Nintendo Classic: Revenge of The Virtual Boy or Wii U

A ways back I wrote this charming piece about the Nintendo Classic. In it, my abject skepticism for the Nintendo Classic was expressed. I had no hope and wasn’t looking forward to feeling like a T-Rex when holding the controller. Then I saw one in action and my stance softened. Then Nintendo killed it with no specific reason given, but I believe I know why.

Turns Out I Was, Somewhat, Wrong

My friend, Oregano Scrupplesworth, had thrown caution to the wind. Even after reading my post. It’s nothing short of big ol’ dumb bravery to ignore the words on Sweatpantslife.com, but that is what Oregano did.

When he approached me with a smug look and said, “Come here, I have something to show you.” I didn’t know what to expect. Maybe he bought a new guitar or a puppy! Next thing I know, I’m at his desk feigning enthusiasm for this thing that I’ve slandered. I was relieved when he told me he had read my post. Not only for narcissistic reasons, but I could also drop the act and was able to speak a bit more freely. Open up my mind. Lay my opinions on the table and prepare to take in the good stuff that I may have ignored.

Meanwhile… Nintendo Classic Is Dead

Days later, for some reason, which was not specifically called out, but has lead to much speculation, Nintendo discontinued the NES Classic. It seemed like a weird move because people still wanted one and Nintendo simply didn’t want to make more. Maybe it was because of hacking and cracking, maybe it was that they said they were going to make the SNES Classic.

Regardless, people looked up to the dark rain cloud laden sky. Their eyes closed – except for the nerds wearing glasses – to keep all the rain out. Some let loose a roar so ferocious and long that it it turned into a gurgle once their mouths filled with rain. Their pants got muddy (*gasp*) their respective mothers will be so upset.

I on the other hand, breathed a sigh of relief. The time spent at Oregano Scrupplesworth’s desk and softened my opinion. Sure, the controller cable, at one point in time, had been destined to become a nunchuck for the Wii/WiiU. That is until, the demographic that enjoys playing games while impersonating an epileptic T-Rex, petered out and moved on. Yes, the Nintendo Classic only had thirty games and people would have to hack it to get more. Oh, the sound was kind of weird. Was there sprite flashing? I think there was, but I can’t be sure. I think I commented on it because I wasn’t expecting it to happen.

Yet, there was something magical about it. The pixel perfect mode was great, the controller was responsive and the UI seemed like the creators cared. In other words, it had shortcomings, but it was a quality product. Unlike similar consoles that do the same thing, but craptasticly.

The Heroic Procrastinator’s Journey’s Destination

I had left Oregano’s desk fully prepared to write, Nintendo Classic: Maybe I Was Wrong. Yet, I didn’t for a myriad of reasons. Most of which involved me doing something else instead. I pondered purchasing a Nintendo Classic, but standing in line and paying an arm and leg for something because of scalping? That dog will not hunt! Now, I’ve written and you’ve read* this.

Ah, I do have one possible answer as to why Nintendo killed the Nintendo Classic. Not owning a Nintendo Classic has given me a lot of time to stare at the wall and come up with theories. Who wants to play video games?

I remember like it happened yesterday, back in nineteen ninety – whatever- Nintendo released the Virtual Boy. It was a giant, strobing, colossal failure. That was the moment when kids realized that Nintendo wasn’t perfect. Not very many people bought one. Fast forward twenty years to the Wii U or as I like to call it, the Virtual Boy 2. Similar story there too. People didn’t know what to do with it and they really didn’t want it.

Nintendo is just showing us not to bite the hand that feeds it. We did this to ourselves!


I’m going to go play Dreamcast!

 

*Hopefully.

Nintendo Classic or Classic Nintendo


 

When the Nintendo Classic was announced, I was excited. Joy filled my heart. Angels sang The Beatles “Because” from their heavenly perches. The sky seemed bluer. And, I could have sworn, that for a moment, Republicans and Democrats were getting along. Then I clicked the link, read about it, and all of that euphoria left me.

There were two things that caused this. First, was the superficial one, the controller ports. I understand that the smaller size prevented Nintendo from using the old inputs, but it just seemed wrong. Not only that, but of all the ports they did use, it’s the ones from the Wii and the Wii U*. Which signified to me who they were trying to target. To quote the best Star Wars character, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” I was right!

There it was, the second and more glaring issue. The thirty games that came pre-installed on it were the only ones we were going to get. No internet connectivity! No SD card slot! Confusion reigned! If it were a movie, I would have been down on my knees with my hands covering my ears while crying as the camera panned around me continuously.

I didn’t get it! It wasn’t for people who still had Nintendo gear. It wasn’t for people looking for a viable and legally digital way to relive the glory days. Fuck me, it wasn’t even for Nintendo to make money after the initial purchase. The Nintendo Classic was for the same people that walk into Bed, Bath, and Beyond and find those Atari and Genesis pre-loaded consoles. They pick them up without a second thought. They look forward to reliving the glory days and sharing those memories with the people in their lives who weren’t there the first time. Let’s call these people, “saps.”

Then they get home and realize the thing is a lackluster knock-off; Cheap, plastic, and missing a vital game that will never appear. Except in this case the console isn’t made by some unheard of company, it’s made by Nintendo. A word that fills us with joy. A name that stands for quality. Then we remember that the Wii U is a lackluster knock-off of last gen consoles and it all makes sense.

I know I sound like an old grumpy hipster. That I am far too cool for such a toy. There is some truth in that, but it’s because I’m cheap and I want my dollar to go as far as it can. There are alternatives like the AVS and Retron series. Yes, they cost a bit more. Sure, both require cartridges, but that means you can play what you want. If buying cartridges isn’t your thing, then why not keep emulating you cheap bastard. Are you a sap?

 

So what do you think, is it your childhood resurrected or a display of Nintendo’s cynical view of their customers?

 


As always, please comment and share.

 

*Apparently they used the controller cable length too 😦