Sometime in the next year or two, the Nintendo NX will supposedly be released. We’ve all heard the rumors and while nothing is set in stone, I can say that based on the rumors, I will almost certainly not be purchasing one for a number of years after release, if at all. I’ve had my Wii U for less than three years and a cartridge based handheld that hooks to my TV doesn’t sound like something I want to spend several hundred dollars on any time soon. Again, these are only rumors and things may very well change, but that’s not what I want to focus on in this piece. What I want to talk about is what will inevitably happen to Nintendo with the NX and has happened so many times before in the last few generations of consoles.

Nintendo gets a lot of crap thrown at them, and in many cases this is rightly so. I love Nintendo. I’ve owned every Nintendo home console since the NES and I continue to enjoy their games. However, I have no problem admitting that they continually make a lot of really bad decisions that are outright insulting to the modern consumer. They still have region locks on their consoles and games. They don’t let people post YouTube videos for ad revenue. They intentionally build consoles that can’t stand up to either the newest SONY or Microsoft consoles on a technical level. They make decisions that lead to hugely lacking third party support. It’s no wonder that people complain about Nintendo all the time these days. Now, I am not one of those people naive enough to think that Nintendo will be closing up shop any time soon, but I also think that it’s high time for Nintendo to grow up and start playing the game. Yet all that aside, I would still say that the one thing that constantly sets Nintendo apart from its competitors is the company’s continued dedication to true innovation.

wii u locked

Still region locking in 2016 . . .

Innovation is important in the gaming industry. In fact, it’s arguably the most important thing in both hardware and software development today. People may buy the same games over and over like Call Of Duty and Madden, but they still want to feel like they are getting something new. Nintendo has and will continue to lead the industry in innovation. What I get angry about is the fact that even as they innovate at the highest levels of variation, they are often ignored or even flat out insulted for that innovation. Then, SONY and Microsoft steal their ideas, slap on a coat of black paint and a new name, and suddenly it’s brilliant. Let’s look at some obvious examples.

Super Mario 64 (1996) revolutionized gaming, that’s not an exaggeration. That one game changed gaming from common 2D side scrolling to 3D open world. Even today it’s still an excellent example of a modern game. Nintendo started that. Then, in time we of course saw Sega and PlayStation copy the idea and now 3D environments are the bare minimum for triple-A development. One could argue that technology was obviously moving that way so there’s really no reason to praise Nintendo for doing it first. That’s technically a fair argument so let’s fast forward to the last two generations of console gaming.

mario evolution

The Wii introduced the practical application of real-time motion based gaming. I’m sure we all remember the first time we saw Wii Sports. It truly revolutionized the industry. Not only did it raise the bar for control schemes but it also showed that on a business level, video games weren’t just for kids anymore. Adults and even the elderly were buying Wiis like hot cakes just to play around with the Wiimote, and it really worked. The Wii Motion Plus only improved an already great technology, then a bit later Microsoft and SONY stole the technology, put their spin on it, painted it black, and released it as something new. I’ve used the XBOX Kinect and the PlayStation Move. Both are crap by comparison to the simple Wiimote. The PlayStation move is the most inconvenient motion game system ever built. You have to re-calibrate the controller every round, you can’t switch players without re-calibrating again, and even when it is working it’s not nearly as responsive as a Wiimote which requires no calibration. Not to mention the Wiimote can be switched between players in real time without pausing.

The Kinect also tries to be effective but it just isn’t. It too requires a lot of calibration and other than Just Dance, the games they make for it are just so lousy. Nintendo is the father of motion based gaming and they give you the technology as a standard part of the console at purchase. Yet instead of applauding them for it, most people just say they make childish games. Whereas Microsoft and SONY over charge for sub-par peripherals, make crappy games to use them, and get credited for going in the right direction. It’s just unacceptable.

I’m also not a big supporter of current/first gen VR. From the first demo presentation, I have not only been skeptical, but flat out opposed to gamers paying more than the price of a new console for a headset without adding in the cost of the console or a new PC to boot. This doesn’t even mention also needing to buy other peripherals like the PS Camera and Move in the case of PSVR. I think that whole situation is ridiculous, but this isn’t just about money. The real reason I don’t support VR 1.0 is that it’s not really VR. These companies keep calling it that to sell units, but the crap they’re selling isn’t actually virtual reality. Virtual reality gaming is a computer generated environment where the player is inside the generated world and able to interact with it in real time via direct contact. Think QuestWorld from The Real Adventures of Johnny Quest (1996). You put on the headset and the game generates a world that you are inside of. When you move your hand in real life, your hand moves in the game, you do not hold a controller. It’s supposed to be a direct interface, you’re in the world. Not just looking at it like in a normal video game today.

Tron-Legacy

Call me when VR gets to here.

Don’t get me wrong, VR is certainly the future of video games and eventually even I will end up purchasing a unit. Probably gen 3. It’s just not the near future. All they have right now is a highly responsive motion detective screen that you strap to your face to play any old first person game with a normal home console controller. A highly responsive motion detective screen? Sounds like a Wii U gamepad to me! Oh wait…that’s exactly what it is.

