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Published May 8, 2008

Oh Nintendo. Every time I think I understand you a little bit more, you do something crazy that leads me to believe I don’t know you at all. Your stock is the second highest in Japan (after Toyota, which is absolutely crazy), your former executive officer, Hiroshi Yamauchi, is the richest man in Japan (trust me, there’s a lot of loaded peeps in Nihon), and your console is still flying off of shelves a full year and a half after its launch, all across the world. You’re right – you deserve to be happy, in fact, you deserve to laugh in the faces of all the nay-sayers, because you’ve ensured your place in this little industry of ours for a good few years.

In fact, if there’s one thing I’ve come to learn about you, it’s that you do things your own way. Some may call you a little slow on the uptake, ya know, because you only innovate when you have to (there’s too many examples from the N64 and GC eras here to even mention), but we stick by your side because we know your touch is often the closest thing to magic we’ve ever laid our thumbs on. I mean come on – who else can take a fat Italian plumber and make him a loveable mascot? Develop largely the same games year after year and sell millions of copies each time? Or produce a completely underpowered system, throw on a new hook, and capture an entirely new demographic of gamer? That’s right, only you.

But before you pat yourself on the back and devise a new way to steal my $50, I’d like to ask you something: at what point will your profits be large enough that you can throw your devoted fanbase a bone, and not have to worry about the most financially sound outcome? Or will it just become the case of a dictator not listening to his people because, well,

gtm_063.jpg…he doesn’t have to.

So if you can’t tell already, I’m a little concerned about you. Concerned that you might be a little too smug now that you’re back in a leadership position. Concerned that you might think the rules don’t apply to you. But ultimately, concerned that you might have shifted your focus away from those who have grown up around you, those of us who have watched your red suit, jolly disposition and sack of toys slowly turn into a cold black blazer, cocky smirk, and stack of business cards.

Now that’s not to say you’re not trying. I really appreciate Smash Brothers, the Nintendo Channel is nice, and it looks like you’ve finally seen fit to bless us with Earthbound. But why can’t we see more VC games? Better VC games? A fix for storage issues? Less friend codes? A less ironic seal of quality? Is there a real reason why we can’t have these things? I know you can afford to do it – to make us all extremely happy and build an even more loyal fan-base. So why don’t you? Sometimes I can’t help but feel that you have us exactly where you want us. So while I want to trust you, Nintendo, while I want to put my faith in you and pretend that you’ll always watch over me – I simply don’t feel the same way about you anymore.

Maybe it’s me growing up.

Maybe it’s you growing old.

Or maybe it’s time for you to take a look around and see that your kingdom is not as mushroomy as it should be.


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