Is Nintendo following in the footsteps of Sega and Atari? Not likely.

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Look, I won’t sugar coat it for you, Nintendo is certainly in a funk at the moment with the slow sales of the 3DS and the absence of games for Wii. Should we all jump ship and swear off Nintendo because of these missteps? Not necessarily. 

Rumors of Nintendo having problems during the development of Wii U have been swirling around the Internet, stating that the Wii U is supposedly in “development hell”. According to French site 01net.com (translated) developers have been complaining about the lack of updated hardware and uncertainty of the consoles release date. Reports are that the early Wii U dev kits are only available in a version with tethered controllers.

While this sounds rather rotten amongst the other problems Nintendo is currently facing, in no way does this mean Nintendo will go the way of Sega. First of all, hiccups during the console development process have always been prevalent and not just with Nintendo. Anyone remember the disk read errors that plagued the PS2 launch? Many PS2 would cringe at the sight of a blue disk and refuse to play. Microsoft also went through it’s own “development hell” ith the launch of the Xbox 360. Knowing that the quality of their machines were less than adequate, Microsoft did not delay the launch of the console to beat their rivals to market, believing that the quality problems of the console would subside over time.

Looking back, the early problems Sony faced with the PS2 certainly didn’t stop them from going on to dominate the console generation, and even Microsoft has bounced back from all the negative press surrounding the RRoD snafu.

As far as I am concerned Nintendo can delay the launch of Wii U until the cows come home as long as when it ships it works without fail.  Developers are going to struggle with grasping the full potential of Wii U whether or not Nintendo is having development challenges with the console. Almost every tech project is going to have its setbacks as hardware companies juggle between having the best specs and an affordable price. That’s just the way it works. Developers that learn to evolve and adapt are the ones that at the end of the day will succeed.

As was shown at E3 this year Nintendo most definitely has the capability of making an untethered Wii U tablet, I played one. What concerns me is the lack of full titles on display at the show, and the absence of Nintendo’s major franchises at each of the last three Nintendo hardware launches. Gamecube started the trend of Nintendo launching a console without a true Mario title, and I think it necessary for Nintendo to break away from this tendency.

Is this the beginning of the end for Nintendo? In my opinion, not by a long shot. Only time will tell if consumers buy into what Nintendo is selling with Wii U, and only good games will sell consumers on Wii U when it launches sometime next year.

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Eugene lives in New Mexico and has been a life long gamer since getting his hands on an NES. Always partial to Nintendo, Eugene has made it a point to keep informed on all things Mario.