Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Patch Censors Offensive Inkling Gesture

If you’re familiar with Italian culture, we tend to use lots of hand gestures while talking – and even when not talking. One such famous gesture is the “Up Yours” gesture, which is performed by crossing one arm (or hand) over your other bicep and snapping your other hand up in a closed fist. Naturally, this is used to effectively tell someone off visually.

While it’s up for debate where the gesture originates from (I’m saying the Italians because we’re clearly the superior speakers), the Inkling Girl in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe actually performed this gesture (which you can view above).

The gesture apparently ticked off enough people for Nintendo to notice, and now they’ve patched it out of the game (thanks, NeoGAF).

You can view the censored version below:

To further confirm the change, here are the official patch notes for the 1.1 update:

  • Opponents names are displayed in the rear view mirror view in online matches.
  • Invincibility period after a spin-out or crash is longer in online matches.
  • Up to two players can spectate a friend group while they wait to join.
  • “Worldwide” and “Regional” modes add players to Mirror and 200cc matches less often.
  • Can now properly create a friend lobby when you have 100 or more friends.
  • Inkling Girl’s animation has been adjusted.
  • Starting positions in online races now properly reflect the order in which players join.
  • Driver Miis now properly showing facial expressions.
  • Tournament clock now properly reflects real-world time.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is now available for the Nintendo Switch. How do you guys feel about the change? Is it truly offensive? Sound off in the comments below!

Brandon Orselli


Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.

  • NukeA6

    Here’s one for NeoFAG

  • NukeA6
  • Just Some Guy

    *long exasperated sigh*

  • Captain Vidya

    Given that it’s basically the same as giving someone the bird, and that it’s a Mario spinoff, whatever.

  • Offendatron_5000

    When will they finally patch this game to stop insulting those with disabilities? Everyone seems to have functional limbs. How ableist.

  • Heresy Hammer

    >Offended from a videogame
    What are you doing with your life at that point.

  • Jonbo298

    Alright you alien assholes

  • sanic

    Good to get news like this to remind me why I’m not buying a switch in the near future.

  • OldPalpy
  • TT

    good god Nintendo, can you be any more of a pussy

  • Anon_Amous

    Hahaha that’s funny. Of course the “”””censorship”””” whiners are out in force to remind us they will not buy this because the Squid girl character doesn’t have an animation. I mean this isn’t really something that needs changing but who in the hell would care either way.

  • Hehe. The new one slightly offensive​ one where I come from.
    Where I come from sticking up one fist at someone essentially means “Up yours” (though context is important). But before this is looked more like she was just boasting strength or something.

  • Michael Richardson

    Finally patched that damn issue with the friends list. Was getting annoying.

    Regarding Inkling Girl, if the animation wasn’t meant to be taken as “up yours” in the first place, then they should change it if that’s what people are taking away from it. Kind of like the lost in translation KKK witches thing from Akiba’s Beat.

  • braneman

    Ehh this one I can understand, this wasn’t something the artist put in but was localized out, this is “whoops we accidentally put the middle finger in our game” This is like if you get one of those tatoos in another language and it means something different than what they told you it means.

  • Zack Attack

    I was never offended by this gesture…
    I was having too much fun to care. :/

  • RichardGristle

    Lol yep. This shit is starting already and there aren’t even any desirable games for the thing yet.


  • SevTheBear

    NeoGaf strikes again -__-‘

  • Nuku Nuku Natsume Mishima

    Of course they are “open asses” people who say “who cares I will buy it anyway”

  • Uncle Ocelot

    Who even complained about this?

  • Deathtone

    Good thing my switch doesn’t recognize my network… :-/ … I guess

  • Mr0303

    New console same old Nintendo. Let me make my feelings more explicit:

  • Mr0303

    Feminism is cancer, so maybe Nintendo had the right idea.

  • Razoir

    I’m against any kind of censorship but I feel like in this case it’s not a matter of censorship but correcting a mistake. Mariokart is the family friendly game by excellence so if they used the equivalent of a middle finger without knowing it’s meaning, it’s only natural for them to correct it.

  • Zanard Bell

    Family Friendly Faggotry

  • tccboss

    Someone needs to take NeoFag out into a street and execute them to make an example of people who complain about dumb shit. But seriously fuck NeoGaf.

