Here’s my checklist of things that Nintendo needs to do if they want to win back their long lost ‘hardcore gamer’ crowd – afterall, we’re the ones who continue buying games no matter what happens.
1) Standard controller – The Wiimote was an important innovation, and it has paved the way for some new things…. but hardcore gamers, the ones who will keep gaming rain or shine, we want to at least have the OPTION to use a comfortable, dual analog controller for our gaming. It’s what we’re used to and what we’re most comfortable with.
2) Games from Third Parties – Sure Mario and Zelda are good and all, and so are Kirby, Donkey Kong, etc… but a successful console has to offer variety. People want to get sucked into the one console of their choice, and whichever console offers them the most games they want the most is the one they’ll play(yes, verbose sentence there ;)). Basically, if Café offers me 5 Nintendo exclusives I want to play and 2 multiplatforms I want to play; and the PS3 offers me 4 Sony exclusives I want to play and 10 multiplatforms I want to play; then the PS3 will be my primary console. I may someday get the Café but I won’t spend much money on it, and it won’t be my primary so I won’t spend much time or thought on it either.
3) Competetive pricepoint – As Sony learned, nobody cares if your hardware is miles ahead if the price is also miles higher. If this console comes out at 899 when the PS3 and 360 are still at their current prices(or possibly lower), then it doesn’t matter how epic this console is, people will opt out of it until the price comes down.
4) Backwards compatibility – including Wiiware: The ability for people to transfer the stuff they’ve already spent money on to the new console will be huge. It would give them a huge goodwill bonus that would improve the public image of the console and make people really happy to not have to purchase their Link to the Past or Super Metroid again.
5) No stupid gimmick – Yes, Nintendo, you heard me. You guys have been coasting on gimmicks for a while, and its been great, but if you want your next console to ring with the lifetime gamers, you need to leave the gimmicks on the sideline. They can come out later, but the system needs to stand on its own merits, not on some fancy gimmick.
6) A solid opening lineup – This is the other one that really hurt the PS3 when it came out – the lack of release titles. If you release a major console without at least 3 different genres covered with good solid titles, we won’t care. We want to have some choice, and they have to showcase the console.
7) A competitive disk-format – The disk you use for your games needs to be able to hold enough space to be competitive with Sony. DVD won’t cut it this time, Nintendo. Nobody wants to swap disks 10 times for a game.
8 ) Please… for the love of god… keep the minigame compilations to a minimum.