NSider Forums, closing shop, and the Phoenix

NSider ForumsQuick show of hands: Who here visits the NSider forums?

Correction, who visited the forums, since Nintendo just made them read-only and plans to disable them indefinitely on Sept. 24? That’s right, I used the doom word in business, “indefinitely.” More often than not what that really means is “gone the way of the Dodo bird,” and that’s exactly what all the Negative Nancy’s (there seem to be a lot of those these days) seem to think are going to happen to the NSider Forums.

It stings that they’re closing but my question is, why are people so negative these days?

I don’t know if it’s a Nintendo specific thing or what, but everything I read on the Net these days — video games-wise — is bereft with negative spin, bellyaching and whining. This NSider thing is no exception.

Could the forums be heading for the executioner? Sure they could. But believing that outcome will come to fruition is an illogical deduction not based on the facts.

It’s one thing to worry about that word, “indefinitely,” but it’s quite another to somehow create this elaborate doomsday fantasy that says Nintendo is “abandoning” an entire sect of the gamer population because “it’s going casual.” Really? You think a company as big and dependent on profit as Nintendo has the luxury of cutting out millions of consumers just like that? Poof? Does up and dropping millions of people, and their millions of dollars make any sense whatsoever?

No, I think not. Instead, as has been stated now ad nauseum, Nintendo benefits if EVERYONE plays video games. But why believe that when the snarky Internet trolls can so eloquently say Nintendo is abandoning “hardcore gamers?” Right?

I’ll admit, the NSider Dear John letter that greets visitors now is foreboding, but only for the forums, and not the people who are passionate about gaming.

Nintendo is working on a major overhaul to Nintendo.com to support the continued success of Nintendo DS and Wii. As we prepare for this huge site update, Nintendo must unfortunately close the Nintendo NSider Forums message boards indefinitely beginning Sept. 17, 2007.

For more than four years, these NSider Forums have fostered engaging, robust debates, a strong community and friendships. While their future remains uncertain, in the interim we invite our fans to build on the spirit of community by starting their own Nintendo discussion sites. Remember also that the unique features available with Nintendo DS and Wii give Nintendo the opportunity to communicate directly with fans, while also enabling fans and friends around the world to communicate with each other.

Who here thinks that an NSider forum Wii Channel sounds nice? I do. From the looks of things, Nintendo is closing an old medium and plans to reopen it with some serious Wii and DS WiFi interactivity. Hell, Nintendo even threw up a picture of the Wii and the DS in that letter — how much more info do you naysayers need? But people ignore the facts, because seeing them requires powers of logic, reasoning and thinking; and instead focus on the negatives and how the NSider forums are doomed and therefore (prepare for a big logic leap here, folks) Nintendo is thinking it can abandon millions of people at the drop of a hat and still be a successful video game company.

Stop taking the easy route. Will the Nsider Forums be back? As it stands today, probably not. But I’d argue that something will return, and it will be shinier, more interactive and better. No Friend Codes though. Please.