So What Is The Point of It All?!

There often comes a time when silence is just as much the enemy of progress as direct opposition. In the consumer electronics industry, there has virtually always been a steady push for progressive movement. The times of being satisfied with what is currently “state of the art” are already obsolete. It’s about keeping it moving!

So, as you may or may not be aware, Nintendo is a video game company that has always prided themselves on creating unique and exceptional experiences for their customers. Whether it was finding new ways to ensure patrons were able to have satisfying and fun experiences on their arcade machines, or giving people the closest thing to arcade experiences in the home, or innovating the ways in which we interact with our games, Nintendo has always striven to do the next new thing to make video games fun for every player.

a_1That very desire has driven the company to their current position, on the verge of releasing their seventh mainline dedicated home console device, the Nintendo Switch. October 2016 finally saw the reveal trailer hit the mainstream, and it certainly served its purpose immensely, giving a highly sufficient understanding of what the console would be bringing to the market. January 12, 2017 saw the full Nintendo Switch Presentation, which delivered a deluge of information, from hardware-specific details that we did not yet know, to brand-new game titles that will soon be available for us to get our hands on. Much of what the company needed to share in order for people to make an informed decision on whether to purchase the console, and when was delivered, plus some!

So that leads us to the question at hand: What is the point of it all? What is the point of much of the current discussion going around the gaming community? Youtubers making videos with the leading question, “Is the Nintendo Switch ‘worth it’?” or just generally trying to “anticipate” the “biggest problems” with the console! Gaming “journalists” freely jumping at the chance to play devil’s advocate! Gaming industry financial analysts watching the Japanese stock market more than the pre-orders selling out at retail and online! On a couple occasions now, I have somewhat addressed some things close to this, but this particular post is dedicated to this entire topic, so enjoy…

So, as it goes, for the last several years, Nintendo Switch Preview Eventthe President of Nintendo of America, Reggie Fils-Aime, has stated on many occasions when asked about competing against Sony and Microsoft, that Nintendo is not “trying to compete” with those two companies. However, even though many of the outlets that report on every single interview that Reggie gives, and have printed that same quote on many occasions, they still do podcasts or write articles that constantly espouse the comparisons, and cite their dismay that Nintendo can’t possibly “compete” against Sony and Microsoft with this particular hardware because…reasons! Spinning that constant narrative serves a purpose (and I’ll get to that soon)!

Some time back (likely during the Wii/DS era) the chic thing to talk about was “more power” in consoles; at least that was the case for many of the new-type gamers that didn’t grow up playing games on the Atari 2600, and in the arcades. The ones that feel it is necessary to justify their desire to play games as they get older. One funny thing about certain personalities is their inherent desire to become defensive, prematurely. Long before they are offended, they find a reason to be defensive about it. So, back to the power argument. On the surface it seems that that argument is legitimate, until you really look at the impact of an arms race just for the sake of it. The video game industry is an entity that has been around more than 40 years, first in arcades then in the home and beyond. As with most any industry, video games have seen ebbs and flows in their viability, and even showing signs of volatility at times. Historians and lay observers, alike, have varying reasons for the volatile periods, but one such reason that many fail to acknowledge is the arms race that is often orchestrated and pushed by interests that do not see beyond the financial numbers.

“Not surprisingly, the success of our industry, and the profit-margin for hit games, has again drawn big attention from larger entertainment companies. But, we may not be compatible.”
~Satoru Iwata
Keynote, Game Developers Conference
March, 2005

The above quote from Iwata-san speaks volumes when you understand what happens in this scenario. Here is what happens. We as gamers ultimately want the same thing, no matter which company holds your most allegiance, we all want to enjoy great game experiences. Bottom line! So, we are clear, however, the scenario that Iwata-san mentions (which he says is happening “again”–so it’s happened before, mind you) offers different voices; voices that ultimately do not represent those of the consumers/fans. Here is what I mean, publicly traded companies have their retail customers to satisfy, but they also have another primary level of “customers” to satisfy called share holders, and ultimately, they b_1are the more powerful, vocal minority. So, as gamers are clamoring for new iterations of their most beloved franchise to come around again, shareholders are looking for their next BIG payday. Sometimes those interests can coincide, but they usually do not. Who wins there, the powerful, vocal minority, of course. So, back to the “power argument”. As these vocal interests push the video game companies to do what will make the most money for them, you find developers saying we need these hardware devices to be more powerful because we want to be able to realize our vision. You have console manufacturers saying we need to make our device the most powerful, so that it can not only be the most attractive to consumers, but will also be the most future-proof. We also have the segment of the gamers who believe they have to have the most powerful device on the market, because it will ultimately yield the best experiences.

