Bait and Switch

So Nintendo has officially confirmed “Project Cafe” for an E3 reveal, and a 2012 (post April 2012, but they’d be stupid to announce it now and sit on it until 2013) release.

They still haven’t shown it, or confirmed what tech is running under the hood, but my biggest fear is that Nintendo is pulling a Bait-and-Switch.  Oh no, “Project Cafe” is not the bait, the Wii is the bait, Cafe is the Switch.

A lot of this is caused by third parties, they didn’t like the Wii, or the direction it went in, and wanted Nintendo to make another console like the PS3 and 360.  Too bad for them that the Wii was successful, but they refused to eat their words and kept denouncing the Wii.  Unfortunately for Wii owners, Nintendo was unable to fully support the system, and the disdain of third parties eventually wore them down.

What third parties did like about the Wii, was the 80+ million users, but they felt that Nintendo was holding everything back by releasing inferior hardware.  “How dare Nintendo shackle those users, drawing them away to the dark ruins of ancient technology.”

Microsoft and Sony were worried about that, they knew with the meteoric rise of the Wii, that third parties might start jumping ship.  The publishers who had the money, might turn their backs on the expensive tech of the HD consoles, and force their developers to make games for the Wii.  This is where the term “graduate” came from, not wanting to lose face, they promoted the HD consoles as the natural next step, and that Wii owners would tire of the motion control gimmick, and would eventually upgrade to an HD console.

Sadly, it worked (or third parties weren’t planning on going Wii in the first place), third parties kept their best games on the HD consoles, and gave the Wii crap.  Good games the Wii did get like Resident Evil 4 and Monster Hunter Tri were flukes, RE4 was a port, and MH3 was supposed to go to the PS3 before it’s escalating budget forced the console shift.

The Wii owners didn’t “graduate”, for another term for “graduate” is “bait and switch”; those users bought the Wii because of what it offered, if they wanted what the HD consoles offered, they would have bought one of those instead.  Third parties blamed Nintendo for playing keep-away with the fans, when all they were doing was offering something different, and it found an audience.

You can never tell a person what they want, you can only offer something, and they may discover it was something they wanted all along, and just didn’t know it.

Nintendo is not completely innocent of this.

Here, Nintendo is blatantly trying to tell fans of the megahit game New Super Mario Bros. that Super Mario Galaxy is everything that NSMB was only more, and in 3D.  This is another bait-and-switch, Nintendo is trying to tell fans of one game that they are supposed to be fans of another game, but the fans didn’t bite.  Galaxy did well, but not huge like NSMB.  Nintendo tried it again, after putting out New Super Mario Bros. Wii, they released Super Mario Galaxy 2, thinking that having a New game on the console would get those fans; it did, they bought NSMBW, and passed on Galaxy 2.

Now the most obvious answer is: “The fans of the 2D Marios will never want the 3D Marios.”  Nintendo will never listen to that answer because they apparently prefer 3D Mario, and will always keep trying to pull this bait-and-switch.

Project Cafe sounds like it could be a bait-and-switch, convincing fans of the Wii to join the hardcore side; as a core gamers myself, I would like to see Nintendo move back and get some of those third party hits that have been denied to the Wii; but they must never forget that the people who made the Wii a success don’t like those games, and while they’ll take the bait, they’ll retreat when you pull the switch.

For a bit of a lighter tone, here’s an awesome fan made commercial video for Super Mario Galaxy, which also shows the transition from 2D to 3D as it skips NSMB, but it would have looked really out of place.

The song is “Hoppípolla” by Sigur Rós.  You can almost hear “Mario Galaxy” in the background.

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