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Old 09-23-2008, 05:09 AM   #1
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Nintendo's Software Problem, Is the Wii buried under ShovelWare? [Part 2]

...Continued from Part One.

Bottom Feeding
This pattern is continuing with the Wii, at least in the software department. Looking at the NPD monthly sales chart for the past year (excluding Wii Play, which comes with a WiiMote), Nintendo's First-Party offerings do very well for the system, with games like The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Mario Party 8, Super Mario Galaxy, and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption spending extended time in the NPD Top 20. Third-Parties, however, do not fare as well. While more Third-Party games placed in the Top 20 for the year period (11 Third-Party games versus 9 for Nintendo), Nintendo almost had as many Top 20 Titles as all the Third-Party publishers combined, and Nintendo titles consistently ranked higher than other games. The Wii's Third-Party support does not compare to either the X-BOX 360 or PlayStation 3. Moreover, the majority of those Wii Top 20 Third-Party titles were hits for all the systems, such as Madden NFL '09, Guitar Hero III, and Resident Evil 4. Sales Numbers aside, what is more troubling is the overall lack of quality Third-Party software. When comparing the review scores given to all Wii titles by aggregate score website Metacritic, the system has an abnormally high number of games scoring in the lower half of the rating scale. Out of all Wii games listed at the time of this writing, 74 of them (or 40%) scored 50 or lower out of 100. The X-BOX 360 had 25% and the PlayStation 3 had 17%. Not Surprisingly, of the five titles that have scored a 90 or over, only one (Capcom's Resident Evil 4) is not a Nintendo Game. Furthermore, both the X-BOX 360 and the PS3 chart noticeably more titles in the 80th percentile, which is another indicator of quality support of a console, the absence does not appear to be doing the system any favors. "The Benefit of Concept Approval," said one anonymous developer with experience working on Wii Projects, "is that you have a juried pool of stuff. You have a reasonable guarantee that someone who's not crazy has looked at this and said, "Yes, this is plausibly fun.'". Perphaps more importantly, there are times that Third-Parties are consciously held back by Nintendo. For instance, the company initially restricted Third-Parties in the use of features like Mii's in Wii games and other initiatives utilizing the console, although that is slowly changing. In general, Nintendo does not like to let other companies introduce elements that utilize unique system features before Nintendo does. "They don't even tell you no," says the anonymous developer. "They tell you the [Approval] documentation is forthcoming to be delivered that is always after your release date."

To Be Continued...

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