Hole-punch time!

As the game developers have clamored for more power, they have gotten it almost exponentially from Sony and Microsoft. Optimization is the clearest measure of whether these developers are utilizing that power. However, full optimization of a console and all it has to offer, especially power, takes considerable time, and that means several years. Those years certainly have not passed on the current cycle for Sony or Microsoft, yet there seems to be a consensus effort to move on already. If games have not yet been optimized (not even close), then the current push for more power is not necessary, after all.

Console manufacturers have pushed the idea that power increase is the major key to advancing to a new generation. However, pushing for more power simply bottlenecks progress into one set parameter, thus oversimplifying what progress is/should be. So, as Sony and Microsoft are trying to out-power each other, who is left to truly advance what it means to play video games? Nintendo is, of course!

Now, for these gamers, many of whom have bought into the argument given by the above-mentioned developers, believe that power is the meaning of moving gaming to the next level, and that’s not entirely true. The argument has been posed by several people who believe that Nintendo is “doing it again with an ‘under-powered’ console” in the Nintendo Switch. The problem with that sentiment is the question, “under-powered according to whom?” Do you mean “under-powered” compared to the PS4 (Pro) or XBox One (“Scorpio”)? Those systems are not being optimized as is, so is the amount of “power” in them even necessary currently? The developers bringing games to those systems are having far too much difficulty taking meaningful advantage of either of those systems for me to take their word as gospel, at this point. I am not saying there aren’t any good games there, but the amount of “power” they feel is lacking but necessary in the Nintendo Switch (which, by the way, because of different architecture, cannot be viewed through the same lens as the other two console for comparison to determine viability) is truly a fallacy, in my view. How do they knowgslm319v-f1p6vj9_u9lhmddmtflprzs they can’t do something that they have not tried, honestly? So, for gamers to react simply based on the bias of a few ill-informed developers, is a disservice to them as gamers. But beyond getting their ideas from developers, there are yet other gamers who look to seize upon the opportunity to express their displeasure with Nintendo’s newest console solely based on their own dislike of the company. No matter what they do, it’s always wrong. The thing is, if the Nintendo Switch just does not appeal to you, there is a simpler solution to that issue than the one that many are choosing to employ…just don’t buy it! There is no reason for you as an independent-thinking individual to spend your (I assume) hard-earned money on a console that just does not appeal to you. If you are, in actuality, not really a fan of Nintendo games, it is completely not necessary for you to purchase a Nintendo Switch, at launch, or any other time. Thing is, it’s also equally unnecessary to rail against the console for what you perceive to be slights, when you were not even getting the system in the first place.

Just as there are games that are made that are not for everyone, there are game systems that fall into that category, as well. That’s why it strikes me as odd and disingenuous when some people feel it’s necessary to justify their counter-productive behavior toward Nintendo hardware (Nintendo Switch and earlier), yet profess to be fans of Nintendo, at the same time. “Nintendo needs to do this to get me back,” or “Nintendo just abandoned me; I grew up, but Nintendo never did.” And the most egregious of offenses by this type of gamer is the one that somehow feels that Nintendo “needs” all of these 3rd Party Developers to support the Nintendo Switch (in this instance). The thing is, Nintendo has a good number of 3rd Party Developer partners supporting the console, already, and others keeping a close eye on it. What many of the critics mean, though, is they want to see more Western 3rd Party Dev support, which is, quite honestly, a bit over-rated.Would it be nice to have a healthy amount of variety with those games, sure, but Western 3rd Party Developers have a lot of bad habits that don’t always translate well on Nintendo platforms. In other words, porting older games to a new system is not the best strategy if you are serious about the sales numbers. Also, treating the games you do bring to Nintendo systems as if you don’t truly care about them, by stripping content, and features…but still charging full-prices, doesn’t quite work well, either.

“Core gamers have a huge appetite for challenge. Casual gamers want less difficulty. At Nintendo, we believe it is our responsibility to make games for all skill levels, and most definitely that includes people who are not playing our games now.”
~Satoru Iwata
Keynote, Game Developers Conference
March, 2005

So, as Nintendo has done many times over the years, they have pivoted their focus slightly with their target demographic on several key franchises for the Nintendo Switch. In generations past, titles such as Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda have taken on different roles in regards to attracting player, old and new. It is plain to see that the desire by the dev teams behind The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey have not only readdressed the conventions of the series, but have also focused the game play on mechanics that will lend themselves to more “core gamers”. Sure, there are some confirmed games that will offer easier entry levels for less experience gamers who may just be finding their way into gaming, but even with those, as always, Nintendo will still offer deeper, richer experiences for the gamers looking for that.

