Top 10 Failures in Nintendo History
There are some days when the words will just not come. I stare at the empty page, a yawning void looking back into the soul of me, and I’m tormented by the loss of my muse. That’s when determination sets in, the training that tells me I cannot allow myself to write only on days when the words sing and I must trudge on regardless. On those days, any old thing typed down will do, just so long as I don’t allow myself to stop.
Doubtless my dear readers will look at my contributions to this site and chuckle to themselves, thinking I must’ve spent more time throwing out mental detritus than inspired by a muse. I certainly can’t blame them for a healthy sense of cynicism cultivated by exposure to the web in all its bitter glory; lord knows where I’d be without it.
But if there’s one thing gaming has taught me it’s that you don’t stop pushing forward, no matter how heinous your failures. Nintendo is a better example of this in the gaming world than most. Plenty of news venues look to the gaming juggernaut with bated breath in joyful hope of what asinine failure will soon be announced. Considering all of their mistakes, some of them understandable and others just painful, it was difficult to limit them to ten.
10. Nintendo 3DS
Back on March 27th 2011 the drop of the 3DS was supposed to be some sort of landmark in the advance of handheld gaming. Longterm, its sold 30% fewer units than its predecessor, and many of those sales weren’t made until Nintendo slashed the price and trotted out titles that were nowhere to be seen anywhere near launch. Does that make the 3DS a failure? Not by itself it doesn’t. The failures to do what it promised in terms of always-on internet connectivity and wealth of games which don’t take advantage of the 3D option due to being direct ports from the more successful DS line make it a failure, especially in a day and age where the average kid looks up from his iPad and asks, “What’s a Nintendo?”
9. Radar Scope
Most readers will not be familiar with the 1979 arcade release Radar Scope, what with not having been born yet, but it may be enlightening to know that this is the first title which Shigeru Miyamoto worked on for Nintendo. Think a glitzier version of Space Invaders and you won’t be far off. The game enjoyed limited success in Japan, but by the time it made it to American shores the hype had worn off. Add into it the unresponsive controls, chirping sound effects that were annoying, and graphics which could induce headaches and you’ve got the ingredients for a real stinker there. Shigeru Miyamoto distinguished himself by coming up with the plan for Donkey Kong, which the majority of Radar Scope boxes were revamped into, managing a last minute Hail Mary pass that began the upturn of his career.
8. Loss of Gunpei Yokoi
This is another history listen. Gunpei Yokoi was instrumental in Nintendo’s conversion from a card game company to one focusing on electronic entertainment with the invention of the Game & Watch, which can be valuable if they’re still in their original packaging these days. He also worked with Shigeru Miyamoto on the technical side of creating Mario Bros. as well as headed up the teams responsible for Metroid and Fire Emblem. His crowning achievement is the Game Boy, what with his preference for portable gaming devices. Unfortunately, after poor sales of another portable gaming device in the early ’90s which shall remain unnamed so that its evil will not be summoned, he was let go, went to work with a competitor, and found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, got nailed by a car, and his genius was tragically cut short.