payment.

    Or, or! People could just be really sick and tired of playing Super Mario Kart EIGHT (almost at double digits folks – can’t wait until I’m fifty – then it’ll be Mario Kart 22) and Super Smash Brothers FOUR and Super Mario Bros. A MILLION. You know – a game of Mario Kart certainly does hit the spot. But that’s cool when you’re a kid – and then you pick you might play a couple rounds when you’re in college with your friends – and then, ten years later, when you have a kid and they’re growing up – you might say, “Man, I could really go for a round of Mario Kart. Especially with the little guy.”

    The space between those two Mario Kart purchases was almost twenty years. And fair enough. That’s a good amount of distance between titles to make it feel new again. And that’s the distance that’s needed – because regardless of whether you’re flying through the air, or on walls, or wherever – Mario Kart still feels like Mario Kart. It has to, or else it wouldn’t be Mario Kart.

    But to expect people to go down to the store every five years with a thick wad of bills to see the same formula, with a couple additions, play out on a few new tracks is hardly reasonable. People bought the Wii because waving your hands around in the air and watching a virtual you throw a bowling ball was amazing. And that’s why the third party support came in as well. Because people already bought the machine. Not because it was Nintendo.

    The next Donkey Kong Country looks absolutely impressive. But I’m not compelled to play it. I already have Donkey Kong Country. I can go and play that. I’m not saying the product is bad, but that it isn’t propositioning its value to me. And I don’t think it’s just me. I think a lot of people are having a hard time justifying putting down those kinds of bills to relive some childhood memories.

    It happened to Disney too. They started releasing a whole bunch of straight-to-video sequels of some of their most famous properties. It cheapened their image and made them look like they had no direction.

    What did they do? They started investing in original properties – modern technology – and made an attempt to make themselves current again. A few years later – and we have movies like Wreck It Ralph.

    There’s no reason Nintendo couldn’t design an actual break-through game that utilizes that game-pad unlike any other controller ever created – crafting a game-play experience so unique and special, it catches the world by storm. If that sounds unrealistic – look at Wii Sports. They earned that one. That was all Nintendo. They are capable.

    But if they think the world’s holding their breath for more Donkey Kong or Luigi – then they don’t even have a clue as to what’s dragging their company behind – and why they’re about as modern and relevant as . . . well, anything that’s not on the news. Nintendo has a very “our way or the high way” attitude. When they put their chips in the right pile – this can pay off tremendously for them (re: Wii). When they put their chips in the wrong pile – then they have no right to act surprised when people do indeed take that higher road.

    What worries me more than the lack of sales is that Nintendo couldn’t generate one really break-through game with their absolutely break-through game-machine. Having an entire second screen at your disposal should generate a greater advertisement on behalf of the company than, “If you can’t use your television, then you can play your game on the tablet screen.” That’s the equivalent to me being given a magic wand that can grant any wish, and then using it to prop up an uneven desk.

    Nintendo not selling units isn’t new. Nintendo being unable to produce break-through ideas using a break-through technology is new. And worries me far greater than the waning crowds around the quarter-century old fare they’ve been dishing up.

    Maybe the reason Nintendo isn’t relevant is because Nintendo isn’t being Nintendo enough. Donkey Kong Country was great because something like it had never really been done before. Now it’s supposed to be great because it’s already been done four or five times before.

    Lame.

    Thumb up 2
    • 225 points
      wombatguy880 says...

