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Discussion in 'Gaming' started by Peter Kim, May 15, 2003.
I guess the question I forgot to pose and what the article fails to mention - what can Nintendo do to reverse their fortunes?
Obviously, vastly improve 3rd party support...but how do you get these publishers to sustain their enthusiasm for a company that continually seems to fail in everyone's (including Nintendo's) expectations?
Simply, I don't think this is a chicken and egg argument - 3rd party support is necessary, but won't be bolstered as long as these publishers believe Nintendo is losing. In other words, Nintendo has to improve console market share/sales first.
What can they do to sway buyers (without having the buzz of 3rd party support)?
It's just one bad decision after another for Nintendo, and yes that sounds very similar to how I felt about Sega and how they handled the Dreamcast. They didn't focus on the right games, they didn't make the right release deadlines, and they didn't seem to know exactly what the public really wanted from them.
I think Nintendo has tried to do some positive things and it's helped them (Metroid Prime, Metroid Fusion) but in the end they've made too many bad decisions with the Gamecube.
Here is an abreviated list of my complaints and what I think Nintendo has done wrong with the Cube:
1) While trying to make themselves attractive to an older demographic they decide to suddenly to change their next big Zelda release and make it a cell shaded game. That didn't really bother me much but I know a lot of 21 year old males that immediately said "Stupid!" "Kidding game!" and never looked back. That just doesn't help you when your trying to sell videogames to a larger audience. Does Nintendo really believe 10 year olds are playing their Zelda games? I don't. They need to Market Zelda to the same market they sold Metroid Prime. In case anyone failed to notice (HELLO NINTENDO!) Metroid prime is their biggest selling Gamecube game in America. That tells you something. The most mature and coolest looking game on the Cube has sold the best in the U.S. Thats not a coincidence.
2) Nintendo's continued high 3rd party licensing fees. This has clearly been the biggest achilles heel for Nintendo and it's their own damn fault! They have long been known to charge 3rd party developers much higher licensing fees for making games on their machine. Why on earth would you do such a thing when your trying to attract more 3rd parties than your competition?!?!? Just recently they announed they were lowering their fees but thats a little too much too late! Big, stupid, mistake.
3) They still don't have enough 1st party releases! When your not getting a whole lot of quality 3rd party support the last thing you want is a lack of 1st party titles to keep your system selling. Thats exactly what Nintendo has done here and it's the same thing they did with the Nintendo 64. Now, I must say they done a better job with the Cube and it's had a lot more 3rd party support and a little more 1st party but it's still not enough! Just look at 2003 so far and you'll see exactly what I mean. In the past several months they've had only one major release. Zelda! Thats it! Great game but not enough to keep your system hot for several months. Currently the next big title for the Cube is Wario World and thats not until late June I believe. Even that game is not a big time release but it is 1st party. So, after that you have Mario Golf in July and then you've got F-Zero in September! Bad choice again! They claimed a year ago that their goal was to release a 1st party title every month. They are so far from achieving that that it's pathetic. This major corporation just doesn't seem to be able to meet it's goals in game development and deadlines. You can't delay all your games til late in the year and expect success in this buisness. This is the same mistake Microsoft is making right now but luckily for them their outstanding hardware specs and DVD playback have helped them keep selling at an ok level.
And yet they are now bundling the gameboy player with gamecubes for the same $149 price:
Over the past few months I've noticed that a lot of the big 3rd party games for the Cube, wind up at a discount price not too long after they're released. That's not really a good sign.
It seems like if you're a little patient, you can pick up Cube games on the cheap. Why pay 50 bucks for, say, Resident Evil 0 or Super Monkey Ball, if they'll be marked down to 30 bucks within 2 months of release. And there are a few 3rd party games I've seen for 20 bucks, while the same games on PS2 and Xbox are still selling at $50.
Nintendo seems to have shot their load. Mario, Zelda & Metroid are all out to mixed results. There are the inevitable sequels to come but those won't have quite the allure. F-Zero and Mario Kart will be great, but if Nintendo's big 3 couldn't move hardware, why would these.
I think Nintendo is barking up the wrong tree with their much ballyhooed GC-GBA connectivity. It's a nice feature, but overall not substantial enough to pull people in.
Mario didn't sell so hot, but Metroid and Zelda sold extremely well.
I think Nintendo's biggest flaw lies in a combination of the licensing fees and their focus on GBA/GCN connectivity. The licensing fee problem has 1 solution: lower the fees substantially. That should increase the number of third party games on the console.
The GBA/GCN thing is a VERY good idea, but I find the biggest problem with that will be my neck. It freakin' hurts after switching between my TV and GBA! And I'm not sure I want to pay $50 for a game that requires me to do so, even if it really is good.
They need to get some more games in their classic series that are similar in style but push the boundaries, like Mario 64 and Zelda: OoT did on the N64. They're giving their teams a LOT of creative freedom, which is why Super Mario Sunshine had the water pack and Zelda: TWW was cel-shaded, but they need more games like Metroid Prime that continue a classic series in a modernized sense.
Even so, they still have StarFox and F-Zero GX, both of which look great, and a bunch of other great exclusive titles. Their main problem with this year's E3 is their lack of a new Zelda/Mario game that is a REAL Zelda/Mario game. Screw Tetra's Trackers and Four Swords, that's not what I want.
Mario had a great first week in Japan & N. America, then pretty much fizzled out.
Zelda had a great first week in Japan, then fizzled out. N. American sales have been much stronger.
Metroid had a great first week, then fizzled a bit. I can't imagine that it's sold well in Japan.