  • Nanashi

    I’m more sad about the Miis finally having facial animations. I have a kinda-creepy Mii that I’d play with whenever I played as a Mii, and the lack of any facial animation (thus leaving him with a constant, unflinching slasher smile with soulless eyes) made him all the creepier! Alas…

  • Every console Nintendo has made after the DS/Gamecube sucked ass.

  • I imagine you can achieve the same effect if you play without the patch (removing the SD card on 3DS does the trick for those games) though I’m not sure how that effects multiplayer of any kind.

  • What country is that?

  • DrearierSpider

    Wait, hasn’t this been in there since the Wii U version was out? What a load of nonsense, stop buying Nintendo products people.

  • Lucky

    The inkling is Switch exclusive so no.

  • InkViper

    Well the good news (Not that it’s much of a consolation) is if you have the physical version, make sure you don’t install the patch, as you won’t lose it.

  • DrearierSpider

    Gotcha, thanks.

  • goodbyejojo

    what a bunch of snowflakes

  • totenglocke

    Only one country had an issue with it. Italy can grow up or shut up. Besides, they have wayyyyy bigger problems in Italy right now.

  • Malcolm_Ecks

    Likely no one. Or like, 3 people. Nintendo has been famous for this kind of PC culture crap since the 90s so I’m not surprised.

  • I think obscene is a better word to describe it. It’s a kids’ game, I’d be equally concerned if a character starts flipping the player off or something. Nobody actually think the squid thing is insulting them, it’s just like, kids probably aren’t supposed to be going “up yours!” to each other. Take it with a grain of salt, I say. It’s one thing for the losers at Blizzard to remove a “sexual” pose in an adults’ game already full of women in spandex costumes; that’s clearly cucking to interests. Removing an obscenity from a kids’ game is appropriate imo.

  • Eldhin Hellknight


  • James Hewitson
  • AnarKreig

    I’m offended people still play this garbage. Ban the people.

  • Shattno

    Well, then you won’t be able to play online, so what’s the point.

  • Shattno

    I don’t understand. The people complaining about it being removed is just as bad as the people complaining about it being there. It’s a privately owned company, they can do what the fuck they want with their game. Sometimes I think people complain for the sake of complaining…

  • Ace

    So many people butthurt about something that doesn’t affect Mario Kart 8’s gameplay at all. Calm down and go play outside for a bit. The world isn’t gonna end. Lol.

  • Nanashi

    I can’t say for absolute certain, but I’m pretty sure that one won’t be able to play online until they install the patch. And a lot of the fun of using a creepy Mii would be to unnerve other players online.

  • InkViper

    Who said I care about playing on my?

  • Shattno

    What I mean is, yeah you could do that, but no online play, so why bother. Racing an AI is no fun, unless maybe if you wrote the AI yourself. There is local co-op I guess, but then you need friends, like real world friends that will come over to your house and play video games with you, and those become rarer and rarer as you grow older.

    Great, now I feel old…

  • InkViper

    local co-op all the way. And its with family, we’ve been playing competitively with one another going back to first Mario kart.

  • Shattno

    Sounds like a lot of fun :)

  • Eden

    From what I remember growing up, I heard it essentially means “fuck you” in some places.

  • Farwin
  • Thanks Neogaf aka the Warsaw Ghetto.

  • Snorlaxation

    The ONLY reason people should be offended or worried is because some other country does the same gesture and it means something offensive. THAT’S IT!! What is wrong with people

  • Fenrir007

    Yes, they can do it, but just as much as people can complain to get harmless shit removed from a game, we can do the same about it being removed. As consumers (or living wallets, if you will), we have the right to complain. If we will be heard or not is an entirely different thing, though.

  • Sean Sharpe

    Mario Kart 8 was the best in the series. Battle mode sucked in the original, but the core game was fantastic.

  • Sean Sharpe

    I sort of miss the 16-bit days. No one knew dick about censorship and we judged games based on if they were good or not, rather than if there where any edits for any reason.

  • Razoir

    It’s not a matter of people having an issue with it, It’s a matter of using a “slur” without knowing it.

