Death of the fanman: How Nintendo lost one of its most avid evangelists

Jack Loftus was one of the first contributors to Infendo. He began writing for the blog in 2006, a year after I founded it. Known for his wit, provocative writing, and unabashed subjectivity, Jack lovingly referred to himself as the “fanman.”

When gamers prematurely wrote off the DS, and later Wii, Jack was quick to champion each platform and its maker. Over the last half decade, if there ever was a leader of the unofficial Nintendo Defense Force, Jack may have been it.

Not anymore.

Since the announcement of the pricey 3DS last year, and the unveiling of the technology bloated Wii U three weeks ago, Jack has lost almost all faith in the company. “Nintendo just doesn’t interest me anymore,” he said via email this week. Here’s why.

Infendo: You were vocally in favor of just about everything Nintendo did last generation. Why?

Jack: I was vocally in favor of what Nintendo was doing, specifically with the Wii and DS, because it represented a serious effort to grow the industry. Gaming in 2005 was the domain of the 15-25-year-old boy. Most people snickered if you called yourself a gamer, and most gaming systems were basement dwellers in a majority of households because they were considered toys or something a family wouldn’t really be proud of displaying next to their primary TV. Gaming was complex. It did not actively recruit new players or cater to demographics outside the age group mentioned already. Girls, women and people over 35 just didn’t game.

Along came Nintendo. At the time, they seemed to get it. They saw an industry that was moving toward stagnation. The blockbuster series, usually involving guns of some kind, with its $100 million budget was the future. Innovation and risk-taking were shunned in favor of franchises, sequels and anything but indie-developed games. Console prices were high. Game prices were being bumped up to $60 with the only real “improvement” being 1080p resolution.

In reaction, Nintendo zagged. Specs and testosterone took a backseat to simplicity, motion control and fun.

When specifically did you start to view Nintendo in a more negative light and why?

The pessimism toward Nintendo began for the same reason it did for Sony in 2005: Nintendo stopped developing for the consumer and started developing for themselves. Bad sales? Customer’s fault. 3D not taking off? Customers didn’t understand it. High price? Worth it because the tech is so innovative.

Notice any similarities there? This is basically how Sony talked about the PS3 for the past five years. Couple that with the fact that the Wii U is literally the antithesis of what Nintendo has sold to us for the past five years and I think the reason for my pessimism is quite clear. It’s the reason I wrote Nintendo doesn’t have any idea what it’s doing.

My “glowing interest” in Nintendo was always dependent on its ability to honestly provide people with the “surprises” they often talk about, seemingly with honesty, at their press events. The Wiimote surprised. The DS surprised. More importantly, the games that populated these two systems in their first few years of existence surprised in ways that no games have done in quite a while. Wii Sports was an amazing surprise. It put gaming on the map for millions of people who would have never picked up a controller. Can anyone say a game on Xbox or PS3 has ignited the industry the way the Wii did with its low tech specs? It was an amazing underdog story, and that’s part of the reason I was so into the company from 2006 until a few months ago.

What Nintendo did with the e3 2011 conference was cut all those new gamers out of their plan. They didn’t even use their own hardware to pimp the “hardcore” games that are allegedly coming to Wii U next year. This once-powerful company, with console sales that topped the next two competitor, combined, looked as though it was legitimately scared of the vocal minority forum talk.

Would you still be as untrusting as you are now had you never owned an Xbox 360?

Owning an Xbox had very little impact on my opinion of Nintendo. It allowed me to scratch Mass Effect sized itches that simply were not possible on the Wii. It complemented my tastes and did not supersede the Wi or DS.

Is there still hope for the fanman?

The fanman has moved on to more bit sized experiences, mostly due to time constraints and work. iOS games have “surprised” me more with their 1-minute game play bursts these past few months than anything Nintendo has teased, put on sale, or promised.