Current gen VR is little more than a Wii U gamepad strapped to your head while you’re playing the game with a Wii U pro controller. Microsoft (Oculus) and SONY (Playstation VR) just stole the basic technology of the Wii U, made it into a headset, and overclocked the sensitivity and graphics. There is no true innovation as far as gaming is concerned with first gen VR. This is just another example of people ignoring the innovative contributions to gaming made by Nintendo because Microsoft and SONY are better at packaging and naming products. And yes, I’m aware that Oculus was launched on kickstarter and later bought by Facebook late in development. The point is that current VR not only isn’t really virtual reality, but it’s also not an original concept/technology.

It disgusts me that people have become so jaded by Nintendo that they’ll easily fall for any sleight of hand the other two companies can throw at them. From what I’ve, heard, the NX will once again make real leaps forward in gaming hardware through original innovations. Ultimately it won’t sell well and then a generation later, or maybe a half generation the way things are looking now with PS4.5, the other guys will steal the technology, paint it black, and make a killing for a lesser product. I’m by no means saying that we should just blindly follow Nintendo and purchase whatever crap they put out regardless of all the bad decisions they do make, but what I am saying is that we should at least give credit where credit is due and not blindly throw money at companies for stealing those same ignored ideas. Microsoft and SONY do not innovate. In fact, Microsoft, the corporation, was started through dishonesty and theft. Nintendo takes the time to innovate and actually release new products only to get ham-stringed. One has to admit that’s pretty unfair.

About The Author

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I'm a hardcore gamer writing a ton of content, but not currently getting paid for it. Trying to change that. Check out my gaming blog at IGN. I also write reviews for Brash Games and have an all gaming YT channel. Please like and subscribe. Follow me on twitter for great gaming tweets.

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  • Not to mention the Nintendo DS which paved the way for touch screen gaming – now a massive industry on smart phones and tablets.

  • smashbrolink

    I just want to say one thing in fairness;
    Sony actually did have a prototype for a wand controller before Nintendo did, to my knowledge.
    The catch is that Sony didn’t move forward with seriously pushing it for games until Nintendo’s Wii proved that it could be profitable.
    They failed to make anything long-term-substantial out of it, but hey, Sony’s crowd doesn’t easily accept none-traditional controls.

  • disqus_1S1GyNUnq5

    newsflash: you can innovate the hell out of anything – if you are not able or willing to accept that there are industry standards that need to be considered your innovations are pretty worthless. and that’s the situation nintendo is in and i don’t see them able to get out of this downward spiral. they have been arrogant from the very start. but thing is they are not alone anymore and others overtook them in the past. as long as they are neglecting these hard facts no rise of nintendo will ever happen again.

  • Bilal Prince-Ali

    EXACTLY!!!!

  • Jay

    Ive not read so much crap in my life!! Nintendo copy just as much as any other company (Apple included) it just so happens they bring it to the mass market and people think its Nintendos invention i.e DS touch screen, Wii hand controller, NES dpad, N64 analogue controller, all invented before Nintendo, as for Mario 64 changing gaming from 2D to 3D, sorry more BS! 3D gaming was around years before, that’s a classic line Nintendo fans like to spout..sorry Nintendo don’t innovate at all, they ‘borrow’ ideas and make them decent sure, but don’t make an article like this without checking years of facts!

  • Bilal Prince-Ali

    You quite clearly are far to up Nintendo’s ass to realise quite a few things… PSMove development started in 2001.. there are LITERALLY video recordings of the prototype testing of the controllers back in 2001 to accompany the ‘Eye Toy’ do your research kind….

    What you need to realise and understand is MORE OFTEN THAN NOT Nintendo’s innovations work against them… and their policy of innovation is actually stupid. The reason i dont respect all of their innovaitons is because in the the gaming industry there are certain precedents set that are irreplaceable to the experience and this seems to be something Nintendo ignore and this doesnt work for them..

    To put it simply Nintendo innovate for the sake of innovation.. NOT to better the experience for the gamer, and because of this JUST BECAUSE THEY’RE INNOVATING doesn’t mean they should be given the plaudits!

  • KUNA

    this article was written by a noob that doesn’t understand technology

  • Wheresmymonkey

    You might want to look at this… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game.com

    released about a decade before the DS but does pretty much everything it went on to do in a primitive manner.

    Nintendo aren’t usually the first company to do anything. they’re just usually the first one to get it right.

  • Wheresmymonkey

    Playstation wouldn’t exist at all if it wasn’t for Nintendo. the original pad psx was a modified snes pad. and Sony got into the console market after their deal with nintendo to make a SNES add on fell through.

    More over the innovations Nintendo’s innovations include such things as the d pad, shoulder buttons, the diamond configuration of buttons, downloadable games (you could get them on the SNES) , motion control ( everyone forgets the power glove had it) wireless controllers ( the NES had them) the first mass market VR device (the virtual boy), dual analogue controls for shooters (Goldeneye had them)

    interestingly SEGA were the company to give us analogue triggers with the DC, likewise dual screen play like the WiiU, with the VMU units. Also though people credit nintendo with analogue sticks, both SEGA and Sony had analogue pads out before the N64 launched.
    though admittedly neither of them had many games that used them effectively. That’s why Mario 64 is special it actually had proper analogue movement which has become standard for all 3D games since.

