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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Retrospective: How Nintendo lost me as a customer

Golden Abyss got me to start playing Drake's Deception on the PS3, which is pretty remarkable. (I'm certainly enjoying the game and how pretty it is) Looking back at the review of the Nintendo Wii that I wrote in 2007, this is quite a reversal of the turn of events that I expected. The Nintendo Wii is gathering dust, while the PS3 sees almost daily use, if not as a game machine, as a portal for Amazon instant video, blu ray player at times, and YouTube living room, where it serves as a better Google TV than the various Google TV demos I've tried over the years. I haven't even considered a Chromecast because the PS3 has been working so well.

How did this happen? I think the biggest deal was the advent of HDTV. With a big 1080p screen in the living room, the Nintendo Wii's graphics looked old. For a while, it still saw plenty of use as an avenue for Rock Band, but even then, the jaggies started looking more and more glaring compared to the PS3's 720p output for games and 1080p output for movies. For games where a motion controller was preferred, I ended up with a Playstation Move instead.

For the next generation of consoles, the difference is even bigger. Both the XBox One and the Playstation 4 will play Blu-rays and DVDs, while the Wii U, despite having a disc reader, won't even play DVDs. From a performance point of view, the Wii U is so much less powerful than either of the bigger consoles that it's likely to only get games that are coming out for the previous generation of consoles.

But by far the most important reason is the games. While it seems as though I've become an Uncharted addict, I noticed that I never did finish a single Wii game that had a "finish". To be fair, the Wii has many games that don't end. For me, that means that I'd rather pick up a PS 4 when the next Uncharted game comes out rather than getting another Nintendo console that gathers dust.

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