Nintendo just doesn’t interest me anymore. It’s been exposed as this shallow company that accidentally stumbled upon a great idea–a great gaming movement–and had no idea what to do with the success once it came. 3DS will be their first major failure in a while, and this failure will have a profound effect on Wii U, whenever the eff it comes out.

It sounds as though you view the Wii and DS as success anomalies for Nintendo. If so, what would you call NES, Game Boy, and SNES, and to a lesser extent, N64 and GameCube?

How do I explain the SNES, NES, et al? Easy. No company is perfect. Again, look at Apple. Killer 1980s and then a series of bad decisions that were so outside of what made them great they faltered and nearly failed. Now look at them. Same thing could happen with Nintendo, but right now they’re scattered and developing more for their personalities (Miyamoto, the arrogant Metroid guy) than for the customer.

What would it take for Nintendo to restore your faith in the company?

To restore faith they’ll really have to knock my socks off with the Wii U when it arrives… When? We don’t really know, which is another example of how this company is lost or spooked in some way. They used to be similar to Apple in this regard: New product, almost available immediately after it was revealed. Hands on time, and not with journalists and “experts” but the “common people”

PS – Few developers are as effective as Nintendo at making their franchise characters worse with each new generation. Mii’s in Mario games? Mario games with talking and elaborate stories? Metroid: Anime Sexist Interactive Movie Disaster? Zelda: Puzzle Quest? Failure.

Editor’s note: Jack will continue to to contribute to Infendo as much as interest and time permits. Since he’s such a fun read, do encourage him once in a while.

37 Responses to Death of the fanman: How Nintendo lost one of its most avid evangelists

  1. reaper says:

    Well this may come as a surprise but I never bought outside of nintendo console in my life including now. I never have ever bought a handheld console until recent with the 3ds. I think I’m the only one out there like that now. (if you wondering how long that is I’m 23)

  2. Buck says:

    I’m right there with you. I was raised on Nintendo and continue to love the stuff they come out with. They are really trying to make casual and hardcore gamers happy but I don’t know if some people will ever be happy with them. I don’t think Nintendo has changed but people’s perspectives and expectations have changed. What do people expect the wii u to do? Grant everyones gaming dreams? There will be things people dont like or agree with but that’s the case with anything.

  3. Not Gary Busey says:

    “To restore faith they’ll really have to knock my socks off with the Wii U when it arrives… When? We don’t really know, which is another example of how this company is lost or spooked in some way. They used to be similar to Apple in this regard: New product, almost available immediately after it was revealed.”

    With the exception of Sega’s 1995 E3 announcement that the Saturn was shipping to stores that week, which was a disaster for several reasons, I don’t know of any console that was available immediately after it was revealed. Nintendo, just like Microsoft and Sony, has typically announced new consoles more than a year before launch. Heck, we were talking about the Wii (then Revolution) for quite some time before it finally came out. And Nintendo, also like Microsoft and Sony, has long touted software years before it arrives. How long did I drool over Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess screenshots before those games finally came out?

    There are a lot of holes in Jack’s logic, but I figured I’d start with this.

  4. JG says:

    Well, I agree with the guy. Get him on the Podcast….would make for an interesting show.

  5. Skotski says:

    All I’ll say to this is that Nintendo truly learned that marketing is king, and created the DS and Wii with that specific idea is in mind.
    Before Sony’s appearance as a challenger in the console market, Nintendo was safe. It had lifetime customers – all was well…

    This “minority” Jack speaks of is… well, a pretty big majority when it comes to the not-so-obvious-marketing populace: AKA the real consumers.
    Games definitely were hitting a lull, and Nintendo definitely did reinvigorate it (as it had done in the past after the Video Game Crash)… but let’s not forget that while Nintendo successfully attracted a new crowd: companies tried little to nothing at all to keep them.

