Thursday, 1 May 2014

Nintendo's Strange Stance on Modernity

Whether you love them or hate them it's pretty much undeniable that Nintendo are considered to be the spiritual fathers of the gaming industry and the leaders of innovation. They are always putting forward crazy ideas (motion controls, Miiverse etc.) and striving to make them popular. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, they are often behind others in a lot of ways. This puts them in a strange place in modern gaming, they did an inbuilt focus on social gaming before the PS4 and Xbox One and yet are only just doing their first season pass. 

The PS4 and Xbox One both have a heavy emphasis on socialising, they have features that allow sharing gaming images and video and are basically social network unto themselves. This is something Nintendo did first with the Miiverse. And yet when it comes to the most basic form of social gaming, online multiplayer, a lot of Nintendo's big games don't have it and with the Wii it was very archaic. 

When it comes to DLC, something that has been the norm for Sony and Microsoft for years now, Nintendo are only just beginning to truly embrace it, with their first season pass rolling out with the new Mario Golf. It's important to note that this step is a big deal for Nintendo, it's a shockingly modern thing for them to do, despite the amount of shockingly modern things they did first. 

Then there's indies, they lagged behind during the Wii era but Nintendo are actually now more or less on an even playing field with the competition in terms of indies. Nintendo seem to be doing all they can to support indie games. Perhaps to fill the gaps between their own games? Along with indies there are free to play games, this is an idea still relatively new to console gaming and. like with indies, Nintendo is pretty much doing just as well as Sony and Microsoft are. Free to play gaming could bring a bright future for all three companies so here's hoping Nintendo keep up. 

So there you can see, Nintendo are in a strange place with regards to modern gaming tropes, they're ahead in some areas, on par in others and still behind in others. Whether Nintendo will ever be 'modern' I don't know but let's hope they keep on innovating and continue to do crazy things no one else dares try. 

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