Home > Games > Why so little third-party support for Nintendo?

Why so little third-party support for Nintendo?

I love video games. In fact, I believe you could call me an otaku of sorts in the world of gaming. I play games virtually every day and I have an incredibly large backlog of games to get through eventually. One thing about my gaming habits that’s notable, though, is how I’m a bit of a Nintendo fan. I have a SNES, N64, Gamecube, Wii, Gameboy Color, GBA, DS/DS Lite, and my brother owns a 3DS. The only consoles we own that aren’t Nintendo-made are our PS1 and PS2, and we have barely any games for those. Because I’m not exactly a connoisseur of games besides the ones released for Nintendo’s systems, I always got rather upset when people asserted how the Wii “doesn’t have any good games” or how the Wii’s selection was “lacking”.  I have a rather large library of Wii and Gamecube games, so I naturally took offense to this claim. Today, due to boredom, I decided to do some research on the claim instead of the supposedly unfounded assumptions of the other gamers… and it ends up that I was somewhat wrong.

I went on GameRankings, which averages game review scores into percentages (sort of like Metacritic). A game with an average of 4 out of 5 would get a score around 80%, for example. I went console-by-console and looked for how many games qualified as “great”. I limited the results to games with at least 5 reviews (to filter out the one or two reviews for some game for little girls), and these results do not take multiplatform releases, ports, re-releases/remakes, or expansions into account as that would take too much time. With that said, here’s the results I got:

Games 80% and higher:

  • Wii: 104
  • PS3: 277
  • 360: 275
  • DS: 110
  • PSP: 90

75% and higher:

  • Wii: 188
  • PS3: 351
  • 360: 454
  • DS: 206
  • PSP: 171

70% and higher:

  • Wii: 291
  • PS3: 456
  • 360: 560
  • DS: 355
  • PSP: 276

I was rather unpleasantly surprised by the results. The Wii’s library of games 80% or higher was only a little over 1/3 the size of the PS3 and 360’s library. It caught up substantially to only be about half (or more) the size of the PS3’s library around the 75% and 70% marks, but the 360’s library trounced both of theirs. Handheld-wise, however, I noticed that the PSP was doing much better than I anticipated, though not quite as good as the ever-popular DS.

So, what do these results mean? It means that if you’re looking for a good game, you’ll have a wider variety of games to choose from. It does not, however, mean that the systems with more games have “better” games. Nor does it mean that there’s a wider variety of every kind of game for those platforms. It’s common knowledge that, for example, the PS3 and 360 have a bias towards mature games, while Nintendo systems usually have a bias towards family-friendly games. Actually using this as an argument, though, is rather immature. Complaining about the lack of mature titles is like complaining about a pizza box; it doesn’t change the quality of the pizza on the inside if the box looks different, right?

In my rather large Wii library, I have *no* M-rated games whatsoever, and I’m very happy. Last I checked, I had somewhere around 40 or 50 games for it, not including Gamecube games or downloaded titles. Obviously, mature games aren’t necessarily better or worse than more family-friendly titles like Mario or Zelda. I’m not afraid of mature games or anything; I love Metroid, Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid, Portal/Half-Life, Doom, and other mature-ish titles (not necessarily rated M, as you don’t have to have an M rating to be considered “mature”).

I’m quite jealous of the libraries of the PS3 and 360, but lets face it: how many games do you buy per year? If you’re anything like most people I’ve seen, you’ve only got about 10 or 20 games total per system (unless you illegally acquire them…). Even though the Wii doesn’t have the largest library around, it still has quite a few great games. The lack of mature-rated titles isn’t something to complain about really, because you can make a good game without it being violent or sexed-up. Also, Nintendo’s first-party titles are considered some of the best games of all time (Ocarina of Time, Super Mario Galaxy, and Metroid Prime to name a few). You’d be missing out on those masterpieces if you used another system, though I have to admit that Shadow of the Colossus (a first-party PS2 title) is one of the best games I’ve ever played.

In conclusion, I hope this blog post is informative for many, and I hope that the arguments I pose here reduce anti-Nintendo trolling. Yes, it’s true that the Wii has a smaller selection of “good” games than the other systems, but in the long run, this means very little. The Wii still has many, many excellent games and more than enough variety for me. Here’s hoping that third-party support with Project Cafe is much better than the Wii, though! That can’t possibly be a bad thing :)!

PS: Please refrain from fanboy-ish trolling in the comments section.

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