Bottom line, the Nintendo Switch is going to be an amazing new console for the people who are looking for that type of experience, and specs will not dictate that, neither will graphics. Power certainly won’t be the answer! It will all come down to the gaming experiences that player have that will determine the console’s viability in the marketplace! One of the silliest things that I see constantly in the community is the hollow competition between gamers, in which they believe they have to defeat other gamers on different consoles to have the “best” one. Like what you like, and will absolutely do the same!

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!


Can Your Teraflops Play My Teraflops, Tho?!

As the year 2016 wound down and the anticipation of the New Year 2017 built up, the excitement of what will be new in gaming was palpable. The Nintendo Switch is soon to have its live presentation within days, then will be available for fans to enjoy just a couple months later. It will be amazing for Nintendo fans beginning in just half a week.

NX Secrets for a ReasonWith the coming of the newest system from Nintendo, the environment has seen the ushering in of more and more rumor mill occupants and worse yet so many spec-heads who focus more on new system specs than new games. As the Nintendo Switch was revealed and we were finally able to cease calling it the ‘NX’, the excitement was nearly unimaginable, especially seeing how the community seemed to be nearing exhaustion on anything ‘NX’, specifically, and Nintendo, in general. The reveal video, though, saw a complete uptick in excitement for what Nintendo would be bringing to the market in March 2017.

For game fans, the launch of a new console is an exciting time, especially when it’s from your favorite company. So the current environment is electric for me. There are countless new games and experiences ready to be had with Nintendo’s new console. The possibilities are endless, for sure!

One unfortunate side effect that comes along with the launch of new and unknown contemporary hardware is the race to figure out what is “under the hood”. There is this burning desire for some to pick apart and decipher what the console’s specifications are. In my earlier days of gaming the most concern we had for specifications were 8-bit, 16-bit, and an eye-popping 64-bits. Somewhere after that, though, gamers bought into the “arms race”, and many publishers began to talk more about hardware specs than the much more difficult to measure “fun factor”. How much fun is this game? Forget that, how many shaders? What’s the processor speed? Our new engine, this; how scalable, that? So, now, instead of selling gamers on how fun their new gaming system is, they’ve trained the gamers to worry more about how many teraflops are on-board, and how the game is going to “take advantage” of them. It’s difficult to reconcile that paradigm for me, though. I can’t quite accept that mindset, because I don’t play games to watch them play themselves, or to minimally participate in the activity. Pretty pictures are fine, but if I’m not able to do much more than watch cinematics, then press a single button to get to the next one for the majority of a game’s play-through, I am not very interested in that. Some people find that okay, and I’m not here to judge because I know, “to each their own”, but I also know that is not for me.

With the coming Nintendo Switch, there nx_hardwareare quite a few outlets, “analysts” and on-lookers who are claiming to not only have the final specs of the Nintendo Switch, but they are also breaking down what those numbers mean in comparison to the other consoles on the market. Obviously, there are quite a few flaws in that approach as first, no specs have been confirmed as final by the company who created the system from scratch; second, the way in which systems use hardware in their processes is not universal; and third, have we not seen a single game developer optimize this new hardware (obviously), let alone the other consoles of comparison.

So, why the rush to be disappointed months in advance? I will tell you my theory on that now! In many cases it’s called disingenuous indignation. People are feigning upset, but in actuality are not upset, at all! In fact, many of them are only acting, just as many of them only pretended to be excited initially when the console was announced/revealed. Think of this, since Nintendo shared the reveal trailer and a few interviews afterward, then later said they would not be sharing anymore information until January 12, what have they shared that was different information than earlier? Nothing at all! Reggie Fils-Aime has been seen, Shigeru Miyamoto has spoken here and there, and even Tatsumi Kimishima has given a few interviews and an Investor Briefing, but again Nintendo has remained steadfast in what they said initially. So as nothing else has changed, why the change of heart? I say, there wasn’t one at all. The company didn’t do anything to suddenly disappoint these people, it’s simply negativity buy-in. It is much easier to buy into a preconceived negative image than to embrace what could (and likely will) be another great console from Nintendo.

img_0410Bottom line though, why does it even matter what the company is putting into the console, when we already know that the games will be, by and large, the most enjoyable experiences over these next several years? We will soon be able to play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on both the Wii U and the Nintendo Switch, and that game has been nominated as the most anticipated game of 2015, 2016 and now 2017! People want to play the game, and anyone who is honest with themselves will say it doesn’t matter what kind of system the game is on; if it is playable, enjoyable and well worth the wait, it will be welcomed! So why does it matter how many teraflops my system has versus your system? Can your teraflops play mine? If the answer is no and I’m over here having fun, then it is of no consequence to you! If my teraflops are being used fully and yours are not, then I’m obviously getting much more value of my teraflops than you with yours! Now if all things are equal and my experiences are incredible and so are yours, then what is there to argue about, anyway?