  • Bashtarle

    Ironically enough the trailer version with all the over the top censoring was funnier than the actual scene.

  • magicalfollower

    Nintendo treating their consumer base as petulant children…

    Yup, nothing new here.

  • Shattno

    Absolutely, consumers have the right to complain, but companies won’t change something unless they make more money because of that change, that’s how capitalism works, like it or not.
    What I’m getting at here is that there is a lot of double standards from both sides, complaining about shit and then complaining about the other side complaining about shit. It’s exhausting.

  • NukeA6

    Remember Dracula X? Not a bad Castlevania game but it shouldn’t have been bashed the way it did when people found out it was a watered-down Rondo of Blood port. It was much better than most ports made for the Game Boy.

  • psycho_bandaid

    While I typically don’t mind these “edits” I do find it really shitty when a company releases a patch that alters “offensive” content after the fact. Even minor edits are made worse when they are done after the fact with no way to keep the original.

  • Anon_Amous

    Cry more. There is a point where criticism enters the absurd.

  • Do they make more money from the change? Was there actually a complaint? How many complaints? Can I get a change worldwide if I find that any specific community or country has ever taken offense from a gesture or word identical or resembling one in their games?

    My answers are “Probably no”, “Unlikely”, “Where?” and “Unfortunately yes”.

    It is definitely annoying to see the back and forth go on, even for me, but the case for this edit seems weak to me.

  • randomdude

    It’s only if they think it will get them more money.

  • randomdude

    I’m still boycotting nintendo after the whole fire emblem fates thing

  • InkViper

    If you want a boycott to work, especially over the Fate fiasco I suggest you support these guys and make it known to Nintendo!

  • Fenrir007

    “but companies won’t change something unless they make more money because of that change”

    I disagree on this. Companies act on perceptions and predictions, and they can be deceiving. Of course, for bigger issues, there are studies made, but not for things like this. Also, vocalizing your grievances can make others like you realize the real size of the disgruntled people with said decisions, and that can help either those people organize and do something about it (example: operation rainfall) or allows other companies to look at that segment that is unhappy with, say, censorship and do the opposite on their games, thus gaining said market.

  • Sean Sharpe

    Yep. It makes me sad how many people seem to hate it today when it was a great game when it came out.

  • Alistair

    No that should be alright it a “Woman” If it was a Man or a character in a game then it can be problematic. lol #regressivesweckLives

  • Shattno

    Yeah, of course they act on predictions, it’s impossible to know for sure whats going to happen, so you use your best guess. The ability to accurately predict the changes in the market is what separates good business from bad business.

    And of course consumers can change what companies does, that’s what happened here, people complained about something, Nintendo noticed and changed their game. Not because they wanted to be nice, but because they are afraid of loosing customers.

  • Shattno

    Yeah, it’s all predictions and guesses, nobody can see the future, but it doesn’t make my statement less true.

  • Shattno

    I have no idea if there where complaints or if so how many. But I think that in this case it’s not really the complaints themselves that made Nintendo make the change, it’s more that they noticed something they had overlooked and changed it. Really their QA department should have caught it before release.

    The thing is that Nintendo has a reputation about being very family friendly, you are supposed to be able to play Mario Kart with your five year old kid and/or your grandmother. So having something in the game that basically means “fuck you” kind of tarnishes that reputation. So they probably predicted that leaving it in might course them to lose potential customers and therefore changed it, it’s just good business sense.

  • randomdude

    Problem is, the media has been taking shots at gamers and trying to push political correctness and make it seem that everyone is offended by everything. It may seem to be a good idea to pander to the least of society while it’s pushing away the people who buy the games.

  • randomdude

    A possibility. On one hand, they’re censoring the game, but on the other hand, would that cause more sales for nintendo before Nintendo realizes why?

  • randomdude

    it’s the principal. Any changes outside of what is required, such as animation changes, removal of content, and changing of themes is a sin. A missing joke because the word play doesn’t work in the target language is one thing, but blatant changes are not.
    I have not bought a single nintendo product since the whole Fates issue.

