Weekly Wringer 105: Embarrassed by Gaming in Public?

In this Episode, the Commodore talks about being ashamed by your games. In public that is. Ever felt the gaze of onlookers as you bring out the PS Vita or 3DS? Or do you not care a lick about non-gamers and their opinions? All angles are discussed. And then it’s a question for next time about our pals at Nintendo. It’s the Weekly Wringer!

MP3 Version!



  • Swizlet
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 9:48 AM | Permalink

    I would like to see Nintendo in the hardware business for the sake of gaming. Sony and Microsoft have been using the same formula to produce consoles for the past 10 years! Nothing has changed in these consoles in that time, its still the classic controller with 2 analog sticks, 2 shoulder buttons and 4 buttons. Although that is a winning strategy, and I admit that I do like that style of console, but it is very basic, outdated and stale. Nintendo is the only company taking the chances, breaking the gaming molds. We need a company like them to push the hardware market forward and make paradigm shifting changes. Sure we would have new Mario and Sonic on the One or PS4 but we would be playing Madden clone 29, Call of Duty 36, Halo 12, and Final Fantasy 13-7 until the day we die.

    We may not know it yet, but a revolutionary style of gaming could be right around the corner, and we need a company willing to take chances to find that new style.

    • Posted May 19, 2014 at 1:23 PM | Permalink

      You took my answer but I thank you for presenting it so well. Most of the other companies are coming up with some innovations for their hardware but not nearly on the same level as Nintendo. Most of the cool features we see in consoles and games were done by Nintendo in some way at some point. The Famicom was able to have saved games and internet connections. Even the controller layouts on MS and Sony consoles can be traced back to Nintendo. Also they’ve pretty much dominated the handheld market for 25 years.

      The other reason I want Nintendo to stay in the hardware business is because they’ve been there since the start of modern gaming and I don’t want to see them go the way of Sega.

  • Tim Tim
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 10:03 AM | Permalink

    The Enigmatic Tim is back! -everyone is cheering-

    Nintendo, Should they be in the hardware business? Yes. Absolutely yes. The Wii U may be failing at the moment, which I think is really sad. Nintendo consoles always have a glowing layer of magic over them, presenting something that others don’t. Personally I love the Wii U since it has games I like and I like the second screen especially for one purpose: Being able to sit with my family and play a console game while they do other stuff. Being able to spend time together, while doing different things.

    Then look at the handheld consoles, and the 3DS does quite well, right? I refuse to play for long on my phone, that’s good for solitaire and such time killing games but not for “quality gaming time”.
    The PS Vita sure is more impressive but the 3DS is more fun, feels less fragile, is cheaper(?) and has many fun games.

    What Nintendo needs is to get a few things sorted out: Their online structure (downloaded games tied to your account, not console! etc). Their relations with developers, since you often hear about developers talking about how Nintendo treats them badly (how much truth there is in those claims, I don’t know… but developers are disappearing somewhere). And last but not least; prices for downloaded games. Virtual console games are all fine and awesome, but way too expensive. I believe charging less for these games will result in more copies being sold, resulting in more profit in the end. Many indie titles costs way more than the Steam / PSN / (Xbox live?) versions, and the “retail download games” are many times more expensive than getting the actual disc. That’s outrageous considering the games are tied to the console itself and not the account (unless they’ve changed that and I’ve lived under a rock for the past time).

    So in conclusion: Should they still be in the hardware business? Yes, but they should get with the times to get the customers and developers happy.

  • Man with a harmonica Man with a harmonica
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 10:22 AM | Permalink

    I think they should be, because (a) their contribution to the handheld market is of immense value, and (b) in the console market, they offer the only viable alternative to Sony and Microsoft, who utilize nearly the same outline. Nintendo’s best function right know is to fuel competition by providing alternatives — alternatives I’ll gladly latch onto, as I do, in fact, own a Wii U!

  • Markies
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 2:35 PM | Permalink

    I think Nintendo should be in the hardware business because Nintendo has something that Microsoft & Sony do not have and that is a recognizable cast of characters.