      You may be right but again is this a Nintendo problem? It seems to be a you, and other fans like you, problem. Nintendo can’t turn it around. They can’t turn it around because 36 games at launch including Maddens, Fifas, ZombiUs, and many other more prominent titles aren’t good enough for you. They can’t turn it around because securing exclusives in Dragon Quest X, Monster Hunter 3, Sonic Lost World, and Bayonetta 2 is not good enough for you. They can’t turn it around because releasing 15 exclusives this first year including Mario 3D World, Zelda WW HD, Wonderful 101, Lego City Stories, Pikmin 3, and Wii Party U aren’t good enough for you. In the future exclusives like Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros, X, and Fire Emblem X Shin Megami Tensei won’t be good enough for you. 3rd party releases like Amazing Spiderman 2, Watch_Dogs, Lego Movie, Project Cars, and others will also not be good enough for you. If none of that works on you then great but February is also the month that Rayman is coming to the PS4 and guess how a PS4 fan reacts to this late addition to their roster or the late port of Tomb Raider? With excitement and glee. Some Nintendo fans need to actually stop being constant negative nellys and maybe that could change the WiiUs fortune.

      It’s also notable that at this moment Nintendo is still in the hardware lead of hardware sold. This won’t last much longer but the point is that Nintendo never had the lead with N64 or Gamecube. They never had a years advantage. It won’t last unfortunately but again that seems to be because every Nintendo “fan” gave up on it when it got no (no apparently meaning as many as the 360 got year one) games last year or when their exclusives failed to excite a fanbase.

      You are right that securing a userbase ensures 3rd party support but Nintendo had 3rd party support on day one. They had plenty of support right up until this Christmas. It’s going to decrease as other systems gain footing against Nintendo. The problem is why that first year went so bad though… and I only have to look at its supposed current fanbase to see the problem. Tons of complaints about how Deus Ex is an old port. That’s great folks. Injustice is new? Diablo 3 is that new? Minecraft is that something new? Angry Birds is that some new game? A new 3d game based on Defender from the Atari 2600 is that supposed to instantly be more important than every game released on a Nintendo platform? It just seems that while the Nintendo fans here sit and complain about everything not so new that Playstation 4 fans are rejoicing over year old ports, 2 year old ports, games from 2009, and nothing is stopping that excitement.

      I have never agreed with Pachter before and I’m reluctant to do so now but honestly it’s the fans that do need to put up or shut up.

      One good note that I have to include here that shows what people who actually own and play their WiiUs are doing is that Nintendo right now despite only having 1 million more units than PS4 in homes right this moment has 10 million more games sold. This means that small userbase that does exist is buying games. If those people didn’t then go out and act like every title was a burden to the console and that nothing can change the tides of the console war impending than maybe this tidbit of good news could mean that it’s really not got to be all this bad here or in the future but unfortunately Kartridger or some other fan will write a retort to this post and again pretend like Nintendo could just throw money at this and the problem would go away….. because the original gamepad ideas in ZombiU, Madden, CoD, NintendoLand, or Mario 3D World aren’t cool enough for them and exclusives like Monster Hunter, Sonic, Dragon Quest, and Bayonetta 2 are also not important and Mario Karts a rehash but every sequel on other consoles is some new thing. Will we ever learn?

      Thumb up 2
  • 189 points
    Jon Stevens says...

    @Kartridger
    Very good point about consoles – I suppose I was thinking more about its recent success with 3DS. I wonder what it is about Nintendo’s previous consoles – PS3 sold badly at launch and Sony turned that around somehow. Its first party issues are a whole other matter meanwhile…

    @wombatguy880
    I totally get what you mean, but the question that that raises is: why didn’t people buy them? There’s definitely been some great games and there are loads more releasing this year, but Nintendo needs to figure out how to get people to buy them.
    I do think that people are far too critical of Nintendo’s own franchises, especially in the face of so many annualised series!

    Thumb up 0
  • 0 points
    says...

    @Jon

    Actually, the PS3 didn’t turn it around. It had a graceful send off with The Last of Us – but the machine itself never jumped in numbers. Even before the PS4 came out, people were laughing at how the 7 year old PS3 still cost almost just as much.

    Sadly – graphics rule the mindset of the people. When you’re putting down multiple-hundred clams on -anything- (especially seeing how cash-strapped a good dose of the population is) – you want it to be the top-of-the-line. You want it to be giving you breaking-edge experiences for a majority of its life-span.