    If marketing to children is something they want to do with a more mature series, like Fire Emblem or Shin Megami Tensei, then release two versions: one to placate the dull minds of people
    who can’t handle mature topics in a game and one for people who want
    mature topics to be covered, and I don’t just mean “show more boobs,”
    but to include controversial topics

  • Fenrir007

    >And of course consumers can change what companies does, that’s what happened here, people complained about something, Nintendo noticed and changed their game. Not because they wanted to be nice, but because they are afraid of loosing customers.

    And that is, in my opinion, a wrong assumption on their part, possibly rooted in the japanese businessman mentality of avoiding conflict whenever possible, and it also has ties with Nintendo’s mentality of being a company geared towards kids and worried parents.

    Anyway, like I explained earlier, counter-complaining is a way of:

    1- Showing the company they acted hastily in judgement and that there are more people than they thought that are bothered by the change;

    2- Signal to other companies that this kind of behavior is not well received by the public, and that there is a market segment that is not composed of people that are easily offended by this kind of thing, so devs can go nuts on their games.

    I don’t see any sort of double standards. People complain to get heard, on both sides, and I, for one, am on the side that wants more things in games rather than less. I think gaming as a whole gets better with less restrictions on what kind of content is acceptable than more, though I am perfectly fine with user level curation of what content is shown in your own TV (example – making the gesture not appear in other players’ screens in a multiplayer match if they think that is rude by switching it off in their game options menu).

  • Shattno

    I think the majority of society agrees that rude gestures should not be in games played by kids tho.

  • randomdude

    I see no problem with things like that. It up to parents to tell kids not to emulate the game.
    Granted, I did sneak GTA when I was 8. Man, graphics were terrible back then, and so was aiming.

  • Shattno

    I don’t think it’s a wrong assumption, Nintendo needs to protect their family friendly reputation, they sell a lot of games based on that parents can just buy a Mario game for their kids and not worry about it having questionable content.
    Besides, most companies try to avoid conflict, it’s just good business.

    I get counter complaining, but that’s not really what I mean. The double standards I talk about is when people feel like they have the right to complain but feel that others don’t. Either everyone gets to complain or no one does.

    And I’m also for more things rather than less in games, I hate it when companies remove stuff from games, and I totally agree with letting the user have more control of what they want to see. In this case tho I think the edit is warranted as I don’t think I was meant to mean something rude in the first place, and it also feels out of character for the Inkling who is supposed to be a kid. As I wrote to someone else, the QA department should have caught this before release.

  • Shattno

    I don’t really either, I’m pretty liberal with things like that, as a kid I played a lot of games with sex and gore in them, granted it was a lot more pixely back then, but I also know I’m not in the majority.

  • Fenrir007

    I don’t think anyone is saying they don’t have a right to complain, just that the complaint is idiotic. Nintendo’s family friendly reputation already bit them in the ass before when mature games wouldn’t come to the plataform, so I’m not entirely sure they should double down on that image. They can’t just survive on first party titles alone, after all, and I suspect the current generation of core gamers is composed of people between 20 – 40s and the younger generations are simply playing on the smartphones they are so glued to nowadays.

    “Besides, most companies try to avoid conflict, it’s just good business.”

    Not to the extent that japanese companies do, which sometimes take the shape of accepting complaints without measuring both sides (which can cause more conflict – see the localization wars currently ongoing) or even promote self censoring based on wrong perceptions fed by a pathological fear of offending people that may not even exist, while alienating those that do exist. Extreme politeness and submission are part of their business culture, and that reflects poorly on several of their corporate decisions, which are further potentialized by their insular and single purpose mentality that makes them slow or hard to admit mistakes or change tracks once a course of action has been chosen.

  • Shattno

    Well that’s the feeling I get when I read comments on the internet.
    But I mean some mature games come to Nintendo consoles, we got Bayonetta 1 and 2 for the Wii U, but I think most people buy Nintendo for the core stuff like Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Donkey Kong, Pokemon etc., those games are Nintendos bread and butter and I think they can definitely survive on that. I agree that a large part of core gamers are born in the 80s and 90s, but there are still a lot of kids playing video games.

    I do agree that there are cultural differences, Japanese companies have a very traditional corporate culture and Kyoto based companies even more so, so cultural clashes are bound to happen. But all companies have this behavior to some extent, take IKEA for example, before they give a new furniture a name they check to see that the name is not offensive in any language. Of course Nintendo does something similar too, so the entire thing is a slip up from their QA department.

