Without Nintendo, the console industry might be an entirely different beast. None of us would have memories about jumping on mushrooms, sliding down green tubes and rescuing princesses had it not been for the masterminds who brought us the solution to Atari. But times have changed and Nintendo has lost the battle for market share in a bad way.

Nintendo revolutionized the industry by following up and beating Atari with more complex and saveable games, memorable characters and simple controls. They did it again with the Super Nintendo and then again with Nintendo 64. In competition with Sega, Nintendo always won. They brought 3D graphics and gaming to the forefront with the Nintendo 64, but also opened the door to two new competitors that would build on Nintendo's success. Sony and Microsoft were looking for market share and they succeeded by going where Nintendo refused to go: the grungy and morally questionable realm of violence, gore and criminality.

Today you'll never find a game about stealing cars, murdering civilians for fun, or throwing grenades into Nazi bunkers with the Nintendo label. This is exactly why Nintendo has consistently failed after the release of the GameCube. Nintendo's family oriented high ground has been its biggest impediment, mostly because wholesome alternatives to their own games also exist in the world of Playstation and Xbox. Nintendo's wholesome moral values have pigeon-holed them and made them forever unappealing to anyone over the age of 12. No matter where Nintendo goes from here, it will always fail because of its reputation.

Games like Call Of Duty  and Grand Theft Auto  tap into our adult desires to be heroes, villains and warriors. Games like Mario Cart  and Zelda  tap into the childish desires that we eventually grow out of. Nintendo loses because most 12-year-olds can't afford to buy consoles, or they aren't allowed to. Sony and Microsoft have bred a whole new generation of independent, adult gamers who have jobs and make their own rules. To their advantage, there are more independent adults than children.

Nintendo made gaming a family activity, but never bothered to evolve when the competition started taking it to an adult level.

The young parents who want their children to have the wholesome entertainment offered by Nintendo can buy an Xbox and Skylander: Swap Force  along with Call Of Duty, so they too can enjoy their gaming consoles after the kids go to bed. Both Xbox and Playstation have replaced Nintendo as true family consoles, whereas Nintendo has remained solely a children's console.

If parents are going to fork over a few hundred hard-earned dollars for a console, they're more likely to fork it over for a console they can play too.

In March, Nintendo will be releasing what some have called its "last stand" console. After endless failures, even with their new smartphone games, Nintendo needs to come in like a wrecking ball and cut into the market share, or it will lose again. This time, the loss will be fatal. Like Blackberry, Nintendo has only one or two chances left to succeed before going the way of Sega and it has already blown one.

Nintendo announced the date of their new console in April amid slumping profits and a sinking stock price. They codenamed their new console "NX", but gave no real details about how much they have learned or how different the console will be from its previous failures. The only promise Nintendo's president, Tatsumi Kimishima, could make was that it would be nothing like Wii or its latest epic failure, Wii U. Reports have surfaced indicating that it may be a hybrid console with a second, moveable mobile part. Unfortunately, these aren't the types of reports and promises game enthusiasts are looking to hear.

The most important thing that always gets forgotten at Nintendo is content. To gamers, content is more important than whether or not it's mobile or just simply "different". Gamers want to know what kind of new and exciting games will be available for the console. So far, the only confirmed game is an updated version of Legend Of Zelda  and a follow-up to an RPG called Dragon Quest. By this information alone, gamers have absolutely nothing to be enthusiastic about. By this information alone, we can see how unlikely it is that Nintendo is willing to go beyond being a child's console.

No matter how revolutionary the new Nintendo NX is, no one will want to spend money on a console that doesn't utilize its own capabilities by offering intense first-person shooter games with explosions. One of the most memorable and iconic games from the Nintendo 64 era was Golden Eye. Unfortunately, Nintendo has lost the blueprint for the success that brought it into that golden  era. That blueprint could easily be found again if Nintendo were willing to break its own stubborn standards. The golden era can come back if Nintendo puts NX's capabilities to work just as it did with 64 and Golden Eye.

Golden Eye  was the last revolutionary game made possible by Nintendo. From there, Sony and Microsoft took over and ran the baton into the 21st Century. The capabilities of the new Nintendo NX won't matter if it doesn't reach its potential with something like Golden Eye: Part 2.
          June 2016 | Tiberius