Ever Wonder Why Nintendo Is Slightly... Different?

Ever Wonder Why Nintendo Is Slightly...Different?

Nintendo is not like its rivals. Nintendo is like Nintendo. Sometimes that results in truly odd ideas — rather, ideas that seem odd at first, but then are ultimately taken up by rivals. These are ideas that actually become "normal".

Sometimes it leads to spectacular failures. But you can always count on Nintendo to do its own Nintendo-y thing.

At a recent start-up conference, Nintendo honcho Satoru Iwata shed light on to why Nintendo keeps trying to innovate.

"If you do the same thing as others, it will wear you out," Iwata explained (via The Bridge). "Nintendo is not good at competing so we always have to challenge [the status quo] by making something new, rather than competing in an existing market."

Words to live by. But in an age when cross-platform games are increasingly common, I honestly believe that if Nintendo simply released a console on par spec-wise with rivals and free of unique features, it would come out on top. Just think, you could play all the third party games you want, plus Nintendo titles.

But then again, that might not feel like a Nintendo console. And that's probably Iwata's point. Though, with all this talk of making something new, I wish Nintendo would make more new characters.

Before Japan's startup elite, Nintendo president talks innovation and the search for something new [The Bridge via CVG via VG247]


Comments

    If you do the same thing as others, it will wear you out,

    Someone should let EA know that. Or, will they just ignore Nintendos advice since they think Miyamoto is irrelevent today?

      Yeah, everything EA has ever been involved in is uninspired, all the same, and evil.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror's_Edge

        Everybody loved that game for being so original. That's why EA is avoiding releasing the sequel, and if they do will make it more gun focused, with jumping from explosion set pieces and multiplayer.

          http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/127145-Mirrors-Edge-2-Coming-Late-Due-To-DICE-Concerns-Not-EA

        EA make some good games but their glory days were during the PS2 and Gamecube era. LotR, Freedom Fighters, MoH and The Godfather!

        :)

    I honestly believe that if Nintendo simply released a console on par spec-wise with rivals and free of unique features, it would come out on top.
    Though, with all this talk of making something new, I wish Nintendo would make more new characters.
    Sigh.

    And this is why I love Nintendo. They don't care what other companies are doing, they just do their own thing.

      Agreed....although I do wish they would hurry the hell up and do their own thing with an awesome new Wii U Metroid.

        As much as I would love a new Metroid, the sales of the last two were pretty horrible (on a console with a 100 million strong userbase)

        It wouldn't make financial sense to make another Metroid at this time.... They need franchises that sell gangbusters, first and foremost.

    As a consumer who can afford several consoles, I am pretty happy for Nintendo to just keep doing its own thing. I wouldn’t want Nintendo to become just another xbox with Mario games, I like that they keep pushing their different ideas and staying true to their own philosophies (whatever they are). It keeps the gaming landscape interesting.

    Words to live by. But in an age when cross-platform games are increasingly common, I honestly believe that if Nintendo simply released a console on par spec-wise with rivals and free of unique features, it would come out on top. Just think, you could play all the third party games you want, plus Nintendo titles. But then again, that might not feel like a Nintendo console

    Would it really not feel like a Nintendo console? The SNES sure as hell felt like a Nintendo console, even though it didn't really have any features that the Sega Megadrive didn't have. But it had the hardware to compete, it had Nintendo's first party software and it had massive 3rd party support.

    All this stuff about how their consoles are "different" doesn't really go back any further than the Wii. From Gamecube on backwards they were competing with machines that were similar on specs and features to their competition (leaving aside the N64's lack of CD media in favour of old-fashioned cartridges) that differentiated themselves with Nintendo's 1st party games. Those games would continue to be a point of difference if they went toe to toe on hardware specs with Sony / MS, just like Sony's first party line up provided them with a point of difference that enabled the PS3 to come out on top of the 360 despite a pretty disastrous start.

    I wonder if it's more a case of the market not being able to sustain 3 competing consoles at that top end, and Nintendo were the ones who got squeezed out. They found a niche with the Wii but that niche appears to have disappeared if Wii U sales are anything to go by. I think they're going to be faced with a choice of taking a risk on competing at the top end again or just concentrate on the DS line in the handheld space, with maybe a Vita TV like device to enable those games to work on the big screen in the home.

    Last edited 11/10/13 11:30 am

      The SNES sure as hell felt like a Nintendo console, even though it didn't really have any features that the Sega Megadrive didn't have. SFX! Sweet Mode7!

      All veterans of the console wars knew to bring up those points to use against the Sega-loving heathens.