    I disagree that they could have handled it in a better way. Having the Inkling do that gesture is as out of character as if Mario would flip the other players the bird. I don’t think it was supposed to be offensive or have any bite to it in the first place, it was more like “Look, I’m strong” or something. The entire thing is a misunderstanding.

  • Fenrir007

    “but I think most people buy Nintendo for the core stuff like Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Donkey Kong, Pokemon etc., those games are Nintendos bread and butter and I think they can definitely survive on that.”

    I disagree. The WiiU is a good example of what happens when you don’t have much third party support. Don’t forget Nintendo gets money from licensing etc on third parties sold, and that to many people, certain franchises from other companies are system sellers, so driving themselves into a corner with only third party titles is not very wise.

    “we got Bayonetta 1 and 2 for the Wii U”

    The way I understand, that was Nintendo’s attempt to fight against the kiddie company image and attract the hardcore crowd. This is possibly why Hideki Kamiya was surprised when they asked Bayo’s DLC clothes to be more revealing. But Bayonetta is the outlier, not the rule. Nintendo is way too prudish and it baffles me that they don’t understand you can have both mature games and all ages stuff in your console.

    ” it was more like “Look, I’m strong” or something. The entire thing is a misunderstanding.”

    I disagree. It looks to me like a commemoration in a competitive setting, so it certainly would have a component of both mockery and showing off, with some slight humiliation undertones. Comparable to, say, a pop off in a fighting games tournament. They should have, at the very least, made a new gesture that was better looking and more context aware than the half baked crap that was left from changing only one part of the gesture. They literally chose the worst outcome.

  • Shattno

    I think the Wii U had a lot of other problems, the lack of third party support may have contributed to it failing, but it was far from the only issue. (To me it almost feels like a beta version or proof of concept for the Switch.)

    I get that Nintendo gets money from licensing and that third party franchises help sell a system, but I would still argue that if Nintendo wanted (or had to) they could still be profitable with only first party titles (I mean Pokemon alone prints money.). And that’s more than you could say for PS or XBox who rely almost entirely on third party titles. Nintendo is pretty unique in that sense.

    Nintendo has had several mature games (for some definition of mature) in every generation, so they do understand that they can have both, it’s just that they are very well aware of that their core audience buys their systems for the first party games. A lot of people have an XBox or an PS but also a Nintendo, they are not in direct competition, they have their own thing going on.

    It might just be me, but all I see is the Inkling flexing her bicep, if the hand is on the bicep or not does not really change the flexing, but the one with the hand can be interpreted as something rude by some people. I honestly think the whole thing has been blown out of proportion.

  • Anon_Amous

    My principal was a nice lady.

  • randomdude

    What I get for leaving auto correct on….

  • Fenrir007

    “the lack of third party support may have contributed to it failing”

    I am pretty sure it did. You could argue the Wii had the same problem, since Nintendo games would sell a lot on it, but third party titles, while close to non-existant, would enjoy much more lukewarm reception, to the point where many just gave up on the plataform altogether. I remember research done back in the Wii era showing that, while they sold a bazillion consoles, many console owners had only 2 or 3 games, with plenty of people just acquiring the party games and calling it a day. This made the more core and hardcore steer away from Nintendo, culminating in the WiiU reception since the casual market growth in the console business was not sustainable.

    Consoles nowadays are very MP oriented, so if all your friends are playing CoD or Overwatch on their plataform of choice with each other, you miss out on the fun if you have the odd console that is disconnected from the world of multiplataform titles.

    “Nintendo has had several mature games (for some definition of mature)”

    The few ones they have are butchered or not brought over to the west, and plenty of games would never make it into a Nintendo plataform. I’m not making the “mature games for mature gamers like myself” argument here, though, and I don’t think all ages games are necessarily childish. The perception comes not from the games they have, but from the ones they don’t have.

    “A lot of people have an XBox or an PS but also a Nintendo, they are not in direct competition, they have their own thing going on.”

