Author Topic: Do you really believe Nintendo "abandoned the core" last generation?  (Read 16923 times)

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Offline Phil

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I only put that in quotes because that's usually the phrase folks use.

There's been this discussion in the Talkback Wii U/GameCube sales comparison article, but I'd like to bring it to its own topic.

If you've read my thoughts in Talkback, then you know what I think, but I'll outline it anyway for fun.

I don't think it's fair to isolate the horrid E3 2008 conference, a selection of games from the Wii line, the Touch Generations, among other moments and ignore everything else Nintendo produced, developed, and did with the Wii and DS.

For instance, and forgive me for writing a list here, but with the Wii alone we saw:
  • One exclusive Zelda mainline game
  • Two of the greatest reviewed games of the generation (Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2)
  • The return of such franchises as Donkey Kong Country, Excite, Sin & Punishment, and Punch-Out
  • Two Metroid games (I liked Other M. It wasn't the best game, but I honestly did enjoy it)
  • Two new Kirby games
  • A new Mario Kart
  • The first 2D home console Mario game in ages
  • A new Wario Land
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl (my favorite in the series, but I'm not a competitive player)
  • A new Fire Emblem
  • New attempts at new IPs with Endless Ocean, FlingSmash, among others
  • And more
So while Nintendo did focus on "casual" or "non-gamers", it didn't focus on them 100% of the time. There was a lot of stuff for longtime gamers such as us.

Do you think Nintendo turned its back on core gamers with the Wii?
« Last Edit: April 23, 2014, 04:31:20 PM by Phil »
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Offline Adrock

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Re: Do you really believe Nintendo "abandoned the core" last generation?
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2014, 03:19:39 PM »
No.

Anyway, I sense no good can come from this thread. It's going to turn into a clusterfuck like it always does. That's why I avoided rebutting anyone in that Talkback thread. You're going to get the same people who claim Nintendo doesn't make games for them anymore yet can't help willingly posting on a Nintendo message board and talking about them because, sure, that makes sense.

I suggest we talk about our favorite kind of cupcakes instead... but then, some chucklehead will just turn it into a metaphor about Nintendo choosing last generation hardware somehow.

Offline Phil

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Re: Do you really believe Nintendo "abandoned the core" last generation?
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2014, 03:21:21 PM »
I will raise a white flag and yell "Abandon ship!" if the topic does become poopy. I'm just interested in reading the other side and their rationale.

I like vanilla cupcakes, as I've never liked chocolate.
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Offline lolmonade

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Re: Do you really believe Nintendo "abandoned the core" last generation?
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2014, 03:22:47 PM »
I think the real question is: did Nintendo abandon the core gamer, or did the core gamer abandon Nintendo?


I don't have enough perspective of pre-Wii sales to have the best informed opinion, but everything I've read indicates that Gamecube wasn't a big seller.  Sony wiped the floor, absolutely trounced Gamecube & Xbox in sales, and I think Nintendo saw it as a rational decision that the core video gaming crowd wasn't enough of an install base for them to carve out an install base that was acceptable to their growth aspirations as a business.


To your point, there are several games from Nintendo during the Wii generation that are either geared towards the "core" Nintendo gamer or unfriendly to casual gamers, but I think it's not hard to see that based on the game library that their aspirations was to continue making the Wii a good value proposition to those who bought it primarily for Wii sports, or for their kids.


I also think that the Wii U's misfortunes have less to do with core gamers not thinking there's value in Nintendo games, but in Nintendo's miscalculation that a unique tablet controller at the cost of hardware more in-line with msft/Sony would be a good value proposition, especially when their best touted feature (off-tv play) has been implemented alternatively fairly well by Sony.
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Offline Khushrenada

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Re: Do you really believe Nintendo "abandoned the core" last generation?
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2014, 03:47:08 PM »
Just a quick correction for you Phil. New Super Mario Bros. on the DS was the first 2D platformer in ages. NSMB Wii was only a couple years after that.


Offline lolmonade

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Re: Do you really believe Nintendo "abandoned the core" last generation?
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2014, 03:51:35 PM »
Just a quick correction for you Phil. New Super Mario Bros. on the DS was the first 2D platformer in ages. NSMB Wii was only a couple years after that.


It's just that the Wii version was leaps and bounds better.  Not sure how popular an opinion this is, but I always felt NSMB for DS was kind of garbage.
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Offline Pixelated Pixies

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Re: Do you really believe Nintendo "abandoned the core" last generation?
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2014, 04:19:38 PM »
Nope.

For the reasons already stated. Nintendo released plenty of games which appealed to their most dedicated fans.

