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Published on December 21st, 2013 | by gareth


Mall Tour Offerings By Nintendo Signal A Desperate and Clueless Move By Nintendo

While doing some Holiday Shopping, I took the time out to visit with Nintendo who were doing a mall appearance and had their Wii U system on display as well as a few of their latest games.

Nintendo was showing off Just Dance 4, Super Mario 3D World, Mario and Sonic at the Sochi Olympics, and their new party game., Wii PartyU. While playing the new offerings I could not help but be overcome with a sense of having seen and played this all before.

I know Nintendo is aiming for a different market than the Xbox One and Playstation 4 but their latest offerings just underscore how badly they have botched the Wii U and their exclusives. While excitement for the two new systems from their rivals is through the roof, Nintendo offers up a collection of casual games that do not look that much better than what was available on the Wii. Air Hockey, board games, and other yawners are what they offered.

The only clever thing that I saw was a game that took advantage of the built in camera and allowed players to guess which type of face from four given options was being displayed. While this was fun for a couple of minutes, it got old very fast as did the bland graphics that were not much better than the Wii offered years ago.

The Olympics game was interesting as it offered the chance to Luge, Ski, Bobsled and do other winter sports with Mario and Sonic, but again, this is something we have seen many times before. I took Mario down the Luge run, and while the graphics were sharper than prior games and there is now a multiplay option, it was still simply tilting the control to stay on a lit path and offered little challenge or variation from previous games.

I am going to stop short of calling it a desperate move by Nintendo but if you are going to malls to tout your system and the new $299 pricing, then you need to have something much better to show as for $100 more players can get the far superior Playstation 4 system.

I know they are not due until 2014, but they have demoed them in the past at E3 and Comic Con, perhaps this is the time to roll out Mario Kart 8, and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze which are two of their more exciting pending titles. Those are things that will get people interested over another collection of casual party games and games we have seen and played many times before.

I do not know if Nintendo realizes how low they are in the minds of gamers and developers for the Next Generation and with the new consoles on the market selling more units than the Wii U ever did, this was not the time to play it safe as it simply underscores that Nintendo has missed the boat and are on the outside looking in.

Judging from the fact that there we no lines at any of the demo stations and that there were more staffers in attendance and playing the system than shoppers, I do not appear to be alone in this line of thinking.

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