Posted by: seanmalstrom | July 5, 2016

Signs Nintendo is entering Hell

“We will either rise to Heaven or sink to Hell,” said Yamauchi about the Seventh Generation. Generation Seven was Heaven for Nintendo, Generation Eight was Hell. What will Generation Nine be?

It could go either way. Zelda BoW “WOW” was a good sign, but there are many bad signs coming out too. These are things Nintendo would never have said before the Wii came out. I do not believe Nintendo can survive another ‘Hell’ period and maybe not even a ‘Mixed’ period either. I believe the old age of the executives has blinded them of the realities of the young gaming present.

Above: Future of Nintendo if the NX goes bust… imagine old cartridges and systems being burned alive. (BTW, the scene with the four horse ride toys is to represent the four horsemen.)

Here is a sign that Nintendo is going to enter Hell. Miyamoto refuses to own up to the failure of Starfox U:

 

“I think personally Star Fox is a really fun game if you sit down and play it. I think, for example, an elementary school kid who plays it without any preconceived notions, I think it would be really fun for them. I think it’s also really, really fun for siblings to play it together.”

Preconceived notions did not stop the adoption of the D-pad over the joystick with the NES, the adoption of the Gameboy, the adoption of the analog stick, the adoption of touch gaming, and the popularity of motion controls. I never heard Miyamoto praise the gaming audience about having an open mind then. No. He accepted every praise that he and Nintendo were ‘gods’ and ‘geniuses’. Now when one of his games fails, it is not his fault.  No. It is the fault of the audience and our ‘preconceived notions’. This is exactly what Sakamoto said about the audience as to why Metroid Other M failed. These executives are too old and need to get out of the way.

Lately, we have the Investor Q and A with Nintendo. Unknown to everyone, Malstrom was secretly there with a microphone. Let’s find out what was being said:

Let’s talk about VR first. We are well aware that other companies are developing games and game-related products using VR technologies, and that consumers are interested in all of this. I cannot say anything specific at this time, but understand that we also consider VR to be a promising technology, and we are conducting research with much interest.

With much interest! With Iwata Asks series, we find out that Nintendo never got over the failure of Virtual Boy and still refuse to accept that it was a failure. Generation 8 saw Nintendo go full speed ahead with OMG 3d and High Definition Gamecube games (with some platformers). I have uncovered this hidden video, deep within the vaults of Nintendo, that reveal this ‘great interest’ in VR. Behold:

About the “Iwata Asks” section, I do not have a background in game development, so I would not be able to give very interesting questions. Going forward, we will create opportunities to provide information in a fitting format about the background to our game development and the interesting aspects of it.

The company president is a businessman, not a developer. OMG! Who would have thought???

Kaz Hirai is the president of Sony with developer ties. If anyone is going to do another Iwata Asks, it’d be Kaz. This might explain why the PS4 is doing well.

Miyamoto: The former President Mr. Iwata and I had talked about how the “Iwata Asks” section had fallen into a rut, and we will consider what format will best suit this type of content.

No one reads anymore. Even on the Message Forums, it has become nothing but spamming of gifs and barely intelligible memes.

I would first like to clarify my purported comments on Wii U. I do not wish to make excuses, but at the time of the Wii U launch, I was responsible for our sales base in the United States, and I never made any pessimistic comments. In an internal sales representative meeting, someone projected that we would sell close to 100 million Wii U systems worldwide. The thinking was that because Wii sold well, Wii U would follow suit. I said that, since the Wii had already sold so well, we need to clearly explain the attraction of the Wii U if we are to get beyond that and sell the new system, and that this would be no easy task. I was responsible for selling the Wii U, and I knew what was good about it, so I talked with those in charge of sales about the importance of conveying the attractiveness of Wii U to consumers. I am guessing that some of this communication may have come across in a negative tone.

Miyamoto: It is true that we are having a hard time with Wii U sales, due to its price and the added fact that tablets are distributed free of charge in the market. I do think Wii U continues to be attractive as a media device that changes life in the living room. A similar challenge continues with NX. As we had announced that the launch will be March of next year, we made no announcements about NX at E3, the world’s largest game expo held in Los Angeles. Our exhibit at E3 focused on the Wii U version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild game, for which the same experience will also be available on NX.

The bold is extremely worrying. First, Miyamoto blames the failure of the Wii U on its high price or on tablets, not on market rejection. Then, he praises the Wii U for changing life in the living room (what!). And here is the really worrying point, he says the NX WILL HAVE THE SAME CHALLENGE AS WII U.

What does that mean, dear reader? That means the NX will have an ‘innovation’ that is difficult to market.

 

Miyamoto: As for VR, we are researching not just VR but AR and many other technologies. We have a range of core technology including 3D, and we are also considering the possibility of implementing these in our own hardware development. For VR in particular, we are continuing our research, and looking into development with a mind to how our current core products are meant to be played for a relatively long period of time. We are looking into the possibilities of providing an experience that gives value when played for a short time, and how to eliminate the concerns of long-duration use. We are also looking into how to make sure that a parent doesn’t need to worry when their child puts on a VR device in their living room. At this year’s E3, I was on the show floor, and it did not feel like VR was that big of a topic. This could be because VR is not that much to look at for the spectator, even while it might be highly appreciated for the person actually experiencing it. It might also not be clear how the experience can be made into a product.

Everything Miyamoto says there scares the hell out of me.

Miyamoto: Video content is a really interesting area for us. Going forward, it is extremely important for Nintendo to move beyond the limits of game systems and make good use of its character resources in order for Nintendo not to be forgotten. Nintendo has a variety of characters. That one company has all the rights to so many characters is something that is recognized as unprecedented. To avoid any misunderstandings, we have never said that we will produce a movie. We have talked about our expansion into video and other areas, but we are not saying anything official about the details. What I can say is that video is one of the business areas where Nintendo is making good use of its IP.

For Generation Seven, Nintendo said they saw movies, books, and other media as competition to video games. They wanted their video games to be more appealing than… movies.

In Generation Eight, Nintendo says they want video games to ‘co-exist’ with other media which is why Wii U was revealed with people playing games off on the small screen instead of the big TV.

Now, in Generation Nine, Nintendo wants to make their own movies and other non-gaming content.

These are signs of a company in massive, massive decline. The reason why we like Nintendo characters is because of what they can do. Mario can jump. Kirby can suck. Link has his sword and Batman style items. Samus can turn into a ball and get new items. Donkey Kong throws his weight around. Yoshi has his tongue. Nintendo characters are characters only in the video game sense. The video game sense of characters differs from other media because they are a vehicle to players for agency within the game world. No one wants to know Nintendo characters’ feelings. Sakamoto tried this with Metroid: Other M. Remember?

Miyamoto: In striking that balance, while it’s important that we do not overextend by putting an excessive amount of content in our games, the only solution is how to make software that sells well.

What is ‘excessive amount of content’? Has Nintendo ever put in an ‘excessive amount of content’? Isn’t that why people are interested in Zelda BoW “WOW” in the first place?

Very worrying signs ahead.


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