The past 25 years have been a true rollercoaster ride for Nintendo. They dominated the industry with the NES and SNES and then slid into second and third with the N64 and Game Cube. Now they find themselves once again comfortably back on top with the Wii which at times seems like a money printing machine. Nintendo has always impressed me in that it is what I consider to be the only true video game company. Unlike Microsoft and Sony Nintendo relies solely on the success of its consoles and games to succeed. It has no fortune 5o0 company piggy bank backing it up and has survived effectively in the cut throat world of the console wars.
Nintendo has also consistently revolutionized the industry by giving us the first D-pad with the NES, expanding our world into multiple dimensions with Mario 64 and the current revolution that is motion control. It is comical at times to see the same people who bashed motion control now promoting variations of it on their own consoles.
The one major complaint that I have always had with Nintendo is the lack of top-tier third-party titles. Since the release of the N64 Nintendo hasn’t come close to the competition with third-party support. Nintendo’s salvation comes from its innovation and its iconic first party franchises which make up some of the best games in video game history. As we speak games like Mari Kart Wii, Wii Fit and Super Mario Bros. Wii continue to top the sales charts for months on end. Nintendo does needs to invest in better hardware as well as increase their support of third-party titles. It also wouldn’t hurt them to do a complete overhaul of their online strategy. Super Mario Bros Wii is a great game but it would be that much better if the co-op\multiplayer could be done easily online.
Nintendo has rarely ceased to impress and does so at times going completely against conventional wisdom. I have thought for a long time that the Wii has been test run for what is to come much in the same way the DS Phat was for the handheld market. I think at minimum some form of the Wii HD is on the horizon if not something that will kick off the next revolution in gaming. I can’t wait to see what Nintendo has to offer next. I’m sure it will be amazing. I just hope that the next time around they will work on some of the issues that have been plaguing them as well as work on bringing in more external developers along for the ride.