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Saturday, 27 February 2016

Dear Nintendo...

Dear Nintendo...

By
Alexander Gordon Jahans

Dear Nintendo,

You don't know me and why would you.

I'm not important.

I'm just a PC User.

I am PC for the same reason I was Nintendo in the Nineties and Noughties, I'm broke as fuck and I want the best games.

Now we have differences. Like your policy on letsplays... But I love you. I know I maybe shouldn't since I'm a letsplayer and a PC guy but you have my heart in a way that Valve and Windows really don't, because you care. You really fucking care about your games and your customers.

Gabe Newell and Bill Gates and all the unsung underlings at Microsoft and Valve, they don't care enough as far as I'm concerned. Valve cares only for money and will let unfiltered shit spew onto the marketplace as the fans of Half Life mourn their beloved series and the wretched state they left it in. Windows is anti-competition yet can't compete. The guy who wins monopoly because he landed on Mayfare first. Literally every update of Windows since XP has been a frustrating experience of having them needlessly fuck with a perfect formula to innovate for the sake of selling fresh copies and since the Xbox first came out PC gaming has experienced ludicrous anti competitive competition as not content to leach off Valve's success with PC Microsoft tries to compete with itself. Yes, turn the desktop into a shitty mobile phone and the Xbox One into a shitty TV. That is totally want gamers want Microsoft.

I know the term gamer means dirt at the moment. Especially when applied to an unemployed white man who still lives at home with his mother. But you care. You care about gamers and you don't care in the juvenile "Phwoar! Look at those numbers!" sense. You care about gamers by developing genuinely innovative and interesting control schemes with consoles that are reasonably priced and games that run well and are fun.

I don't care about the Xbox and I don't care about the Playstation because they are capitalist machines for capitalist people. Sorry. Anarcho-capitalist machines for anarcho-capitalist people. Little to no regulation, no identity, no soul, just a vague hope that competition will drive innovation and competence when, like so many other things, all anarcho-capitalism drives is blandness, exploitation and a fixation on ever larger numbers.

My first console was a Nintendo 64 and that's a proper games console. Not a bland numbers machine with the same basic setup. This was innovation into an extra dimension with a controller like a dragon's claw, room for accessories to allow for further innovation and games that while they may look shit today are amazing to play.

So Nintendo, let me play your games again. Let me have all the Pokemon games on the computer legitimately. I will find a way to pay for it. Let me have the Star Fox back catalogue. Let me have the original Goldeneye with Pierce Brosnan that was on the N64 on PC. Let me have the Marios and the Zeldas and Animal Crossings.

I know you're worried about piracy and protecting your IP and I know your first loyalty has to be to your console audience, to those kids you cater to so very well. I'm not asking for freebies. I'm not asking for special attention and if Jim Sterling or Total Biscuit or anyone else starts crowing about shitty optimization for the superior machine they can get to fuck. I have a proposition.

Make it so that if you buy the latest Nintendo console you can get a special, expensive as you like, accessory that when installed allows the use of the Nintendo digital marketplace and the running of Nintendo digital downloads. I don't mind if you choose to require the purchase of each successive generation of console to access the latest generations assortment of digital downloads. I don't mind if you want to make the accessory only work with the detection of a physical copy of the game in the Nintendo console. I will pay the money, I will jump through the hoops. Just let me play your games on my PC.

Sell me accessories and controllers, sell me dlc, sell me Amiibo and make me buy Pokemon cards again, I don't care. This is your wide open invitation to exploit the PC market and so pay for better IP for your consoles to drive their sales and encourage third party IP to transfer more readily to your systems.

There are people reading this now who will be screaming that I'm a fool because if I wanted, if I could be fucked and if I could find a way to stomach it I could easily emulate a vast majority of the Pokemon games  and the Mario games. They are right. Totally right. You refuse to sell Pokemon on PC and so we pirate it instead of buy it. The trouble is though that it just doesn't sit right with me.

Lord Gaben and the Esteemed Gates have each profited from me during a period when things have been so very dark for me so please Honourable Miyamoto let me buy from you as well. Find a way to let PC gamers legitimately legally and officially purchase and play Nintendo IP on their computers. You'll be opening up a new revenue stream and recognising fans who have always been there.

Yours, very sincerely,

A life long loyal fan, despite our differences on some points.

Alexander Gordon Jahans