Those of us of a certain age who grew up in the right era matured with the Nintendo corporation. The Nintendo Entertainment System and video game Super Mario Bros. was a mainstay in homes all around the world following the release of that bundle in the 1980s. Titles such as The Legend of Zelda, Tecmo Bowl, Metroid and so many memorable games held our attentions for hours upon hours, and those were followed up by inventions such as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and the Nintendo Wii, both of which helped revolutionize the gaming world in their own ways.
Nintendo has obviously gotten plenty right over the decades. There are many good reasons why even the company’s name is one that is familiar even in households where there are no video games. Those who are nostalgic for what they see as better days of old still cling to their NES and Nintendo 64 consoles, and some even modify systems such as an Xbox 360 so that they can enjoy older games via the current generation products. The days of Nintendo being the king of the video game world disappeared some time ago, but it would be inaccurate to suggest that the company is now a thing of the past.
With that said, Nintendo has also been guilty of a fair share of miscues over the years. Those mistakes have been well documented by analysts and by others within the video game community, and some of those errors are commonly listed among the worst decisions in the history of the industry. It is also worth noting that those mistakes have cost the company significant amounts of money, and they also played a role in why Nintendo is where the company sits among its competition. Nintendo gets an “A” for effort in some of these cases, but failures are nevertheless failures.
10. Marketing Only To Kids
Fair or not, a popular opinion among many casual gamers who pick up a console controller now and again is that the Nintendo brand is one associated with more “kiddie” games that do not appeal to older players. Where are the badass titles that have helped make Playstation and Xbox what those brands have become? They are on other consoles, that’s where they are. Perception is reality teaches the old adage, and Nintendo not doing enough to brand the company’s products as being equal to those put out by Sony and Microsoft has been a massive mistake that has made it irrelevant to a large portion of potential consumers.
9. Waiting for Mobile
Nintendo made international headlines in March 2015 when the company announced that it would, through a partnership with developer DeNA, be creating original games for mobile devices and for smartphones. While that news was undeniably a positive for the company, one cannot help but wonder: What took Nintendo so long to do this in the first place? There are numerous Nintendo titles that would look spectacular and also play well on devices such as the iPhone, iPad and Kindle Fire just to name a few. While this is a step in the right direction, it is one that Nintendo should have taken some time ago.
8. Not Making Wii HD
While there are ways to successfully connect a Nintendo Wii to a high-definition television, the reality of the situation is that the images never look as good as those produced by the Xbox 360 or Playstation 3. This is particularly frustrating due to the fact that the Wii allows you to stream videos via services such as Netflix. Why anybody would watch a program or movie via Netflix on a stream when that person could get better video by using the service via a tablet or computer boggles the mind. The Wii could have been great, but it is instead one of many mistakes Nintendo has made even if it has been a profitable mistake.
7. Nintendo 64 Controller
The Nintendo 64 gave us what remain to this day some of the greatest titles in the history of video games: Ocarina of Time and Goldeneye just to name two. It is the console’s controller that has, along with several games, lived on in memories, and not at all for the right reasons. Your hand would hurt due to holding on and utilizing that massive controller for any length of time, which was a problem considering some games required 40+ hours of game time in order to finish them off. The 64 remains my favorite system of all time, but that I don’t have to use that controller on a modified console is a true blessing.
6. Ditching 2-D Mario
This is one that more often than not gets ignored, and it shouldn’t be considering the fact that Nintendo misused its biggest star for decades. Mario 64 was a hit, no doubt, but there is something about those side-scrolling 2-D Mario games that give gamers a sense of nostalgia, especially when the titles are newer and present different challenges. Heck, there are still gamers out there who would tell you right now today that Mario 3 is their favorite game of all time. This problem has been rectified in recent years, but it is a mistake that must be mentioned.
5. Lack of First-Person Shooters
The emergence of high-speed online gaming helped launch the bandwagon of first-person shooters becoming hit titles in the gaming world. Close your eyes and think long and hard about your favorite Nintendo first-person shooter that doesn’t have the word “Metroid” in it. Struggling? You probably aren’t alone. Nintendo has missed the boat on this matter for far too long, and it would take a game unlike any other produced before it – one that the company has seemingly run from since the days of Goldeneye – to turn things around. Side note: Perfect Dark was even better than Goldeneye.
4. Just About Everything Involving GameCube
Let’s make a list of things that would make for one awful console and then see how the GameCube matches up. Dumb name? Check. A laundry list of forgettable titles that I would not go back and play again unless I was paid money? Check. Clunky play, especially in sports games? Check. Being inferior to the products released by your competition? Check. The Nintendo 64 was so impressive, and yet the GameCube was one of the biggest disappointments of its time in the video game world. While Playstation and Xbox have both gone on to evolve, the GameCube deservedly died a death in 2007.
3. Limited Wii Improvements
There is something to be said for a company slowly but surely rolling out modifications on products. Apple has made a fortune doing this, specifically as it pertains to the iPhone. Nintendo apparently never got the memo on this issue, as the company has done little to convince casual gamers who have given up on the Wii to have another go at it. “But what about the Wii U?” Meh. You can waste your time with that invention, or you can splash the cash for either a Playstation 4 or an Xbox One (or both if you want) and enjoy the titles that are available on those better consoles.
2. Virtual Boy
The experiment known as the Virtual Boy can be summarized in two words: Red lines. What was supposed to be a 3-D gaming experience was instead one that hurt the eyes and one that caused physical headaches for players who lasted more than a few minutes using the system. Upon reflecting on the matter for more than a few seconds, one would struggle to come up with a single redeemable quality possessed by the Virtual Boy. This was a massive swing-and-a-miss for Nintendo, and that it is not number one on this list shows you just how big a blunder No. 1 was for the company.
1. Feud With Sony
Remember when Nintendo and Sony were going to team up and change the video game world forever? No? It almost happened, but then Nintendo pulled out of the deal. Whoops. Sony went on to create a console that would be known as the Playstation, an international sensation that has since birthed other popular editions of that system. Nintendo, meanwhile, was left in the dust that the company curiously created all its own, and it also made an unnecessary enemy and rival in Sony. If “Sony versus Nintendo” was a mixed martial arts fight, that battle would have been stopped by the referee long ago.
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