On a slightly related note, I realised this week that I'm already getting slightly nostalgic for the Wii. I really do look back on things like Warioland: Shake It, Fluidity, Prime 3, Galaxy, Twilight Princess, Punch Out!! etc with a great amount of fondness.
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Offline Phil

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Re: Do you really believe Nintendo "abandoned the core" last generation?
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2014, 04:30:56 PM »
Just a quick correction for you Phil. New Super Mario Bros. on the DS was the first 2D platformer in ages. NSMB Wii was only a couple years after that.

I'm sorry. I left out the term "home console."
Thanks for that!


EDIT: Fixed it! Thanks again!
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Offline Ian Sane

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Re: Do you really believe Nintendo "abandoned the core" last generation?
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2014, 05:03:35 PM »
I wouldn't say they abandoned them but took them for granted.  It felt like more a token effort like they shifted a lot of focus towards their new casual audience and just assumed their old fans would stick around.  The whole design of the hardware was pretty much entirely for the new audience.  It was pretty much a re-release of the Gamecube with a new controller that was specifically designed for people that were intimidated by traditional controllers.  The controller part isn't speculation, Nintendo themselves stated that was the intention of the controller and specifically mentioned the TV remote design as being familiar and inviting.

Why would I want to buy a console that offers effectively no upgrade to the prior one other than a controller that is specifically designed for an audience I am not part of?  Aren't I effectively getting cheated?  It seems arbitrary that I have to buy a whole new console when the new gameplay experience it offers might as well be a peripheral for the Gamecube.  It felt like a scam that relied on the new audience to be ignorant of Nintendo's prior history.  I also did not like being told that I didn't need updated specs or that I didn't need to have a console that supported HDTVs.  And going with last gen hardware completely fucked up third party support and I wanted HD games from Nintendo and they wouldn't give them to me.  Instead I get Gamecube games with wonky controls passed off as "innovation".

And Nintendo had to put the casual focused motion controls in every game.  Thankfully we sometimes got the option but not always.  Super Mario Galaxy is one of the most exceptional titles but it still had waggle controls that you could NOT disable.  Why were they there when they were literally just a button press mapped to a shake?  To make the game more inviting to casuals.  Now you're compromising the controls on a game that otherwise seems designed for one audience to be inclusive to the other.  But do casual titles like Wii Sports get extra options to appeal to the core?  Nope.  It only went one way.  Core games get compromised to be inviting to casuals but casual games had no concessions made for core gamers.  It was clear who the focus was.

And I also found that on the Wii Nintendo's ambition and creativity took a nose dive with more and more cookie-cutter sequels than before.  The truly new concepts seemed to be reserved for casual games like Wii Sports and Wii Fit.  Casuals get the innovation, core gamers get safe token efforts.

And I felt that Nintendo made no effort to address their shortcomings on the Gamecube.  I assume it was because the casuals don't know better.  That seemed to be the whole plan.  Don't try, don't improve, don't care because the casuals don't know better.  And the casuals outnumber the core so who cares if they complain?

I felt like a second class citizen on the Wii.  My concerns didn't matter because I was in the minority and it seemed that Nintendo didn't actually care if I was happy with the system or not.  If I wanted a decent online solution and cutting edge graphics and responsive controls and good third party support and some actually justfication for buying a new console other than a gimmicky controller that doesn't impress me then I'm out of luck.

It was a weak effort that coasted on the money coming from casual gamers that didn't seem to notice or possibly even care.  You can't ask your old audience to put up with a ton of compromises, that the competing products don't have, to accomodate a new audience.  That's neglecting your old audience.

Offline UncleBob

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Re: Do you really believe Nintendo "abandoned the core" last generation?
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2014, 05:13:25 PM »
Donkey Kong Jr. Math (Brain Training)
World Class Track Meet (Wii Fit)
Duck Hunt (Motion Controls)
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Nintendo abandoned the Core Gamer on the NES.  Go play some Game and Watch.
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Offline Mop it up

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Re: Do you really believe Nintendo "abandoned the core" last generation?
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2014, 06:17:01 PM »
It's definitely a huge exaggeration to use the word "abandon," but I do think Nintendo's efforts and focus shifted a bit with the Wii and beyond. Nintendo have always tried to appeal to a wide audience, as UncleBob alludes to, but I think they started doing more to attract new gamers than before, and maybe less for established gamers. So although I agree that Nintendo aren't as ambitious as they once were, I'm also not so sure I care that much about that, and I still feel they publish some great games.

In fact, with nostalgia removed, I'd probably name the Wii as my fave system.

Offline smallsharkbigbite

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Re: Do you really believe Nintendo "abandoned the core" last generation?
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2014, 07:37:10 PM »
Not a big cupcake fan.  But I love those mini-pecan pies. 

