A few weeks ago, a flurry of commentary from developers and gaming pundits alike reignited an oft-recurring debate since the early-2000s—whether or not Nintendo is on its way out as a hardware manufacturer. This week, Nintendo fired back (via Shack News), explaining their side of the story and why it makes sense for the company to continue making hardware so long as they continue making games.
Nintendo of America’s senior director of corporate communication, Charlie Scibetta, summed up Nintendo’s hardware philosophy quite concisely, stating: “Nintendo systems come to life the best when the hardware and software work in perfect harmony. That’s why we’re still in the hardware business, because we think our hardware is the best way to bring software to life.”
What is ambiguous about this quote is to which software, specifically, Scibetta is referring to: in-house games or third-party. The two examples he goes on to mention (Mario and Zelda) imply that Nintendo feels their own games are tailor-made to suit their own consoles, which makes sense from a business perspective. However, the single most common piece of unsolicited advice the gaming community seems to have for Nintendo is to outsource its game IPs to third parties and focus on bringing the respective worlds of Zelda, Mario, Star Fox, Metroid, etc. to the PS and Xbox—consoles with more oomph, so to speak. If Nintendo is focusing on making their own games run perfectly harmoniously on their own hardware while forcing third-party developers to perform technical acrobatics to conform to the Wii U, can their hardware continue to be profitable? Nintendo IPs are lucrative enough that this answer is probably yes, but as to how long the company can continue to rely on mainly its own IPs to sustain them is a question worth asking.
In other gaming news this week, The Last of Us has sure made the rounds lately, id Software loses a senior executive, Baldur’s Gate 3 is looking increasingly unlikely, and are video game standards of success and failure too restrictive? Read on!
- Are video games’ binary view of success and failure making them less fun? Someone thinks board games have the answer.
- After 17 years at the helm and making id Software one of the most recognizable brands in PC gaming, president Todd Hollingshead has left the studio to pursue “personal interests,” according to publisher Bethesda. After developing such industry classics as Doom and Quake,id has run into some problems with their latest game, Doom 4—Bethesda recently sent it straight back to the drawing board.
- A survivor-horror game set in an abandoned spaceship? Promising. Check out the gameplay trailer for Routine.
- Will there be a sequel to The Last of Us? The style doesn’t seem particularly conducive to a sequel, but the game’s universe might lend itself well to other stories. Creative Director Neil Druckmann chimes in on the issue (warning: potential spoilers in link), stating that whatever direction Naughty Dog might go with a sequel (if it even happens), it will be a new, fresh story.
- Those of you keeping up with gaming current events may recall a story earlier this week stemming from Ellen Page’s AMA on Reddit, during which she was asked how she felt about the similarity in likeness between herself and Ellie, one of the protagonists in The Last of Us. Page stated her discontent, but it seems that she and Naughty Dog have since made up.
- Speaking of people unhappy with The Last of Us who have since found peace, the Portland-based artist upset about the uncredited inclusion of a piece of his artwork in the game has settled the issue directly with the developer.
- In a final bit of The Last of Us news, Naughty Dog is planning to patch an in-game Pest Control poster that accidentally featured phone-sex numbers. According to the developer, this was a simple misunderstanding stemming from a bit of area code confusion.
- In a bit of unfortunate news, it sounds like developer Beamdog may have to put their dreams of Baldur’s Gate 3 on hold because of legal complications. Sad, considering what a quality job they did with Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition.
- Finally, is the recently released Deadpool game any good? IGN wasn’t impressed, but we’d love to hear from you, dear reader, if you’ve had the opportunity to take it for a spin.