I love Nintendo, I really do; but they need to get their act together in a few areas if they want to continue the recent trend of leading the competition in console sales. Right now the Wii is outselling the PlayStation 3 by a fair amount (about 5:1 worldwide), but in order to maintain momentum, I think Nintendo needs to be a bit more forthcoming about what they have going on behind the scenes.
Even with all the positive press that Nintendo has been receiving lately, it’s starting to feel a bit hollow. How long can the success of Wii Sports carry the Wii? How long will the mainstream press’ love affair with the Wii last if Nintendo doesn’t drop some info on what we can expect to see in the immediate and distant future? Can it be far off before these currently lovestruck news outlets start to question whether or not the Wii is capable of longterm diversion, or if it’s merely a flash in the pan sensation?
I don’t feel that Nintendo should get into the business of showing so-called target renders or CGÂ trailers that are supposedly “indicative of the final product”. I do, however, think that Nintendo needs to begin to give more regular updates on the status of their internal projects while allowing 3rd parties to speak more freely at the same time. Nintendo is notorious for showing a few screenshots of an interesting project, tossing a few tidbits to a news outlet, and then going completely silent. How long has it been since we’ve received concrete info, screens, or project updates on games like Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Project HAMMER, Metroid Prime 3, Disaster: Day of Crisis, or Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles 2?
I have a lot of friends that play games, but they don’t have either the time or the desire to research upcoming releases across the multiple platforms. Instead, they get their info from word of mouth sources, advertisements, or in-store promo materials. I constantly am asked what the Wii has coming, simply because most releases on the Wii are devoid of casual buzz.Â
If Nintendo is going to continue to be so reluctant to feed the hype trains, the excitement around the Wii is going to begin to derail. Sony and Microsoft are both great at feeding gamers steady bits of info all throughout the development cycle of their high profile games while allowing 3rd parties to pretty much handle the unveiling of their projects as they see fit. As a result, Microsoft has managed to secure the top-selling title in North America for four straight months.
I’m not looking for Nintendo to unleash a hyperactive hype machine upon us, I simply just want to know what’s going on. As someone who has showed support for the Wii, despite its currently sparse lineup, I think Nintendo owes it to me to justify the future validity of my purchase.Â