Nintendo doesn't make core games is an extremist argument and not true.  I'd love to own every video game system but it's just not feasible.  People with limited money have to decide which player to go with. 

Nintendo is falling behind most of the offerings of the other big video game players.  Nintendo owns platforming, if that's your major interest there is no reason to not be happy with what Nintendo brings to the table.  I love racing games (can't give enough of them really).  Mario Kart is an awesome racing game but that's really all Nintendo has.  I tend to go to the simulation side of racing (Gran Turismo, Forza, Nascar, F1, Dirt) and Nintendo has nothing there.  They also don't have other good arcade titles like Burnout, NFS, Motorstorm, Midnight Club, Dirt, etc, etc and they don't have wheel support which sucks big time.

That certainly doesn't make Nintendo game systems useless for me, they just don't offer what the other players offer in genres I like.  I'm actually a two system guy because I do also like platforming and some of the key Nintendo franchises (Mario Kart, Pikmin, Smash).  The more time and $ I spend on other systems I view as opportunity for Nintendo.  They used to be my only system and I wish they could provide that experience to be my only system again.  It's not that I intentionally try to be negative on Nintendo because I enjoy their current games.  But I can't help feeling like it would be so easy for them to improve certain aspects and they are unwilling to. 
« Last Edit: April 23, 2014, 08:10:36 PM by smallsharkbigbite »

Offline smallsharkbigbite

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Re: Do you really believe Nintendo "abandoned the core" last generation?
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2014, 08:14:26 PM »
Donkey Kong Jr. Math (Brain Training)
World Class Track Meet (Wii Fit)
Duck Hunt (Motion Controls)
Gyromite (Gimmick Accessory)


Come on.  Duck Hunt is pointer controls, Bad Street Brawler with the glove is motion controls. 

Offline Luigi Dude

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Re: Do you really believe Nintendo "abandoned the core" last generation?
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2014, 08:16:29 PM »
Donkey Kong Jr. Math (Brain Training)
World Class Track Meet (Wii Fit)
Duck Hunt (Motion Controls)
Gyromite (Gimmick Accessory)

Nintendo abandoned the Core Gamer on the NES.  Go play some Game and Watch.

You mobile playing non-gamers are what's killing the industry with your shallow pocket games.  Real Nintendo fans will stick to Sheriff in the Arcade where true core gaming is.
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Offline UncleBob

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Re: Do you really believe Nintendo "abandoned the core" last generation?
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2014, 08:22:15 PM »
Donkey Kong Jr. Math (Brain Training)
World Class Track Meet (Wii Fit)
Duck Hunt (Motion Controls)
Gyromite (Gimmick Accessory)

Nintendo abandoned the Core Gamer on the NES.  Go play some Game and Watch.

You mobile playing non-gamers are what's killing the industry with your shallow pocket games.  Real Nintendo fans will stick to Sheriff in the Arcade where true core gaming is.

You know... I've been looking for a nice US Bandido machine. ;)
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Offline Nile Boogie Returns

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Re: Do you really believe Nintendo "abandoned the core" last generation?
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2014, 09:40:01 PM »
No. The biggest factor to me is they ignored the HD (I went HD in 2009) and true online movement. Game for game the Wii can hold its own with the top 20 games from PS360, but the perception that Nintendo didn't care is simply off base. They handled them wrong or as IANSANE said "took them/us for granted".


HOWEVER!!!


The list of exclusive (mostly) games that are also "core" is quite robust I think.


Fragile Dreams
Pandora Tower
Xenoblade Chronicles
The Last Story
Madworld
Red Steel 2
No more Heroes 1/2
Muramasa
Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom (better that Marvel Capcom 3)
World of Goo


and this is off the top of my head.




Hell no!


Offline the asylum

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Re: Do you really believe Nintendo "abandoned the core" last generation?
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2014, 10:16:49 PM »
Nintendo didn't abandon the cores, no, but they abandoned the kind of approach that appeals to core developers.

Abandonment via proxy, if you will.

Offline bustin98

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Re: Do you really believe Nintendo "abandoned the core" last generation?
« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2014, 10:20:56 PM »
It's not the games. It's the services. Poor online connectivity, assumes everyone needs to be in a "safe" environment, assumes the tech level of everyone is low (thanks, Apple). Nintendo wants to hold your hand rather than let you learn how to fly.

Offline smallsharkbigbite

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Re: Do you really believe Nintendo "abandoned the core" last generation?
« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2014, 03:53:14 AM »
Quote
Game for game the Wii can hold its own with the top 20 games from PS360,

Gaming tastes are so subjective that I don't really like statements like this.  Many of the games on your list are niche as they didn't broadly appeal to those that owned Wiis (didn't sell well) despite almost everyone owning a Wii.  I think what you also see that as tastes have become more broad in gaming, it's not always about matching the top 20 games.  Sometimes those games that aren't considered top of the line for the console really push gamers to the system because they are able to connect with those games. 

