Reggie to the Wii: "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out!"
There's a discussion happening over at the RPG Codex about the Nintendo Wii and the terrible, terrible showing that Reggie Fils-Aimé (Nintendo's president) gave at this year's E3 gaming conference. Reggie has gone from revolutionary to nanny in just four years.
I've owned a Wii since day one. I've put probably a thousand dollars into the console, games, and controllers. But I'm thinking hard about things, and so I want to share with you what I posted over at the RPG Codex.
This is what I wrote:
Actually, I think Nintendo is being very innovative right now... it's just that they're innovating away from anything I'd like.
I've owned the Wii since the first day it came out. I even ran a Wii Web site and forum for the first 18 months or so.
I still like it for all the reasons that I was first attracted to it. I like it for being able to play all the old, original Nintendo games. I've boughts tons of them at the Wii store, and I suspect that the original Sim City for the NES is my kids' second or third favorite game. Some of the old stuff has legs, and is really good still today.
I love the Wii for the innovative controls, which never bothered me much and in fact made me pretty happy. My kids love a lot of the platformers on the system, and I love a lot of the 5 minute mini-games (especially the Rayman stuff).
I even like the Web browser.
But having said all that, Nintendo is lately going away from "games for normal people." Now it's more like, "games for soccer moms." I really think Nintendo has confused the two pretty badly. I think Reggie was genuinely confused when the interviewer said that hardcore gamers were not smiling. Reggie thinks Animal Crossing is "hard core" for gamers? That's a serious disconnect from not only the hard core gamers, but even from the mainstream. His thinking has gone way over to being almost grandmotherly.
You know, it's one thing to say to a grumpy old gamer like me, "We know you love old RPGs, but try Excite Truck and see if it doesn't make you happy." It's another thing to say, "RPGs? Listen, you probably have a weight problem from sitting at the computer all day, you nerd, so maybe do Wii Fit on a schedule, OK?" I mean, Excite Truck and similar shallow but amusing games are at least fun. But Wii Fit? Really? We're talking about turning the Wii into the discarded exercise cycle that nobody uses? We're talking about turning the Wii into that thing that makes us feel guilty because we're supposed to use it? I want to want to use the Wii. This is just ridiculous.
This is where I can't go. I feel like Nintendo is Tom Hanks in the movie Big -- he's fully crossed over into being an adult, but I just want to play some games. Couldn't he just walk away from adulthood and think up something fun to play with his old friends? Please?