Nintendo Doing Nintendo Things and it Drives Me Nuts


Nintendo; we love to love them, loathe to hate them. It’s simple, really. They make really good quality games and innovations, both hardware and software alike, and we love that. As adoring fans, it hurts us inside to see the longest standing player in the business consistently stumbling more than walking in stride. With their recent investors meeting, it was a little of both.

First, the good stuff, mostly because Nintendo keeps getting a bad rep from the main audience, whether real or trolling. Nintendo is doing very well, and are very healthy. They’re finally turning operating profits, after three very tough years – two of those bearing WiiU’s weight. Though while the WiiU has taken a very nice uptick, the 3DS was the real behemoth in the show.

The 3DS hardware family, ie; the original 3DS models up to the now New Nintendo 3DS, has surpassed 50 million total sales units worldwide. That’s impressive considering it’s only four years into it’s life and the original DS (including the Lite and DSi models) has sold over 150 million units since 2004. That’s already a third of the way to what the previous generation did, and this time amidst much stronger competition in the mobile market with much more powerful phones and popularity of mobile free-to-pay games, not to mention a much more powerful direct competitor that is the Playstation Vita.

Then there’s the flagship 3DS selling games last year. Super Smash Bros 3DS sold just over 6 million units alone in 4 months, with Pokemon Alpha Ruby & Omega Sapphire reaching 9.35 million units combined in four months. That’s insane! Not only is it insane, it shows that people are still hungry for the strong quality games that Nintendo releases time after time. Sure, games like Tomodachi Life and Bravely Default aren’t gobbled up to the extent of the mainstay titles here in the States and most of the western market, but it sure as shit has it’s niche audience!

Case in point, the WiiU did much better, selling close to 200% over what it did in the prior year alone, (250% over in Australia)! The reason – and you’d be stupid to deny it – starts solely with Mario Kart 8. This game pushed more WiiU’s out the door than the most single greatest Mario game to ever grace us in years since New Super Mario Bros DS which was Super Mario 3D World. Then of course, the bombshell that is Super Smash Bros WiiU.

How strong and important was Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros Wii U to the WiiU? 4.7 and 3.3 million units each, respectively! Those are the numbers the WiiU desperately needed, and now it can hopefully stay on track with the high caliber games only Nintendo can create.

So that’s all fun and dandy, right! Lest not we forget that I’m also talking about Nintendo. Where there is fan bandwagoning, there is fan spite. The big one first focuses on the 3DS and Nintendo “promoting the popularization of Multiplayer Local Play in Overseas Markets”. Remember, Nintendo is a Japanese company first and foremost, and the west is the overseas they’re talking about. They say it’s “a significant role in the expansion of the handheld” market and “games that are actually really fun to play tend to spread by word-of-mouth”. Because the internet isn’t real people talking about games that are actually really fun to play. Nope. Not at all.

Here’s where Nintendo keeps losing fans’ faith in the west; we require internet online play, and Nintendo has been circumventing that idea ever since former Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said, “Customers do not want online games”. This was as much bullshit then at the boom of online broadband gaming with Xbox Live hitting the ground running, and the PS2 having picked up steam with games the like of SOCOM: US Navy Seals. Hell, the Dreamcast pulled some damn impressive numbers with games like Phantasy Star Online and their 2K sports games, and that was primarily dial-up!

Now we have games that would have bastions of hope for online play on Nintendo consoles that can only ever be done through the likes of PC emulation in the future – or now, I don’t know, I don’t keep up with that scene anymore. F-Zero GX, New Super Mario Wii, Super Mario 3D World, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Donkey Kong Country Returns, and I could go on and on. These games would have benefited more than ten-fold if online multiplayer were included, yet they weren’t, leaving the ever aging gaming demographic – the ones that helped Nintendo shape who they are now – forever wishing we could play with our best friend that we left behind thousands of miles away due to school, work, or any other life changing event.

But hey! Online play is too hard. That’s why they keep teasing us these incomplete online components in Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros WiiU which includes voice chat support in the lobby only, and no free-for-all friend invite support because reasons, leaving us folks who want to ravage our friends online with competitive insults while we cross that finish line and knock them out of their last stock to pursue other outlets like Skype, or y’know, a competing console with the whole nine yards, meaning it can’t be all that hard with a veteran team of developers and a pool of coders readily available to take that dream job at Nintendo – be it in Japan or western developed Nintendo games.

What do I know, though. Well, I know I want to give them my money for my entertainment and satisfaction, and I want others to experience their awesomeness to keep them afloat.

Finally, we have Amiibos. Ugh, Amiibos. Love to hate them, mostly because my wife has been caught in the hype of wanting to collect every single one of them, in any way possible. 5.7 million of these little turds have sold since inception to retail and online stores worldwide. Yet you still can’t find that fucking Rosalina, let alone Lucario or Shulk, because they apparently only made five total and, oh yeah, retail exclusives!

People are speculating the Seattle port strike have been hurting distribution of Amiibos, New Nintendo 3DS units, and let alone 70% of total goods coming in from Asia to the States in general, which may explain why we’re the only ones having a hard time coming by these things. That’s a fair assumption, but you figure what initially gets to the wild would still have been in abundance? I don’t know. Whatever, I guess I’m not a big time analyst for a reason.

What else you got for us, Nintendo?

“Limited Edition” Amiibos? You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. What in the hell do you call what’s happening now?! Ugh. There’s no way this can be topped, you say. Oh but it can, my friend.

WalMart exclusive.

Yeap. Count me out. I’m out. If you love something, set it free, right? Sorry Nintendo, decisions like these is what makes me want to strangle you – want to, but never do because I love you and anger is only emotional. I’m out.

I’ll see you tomorrow if you make it up to me by actually having Meta Knight available. I love you. Please don’t leave me.