Ask the people: Ty, Michael, Eanna and I

I decided to ask a few of my Twitter followers, Facebook pokers and general e-mates what they thought of Nintendo for 2011 and 2012. There will be two batches, same questions but different people/answers.

Can you introduce yourself and make any plugs that you wish to plug:

Hello, my name is Ty Burna, Ty for short obviously. I don’t have anything to plug since I don’t have a website of any kind, maybe one day.

Hi all, my names Michael Burhan, Actor, Father and creator of #Nerdgenious! , You can check out my blog by going to www.nerdgenious.com and also check me out every Friday on smark out moments Saturday Smacktalk on youtube!.

Well you can call me Eanna. I’m a Sony fan with my Nintendo knowledge being very limited. I have no plugs to plug.

I’m Lee, this is my blog.

Nintendo had a mix bag in 2011, what were your overall feelings on it?

Nintendo had a bit of a down year. I think the Wii reached it’s saturation point as far as console sales are concerned. I think what hurt it as well was the PS3 and the xBox 360 also incorporating the one feature that truly set the Wii apart from the competition. I believe the Wii has done the motion control the best, but if Microsoft lowers the cost of the Kinect add on, you could see the xBox 360 really take over as the dominant console in the industry. What hurt the Wii was the lack of any truly killer games being released until the end of the year. That could bode well for the Wii for 2012, but we’ll get to that in a bit.

As far as the 3DS is concerned, I think Nintendo got ahead of itself a bit and released the handheld too early. I think if they held off a bit and waited for some of the better games to be ready right at release they would have done very well. Instead it took a price cut in order to boost sales. Without any of the major games that were being developed for it, there was no real reason to purchase the 3DS right out of the gate.

Overall I think Nintendo had some pretty bad slip ups this past year. It hurt them when it comes to the bottom line. Certainly not a company killer type bad year, but something Nintendo will be looking to bounce back from.

For big reveals in 2011 a lot of praise has to go to the Nintendo 3DS which had big releases such as Super Street Fighter IV 3D along with Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D, In terms of the Wii and DS however both consoles tended to have a small amount of games that surrounded around its tablet and the racing front. I believe the release of the new Zelda game eclipsed anything prior, all in all a good year for Nintendo in terms of releases.

“Mixed bag” is definitely a good term to use. I felt that, from what I’ve played on my brothers Wii, Nintendo had a pretty bad first half of 2011 and a pretty good second half. The 3DS was released pretty early in the year but until the release of Super Mario Land 3D Nintendo hadn’t released a single new game that wasn’t a remake with the 3D technology other than Professor Layton and Nintendogs/Cats with the rest being games made by other developers within that 8 month span.

While the remakes were good ideas particularly remaking classic Nintendo games such as StarFox 64 & Ocarina of Time. Wii ownership has always had its pros and cons. On one hand, Wii owners generally get quite a few exclusives that usually are very long lasting to call their own. On the other hand, they often miss out on a heap of big games that come out for PS3, PC & xBox such as Skyrim & the ones that they do get ported over are usually very problematic, for example Modern Warfare 3 got much lower reviews than their PS3/xBox/PC counterparts. 2011 saw few first-rate exclusives hit the system.

Skyward Sword is obviously the stand out with Xenoblade Chronicles & MotoHeroz. Unfortunately that was about it. There were other hyped up games that turned out to be rather disappointing like Kirby’s return to Dreamland. This year was a generally average to bad year for Nintendo. 

Pretty much what already has been said, Nintendo had a shocking 3DS launch but they did well to build the hype before hand with the events doing the round. This was a year that saw Ocarina of Time and Lylat Wars remade, a new Zelda Wii game, a 3D Mario platformer and a Mario Kart. Add into that the likes of Xenoblade in Europe it wasn’t as bad as people made out after all.

What was your favourite Nintendo released game of 2011?

Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and it’s not even close. I don’t think I need to go into detail with this. It’s a Zelda game, it was predestined to be a classic.

Had to be the Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, A prequel  in its own right the game has been met with a positive reception by Nintendo Fans and non-fans alike. With a lot of games not meeting my expectations in terms of game-play Skyward sword had it all, from graphics to story, to game-play it was that damn good in terms of overall quality.

I haven’t played Xenoblade or LoZ so I’ll probably have to go with MotoHeroz. I’m about 11 levels into story mode, but that’s not the main selling point of the game. What will keep you playing is the insane multiplayer & daily challenges. Despite the lack of a competitive online multiplayer and the odd minor issue with the visuals, I see no fault in it. It can be frustrating if you’re easily annoyed (like my brother who i beat by five points) but it’s a blast. Probably the best Wiiware game I’ve played yet.

