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Nintendo grasps at straws

A lot of press releases cross the desk here at ESH News Central, but few press releases appeared more pitiful that the one I received today from the folks at Nintendo.

The headline of the release was the first giveaway: "Have Fun in the Sun with Nintendo’s Summer Gaming List." Summer gaming list? Nintendo produced a press release with the equivalence of a summer reading list?

That's not a "news" story -- it's the type of story magazine companies use in order to fill space in a dreary, long summer when nobody's reading the magazine. I should know. I used to edit magazines for a living.

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Nintendo's "Summer Gaming List" is just that. It's a list of long-available video games that are re-categorized into fun summer categories. Items such as, "For the Competitor – Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS" and "For the Social Butterfly – Animal Crossing: New Leaf." Here's the one that got me: "For the Thrill Seeker – Mario Kart 7."

Nobody's ever talked about a go-kart race being thrilling. If it was, it would be bigger than NASCAR.

It's got to be a sad summer for Nintendo. Other than the original Wii, they've had a lot of duds for a long time now. They've got a new console coming in just a few months, but almost nobody knows anything about it. Just endless speculation. And Nintendo won't say. What are they hiding?

To add to that was the tremendous success of a former exclusive franchise of theirs: Pokémon Go. For the first week the game was out, investors didn't realize that Nintendo wasn't making anything on the game and the company's stock went way up. Then when investors realized Nintendo had nothing to profit from its success and their stock went way down.

The success of Pokémon Go just proved once and for all that all of Nintendo's efforts on the hardware side were going in the wrong direction. Nintendo would have been better off licensing Android and making smartphones that were optimized to play games licensed to Nintendo.

Instead, Nintendo is taking a cue from magazine publishers and trying to convince you to purchase a too-bulky "mobile" player to play too-expensive video games that come on too-old-fashioned cartridges.

In other words, Nintendo wants you to forget that it's still the 21st century.

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Born at a very young age with no foreknowledge of the event.