How will you be gaming when the Nintendo Switch comes out? Do you anticipate picking up one early? Will you get one, at all? Do you believe console prowess is as important as many profess it to be?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!

So, What Did We Actually See?!

Thursday, October 20, 2016 will be remembered as the day that Nintendo revealed to the world their newest “home gaming system” known now by its proper name, the Nintendo Switch. It has really been a long time coming to get solid confirmed information directly from Nintendo about what has been known as the Nintendo NX since the late, great Satoru Iwata surprisingly shared that it was in development back in March 2015 when he announced the DeNA partnership. In the midst of all of that waiting (and silence), many fans took to employing their investigative, however sharp they may have been. That proved to be frustrating for many, and exhilarating for others.

nx_hardwareNow, we don’t have to rely on fake 3D model mock-ups, and with additional confirmations trickling in from developers and partners, we are finally entering the realm of the truth dwellers. My main hope is those who alienated themselves, or just felt it necessary to contentiously interact with certain others in the Nintendo fanbase and community, are able to get past all of that and embrace what we have. So what exactly is it that we have?

It turns out Nintendo showed us quite a bit in a short 3:37 minute video. On the surface, the new Nintendo Switch is simply a new “home gaming system” that can be taken on the go with a portable aspect, as well. Now, that concept was not a new one to any observers who have been keeping up with ANY of the rumors/leaks since March of last year. Now though, we have official confirmation, and seeing it in action is much more gratifying than reading someone’s speculation.

One thing that is evident, also, is that Nintendo is making sure that it’s known that the Nintendo Switch is first a home console. They made that point clear with their initial branding following the video announcement last Wednesday evening. The official Nintendo website was promoting for the Thursday morning reveal, and many noted the wording on the site that read, announcement“Watch the preview trailer for Nintendo’s next home gaming system.” In addition to that, though, Nintendo has also reiterated that sentiment.

While the Nintendo Switch is designed for play both in the home and on the go, Nintendo wants to be clear that it’s a home system first.

“Nintendo Switch is a home gaming system first and foremost,” the company told Polygon when asked if the system was going to impact the sale of the 3DS portable systems.

So, after seeing for certain what the concept is designed to do, we not only saw several different control options, but also saw a few snippets of gameplay, as well. Nintendo packed a lot into that short video, and it was done very well.

Gaming springs into action by removing detachable Joy-Con controllers from either side of Nintendo Switch. One player can use a Joy-Con controller in each hand; two players can each take one; or multiple Joy-Con can be employed by numerous people for a variety of gameplay options. They can easily click back into place or be slipped into a Joy-Con Grip accessory, mirroring a more traditional controller. Or, if preferred, the gamer can select an optional Nintendo Switch Pro Controller to use instead of the Joy-Con controllers. Furthermore, it is possible for numerous people to bring their Nintendo Switch systems together to enjoy local multiplayer face-to-face competition.

Today’s video incorporated short glimpses of representative gameplay to demonstrate the liberating nature of the Nintendo Switch home gaming system.

One of the most interesting things about today’s presentation is the amount of possibility that it presents with the system. Nintendo made a concerted effort to show people utilizing the console in the multifaceted ways that it can be. Whether playing in the living room at home, in the park, on a plane, at the basketball courts, or even in a large group competing in eSports, the Nintendo Switch allows gamers to play however they choose, without boundaries.

“Nintendo Switch allows gamers the freedom to play however they like,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, President and COO, Nintendo of America. “It gives game developers new abilities to bring their creative visions to life by opening up the concept of gaming without boundaries.”

Developers can design their games supporting a variety of play styles, which gives gamers the freedom to choose an experience that best suits them.

One of the major things that plagued the Nintendo’s most recent home console, the Wii U, was the lack of major 3rd party support for the system, long-term. The company has been aggressive in remedying that as best they can with the Nintendo Switch. Prior to reveal, that was a big “want” from many gamers and digital space influencers as the importance of having real support from developers and publishers outside of the company, and its key role in the ultimate success of the system. Immediately out of the gate, Nintendo has made it clear that they were serious about having the content necessary to bring gamers, old, new and uninitiated, to their new home gaming system. They provided a list of several devs/publishers to help gamers to know who they can anticipate.