Skyward Sword, but Pokemon Black and White was very close.

Most Nintendo bloggers out there have noted that Nintendo had a terrible start but a great end. Do you think they can maintain their momentum in Q1?

Possibly, although just checking out new releases going through March, the only real major game I see being released is Mario Party 9 for the Wii. As for the 3DS, a new Resident Evil game, Kid Icarus, and a few others will be released in the next couple months. Based off releases I don’t see any games that’s going to set the world on fire off first glance. The best way for Nintendo to keep the momentum going is essentially hoping the games that started the momentum continue to sell well. With the WiiU coming around the corner, it’s very possible developers hold off releasing anything major and waiting for the easy cash in with the WiiU being released.

I think mostly it’s because of the anticipation of the new Wii U, Nintendo has taken steps to focus on the weaknesses that the Wii had in order to make the Wii U more attractive to hard core gamers as opposed to just focus on family gaming, in terms of being an originator in gaming they have introduced new fixtures to the model such as the mobile gaming tablet that is being promoted as a secondary controller that can be used to play games like never before.

But this will reflect badly in terms of the year’s first quarter as Nintendo will be moving away from their Older consoles (The Wii and the DS) and focus on promoting their newer Properties (The Wii U and 3DS).

In terms of sales Nintendo is already off to a good start with the 3DS unit as it is eclipsing the PS Vita in terms of Japanese sales, But in terms of quality in 2012 we are looking at a huge set of releases for the 3DS, games such as Luigi’s mansion, the long awaited debut of Kid Icarus for the 3DS console. In terms of Wii however has nothing that beats 2011 release of Skyward sword so don’t be surprised if we see the  console in decline moving into the second quarter of 2012. Overall I believe Nintendo’s 3DS sales will keep the company strong moving forward.

I don’t see why not. They managed to have such a good fourth quarter even though they delayed some games. With games like Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Kid Icarus & Luigi’s Mansion 2 coming for the 3DS I can’t see them not being successful.

Yes, mainly due to 3DS sales and in Europe February is pretty busy Wii wise.

Which game are you most looking forward to Nintendo wise in 2012?

Probably The Last Story if it gets a US release date. Checking out the reviews on it and the screen shots has this RPG veteran salivating. I know that Nintendo is showing Europe some love by saying it will be released there. Pandora’s Tower is in the same boat for me. Otherwise I don’t really have any Nintendo games I’d be looking forward to.

I don’t own a 3DS so I’ll be setting my sites on purchasing a Wii U upon its release. Names have been speculated such as Ninja Gaiden 3, Pikmin 3 and Dragon Quest X (which I am a huge fan of), I’m also looking forward to the new Mario and Zelda games upon their release.

I don’t generally have one. Kid Icarus looks good though.

WiiU.

What about the Wii? Is there life in the old girl yet or does the Last Story, Pandora’s Tower and The Last Story mark the end?

Well if the Nintendo DS can still hang around, I don’t see why the Wii couldn’t either. Like I stated earlier however, I think any major developments may very well wait until the WiiU is released. That could hurt the prospects of the Wii getting any more big name games to the system.

Well in terms of home brew I would say yes, a lot of people (such as myself) see new life in the old Wii with home brew software and old school emulation, with Nintendo setting its sights on the Wii U I doubt there will be any more support from third parties after the Wii U’s release.

It’s still only 5 years old. I think that it could last longer but 5 years has generally been the time line for most of Nintendo’s consoles. Shame since Skyward Sword had seemingly given us what Nintendo wanted in motion controls.

Pretty much after Pandora’s Tower, Last Story, Dragon Quest X and Mario party games I think it’s bye bye.

The first half of the year will all be about the 3DS. After the price cut, change of marketing, system updates and some big titles what does it need during 2012?

