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TheMadGamer May 4th, 2013 19:59

Nintendo Controllers
 
I've been commenting and writing up player reviews for various games at Gamespot for 10 years now. Up until recently, practically all I've written has been irrelevant to other readers evidenced by the lack of any kinds of responses. Never get likes, almost never get comments or even challenges to things I write. Like attending a party that nobody remembers you being at (I say that rhetorically, not that it has happened to me… eh… yeah… anyway…).

Recently I posted a very small one sentence comment on a Gamespot article discussing why the new Nintendo console isn't selling well. The article covered various reasons why this seems to be the case but lacked one thing that in my view is a biggie. I wrote, 'Maybe Nintendo should stop making the PRIMARY focus of their new hardware about the controller and make their PRIMARY focus about the games.'

I received dozens of "likes" and comments in support of my assertion and more 'likes' than in the last 10 years combined (because, well, I haven't had any "likes" to begin with so…). It was sort of surreal going into my email program and suddenly seeing dozens of automated messages from Gamespot reading, 'so-and-so likes your comment' as it never has happened before. I thought maybe I had a virus or was being spammed.

Like certain games from certain developers are a day 1 buy for me, no questions asked, usually new consoles from Nintendo are no-brainer purchases for me. But I haven't picked up the Wii U and really feel no compulsion to at this point. For starters, their release line up of games were less than mediocre. The AAA titles starting to trickle out now don't seem to offer much new other than being in HD which I really don't care about personally. And finally, the big albatross in the room is that stupid controller that they've made such a big deal about. It doesn't excite me in any way, shape, or form.

Nintendo isn't the only culprit here. But after learning how to use the Wii controllers, trying out both the Kinect and PS3 motion controller (whatever it's called) I'm really burnt out on it all. The technology is interesting for sure, but the games just suck on these specialized controllers. Now here is the Wii U with yet another controller paradigm and I feel exhausted by how uninterested I am with all these fancy controllers.

I know a lot of you here, like me, play on consoles and wondered what you all think about my assertion that Nintendo has put too much emphasis on controllers in recent years. Is it just me? After the feedback I got from those who are usually mindless zombie masses at Gamespot, I'm thinking maybe no. What do you all think?

coaster May 4th, 2013 20:33

Completely agree.

I bought a Wii and if any of the games couldn't be played easily on the couch (with the Wiimote in one hand & nunchuk in the other), then it was pretty much a game-killer - I'm a fairly lazy 40+ year old who doesn't want to be jumping around after a day at work FFS. Which meant a lot of Wii games had a very short shelf life for me. The most annoying was Skyward Sword (I started a thread on here moaning about it a while ago). That game had all the fun content and exploration sucked out from previous games and a shitty input system imposed on it instead.

No chance I'm going near the Wii U. Why do I want a screen on my controller? Do I want to be looking back and forth from controller to screen? No, it breaks immersion. Does the controller look comfortable to play games with? No it is a big slab of plastic. Nintendo are shoe-horning the games into the tech and people are turning off in droves.

Exactly the same goes for Kinect/Move. I played all the first three Fable games (admittedly there was a declining arc of quality but even the third has some redeeming features). I won't go near Fable: the Journey because of Kinect and it looks like most other people felt the same.

zakhal May 6th, 2013 14:37

I dont use wii u gamepad as a "second screen" but as a "main screen". Allthough it does work great as a second screen in zombie U. Inventory management & radar is great.

I love wii u gamepad off-tv feature. Its much better for playing games and watching moves and tv-series than my cellphone. I even prefer it to the bulky ipad. The only thing it lacks is in content. Wish they would add HBO soon and some rpg.

I bet that wii u gamepad is the future. Its brilliant. Instead of having one device with everything you seperate the screen & controls from the console & power source & storage. Understanding all the benefits of this is not easy so it will take time before it comes popular.

I think in future homes will have one extremely powerful central computer/console and multiple wii u gamepad style handsets that stream content from the central computer.

Its bit like cloud computing. Each handset been a browser. Its actually nothing new if you look at thin clients. History repeats itself.

TheMadGamer May 6th, 2013 19:02

Quote:

Originally Posted by zakhal (Post 1061196621)
I love wii u gamepad off-tv feature. Its much better for playing games and watching moves and tv-series than my cellphone. I even prefer it to the bulky ipad. The only thing it lacks is in content. Wish they would add HBO soon and some rpg.

I can appreciate your points and I have nothing against the controller itself. But my main peev is that the Nintendo controllers since the Wii have been front and center when the games should be front and center.

I've always liked Nintendo consoles because they've maintained a far greater breadth of genres verses Xbox and Playstation who's developers are particularly obsessed with the FPS genre.