    Nintendo coming out and telling everyone that their console was going to be based, yet again, off of seven-year old technology just hit everyone the wrong way. Here’s a company that just had an untold amount of success with a peripheral that utilized past technology – because the peripheral itself was the main draw. Nintendo bet heavy on the game-play experience. And that experience paid off when everyone saw videos of people literally playing tennis. The fact that the gen-old graphics were covered up by those pretty Nintendo-ian (re: wicked) Mii’s – and the equation was set. Here you saw people having wicked fun with video games – literally like the original commercials that had people swinging their arms around in glee with the controller – seeing your actions be replicated immediately on the screen.

    Game-play sold that machine. Nintendo diverted both the costs of R&D (which, to be fair, they spent admirably in creating memorable experiences with the Wii-mote) and the costs of production. It was a risky gamble – but there were other chips on the table.

    That would seemingly make sense with the Wii-U too. But unfortunately for Nintendo – tablets come with a bit of an pre-existing expectation. Especially when you’re putting down $350 for one. That expectation is – this tablet is tops of the lines. Like, that tablet looks down from atop its perch, and poo’s on the lesser tablets beneath it. So, those in the know, who are interested in technology – probably weren’t sold on the idea of buying a tablet based off of seven year old technology. If anything – they were then waiting for the other shoe to drop. The game-play. If Nintendo was going to sell another last-generation machine – it better have some games up its sleeve.

    Yet Nintendoland was no such product. Even when I heard of it – I wasn’t excited. I was never planning to buy a next generation console. The Gamecube had a lot of great games on it, but for the most part, I didn’t have the funds, or the time to take another Nintendo-related investment risk. Then the Wii happened. Then I forced myself to get the funds together. And then me and my room-mates were playing Mario Kart, Wii Bowling, Smash Bros., House of the Dead, and Resident Evil 4 all the time. We made time for it. It came in out of nowhere and was amazing right off the bat. I had to watch one thirty second video clip of some camcorder at a convention of a guy bowling to know that this was going to be huge.

    I also picked up Fire Emblem, Metroid Prime 3, Harvest Moon, and a handful of other titles as well. Because I love those series. But I wouldn’t have bought a Wii for those series alone. If it were a last generation Gamecube that couldn’t get my attention focused and my pulse blaring – then I wouldn’t have picked one up. Which is where the Wii-U left me.

    I have no doubt that Super Mario 3D World – Mario Kart 8 – Smash Brothers 4 – FIFA 22 – Madden 24 – Grand Theft Auto 283 (Watch Dogs) – Shoot-Someone-In-The-Face 900 are all great titles. But I’m not picking up a seven-year old piece of technology to play these. These SEQUELS really work best when they’re melting your face off with their never-before-seen luscious beauty. Then you can forgive the tired mechanics, the worn premise, the predictable script, and all the other tattered idioms this medium has embraced for a couple decades now (and is still refusing to let go). Because it’s a spectacle. And the game itself – it can be great – it should be great – but it’s merely the vehicle for that spectacle.

    Sequels don’t excite me the way a game like Minecraft does. And I’m not picking up a seven-year-old piece of machinery that has its processes divided between two different pieces of hardware to play a game that most dedicated gaming rigs can have a hard time keeping pace with. But – that’s alright. Because the Wii-U could have had its Minecraft – it had a game-play paradigm that no-one (outside of themselves with the Gamecube) had ever touched before. The never before seen, heard-of, or possibly imaginable games were to be expected. Not only was Nintendo coming off a fresh round of delivering us hot-new forms of awesome – but they had that history with this technology because of the GameCube. It’s almost like, they needed to have a marquee title, that people could immediately understand, and know they would have to at least try.

    That would get the conversation going. But, the conversation never even started. Nintendo, as a multi-billion dollar corporation, couldn’t even fabricate a coherent message concerning their own contraption. It was almost like they were more surprised at it then we were. And from the litany of ideas I’ve heard espoused for possible game creation on this thing – has been far greater on behalf of the peanut gallery than anything Nintendo has put forth. If something is going to point at Zombi-U as some kind of heralding new-type of game-play experience – then, they’re not equipped to handle a conversation of this level.

