Never let it be said those behind everyone’s favorite little plumber are afraid to speak their minds!
We all know perception is reality right? Whenever you attempt to go against the grain in that regard, it’s very much an uphill battle. What the public thinks they know vs. what they actually know are two different things, but good luck making that case to someone who already has their mind firmly made up. In the current gaming landscape, the perception is that Nintendo holds a distant third position behind both Microsoft and Sony. Like it or lump it.
Depending on your perspective, you may agree or disagree with that assessment. While you can argue with me ‘till you’re blue in the face about how Nintendo has innovated this or changed the nature of that, you’ll do little to move the needle of public opinion. As it stands now, Nintendo has simply failed to offer up anything that can be considered remotely “next-gen,” even after it beat both its PS4 and Xbox One counterparts to market. However, that’s of little concern to the grand-daddy of games Shigeru Miyamoto. To him, what they’re doing at Nintendo is far more valuable than anything going on in other corners of the gaming world. In fact, he went so far as to talk some serious smack regarding Nintendo’s peers during a recent interview. “What the other companies are doing makes business sense, but it’s boring. The same games appear on every system. At Nintendo we want an environment where game creators can collaborate and think of ideas for games that could have never happened before.” Miyamoto touts.
Right off the bat, I gotta’ say I love it when the soft-spoken Miyamoto gets his feathers all ruffled. Anytime he tries to man-up and talk like a badass, I can’t help but see him as the adorable child-Link who sets off to vanquish the evil Ganondorf after acquiring the Master Sword for the first time. Problem is, even though I admire his stones for picking a fight of this magnitude, he doesn’t remotely have what it takes to back it up. Nintendo’s current standing in the market is a perfect example of how nostalgia and quirkiness will get you so far, and then it will garner you a nice big “going out of business” sign. I grant Miyamoto his point about the repetitive nature of today’s generation, as there’s no denying that the differences of owning an Xbox vs. a PlayStation aren’t as significant as they once were. If you want truly unique gameplay in 2014 and beyond, what you’ll find on the 3DS (and yes even the Wii U) will certainly be unlike anything their competitors have to offer.
Unfortunately, that’s simply not enough. There are two prime obstacles Nintendo faces with this misguided attitude (that sees them burying their head to the transition happening within the industry). First is that power does matters. Say what you will but people want their systems to do more than just play games these days. Second, there’s only so far Mario and Link can carry a company. Admittedly Nintendo offers experiences that can be found nowhere but in their own backyard, very few outside the traditional licenses prove to be worth a damn (and are typically unmemorable). That mindset does not bode well for their future endeavors believe you me.
I mean think about it. When’s the last time a friend came to you going ape-shit over the latest MUST-PLAY game, followed by the sentence “…and it’s only on the Nintendo Wii U.” I’m guessing just south of never.