I still think on a genre by genre basis Nintendo fails to match their competitors leading to poor sales.  I'm not going to go genre by genre as a comparison.  I listed racing above, but that's not as popular of a genre.  A more important genre is FPS.  It's probably the most important genre right now and I would find it hard for someone to argue that Nitnendo is on even footing in the genre.  So people that like that genre will pass over getting a Nintendo system in favor of a competitor.  Most people that would argue against this don't really like the FPS genre.  So again, the Wii games may be your preference, but in the larger market Nintendo is failing because they don't provide many games that have mass appeal.  I largely hate FPS, but I see their importance in the market place. 

Offline Nile Boogie Returns

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Re: Do you really believe Nintendo "abandoned the core" last generation?
« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2014, 05:02:58 AM »

[size=78%]I still think on a genre by genre basis Nintendo fails to match their competitors leading to poor sales.  I'm not going to go genre by genre as a comparison.  I listed racing above, but that's not as popular of a genre.  A more important genre is FPS.  It's probably the most important genre right now and I would find it hard for someone to argue that Nitnendo is on even footing in the genre.  So people that like that genre will pass over getting a Nintendo system in favor of a competitor.  Most people that would argue against this don't really like the FPS genre.  So again, the Wii games may be your preference, but in the larger market Nintendo is failing because they don't provide many games that have mass appeal.  I largely hate FPS, but I see their importance in the market place. [/size]


Your right no doubt. I would would like to point out that there are plenty of fps on Wii but the lack of features and polish makes it look more barren than it really is. Clearly not as many as on ps360 but a fair amount that if the Wii was your only/main console, you could scratch that itch. Racing games, Sandbox and western rpgs however...i got nothing.


Offline Ian Sane

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Re: Do you really believe Nintendo "abandoned the core" last generation?
« Reply #20 on: April 24, 2014, 10:19:54 AM »
It's not the games. It's the services. Poor online connectivity, assumes everyone needs to be in a "safe" environment, assumes the tech level of everyone is low (thanks, Apple). Nintendo wants to hold your hand rather than let you learn how to fly.

Good point.  What message do you give to your audience when your online games require friend codes?  The very concept is patronizing.

When you look at the sales trends thus far this gen with the PS4 outselling everyone else it suggests a strong rejection of what could be seen as casual gamer focused features.  The Wii U has the gimmicky controller and outdated specs.  The Xbox One is less powerful than the PS4 but costs more money because Kinect, which is largely seen as casual, is a mandatory purchase.  Both of those consoles require the user to make some compromise to accomodate casuals but the PS4 does not.  Whether you like it or not there appears to be a large amount of core gamers that don't like "sharing" their hobby with another audience, at least not if their experience is affected in any way.

Offline Ceric

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Re: Do you really believe Nintendo "abandoned the core" last generation?
« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2014, 11:16:03 AM »
There is a difference between sharing a hobby and compromising a hobby.
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Offline broodwars

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Re: Do you really believe Nintendo "abandoned the core" last generation?
« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2014, 12:42:22 PM »
I don't have much time to post this, so I'll keep it brief: Do I believe Nintendo "abandoned" core gamers last generation? No, though their early-Wii software was heavily skewed against my interests. However, do I believe that Nintendo created a hostile environment for core gamers on future Nintendo consoles by rejecting almost everything core gamers value in their games (strong 3rd party support, production values, a diverse software lineup, games with tight and responsive controls, deep gameplay mechanics)? Yes, I do.
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Offline alegoicoe

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Re: Do you really believe Nintendo "abandoned the core" last generation?
« Reply #23 on: April 24, 2014, 01:37:15 PM »
If the Wii was able to at least output a 720p resolution we wouldn't be having this discussion. I think Nintendo gamers couldn't understand why their favorite game franchises were not in HD. That single fact alone caused a mass exodus of Nintendo fans to the other platforms.
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Offline Nile Boogie Returns

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Re: Do you really believe Nintendo "abandoned the core" last generation?
« Reply #24 on: April 24, 2014, 04:19:28 PM »
If the Wii was able to at least output a 720p resolution we wouldn't be having this discussion. I think Nintendo gamers couldn't understand why their favorite game franchises were not in HD. That single fact alone caused a mass exodus of Nintendo fans to the other platforms.


Can 240 lines of resolution really cause that big of a difference in perception? YES IT CAN? I completely agree. Even  now I want 10 wii games in HD, as if it's some sort of unfinished experience. In hindsight, I can see why some gamers feel incomplete without HD. (Metroid Prime 3 in HD back in 09 and the gaming world is a different place)