It needs to find a way to battle with the casual game market, and unfortunately I don’t see how it could do that exactly. The Vita is in the exact same boat. The portable gaming market has shifted, and not in the direction Nintendo nor Sony will care for. With the rise of smart phone use, portable gaming has leaned in that direction (see: Angry Birds, Cut The Rope, etc.). People are already spending around the same price of a 3DS or a Vita on their Android device or iPhone, and on those devices they can buy games that easily entertain them for either free, or under $5. That’s a huge advantage a smart phone has over a 3DS. Yes the 3DS is clearly the better gaming device, but in this day and age with more people trimming their budgets, it doesn’t make sense for them to buy a dedicated portable gaming system when they have their smart phone that they have already spend a good amount of money on. The Vita is not going to be a major opponent to the 3DS. As hyped as I was for the Vita, reading many of the issues people are having has really turned me away from it. That’s not to say the Vita won’t be any good, but Sony is already marginalized by indifference from your hardcore gamers, what good will the Vita do when the 3DS already has issues against Android and iPhone? Nintendo needs to realize (and I hope they already do) that they face their biggest competition from Android, iPhone, Tablets, etc.

So what does that mean for the 3DS then? The first thing is to get their online store up with a plethora of such games in their at low cost. They don’t have to be epic games with a huge amount of game-play hours, but games that utilize the 3D gimmick and innovate those games that are mostly used as time waster. That hopefully would draw in some of the casual gamers. After that they need to key in on the hardcore gamers. When I say hardcore gamers I’m not talking about the guy that plays WoW 30 hours out of the week. I’m talking about the guy that plays as many video games as possible. Try to eliminate the number of shovelware titles that come out for it and maximize the number of high quality titles you release for it. The sooner they get some of their bigger franchises on the 3DS, the better off the 3DS will be.

3DS needs more third party support, the console is already making strides in the gaming market (also with the wide variety of Nintendo games already being released for the system), but the console needs more support from bigger companies such as Square Enix, Warner Games to name a few, once more support is given the console will make its mark.

Pretty much what it’s doing but build on the online connectivity aspect of it and gain some third party support. Also please don’t release a 3DS lite, that would be annoying.

What game are you looking forward to most on the 3DS?

Nothing in particular at the moment, although Resident Evil Revelations and Tekken 3D Prime look intriguing.

The upcoming Resident Evil Revelations is my choice, it also supports its own third party attachment for the 3ds and also Luigi’s mansion 2 (loved the first one).

I’ve already mentioned Kid Icarus as my overall game so that one.

Luigi’s Mansion 2.

When do you think we’ll see the WiiU?

If it comes out in 2012, it will come out right before Christmas. Just like the 3DS however, I hope they would have some big games to be released out of the gate alongside it. If not this year, we could be looking at some point in 2013. That could be bad news at that point. With Microsoft potentially releasing a new console in 2013, I don’t think Nintendo wants to get into a slugfest with Microsoft as they both release new consoles. Look for Nintendo to get theirs out first to give it that first initial boost.

At the end of 2012 I’m afraid, so for now we’ll be looking at the 3DS to amuse ourselves till its release.

2012 I assume.

It will be after E3 so I’m thinking August/September time.

What are your initial thoughts on it?

Does it go far enough? Specs wise the Wii really lagged behind the 360 and the PS3 in terms of processing power. From the sound of it the WiiU may just be bringing Nintendo up to speed with what Microsoft and Sony have now. That limited some of what the Wii could do, so when Microsoft and Sony release powerhouse new consoles, will the WiiU be left in the dust just the same? That could be key and I think Nintendo needs to look at really upgrading the WiiU’s capabilities. Nintendo also needs to look at making the Wii a total media center just as Microsoft and Sony did with their consoles. A Blu Ray Drive, Netflix, Hulu, among the other online streaming services that are out there. Nintendo needs to look at making the WiiU an all in one device, not just gaming. As a gamer I cringe saying that, but to keep up it’s what they’ll have to do. From a gaming aspect, the tablets are an intriguing idea, and now that Nintendo realized the mistake of allowing only one tablet being hooked up, I see having 4 tablets connected to it opening up a whole new ball game when it comes to game design. Not to mention improved motion control, the WiiU can really bring some innovative ideas to the table. The only negative to that is the consumer is going to have accessories shock after buying 4 tablets, 4 Wii remotes, etc.

I’m a huge fan of innovation and I believe Nintendo has hit the proverbial nail on the head with this console the new tablet controller looks sleek and innovative but also pricey in terms of buying a secondary one for support, the console looks to be more of a hardcore gaming console with a family twist to it which helps Nintendo tap into a rather vast market instead of sticking to niche gaming as it did with the Nintendo Wii prior.

