Concerning Nintendo, the Wii U, and video games in general.

There has been much talk over the past week or so about the (most recent) impending doom of the House that Mario built.  It would appear that Nintendo’s most recent home offering, the Wii U, is not selling all that well.  Already the journalists of the world, armchair and otherwise, are heaping their opinions onto the huge pile of speculation that is forming.

Nintendo is dead!

Nintendo will go third party!

Nintendo will limp on for the rest of this hardware generation!

It would be easy for me to add my voice to this symphony of chainsaws (everyone forgets that Nintendo sells well in Japan, dominates the handheld market with the 3DS, and most important of all, owns Pokemon), I thought I’d instead talk about how I relate to video games through this particular company.

To say video games have been kind of a big deal to me is a bit of an understatement.  To quote Philip J. Fry, “I studied every day of my 9th grade year, except for that one day my eyes started bleeding…” I still remember getting a shiny new NES for Christmas my second grade year.  Every afternoon the neighborhood kids would pile over at my house to play Bubble Bobble and Rampage for hours at a time.  Dungeon tips for Legend of Zelda were traded on the playground like illegal contraband.  My cousin reacted to my copy of Super Mario Bros. 3 like a person who had just found a chest full of diamonds.  I was well known for always being up-to-date on the latest game tips (thanks Nintendo Power!), and while most kids were talking about sports, I was more interested in the 16-bit console wars.

I stuck with Nintendo through some pretty insane times (I own a Virtual Boy.  A VIRTUAL BOY!), even as most players my age went on to get Playstations.  Nintendo had become “kiddy”.  “Childish”.  Why should I want to play the latest Mario game when Playstation had Resident Evil?  And wasn’t Final Fantasy 7 so much better than the latest Zelda game? (Note: It wasn’t.  Ocarina of Time is superior to Final Fantasy 7 in every way, and I DARE you to find a game publication worth a crap that disagrees with me!)  While I did eventually add a Playstation to my ranks (I missed fighting games and turn based RPG’s), the latest Nintendo console made up the majority of my play time.  Their games always seemed to be better crafted to me.  Nintendo’s first party games had, and still have, a certain “polish” to them that other companies don’t seem to have quite as often.  I suppose that is what has kept me coming back to them generation after generation, I feel like I’m getting more for my money.

Which brings me to the meat of my rant.

I am now in my early thirties.  I have a wife, two kids, and a mortgage.  And as much as I’ve tried to fight against it, I’ve found myself ever so slightly…(sigh)…growing up.  This doesn’t mean that I’ve decided to stop playing video games, mind you.  It means that I don’t have TIME to play video games like I used to.  I have a million more important things that demand my time, and this thing that once defined me has been relegated to an actual “hobby”.  I just don’t have time to carve through a game like I once did.  And because my time is limited, I would prefer to spend it with games that I know I will get a certain quality from.  While Sony has had enough offerings in the past to convince me to buy a Playstation 1 and 2, I was never really impressed enough with their offerings to drop $600 on a Playstation 3.  Team Ico can only do so much.  And as for the OTHER team, I gave Halo a spin a couple of times.  It is a decent game, but I came to the realization that I enjoyed Halo the first time it came out.

In the 90’s.  When it was called Quake.  And it was better.

So I’ve stuck with Nintendo through thick and thin, and I don’t see any reason to stop now.  I find the Wii U to be a quality piece of hardware, and it has proven to be something that the whole family enjoys.  My oldest son enjoys playing it (only on the weekends though, we are the lame parents who believe that school should be the focus of the weekday. I did say I was growing up, didn’t I?)  And Pikmin 3 has proven to be a game that my wife (who doesn’t play video games, mind you) will play on her own!  They should put THAT in a commercial!  Also, the controller has essentially replaced our TV remote, and it has yet to be lost.  Also, the kids can use it to watch cartoons while we watch something we actually WANT to watch!  No more Dinosaur Train interrupting our shows!

In the end, I’m not too worried about the “console war”.  I stopped paying attention to it last hardware generation, and I found it didn’t diminish my video game enjoyment at all.  I don’t care who “wins”.  I’ve seen some people say that sales matter because that is what influences third parties, but I’ve found I don’t really care about the latest EA published game anyway, so why should it bother me if they skip out on Nintendo’s latest system?  You can can keep “Madden: One Year More Than The Last One” and “Splinter Cell: Same As Last Time But With Zombies Now”.  I’ll be playing the latest Nintendo offering, and that suites me just fine.


~ by Chris on February 3, 2014.

One Response to “Concerning Nintendo, the Wii U, and video games in general.”

  1. Well said!

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