Nintendo Goes Back To The Nostalgia Well

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
| The video game industry has gone from a mole hill to a mountain in no time flat, Chris DiMarco is your Sherpa as you endeavor to scale Mount “Everquest”

Nintendo Goes Back To The Nostalgia Well

Clint Eastwood, in his immortal role as "Dirty Harry" Callahan in "Magnum Force" summed up the array of announcements coming out of Nintendo today: "A man's got to know his limitations." And Nintendo is clearly playing to the crowd with today's massive block of announcements that proves, clearly, the value of nostalgia.

Nostalgia is commonly defined as "a sentimentality for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations," or at least that's how Wikipedia defines it. Today's Nintendo Direct video presentation showed off exactly what was going on, and just how hard Nintendo was planning to rock the nostalgia button for a lot of gamers.

One of the biggest bits of news out of that video presentation was a direct sequel to "The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past", which originally came out on the Super Nintendo and now will be headed to the 3GS, which should make it a lot more graphically charged than the original.

But the retro fun didn't stop there as word emerged about the new Mario Golf, the new Mario Party, the new Donkey Kong game, the new Donkey Kong Country remake, the new Pikmin coming to Wii U, the new Shin Megami Tensei, the new Professor Layton, and if there's a common thread starting to emerge in all these "new" games, don't worry, you're not alone.

Nintendo is hammering on the "retro" bar like a starving white rat hammers on the response lever in a Skinner box, and this all goes back to the above. Yes, Nintendo as a game company has done a lot of interesting things over the years. They brought out the Wii, for crying out loud. But Nintendo's greatest strength was, is, and always will be contained in its dizzying array of intellectual properties. Donkey Kong, Mario, Metroid, and so on down the line; Nintendo's biggest advantage comes from milking the retro.

But at the same time, Nintendo can't just churn out licenses like it seems to be doing now; Nintendo needs to get new blood into the game otherwise the old stuff is going to lose its impact. But this is an opportunity; Nintendo needs to put out the old, yes, but it needs to develop new all at the same time. Use that valuable intellectual property to bring out games that are as close to sure-fire as possible, and use the resources generated therein to make all new intellectual property that's every bit as valuable and also fresher. Capitalize on the past to create the properties of the future.

The better a job Nintendo can do not just trotting out the old-school stuff for quick cash but using that cash to generate the new stuff, the better a job Nintendo will do keeping itself afloat in the long term. There's a lot of value in nostalgia, but Nintendo needs to ensure that it's making enough new property to create tomorrow's nostalgia as well.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Featured Events