Thursday, February 27, 2014

Nintendo Shutting Down Servers for the Wii and DS

I never had a Wii and I don't utilize the multiplayer component of any game, but this Nintendo decision to shut down their servers still got under my skin. Prepare to no longer be able to play any of your Wii or DS favorites online on May 20, 2014. Of course, it's their business and they have to do what they feel is right for the company, but it's still a crappy decision. How does a worldwide company not have the money to keep the servers going or give an option to fans? According to CNN, Nintendo's revenue last year was $7.7 billion. That's billion. And according to Forbes, their market share is $14.4 billion. It seems ridiculous. But I guess the big guys have to be always moving forward.

This is just another reason for me to never play multiplayer. The other reasons are that I can't spend all my time with one game, and I don't need the aggravation of other people. On a related note, I've always been hesitant of the move towards download only. Some titles being downloadable only are fine, like the independent ones that don't have the support of a big publisher. I'm all for that. But imagine that game you bought a few years ago that you haven't had the chance to play yet was a download. I'll use Grand Theft Auto IV as an example. (Yes, I know it's not a download.) I might take a while longer to get to it. I have so many to play. I'm currently on GTAV, and then I have Assassin's Creed Revelations and Mass Effect 3 to start. At some point I have to finish Borderlands, Fallout 3, and even Okami. I really, really want to finish Okami.

There are dozens of games I never got to play, but if they were online only they would run the risk of being shut down when the number of players dropped, or for any arbitrary reason. Imagine spending hundreds of dollars on a bunch of code that did nothing. Even if that didn't happen, anything else could. Your console could commit suicide, your account could be shut down, you could lose your purchases because of some idiotic glitch. You ever have a hard drive die that had software you paid for from a company that has incredibly poor customer service, who wants to charge you for support and then charge you for a new copy even though they have your order in their system, you have the receipt and the serial number, and you even have a copy backed up but it can only be installed on one machine or a certain number of times? This is a thing that happens. (Actually, that's probably the worst that can happen. It's an amalgam of a few things that I've been through before.) You can probably tell I have a hard time letting go of physical media. I want to own what I buy and have the ability to play it forever. Screw the companies who take that away.

More about the Nintendo shut down is available in the place I read about it, The Day the Mario Kart Died ~ ArsTechnica.


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