    Mario is one of the most recognizable characters in the world. Not just in gaming. Children recognize him with the likes of Santa Claus & Mickey Mouse. To many, he is the face of video games.

    If Nintendo were out of the hardware business and only made games for other companies, his likeness could be used in ways that would go against who he is and what he stands for. Seeing Mario in the hands of CEO’s and corporate lawyers would be un-justful and ruin all of the good faith that Mario has built up.

    There was an article asking why Nintendo didn’t move their products to mobile phones with a CEO being quoted as saying how the public would pay so much more money just to have Mario jump higher.

    That is what would happen if Nintendo stopped making hardware. Mario would be put through the ringer and shilled out of every penny possible.

    If Nintendo were to stop making hardware, they would cease to be entirely. Nintendo would NEVER put their characters on another platform. They would just go away and never be seen again. And that is not happening anytime soon. Yeah, Nintendo is not making a ton of money, but they are making money and they have saved a ton.

    Truthfully, I worry about Sony and Microsoft as a whole. In a few years, Sony as a company might just disappear and Microsoft isn’t really putting games first and might just close the gaming shop because it’s not making enough money.

    Nintendo is not going away anytime soon. They will continue to make 3DS and WiiU games for a while. They will continue to do Nintendo’s own thing without a care for the world or the industry as a whole.

  • skysamfreeman
    Posted May 20, 2014 at 3:24 AM | Permalink

    Absolutely. Nintendo has been around for so long because of their integration of hardware and software. Having them be a 3rd party game developer for the Playstation, Xbox, etc. wouldn’t work in their favor at all. They couldn’t innovate their franchises in the same ways and they’d end up like CoD and Assassins Creed. Yearly regurgitated crap that’s the same as it was last time. Not that Nintendo isn’t doing that sort of thing already, but it would be much worse. I don’t think Nintendo is gonna stay in this hole forever. Something’s gonna save them. I was reminded of this quote by Alan Kay, “People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.” I think that’s how Nintendo feels as well. I wouldn’t bet on them leaving the hardware market any time soon, if at all.

  • lucktacular lucktacular
    Posted May 20, 2014 at 12:26 PM | Permalink

    I’m going to respectfully take a contrary stance to most of the other responses so far.

    First, let me say that I love Nintendo. I have owned every Nintendo home console from the NES to the Wii. However, I have lost quite a bit of faith in Nintendo to make a console that delivers for me. I, like a lot of people, was excited about the Wii’s motion controls when it first came out. Unfortunately, the shine was quickly off the apple for me and my Wii has been collecting dust for years now. If I do play it, it’s probably with a GameCube controller and a virtual console game.

    Because of how the Wii turned out for me, I’m not excited at all about the Wii U and its tablet controller. It almost feels like it’s innovation for innovation’s sake. Maybe we just haven’t seen the right game yet to show how absolutely amazing the tablet controller can be, but for now I have no plans to get a Wii U.

    However, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to play new Nintendo games. I think Nintendo is one of the best game developers in the world and I would love to pop a copy of Wind Waker HD into my PS4 and have some fun.

    I want to play the latest Mario game, but I’m not yet willing to spend $300 for a “Mario machine” first. Should Nintendo be in the hardware business? I can’t answer that from a business model standpoint, but from a consumer standpoint I would have to say no.

  • DTX180
    Posted May 22, 2014 at 1:18 AM | Permalink

    I’ve been plenty hard on Nintendo for the past….well since the Gamecube days (not a big fan of the Cube, Wii or WiiU, sorry). With that said, they definitely should be in the hardware business.

    As of right now, Nintendo is still creating much more unique hardware than Sony and Microsoft (hell, you could argue that Sony and Microsoft pretty much copy Nintendo on certain things and then try to make it appear more in touch with the 20+ year old gamers). Systems like the DS (easily the best system of the 7th generation, hell the PSP and DS were better than the three consoles) and 3DS (started slow, but has picked up a bit the past year or so) have been more than enough to make up for their non portable hardware.

    Yes the Wii wasn’t very good, and the WiiU is awful. Yes, Nintendo tries a lot of gimmicks these days. Some of them work (DS/3DS/Wii), some have not (WiiU). But when you say “Should Nintendo be out of the hardware business”, you are including more than the consoles.

