Itís Thursday!† This week in the blog is the idea of the Wii U as a destination for Nintendo Paradise.
Sound familiar?† You may have seen it mentioned in various places around the internet as a few writers have made some commentary on the subject.† Having said that, the notion originally stemmed from the most recent 8-4 Play podcast when the question about how to save the Wii U came up.† Ryan Payton, of Metal Gear and Republique fame, was asked directly about how he would approach saving the floundering system and his response was to turn the console into a Nintendo Paradise.† The premise of the idea being to take the console and turn it into the one stop for the entire history of Nintendo. †
Is this necessarily a bad idea?
The Wii U has not been making waves since itís release period in the holidays.† That isnít just with sales, but in game releases and game announcements as well.† Soon after the consoleís initial onslaught of software the well very quickly dried up leaving Wii U owners with little to keep them occupied. †
Initially Nintendo took flack by extending their game launch window a period of five months placing it into March of 2013.† However the sad reality is that even with the massive window they gave themselves to get launch software out there were key titles from that period that are still nowhere to be seen.† The most notable game being Pikmin 3 which was to be one of their first large titles. It now has slipped out to August 2013, a staggering nine months after the system launched. †
With even Nintendoís notoriously strong first party titles slipping it is easy to see the system starting to falter.† Third party games are allegedly being dumped.† Even this yearís Madden installment is skipping the Wii U.† If Nintendo canít make a compelling offer to keep new third party games on their platform along with the new console offerings it wonít be long until the notion of a third party game on the Wii U without any incentive from Nintendo would be far fetched.†
It is easy to look at this and fall into the chicken and the egg scenario.† Nintendo cannot sell systems if there are no games for it.† On the other hand developers wonít make games for the system if the console isnít selling.† The one advantage that Nintendo has is itís ability to churn out great first party software, but without that injection the console has nowhere to go. †
There are two things that Nintendo needs at this moment, software and momentum.† Both of these can be achieved by leveraging the system into the idea of a Nintendo paradise. †
They have a healthy catalog of games from the past few decades that people would be willing to pay for that could easily fill the void of proper new releases for the floundering console.† The announcement of Earthbound and the outpouring of joy from that is more than evidence to this claim.† You can already see the potential of the system based off of the offerings already available on the original Wii system and GameBoy Advance games have been announced to be on the way.† Even further it isnít out of the realm of possibility for Nintendo to extend itís Virtual Console to include GameCube essentially making the Wii U that one stop shop for Nintendo nostalgia. †
Going into E3 Nintendo could use as much positivity towards the system that it can muster.† We already know that they arenít going to have a proper conference like in the past, but there will be Nintendo Direct to keep everyone up to date on the announcements.† It is hard to tell at this point whether that will be a mistake, but itís safe to assume that letting momentum completely dry up with the next generation hardware from Microsoft and Sony on the way is. †
So at the end of the day is there anything wrong with Nintendo secluding themselves to their paradise?† Honestly, their software has proven over and again that it can stand up to the test of time.† If there is anything else to offer here it would be to ask Nintendo to open the flood gates on the Virtual Console.† The slim pickings at itís launch and trickling out one or two new additions a week will not cut it.† However, the notion of having a Nintendo system that can play the backlog from NES through the GameCube along with Nintendoís new Wii U offerings is compelling on its own, even if it takes the role of a companion system. †