An Open Letter to Nintendo

As much as I love Nintendo, they sure aren't making it easy for me.

I love Nintendo, always have and always will. From the day I got a SNES and Mario Paint for my fifth birthday I have been hooked. If I had my way the release date of the N64 would be a national holiday. I got a paper round just so I could save up for a GameCube at launch and my collection of Nintendo systems, games and memorabilia is the stuff of dreams. I never needed anything else in my life, Nintendo had me covered, but a few years ago something strange happened, I bought a PS3. I had played and owned non Nintendo systems before, but this was the first one I had bought with my own money, the first I had made an active attempt to bring into my life. That was when I started to realise that things were changing for me. Even though I love Nintendo and they will always be my favourite of the big three hardware manufacturers, I am developing a Love/ Hate relationship towards them. For the longest time this generation I was a single console owner. After buying the Wii on launch day, exaggerating illness so I could stay home all day playing it, I convinced myself that the Wii was the only system I needed. I played Twilight Princess, Metroid Prime 3, No More Heroes, Red Steel, De Blob, The Conduit, Mad World just to name a few. Most of the games I played were Nintendo developed, but those that weren€™t were unique exclusive titles. I could proudly look at my system and say €œwell my Wii may not have the graphics of your PS3 but I am playing all these cool games that you can€™t. I get to use motion controls in my First Person Shooters and I think that€™s pretty cool€. The problem is that something changed about half way through the Wii€™s lifespan. Around 2009 the games started to dry up. Gone was the interesting and exclusive support, being replaced with watered down and less impressive versions of the exciting new franchises being developed for the next generation systems. Where was our Assassins Creed? Mass Effect? Final Fantasy? For a while we got some tie in games like Dead Space: Extraction, but those quickly faded away too. The Wii was dying and I was powerless to stop it. Throughout this, I never stopped hoping. I kept the system, I bought every interesting game on launch day and I found reasons to love my Wii. I found reasons to defend Nintendo, I fought hard to argue why the Wii MotionPlus didn€™t launch with the system and I flew the Nintendo flag as proudly as possible in the face of some choices that honestly made little sense to me. But time went on and I Picked up a PS3, and later an Xbox 360, trying to fill the time between interesting Nintendo releases. Sure I had my DS, which by then was full of great games, but sometimes you just want that big screen, immersive console experience. Skip forward to today, and my Wii is my backup Netflix device. Sure I played all the Operation Rainfall JRPG€™s, and I€™ll pick up the Kirby Anniversary Collection when it comes out, but my Wii is rather lonely for the most part. I€™ve made my peace that the Wii is dead and I will have to wait for the Wii U to get any more great Nintendo software. I have my 3DS, which I picked up on launch day, but that too is annoying me to no end. I can live with a lot of things about the system, the fact Nintendo refuses to move its Pokemon franchise over, the short battery life and even the fact it had to have a price drop very close to its launch. What I don€™t understand however is why they did not incorporate the Circle Pad Pro into the 3DS XL€™s design. I€™m no hardware engineer, but to release a fairly fundamental peripheral for the system within six months of its launch and not incorporate it into the redesign a year on just seems crazy to me. I don€™t see how support for the peripheral is going to be a viable solution to developers. They also kept some of their biggest announcements that could have been at this year's E3 from the show. They had Namco Bandai developing Smash Bros. which they chose to keep back, they didn't show us the 3DS XL and they waited until after the show to announce the new WarioWare game. Their press conference felt like it fell flat, but it could have been so much more exciting if they had made some of these announcements. Here is the thing, I don€™t hate Nintendo, far from it. I do however hate some of the decisions they have recently made. I hate that my underpowered yet innovative system is not getting games, I hate that they create peripherals they don€™t support, I hate that they make it hard for me to be a fan. I€™m the kind of fan that Nintendo should find easy to please, I love them and am an extremely dedicated fan, but even I find it hard to defend them anymore. Sure I€™ll buy the Wii U on launch day, but at this rate it will probably be the last time I do. What do you think of Nintendo? Did you used to be a fan? How do you feel about the choices they are making? Have you had a similar history with them? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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Long time JRPG and Nintendo SuperFan, Laura is a passionate gamer who comes to WhatCulture to share her nerdy ramblings with the world.