19 April 2007

Nintendo dominance Part 2

I left off my last post on Nintendo stating why I thought Nintendo could still fail with this generation of consoles. There are many reasons actually, and a lot of them have to do with what Nintendo is not offering.

Although the Wii is built with wireless technology, there are no games that currently use this capability. The first game will be Pokemon Battle Revolution. While it may seem that games just have arrived with this ability, a lot of it has to do on how Nintendo is approaching online play. In order to show that the console is "safe", they have installed "friend codes". These codes must be traded with those you would like to play online with for every game that you own. That is, every game has a different code that you must trade to play online. This is great if you know who you would like to play against. But if you're like me, and don't have any friends that have a Wii, I can't play online.

So the easy of use of online play is an issue. Nintendo is aware of this fact and chooses to keep the setup the same. While Microsoft uses "gamer tags" to identify a gamer and allow them to connect through the console to play the games, even if they don't know each other. Nintendo could easily do this, and apply parental controls if they are worried about how safe it would be.

Another issue at stake here is third party support. Many developers are pushing out PS2 remakes and not too many original games. The original games that do come out are gimmicky and seemed rushed as the controls do not seem like they have been refined as they should. Also, why do we need motion control for every game? Why can't we be happy with simplified controls every now and then?

Right now the Wii seems to be holding very strong and has broken a lot of sales records already. I would like to see the Wii succeed and spark innovation. This is all when there are still shortages of Wii's everywhere. Can you imagine what the sales could be once the supply problem is fixed?

Some areas that I would like to see the Wii improve on is online gaming. I really think that Nintendo needs to seriously look at the online fan-base and realize what the community as a whole wants. Friend codes are not part of the equation.

I would also like to see more Real Time Strategy games released for the Wii. The motion controller would work perfect as a mouse cursor to control the games. You could bring new franchises to the console market that have been strictly on the PC. Take Command and Conquer, Warcraft, Starcraft or Civilization and port it to the Wii. It would work brilliantly.

It would be neat to see Nintendo open up the console for Homebrew applications. These are programs that are made by people who are fans. They make the games and applications and make them available for the console. If Nintendo could open up that market, they would surely succeed.

Of course, these are only my opinions, but they are shared by many in the Nintendo community. Hopefully Nintendo will be able to do some of this, but I won't get my hopes up because as soon as I do, they will spoil my dreams.

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