Keep Calm, and Game On
by Mike D.
There has been quite a bit of Nintendo news as of late, arguably more than when the Wii U console itself launched.
All has not been quiet here at Nintendo Enthusiast, but we haven’t exactly been plowing into the minutiae of every rumor and tidbit of info that has come to light. Some other projects have kept us busy (like completely redesigned forums), but the primary factor is a fairly simple one: over-reacting to any one piece of news leads to a roller-coaster of completely artificial highs and lows.
Since this year began, the Wii U launch was revealed to be successful…until its momentum stalled, causing Nintendo to revise down their overly optimistic sales expectations. Company president Satoru Iwata brought the megatons in an effort to assuage a somewhat barren early 2013 release schedule, only to have Ubisoft’s Rayman Legends get delayed and whispers emerge about possible cancellations from other companies. Meanwhile, the folks over at NeoGAF scored a look at the Wii U’s GPU via Chipworks, which immediately led to reactions split between apoplectic (“It’s not really next-gen!“) and being just as curious as before (“Chipworks says it’s heavily customized, so how much do we really know?“).
And it’s barely mid-February.
Feeling worked up? You shouldn’t be. On one hand, we now know more about Nintendo’s plans for their home console than ever before. The Wii U will be home not only to new Big-N mascot titles, but to exclusives (Wonderful 101), collaborations (with Platinum for Bayonetta 2 and Atlus for a Fire Emblem crossover), HD remakes of classics (Wind Waker) and JRPGs of epic scale (Monolithsoft’s amazing X). On the other hand, we know the future of Nintendo’s console may be a bit rocky because – are you sitting down? – there are still concerns with third-party support.
Of course, I don’t mean to minimize that last part, but I’ve a considerable bit of scar tissue built up since the N64-era. At this point, the uncertainty between the headquarters in Kyoto and the rest of the gaming world resembles the on-again/off-again heavy petting of an immature teen couple. Think there are hard feelings between Nintendo and Ubi due to the Rayman delay? Well, they just announced a new bundle that includes ZombiU for North America. I would almost expect Taylor Swift to write a song about it, but we all know this is a relationship that is never far from a bout of make-nice. Nintendo, for all of their faults, isn’t John Mayer. Bridges may get a bit crispy in the world of gaming, but like in any business, it takes some serious napalm to dissuade what could be a money-making venture for both sides.
This isn’t to say any of us are confident that relations with third parties are going to go all SNES on us, or even that the overall health of the business landscape for gaming is conducive to further growth (I’ll leave that point to Menashe). We may be enthusiasts, but we aren’t apologists. Nor are we facile doomsayers, though. The Wii U is still a console in its infancy; its future is being written in secret behind doors from Tokyo to Austin. We’re excited to be along for the ride, while vacillating like everyone else between the dizzying highs and lows gaming dishes out. We try to keep a stiff upper lip – “better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt,” after all – because trollish editorializing isn’t our style.
There’s a lot for us to look forward to, from imminent game releases to the delivery of a certain green history book about Hyrule. More on that soon, by the way…
Until then? Keep calm, and game on.
[Menu image via The Tanooki.]