An open letter to Nintendo

Dear Nintendo,

Thank you, thank you, thank you. You left us in the dark for so long, but in the end, that only made the light so much sweeter. Yesterday’s announcements proved once and for all that you own my soul. I’m sure many gamers feel the same way. Even though you probably won’t read this, and even if you did it would affect you about as much as the looming PS3 affects me (it doesn’t), I thought I’d respond to yesterday’s plethora of Wii news.

First off, let’s start with the price. You know, I’m not going to lie. A $199 price would have been a lot more appealing. And not just to me, mind you. Seeing as you want to go after casual gamers and non-gamers, hearing 200-anything suddenly sounds a lot less like a casual splurge for a fun-looking new console and much more like a solemn vow to become a true gamer. But that’s okay because the bottom line is Wii is still $150 cheaper than the $400 Xbox 360 (the $300 one sans hard drive doesn’t exist in my mind), and you’re actually including a game. And then there’s the PS3. You’re launching Wii for a whopping $350 cheaper. If anything, these potential gamers you’re seeking are going to compare the price between your console and your competitors’ consoles and realize that Wii is the way to go. And did I mention that I could buy two Wiis and still come in around $100 cheaper than if I bought a PS3? Heck, I could buy a Wii and an Xbox 360 almost for the price of a PS3 and a game. Oh wait, that’s assuming Sony and its third party developers won’t sell PS3 games for more than $50. Face it – if Sony ever buys stock in Burger King, expect the fast food chain’s slogan to become “Have it our way.”

Then there’s the questionable launch date. A lot of fans are disappointed after the rumors of an October launch. Many are questioning your strategy of releasing Wii a couple of days after PS3. Don’t listen to these folks. We already know there’s going to be a massive PS3 shortage that’ll make the PS2 launch drought seem like a flood in comparison. After the few hardcore fans snatch up their $600 console on launch day, many gamers who can’t get one will wonder what to do next. “Hey, look! Another console launch! It’s cheaper and far more available! I’ll take it!” And”¦end scene.

That’s not to say I don’t have any complaints. Charging $40 for extra Wiimotes and $20 for extra nunchucks? That’s $180 I have to spend to get the three extra controllers you know I’ll buy since this is a system with multiplayer that’s destined to become legendary. And I know I’ve been harping on this and that it’s been expected the whole time, but no Mario at launch? Didn’t you learn your lesson from how the GameCube launch just felt lacking without an appearance from our pudgy plumber pal? But hey, I can’t stay mad at you! I forgive you for the steep controller price because you’re actually taking us back to the glory days ”“ the simpler times when a new console actually came with a game. And the whole no Mario thing? You just take your time with Galaxy, as it’s looking to be sweeter than the candy Sony steals from babies. Not to mention you’re giving me what might be the greatest Zelda game ever at launch.

Look, I’ve taken up enough of your time. After all, you have a successful console launch to work on. So, I’ll end this with one final request. When Sony officials hand over the crown at the changing of the throne, make sure they remember to collect all their Blu-ray discs scattered throughout the castle. Maybe they can use the pricey paperweights to pay rent at their new one bedroom apartment over in the slums.