A Word From a Pissed Off Nintendo Fan

A Word From a Pissed Off Nintendo Fan

I’m now the proud owner of a regular-sized New 3DS, and I couldn’t be happier with it. It fits perfectly in my hands, the changeable faceplates are cool, and I love seeing the new super-stable 3D effects on the smaller screen with the pixel density I prefer. Nintendo of America has finally given me exactly what I want, so why am I still angry?

I shouldn’t have had the chance to get excited for the regular-sized New 3DS, only to find out months later that it wouldn’t be coming to North America. I shouldn’t have needed to spend the last half a year limping along with my dying launch 3DS, gambling that Nintendo of America would finally change its mind and make the normal-sized 3DS available. I shouldn’t have needed to join begging campaigns on social media and Miiverse to beg for access to a major hardware release. I should have been able to import a regular-sized New 3DS from Europe and have it work with all my games.

Over the past few years, it feels like Nintendo has been wilfully blind to the desires of its most enthusiastic North American fans and ambassadors. Look, we love Nintendo stuff, and we just want to get our hands on it… but Ninty’s business decisions make that a needlessly frustrating process. Here are three things Nintendo should do to get back in our good graces.

Simultaneous Global Announcements and Releases

It’s 2015, and the internet is kind of a thing . We know when things are announced in other regions. In addition, Nintendo as a company is more connected than ever, with its Japanese president also in charge of its North American operations (unless that changes with Iwata’s permanent replacement). Why, then, are we still waiting months for some major game and hardware announcements to show up in North America? Get your ducks in a row, Nintendo, make global announcements, and announce things as “Japan only” if there’s no chance of them coming here. The current bait and switch is getting really tiring.

Global releases are trickier, and I’ll admit that Nintendo is making progress in that direction, like with Splatoon. Still, when things don’t release globally at the same time, the sting would be reduced a great deal if Nintendo would get rid of region locking, so more on that later.

Modern Sales and Marketing System

I’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating. Nintedo’s marketing department needs to get with current trends and start communicating directly and honestly with fans. Social media is “social” for a reason, and shouldn’t be a one-way form of communication. It’s patently ridiculous that it currently feels like the best way to get Nintendo to release a niche product in North America is to create piles upon piles of sad Miiverse posts until somebody in Japan finally notices them.

As for a modern sales system, we’re finally seeing the beginnings of one as Nintendo’s online store is offering a small selection of New 3DS faceplates for those of us with the limited edition system. There’s so much more Nintendo could do with its online store, however. It could take pre-orders for things like amiibo so that it can better gauge demand. It could offer us some of Japan’s best Club Nintendo prizes, things may fans would love to get their hands on for better-than-eBay prices. Most importantly, it could offer small print runs of niche products, especially those that have already been localized for Europe, in order to test the waters for the possibility of a wider release. Cautious finances plus happy fans. It’s possible!

A Word From a Pissed Off Nintendo Fan

Get Rid of Region Locking, Already

This is one of my biggest frustrations with Nintendo’s current business practices. While the rest of the gaming world has been abandoning region locking, Nintendo keeps adding more of it!  Right now we have two major regions that share several languages but cannot use each others’ games and hardware. North Americans are jealous of various first-party Nintendo products that head to Europe but not here, while Europeans are jealous of the third-party games that we get but they don’t. Without the artificial limitations imposed by region locking, we could all simply import the goodies we want and get on with our lives.

Region-locking is an outdated sales practice that was originally supposed to protect people in countries with low-value currency, but it hasn’t really done that in years. Companies like Sony are abandoning the practice because it’s not consumer-friendly anymore, and Nintendo really needs to get on board.  If we could all just import niche games from wherever they’ve been released, a lot of our consumer frustrations with Nintendo would melt away.  Tear down the barriers, Nintendo!

All right, I feel better now that I’ve got that off my chest.  I can now go enjoy my super-stable 3D while I decorate homes for cute animals. Are you mad at Nintendo too? What do you think the company should do to make you happy?

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