RIP: Nintendo Power

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Nintendo Power Issue 1 Cover

Nintendo Power is closing its doors after 24 years, and even though Nintendo themselves have not been publishing the magazine for the last 5 years, they licensed it out to Future Publishing back in September 2007, this still comes as sad news. Not surprising news, but sad. After GamePro fell last year it seemed like only a matter of time before more gaming magazines followed, and with the internet being abundant with video game sites that can update on a moments notice it just seemed like print was going to fade.

Of course Nintendo Power, EGM and GamePro were the three staple magazines I would pick up every time I went to Encore Books, B. Dalton, Borders, or Barnes and Noble, and with the trouble those names have seen recently it’s no wonder that print media is having a tough time staying a float. EGM is still going strong, as are the official Xbox and Playstation magazines (also published by Future Publishing) so how come Nintendo, who for better or worse have always been concurrently a step ahead and behind the rest of the industry. Most of their game innovation, game play mechanics, tech and ideas have paved the way for the future but they have notoriously been lacking in online support, and even when they do try to catch up with the times they do something asinine like making you use friend codes that are impossible to remember in order to see your friends online.

They have been talking more about the internet and interaction with it in tandem with their current and future consoles. The 3DS has a video channel where the Nintendo people can keep everyone current of the most important games coming out, along with other original and shared content. They recently released New Super Mario Bro’s 2 on the 3DS e-shop and in stores at the same time. They are able to keep their users abreast of new important information, and even some sales gimmicks, through the 3DS home menu. Maybe it all makes sense that they would obliterate this piece of physical media, a mascot of the past.

Then there is the other question of, “When was the last time you picked up a Nintendo Power?” It’s been years, honestly. This could all be my fault, if only I was a better fan. I just never had the need to buy an issue. Bringing up the website was just as easy, if not easier than heading out to the store, and if Nintendo Power didn’t have the review or feature I wanted then fuck it, I wouldn’t have bought it anyway. But no matter how overly dickish my attitude was that day Nintendo Power was always there. That’s the killer. It was a monument, a corner-stone of games journalism.  A giant in its own right, accompanied by the towering company behind it. Not so much because of the quality, but because of what it stood for.

What does a giant stand for after it’s been vanquished? A rotting carcass in the sun for all the world to see is a much more powerful statement these days than the same corpse in a throne pretending it was alive.

Good on you Nintendo for really committing to forward thinking and the internet, finally. You’re casting off the shackles of the past and always have a trick or two up your sleeves. Whatever is next will surely have people talking, after that who knows. One giant step at a time.

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