    Without Nintendo personally marketing a game, the games would fall to the wayside as an unknown and forgotten classic (place every great 3rd party game for the Wii here).
    Yet on other consoles, games that were marketed just about the same (little to none) were hitting it off great.
    The strangest part: The ones purchasing these games weren’t part of the new “casual” crowd. This wasn’t the reinvigorated crowd of the new year – this was the “minority” crowd of yesteryear. The “hardcore” gamers. Even without the help of the casual-flooding, they had kept Microsoft and Sony alive with their purchases.

    The fact is, Nintendo knows the power of these “hardcores” (made up mostly of life-long customers that had left Nintendo due to the great marketing of Sony and Microsoft), and certainly wants them back. What Nintendo’s trying to do, is do what it did for us “core gamers”: Face it, all of us started as “casual gamers”… it was only when a certain game or genre fell into our lap and onto our screens did we become life-long gamers. Without those titles or series, we would have never considered gaming as a great past-time. Most of us would just think it’s a one-time thing.
    …what Nintendo’s attempting to do, is to create these wishy-washy casual consumers (face it: They don’t know what they’re buying, and great 3rd party titles’ poor sales is all the proof you need) into life-long, knowledgeable customers (much like how we became).

    We all had to start from somewhere. Most of today’s games and controls are far too complicated for those who had just started gaming (whether they avoided gaming for 20 years, or just started their interest)… try and convert someone into gaming by making them play Dragon Age and I can guarantee you you’d only convert about 1% of the people you were aiming for… yet if you were to convert them to gaming with basic games, to simple RPGs, and build them up slowly, Dragon Age would be an understandably great game for them.

    This “minority” is us. We were part of the majority at one point when Nintendo originally marketed their system as a “family entertainment system”. We were part of the dullard “Ooh”ers and “Ahhh”ers too. We didn’t have to stay in that position. We wanted to get more acquainted with games – learned to appreciate quality and depth – and eventually became full-fledge lovers of the system.

    We KNOW what makes a good game because we played great games – though not all of us know how to organize and plan these thoughts out correctly (ask any gamer what they want in a game and about 90% of them will have a great idea but studied and preached terribly). We can tell the difference between quality and laziness. … the “majority” out there? They don’t know anything. Call us forum-ites, but just because a good number of us whine and troll for things we can’t afford, doesn’t mean all of us are like that. Many of us are intelligent of the market, the capabilities of consoles and the games, and are rather fair in judgment on it – we’re just not outspoken as many of the people on both sides of this argument.

    That said, Nintendo wants to fuse these two groups together…
    Why?

    The “minority” is a minority for a reason. Whether it’s social, financial, or psychological reasons – we are a select group of people who care enough to put video games in a high hierarchy of our hobbies and interests. Without the need of direct-benefits to health-life (Wii Fit), long-term sociological boosters (party games like Wii Party), or even simplicity on a subject that we tend to have overcomplicated through the years (simple movements in Wii Sports) — we played games. We didn’t need any of those reasons to love games. But that’s where our flaw is too: Without caring about these subjects, video games were getting stale and un-innovative. Things were getting specialized into generics (Call of Duty and WoW are the standard for games to specialize into), graphics became key yet blinded us (gameplay and story were slowly becoming forgotten to a rather large populace at the sight of a beautiful and smooth view), and controls were becoming far too specified with little to no room for improvement (every controller was basically becoming a dualshock controller).
    The industry would become stale and lifeless – any newcomers would be shunned, and sales would stagnate as variety would eventually dry out. With no fluctuating sales, the video game industry would die off slowly into a category of business that takes no risk. And with no risk, there’s no breakthrough.

    Yet the casuals… the “majority” were one of the biggest spenders. They NEEDED a reason to get into games. Benefits and innovation were what they wanted – but their taste in quality was rather flawed. They were uninformed, disorganized, and often confused (watch a mother try to buy a Christmas present for their child and you’ll know what I’m talking about). BUT they had money and they CARED about improvement. They cared about use. But the trick to get them was to be able to market to them. …they easily follow marketing not because they were stupid – but because they felt like they had no time to research their items.