        I'd consider those to be specs, not features :P And notice how well they did against the competition when they could actually hold up their end of a specs argument? Compare that to the Wii U and... well... :P

          Well, there's a reason I can say, "I own both consoles," and people aren't likely to assume I'm talking about, say... xbox 360 and wii/U. Still. Shh! They were great once!

    Nintendo needs to do several things to actually deserve the good name their fans give them. They need to start listening to their fans. The Nintendo thing is quirky and interesting sometimes, yes. But sometimes you have to do the Nintendo fan's thing and actually throw them a bone. Secondly they need to update that god awful UI on the WiiU. More boring than iOS and less functional too. God damn I hate that UI. Also, if your whole franchise revolves around "innovation" try actually innovating. Sure having my map and items on a separate screen can be handy sometimes but it isn't innovation. And as far as motion controls go, kinect is far more innovative than wiimotes and psmove was far more useful. And innovate IN YOUR GAMES. I'm no cod fan, don't get me wrong, but Nintendo fanatics use cod as a go-to example of why Nintendo shines over the mainstream competition but Nintendo first party lineups still consist primarily of mini games and platformers. Super Mario Bros is literally a re-skin of the same game over and over again and I actually have more fun playing the original. And I love Zelda games, I really really do, but even I can openly say that they keep doing the same sort of shit. Item trading quests, 8 dungeons, the same equipment in pretty much every game, the same game formula. I love it, but come on, I want it to grow into something more eventually.

    But telling this to half the Nintendo fanatics out there is literally like trying to get someone to deal with an abusive partner. You want the best for them but they don't admit to themselves that they're being wronged so they just continue letting themselves be taken advantage of.

    Sigh. Rant over. You may proceed to hate me now.

    Note: for the record I do have a wiiU and a 3DS and I did have a DS and a Wii. They were all solely mine as well. So this isn't some Nintendo hater talking. It's a concerned fan.

      Gonna have to disagree with you on 2 points there. The UI is much better then the 360s ad spam and the very annoying PS3 one which is a giant mess.
      And the Kinect was a massive pile of shit, still waiting to see any evidence to the contrary for the new one, the fact that they are ramming it down everyones throats does not help

    There is only one thing I would like from Nintendo - to reinvent the WiiU as a 3DS / WiiU hybrd, able to play downloadable 3DS games on a big screen, then resume them on the 3DS once you're away from the TV.

    You've already got the two screens and touch interface. Hell, I'd even take it if they made an extra add on to do this (ala the super game boy). I'm not saying it'd be easy for them from a hardware standpoint, but I do think the rewards would be worth it.

    This would instantly triple the WiiU game library and would make the WiiU a real contender. And it's innovative to boot.

      you do realize the 3DS only outputs to 240p... games would look TERRIBLE on a TV...this is a terrible idea.

        I don't see how it is terrible. Of course there is quality loss, that is a given. But they have literally done this before with the Super Game Boy peripheral, which pumped up a whopping 160x144 monochrome image on to a PAL (or NTSC) screen. The jump would frankly not be much worse than that and there are techniques to artificially bolster low resolutions to higher ones, granted it never looks quite as good but I do not see how it makes the idea 'terrible'.

    “Nintendo is not good at competing..."True dat....so we always have to challenge [the status quo] by making something new.”As long as that means anything except IP.

    /endteasing

    They certainly are an oddball bunch with oddball ideas and it's nice that they're there - even if it doesn't always pan out (wiiU), it's good when it does (wii/3DS).

    My parents know Mario, my generation does, the next one does and so will their children and children's children. No one will remember the Master Chiefs, the um....gears people...or that lot from CoD
    I don't think this ideal will ever change, nor do I think Nintendo will ever stop going from between the good and bad times like a roller coaster.

    All I know is they gave me great memories as a kid and continue to do so as I play with my nephews, nieces and eventually my own kids. They are basically the gaming version of religion, get em young Nintendo, get em young!!

    even if Nintendo had a system on par with the PS4 they still wouldn't get the multiplats.... Nintendo's third party situation has nothing to do with the specs (although developers/publishers find its better PR to claim they wont port because of specs)

    Nintendo owners really do not buy very many third party games. Add in the low install base, its not a good business proposition for third parties to port over their games.... The Wii U is capable of nextgen shaders(4.0), particle effects, dynamic lighting, tesselation and other directx 11 effects. The system is capable of running the same things, albiet in a lower resolution (720p).. It sounds so much better from a PR standpoint to claim "Its not compatible with our engine" then it is to tell the truth "We wont be porting our game to the Wii U because we don't think the profit will be big enough for us"

    Last edited 12/10/13 4:15 am

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