    So – the year-head lead. That only works when you do something with it. That year-ahead lead should have been enough time to send both Sony and Microsoft scrambling to their drawing boards to come up with ways to mirror Nintendo’s second-screen technology before the next E3. Instead – we get a line-up that is less coherent in game-play ideas – than the Gamecube line-up which was founded upon the bizarre premise that people would want to have eight separate pieces of (expensive) technology hooked up to play one game.

    There should be so many styles of games available on this thing. This thing should be the same revolution that the Wii was. But Nintendo didn’t bring it. Wii Sports displayed the use of the Wii-mote in every interesting way possible. Nintendoland had a couple games that used clever ideas – and the rest which didn’t really impact that second screen very much at all. Next – you should have seen commercials where all the lights are out in the room – one guy is looking at the secondary screen in absolute panic as his friends are blasting creatures on the screen with their Wii-motes – the friends with the Wii-motes yell at their friend, “Hurry up, Bro!” Then – the second screen illuminates. The player holding it raises it up in the air – and proclaims in victory, “I’ve found the treasure!!!” To which they all cheer.

    Simple. So simple. The concept practically invites imagination to come in on a rainbow-riding unicorn. You’d almost have to be stupid not to think up of something amazing for this device. And that’s what really worries me, and probably not just me, here.

    Nintendo isn’t doing it.

    Thumb up 0
  • 225 points
    wombatguy880 says...

    @Jon and Kartridger: The truth is what can be done about it. We should fix the problem. How does one do that? Well here’s the argument as its outlined by fans on fansites. First Nintendo should release new franchises because everyone is so tired of Mario and Zelda… blah blah blah. Ok sure so they do that. Lego City, Wonderful 101, and so on and they underperform. Well yea but maybe Nintendo needs more mature titles… blah blah blah. Ok they fund Ninja Gaidens ultimate version, They get a zombie themed exclusive, They talk 3rd parties into releasing titles like Darksiders 2, CoD, AC3, Mass Effect 3, Deus Ex, Splintercell, and others on this console. They need more exclusives… blah blah blah. They launched with Mario, NintendoLand, ZombiU, Nano Assault Neo, and have since seen Monster Hunter, Lego City, Wonderful 101, Pikmin 3, Game and Wario, Sonic Lost World, Zelda wW HD, Wii Party U, and Mario 3D World. Then there is the constant complaining about power… blah blah blah. Destiny, Metal Gear Solid, Tomb Raider, Remember Me, DragonAge, that new Aliens game, and almost every other major 3rd party title this year and well into next year are confirmed for 360 and PS3. Power has nothing to do with it. People didn’t buy so game developers aren’t going to port.

    “Why didn’t people buy?” Well look to yourself a little. Why do you post like Nintendo is failing you? What did they fail you with? They made a machine more than powerful enough to get the same 360 ports that PS4 will get. They launched it with 36 games (more than any console before or since). They have 25 gigabyte media. They have an affordable price. They didn’t cut backwards compatibility to get here. They had in November as many titles as the 360 got in year one despite not making console sales nearly as high as that prior console. What did Nintendo do wrong? At some point we have to look to ourselves. If everything is a complaint for us, as loyal fans, than why would other potential consumers even bother trying? I’m not saying praise games you wouldn’t play. Let’s be honest though. Year one had amazing games coming to this platform. We also had some pretty amazing exclusives. There’s something for everyone.

    I just don’t see Xbox fans or PS fans acting like this. They get a modern version of Defender from the Atari 2600 and they are stoked. Rayman came out this month (4 months late) and they are stoked. 360 and PS3 ports are being announced for their console and they are stoked. They don’t lament about how it’s not next gen enough to be excited about. They actually buy the games. They don’t tell their friends to avoid buying CoD causing it to lose DLC options because not enough people bought it and then act like that’s their console manufacturers fault. We need to wake up.

