Nintendo is a great case when it comes to content management. They’ve been taking some chances with their new handheld and console, but it won’t be the hardware that keeps the gaming monolith relevant into 2012 and beyond.
[EDITOR’S NOTE, April 2018: Nintendo is still great at this now that they’re revolutionizing gaming with the Nintendo Switch. The Mario and Zelda franchises are probably some of the best maintained, curated, and improved ones ever.]
Maybe you’re looking forward to the new Wii-U, and maybe you aren’t. There are plenty of mixed feelings about the new console coming out this year.
If you didn’t know, the Wii-U will finally render your favorite Nintendo games and characters in HD. The Wii-motes can still be used, as well as a new interactive element. The Wii-U will sport one tablet-like controlling device that adds a whole new dimension to gameplay.
Seasoned gamers either praise that Nintendo will continue to produce their iconic franchises intro this next console generation, or scoff at the Wii-U because its graphical and processing components won’t be as advanced as its competitors like Sony or Microsoft. As a casual gamer, I believe that it’ll be the content that keeps Nintendo going strong with their new Wii.
Can it capture parental hearts and wallets?
2006 was a while ago, and a lot has changed in gaming and entertainment. The Wii captured the hearts of parents everywhere as a console that everyone could enjoy. Create a whole family of Miis, then have a showdown on Wii Sports.
Since then, handheld and interactive gaming has come quite a long way. Social media, iOS, and Android gaming grew massively over the years, Mircosoft launched Kinect, and Playstation revealed its Move platform.
Interactive content is a cash-cow, as shown with all the various games that require accessories. Whether it’s music, karaoke, sports, fitness, or what have you, every console and platform has done their best to jump onboard to create fans who want it all.
Can Nintendo remain relevant if everyone and their programmer is onboard interactive gaming?
Nintendo's longevity will continue to be with its content.
Mario. Zelda. Donkey Kong.
Nintendo’s franchises are legendary and continue to impress gamers and reviewers with each iteration. While the Wii may be known for its collection of one-of cooking, fitness, and reality TV titles, many of Nintendo’s franchise games continue to do well versus the competition.
Titles like Mario Galaxy and The Legend of Zelda collect high marks from reviewers of all walks of life. If there’s anyone to give credit to, it would be Nintendo’s creative guru Shigeru Miyamoto. In an interview about Super Mario Land 3D, and what he’s up to next in the wake of retirement rumors, Miyamoto said this about his legacy:
"The team behind Super Mario Land 3D were once kids that loved the original. Now they're paying [a] kind of homage in order to create the latest iteration for today's customers. The cycle is doing to remain so that good characters and franchises can just go on forever."
It sounds like Miyamoto’s investments in talent around content and its management have paid off. Considering the amount of cash Nintendo has in the bank and its iconic presence in the gaming industry, that’s quite a reward for years of building a solid brand based on great gaming principles and memorable moments.
Into 2012, Nintendo reported losses, but that might be attributed to the disasters that plagued Japan earlier in 2011.
They’re doing all right amidst some heavy competition. In a world filled with digital interaction, Nintendo can remain relevant as long as it continues its utmost care and upkeep of its beloved franchises, characters, and stories.
Some more uh… research is needed, of course. That said, it may be time for me to get back to playing Skyward Sword. I’d love your thoughts about it all though.