    Not to derail this too much, but if one thinks Nintendo should be out of the hardware business than I think you could argue that Sony and Microsoft should leave the hardware business even quicker…..The PS3 and 360 already felt like PCs in terms of the genres and games primarily available, and the PS4 and Xbox One appear even worse. Console gaming as a whole is the problem, its just Nintendo has different problems than what Sony/Microsoft have.

  • Arrowni
    Posted May 23, 2014 at 2:05 AM | Permalink

    I think it’s very funny that the recurring discussion is about Nintendo. They are winning lots of money with the 3DS, they are historically a widely successful hardware developper that gives a lot of meaning to their hardware thanks to their lateral thinking and in-house software development. They are fit to be in the hardware market and every argument about them living is happening because of a product.

    If we were to make a serious argument about someone leaving the console market, maybe we should go ahead and say “Microsoft”. The big M is having many troubles at making a break into the hardware business, and their golden child, the X-box, has not asserted enough domination to provide relief in that regard. Microsoft is at a much higher risk of flunking out of the business than Nintendo is, so much it isn’t even funny. But since we are consumers and the discussion cannot be taken into a product-discussion level (the X-box line is a decent product as far as client satisfaction goes), we really don’t want to hear about it.

    Why are we even asking such a question? This is something more important in my eyes. Maybe it’s because of what happened to Sega with the Dreamcast. Our collective minds as gamers are scarred because of how a great product can simply disappear from the shelves and limit the offer on our preferred market. Or maybe we are buying into the hype of consumer apathy, in a mentality of a needy investor that wants results inmediately and refuses to think of the long term. My point is: neither of those mentalities are ours, gamers enjoy quality games and share those experiences with others. It’s ok to accept different point of views, the Clan of the Gray Wolf stands for discussing and reviewing everything that can and has been said about gaming. But in my mind, this kind of market-share mentality is imposed to us (gamers), in the same way the “videogames make people violent” speech is forced down our throats, by people who in the end, don’t care that much about playing.

  • KuraraII KuraraII
    Posted May 23, 2014 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

    I like innovation, I like to be surprised and to see something new, even if it’s done to something old, if you get the cut of my jib.

    Nintendo has for the last decade proven that they can, at least at some point, pleasantly surprise me with their hardware and software efforts. It would be a shame to perceive any particular innovator as redundant or unneeded in this market filled with drab me-toos of every sort. We need more competitors in every market, not an oligopoly reigning with the tyranny of mainstream blandness.

  • mrandycretin mrandycretin
    Posted May 23, 2014 at 4:23 PM | Permalink

    First I’d like to answer with a big “Yes.”

    honestly, i’m not one for going out and buying the brand new consoles as soon as they come out. after n64, i kind of strayed for a while. when ps2 came out, my 13 year old brain needed grand theft auto and tony hawk; and i played ps2 through most of highschool.

    i’ve only just now got a gamecube & wii in this past year. but i think they’re great. i was never wowed by the motion controls of the wii, but there’s some really good games on it.

    i don’t get new consoles because they’re too expensive. but i do own a 3ds, and after a while, i’m sure i’ll own a used wiiU. as i saw mentioned above, nintendo’s a great alternative to sony & microsoft. aside from grand theft auto, i have no real desire for systems from either of those companies.

    i’ve played wiiU and i think it’s fun. the 3ds is a blast.

    my only problem with the wiiU is that i feel like i’d be paying for technology i’m not using. do they sell a cheaper wiiU without the tablet? if not, that’s my suggestion. bare-bones just-what-you-need-to-play-the-game systems..as an option for the cheapskates. i’ve had one of the cheap xbox 360’s for about 10 years, and just bought a hard drive for it a few months ago. i used it for a decade with just a 512MB memory card.

    i just don’t need the bells and whistles, and it seems like nintendo’s been about bells and whistles since the wii.

    i don’t know. i’ve got too many old games to break the bank buying the newest ones…so maybe i’m not the person to be answering questions like this. but if i were to buy a new console, it’d be nintendo’s.

    also: if microsoft or sony got their hands on nintendo licenses, they’d fuck them up.

    like microsoft with rareware. they ruined banjo.

    they ruined banjo..