    Thumb up 0
  • 225 points
    wombatguy880 says...

    NintendoLand, Wii Party U, Game and Wario, and ZombiU all have very unique ways of showcasing ways to use this controller. Almost every idea is covered.

    I’m an old school pencil and paper D&D playing nerd. I love the idea of a dungeon master on one screen and the adventurers playing through the TV. I’d like to see what they could do with a game like Dokapon Kingdom here. I do think some of you overestimate the value of such a “killer app”. I don’t think it would suddenly sell this console. It just seems to be another thing for you to be negative about and not a real solution. The constant asking why isn’t it done instead of looking at the games that have already done some pretty different stuff and yet never get props for doing so. I’d love to see some of the ideas shown in the games above fleshed out but if noone even acknowledges the prototypes than why would anyone invest in the bigger deal. Spend 40 million fleshing out the multiplayer of ZombiU into a game with a zombie master vs zombie hunters. That’s a great idea but noones buying the little brother idea thats wrapped in a pretty awesome package so why would we invest more than we could ever make back?

    The WiiU also was made to be inclusive not devisive. It has dual analog, triggers, lots of buttons, can’t be held with one hand, and everything else a traditional controller needs. Yes it also does a lot more like nfc, touch, rumble, voice, mic, and video but ultimately the design was one that was made to be able to accomodate a PS3/PS4/360/ONE port. It got those too. It could have even more and ultimately that is what we want. Those developers aren’t going to spend forever making an entirely new game for any system. They want something they can port to. It’s nice that they also include offscreen play but acting like every port should be some revolutionary idea is plain idiocy.

    Thumb up 0
  • 0 points
    says...

    @Wombat

    I think you severely undermine the importance – nay, the very necessity – of a killer app. A killer app is not called such just for the consumer – but the producer as well. It’s everything good in one place. It’s a clarification of the mission statement – it sets apart what your machine does from the competition – and why you have to get this machine in order to play this game. It advertises the brand – and reminds everyone how fun it is to spend time (and money) on it. It promotes an underground vibe – where there are now two new groups in society – those who’ve played it/got it/get it – and those who haven’t. The preference being the former. It is a crystallization of the vision of why this thing was even put together in the first place. It is your Mario 64. It is the thing everyone is asking their friends about at recess – have you seen the master-work in the field of game-play we’ve never even seen before yet?

    These are important. Once you have one of these – then you can have your side franchises. Then you can have your Watch Dogs and your Maddens and your Fifa’s. Because, honestly, as I said above, most people who like playing those kinds of games, like playing it on the most modern technology available. And that simply isn’t the Wii-U any-more. It’s last-gen. And people don’t buy next-gen games on last-gen systems. It’s why I don’t buy 3D home movies on VHS.

    Wii Sports was a killer app like no other. It really brought it. It clarified it. There was no questioning – no wondering – no trying to figure it – you just got it. It’s like, “Man, this is going to be the most awesome thing ever.”

    People know games come out on video game consoles. People know that if they’re going to buy a console – they’ll have a selection of RPG’s, shooters, and sports titles available to them. Their system might not be the best system for farming simulators – but you’ll still get a few. Usually – there has to be a “draw” to get people invested – actually interested – in your product. To, again, separate yourself from the competition. Failing to do that – most people will most likely opt for the most powerful machine – as that one will guarantee a certain number of blockbusters, no matter what.

    So, the killer app is essential. Go out on the street Wombo. Go out there and ask people what the Wii-U is and how it works. Ask them what games are available for it. If you’re met with confusion – it’s not because they’ve betrayed Nintendo in their little dark hearts. It’s because Nintendo didn’t offer them a value proposition that would make good use of their time. They didn’t offer them any bang, and didn’t really try to hard to convince people that they wanted their bucks either. That’s on Nintendo. They didn’t bring a killer app that could promote their console.

    Forget about third place – they’re probably praying people will still make games for their system with two years to go on its lifespan.

