‘Sibley Put’ is where Josh Sibley, real American hero, boldly and unabashedly dissects the hot-button issues of modern video gaming and its surrounding culture. Everything he says is to be taken as personally as possible, so get those brows ready for some serious-ass furrowing. You babies.
I know we’ve talked about this on the podcast recently, but Nintendo’s Wii2 is slated for this Tuesday’s press conference. I figured I’d elaborate on what I think the future holds.
2. Realize you were wrong about the value of technology.
Rumor also has it that they’ve shown the box to Ubisoft and EA, so hopefully part of that was, “We want a Dead Space sequel, a major Bioware game, and the next main installment of Assassin’s Creed made for our system,” and the other part of that was, “You can take the Rabbids, ActiveLife, and NBA Ballers and shove them up your ass.” It is imperative, important above all else, that they show both developers and consumers that, without a doubt, this is the place to be for the next generation of gaming– and, since they’re going to be first out of the gate, they have to do it from day one. (Yes, I know the shitpiles sell, but you really shouldn’t come out of the gate with a manure truck. There will be plenty of time for that later.) And, speaking from a gamer standpoint, wouldn’t it be nice to have at least a single console launch in the history of the world that wasn’t like a big, disappointing wet fart?
I cannot say this enough: The biggest, most consistent indicator of success or failure in the game market is the library of games, the third party support. This is Nintendo’s biggest Achilles heel. It has buried two otherwise fantastic systems before their time, and before Nintendo rode the GimmickWave to Momville, has relegated them to a laughingstock dinosaur. Even as we speak, 3DS sales are lackluster, and a recent poll in Japan aimed to find out why. Near the top of the list? The lineup currently sucks. I’ll repeat that: The successor to the biggest selling system of all time that features no-glasses 3d and a whole slew of other impressive technology isn’t interesting to the island of Japan because the games aren’t there. If Nintendo does not admit to themselves this time around that pursuit of this support and library is literally the difference between existing and not existing, then they might as well not even bother. This brings us to my next point…
5. Realize that your gimmick, whatever it is, is not a bargaining chip.
The suspicions about Nintendo’s new system run the gamut from a touchscreen controller that can stream games on the fly to a touchscreen controller than can imitate texture and everything in between. The worst mistake Nintendo can make right now is putting too much stock into whatever it is, and thinking that it’s so neat that they can not have other features and no one will notice, or that they’re less important. The danger here is that Nintendo will be so enthralled with whatever this new feature is, they’ll do what they did with the Wii last time: namely, try and force everyone to care about it the most. Nintendo has to realize that, whatever their gimmick is, it cannot stand in for anything we’re currently used to in this generation of consoles. It cannot make up for lack of power, it cannot make up for shitty online, it cannot make up for lack of a library, it cannot make up for lack of storage space, it cannot make up for anything. The whole “we have this, no one else does” gambit only works is if they can’t say the same about you.
6. Realize that a chance like this will not come for at least another 7 years, if ever again.
Sony and Microsoft, while they reaped massive benefits from their respective consoles eventually, both had massive pains in the ass to deal with this generation, and I’m not just talking about the red rings and the network breaches. I’m talking about how releasing a major new game console in this day and age is a massive, massive, expensive undertaking. That’s half the reason for the Move and the Kinect, to extend the life of their consoles so they don’t have to do that shit again anytime soon.
But Nintendo just ruined all their plans. While Microsoft and Sony were fumbling around in the dark, trying to find something, *anything* to do with their bullshit motion controls, Nintendo announced a new system was coming, and it was coming soon. Nintendo has a safe zone of a year and a half, possibly more, where they can do whatever they want with the next generation to no competition. This is the kind of opportunity that makes empires, but you can bet the Big Two won’t make the same mistake twice. If Nintendo squanders this lead by having the same kind of attitude that brought us Wii Music and genuinely thought it would be a smash hit, then the advantage will have flipped. Developers and consumers will be perfectly happy to stay with their massive investments and libraries in the face of the same old same old from the Big N, and you can bet that the current big boys on the block will take what Nintendo did, improve upon it, and give us what we actually want when the time comes to upgrade. The last three Nintendo systems, regardless of gimmick or initial popularity, have died 2 years or more before their competitors, so don’t think it can’t happen again.
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I am so excited for E3 this year. I can’t wait to see if Nintendo will actually wise up, or if this will be another disaster. Either way, it’s going to be extremely entertaining and I can’t wait for it.