Nintendo has earned a lot of opinions over the years. Here is a partial list of them.
- Broken Base:
- Whether if Nintendo's franchises are too stagnant or whether if they should stay to tradition (basically Nintendo has a known history of both They Changed It, Now It Sucks and It's the Same, Now It Sucks over the years).
- The late Hiroshi Yamauchi Vs. Satoru Iwata who is the better leader for Nintendo? For Yamauchi he was a brilliant business man and is one of the reasons why the NES and Super NES did so well. However to others Yamauchi is known as the reason why the N64 didn't as well, namely on how due to Yamauchi's controlling nature and is the reason why Nintendo still has trouble with 3rd parties. As for Iwata there are those who praise him for making Nintendo a lot more innovative and a lot more profitable thanks to the Wii and DS. Then there are those who hate Iwata's leadership on how sure Nintendo got a lot more popular again for all the wrong reasons and made Nintendo's games a lot weaker and more casual (not too mention on how despite all the profits Nintendo made they still don't have better 3rd party support).
- Even Shigeru Miyamoto is becoming a case of this as while any backlash against him was unheard of for years until The New Tens when people hated what he did with Paper Mario: Sticker Star by trimming out the story and blame him for the Super Mario Bros. franchise becoming stagnant. While there are still plenty of people who love Shigeru and easily forgive him for a few certain issues about him, there are those who wish he would just retire so his franchises will actually get to thrive with less archaic constraints.
- Nintendo's role in ending The Great Video Game Crash of 1983 thanks to the NES, is the idea of Nintendo saving the Video Game Industry with the NES an absolute fact and reason why we should always appreciate Nintendo? Or is Nintendo been given a little too much credit in ending the crash and its not that big a deal? (Those who believe the latter often point out on how the crash was only in the North American game console market as the Computer Industry and the Game Industry in other places such as Japan were just fine at the time.)
- Most of the time when Nintendo shows a Nintendo Direct, fans will usually be divided over whether they liked what was shown, or disappointed that they didn't show what they wanted.
- The May 20th, 2014 closing of Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, a service that allowed people to play certain Wii and DS games online. Some of the base understand that the service had to end sometime, even if most agree that the timing seems a bit too soon. The other remaining base fractured greatly, split over numerous things that include, but are not limited to: Seeing this closure as another sign Nintendo is doomed, that Iwata needs to be fired over this closure, this closure being a scam to force people to upgrade to Wii U and 3DS and the Nintendo Network, and people trying to plead to Nintendo to not end Nintendo Wi-Fi connection. This can reach ridiculous levels because it wasn't a decision by Nintendo but a matter of GameSpy being shut down as the Mis-blamed entry below reveals.
- Dork Age: Just about every console generation since the SNES has been called this in some form at some point in its life. Many of these of course, end up Vindicated by History as newer generations of gamers discover these games in hindsight:
- While known today for its revolutionary first and second party titles like Super Mario 64, GoldenEye, and The Legend Of Zelda Ocarina of Time, many agree the dork age for Nintendo began in 1996 with the launch of the Nintendo 64. With the decision to stick with cartridges, games were very tough to develop with the medium's limitations in mind. This led to a lot of third-party developers to jump ship to the first Sony Playstation, with most famous example being Square Enix (known at the time as Square Soft), who went on to develop 1997's killer app Final Fantasy VII. Also, developers were starting to get sick of Nintendo's censorship policy during the NES and SNES days, leading them to jump to the Playstation and Sega Saturn, systems that had more lax censorship policies and were marketed towards teens and adults from the gecko. Even with third parties sticking on board, the complicated devlopment led to fewer games in general for the system. For example, at the peak of era, the PlayStation was seeing at least 10 games released a week while only about 3 Nintendo 64 games were released per month.
- Once upon a time, the GameCube was ostracised for generally not following the Rated M for Manly and Real Is Brown elements that games were starting to pick up. The lack of much third party support was also a contentious issue, as well as the many deviations in formula of Nintendo’s own flagships (like The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Star Fox Adventures, Super Mario Sunshine, Kirby's Air Ride, ect.) meaning that even Nintendo fans who just wanted familiar Nintendo experiences were out of luck as well. Oh, and it also looked like a purple lunchbox which made it look silly.
Nowadays the GameCube era is praised as a time when Nintendo was very daring to be original and innovative with its software, especially with the company later tendency to go down the ‘safe’ route with these same franchises (more on that below).
- The Virtual Boy and all it's infamous shortcomings is considered an all around bad case of everything (except maybe for its Wario Land) that's often glossed over in Nintendo's history. Despite the generated hype at the time, it was a huge failure; it was classified as a 'portable' but it was oversized and clunky, it only generated images in an excruciating palette of red and black, and actually caused unanticipated headaches in users leading to its eventual discontinuation after just one year. Very few look back on it with fondness (except again, for the Wario Land game) with it it mainly seen as a joke or, at best, an example of 'good concept, bad execution'. Fortunately the concept would be resurrected years later with the 3DS to much better reception (and clamouring for a port of that Wario Land game).
- 2006 and the launch of the Wii is often regarded as the start of one of these for Nintendo ushering in casual gaming and Waggle controls (leading to them being shoehorned in games that otherwise didn't require nor benefited from). This was made worse by the Wii essentially collapsing in 2010 due to lack of support, leading to the rushed developments of the 3DS and Wii U (causing both systems to have rather rocky starts).
