Open Letter to Nintendo: Revive the Player’s Forum

NES AchieversThere’s word today that Nintendo will update a Nintendo 64 game on the Virtual Console with some modern day features. Over at Wired’s Game|Life, Chris Kohler reports that Pokemon Snap, due out soon for the VC, will come complete with some Wii-specific content, including the ability to send snapshots of your little monster things to friends.

Sounds exciting right? Right?! No, of course it doesn’t. But, as has been pointed out by Kohler, this has wider, far more exciting implications than Pokemon traveling the Intertubes. Like online Mario Kart 64, for example.

But I had my own idea, and it’s pretty simple. Nintendo should revive NES Achievers/Player’ Forum, a staple of Nintendo Power magazines long past, and make it a robust online leaderboard/contest channel. Has Xbox Live done this already? Somewhat. But not with Nintendo branding and that cas-core goodness the Infendo staff so loves right now. And not with Virtual Console integration that would see old farts from the 1980’s reliving the competition of their youth with original NES games.

With the forum, entire pages of Nintendo Power were set aside for readers who had gotten 9,999,999 points in a game, or beat Super Mario Bros. in an insanely short amount of time. Readers would send in screenshots proving they had accomplished a feat, and Nintendo would reward them with 15 minutes of fame and the occasional prize.

This absolutely screams for a Channel. And while we’re at it, let’s make it more in-depth than a simple leaderboard (without making it campy, like a Mii popularity contest channel). How about special private rooms for friends to interact and compare battle scars (and chat!)? How about videos of Mario Kart Wii matches that got out of hand? Oh, and of course monthly contests, just like the NES Achiever forums of yesteryear.

Game|Life goes into this some more, but I think a nostalgic skin and some updated 1980s retro branding could work to really make this Channel hum with both older and younger gamers.

That said, you guys are better at generating ideas than me, so have at it. How could Nintendo revamp old VC games for the better using the Wii or the DS?