I felt the need to coin a new verb, in light of some of the more recent fallout of Wii U disappointments. The odd struggle Nintendo is having selling entertaining hardware to both consumers and developers alike is reminiscent, and indeed paralleling, what has and is occurring with the Vita. In fact, while I have personally had a great experience with both the Wii U and Vita, and will continue to vouch for Nintendo’s new bundle of coy, the red flags and warning signs are all too familiar.
Surprising launch ethics?
Developers steering clear due to high costs and low install base?
Owners enjoying, but struggling to justify a painful series of mistakes?
Yeah, The Wii U is getting Vitaed ™.
I know some of my points here seem anecdotal, but hear me out. I suppose what initially opened up this zany bag of crap was the recent announcement that Rayman was indeed finished, but not releasing till later this year. A perfectly good game ready to be shipped out, but due to some financially motivated tactics, the Wii U version will be held back with the rest of the multi-platform versions. While I didn’t scream bloody murder like some of my gaming brothers, this was indeed sour news. The game represented to many, one of the deciding factors in picking a Wii U up day one, if not soon after. Finding out the title wasn’t being released to many fans, looked akin to some sociopathic exercise plying out in an already unhealthy environment.
This came on the heels of a couple of other bad to worse and depressing declarations regarding the Wii U, all of this got me thinking. How is it, that such new hardware, is having such troubling generating the kind of hype I believe it deserves?
Ghost pains of explaining worth relating to the Vita panged my innards within a few seconds of the Wii U musings. Much like the Wii U, when the Vita launched, it left a majority of people surprised and confused. After some time had elapsed, it was clear that the little portable that could wasn’t being given an honest look by too many, but this was a redundancy of shallow adoption rate and a price that far too many felt uncomfortable with. History repeating itself?
What’s even worse is the Vita was a follow up to what seemed like the eternally troubled PSP life span, and the instantly forgotten misstep that was the PSP Go. The Go representing not only a poor decision in hardware direction, but barely being remember as a failed cliff note. Instantly vanishing from the memetic memory of the gaming public at large. Competing with Nintendo in the portable realm isn’t an easy task, and when even the parent company is having trouble selling their own shit, you know the message or delivery method may be flawed.
With both systems having enticed me due to my avid gaming passions, I wouldn’t shy away from calling them out for their own failings. I buy them because I appreciate all aspects of gaming, but many aren’t as forgiving as I am, with my insatiable lust to game always at a fever pitch. I think part of coining a new word to describe the consoles misgivings is difficult, not because I’m insinuating they are “final nails” in the gaming giants coffins, nor that both are dooooooomed, like others would lead you to believe. The Wii U getting “Vitaed” is a pain in my ass, because I suffer directly for it. Fewer games, less hours of fun, philosophical lemons shitting sour in my mouth. These emotions make me question the legitimacy of thought being thrown around within Nintendo’s own walls, and the game industry in general. How big companies can be so massively stupid is beyond me, and seems to be effecting us left and right in our recent days. As if we’ve ignored all of the very same mistakes we’ve already made in the past. Beyond reason, we believe we can “do it better” than those that have already failed before us, giving way to a line of thinking that we are more powerful than weakness and flaw.
While I understand video games are indeed an industry, and every business model needs to make money, one of the biggest means of success can be through consumer loyalties. Valve, and their work with Steam, is the only example I need to give in order to justify this approach. Yes, your profits won’t be absurd, but at least you’ll have a more constant stream of revenue. Giving a viable wealth of options as opposed to options only viable to the wealthy, will create bad press, and only hurt your own brand. Creating an attractive package, and having consumers actually buying your products on a consistent basis will improve image, with money and words of promotion flowing on a more frequent basis. The alternative being counter intuitive entry fees so high in the first place, you could be effectively halving your install base, and slapping all interested in the face with fucked finance.
A video game console has a pretty easy aim, to provide video games. Games, games, and more games are the way to a gamers heart. Even if you don’t have “the best” titles out at the time, the right price can go a long way in convincing someone to try, buy, and play the titles you do have. We all just want to continue having fun, some of us just don’t have as much time, or deep enough wallets to want to feel abused in our choices.
If you don’t have plenty of games to offer up to your own pool of interested gamers, at least make sure you have an affordable slew of decent ones to choose from.
Or else you’re going to get Vitaed.