But since the Wii, I've been disappointed by the lack of really good Nintendo games (there are some, don't get me wrong) and too big a focus, imho, on controllers.

Quote:

Originally Posted by zakhal (Post 1061196621)
I bet that wii u gamepad is the future. Its brilliant. Instead of having one device with everything you seperate the screen & controls from the console & power source & storage. Understanding all the benefits of this is not easy so it will take time before it comes popular.

That may be the case and if so Nintendo certainly isn't alone with trying to do more with their consoles than just play games as the next Xbox and Playstation are weighing in at the $500 price point in order to offer more computing and video/movie features.

The only thing is, at the $500 price point you can buy a pretty decent office PC, upgrade the video card for $150, and simply have a full-fledged PC that will likely meet the same visual and performance ability of the consoles on release. A tempting proposition for those who understand the power and flexibility of the PC over consoles.

Toff May 6th, 2013 22:52

I'm grew up with nintendo but now at 41 years old I have zero interest in anything Mario related. The Wii was neat and was good for parties and kids but never neat enough for me to get one. The new Wii I have less than zero interest in if thats even possible.

JDR13 May 7th, 2013 00:14

I don't have a Wii U yet, but I've owned every Nintendo console since the NES with the exception on the N64. The Wii was very disappointing to me. I think I use it more for Gamecube games than Wii titles to be honest.

The worst controller ever though was the N64 gamepad. I hated that thing with a passion. It was the primary reason I never purchased an N64.

TheMadGamer May 7th, 2013 00:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDR13 (Post 1061196688)
The worst controller ever though was the N64 gamepad. I hated that thing with a passion. It was the primary reason I never purchased an N64.

I agree that the N64 controller was this gigantic piece of monster plastic. Never understood how they came up with that design.

But unlike you, I'm very fond of the N64 and have a good number of games for it I enjoyed quite a lot. I had a love hate relationship with Mario 64 - though mostly love.

DArtagnan May 7th, 2013 18:08

I agree, yeah.

Wii was just the first to do what it did - and though I think it was neat enough, the attention was completely unwarranted.

The Kinect and Move were both somewhat interesting pieces of tech - but I don't think they could have done a worse job designing for it if they set it as their primary goal in life to suck.

A child could have come up with more imaginative ways to use those controllers.

I mean… Heavy Rain? Cool - I get to open windows and use my Asthma spray like I was really there! WTF?!?!

dteowner May 7th, 2013 19:43

The Wii didn't target us. Seems to me that the "bottom line" intent for that design was to accomplish two goals: offer a counterpoint to the "couchpotato fat gamer kid" meme that was huge back then so parents could feel good about buying their kids a game console, and an attempt to crack the adult female market via all the exercise "games" (which they're still making today). Sure, they wanted to sell games to gamers as well, but it really seems to me that all the design decisions that make up the Wii revolve around a marketing strategy that simply didn't pan out that well.

TheMadGamer May 9th, 2013 17:53

Quote:

Originally Posted by DArtagnan (Post 1061196856)
The Kinect and Move were both somewhat interesting pieces of tech…

I agree. From a technical standpoint, I think the Kinect is very interesting.

Too bad all the games are terrible.

But even if there were some good games for it, I don't know about any of you, but I'm pretty busy with job and family (typing this while taking a moment to eat breakfast) and when I play games I really don't feel like jumping around and flapping my arms.

I guess fundamentally I view video gaming as 'relaxing time.'

Jaz May 9th, 2013 19:47

Oh, the Kinect is perfect for my workout game. Which I don't really see as a game.

And it's great when you have kids in your house and don't want to tell their parents that they just sat around and played video games. Well, they technically didn't: they did some serious workout :).

But for me personally, *gaming* is more about sitting in my office chair with coffee and pizza and yelling at people 1000 klicks away ^^. My kid loves his Kinect games, though, and his friends love them, too.

What I didn't like about the Wii was that you had to buy a new controller for every game, but once you discovered how controller and game worked, all you had to do was flick your wrist instead of hopping around. Try to do that with my Kinect workout game the bootcamp guy will scream at you all the time because you don't get your butt off the ground. And it's even worse with the Yoga/QiGong stuff: if you don't keep all appendages aligned with the ideal form, you'll hear some serious nagging by Ms Xbox :p.

TheMadGamer May 9th, 2013 23:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jaz (Post 1061197263)
And it's great when you have kids in your house and don't want to tell their parents that they just sat around and played video games. Well, they technically didn't: they did some serious workout :).

My kids love the neighbors' Kinect too. But they're stupid, what do they know. :P


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