RIP Nintendo Power

In the past I’ve stopped just short of welcoming the passing of print gaming magazines, demanding they go digital in order to regain my attention, but the latest closure hit me deep.

Nintendo Power was the first gaming magazine I ever subscribed to, my first real constant source of gaming news, and probably the reason I’m even interested in games coverage today. The magazine is what ultimately led me to my current professional field of interest.

My 15+ year subscription to NP actually ended a couple years back or so shortly after I missed Future Publishing’s renew notifications. While I didn’t have much material use for the magazine anymore, I never felt that it had lost its value. It was the bedrock for around a decade of my Nintendo fanboyism, and its closure is to me the ultimate signal of the end of an era in games coverage.

Right from the beginning my NP subscription went hand in hand with my Nintendo fandom right after buying an N64. It was the first time I had ever become interested in what was actually happening in the games industry as a whole, especially Nintendo at the time. This was still a year or two before the internet became the main stage in gaming news, so NP was actually my main place to go for release dates and information on new games. I remember opening up my first issue and towards the back seeing the first images of “Zelda 64”. Up until that point I had never wanted any game more than that one.

Yeah most of the magazine was thinly veiled Nintendo marketing, but back then I saw it as an oasis from what felt like overwhelming anti-Nintendo bias from other publications. It was my only gaming magazine subscription for a very long time.

I remember when a huge part of the magazine was actually mini strategy guides for games. How many current magazines even do that anymore? NP probably helped me get through at least half my N64 library.

A lot of people still don’t know about the reboot the magazine underwent in 2005 where it became a much more legit publication. With a new visual style, their reviews and especially previews definitely went up a notch, and their eventual transfer to Future Publishing from Nintendo added some much-needed credibility. Ironically this was when I needed the magazine less, but respected it more.

As with magazines in general though, I would’ve probably stayed much more interested if they’d started a digital edition. I don’t want magazines to go away – far from it. I think we still need the monthly edition format – it gives time for real thick stories to develop into something you can’t get into today’s headline-driven internet world. I just think we need periodical editions in a digital format. PlayStation just announced they were doing this, and I think Official Xbox Magazine is doing it too along with others. It looks like Nintendo – not allowing Future to publish a digital edition, is the odd man out once again.

I actually kinda had fantasies about Nintendo holding out so they could have you reading NP on your Wii U GamePad while playing a game, or offering it in some other digital format direction from the Wii U and 3DS eShop. Maybe they think Nintendo Direct and their other previews are enough.

Whatever the reason, for me at least, print media is on its way out. The format should definitely survive, but in a way that might save some trees.

BULLETS:

  • Cliff Blezinski perfectly sums up my thoughts: http://kotaku.com/5936841/
  • This game called Chilvalry has gone from “not even on my radar” to “one of my most anticipating fall games”: http://t.co/J77HJar8 It’s basically an online medieval combat game, based on a 2007 Source mod. I like how it tries to depict medieval battles with at least some air of authenticity instead of what most fantasy RPGs and melee action games do these days.
  • I’d written off Sony’s Wonderbook until now: http://t.co/K29zP86j One of the books being made for it looks like a noir story… about a private detective framed for the murder of Humpty Dumpty.
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21 thoughts on “RIP Nintendo Power

  1. S.C. says:

    I stopped following a long time ago, but I used to get Nintendo Power. I’m pretty surprised they never transitioned into a digital format, considering how successful they’ve been with the Wii and the DS.

  2. I stopped my subscription to them awhile ago, they have not proven to be very entertaining.

  3. Ammon says:

    I remember picking up the first issue of Nintendo Power and thinking to my 8 year old self, “finally, there’s a magazine written just for me!”

    I loved every column in each magazine back then. Sad that it’s going out of print, but as I haven’t picked up an issue in probably 20 years it comes as no shock either.

  4. Matt Mason says:

    I’ve seen a lot of reactions along the lines of “I used to love Nintendo Power and I’m sad it’s going away…but I haven’t subscribed in years.”

    That about sums up why things are the way they are.

    But I digress; I’d love to see a digital edition of NP.

  5. madhaus7 says:

    I’m studying for journalism degree and have had time to talk to a few working journalists on the topic of print journalism. It seems to be nobody thinks print is going anywhere anytime soon. It is obvious that it does not have the same market it once did and that the internet has taken up a lot of traffic but I just don’t see print material ever going extinct. It’s a special feeling to be able to hold an actual piece of literary material rather than reading everything off a monitor. NP should not be ignorant to digital publishing though and should certainly have an outlet to appeal to more of an audience.

  6. Bredbånd says:

    w visual style, their reviews and especially previews definitely went up a notch, and their eventual transfer to Future Publishing from Nintendo added some much-needed credibility. Ironically this was when I needed the magazine less, but respected it more.

  7. Mick Grundy says:

    Very sad to see it go, but if it is not selling I suppose there is no other option.
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  8. emahadeo says:

    Nintendo is where it’s at. I’m talking SuperMarios 1 and 3. Could never get excited about another gaming system, no matter how compelling or fantastic…

  9. Nintendo Power is a nostalgia train — nowadays, I could likely pick one of them up and read the whole thing cover-to-cover, absorbing every damn minute of my childhood over again.

    The death of Nintendo Power has been a long time coming, unfortunately. The Internet and YouTube killed it and killed it hard.

    I was going to write an article about this very same thing, but you nailed pretty much every point perfectly on the head!

  10. gamesfemme says:

    I was so sad to hear this news. I have been subscribing to this mag for years and have a whole stack of issues sitting on my bedroom floor. It’s too bad we won’t get to see NP’s coverage of the Wii U.

  11. kthorpe says:

    Wow, this brought back memories for me. I never had the magazine, but I well remember the awesomeness that was Nintendo when I was a kid. :) Also I love your comment about magazine hardcopies needing to stay, in addition to digital editions. My favorite magazine, National Review, was one that I had read for a long time online only, but now I get the monthly mag too and I completely agree. The articles are just more developed and deep than the ones online, great as those are. Great post and many congrats on the FP :)

  12. I had the magazine right when I got my first Game Boy in the 1990s. Even though I was a Pokemon fan, that segued into Nintendo fandom for me (much like how Pokemon was my gateway to anime and manga). I had a large NIntendo library until my former landlord in Canada threw away a lot of my stuff.

    R.I.P. Nintendo Power.

  13. TF700 Price says:

    It is pretty sad, really takes me down memory lane (trying to beat Tyson in the classic Mike Tyson’s Punch out)
    Thanks for sharing and congrats on the FP! :)

  14. lol! my condolences!!!! RIP.

  15. chaotican says:

    We’ll always have the Nintendo books. I still own “Mastering Nintendo Games”, complete with walkthroughs. Ah, those were the days when you could play a video game with no more than 5% of your mind and soul.

  16. Z says:

    I had no idea they still printed Nintendo Power

  17. magazine was never the same after nintendo of america left…my brother just got a mint condition issue #1 though! still my favorite magazine for gaming related content. ^^

  18. Tom says:

    Had it in the old school NES days. Helped me beat Super Mario Bros. 3. Thanks for sharing

  19. melichar says:

    Everybody loves Nintendoooo !!!! :)

  20. M.C. James says:

    I used to be a subscriber too. I didn’t realize they were pulling the plug on it; that’s a shame.

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