But, the various bundling/free game deals Nintendo has offered had to boost that a bit.
As far as the GBA-GC connecting, again it's a nice idea, but if it's utilized in mundane ways, who cares? If I were to buy Madden on the Cube (not likely for either) would I want to split my attention between my big screen and my tiny little GBASP, not really. I'd rather focus on the main game. Now if Nintendo would make something like a blank GBA cart that you could download your GC mini games to, so you could play them whenever you wanted, that would be more intriguing.
Plus, I think Nintendo assumes that everyone either has a GBA already, or that they're willing to spend $70-100 (depending on the model) for a GBA, and $10 for a link cable, just to play mini-games.
I'm not asking for online, because honestly, I've got Xbox Live and a PS2 Network Adaptor and don't use either of them too much. But Nintendo has to start doing something more than hawking GBAs and GC updates of their various franchises with the whole attitude of "We're Nintendo, you know they're good"
They should have had the GBA player ready last year or earlier. Ditto with killer games and system sellers like Zelda:WW and Metroid. They should already be readying those titles for their next console as well.
An for god's sake, they need to get buddy-buddy with Square-Enix. Dragon Warrior is a major player over in Japan and would sell systems. Ditto with FF over here. Those are console-selling titles for a lot of the hardcore gamers (the big spenders). You know how many Gamecubes you could sell in the US with a new FF or Chrono game/remake? Or how many they would sell with Dragon Warrior of any sort on GC in Japan? And I'm not talking Crystal Chronicles kiddy looking stuff (although the game looks OK), I'm talking real FF with giant demons and dragons blowing-up-cities type stuff.
I still feel alot of the reason for the fall of Nintendo from #1 is the no-RPG N64 era. They lost a lot of support and hype from us gaming geeks over to Sony.
The thing is, the GBA (and SP) have sold better than the GameCube. Chances are that most people (gamers) have one of the two.
I shouldn't get involved really, but you know what? Some shit needs said:
E3... I was just perusing the latest articles on E3 and the GC and noticed that, well, there are no "big" games coming out soon, if you will. XBox and PS2 seem to be taking over not to mention their price cuts. Don't get me wrong, I love Nintendo and there first party games, it's just that I don't understand where they are going. Halo 2 vs. Mario Kart: Double Dash, no contest. GTA vs. Mario Party 5. Ditto. Zelda vs. anything, I take Zelda. Alas, I'm concerned that Sony and "Micro"soft have begun to be the foremost systems to buy. Oh yeah, I wish Nintendo would get some more damn games worth buying. You can't gripe about your sales because besides the huge titles, there are no other games that I would spend my grass cutting money on.
Thanks for reading this rant.
One of my favorite things in Zelda: TWW was how they played off the cartoon look with the black and white stuff. That was a cool effect.
I don't have the game, but played it at a friend's house and watched him play a lot of it.
I don't care if they're big or not, the main problem people have seen is the lack of quality GCN software (to be honest, Nintendo is probably the developer making the worst batch of software for the GCN right now, IMO). Those 5 games (especially VJ, RE4, and PN03) are already sold for me, that's all I care about.
I own both a PS2 and XBox. Xbox is on Live, and I am about to hook up my PS2 online soon also. Actually, probably tomorrow after buying a switch and the adapter. Then to choose a game. I have been out of the PS2 market for a while now. WHY? Because the XBox is online. The PS2 has gathered dust since the day I connected that broadband cable to the XBox. It is absolutely the neatest feature...I hardly even play by myself anymore, I love to go Live because it is not the same experience twice. It adds a whole new realm to any game. Games that would bore me after a short while if not online I find myself playing for hours on Live. I can only hope that PS2 online is as good. (Is it? What games for PS2 that have online capability should I look at?)
The gamecube? Well, considering when it first came out, you could get it in what...black or purple or other fruity colors? Seemed to gimmicky for me. I waited. I had the PS2 to play with, and was considering either a GC or XBox. Well after seeing the horrible line up (before some adult focused games came out)for the Gamecube my mind was made up. XBox and the rest is history. I could care LESS about hooking up a gameboy to the GC. Jesus, do they want us to play games 29 hrs a day or what?
Not to mention that Sony made an AWESOME choice when they made the PS2 backwards compatible. Damn nintendo keeps coming out with different cartridges. What a waste. I hope Microsoft sees the light when they eventually do come out with X2 so my hard-earned games won't be useless. Online gaming is the future, and Nintendo missed the boat. People that are content with their XBox or PS2 I don't see becoming converts. The best thing they could do is redesign that thing w/ internet connectivity and *hope* that people will buy it as a kinda supplimental system, like something different to play. If they want to go after the lions share of the market, they will fail, and miserably at that.
Sorry Nintendo. I loved you, I revered you. How awesome was it to play arcade games at home when you got your first NES? Ahhh the memories. And just to let you know, I prob will get a gamecube, the wife wants it kinda, and I am curious about Metroid as I LOVED that game on NES. Zelda, well, I was never really into that series, played the first one, and it was fun, but just didn't keep me interested. Final Fantasy was awesome. I am buying a NES off of ebay right now and do you know what Final Fantasy is commanding with the manuals and maps? 65.00 and MORE! Man I shoulda treated my stuff better when I was a kid. Lesson learned, but I am 27 now...lol
I am just ranting now, I will stop. I guess you can tell what kinda games/genere that I am into from my post. If only nintendo would cater to people such as myself, as I know that many more think along the same lines I do (I only have a few gaming friends, but they do agree).