    And there it was – the missing puzzle between the two. One’s weakness was its stagnation, but its strength was in information. One’s weakness was lack of knowledge, and its strength was its care of change. One had time and expertise, the other had money and connections.

    One would fill out the other.
    And eventually the two would mix into a better market for the industry – one that fluctuates and benefits, yet still keeps its quality high.

    But the problem is, there’s a cultural divide between the two groups.
    And the only way to bring them together, is through the one thing that separates them: Games.

    Nintendo was close with the Wii (as it did bring families together to play), but it was still lousy as its lack of for-core-gamer titles was greatly unbalanced with its overabundance of for-uninformed-casual-gamer titles. But the Wii did bring the casuals.
    The Wii U and 3DS are supposed to bridge that gap successfully.
    The Wii U with its (supposedly) low price point with understandably-low innovation and technology, and the 3DS with its high price point with gimmicks and pseudo-improvements. It caters oddly to two different, yet somewhat non-existent, markets. I’d suppose Nintendo believes these are the gaps that would make the two groups meet somehow.

    I haven’t lost faith in Nintendo. None whatsoever.
    And I hope Jack gets something from the new direction Nintendo’s moving over to.
    Nintendo’s not abandoning the casual-new-crowd, they’re trying to specialize it – and trying to ease up the core-old-crowd.
    They’re trying to put them on even grounds. Let’s hope the coming months show us more of how Nintendo really believes they can do that.

  6. rh0gii says:

    when the DS (phat) released it quickly lost popularity for many months. (if anyone recalls). it took a re-design to make it fly off the shelves. the 3ds will likely get a re-design, but for now, I’d say that it may have a more successful launch than the 1rst interation of the DS did. I’m saying this, because I don’t agree with the fan-man that the 3ds and WiiU are “sellouts” (my interpretation of his gripe with nintendo).

    We need to remember:
    1) Nintendo did pioneer a way to get the “casual” gamers in the industry
    2) the DS and the Wii were instrumental in that
    3) the 3ds does not deter the casual gamer, it’s bumped it’s tech to make a way for the hardcore gamer to get into it too, the way of aiming by moving your console is a very nice addition, I can’t wait to see what this can do for other action titles (fps?), and for now, the 3ds is the first hand held to really make the fighting titles great and playable on the go. The WiiU is not going to turn the casual gamer either, but they are trying to get the hardcore gamers to look their way.
    4) Casual Gamers and Hardcore gamers do NOT agree on games, period! So Nintendo is trying to satisfy two very polarizing parties, and I think that they have the best chance of doing this impossible task.
    5) Nintendo is not over-tech’ing their consoles (3ds/wiiu) like sony is. They are being creative with what tech is affordable to allow them to still make a profit on their console sells. (no surprises here, we can all be happy for nintendo making money)

    I’m sorry if I’m coming off as h8’ing on the Fan-Man. I just think that he needs to give Nintendo a year to get the 3ds going, and see how it fairs against the PSVita, and see how the WiiU turns out. I feel that what Nintendo is trying to do with their new consoles is get the 3rd parties involved in their systems (something that they have struggled with and have suffered for!)

  7. Mohan says:

    I used to be all but Nintendo fan, but then the PS2 came out so from then on I have been a dual fan, but Nintendo comes first. Even now I bought a Wii on launch day, and I barely got a PS3 a month ago. I think for my gaming both Nintendo and Sony hit the mark with their first part offering and then the third parties come into play.

    Currently I don’t like what NOA is doing with Xeno Blades, etc. but I am still looking foward to the upcoming games on the 3DS (and I think $250 isn’t too high, but they need to watch out as PS Vita is priced the same for the non 3G version). Also I am looking forward to the Wii U, and whatever Sony has in store for the home console (not a fan of Sony’s portable system(s)).

