Yes, even I, the biggest Nintendo fan I know will admit it. Nintendo has made some mistakes. Okay, they’ve actually really screwed up in the past. Yet somehow the big N has managed to find its way through the mediocre systems, lack of titles, and broken promises. Their newest addition, Wii, looks to have the potential to change the entire industry, putting Nintendo back on top. But care must be taken to ensure Sony takes a backseat, and a bad taste isn’t left in the mouths of countless fanboys for the third time in a row.
The fatal flaw of the 64 was Nintendo’s insistence to use cartridges. This was a move that caused both consumers and developers to flock to the Sony Playstation, a system using CDs for its titles. This move gave Sony more space and less expense to work with. The Playstation quickly took the top spot in the home console market, a spot firmly held by Nintendo’s NES and SNES during previous generations.
Nintendo then brought us the GameCube. While they had seemingly learned from their cartridge mistake from the previous generation, GameCube missed the boat again by using another proprietary DVD format and not allowing DVD or CD playback, a feature that has proved to be a deal breaker to consumers. Online play was another huge letdown for GameCube with only one notable game utilizing the feature. Needless to say, GameCube’s niche titles were not enough to give it back the market share it lost in 1996, giving it the third place spot in the console race.
Nintendo has always had the mentality that the games must be fun. It’s been their focus since the NES. While the vision has worked well, their focus on it has caused them to lose a lot of customers by not keeping up with technological advances. But this time around with Wii, Nintendo has done something drastic by taking another approach to the “next-gen” mentality. Sony is pushing the graphical envelope, and Microsoft is focusing on getting everybody connected, but Nintendo revamped the one aspect of gaming that the others have seemed to largely ignore: the controller. By completely changing the way people play games and not making huge graphical leaps, Nintendo is taking their old song and dance, and giving it a new venue.