Posted by: seanmalstrom | October 11, 2014

Email: What happens when nobody knows or cares about electrical engineering

The entire Gameboy line has insane battery life even the GBA SP & Micro last longer than the 3DS XL, and do I even have to mention how pathetic the Wii U gamepad’s is? The New 3DS has about a hour or  so over the XL but is that really much of a accomplishment when all those tiny mobile devices with their overkill specs and resolutions are pushing into the double digits nowadays?

Nintendo not giving a damn about the importance of battery life since the 3DS is very evocative of the problems and mindsets that have plagued seem that system launched, it should come to no suprirse to you that their idol the Virtual Boy also had garbage battery life but maybe in that case they were doing us a favor!

The Gameboy definitely needed color, better scrolling, and a backlit screen. Despite that, it seems like Nintendo’s handhelds are going in reverse. I liked the DS but only when the DS abandoned the N64ish gaming style (Mario 64 DS, Metroid Prime Hunters Demo) and went full 2d (NSMB, etc).

Gaming seems to have the same problem that movies do. Have you noticed that while movie picture quality is extremely good and getting better all the time, the movies themselves keep declining in quality? This isn’t an ‘old man yells at cloud’ situation, everyone is noticing it. If you run an original NES hardware, you will be stunned at how bad the screen quality is especially with interlace lines going everywhere. “We stared at this crap for hours?” But the games are soooooo good.

What worries me with Nintendo is that they are having a crisis of philosophy. Yamauchi said prior to the DS and Wii release that either Nintendo will rise to heaven or sink to hell. With DS and Wii, they rose to heaven. With 3DS and Wii U, they sunk to hell. What is different between the DS/Wii and 3DS/Wii U? They share the same branding but follow different philosophies of gaming.

What this tells us is…

1) Nintendo wants to believe DS/Wii success was largely due to marketing.

2) Nintendo does not like making the games responsible for DS/Wii success. (We heard the rest of the Game Industry bitching about it, why would Nintendo be any different? It’s not an oversight that Nintendo didn’t make a Super Mario Brothers game for a couple decades!)

3) The 3DS/Wii U games that are similar (sequels) to the high performing DS/Wii games are token efforts. You can tell Nintendo’s heart is not in them (NSMB U, NSMB 2, Wii Sports U, Wii Fit U, etc).

From a business perspective, Nintendo had every right to change philosophy after the Gamecube disaster. But from that same business perspective, Nintendo has NO RIGHT to change philosophy after the DS/Wii success. Yet, Nintendo did. Why?

The purpose of the handheld is to have long battery life, to be able to be carried anywhere, and so on. The Gameboy was color-less and beat out competitors because the competitors kept focusing on things that didn’t matter to handhelds like picture quality over battery life.

What does virtual 3d gaming have to do with handheld gaming? Nintendo doesn’t answer this. Instead, Nintendo reframes the question as ‘offering unique experience that only an integrated hardware/softer can make’. That’s a tidy arrangement. It’s another way of saying, “We’re going to do whatever the hell we want.”

By the way Nintendo seems to be trending, Generation 9 Nintendo is going to be much, much worse than Generation 8 Nintendo. At least with Generation 8, you got some decent 2d games, you got a Wii Sports U, a Wii Fit U, but you’ll likely be missing all of those in Gen 9. In Gen 9, it will just be 3d Mario, Aonuma Zelda (maybe a Wind Waker 2), and more Gamecube sequels. I didn’t think it was possible for Nintendo to go worse in Gen 9 then they did in Gen 8, but I also didn’t think Nintendo would go full retard after the DS/Wii success. I also didn’t think Nintendo would stop making Super Mario Brothers games after Super Mario Brothers 4. Nintendo is not a rational company who has been coasting on being in front of a major trend decades. Those ‘diminishing returns’ is because Nintendo ego-maniacally transmutes their ‘before-the-trend’ success stories with ‘creative genius’. True creative genius defies all trends. Since Nintendo believes they are full of ‘creative genius’ , they are irrationally ignoring business trends.

This means more 3d Mario, more Aonuma Zelda, more of the shit you don’t want.


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