Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Nintendo Channel: Now Raging


This is part of an occasional series. Normally we catch up with the Nintendo Channel every fortnight and give the low down on what's happening. In August we got pretty fucked off because the only new content on the channel since August was a weekly downloads trailer that included 1950s Lawnmower Kids as its only download. I wish we were lying.


YEAH THANKS BECAUSE I WASN'T SOLD ON THE CONCEPT UNTIL THIS STUPID ANNOYING VIDEO CAME ALONG. EGG ON MY FACE. I TAKE IT BACK. 1950s LAWNMOWER KIDS IS AN UNDER APPRECIATED CLASSIC. I IMAGINE.

This months output has us grinding our teeth into dentine dust. It drives us nuts. Nintendo has a channel that sits on every single Wii. That's about 87 million owners right there. Okay so probably not all of them have ever used the channel but the channel has been watched for over one million hours by approximately 500,000 users. This number could be more but that's the minimum amount of players who have allowed their data to be compiled for the Nintendo Channel. BUT in theory it's the perfect mechanism of informing all those gamers with "dusty wiis" about Nintendo shit. They could bypass all other forms of media and just announce things through the channel. They could do interesting Nintendo documentaries. They could have made it an excellent community tool. That's a channel direct to the people who splashed out on a Wii and might want to know about other games they can get because they have Mario Kart and Wii Sports but don't trawl the interwebs for garbled gaming "news" via all those horrible unreliable websites. The channel is barely used at all. Even their E3 coverage was shit, lagging behind the announcements and videos just sort of bunged on the channel with no sneak-for-nintendo-channel-only previews or commentary. Most weeks there's nothing but a stupid Nintendo TV News program, that dare I say it was a million times better when Ian Lee did the hosting. The Official Nintendo Magazine now run that show and as you may imagine it is tiresome predictable marketing shenanigans that makes children's television look like Pano-fucking-rama. Every now and then a few special shows are released surrounding big releases like Xenoblade Chronicles and Monster Hunter but these shows tend to run for a couple of weeks and then just sort of end. You know because people are only interested in playing Monster Hunter for three weeks and wouldn't at all be interested in a longer running series. Recently the channel has become a vehicle for desperately trying to push the 3DS. Retarded from the off considering that the low-res graphics and 2D nature of the channel don't really show of 3DS games in the best light. This month really gets our goat though. What could they possibly do to restore faith in the faithful and reignite the passion for Nintendo now that Xenoblade Chronicles looks like the last big release until Skyward Sword swansongs the Wii out? A big retrospective on how great the wii is? A "top ten" wii games to pick up now video? No no.


Three, that's three Zelda Ocarina of Time video guides. Sorry I meant three subtitled Japanese Zelda Ocarina of Time video guides. Let's think about who might find these videos useful.

First we can categorise all the people watching the Nintendo Channel on their Wii into XXX useful categories.

1) People who don't have Ocarina of Time on any system. These videos are pretty fucking useless for these people.

2) People who played the original Ocarina of Time or have it on Virtual Console. Well these dickheads will have to have been waiting since 1998 to pick up such hot tips as "open the first treasure chest you see in the Deku tree" or "use your shield to defeat the deku shrubs". OH MAN. THAT'S WHAT I'VE BEEN DOING WRONG FOR THE LAST 13 YEARS. WHY DIDN'T I THINK TO USE MY SHIELD. GREAT NOW I CAN GET PAST THE DEKU SHRUBS. THANKS NINTENDO I'VE BEEN STUCK ON THAT TRICKY BIT BUT I STILL BOUGHT IT ON VIRTUAL CONSOLE AND PLAYED UP TO THE SAME BIT. OH AND I'M ONE OF THOSE TWATS WHO VOTES FOR OCARINA AS BEST GAME OF ALL TIME EVEN THOUGH I COULDN'T GET PAST THE DEKU SHRUBS OR THOSE INVINCIBLE SPIDERS.

3) People who have just bought Ocarina of Time on the 3DS. If any of these people find these videos genuinely useful then I don't think they have the right to play games. Alternatively, they might have figured that waiting for a video guide to appear on the Nintendo Channel might be an outside bet and used a fucking gamefaq to discover why Navi goes green or that they should climb up ladders.

In short, these videos are a fucking pointless waste of space on a channel that is also more or less a fucking waste of space. It could have been something great at best, a sort of community channel. It could have just been used as a marketing tool I find it hard to imagine they even have a marketing department so poorly is the channel sustained. As it is it just shows how much shovelware is on the DSi, 3DS and Wii. I'm pretty confident that no videos is better than a video that emphasises that there is nothing out this week except a horrible looking game called 1950s Lawnmower Kids. Soon I imagine it'll be a Wii-U promotional vehicle in which the Wii-U Nintendo Channel will be hyped as a "feature" of the console only to find that after a year its used for nothing beyond specifically highlighting how shit the crop of downloadable games for the platform is. In the meantime, Wiis will quite rightly gather dust and Nintendo can be pretty sure in that their own channel did nothing to stem people losing interest because they stopped playing Wii Sports. Morons.

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