Nintendo’s Biggest Mistakes Of All Time
Nintendo is back! Despite a string of dark days, the classic gaming company has recently come around to giving die-hard fans what they’ve truly wanted for years: mobile games like Pokemon Go, a new entry into the Zelda franchise, and the great specs that will packed into their upcoming NX system. They’ve even finally started to reach out to classic gamers with their upcoming Mini-NES, packed with 30 vintage games. It’s a renaissance for the flagging company. Looking back, it’s not the first time they avoided total ruination. Here are a few of the biggest mistakes in Nintendo’s history.
The poster child for Nintendo’s boneheaded ideas, Virtual Boy launched in 1995 and was completely discontinued within a year. To use it, gamers plant their faces into a stationary viewing port and play games with an external controller, while red LEDs simulate a parallax 3D environment within the system. All of this was years after Nintendo had begun using better 3D tech on games like Star Fox. Nintendo was forced to remove the virtual reality-like head tracking feature before the Virtual Boy’s release due to health concerns, which may have made the system’s reception even worse. Only 22 Virtual Boy games were released, and Nintendo seems to maintain their regret to this day, mostly because they were twenty years too early.
Even deeper in Nintendo’s history is the terrible Power Glove, a sweaty mess of plastic from 1990 that players strapped onto their arms and desperately tried to control through a grand total of two dedicated games. Programmable finger motions make the Power Glove sound like it might be a fun novelty, but making Mario jump by flashing devil horns or poking at your arm with your one free hand proved too cumbersome of an alternate control scheme for most games. And the two games that specifically utilized on the device just weren’t fun enough to make the Power Glove a successful peripheral. Plus, it made you look like a gigantic nerd.
Even though plenty of Wii Us are in use, the system is still regarded as a huge commercial failure when compared its main competitors, not to mention its immediate predecessor, the Wii. There are hundreds of small reasons why the Wii U hasn’t done well, but gamers just can’t take the system seriously without a new Zelda or Metroid game available. There’s also a weird touchscreen tablet control scheme dissonance that few games successfully overcome, and the tablet controller itself has a pathetic battery life. The only real killer app, Mario Maker, has a very specific audience. It seems unlikely that the Wii U will actually take off before the next Nintendo system emerges.
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