Nintendo and the Dominance of Mario
I don't know the last time I touched my Nintendo Wii. Good games aren't released for it that often. Almost every game I want to play ends up being for the Xbox 360 or the PC. I wonder why?
I think one of the main problems is the lack of solid third party games on Nintendo systems. Nintendo itself always releases good games, but third party developers take a look at their systems and decide to develop for one of the other consoles or PC. On top of this there is so much shovelware on the Wii that it is often hard to find a game that is even remotely decent.
The first party games that Nintendo creates and releases are great in comparison! This results in the dominance of Mario on the system. I only own one non-Nintendo created game - Boom Blox - for the Wii. Of all the Wii games I have 75% of them have Mario as a character.
The benefit that comes out of this for Nintendo is that they have little competition on their own system, so they can dominate the market. In the latest Game Informer I noticed that Mario Kart Wii has been in the top 20 games list - all games, all systems - for 22 weeks. That's crazy. But, with so many people buying Wiis and the lack of competition in the Wii game market I guess it isn't that surprising.
With the other consoles there are AAA games released on a regular basis. It makes for a lot more competition in the market and a lot more playtime on those consoles. Do I want to try the latest and greatest or should I play Mario Kart Wii... again? Guess which one I pick.
Nintendo will keep on churning out Mario games and I'll keep buying them, but they need to do more to lure third party developers to their system.