• 505 Games • LEVEL-5 Inc.
• Activision Publishing, Inc. • Marvelous Inc.
• ARC SYSTEM WORKS Co., Ltd. • Maximum Games, LLC
• ATLUS CO., LTD. • Nippon Ichi Software, Inc.
• Audiokinetic Inc. • Parity Bit Inc.
• Autodesk, Inc. • PlatinumGames Inc.
• BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc. • RAD Game Tools, Inc.
• Bethesda • RecoChoku Co., Ltd.
• CAPCOM CO., LTD. • SEGA Games Co., Ltd.
• Codemasters® • Silicon Studio Corporation
• CRI Middleware Co., Ltd. • Spike Chunsoft Co., Ltd.
• DeNA Co., Ltd. • SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD.
• Electronic Arts • Starbreeze Studios
• Epic Games Inc. • Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.
• Firelight Technologies • Telltale Games
• FromSoftware, Inc. • THQ Nordic
• Frozenbyte • Tokyo RPG Factory Co., Ltd.
• GameTrust • TT Games


• Gungho Online Entertainment, Inc. • Ubitus Inc.
• HAMSTER Corporation • Unity Technologies, Inc.
• Havok • Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
• INTI CREATES CO., LTD. • Web Technology Corp
• Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd.

nx_partnersSeveral other companies have since gotten into the fray, announcing their excitement of being partnered with Nintendo on the Nintendo Switch. A few of them are featured below:

So, there we have it! Nintendo pulled the curtain back for a few minutes to allow us to see the Nintendo Switch, and aside from any clarification articles that may come up here and there, we are not going to get any more official details until some time early 2017. That in all likelihood will be in January, shortly out of the holiday season and after the new year. I expect the information flow to be heavy in the last fiscal quarter 2016 (January, February and March 2017). And as the system is scheduled to release in March, whenever that is specifically, the heat will be on furiously with details and advertisement going constantly. I expect it to be a time where anyone who is paying any attention will indeed know exactly what the system is, and that they definitely want one!

Full game demonstrations, the list of launch window titles, as well as launch date, price, product configuration and related specifics, will be shown and announced prior to the March launch.

Which aspect of the Nintendo Switch appeals to you most? Which 3rd party supporting partner’s software do you think will be a game-changer? What else do you think we will find out about the system that was held back by Nintendo in this initial reveal? Will you be picking up this system at launch, shortly afterward, or quite some time afterward?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!


This is It…Nintendo Finally Let’s Us See the Nintendo Switch!

So there we have it, the Nintendo NX is no longer the moniker to remember for Nintendo’s next home gaming system. The Nintendo Switch is the new way to play! Now, the speculation can conclude, and we can get into the business of real deal facts, and genuine excitement!

All of these months of anticipation, speculation, and even frustration culminated in a 3:37 minute video reveal of the Nintendo Switch that absolutely delivered. Nintendo unveiled their new console and it appears that most (if not all) of the predictions/rumors that some outlets  were sharing were, in fact, accurate, yet the reveal video was still highly gratifying and satisfying. Just over 24 hours prior to my writing this, many people were finding it difficult to believe that Nintendo’s wait for transparency was anything more than detrimental at this point. However, last night the internet went crazy over the confirmed revelation of the long-awaited Nintendo (NX) Switch! The timing has been questioned by many, but the truth is, Nintendo has allowed the community to sufficiently generate enough (and to some, exhaustive) hype about the NX, and now we can revel in the incredible new Nintendo Switch.

By now, you may have already see the video, but it is provided here for your viewing pleasure, again, and if you haven’t seen it yet, enjoy!

As, you may have noticed in the trailer, there are a lot of new and exciting things to glean, and I will be going into more details in the next (and subsequent) post. For now, the Nintendo Switch is the new piece of hardware that we can truly get behind, and be excited for its release.

In my opinion, Nintendo did an amazing job of relaying the simplicity of what the Nintendo Switch is, its functionality, how fun it is to play, and the many different control options…all without a single word needing to be spoken until the end when a simple voice says, “Nintendo Switch!” I am flat-out excited about this new console, and the more I look at it, the more excited I become. I do anticipate watching that video repeatedly over the next several days and weeks…and I don’t expect to tire of it any time soon. For now, though, I will leave you with your thoughts.

What did you like best about the Nintendo Switch reveal video? Is it what you want in your next Nintendo console? Do you think Nintendo relayed their message well enough to the masses to truly understand what this console is/will be?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!

Stay Away From Pitfalls-Enjoy the Ride!

