Nintendo has been around for over a hundred years. What started a card game company has grown to become one of the biggest names in entertainment. This is the company that brought us Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Pokemon and so many other big names. It has been a household name since the 1980s. Today, though, a lot of people are having doubts about the company’s future. They say Nintendo’s vision isn’t what Sony and Microsoft’s are. I think if they stop and actually look at the way things are, they may not hate on one of the pioneers of video games.
I’ve been the victim of both the Xbox 360 red ring and the PS3 yellow light. Both systems cost over $400 when I bought them. These are systems that are hailed as the future of video games. They have powerful processors and are capable of high definition graphics. Why are they breaking? Most people I know have had either an Xbox 360 or PS3 tank on them, if not both. It doesn’t seem right that “the next generation” should break like this. Then there’s my Wii. I’ve put a lot of time into my Wii and it is a launch system. I have yet to have a problem with it. The system still runs beautifully. It runs quietly. And, before you say it never gets used anymore, I just put 50 hours into Skyward Sword and am working through Twilight Princess once again.
Nintendo has always had superior hardware. You could leave a Gameboy (yes, a Gameboy, you know, the one with the puke green screen? Strainer of eyes? Eater of batteries?) in the snow all winter and it would turn on and work like new in the spring. The NES cartridges (again, dating myself a bit) took more abuse than a circus clown but they worked fine after a bit of TLC. The products Nintendo creates are built for the long haul. They can be used and abused without letting gamers down. As long as Nintendo continues this trend of building to last, they’ll always have a leg up on the competition in the reliability category.
The Nintendo “Wii” was a goofy name for a system that was originally dubbed the Revolution, but if you look at what the Wii has done, it lived up to its original name. The Wii has been the highest selling system of this generation so far. Even my grandma owns one (she really does). The system has brought families and friends together. It is being used for medical rehabilitation. I used to work at a retirement home and the residents used it frequently. The Wii is also an excellent entry point for non-gamers because of its low price point and ease of use. Nintendo has increased the gaming demographic.
Let’s not forget the motion controls. Love them or hate them, motion controls are going to be around for a long time. Nintendo brought them to the gaming community years before the Xbox 360 Kinect or the Playstation Move were a twinkle.
Always the innovator, Nintendo is also the first company to bring glasses-free 3D gaming to the gaming world. The 3DS is a powerful handheld that really suffered from a weak starting line-up of games and, similar to the PSP Go, a high price point. With the recent update and releases of some big name games, the 3DS is finally becoming a force to be reckoned with.
Of course, a system means nothing without the games to back it up. Every system has shovelware. Not every game release is a blockbuster. The Wii may not have HD graphics or quite the processing power of the other systems, but when a game is developed correctly for the Wii, it can shine better than any high definition blockbuster.
Now, what I’m about to say may cause a bit of conflict and I’ll get judged harshly for it but The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword was the best game released this year. That’s my opinion, do with it what you will. I played Uncharted 3. I ran through Arkham City, L.A. Noire, Assassin’s Creed Revelations, and Skyrim. I played most of the big releases and I stand by my statement. Skyward Sword showed what the Wii can do. The art (while again not HD) was phenomenal. The story was well-told with a great payoff. The controls were top-notch and a shining example of what motion controls should always be. Call it fanboyism, I had more fun with Skyward Sword than I have with Skyrim. But, that isn’t the only great game for the Wii. Super Mario Galaxy, Super Smash Bros., Epic Mickey are just a few more.
One thing I sometimes catch myself doing is judging something before I see it in person. This always comes back to bite me in the rear. I thought Microsoft was dumb for entering the video game arena but I ended up buying an Xbox 360 and I enjoy it. I was against 3D gaming until I bought a 3DS. Now, Nintendo is coming out with the Wii U, and while I get kind of twitchy at the name of the system, I can’t wait to see what it can do. They may have focused a lot on the controller/tablet and not on the system or games at E3 but I think that, given time, all will be revealed and awesome.
I like my Playstation 3 (or will once it’s repaired). I also like my Xbox 360 (my second one). But I’ve been around video games for 25 years and Nintendo has always been there. From the quality of their hardware, to the innovation, to the huge catalogue of awesome games, Nintendo is by no means out of the “game.” After bringing video games back from the dead (the great video game crash of 1983 almost saw to it that sites like Vagary.tv wouldn’t exist to bring you news from the industry), Nintendo has proven time and again that they are the gods of video games. For anyone from my generation, stick with them. For all of the newcomers, trust me when I say, Nintendo isn’t going anywhere. They’ll be around for years to come, always making sure you’re playing with power… SUPER POWER.
Just In Bailey –an homage to the secret code from Metriod, which allowed you to play as Samus Aran without her suit– is an editorial column at Vagary.TV brought to you by Joey Alesia. Each week Joey will challenge you to look at a different perspective of the characters, gameplay, and/or plot in your favorite games. Chat up your thoughts below, or send Joey an e-mail at Joey.Alesia@vagary.tv