    Thumb up 0
  • 225 points
    wombatguy880 says...

    No, I understand it’s importance. I just don’t think you know what a killer app is. Here’s the thing. What sold well for PS4 and XboxOne were games that were ports of games (many of which were available for WiiU). It wasn’t Killzone or some app that could only be done with Kinect or the touch features of the PS4. It was multiplatform ports. Again bitch and moan about how NintendoLand wasn’t unique enough. How Game and Wario wasn’t different. How ZombiU did too little with the gamepad. It’s ok but what makes a killer app for you. Unique gameplay was there. Didn’t win your heart. Ohh but if it was something that forced normal everyday people to hunt for the snitch while the rest played quidditch then it would have been the win? You seriously just don’t know what a killer app is.

    Again this logic only applies to Nintendo and its fans. No other console group is bemoaning their CoDs or their ACs. None care that noone gives a crap about killzone or knack. They buy the games. Only on a nintendo fansite will I argue this point. It wouldn’t be needed elsewhere. Mario 64 was a killer app and the N64 lost. Gamecube had its share of killer apps too. Still lost. A killer app means nothing. 36 launch games meant something. Most of them highly rated titles from big publishers like Activision, EA, Ubisoft, Capcom, and Warner Bros….. but that’s not important because Sony made a sequel to a game noone ever gave two rats about before. Only on the Nintendo fansite is this the argument. Every PS4 port of any 360 title is a killer app elsewhere and therein lies my argument.

    Thumb up 0
  • 0 points
    says...

    @Womb

    Sorry buddy, but it doesn’t look like you’ve got an argument.

    A killer app is something which sells itself, and thus the system it’s played on. Wii Sports was such an app. You keep stating all these launch games, as if some mythical quantity barrier was the obstacle to Nintendo’s success. Couldn’t anybody see? Only if Nintendo had released 50 games would their machine have clarified its mission statement, made interesting commercials, introduced a public discussion that got a buzz going, or had any chance of one of those games actually delivering on the premise of the $350 console. Too bad. At 36 . . . almost!

    But don’t let a non-existing marketing angle and a confusing message lead you to thinking that people were doing anything other than storing up all their Nintendo ill-will and hatred, for which Nintendo is the only company that receives such treatment. If this were the PS4 or X-Bone . . . all would have been forgiven! People’s outlooks would have been different. Not because the value proposition on the hardware of those platforms is different, and perhaps more enticing, but because the dark lord of the Hecterverse summoned all his foul creed, bleeding hate from his universe into our own, making everyone unfairly hold Nintendo to a different standard. Phew! Glad we got to the bottom of that one!

    I think it’s pretty fair to say that perhaps neither of us knows truly the forces or causes of Nintendo’s current situation. Yet, I think it is fair to say, on my travels through the Intarnets, I’ve yet to meet anyone as close-minded and arrogant as yourself Wombat. Every conversation regarding Nintendo is always truncated down to an explanation only you understand, but always fail to clarify for everyone else. Doesn’t everyone else see the truth in the wall of absolute nonsense you just spewed forth? No? Well, that’s because you fail to line up your thoughts in a coherent manner.

    Before discussing Nintendo any further Wombat, I believe it to be absolutely essential for yourself to receive an education. I don’t know where – but anywhere will do. Even public school. Grades 5-6 would be a good starting point. That’s where they introduce the concept of having vision in your written works. They also introduce having a beginning, middle, end, and a coherent theme. It would be an excellent starting point for yourself.

    Good luck on your journey Wombat. I look forward to the day where reading something from your hand begets a sensation other than the horror of watching the words I’ve grown to love, lined up and mowed down, execution style, by the most thoughtless blow-horn this side of recorded English has ever known.

    Thumb up 1
  • 225 points
    wombatguy880 says...

    That’s some amazing debate skills you have. I guess I lost.

    Thumb up 1
  • 0 points
    says...

    No, you lost a long time ago.