  8. Ac says:

    I don’t really agree. I think the intent of wii was to get everyone on board. But a couple of years into wii, nintendo realized they weren’t going to get everyone with wii. The DS essentially got everyone, and now they want to have the same approach and hopefully the same results. I think their strategy is logical and sound. We can revisit this in 5 or 6 years but I predict wii U and 3DS sales will be very comparable to their predecessors. iOS games are pretty cool but they are not as good yet as nintendo games. Also let’s wait for miyamotos take on 3D before we say people don’t get it.

  9. Matt says:

    The best way to game is to play the best games whatever consol they are on. If you are limiting yourself to just Nintendo for some loyalty reason then you are just hurting yourself by missing some great experiences. Of course if you are limited on money and have to buy 1 consol that is a little different.

    Also it’s only hurting yourself to overreact to everything. If Nintendo messes up on a few things it doesn’t mean it’s messed up on everything. Don’t play the bad games and play the good games. Don’t force yourself to have to like some new sequel because you liked the older games.

    As far as the 3DS I got one based on the expectation for great games to be released. I’ve had some fun with Samurai Warriors and Lego Star Wars but I’m not pissed that more games aren’t out yet. I know how long it takes games to be produced. I also like the 3D gimmick. If you don’t like the 3D then it’s easy to wait for better games to come out. It is not a failure a few months into it’s life. Do you really not expect more better games to be released soon?

  10. [obscene screen name] says:

    “PS – Few developers are as effective as Nintendo at making their franchise characters worse with each new generation. Mii’s in Mario games? Mario games with talking and elaborate stories? Metroid: Anime Sexist Interactive Movie Disaster? Zelda: Puzzle Quest? Failure.”

    This is a bit of a stretch. Zelda has done nothing but improve and if he’s only looking at small example of Nintendo whoring out its characters as making them worse he’s severely misguided. Twilight Princess and Skyward sword look amazing. SMG and SMG2 were both really good and NSMB DS and Wii versions were awesome. The Metroid Prime series were all awesome. Other M was an experiment and didn’t really work out but they are certainly capable of bouncing back. Also if you think Nintendo seems more likely to renew lost franchises and their characters than make current ones worse, just look at Donkey Kong!

    Also they can be extremely successful at crossing genre’s with characters, like the better Mario sports games prove, as well as the ultimate genre franchise cross over Super Smash Bros. Many of these became franchises in them selves.

    As for the rest of his problems with Nintendo, I think you were “following” this company, and a fan of them for all the wrong reasons. You should be looking to your own experiences with their products, not how they unveil them. Caring about what this exec says or how they compare with other company’s execs seems silly when your actual experience is with the games you buy. Then again this is something that can be said of all “fanboys” who care more about the brand and how it’s portrayed than how much fun they have.

  11. David says:

    I’d like to hear from Poochy.

  12. cowmanodoom says:

    I personally am extremely excited about the direction Nintendo is going right now. It looks like they will have games for the more serious gamers, and games for those who just play for pure fun… Unlike this generation, where all the games seem to have lowered difficulty levels.

  13. Kale says:

    @Jack: I feel your pain and know your sorrows. Let’s do lunch sometime.

  14. Hitokiri_Ace says:

    *sigh* Yet again, people taking things like Nintendo personally slapped them. They are a company, they make games. I, for one, love games. If you did not like the game, ok, look for a different series, a new concept.. Find what you do like, not what you hate and whine about it. Geez people, why is all that such a new concept? What happened to make “hard core” gamers feel so entitled? I think I missed out on something this generation…… I musta been to busy enjoying Wii games instead… *rolls eyes* My word, what happened to shame, forgiveness, and trusting in what you like? I believe in Nintendo, and will continue, because… I like games.

    Random Other M rant… lol I like anime, so maybe that’s why.. but.. Metroid Other M is the reason I started my backlog of Metroid games. I was never that interested in an emotionless space hunter. Lately, I went back and played all the old Metroids with that premise in mind. She has emotions, she wants revenge, and she still kicked butt. I see no rhyme or reason to hate such a fun game. My imagination and yours are different, OMG! lol Cute=Cat. You agree? No? Wanna flame me too?

