Sony stole the show at this year’s E3, but it was Nintendo that made me feel the most excited… like really, really hyped.
Sure, I’m a bit of a Nintendo fanboy. It’s not a bad thing, but I feel like in examining Microsoft’s blunders and Sony’s victories that something was lost.
Video games are more than just entertainment. I think Sony and Microsoft are starting to grab hold of this idea with their integration of things like transmedia in their games, but Nintendo is still holding out. They want to keep the “game” in game development.
Since they first entered onto the games market, Nintendo has been all about fun. People like fun, people like fun, fun, fun, but Sony and Microsoft are attempting to change the definition of escapism.
Just take a look at the first party titles that were announced on the PS4 and Xbox One. They’re all part of the same zeitgeist of game development: graphics – in cloud support – and multiplayer – in DRM management.
It’s hard being staunch supporter of the Kyoto-based company when their approach differs from the other giants who are moving towards an entertainment-first model of game development.
Big block of text coming up, but the TLDR; Nintendo’s United States rep says if developers are worried about used games sales in the future of console gaming they should just make better games.
“We have been very clear, we understand that used games are a way for some consumers to monetize their games,” Mr. Fils-Aime said. “They will buy a game, play it, bring it back to their retailer to get credit for their next purchase. Certainly, that impacts games that are annualized and candidly also impacts games that are maybe undifferentiated much more than [it] impacts Nintendo content. Why is that? Because the replayability of our content is super strong. The consumer wants to keep playing Mario Kart. The consumer want to keep playing New Super Mario Bros. They want to keep playing Pikmin. So we see that the trade-in frequency on Nintendo content is much less than the industry average – much, much less. So for us, we have been able to step back and say that we are not taking any technological means to impact trade-in and we are confident that if we build great content, then the consumer will not want to trade in our games.” | Reggie Fils-Aime in an interview with Polygon
A post up on Kotaku reiterated this sentiment from Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto. He says that there were no games at this year’s Entertainment Expo that he wishes he made.
Mr. Miyamoto – at National Post we use “Mr.” … just doing it out of habit – believes that his latest game Pikmin 3 is great simply because it’s fun. The game is fun to play and the other games in the series are challenging, but lounge in their whimsy.
Nintendo’s focus is on fun… even if it won’t sell.
Watching the Nintendo Direct Presentation at E3 got me pretty excited. The news was a little old, but seeing Nintendo sticking to its paradigm of fun for players was both heartening and questionable.
Seeing Megaman in the new Smash Bros. game was really what sold me on the new lineup of games on the console, but is that really enough to keep Nintendo at the same level publishing games on one console?
I think putting fun at the core of your games is an admirable trait for game developers. Away from monetization, brute-force graphics, and the whole post-apocalyptic paradigm… Nintendo is keeping to what they do best.
There’s something to be said for this, I’m just not sure what… I’ll let Megaman do the talking in the new year.