There are few series in gaming that are as iconic and as loved as Nintendo’s Super Mario series. Despite the fact that Mario has been around for over 30 years, Nintendo has this way of reinventing Mario and the Super Mario series with each new console generation. The result is games that bring new gamers into Nintendo and Mario while still giving fans who have played Mario games for their whole lives something to love.
For the industry shaking Wii console, Nintendo took Mario to the one place he’d never been before: The final frontier. Not only did Mario’s first adventure in outer space prove to be a smash hit, at release, it was considered one of the best Wii and platformer games of all-time.
In an interview on Bloomberg TV last week, Microsoft President of Interactive Entertainment, Don Mattrick, said that the Xbox One was over-delivering on value. In fact, the Xbox boss went so far as to say, “We’re delivering thousands of dollars of value to people.”
The problem is that no one apart from Mattrick, Microsoft employees and the staunchest of Xbox loyalists believe this to be the case. When you look at the dollars and cents of the next generation of consoles, it’s pretty obvious that the Xbox isn’t actually over-delivering and definitely not thousands of dollars worth of over-delivery.
Coming into E3, many people were considering a move to the Wii U as it was the only console that was confirmed to not be actively battling its consumer’s rights. Then Sony came out on Monday night and destroyed everything that the Xbox One stood for.
Nintendo has a lot to gain at E3 this year despite not being there. That relied on Sony falling flat on its face. They were very prepared for that with a line-up of the expected first-party franchises and a third-party sizzle reel. The problem was that they were missing the big guns that were needed to pit them strongly against the PlayStation 4.
Nintendo has always had this reputation as a friendly sort of company. Their big anchor franchises aren’t M-rated shooters but family-friendly adventure and platformer games that appeal to all ages. Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime’s public appearances show him as a charismatic and knowledgeable leader of the video game industry. They’re the little underdog up against the power of conglomerates like Sony and Microsoft.
Yet, Nintendo has been on the back foot lately. The terrible results of the Wii U launch has put Nintendo on the back foot and now they’re trying anything to reverse course. Unfortunately, their latest move has struck a nerve with gamers online. Nintendo is targeting “let’s play” videos on YouTube and making copyright claims so they can scoop the ad revenue from the videos.
One console has a sharing feature that nobody wanted and unveiled with a slightly underwhelming line-up. Another console is strongly rumoured to mandate a permanent connection to the internet to play games and is likely to prevent playing used games. The third console is so underpowered that some third-party publishers have abandoned it less than six months after release.
For as excited as everybody was about this generations console wars, it sure seems to be shaping up to be a race to the bottom and a case of not survival of the fittest but survival of the least weak.
Earlier this week, I mentioned that rumours suggest that we’ll see the PlayStation Four and likely the Xbox 720 reach store shelves before the end of the year. That means that the major console manufacturers will all have a console in the eighth generation of home video games consoles. We’ve come a long way since the first generation of consoles which included the likes of the Magnavox Odyssey, Coleco Telstar and Nintendo Color TV Game.
For a look back at the history of video game consoles, we have this handy infographic. Continue reading
The Nintendo press conference at E3 was really in two parts this year. The first part was Sunday’s Nintendo Direct video presentation which showed off some of the hardware behind their new Wii U console. Tuesday’s press conference was more about the games coming to the Wii U and 3DS with some first-party debuts and some surprise announcements of games coming to Wii U. Continue reading