So Reggie Fils-Aime popped off to Forbes this past week, saying developers should shoulder the blame for the shovelware rep richly earned by the Wii games lineup. Many third-party publishers don't get the Wii audience, Reggie said, and finger-pointed at publishers' reluctance to bring games that have done well on other consoles over to the Wii.
"I will be able to say our licensees 'get it' when their very best content is on our platform," he says. "And with very few exceptions today, that's not the case."
I know what you're thinkin'. Yep, don't worry, someone's already got this covered. He writes for the Dallas Morning News.
"I think most game creators got into the industry in the hopes of writing the next Doom or Halo or Command & Conquer," writes Victor Godinez, "and not the next Hannah Montana video game adaptation. So the best game makers gravitate to the consoles that seem to specialise in the kinds of games they like."
Nintendo bears some responsibility here, as well.
The Wii is the least powerful of the three current consoles, and you simply cannot easily duplicate a high-end Xbox 360 or PS3 game on the Wii.
Dead Rising on the Xbox 360, for example, was fun and amazing in part because there were often hundreds of zombies on the screen at one time, each shambling toward your brain.
The Wii version under development, though, is limited to a dozen or so monsters on the screen simultaneously, and the downgrade makes the game seem kind of pointless.
But Nintendo chose to go down this path of less-powerful, low-cost hardware, and one side effect of that decision is that some games simply cannot be ported over.
So as much as developers do need to step up their efforts, Nintendo hasn't done them any favours.
The Wiire (saw this one when I was reading up on Jennifer Aniston) points out that Capcom's Seth Killian said the Dead Rising build Godinez references was really "just a tech demo," and not close to the final game. But the larger point made here is a valid one. To demand that your underpowered console get the best of a developer's effort, otherwise they don't "get it," when they're selling tons of their best stuff on the PS3 and 360 already, that's just arrogant. It also ignores the tremendous incentive for others to develop lightweight titles, an incentive very much furthered by Nintendo's continuous touting of the casual market's growth.