Is new Banjo-Kazooie on the wrong box?

Once-revered British developer Rare released a new Banjo-Kazooie game this week. And it’s actually good.

No, it’s not 1998.

Game Informer says Rare’s latest is “a rare delight” with “big laughs and inventive gameplay.” 1up calls it “unique” and “entertaining.”

It seems our old friend Banjo, the goofy anthropomorphic grizzly Rare made famous in the Nineties, still has some tricks up his sleeve.

But is he showing his hand on the wrong platform?

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts released this week exclusively for the Xbox 360, and Chad Sapieha of Controller Freak today argues sentiments easily felt after playing Banjo’s new platformer.

This should’ve been on Wii.

So why do I think the game won’t do well? Because it doesn’t have any sort of easily identifiable target audience — or at least not one native to the Xbox 360.

Indeed, fun and smart as it may be, it seems to me that Nuts & Bolts’ true audience is a small group of gamers between the ages of 20 and 40 who grew up with Nintendo consoles and still like to play the odd platform game.

The game probably could have been quite lucrative had it been released for a Nintendo platform. Nintendo has as part of its user base a massive number of mature gamers who were weaned on and still love old-school platform games.

After an eight-year period of Nintendo ownership, Microsoft bought Rare in 2002 for a total of $377 million. Save for a few Nintendo handhelds, Rare has since only developed games for the Xbox 360.