Nintendo comes out swinging

Friday, October 3, 2008
Yes the pun is awful. A fall press conference was ground zero for Nintendo's big announcements this last week. The promise of a slew of new games, new peripherals and a new DS has swayed quite a few people, but I for one am not so impressed.

First off, let's look at the DSi. What's really new about it? It has a camera and an SD memory card slot. Great on the surface but it's also lost the GBA card slot. The reasoning is that it allows the system a more aesthetic look and more space for other things. That's fine. They tout that you'll be able to download various applications priced from 2 to 10 dollars. I imagine some older GBA games will be made available through the service as well.

Trouble is, I have trouble really caring about it. I've never looked at my DS and thought, gee, I'd sure like to have a camera here. The removal of the GBA slot aggravates me a touch. The backwards compatibility was a big selling point for me. Frankly, it seems they've opted to pack on the features rather than fix the systems existing problems. I've yet to here anything about a streamlined interface.

This seems to be Nintendo's answer to everything these days. They make enough money off of their product that they've decided to ignore many long time supporters. Instead of giving the Wii a Hard drive, they give it more peripherals. It will soon have voice chat, but you'd better hope you can hear your friends over the game you're both playing since you won't have a headset.

Wait, you may be saying, they are giving us Punch-out Wii, isn't that something? Well, no it isn't. Punch-out was a great game back in the day, but ask yourself; After all the outcry, all the bad press, all your begging, this is all you get? A revamped version of an original Nintendo Console game? Don't even try to tell me they won't find a way to work the balance board into it. Their core gamers got them to this point, and now that they have all the money they'll ever need, they throw you scraps every once in a while. Punch-out is too little too late.

As for the remakes, I don't think anyone is fooled by that move. Again, with record profits and growing sway over the casual market, the best they can come up with are a bunch of wiimote enabled Gamecube titles. I'm not buying it.

Nintendo is in a unique position. Their console has gotten a lot of people into games that wouldn't have played them before. The console has a great deal of potential to widen the scope of gaming on a global scale. They have the revenue to put serious work behind their projects, make amazing games and show the world what games can do and mean for people. Instead they've taken the businessman's route and abandoned substance for profit. And here I thought we all wanted the same thing.