Is Nintendo Making a Mistake by Excluding a Wii U Achievement System?

Xbox’s achievements, Steam’s achievements and PlayStation’s trophies are a neat little feature. The addition of this external reward system adds longevity, encourages extra challenges and builds your Xbox Live or PSN profile with an gamerscore or trophy list, compiling all of your gaming accomplishments in one place. Nintendo, known for ignoring such trends and doing their own thing with consoles, chose not to include a similar system on the Wii or 3DS. With the Wii U fast approaching, speculation and debate have arisen once again regarding whether or not Nintendo will finally implement a mandatory reward system this time.

5th Cell’s (developer of Scribblenauts Unlimited) CEO Jeremiah Slaczka confirmed on NeoGAF that, once again, the Wii U will not include a universal reward system of its own.

“There are no Wii U accomplishments that are system wide. They are up to the developers to include or not include. Scribblenauts Unlimited loosely has them in the form of ‘Global Starite Shards’ which is like a giant checklist of global things to spawn and do in the game that aren’t area specific.”

While you may not be surprised to hear that Nintendo is continuing refusal of the concept, it does seem a little more unusual this time around considering how much the company is pushing online features on Wii U. With the Miiverse and ditching of friend codes, Nintendo clearly want people to stay connected with each other on the console. So, are Nintendo indeed missing a trick on the new system?

Opinion of the whole achievement/trophy ordeal seems incredibly divided. There are those who enjoy pursuing them and the meta-game of increasing one’s profile reputation, while others could not care less and actively despise the idea. Myself? I don’t prioritise earning achievements over my gameplay experience, but I do appreciate their existence and there have been times when I found particular achievements fun to go for. I don’t attempt to unlock them on every game I play, but I do appreciate having the option, and it can be easily ignored as it doesn’t obstruct the game’s potential.

From a financial standpoint, there’s a possibility that Nintendo could have appealed to marginally larger audience with an accomplishment system in place, with many gamers now accustomed to having an achievement/trophy notification as they progress through a game. However, I sincerely doubt that this will affect their success to a noticeable degree, and in fact I’m sure many will respect Nintendo once again placing their effort solely on innovation and fun, rather cashing in on what is popular in their competition.

What’s more, just because there’s no built-in system in place doesn’t mean that similar, internal reward list can’t be implemented. We’ve already seen this happen with many Nintendo games already: Resident Evil: Revelations, Xenoblade Chronicles and Kid Icarus: Uprising are a few examples. Some, like Super Smash Bros. Brawl, even take the concept further by awarding the player with usuble extras. While achievements are certainly nice, they offer very little aside from bragging rights. The lack of an already existing integration may even encourage developers to implement more fulfilling rewards for players who are interested in some extra challenge.

Once again, Nintendo are doing their own thing, but that’s why I love the company and why they’ve maintained a successful business for all these years. With achievements already available elsewhere across other platforms and with everything else the Wii U already offers, I believe there’s much more exciting possibilities that the system can offer.

Tell us what you think! Are you disappointed by this decision, or do you not care in the slightest?