Despite Nintendo’s initial victory in the last console war (achieved largely by the Wii’s successful capture of the casual gamer market), there are some warning signs emerging of late that indicate the console giant—whose brand was once synonymous with gaming—may be on the verge of riding off into the sunset. Driven partly by Nintendo’s overestimation of the Wii’s staying power, partly by the fickle nature of casual gaming, and partly by developer abandonment, Nintendo is facing some interesting times, to say the least—times that are not helped one bit by the gaming community’s lukewarm reception of the Wii U.
The underpowered, uninspired Wii U has met with considerable criticism on a number of fronts since its release—ranging from disillusioned fans to skeptical developers. A few weeks ago, an EA spokesperson stated that EA currently has no games in development for the Wii U. Zero. Zilch. Nada. This was followed a week later by EA senior engineer Bob Summerwill sounding off on Twitter, calling the Wii U “crap” and an “awful console.” (Update! Now they're back-tracking.) Indeed, Summerwill went so far as to echo Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski’s February sentiment that Nintendo will soon be left as a software-only company, making games and farming out their premiere characters, Mario and Zelda, to the PS4 and Xbox.
So what lies ahead for Nintendo? You tell us below, dear reader. We all have our early NES, Game Boy SNES, and N64 memories to cherish, no doubt, but recent experiences are most welcome as well.
In other gaming news this week, A new Star Wars Battlefront game might be under way, Alan Wake is put on ice, and Microsoft may be shunning indie developers with the Xbox One. Read on!
- EA’s working fast - could a new Star Wars Battlefront game already be in the works? Maybe, according to EA CFO Blake Jorgensen.
- What inspired Naughty Dog’s latest IP? Apparently, the Coen brothers’ No Country For Old Men had a pretty significant impact on The Last of Us.
- Blizzard’s hush-hush MMORPG, the as-yet unnamed Project Titan, has apparently undergone a complete reset. The developers are said to be starting from scratch, which means we won’t see the game until 2016 at the very earliest—knowing Blizzard, probably more like a half-decade after a release date is announced.
- Why isn’t Alan Wake 2 happening? More aptly, why isn’t it happening yet? Remedy’s creative director, Sam Lake, explains.
- On second thought, this might have had a little something to do with it. Meet Remedy’s new IP, exclusive to the Xbox One: Quantum Break.
- In more Xbox One news (following the console’s detailed announcement last week), apparently Microsoft named the console without first securing either XboxOne.com or XboxOne.net. Someone either has a big chunk of change coming their way, or a lawsuit.
- Another strike against Microsoft’s new baby—it’s significantly less indie-friendly than the 360 is. It should be noted that a few MS developers have stepped forward to refute this, so the gaming community will have to wait and see.
- On a final Microsoft note, our friends in Redmond seem... a tad overenthused about the potential success of the Xbox One, as they look to be targeting upwards of 1 billion units sold. Hmmm....