    This was true in the Wii era where you could buy a Wii for peanuts, and a Wii-360 combo was cheaper than a PS3, but not so much anymore – especially with Mobile Gaming stealing more and more of a chunk of the console market.

    “It might just be me, but all I see is the Inkling flexing her bicep, if the hand is on the bicep or not does not really change the flexing, but the one with the hand can be interpreted as something rude by some people. I honestly think the whole thing has been blown out of proportion.”

    I see an incomplete gesture that doesn’t mean anything now. If it was meant to be a flex now, I’d say they should put more emphasis into it to make the message clear, though that would still be a lame alternative.

  • Off subject but can you explained why I got banned on siliconera today?

  • Shattno

    But you made my point for me, the Wii had bad third party support (mostly due to having weaker hardware) but it still sold like hotcakes. They got the casual users who liked party games and they got the core Nintendo fans who wants to play Mario, Zelda and Metroid.
    The WiiU is a different beast, it had a general lack of games, it only had a few good games (but those games where REALLY good) and lacked the party games, it suffered from horrible marketing (the name alone, jeez), it had some kind of schizophrenia regarding controllers (do I use the pad or wii mote?) and the backwards comparability was squandered as usual.
    And yeah, Nintendo needs to work on their online thing, but still, I don’t think people buy a Nintendo to play COD or Overwatch, but to play first party Nintendo games. Me and most people I know have a PC for games that play good with keyboard and mouse, a PS or XBox for games that play good with a controller and a Nintendo for Nintendo games. If I could, would I play Zelda on my laptop? I don’t know, but I can’t so I have no other choice than to buy a Nintendo, and they know this, It’s their business model.
    And that ties in to mature games, I get what you mean by the perception comes from the games they don’t have, but frankly I don’t know if I (or people in general) would want to play those games on a Nintendo. My Nintendo is special, its the place where Mario, Link and Samus lives, and it’s been that way since I was five and I got my first NES, and I’m not sure I want that to change.

  • Fenrir007

    ” the Wii had bad third party support (mostly due to having weaker hardware) but it still sold like hotcakes. ”

    Yeah, but it wasn’t sustainable growth – something Nintendo realized because casuals buy the system, then 1 or 2 games and that’s it. They also didn’t transfer over to the WiiU, cementing what I’m saying – that third party support is completely necessary for a console survival. The Wii had a gimmick that happened to attract casuals – the motion controls – but even that wasn’t a sure fire way to long lasting success.

    ” but still, I don’t think people buy a Nintendo to play COD or Overwatch, but to play first party Nintendo games. ”

    Of course, but the problem appears when you only have money for one console, which is where most people are at.


    “Me and most people I know have a PC for games that play good with keyboard and mouse, a PS or XBox for games that play good with a controller and a Nintendo for Nintendo games. ”

    Is definitely an outlier, either because most can’t pay or aren’t willing to acquire multiple consoles (either because they are more casual gamers or feel that is wasteful). So, people end up making a choice when purchasing a system: will I choose the console I can play famous third party MP games with my friends, or will I go for the one where I can consume Nintendo games?

    “but frankly I don’t know if I (or people in general) would want to play those games on a Nintendo.”

    Well, they wouldn’t because the lack of hardware would make the experience subpar, and that is part of the problem.

    ” My Nintendo is special, its the place where Mario, Link and Samus lives, and it’s been that way since I was five and I got my first NES, and I’m not sure I want that to change.”

    I think most people don’t have that kind of emotional attachment towards their consoles, they just think of it as the box that allows them to play vidya. If that box was more powerful and had more games, they would be glad for it.

  • Shattno

    But the money the Wii made gave Nintendo the opportunity to try something different, the Wii U, without having to worry about it not being that successful. Players not transferring over has little to do with third party support and more with that people hardly knew what the WiiU was, a lot of people thought it was an add on for the Wii.
    Of course if you only can buy one console and you want to play online games like that, yeah Nintendo is not the best choice. But my entire argument is that there are enough people who just want to play first party Nintendo games for it to work. Sure, my emotional attachment to Nintendo is special and not representative of gamers in general, but I still think there is a lot of people who feel sort of the way I do. For example, there is a lot of people who would not label themselves gamers and wouldn’t even consider playing something like Overwatch, but still habitually buys every single iteration of Zelda, because Zelda is Zelda and Nintendo is Nintendo.
    My entire point is that Nintendo is something different, they don’t really play on the same field as the others, they are a cultural icon, they are something PS and XBox can only dream about.

