Friday, February 11, 2005

Nintendo Definatley Losing It


An article that makes an interesting point on tomshardware. Excerpt:

Like a few other gamers, I bought the new Nintendo DS the day it was released here in the U.S. (Nov. 21). I was hoping it would be the beginning of a resurgence for the console gaming pioneer. I was also optimistic that it would finally represent an attempt by Nintendo to capture older audiences, a segment of the population that they have never seemed interested in reaching out to before. Unfortunately, in spite of losing market share at an alarming rate, they won't climb onto what could be a life raft for them - the adult market. They are still choosing to focus almost entirely on pre-teens.

They may not realize that there are many adults out there now who grew up with Nintendo, and still want to connect with the company that was associated so strongly with video gaming in their youth. The new "geek chic" has made it acceptable for them to carry around handheld gaming devices that would have been socially verboten in the past. But despite this huge opportunity, Nintendo still chooses only to court America's pre-pubescent youth.

Is that really where they think the money is? Or are they just out of touch with who the older gamers of America are? I think the latter may be the case. Consider that Nintendo's Chief of Public Relations, NiKen Toyota, congratulated himself on the recent increase of DS purchases by Mature (19+) gamers in Japan. He sited the advertisements featuring Japanese pop star Hikaru Utada as the reason it has risen from 49% to 59%. Well, that's great for the Japanese market, where they enjoy things incomprehensible to the American mind. But do they really think effeminate Japanese pop stars will connect them to mature gamers here in the States?

While Nintendo used to be the big cheese it's attitude is going to make it go back to making playing cards pretty soon. While the games (al lot of them anyway) used to be kick ass and for all age groups, the current round of releases is horrible and shoddy (with some exceptions). WHY in godsname are they acting like a toy company and marketing to little kids? Where's the latest F-Zero? Where's the latest Legend of Mana?

I've always had a love/hate relationship with Nintendo. I've hated their fascist licensing schemes (If you wanted to be a developer they had a habit of butting in a lot), but I must admin that NES, SNES & Gameboy games have been a huge part of my youth. That is why I still want them to succeed. Let's hope they see the light one day before it's too late so people don't alway have to use the term "The good old days" when referring to them.


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