  15. Mustache Killer says:

    fanman has lost it. Well alot of people have. Companies can’t cater to everyone. Nintendo is winning! Wii U is basically a wii w/ better graphics and a new input device, great! 3ds, still a ds but has great computing capabilities and fabulous online skillz. My only beef with the big N is pricing. Classic gameboy games should not be more than 3 dollars. wtf are they thinking? Fanman will be eating his own words soon enough.

  16. deepthought says:

    I agree that Nintendo has jumped right into red ocean with the WiiU.

    Basically, the Wii U is current gen technology. Current gen systems are the reddest ocean out there. With a next gen console Nintendo would at least be a first mover.

    But here they are 5 years late to the current generation market, and are asking people to upgrade without any real reason to upgrade.

    Here’s the dilemma for any casual considering entering the HD era: WiiU or 360? 360 has better online support. 360 has an enormous catalogue of AAA games. Kinect lets you use your body to play. Wii U is an upgraded Wii with few games developed for it and only a promised upgrade in online support.

    The WiiU does not expand the market. It’s hard to see who it is even aimed at.

    Sorry Jack feels let down by Nintendo. But they’ve done this to us before (Virtual Boy- red colored bleh) and come back stronger than ever (N64- omg mario runs in circles!).

    I don’t worry about who’s on top (N64 > PS). I can’t imagine supporting Nintendo because theyre winning. I support the systems that entertain to me. And that is constantly changing (in part, NOT replacing my (thrice) broken 360 because MS has pissed me off… so right now my new bluray player is what speaks to me. and OMG i love bluray. bluray > streaming.)

    Nintendo will eventually be back on track. And besides, maybe we’re wrong and the WiiU will be amazing. (doubt it)

  17. gojiguy says:

    So… basically this guy is a huge casual and since Nintendo is now catering ever so slightly more to the hardcore he’s mad and now he plays games on his iphone.

    Sorry but I find this hilarious.

  18. NZA36 says:

    I have owned ever single Nintendo console, a GBA, DS phat, and a DSi, but from now on I am going to be very slow to buy any new Nintendo hardware, but for the very exact opposite reasons Jack is giving. I am a part of that vocal minority that is increasingly turned off by Nintendo’s poor support for hardcore games. A lot of my good will toward Nintendo was spent on the N64 and Gamecube. I didn’t even take part in that letter writing campaign for the three Japanese games because I shouldn’t have to beg a man for the right to give him my money. The other console companies just seem to “get it”.

  19. Hyawatta says:

    Purple Ocean

    I think that some people might be a little bit brainwashed. Much of it sounds to me like ideas and buzzwords are just being reiterated from what has been read from Malstrom’s articles. Here is another thing that I noticed. Details, such as the Wii U name, the demos using Miis and looking similar to Wii Sports/Play/Party games, and the Wii U’s power being comparable to PS360 instead of greatly surpassing it, seem to cause “hardcore” gamers to think that that Nintendo is still focusing more on the new gamers that the Wii brought into the industry than on them. However, others seem to think that Nintendo cut all those new gamers out of their plan by bloating the Wii U with technology in order to appease the hardcore gamers. Each market seems to think that only the other is being catered to when, in fact, Nintendo is trying to make their systems for everybody.

  20. Ac says:

    @gojiguy

    There’s a lot of different type of gamers, why are you laughing? Your characterization is probably correct but you are why people don’t want to get into gaming.

  21. baelnic says:

    WiiU’s success will be dependent on price. We’re going to see a lot of competition from the tablet industry before the end of the WiiU’s life on both price and software. The 3DS is already going head to head with the iPod Touch and the Touch is only going to get cheaper at a faster rate than the 3DS.

    The next gen of console and portable gaming is going to be really exciting and I’m all but convinced we’re fans of the horse and buggy companies.