The fact that Nintendo hasn’t strayed too far from its original system really does speak volumes in terms of look style and credibility the Wii U is shaping up to be Nintendo’s next big thing in terms of gaming.

 don’t like the name. Would’ve been better if it were called the NESCafe. Now if i can be serious for a moment it looks promising. It will bring a screen literally into the hands of the player which is a good thing but the overall bulk of it means that it’s going to be a bit of a cumbersome thing and it could take some getting used to. One very interesting aspect of the Wii-U is that it takes the touchscreen tablet angle to its next logical point: the tablet is a wireless window into the game console such that if the TV is being used by someone else, the game can be transported into the Wii-U. This means that if someone else wants to use the TV, you can continue to play your game on the console and access it via the Wii-U. The only question I have is just how strong the signal is going to be?

I personally think that there needs to be at least two major Nintendo games on launch. Which game would you like to see and which one would be likely?

I agree wholeheartedly with you. A new Mario game would be a major boost to the WiiU opening sales, so I would think that would be most likely. Another option is really showing off the multiplayer capabilities of the WiiU and release a Mario Party type game, or even a new Super Smash Bros. game. I’d be completely backing a new SSB game, but I would also like to see a new Metroid game. I don’ think a new Metroid game would be released alongside the console though because you want something to attract the whole family.

I would like to see The Wii U keep with the current trend of having a sports title on launch, but wouldn’t mind having a Mario or Zelda title packaged with it to really show what that tablet controller can do.

I think New Super Mario Bros. Mii will be a launch title, there will be a Wii sports style bundled in game and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Starfox game on launch.

What does Nintendo need to do to make the WiiU launch a success?

See some of my responses above, release the console before Microsoft/Sony does, but also ensure that a few big in house games are ready for launch, as well as a third party game or two that can really set the foundation for the new console.

Not to  break away from current trends, the Wii had Wii sports Bundled with it in order for gamers to get to grips with the full motion control capability of the console, by Bundling the Wii U with another game that highlights its full abilities can help the console strengthen its hold on the market, to have special additions produced also could bring in collectors.

 Nintendo is presenting us with the same thing that all its previous consoles have presented us with: A Unique Selling Point(USP). To make a product work, it needs to have a USP. Consoles that have been successful generally have pretty evident USP’s. The PS2 sold as much as it did, because it was the only console at it’s launch time to be a mulitmedia player (playing both movies and games), and the fact that, again, at the time, it was promoted to be bigger and more powerful than the N64 and PS1. The Wii became one the highest selling consoles of all time due to the fact that it has motion controls and appeals to a much larger demographic than the PS3 or 360. The Wii U’s massive 6.2-inch diameter touchscreen & the already mentioned option to change between TV & tablet gives people more than enough reason to buy it.

Make it cheap and have good games from the outset. Don’t rush it.

Do you think that the console will bring back the MIA third party developers or will it be much of the same?

That depends on what Nintendo will do with the console. The big problem is third party developers are working on games that require the muscle the 360 and PS3 are sporting and what the Wii didn’t have. If the WiiU lags in processing/graphic performance, it very well could continue relying on in house games while third party developers pass over the Wii for their bigger titles. To answer the question, it likely will continue being much of the same.

I believe it will bring them back, this console has far more range in terms of gaming capability.

Pretty much like Ty said it depends what Nintendo do with the console and what is possible. Can you get one, two, three, four controllers connected? Is it a billion times better than the Wii? How much better than the PS3 is it?

Lastly give me some E3 predictions, the crazier the better

We’ll see a new No more heroes game, and another untitled suda 51 game debut.

Well see a slew of new peripherals for the console.

Sony and Microsoft will attempt to copy the Wii U as they did with the Wii’s motion controller.

A huge number of Third Party developers will jump on board and we’ll see slew of new releases on Nintendo’s new platforms.

More independent releases on the console similar to xBox arcade.

Shigeru Miyamoto says he has a big personal announcement to make which everyone assumes is his retirement. It’s not. He has a new hat. It’s a red fedora.

I was going to make the red fedora claim.

From a non Nintendo standpoint, Microsoft announces the Xbox 1080 for release in 2013. The specs on it will be ridiculously awesome, and could very well put the one advantage PC gaming has over console gaming on the shelf for good. Diablo III will be pushed back to 2016 just to piss off Blizzard fan boys yet again. Blizzard drops hints at WoW II. The internet immediately shrugs and goes meh. More details on the WiiU obviously. Hopefully some games announced to accompany it. Sony steadfastly refuses to announce a new console, Anonymous hacks PSN in retaliation. It’s E3, every gamer worth their salt will find something to get immediately hyped about, only to realize many of these announcement and trailers will lead to a game 3 years later, tempering any excitement.

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Posted on 13/01/2012, in Features. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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