Ok, I think it’s finally time to break my self-imposed silence on the NX again. With the reveal seemingly imminent, I think it’s time to start talking about it, and that’s an exciting and even anxious feeling, actually. I haven’t been writing much lately as there has been not a whole lot that I have been compelled to finish writing about from Nintendo. Not that they have not been a bit more vocal as of late, but their 3DS Direct was pretty direct…no pun intended. My thoughts on it were not necessary, in my opinion. However, there are a lot of things around it that I would like to discuss, along with some other really interesting and exciting things leading into the new era of Nintendo that is just around the corner.

As has been discussed, ad nauseum, in likely every corner of the Nintendo community, Nintendo is on the verge of revealing their eagerly awaited new platform, codenamed NX, and along with that there have been a lot of “leaks” and rumors, speculation and opposing “camps”, fighting and even growing apathy. I’m sure I am not the only one who has heard fans making comments about not even being excited about the coming platform from Nintendo due to the silence from the company, the constant rumor mill churning, and the exhaustion from it all. Taking a healthy look at everything that is happening right now, is what I intend to do, and hence share it with you all. I look forward to expanding the discussion with you afterward.

Before we really dive into the NX, though, I want to touch on a few other things, first. The current gaming climate (for home consoles) in general seems to be a bit arrid at the moment. Personally seeing nothing much more than a single 1st-party title coming from Nintendo for the Wii U along with a few Nindie titles, the console is truly seeing the close of it’s Nintendo support. And despite most opinions, that really is unfortunate. For the time that it did have, the Wii U did have some incredible offerings for fans if they were open to them. As far as other platforms, a lot of what I have noticed lately is either fans having to wait on delayed software, or being pushed toward “upgraded” hardware a mere 3 years post-launch to play what appear to be the same experiences that can be had minus the upgrade.

For Nintendo fans, however, we are set for a whole lot of new things coming our way in the near and distant future. Many of you may remember Reggie Fils-Aime sharing that the company was in a transformational phase during last year’s E3 (2015) presentation. That process is currently what we are in the middle of, and if there’s one thing I will always remember about a process…it’s never pretty. In fact, a process is an ugly thing. Nothing nice about it, but the end-result is the overall determining factor in its worthiness.

So during this process, we are seeing the approach of the NX, along with the opening up of the company’s iconic IP for several different things, the mobile/smart phone initiative, the partnership with Universal Studios theme parks, anime and motion picture media, and quite likely other things that we are unaware of currently. There are a few of these things that have already rolled out, and many more to come. In my opinion, with patience, we are all going to be greatly surprised, as well as pleased with their efforts. One thing we have to remember about this whole thing is, Nintendo has said on several occasions what their intent is regarding their current actions, but so often it’s interesting seeing so many people get confused at each turn. With every move that Nintendo is making, there are those who just can’t understand what’s going on. They explained what their aim was with Miitomo, but people were confused. They explained that the subsequent apps were going to be games, but people seemed surprised when they reiterated it. They said they would be looking to drive eyes to their main line business of dedicated gaming hardware through IP recognition, and that would require them to appear in many different places they traditionally had not been. Seeing Nintendo characters on apparel, board games, card games, toy cars, and other places was foretold. Following the initial success of Miitomo, spokespeople for the company shared their willingness to allow any IP  to be fair game for future mobile games, but suddenly it became a shock that they would partner with Apple on a limited-exclusive iOS game in Super Mario Run which will also be on Android at a later time. Who is more recognized than Mario? And how better to get more people connected to Mario than through a unique experience that will eventually drive traffic to the new NX device which will indeed have an all-new Super Mario Bros. game waiting for our enjoyment!

So, beyond the roll-out of these incredible things for newcomers to enjoy, we Nintendo fans are mainly in a holding pattern until the company announces their new platform for us all to enjoy. That holding pattern seems to be bringing out the irrational in many among the fanbase, though. The amount of wild accusations, speculation, rumors, and even flat-out lies has been outrageous. From mocking up 3D-rendered controllers, to leaked specs upon specs; it has been crazy!

The thing about all of this fervor is it’s at such a high level right now, and that’s a great thing for so many reasons. Yet, at the same time, it’s potentially a pitfall, as well. The thing about it is, in order for it to be a pitfall, the people would have to make it so. See, I truly believe that there is a tendency among all fanbases to get overhyped about anything new. I’m not sure if that’s a new thing or not, but it seems as if it’s something that happens much more frequently in today’s society. Think about it this way; patience is a relatively foreign concept nowadays. In this “microwave society”, people want things done quickly and instantly. We are not fans of waiting for things to be done right, we just want them now. I mean look at how we consume a lot of programming these days. A lot of people simply binge-watch shows via Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, etc. And today’s gamers can be some of the worst offenders when it comes to this. Look at the hype that generates just before and immediately following E3 every single year. Gamers get worked up so much in anticipation for the show, and after the announcements, but somewhere along the way the realization sets in that these games are indeed quite some time away from release. Now, if fans of other gaming companies are anything like the fanbase I pay most attention to, Nintendo, then they, too, likely allow their euphoria to fade over time. The Law of Diminishing Intent sets in, and all of a sudden, the more the inevitable delays come, the less the people want them. That is what hype does to people…it slowly kills their desire, simply because by its very nature it cannot last. Like a sugar rush!