    You lost when the very arguments you put forth had already been answered – in the post you were replying to. The arguments had all been laid forth – their intermittent connections displayed time and time again – and it prompted no response from you other than to ponder why people treated Nintendo differently than the competition.

    Why aren’t people buying a piece of seven year old technology to play modern games, you muse aloud. After the exasperated sigh from the audience – it’s put forth that perhaps sequels and third party software don’t particularly draw a crowd on a platform that has been notorious for their absence in the past. Not so much that people can’t forgive Nintendo for not having third party software, as much as it is that they most likely got accustomed to getting better third party fare on other consoles. Hate to spring it to you – but coming out and saying that you’ve got “the third parties support” with a Nintendo product means next to nothing these days. It’s always an on-and-off affair, where sensing the dread of having absolutely no non-Nintendo titles, Nintendo goes out and begrudgingly rings in a few pared-down knock-off’s of some popular franchises. No, you’re not getting the same Call of Duty game everyone else is – you’re getting the one your system can handle. As if acknowledging – the only market that exists for this software are those that ended up with a Nintendo product, when they really wanted a Sony or Microsoft one.

    How ’bout the fact that the main message Nintendo could bring with their second screen – was that people who were pissed at you for playing Nintendo on the television, could now take it from you, and you could go play your game in the corner, on the smaller screen. Somebody hand these guys a prize for missing the boat on the larger concept at play.

    Bringing forth inter-personal relationships with a screen that only one person could see – had the potential to change this medium from one whose controller inputs were merely the buttons on a pad – to the very expression on your face. The idea of one world being viewed between two separate lenses creates a much more awe-inspiring imagination trip than having one screen be your inventory – or acting as some mini-game interface while the main game still goes on. Those ideas aren’t bad – but they’re secondary. They don’t push the potential of having the console – they’re the cool extras. According to you though – the world should have fallen in love with some ideas that barely scratch the surface of what’s available.

    I said it before – Nintendo had a chance to completely change the way games are viewed. How they are experienced. And on a much greater level than just changing the control mechanism. But they fell short. Their vision didn’t include that expanded world, but instead focused on complicating the processes within the existing one. Now all the secondary side stuff you used to hit pause to do can be done on your tablet. Great – so the tablet is basically a screen for secondary stuff?

    Year of the Luigi indeed.

    According to you though – people should be falling over themselves at these great concepts. Concepts so great – they’ve managed to garner absolutely zero buzz within the gaming press or media. Concepts so awesome – all those people who really love games are staying away – and not talking about it – because they just hate Nintendo from the bottom of their hearts.

    When I look at Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros. 4, Super Mario 3D World – I see a whole bunch of games that could’ve been made for the Wii. That secondary screen comes into absolutely zero play with any of these products. It’s almost as if Nintendo couldn’t even bother to invest in their own vision this time. It’s like, “Don’t worry everybody – it’s still the same old Mario!” When everyone’s like, “Wow – you had some real potential with that second screen there – it’s still being used as an inventory interface, eh?”

    And commercials. There are none. There are no advertisements on gaming sites. There are no cultural processes to get people involved with the brand. There’s just Nintendo – sitting back, doing what they’ve always done, thinking that the green will just keep rolling in. Heck, sometimes it works like that. But not this time. And seeing the absolute lack of vision that got them into this current situation, and their response so far with the calibre of their releases in terms of delivering on that second screen, it’s not hard to see why most people haven’t picked one up yet.

    It’s like a more expensive record player that plays discs that no other record player does – but those special discs aren’t sold where you live. So, what’s the point of getting the machine? It’s a more expensive version of old technology – that can’t deliver on the very premise that released it.

    All things considered, I’m impressed they still managed to sell 2.8 million of ’em.

    Thumb up 1

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Log In 0 points Log in or register to grow your Ninja Score while interacting with our site.
Nintendojo's RSS Feeds

All Updates Podcast
News Comments
Like and follow usFacebookTwitter Friend Code Exchange + Game with Us Join the Team!