Itís fair to say 2013 was something of a mixed year for Nintendo; while the 3DS continued its stellar performance, the Wii U failed to gain traction. Nintendo and their fans will be slightly concerned with where they currently sit in the industry. But with the dominant portable console in the market, and a blueprint full of potential for their flagship home console, things can only get better from here on out.
However, in order for Nintendo to meet their fans and more importantly their own lofty expectations, itís essential they take steps to cultivate future success. †
More Software, Exclusive or Not
The 3DS has experienced a major upturn in the past 16 months thanks to a blockbuster catalogue of software including heavy hitters, Pokemon, Professor Layton, Mario and Zelda. Ironically this is exactly what the Wii U is currently lacking. Nintendo just donít seem to learn from their mistakes, after such a slow start with the 3DS in 2011 you would assume theyíd take measures to avoid the same issue with future hardware. Clearly this has not been the case. The Wii U has experienced an almost identical software drought and as such the company is now experiencing the same problems, but on a much larger scale and the fans are suffering. Whether they come from an internally accelerated release schedule or from external incentives for publishers, it is essential Nintendo find some way to maximise software output on the Wii U to meet fanís expectations.
† A Release Date and an actual Title for the Mysterious ĎXí
With the announcement of the Wii U and the critical and commercial success of Xenoblade Chronicles the excitement for ĎXí reached fever pitch on announcement. Unfortunately since its introduction to the public weíve heard very little on this unknown entity. The Wii U is currently severely lacking in JRPGs and as such this title is essential, particularly for the consolesí success in Japan. Nintendo fans will hope Monolith Soft can showcase and highlight to other developers how the Wii U and itís gamepad can open up whole new possibilities for the JRPG in the future.†
An Original Franchise from Nintendo
Over the last decade Nintendo has fallen into a relatively bad habit of relying upon tried and tested franchises to sell their consoles. The lack of originality in their intellectual property stable has been taken as a sign by many fans that the company just canít keep up with the times and this needs to change, fast. Nintendo fans want to see something completely new, something that is designed specifically for the Wii U that isnít possible on other consoles; something that differentiates the company from competitors whilst maintaining that classic Nintendo magic. †
An Expansion of Nintendoís Back Catalogue on the eShop
Nintendo has an immensely strong software portfolio from past generations, and so its surprising, and disappointing to see such a valuable resource poorly utilised, particularly now they have the digital platform to distribute the software efficiently via the eShop. Nintendoís fanbase have by and large always had a strong affinity with nostalgic experiences from the companyís software vault and currently they are doing a disservice to both current and prospective Wii U owners. If implemented correctly this software could not only offer fans an opportunity to replay their favourite titles from the past, but also plug the gaps in the software release schedule which have so far left Wii U owners wanting.†
So Nintendo fans, did I miss anything?