  • Fenrir007

    Honestly, them being cultural icons didn’t help with the WiiU. It also didn’t help the Gamecube that languished behind the competition, the failed monstruosity that was the Virtual Boy. My point is that just “be Nintendo” is not a guaranteed formula to success. The WiiU had a lot of first party titles, yet that couldn’t get traction to the system to secure even further titles along the road, precisely because of a weak third party support. Let us also not forget that Japan is the biggest country where gamers are quickly shifting from console gaming to smartphone gaming, in part due to their hyperconnected and always on the move life, and that is the biggest single market for Nintendo, meaning third party support will only get more important as time goes on. Also, don’t forget you waste 0 money on a failed third party game, only reap profits from licensing etc, while you have a big risk with first party titles you fund yourself. Having a lot of third parties helps offset the risk involved in funding bolder games, so it also could help you secure a more varied library of first party titles.

    “Wanting to play Nintendo games” also has another component to that equation, which would be “wanting to play Nintendo games enough to spend money on an entirely new system and its multiple peripherals”. This is particularly important in this new landscape of gaming where you have serious competition coming from smartphones due to their escalating power, portability and the fact that everyone has one. People that, unlike you, have limited funds to spend on entertainment will possibly prioritize either keep gaming on smartphones or choosing the system their friends are there playing at – after all, what is more fun: playing Mario Kart with strangers online or Halo with friends?

    PS.: I’m not saying one is better than the other. It would be silly to compare them in the first place.

  • Shattno

    Well no, but the WiiU was a weird one, and it did sell a little short of fourteen million copies, and it was a necessary step to get to the Switch. With the GameCube they tried to have better hardware than the competition and enjoy the benefits from multi platform, only to be outsold by PlayStation 2. The virtual boy was so ahead of its time it’s crazy.
    I’m not saying ditch third party, do third party absolutely, but they need to stay in their niche, because if the go up against Sony an Microsoft and try to compete with them directly with a powerful console comparable to the next XBox or PS they will lose, Sony always wins these things.
    You definitely have a point with the smart phones, they are getting smarter and smarter and less and less phones. I think it’s unavoidable that they will become more like pocket computers that you can plug in to a screen an get a regular computer. A natural development here would be some sort of dock with an external graphics card that you stick your pocket computer into to play games. Both Sony and Microsoft have experience in this field and could adapt, but Nintendo has not, and with their Kyoto level conservatism would they be able to adapt quickly enough? Then again, the switch is basically a nVidia shield with custom firmware, so maybe they are on the right way, who knows?
    For me it’s always been the other way around, Mario Kart with friends and Halo (not necessary Halo, but other shooters) with strangers online, I get your point but I guess it depends on what friends you have.

  • Fenrir007

    It kinda baffles me that no one got right the whole “phone dock as a game” thing. In theory, it sounds so bloody simple, but maybe Sony is afraid of canibalizing their console market by doing that jump. They could have already supplied an HDMI out with their Xperia Play like the debug version had, but I bet they killed it out of fear, and Microsoft feels like they are more interested in selling services instead of hardware since that Azure guy got the helm (and the Xbox might be an exception as a still popular remnant from the past). So that leaves the bloody incompetent Google to do that (they are fucking retards when it comes to gaming) and… well, Apple, who never liked the gaming aspect of their service so much, and were even more reluctant than Google to support that aspect of their store.

    I do think some breakthrough will happen at some point by some company. I firmly believe that breakthrough will happen in the form of a phone with a gamepad, detachable so it doesnt make people associate it with the image of a gaming phone like the Ngage Taco or the Xperia Play (the N95 was a good example. It sold very well, and had multimedia keys on a slider that doubled as a gamepad. Too bad their SDK couldnt take advantage of the GPU acceleration, making the plataform specific games mostly subpar. It also had TV out, which was pretty cool at the time). Maybe the new Motorola will be that one? I think it will be one of those moto mods or something. But it has to be more than just “here, have a gamepad”. It has to be easy to hook up to a TV and play as well.

