Can Nintendo Pull it off?
Whether most Nintendo fanboys want to admit it or not, the Nintendo 64 was more or less a failure. I mean, sure, we all bought one, but how many of us actually kept the damn system for a long period of time? I bet that most N64 owners have at one time or another sold their systems in order to obtain a PlayStation, Dreamcast, Game Boy Advance or even cold hard cash. Hell, I’m currently on my third N64. Every couple of years or so it seems like a must-have title is released for the N64 (Mario 64; Goldeneye; Zelda: Ocarina of Time) which makes me desire the system, but the majority of the N64’s existence has been littered with a ton of sub-par, blurry (from all that mip-mapping), overpriced games that made me just want to sell the damn thing ASAP.
However, this rant on the swiftly dying N64 isn’t meant to be the focus of this update, instead it’s meant to be more focused on Nintendo’s hopeful savior, the Gamecube. (Face it folks, Pokemon can only saves Nintendo’s ass for so long). With the release of the Gamecube only a few weeks away, one can’t help but wonder if the Gamecube will actually succeed in the light of the already market-dominating PS2 and the upcoming, much-hyped Xbox from Bill Gates and his evil Microsoft empire. Considering all things, I”m inclined to believe that Nintendo will actually pull it off this time, and even return to their former glory of the old NES/SNES days.
For starters, they dropped their holier-than-thou arrogance against industry standards, and finally went with a disc format instead of limiting and overpriced cartridges. Good job, that.
Secondly, after what seems like a bazillion years, we’re finally going to get another Metroid game. The gross oversight of that franchise is definitely one of the many things that made me think ill of the N64, and I’m glad that the Metroid franchise is back on track.
Lastly, 3rd party developers like Capcom will be producing games like the Resident Evil series exclusively on the ‘Cube (which will surely capture the already large survival-horror market), therefore making the system that much more of a must-have. Also, let’s not forget that the Gamecube will debut at $199, unlike the PS2 and Xbox which weighs in at a hefty $300+. When you look at the ungodly expense incurred these days by buying a new system, a memory unit, and a game to actually play on your new state-of-the-art system, that $100 extra dollars goes a long way in choosing which system to buy.
However, the Pokemon-laden legacy of Nintendo’s recent years and the plethora of kiddie games that dot the N64’s library will surely make a lot of gamers skeptical about the Gamecube. (Metroid Prime would have been a much better launch title than Luigi’s Mansion, methinks). The majority of gamers simply don’t prefer cutesy kid games anymore, and no, Conker’s Bad Fur Day wasn’t enough to turn Nintendo’s image around 180 degrees. Nonetheless, I still think the Gamecube will be a far better success than the N64 ever was, but only time will tell for certain.