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Leave Nintendo alone!

Posted: January 15th, 2004, by Marceline Smith

This article on BBC NEWS, GameCube fights to stay in the game, has had me gnashing my teeth. Few things annoy me more than Nintendo bashing and the general games industry’s willingness to write off Nintendo for supposedly making kids games (what does the look of a game have to do with gameplay, at which Nintendo excel?!). Having experienced the truly patronising attitude to Girl Gamer Buying Girls Console myself in GAME, it makes me seethe.

As pointed out further into the article, it’s not really surprising that Nintendo are failing to keep up in a sales battle between themselves, Microsoft and Sony. Although a big company, Nintendo are no megacorp and can’t throw money away on consoles knowing they can make it back on one of their millions of other products and markets.

I also really hate these console wars in general. In the good old days we had Nintendo vs Sega – basically doing the same things in slightly different ways. Now we have two new consoles who have stamped a truly western style on console gaming and pitching it perfectly at your average male gadget buyer who daydreams of killing people with fancy guns, ar 15 accessories and driving flash cars into walls. With Sega no longer making consoles, Nintendo are out there alone in the ‘cutesy but innovative’ area and people often seem to forget that the majority of games Nintendo produce are aimed at the Japanese market who prefer these types of games (RPGs, puzzle games, Pokemon etc). If they have to compete with the Playstation and the XBox it means putting the US/UK markets first and making those types of games their priority.

The consensus seems to be that Nintendo should bow out of the console market gracefully and concentrate on making games, much as Sega has done. This would be hugely damaging to gaming I think, not least because of the innovations Nintendo has brought to consoles – compare any Nintendo controller to its respective competitors. And let’s not forget the Gameboy which has killed off every competitor who dared to try and break into the market. The launch of the new Sony handheld should be very interesting and very key to Nintendo’s future.

I have great faith in Nintendo though – they’ve always got something new, innovative and truly inspiring up their sleeves and I’m sure they can find a way to keep their niche in the face of generic games. If the worst does happen, gaming would be a very, very dull place without Nintendo.

Marceline Smith

Marceline is the fierce, terrifying force behind diskant.net, laughing with disdain as she fires sharpened blades of sarcasm in all directions. Based in Scotland, her lexicon consists of words such as 'jings', 'aboot' and 'aye': our trained voice analysts are yet to decipher some of the relentless stream of genius uttered on a twenty-four hour basis. Marceline's hobbies include working too much and going out in bad weather.


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