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Is Nintendo's Popularity Rating the Lowest It's Ever Been?

Considering the floundering Wii U, is Nintendo currently experiencing an all-time low on the popularity scale?

Don't get me wrong, I love Nintendo.

I love Nintendo like a relative, in that you're essentially obligated to love that person simply due to genetics. As Nintendo is the company that kicked off my lifelong love affair with video games, I will always love Nintendo, despite the fact that I haven't owned one of their consoles since the SNES.

The N64 was a great machine but I was on a big RPG kick in those days, so it was all about the PlayStation and PC. The GameCube didn't quite do it for me, as I'd moved on to other types of gaming, and the Wii...I just saw it as a gimmick. It was an ingenious gimmick, but a gimmick nonetheless, and the amount of shovelware on that system was just ridiculous.

With the Wii U flipping and flopping like a fish out of water, I can't help but wonder...

The Wii U certainly wasn't going to be my cup of tea, either, but this console isn't even successful. The numbers are abysmal, especially when compared with its predecessor, and nobody knows what Nintendo's next move will be. The Wii U is not going to stack up favorably against the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One; it's clearly outclassed in terms of capability. I don't mean to say there aren't any great games for the Wii U, or that they can't make great games for the Wii U.

What I'm saying is that if you're talking about next-gen consoles, some might not even allow the Wii U into the conversation. For the most part, the majority of headlines we see now involve either the PS4 or the Xbox One; it's like the Wii U has fallen off the map entirely. And in point of fact, it kinda has.

So, considering Nintendo's long and storied history, can anyone remember a time when the company has been largely forgotten in the face of competition?

That new $399 Xbox One means there's only one company left in the gamer's doghouse

The PlayStation 4 has done well over the past year, garnering plenty of positive headlines and word-of-mouth. Last year's ridiculous policies that Microsoft had to rescind (amazing how quickly people forget such events, though), the $599 starting price that forced consumers to buy Kinect, etc; it all contributed to the Xbox's lowered reputation heading into this new generation.

But hey, you'll soon be able to get the Xbox One for $399 (without Kinect, on June 9 in North America), and new exclusives like Halo 5 and Sunset Overdrive have received plenty of great press recently. Now, it looks like there's only one of the big three left out in the cold: Nintendo.

Yes, they've got the handheld market all sewn up. Microsoft still has no interest in that field and the Vita isn't doing anything. Nintendo has to compete with the explosive mobile market, though, so things aren't as concrete as they were before, even in the portable market.

Nintendo better use E3 to announce SOMETHING big

I just want to see Nintendo making headlines again. And when I say that, I don't mean headlines like, "What Happened to Nintendo?" or "Nintendo's Downward Spiral" or something. I want to see this company rise again, which may require the announcement of a true next-gen console. It's just difficult for me to see Nintendo, the original father of modern video games, getting squeezed out due to the competition's domination and bad internal business decisions.

Therefore, they had best take advantage of E3 next month. If they have any hope of getting back on track and remaining competitive with Sony and Microsoft, time's running out.

Published May. 20th 2014
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