Fri
Jun 28 2013 3:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Nintendo Stays the Course

Nintendo Consoles

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!

  • 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.

If there are games you’d like us to cover or blogs you think we should be following for more news, please let us know @tdelucci or @pritpaulbains.

3 comments
politeruin
1. politeruin
Routine looks am-a-zing. A mix of system shock 2 and amnesia: the dark descent? I'll have me some of that. It was approved on steam greenlight a while ago so hopefully soon. I wish more games had used that in-game user interface mechanic since doom 3, it adds a nice level of immersion.
politeruin
2. Nate42
Eh, people have been predicting the death of nintendo for a while. N64 basically sucked other than a few standouts like mario and zelda, and gamecube was even more disappointing. This is coming from a nintendo fan who owned both btw. But then the Wii surprised everybody by being one of the most succesful consoles ever. Wii U doesn't look like its going to replicate that success, but its kinda early to judge since it doesn't have much in the way of games yet. Even if Wii U peters out, that doesn't mean they won't surprise us all next time.

I for one will be buying a Wii U soon, since the drive in my Wii just died (like just today). I could get try to get it fixed, or I could buy another Wii, but given its backwards compatible and I'm a fanboy who was bound to get the U eventually anyway, may as well do it now. Wish it had more frickin games though.
Pritpaul Bains
3. Kickpuncher
@1 politeruin - A blend of those two games a great way to describe the feel. I've got a large queue of purchased Steam games I need to catch up on at some point.

@2 Nate42 - I hear you. I'm sure the game library will normalize in about a half-year or so but in the interim, the waiting sucks. I'm sure it's something they'll remedy with their next console release - hopefully along with a power boost to get them on par with Sony/MS.

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