Why Nintendo will endure

Why Nintendo will endure

Over the last few weeks my 3DS and I have revitalised our relationship. I’ve been playing Fantasy Life and focusing on completing all the Streetpass games, which I never really invested much time in before. I had previously dismissed the Streetpass mechanic as lousy, as I just did not believe that there would be enough fellow 3DS owners in Australia for the mechanic to work – I am happy to say I was wrong. But my love of Streetpass is not the focus of this recount. Instead, it is the way you purchase new games in the Streetpass Plaza. Gone is the simple menu, through which you scroll and select the product you wish to buy. Now, when you express your interest in a new title, a personified rabbit store-clerk jumps out of his rabbit hole to ask if you’d like to know more about the product before purchasing. Mr. Rabbit is equipped with a datapad, which he uses to show you screenshots of the product in question, and will become humbly thrilled if you decide to purchase the game without hearing his spiel. Even if you decide not to buy the title after hearing all his information, he is nothing but courteous towards his potential customer. This is what it feels like to shop in Japan. Shopping is not the familiar experience of finding what you want and handing over the money; in Japan, the high level of service transforms the experience into something else entirely. The fact that Nintendo‘s investment in customer satisfaction extends to the effort of programming and animating a store clerk to help you with in-game purchases is a feature I never would have imagined.  It’s certainly not something I would expect from any other games company, and exemplifies the company’s uniqueness which, I believe, is the reason it will endure.

Every time I meet someone new, and we begin to inch towards realising our common love of games, I find Nintendo is a great place to start relating to one another. As a student of Japanese, it is especially rare for me to meet another Japanese learner who was not, at least partially, inspired to learn Japanese thanks to games like Nintendo’s. I think my University colleague put it best when he said “Nintendo will always hold a special place in our hearts”. In today’s super competitive AAA market, with companies like RockstarUbisoft and EA churning out more GTAAssassin’s Creed and FIFA titles than I can keep track of, I find the release schedule of Nintendo refreshing. There may not be as much choice for 3DS and Wii U owners, but these players know when they buy a Nintendo title that there is never a risk of bugs, and certainly the title will always be playable upon purchase.

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It sounds very stereotypical, but as someone who has experienced life in Japan I can tell you truly that the reason Nintendo holds these high standards is, at least partly, thanks to the company’s cultural background. The level of service in Japan is world-famous for very good reason, and somehow in the competitive AAA game release environment, Nintendo has determinedly held onto this quality. While some deplore Nintendo for their perceived lack of range, high prices, reputation for “kids games”, or general unwillingness to “change with the times”, in doing so they miss out on something wonderful. Both the DS and the Wii U are extremely innovative consoles, and the DS in particular has been extremely successful, selling over 154.01 million units during its lifetime. Back in December 2012, when the release of the Wii U was just around the corner, I somehow convinced my parents that, despite having reached adulthood, the new console was what I needed for Christmas. The gamepad looked like it could provide innovative new gaming experiences, and, as a Nintendo product I trusted it to deliver. Despite the small range of launch titles it was an awesome gift. With Nintendoland alone, the Wii U delivered. It is, by far, the best multi-player or ‘party console’ on the market, and I continue to love it to this day. The quality of the titles, and the new mechanics made possible by the Wii U’s hardware did not disappoint. And it was not just the shiny, ‘new’ feeling that made the Wii U so exciting. Ever since that Christmas each release of a new major Nintendo game has seen my household wile away many hours excitedly screaming at each other as we enjoy the new title.

Nintendo’s recently announced deal with mobile company DeNA, which will see them move into the mobile market for the first time in the company’s history, is an extremely exciting prospect, and evidence that Nintendo can, and will, always be there for us.

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Since first travelling to Japan at the age of fifteen, most of my life has revolved around trying to learn Japanese, and unravel the mysteries of the country’s culture. Gaming ranks just behind this obsession. I enjoy video games – particularly RPGs and Strategy – but my main interest is in tabletop role playing games and board games. Writing ranks third – luckily I get plenty of opportunities to write about Japan and games, so it all works out.

  • Forums

    User : Biceps Ben Six Pack Smooth
    Comment : My personal experience from game > sales of game

    I didnt enjoy COD more because its a huge seller, but in saying that I dont dismiss the game because its a seller, I could still have an enjoyable experience. I’m also not the type of gamer who prefers indie’s because they are not mainstream, I judge the game solely on how much I got from it.

    I will still maintain this console gen the wii u has provided me the best gaming experiences to date.

  • Forums

    User : Red Panda
    Comment : I’m all for not caring about sales. Although I do enjoy hearing about success stories of great game doing unexpectedly well in a crowded market.
    I find the the Wii-U to be a good 2nd system, but a poor primary one. You have to look at it from a wider perspective where I feel most households will own one console. Compared to people that read and write about videogame news or visit videogame forums that likely own multiple videogame systems and have a skewed perspective on things. The Wii-U just doesnt get many significant 3rd party games that make up the bulk of releases; both in terms of AAA games and smaller downloadable titles (which are outdoing even Nintendo’s traditionally strong Platformers). Since exclusives come around rarely on consoles these days (since 3rd party exclusivity is no longer sustainable), you’d be surprised how many people buy a system not because of the exclusives on offer, but because they just want the ability to play the latest big 3rd party games.

  • Forums

    User : Heretix Aevum
    Comment : None of the consoles are worth it to me so far, not by a long shot, mainly because I have a PC to play newer releases with. If you don’t and needed to make the migration from a 360 or PS3 then that’s fair enough. No backwards compatibility was a huge deal breaker for me, otherwise I might have bought a PS4 to play some of the PS3 titles I never played.

    • Forums

      User : Biceps Ben Six Pack Smooth

      Comment : I second what Panda and Heretix added, I must agree that Wii U would suck being the only console if you owned only one. Thing is im a bit like Heretix and am choosing PC as the first platform of choice and whatever exclusives I feel I want I go to the consoles. I think that Wii U has the best exclusives.

      Interesting though that I have hardly touched my PC this year for gaming, my Steam library is stacked with yet to be played games collected over 4-5 years old now. Im just enjoying the Wii U alone at the moment, pretty much every game I have completed have been Nintendo first party titles and have more to look forward to in the following months, im also enjoying 3DS alot as well, but I must admit I have rather casual right now with games so that might be the reason for this.

      The only time sales matter is when games get cancelled because publishers think that it wont sell and is not worth investing.

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