  22. Yellow Bear says:

    It seems gamers have changed in the past couple years
    I remember when me and all my friends would come to my house and play gamecube all night, or playing mario party at 3 am, and when all we ever had was nintendo
    but now all those guys have changed into creepers who stay in their basement with their headsets on screaming at some other loser in black ops or halo

  23. ewrwe says:

    Can I guess the cause of death? Morbid obesity.

  24. Bruceleroy says:

    He’ll be back when Nintendo releases Zelda, Metroid, Starfox, Mario Galaxy 3, F-zero, Smash, and so on in High Definition 1080p.

  25. btj says:

    I have hope for the wii U, all i see the wii U as a high performance wii with an actual controller. I’m not going to call it innovative nintendo throws that word around too much a this point i would call it inspiring. Its made to inspire developers to make games, its made to inspire gamers to buy those games. You don’t just randomly buy games you look in to the game until you’ve seen something that “inspires” you to make a purchase. I think nintendo tries to hard innovate when they should be giving consistent quality, personally i like the 3ds, but with that said i don’t really care for 3d. The 3d adds next to nothing to gameplay, i believe nintendo should have went back to the gameboy brand something like the gameboy hd idk. They over complicate things to a such a degree that its not innovative its just unnecessary. They don’t cater to their fans wants like they should either, not bringing quality titles to the west is becoming a major issue and it doesn’t make any sense. I’m getting the wii U definitely, becuase i believe that its a step in the right direction from the wii. Nintendo heard peoples complaints about the wii and i honestly think that the wii u solves most of my issues with the wii, i’m planning on selling my xbox360 to buy the wii u. I’ll be honest hd is very important to me, at this point not having them is an insult to my samsung tv. I’m praying nintendo has learned from past mistakes and is finally ready to step up to the plate.

  26. Joe says:

    It’s sad but it sounds like Jack has gotten too jaded for Nintendo. There were many times that I was rolling my eyes while reading this article. A few thoughts:

    1) I disagree that Nintendo is going in a wrong direction with the Wii U. With the casual gamer buying $0.99 cent app store games, concentrating on the hardcore gamer who will spend $50-60 a game makes sense. Plus the Wii U is still backwards compatible with all Wii peripherals, so they aren’t abandoning the casual just yet.

    2) Nintendo got lucky with the Wii. Really? I really doubt that. Were they surprised by it’s success? Probably. But you don’t stick around for this long and releases systems like the NES, Game Boy, NDS and games like Mario and Zelda by just being lucky.

    3) In terms of Nintendo games getting worse each subsequent generation see Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2.

    4) To me iOS games are fun but a bit shallow (What can you expect for $0.99). Plus I’m not really sure how much real gaming innovation is happening on iOS: http://www.atomicboysoftware.com/blog/2010/12/angry-birds-crush-the-castle-and-inspiration/

    The one question they should have asked Jack was: “If Nintendo is doing so much wrong with the Wii U, what would you do differently if you were in charge?”

  27. deepthought says:

    @ Joe

    But how is the WiiU seriously concentrating on the hardcore gamer? It’s not a real next gen console. And most hardcore gamers already have a 360/ps3/pc to fulfill those needs. Even Jack does. A WiiU is redundant!

  28. unescorpionperfumado says:

    @deepthought

    Nigga please, so they should stick with the wii instead ? or launch another underpowered console? because the wiiu it’s actually x5 more powerfull than a xbox or ps3, and acording to a top dude at sony the ps4 isn’t going to be a graphic powerhouse.

  29. btj says:

    @unescorpionperfumado- i read that too about the ps4. The wii u is supposedly 50% this console is next gen nintendo got there first this puts them in a great position! the other next gen consoles will probably not bring anything new to the table and the next xbox is 5 YEARS AWAY!! MS isn’t going to cut support for the 360 anytime soon the wii could be a misstep the wii u above gen (slightly) and they could have something else new in five years that can really break into the next generation of gaming five years away when tech is more highly advanced. Nintendo took a chance with the making of the wii u, but it might all pay off.

