I am one of your many twenty-something nostalgia-filled fans. I once used the word “Nintendo” in reference to any video game not playable on the computer. I love the smell of brand-new Nintendo games and systems (you should make an air freshener). Nintendo has a certain je ne sais quoi that has always drawn me close. Until recently. Here’s the deal: I want to want you. Back in August (which feels like a console generation ago…) we had a discussion on the Geeks With Wives podcast, episode 97 (which can be found here), where we discussed what would make the Wii U successful. While I don’t know specifically what will make your newest console successful in your opinion, I know that if you want to sell me on it you have to concentrate on more titles geared towards the core gamer.
First of all, I get that 2013 is the year of Luigi. That’s great! At first it was funny, then it was cool, now I just feel… green about it. Luigi is awesome, don’t get me wrong. However, being an alternative character skin to his red-clad brother is not what makes him awesome. Luigi’s Mansion makes him awesome. Instead of trying to sell your system by offering yet another iteration of New Super Mario Bros. (i.e. New Super Luigi U), why not dig deeper into your creative minds and pull something out that plays to the character of Luigi? Rather than make him a playable character in a game that we’ve (essentially) already played.
Secondly, why hasn’t a Wii U-specific Zelda game been officially announced yet? I don’t count The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker HD, that’s a remastering of a GameCube game. While I will certainly buy Windwaker HD eventually, it will not be selling me a console. At E3 this year, delivery aside, you really took a step in the right direction. The announcement of Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8, and Super Smash Bros. really had a ton of people salivating. The problem is that, save Super Mario 3D World, those titles are coming in 2014. By then I will be knee-deep in PS4 and Xbox One goodness! I’m not suggesting that the Wii U has any less capability to entertain me than either of the other two powerhouse consoles. All I’m saying is that while I’m counting down the days for The Order: 1886, Tom Clancy’s The Division, Diablo III, Destiny, and Infamous: Second Son, I’m still looking for something on the Wii U’s horizon to be excited for. Fix that.
To summarize: if you make games for the core, the core will remain faithful. While everyone’s grandmother and a few casual gamers really drove sales of the Wii, that period is over. This isn’t a position of entitlement as much as it is a sound business strategy. Like I said in the beginning: opening a Nintendo game, smelling the contents, and leafing through the instruction manual all brings back so many childhood memories. Nintendo: help me to feel like a kid again. Make me want you.