My suggestion for whomever is reading this, though, is to take care to pay close attention to the things that Nintendo has truly confirmed previously. Know that their ultimate goal is to succeed in their creative works, whether that be their hardware, software, or other ventures. As fans, a lot of times we may think we know exactly what we want, but many times we aren’t truly aware of what that is until it is actually presented to us. Many of the games and franchises that we revere were never on our radar until they were shown to us, and our gaming lives have been all the better for it. So, if you are eagerly awaiting the reveal of the NX like most everyone else, go about it in the best way for you. If steering clear of the leaks and rumors is what you need to do, then do just that. However, for those people who find it entertaining and fun, there is no need to condemn them for that. Just like different games appeal to different people for individual reasons, getting the information that they want, is their preference, as well. No need to get NX fatigue due to other people’s (over-)indulgence in information.

I am sorely anticipating the reveal and finally knowing what Nintendo is up to next, but I also am aware that the company has to make sure they do it the best way they are able to without hurting their current projects, and giving it the best possible chances for success, all the same.

Have you been a part of the group who cannot get enough, or have had enough? When do you think we will finally know everything we have been anticipating from Nintendo?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!

To What End…?

Lately there has been an annoying din of noise coming from many different directions. People complaining and moaning about this and that regarding Nintendo. What the company has done, is doing and will do, seem to all be up for discussion between every armchair CEO, analyst, investor, and developer. For years, detractors have been preaching the demise of Nintendo, and every time anything new comes about, they are thumping their proverbial chests, shouting about how “right” they were. No matter how benign the news may be, there is a segment of the population that decided long ago that it was catastrophic.

So my question to many is simply, “To what end…?” To what end is the massive backlash and ridiculous hyperbole regarding Nintendo, their hardware, and software? For some time now, there has been a segment of the population that is just dissatisfied with any-/everything that Nintendo does. Whether the company is communicating too much, or not enough. Whether the company is taking away physical rewards, or offering them in a different form (amiibo). Whether the company releases a game that may seem unfinished, or delays it to make sure it is thoroughly complete. These are all things that draw the ire of many in this community, and you may have noticed that there are a lot of people truly finding their poles to attach their allegiances.

…truth about disappointment: it’s only ever the product of hope subverted.

On several occasions I have written about this topic, but it seems that it is just a recurring theme in today’s gaming environment. Of course, its not just limited to gaming, but the polar mentality has permeated many aspects of life these days. That mentality coupled with the desire to want everything quickly, and right away makes for a truly entitled attitude for a lot of gamers these days. There does not seem to be any room for tolerance anymore. It’s almost as if people are not allowed to have personal preference or an opinion anymore…unless of course, it matches up with what others “think”. Group-think is a thing and it’s dangerous. A lot of times, people seem to confuse the fact that we live in a democracy with a majority-rules process for thinking. As if that way of thought means you’re right versus wrong.

This current time period seems to be bringing out the worst in people, too. From people squabbling over specs of the newest platforms that have not even been revealed, yet, to people vociferously professing the eulogy of the Wii U to the shear ignorance of Nintendo and their handling of the Titan of Shows — Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3). No matter what, the group-think will lead you to believe that all is wrong in the Land of Nintendo!

“Nintendo is disappointing and crazy” is an easy way to encapsulate things, certainly, but it’s also an easy way to erode one’s knowledge of what else it can be.

I would dare suggest to ignore the voices and think for yourself. If that leads you to conclude something differently than my take (illustrated below), so be it. But that certainly does not make what I will share any  more incorrect than your thoughts.

So recently, the very informative and often-quoted Emily Rogers posted a list of 10 questions that 3rd party publishers ask themselves before supporting Nintendo hardware. Now, the thing about this list is the fact that I am not 100% convinced it is truly something that 1.) is legitimately something that publishers indeed check off before working with Nintendo, and 2.) is even a fair representation. There are so many biased points about this list, it is kind of irksome. I won’t go point by point about this list, but I will point out a handful of my gripes with it and hopefully get your feedback, as well.