    So no, nintendos innovation doesn’t act against it. it actually drives the industry forward. the PS4 wouldn’t have had remote play sold as a key feature if the WiiU hadn’t shown how useful it was. (which is probably the only vaguely innovative thing to come out of this gen)

  • Bilal Prince-Ali

    what the HELL does Sony and Nintendo’s original deal have ANYTHING to do with Nintendo’s innovation! wouldnt that be a point against Nintendo clearly showing it’s not them innovating but rather purchasing innovation you idiot!?

    QUITE CLEARLY when we are discussing Nintendo’s innovations we are referencing them as a company over the course of the last 20 years.. going back to the 1st gen of consoles is pretty pointless as that is a completely different ball game to what we have now with 3D gaming. Sony wasnt even in contention back in those days! as for DUAL analogue sticks i think we both know that’s thanks to Sony.. The use of analogue stick in Mario was of course good but lets be clear it’s camera problems were due to a lack of a second analogue stick controlling the camera.

    WHAT!!!? You REALLY think remote play is a result of Wii U!? You think something like remote play is just tacked on to a machine that’s been in R & D for 3+ years!? woow.. a console that manages to lin kto another console!? You must be insane!

    You speak of hardware… but fail to mention how the Wii as a games console worked against itself in the long run.. fail to mention how their decision to use ‘miniDVD’ for their Gamecube with it’s poor memory capacity meant it’s game were always under-powered! or how their WiiU Gamepad is LITERALLY used for almost nothing and when it IS used for something, generally it literally is a hindrance to the player experience!
    You talk about hardWare but forget innovation comes from Software too.. With games having to suffer the ‘innovate for the sake of innovation’ mentality such as the new Star Fox which is ONE OF THE WORST EXPERIENCES IVE EVER HAD TO ENDURE IN MY LIFEEE!!!!

    I do not hate Nintendo i love them when they get it right but it’s FAR to inconsistent and far between.. I still telll people MArio Galaxy is the greatest Mario ‘franchise’ ever and Mario Galaxy 2 is easily top 5 greatest games ever! Uncharted 2, The Last Of Us, Gears Of War 2, CoD MW And MArio Galaxy 2 easily the best games of last gen So im NOT hating on Nintendo for no reason.. im literlaly just calling it as i see it. And DONT THINK FOR A SECOND! STAR FOX IS THE ONLY GAME NINTENDO HAS RUINED FOR THE SAKE OF INNOVATION!

  • Eric Bailey

    Whew, harsh crowd!

  • Sorry for taking so long to respond to the comments left on this article. I have had a very busy week both in and outside of work so please forgive me. Thank you for taking the time to comment on the actual page. Gaming Rebellion only just recently got Discus working so up until now we were forced to respond to comments on other channels such as reddit and N4G. It was all very inconvenient so I’m glad to see people taking the time to login and comment on the actual page. I know I speak for all the writers at Gaming Rebellion when I say we really appreciate it.

    There have been comments from both sides of the fence that have addressed more than one topic within this general discussion so rather than try to address all the comments that have been written individually and possibly echoing comments that others have already written, I’ll just leave one general response to basically all the argumentative comments I’ve seen.

    Firstly, it is my opinion that innovation should only be credited to companies that went public with their product(s) first. Some commenters have said that SONY or whatever company was working on whatever product before Nintendo released whatever product so it’s incorrect to credit innovation to Nintendo. I disagree. Whether whatever company was working on whatever product before whoever else, until a company actually takes the financial risk of releasing said product their behind closed doors development is irrelevant. It’s impossible to verify when whatever company actually starting making whatever. Not only is it common for companies (especially those in the gaming industry) to lie but they also love to exaggerate. For all we know a single lower level employee said an idea during his lunch break one day and it eventually got picked up by a higher ranking employee and then eventually made it to R&D but for the purposes of press they’re telling everyone development started the day of that lunch break conversation even if the product wasn’t seriously pursued till years later. Nintendo revolutionized motion based gaming because regardless of whoever was working on it first, Nintendo released it first and showed how lucrative it really was thus causing M$ and SONY to take motion gaming more seriously. Thus it’s only right to credit the innovation to Nintendo.

    Second, yes it is fact that companies outside of gaming are constantly working on and innovating technologies that later spill into gaming. It’s impossible to track all of this development and it’s also irrelevant because it’s not until gaming companies, whether main stream or indie, begin using a technology for the purposes of how it relates to gaming that it should be considered in this conversation, or at least that’s my view on the discussion.

    Third, I absolutely agree that not all innovation ends up being a good idea and that Nintendo has made quite a few mistakes trying to change the way certain things are for no reason. But the point of this article is not to praise Nintendo for innovation as much as it is to address the fact that too often are SONY and M$ praised for “new” things that were really just stolen from Nintendo.

    Sorry for the long comment but I think that sums everything up.

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