    Because seriously, let’s face it. Take the average Gameloft doppelganger game and show it to someone on a screen with a gamepad and tell them it costs a fraction of what the actual game it copied would cost and run on hardware they already possess, and I’m sure most will drop whatever console allegiance they have and embrance the cheaper alternative.

  • Shattno

    Yeah it’s a weird thing. But I think you have it right, Google is to busy inventing computers that you wear on your face, Apple never does anything original so someone else has to do it first, Microsoft is more software than hardware, Sony doesn’t want to cannibalize PS. So my most likely would be; Samsung, because they have already made a dock for the S8 and have a huge install base, Asus because the have already done the put-your-cell-phone-in-a-thing thing, HTC mostly because the made the Vive, and Amazon because the have piles of money and are into all sorts of things now a days. Runner up, Facebook, but that would be a horrible experience I feel.

    I do remember the N95, I had one and tried to write software for it, it was a complete disaster. Never again have I set foot in Eclipse.
    But yeah, it needs to be a small and simple dock that you put your phone into and suddenly everything is on your TV, seamlessly. And you have to be able to buy a dock with an external graphics card so you can play in higher resolution and more details. I think it also needs to have some kind of game pad thing that you plop your phone into so you can game on the go without having to use touchscreen controls.
    It basically needs to be the Switch but with a cell phone running everything.

    Honestly the company that makes this thing and gets some developers on board is going to be filthy rich.

  • Fenrir007

    I loved my N95. Nokia was kind of a visionary in some ways when it comes to gaming. Their original Ngage wasn’t a bad idea either, in my opinion, but some questionable choices (like the bloody phone looking like a taco, no external catridge port, the white screen bug, portrait gaming instead of landscape and so on) doomed that idea. But it was sort of visionary, especially if you consider the whole Ngage Arena thing (I think that was what they called it) being the first gaming network for mobile phones ever made (that I’m aware of – maybe Japan had something before, I don’t know) that worked well enough. A pity they made the jump too soon, in an age where mobile internet was sort of a luxury and wasn’t very fast, but there were some pretty good games on that plataform.

    The Ngage 2.0 plataform was pretty decent as well, and Nokia did some interesting things like allowing cross-play between the browser version of a game with Ngage live players (for Reset Generation), but still, like you said, I heard complaints about the SDK, and they didn’t have a strong ecosystem built to sell the games like a Play Store or the Apple Store. There were other mistakes, like the suboptimal d-pad and hard to press media buttons (which you also could only use 2 without external programs, what a shitty decision that was) but that was one of the phones I ever had I liked the most, including for gaming. I wish I could say they learned their lesson, but they kept doing stupid things after stupid things until the company blew up. And it had a fully functional TV out, as well! Something even android is still not quite there on phones without an hdmi out, for some reason (it’s always laggy).

    Let’s hope those companies you mentioned will pick up the slack. I can’t use the Xperia Play as my daily driver anymore, and keychain gamepads are too small to play comfortably on.

  • Shattno

    Yeah it was a really great phone, it was ahead of its time. Nokia have always been visionary and took a lot of chances, sometimes it played out sometimes not. The Ngage idea was one of those things that were so good on paper but never really managed to reach its potential. Apart from the things you mentioned another flaw was their decision to go with with Symbian OS on their phones, it was a terrible operative system, they should have developed something in house like apple and google, preferably something UNIX based so people can actually code for it.
    It also didn’t have a killer app, it needed something like candy crush or angry birds (or Tetris for the Gameboy for that matter), some game that people would constantly play, but at that time developers pretty much ignored the phone scene. And as you say, mobile internet was not that common or fast, and without an app store the entire idea fell apart. They were just a few years to early, if they had waited it could have been great.

    I don’t know why it’s so hard for phone companies to put something on their phones to push video to an external screen, it cant be that hard, it’s really annoying.

    Yeah I really do hope we see some exiting developments soon. We are reaching peak cell phone, where every iteration is less exiting than the last one. All flagships are basically the same. So hopefully the companies will start to experiment to see if the can get sales up by offering something no one else has, and that could lead to some cool stuff.