2 Ways Nintendo Has Failed Its Fans

Lately when people think of Nintendo’s business the first words that come to mind are “successful” and “profitable”.  But over the past several years there have been two decisions Nintendo has made that have mind boggling.

The Nintendo DS has gone through several upgrades during its lifespan.  The first move was making the system slimmer.  This was by far the largest improvement to the system.  The buttons became more comfortable, the screen was brighter, and the clamshell case became flush and glossy.

DS comparison

Then Nintendo decided to give it another go.  This time they added online functionality and cameras for taking photos or to be used in game.  While this new design seemed like an improvement there was one glaring exclusion.  They had removed the Gameboy Advance cartridge slot.  With the removal of this slot, fans that had continued to enjoy their old library would be $&*! outta luck.  Some may argue that the system is old enough to not warrant the inclusion of backwards compatability.  But the slot was nessesary for more than just old games.  Some games utilized the slots for peripheral attachments.  One of my favorites, which shamefully never saw the US soil, was Arkanoid DS.  With the game came a slider knob that controlled your spaceship bar similar to the arcade cabinet.  This simple addition added a whole new feel to the game.  Other games like the Guitar Hero franchise gave you buttons like on the neck of the plastic guitars.  I feel there could have been many more opportunities in this area, but with the removal of the slot in the DSi developers realized their audience would be getting smaller.

Arkanoid DS with attachment

You Won't Ever See This In The US

The second area Nintendo has failed its fans has been with their online marketplace.  Only recently has Nintendo seen any noteworthy digital downloads.  With a library of so many great games, it would seem easy to make many of their games downloadable on the DS.  Even more so, now with the exclusion of the Gameboy Advance slot it would have seemed practical for Nintendo to make digital downloads of the Advance library.  But all of this pales in comparison to the fact that your downloads are tied to your system not an account.  So if you ever lose your system or upgrade to a DSiXL (or 3DS possibly in the future) then your games will need to be re-bought.  This seems idiotic and could have easily been avoided by just looking at their competitors.

Some of you may be perfectly content with every decision Nintendo has made, but I think they have done a disservice to its fans.  Let us know your feelings in the comments.

Plus, here’s some Arkanoid DS footage courtesy of SitSam.

Written by Bryan

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