Let's Talk About Nintendo And Out Of Touch Decisions
Lets Talk About Nintendo And Out Of Touch Decisions
By: Sam Rizzo
Damn it Nintendo, You “Nintendoed” it up again. Do you not want our money? You sure act like you don’t. Lets start off with blaming the awful launch of the NES Classic on “we didn’t expect there to be much demand” to now just out right canceling production of it. If you guys are really that bad at the Supply and Demand concept then its amazing you haven’t run your company into the ground. That’s not it though, this is all because of one thing. You manufacture scarcity and you run yourselves like a toy company, not a video game and console developer. What I mean behind that is in the toy industry this is a distinct move that a toy company would pull. You barely release any of your new product on its launch and make sure that just a few people get whatever your new product is. So that way we can see the few people that have your new product, be jealous, and rush out to buy it on its second production run. We have all seen that Nintendo knows exactly what they’re doing when it comes to supply and demand though, take the 3DS for example. They made exactly how many they needed to make and basically just printed money with the 3DS. Not the NES Classic though. People were pissed that their local Target or Walmart only had 5 total. 5, that’s some of the better cases too. Some places saw just one or maybe two. You want us to pay scalpers, you want to make the scalpers money. That’s all you’re doing with this decision. When consumers called Nintendo out on this as well their only excuse was that they just didn’t expect it to be so popular. Which (and lets say this all together) is a bullshit excuse, you spend millions on multiple research and development companies every year, including already having a slew of your own in house R&D departments.
They did this with the Wii if you don’t remember. After the first launch hardly anyone could find a Wii and when people got pissed Nintendo used the same exact excuse. Only they followed it up by making millions of Wii’s and making them accessible for everyone. They’ve done it now with Amibos as well. Remember when none of us could find Ness or the Wii Fit Trainer Amibo? Then they decided to start including DLC that everyone wanted with the Amibo’s no one could find. That’s a move that almost seems like their mocking us now. They could put that DLC on the Nintendo Store page and make a ton of money but instead opt for barely making it available to their customer base at all. Its a digital code for crying out loud. They pulled this move with the original NES as well, making it seem like this crazy piece of tech that no one could get their hands on, which made everyone want it even more. Except they followed that up by then making millions available to the public.
This is not something you do in the gaming industry, this is a move that gets you bad press and a waning fan base in the gaming industry. I get manufactured scarcity and I know for the most part is seems a bit silly to be as riled up as I am over this decision, especially considering that I’m a huge proponent of Emulation. Well Emulating classics that no one is making any money off anymore. I know that you can get a Raspberry PI and it will do 200% more than the NES Classic could ever do and even comes with achievements for these old games. I’m in no way one of those people who shouts doom every time Nintendo makes some boneheaded announcement because let’s be honest here, they have enough of a built in fan base that they’ll have money pouring in until the earth is finally swallowed up by the sun. I just wish they’d actually care about their customers instead of short changing us at every turn and showing what seems like contempt for the Nintendo fan base.
On to the next topic of old CEO’s who have lost touch with modern society, Nintendo announced paid subscription for the Nintendo Switch. Without any further explanation, this doesn’t sound that bad. Hell, Microsoft has done it since the very conception of Xbox Live and its always been a really lucrative and customer friendly service. Here’s the issue though, Nintendo went and “Nintendoed” it all up. So what do we get for our monthly paid subscription? Well you get one free game a month, not to keep like Xbox and Sony do with their paid subscriptions though. Its a Rom for an older game of their choosing that is gone when the month ends. They can’t even give you a five dollar Rom for a game they make no money on because Nintendo is ran by a bunch of very out of touch old guy’s who wouldn’t understand the concept of customer appreciation if their life depended on it.
What else do we get with this (supposedly) 20 dollar a month service that costs more than Netflix and Hulu combined. Online game play comes with it, I guess thats fine but it can’t be the best contributing factor here. I can just go boot up my PlayStation and play with friends online for free or alternatively hop on my computer and be able to play online with friends and use a service like TeamSpeak or Discord and have constant streaming quality, all for free. So whats next? You get an online lobby and voice chat app, so again, something I can do for free with two already very established services. Finally we have exclusive “Deals”, just say it Nintendo. They’re coupons, so for 20 bucks a month we get online game play (that we can already do for free with other services), rent an old NES game for a month (that will always be in the 1 to 5 dollar range), a Voice chat and lobby app (that we can already get for free on our phones if we really wanted to talk with friends while playing a Switch game), and exclusive “deals” (which is just a fun little marketing buzzword for coupons).
Offering a paid subscription for the Switch’s online functionality isn’t the issue here. Nintendo just saw Sony and Microsoft doing it and wanted to copy their success. The problem being that I can already play with friends on PlayStation for free but PlayStation Plus is such a fantastic deal because they offer so much more incentives. You get a free game, not to rent, to own. They’re fantastic triple A and well made indie games as well and all that with so much more as well. Xbox does the same damn thing. People pay for their services because they make it worth something. I love you Nintendo, when it comes to gaming you were my first love. I will always love Nintendo, their consoles, and their games too. It would just be nice if instead of trying to constantly change the way games are played and putting all this time and effort into innovating new console technologies they would put some effort into changing with the times when it comes to business practices as well.