  • I Feel Asleep I Feel Asleep
    Posted May 26, 2014 at 8:58 AM | Permalink

    I think that Nintendo should stay in the hardware market. In the handheld market they are almost untouchable but they took a gamble on the Wii U that didn’t pay off, but that is what I like about Nintendo. They are willing to take a chance and try something that other companies are not. I think that if they use the Wii U as a learning experience that they can find some success in the console market. They have some good ideas in place like the eshop and a unified currency across their platforms and I would not count them out yet.

  • cgoldsmith
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

    At first I really hesitated with this and I wanted to say that Nintendo should be a publisher and license holder for their catalog of games and probably back out of hardware. But imagining a world without Nintendo doing seemingly off the wall shiz left me feeling somber. I kinda feel like its the world fault that it doesn’t dig what Nintendo does and represents more. Not Nintendo’s.

    Nintendo is the eclectic uncle that this dinner party really needs to keep it bangin.

  • widdowson91 widdowson91
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 3:18 AM | Permalink

    Nintendo absolutely should remain in the hardware business. I can’t imagine a gaming world without Nintendo. I’ll be the first to admit that the Wii U has been a failure (even with some great games on the system), and that the company has lost its focus somewhat, but Nintendo ARE gaming. They are the only hardware manufacturer that has gaming as its priority and sole business. It’s bad enough not having Sega any more. If Nintendo dropped out the hardware race then we’d be left with two companies who make very similar consoles both aimed at exactly the same audience. And lets not forget that Sony and Microsoft consoles are built upon the numerous innovations that Nintendo pioneered in the past. The Wii showed more forward thinking than either the 360 or the PS3 ever did.

  • AkiraVGA
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 6:34 PM | Permalink

    This is something I’ve been thinking about for a long while (as many others have). Several times the other guys at VGA asked me, “What if Nintendo shut down?…What if they went out of business?”… They were expecting me to react with outrage and dismiss any chance of this happening. Instead, I explained that the minds behind the games will exist with or without Nintendo and the play will live on regardless.
    The idea of Nintendo being software only and multi-platform is logical and… if I can push it, inevitable. Sega hit the dirt hardware-wise but Sonic lives on. Nintendo will not end as far as games go… ever. BUT… it likely will and probably should end for hardware.

    We want the games. The new “revolutionary” hardware and controllers they come up with are excuses to stay in to demand payment for gamers and we pay for the games.

    Since when did we ever need more than a few buttons to enjoy a game?

  • punch_a_bunch_a_buttons punch_a_bunch_a_buttons
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 11:12 PM | Permalink

    They don’t have to be in the hardware business. They can make good business decision by association themselves with hardware manufacturers (and hope for them that this association don’t turn out to be another PlayStation) for their hardware needs.

    If we are talking about something other then video games, well, if they ever were to decide to go that way they definitely need a new branch. Unless they want to produce TVs, phones and tablets for kids only, they must use another name then Nintendo.

    The image is very important and i don’t care what their representatives say, I’m sorry but to me Nintendo is for kids. Not to bash on them, what i mean is that i can’t imagine a businessman coming at home opening his Nintendo branded refrigerator to have a snack. It just doesn’t sound serious. Sony was already a hardware company but with a reputation of quality in everything they produced before the PlayStation era so that reputation of quality was transferred to their system. Not only is that Nintendo is the most kiddy amongst video game company but the idea of video-games are toys that we often talk about here is carried on to people (not necesseraly to the people on the COTGW). Nintendo can’t transfer their reputation of “just for kids”. They would need a new brand if they ever were to go that way.

    So unless they want to take a risk like any other venture capital do, no they should not be in the hardware business. They’ve always kept up with technology and they should just keep on going the way they do. The platform might change but they should still be doing what they are doing right now. And that is to be the video game producers that they’ve always been. Sony or Microsoft might abandon the video game market but Nintendo will always sell as long as their are kids.

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