Now, some of these are valid questions, but stuff like installed-base, or caring about certain genres, or the ability to compete with Nintendo IP is just plain ridiculous to me. Here’s what we have when we lend validity to such questions. By accepting these questions as a legitimate list, it says that the premise is also true. That is where I take most exception because at best these are opinions created after the fact. Take the first question I mentioned; at the start of any console life the installed base is absolute zero. There is no one who owns a system prior to its launch, however, there are always third party developers who have games available. No matter which system it is, there are a few games. Even the launch of Wii U, there were a couple first-party games, and a few third-party entries, as well. Granted most were “old ports”, but they were there. So there is no reason to believe they asked the question about install base, simply because there wasn’t one yet.

Also, questioning whether Nintendo fans “care about” sports games, or any other genre is odd, seeing that Every individual is different. In fact, not every Nintendo fan is a fan of ALL “Nintendo games”. There are many players who enjoy all types of game experiences, and it is not even remotely fair to attempt to lump Nintendo fans into categories of liking/not liking a particular genre because you will never get an accurate assessment one way or the other. One Nintendo fan may love playing football, or basketball, or wrestling, but another may not find joy in those types of games. Choosing not to supply them to Nintendo consoles though, only results in alienating every Nintendo fan from those experiences, unless they choose to invest in additional hardware, which may not happen. That is not necessarily a choice that player has made, but one that those developers have made for them. Not a good thing.

Now, the argument about “competing for attention” with Mario, Zelda, Splatoon, etc. is very odd to me. First, Nintendo is not releasing a major IP title even every month of a year, so that leaves gaps in the calendar that can easily be filled by different titles. There is sect of the community that believes there is a drought going right now for the Wii U. That is due to the fact that Nintendo is not releasing very many more first party games for the system through the remainder of the calendar/fiscal year. However, there are third party games that are releasing during that time that the decision to abandon the Wii U have precluded from being made available during this time. Something else that’s funny about this question is the fact that Splatoon is even on the list. How does that work? That game is only a year old at the time of this writing. One year ago, it was debated about whether this game would be able to do anything. The hope was that it would be pretty good, but the guarantee was far from there. There was criticism about the ads the company chose to use, the amount of content was heavily questioned, and there was even talk of “boycotting” the game from some. So what was there to “compete” against, and how would third parties have known about it 1-3 years ago when they decided to either abandon the system, or handicap their efforts when they did release something?

So, as things go, there is a group of people (some of whom are influential members of the Nintendo gaming community) who give credence to this type of thing which invites more negativity and Nintendo bashing. It’s interesting when you can see how much effort they go to in order to find fault with the company, and its actions.

One simple example of late; Emily Rogers again, recently tweeted one point of validation for Nintendo forgoing a hardware reveal at E3 2016. That tweet was immediately met with a particular Nintendo “influencer” spewing his negativity once again. Every chance he gets, he takes the opportunity to point out how he thinks the company has done something wrong. I hesitate to talk too much about him, just to ensure I stay away from a rant, but it’s nothing short of disappointing to have enjoyed his content at one point, to completely despising pretty much everything he says and does. To each their own, I always say, but generating and feeding any negativity for something that you claim to “love” is irresponsible, and downright disingenuous. Maybe you feel it’s more lucrative to garner “hate”, but I refuse to aid it, if I can possibly help it.

And all of this is amplified by the fact that historically, Nintendo is always at its most exciting when it’s rebooting. That tends to only happen when the company’s back is undeniably against the wall, but it also tends to be when Nintendo thinks hard, digs deep, and brings its A-game in the most unexpected yet thrilling ways…

It feels like we might be close to another one of those events. So who cares if Nintendo executes it at E3 – a show that several big publishers have already left this year, rightly raising questions about the importance of the show, not the companies in question – or elsewhere, later down the line? Are we really going to demand that Nintendo reveals the off-kilter, Wonka-style creativity that we so love on a strict, industry mandated schedule, based on rules that no-one really made, based on tradition that exists just because? Are we going to claim doom because Nintendo seems to want to do its next era justice, starting it at the right time to give it the chance its predecessor never got?

Apparently some of us are, but I’m certainly not.

Look, my initial question is also my closing question: “To what end…?” To what end is the benefit of the concerted effort to paint Nintendo in the worst light possible? To what end does it make life better for one, by criticizing the opinions of others? If someone likes Nintendo, it does no harm to anyone else that feels they are not getting what they “need” from the company. But at the same time it is certainly not necessary to voice your dislike on every turn, either. There is already plenty of negativity polluting our mental environment, as it is. There is absolutely not a requisite to continue to add to it.

How do you feel about the current climate in the community? Do you think there is an overabundance of meaningless negativity?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!