    @deepthought- Its hardcore in the since that i can play EVERYTHING! you can play CoD online or switch it up to zelda nobody loses in this situation its next gen alright supposedly 50% more powerful than a ps3. It could even become more powerful because the console isn’t final. Hardcore gamers already have other consoles, sure but people can draw back in old fans who didn’t really like the wii like me. I selling my xbox360 to get this (keeping my ps3 love playing blu-rays and want uncharted 3) but the only things that drove me away from the wii were the awful graphics, horrid game situation, and the fact that motion games aren’t fun after time. The only thing that saved it was being able to plug in my cube controllers to play smash bros. and Twilight Princess. Nintendo disappointed me with the wii and thats when i got an xbox 360 elite 3yrs. ago and a ps3 two. I play smash bros. like 3times a year thats the only time my wii is used its useless to me. The wii u sovles all my problems i had with the wii. I plan on getting mine at launch (like i did with the 3ds) and i hope nintendo can handle this one right.

  30. Mustache Killer says:

    @ Ac

    about your comment to gojiguy. The reason alot of people don’t want to get into gaming is because when they think of gamers they think of images like the one shown in this article. Nintendo is not trying to cater to people like fanman. They are catering to people like me that has a job and does other activities outside the home. Wii U looks great to me.

    @ Joe

    I totally agree w/ you. 1) What they are doing is going to help them keep the people who know and love wii now and maybe get more hardcore gamers into their market. 2) their lineage is pretty flawless. 3) i totally have mario galaxy and thought why are they putting out another one and realized it was way better than the first galaxy. 4) I don’t own a smart phone or whatever, but when my friends show me their games on there I’m like cool but that sucks you don’t have any buttons. I have Zenonia on my ds and it plays awesome w/ mapped shortcuts to help you cast spells quicker and heal quicker but on the iphone it is just a jumbled mess of awkwardness.

  31. wrackune says:

    Congratulations, you gathered a bunch of hits because you interviewed a flamer. Everything Jack says is either A) riddled with his intention to stir rampant fanboy posting in retaliation or B) so absolutely ignorant and ridiculous that he shouldn’t be allowed to speak.

    Seriously, this is Poe’s law in effect. I can’t tell what Jack really feels because it is so absolutely outrageous. He’d get dirty responses if he shared this kind of crap on Kotaku.

  32. EdEN says:

    Interesting post. Always nice to read different arguments for an against our favorite hobby. Will I get the Wii U at launch? Yep. I’ve bought all Nintendo consoles and portables with my own money (going back to the N64 and the GBC) at launch. Don’t own a 3DS but that’s only because I’ve got 20+ DS games to take care of and lots and lots of PSN, PSP and minis I’m getting for review in the next couple of months.

  33. king of the elephants says:

    A fitting farewell — short sighted and dismissive as always, eh Jack?

  34. Josh says:

    Nintendo seems to be flailing in the wind, their new products seemingly the antithesis of their previous products, while Apple has stayed on focus and gradually improved their products and fine tuned their vision slowly but surely until they have become the dominant player in the tech industry. It is sad because I used to think of Nintendo in this way, but they just seem to have lost all of their focus. Maybe it all started when Yamauchi left the company.

  35. Pyriel says:

    If that fat f*$# Jack can abandon his so called love of Nintendo so quickly, then he’s not the true fan that he’s always claimed to be. He’s just another one of the unloyal douchbag’s that has spawned from this generation of gamers, and there seems to be alot of those.

  36. zach jarman says:

    dear jack and all of you Nintendo guys out there all your stories were touching to the heart I…. also had a secret of my own I am a huge fan of Nintendo since I was a baby its sad that we lost a best friend this my idea for jack and the Nintendo crew its a gift of knowledge I have been saving its spirit sprites my gift to you and the crew share the idea for a fan like me.

  37. BornFlunky says:

    Years later, the Wii U kicks ass.

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