- The Wii U started out as one of Nintendo's lowest points. Many critics at the time called for Nintendo to go 3rd party and/or go mobile, leave the video game industry all together, or just fire Iwata and all senior management in hope new blood would help Nintendo "get with the times" even if any changes are just short term gains with long term risk of failing. However, the system made a turn around in 2014 with the released of Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS and the further releases of Hyrule Warriors, Splatoon, and the next-gen Zelda coming out later. Many now consider it to be the only console worth owning in the eighth generation along with a PC, since the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are still struggling to win people over with next-gen exclusives and most games on the systems are games that you can also get on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
- Ensemble Darkhorse: Despite not selling as well as Mario, Zelda, or Pokémon, many fans have been begging for the return of Metroid, Star Fox, and F-Zero.
- Face of the Band:
- Among most people, Shigeru Miyamoto is the only employee of Nintendo. Only among hardcore fans do Satoshi Tajiri and Masahiro Sakurai even get noticed.
- Satoru Iwata is the company's president and Reggie Fils-Aime delivers kickass speeches, and Miyamoto's the one that actually makes the games. All of them.
- Fandom Rivalry: Mario vs. Sonic is probably the most famous example in video games.
- Germans Love David Hasselhoff: North America (specifically, the United States) is by far the largest market for Nintendo games, with particular franchises that are moderately popular in Japan being hugely popular in America (The Legend of Zelda and Metroid being the most notable examples). Even games that are exceedingly popular in Japan still do much better across the Pacific; the first Super Mario Bros. sold an impressive 6.8 million units in Japan, but a whopping 29 million in North America.
- Growing the Beard: Let's face it, not many people remember the Hanafuda decks, toys, and other ventures Nintendo tried before they got into video games (the Love Hotels notwithstanding).
- Internet Backdraft: The Nintendo Creators Program for people making Let's Play videos on YouTube, where Nintendo has restrictive terms over how much revenue they will take (which can fluctuate at any time) and what games they can play. More prominent Let's Players have since said that Nintendo is either much lower priority on their lists of considered games to play or blacklisted altogether. However, considering that Nintendo said that they are having difficulties keeping up with registrations, this could be a case of a Broken Base instead.
- It's the Same, Now It Sucks: Nintendo's critics regularly accuse Nintendo of releasing the same IPs with nothing new. However, sometimes they do create completely original games, but they are rebranded as part of an existing series. For example, Kid Icarus: Uprising was just supposed to be a game focusing on land and air combat, but Sakurai and Iwata realized Pit would fit perfectly for the game, and Xenoblade was initially Monado: Beginning of the World before Nintendo changed the game's title to honor Tetsuya Takahasi.
- Memetic Badass:
- Mis-blamed: Nintendo (including Iwata) was not responsible for their Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection shutting down in late May 2014. GameSpy was bought out by Ziff-Davis who later sold off the part of GameSpy that was responsible for running multiplayer servers for many games (including Nintendo's NWFC). Glu Mobile bought this key part and they shut down all of GameSpy's legacy servers with the final servers going off-line in mid-2014. This was because Glu Mobile wanted to use the servers for Glu Mobile's own properties.
- Older Than They Think: The company goes as far back as 1889, when it was just selling hanafuda playing cards. Hanafuda cards still get referenced by the company from time to time, and can be obtained from Club Nintendo in some regions. Also if you think selling Love Hotels count as this.
- Periphery Demographic: There are many adults that willingly play games made by this Family Friendly-oreiented game developer.
- Popularity Polynomial: Zig-zagged. Ever since the SNES/Genesis rivalry, Nintendo has had an up-and-down relationship with popularity. When the Genesis hit the scene, it made Nintendo "uncool" due to Nintendo's censorship policies with the SNES at the time which eased with monster exclusive SNES titles like Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest and Chrono Trigger and later the arrival of the Nintendo 64 and games like GoldenEye (1997) and Perfect Dark.
Then when the GameCube hit, Nintendo was once again painted as "uncool" and "kiddie" due to the system's design and going up against the original Xbox and PlayStation 2 which had many "hardcore" titles compared to titles for the GameCube. However, Nintendo would later recover with the Wii, despite its weak architecture, and it enjoyed four years of dominance on the market making kid/casual games cool again. Nintendo once again is on the wrong end of popularity by the now infamous Wii U. To sum that up, people just don't know about it or view it as "uncool". Nintendo's lack of mainstream marketing in favor of Viral Marketing doesn't help.
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks: When the critics aren't complaining about "rehashing," they complain about how Nintendo's not staying true to the roots of a certain IP, whether the complaints are justified or not:
- The Legend of Zelda series gets this reaction like clockwork (with more detail on that page) and is easily the most notable due to the games each usually sharing very little connections to each other outside of a few recurring elements.
- Super Mario Sunshine is often considered the 'black sheep' of the 3D Mario games with the reasons as to why usually falling under this category word for word.
- Whenever Nintendo feels the need to incorporate a new gameplay mechanic to replace an established one (like with the latter two Paper Mario installments) the fanbase either gets used to it or complains.
- Vindicated by History: The Nintendo 64 and Nintendo GameCube are so loved by twenty-something gamers today that it might be surprising for younger gamers to learn that both systems had about a third the market share of their contemporaneous PlayStation competitors.