For the past two years, I’ve attended Nintendo’s press conference at E3. And for the past two years, I hung out in line with the fine folks over at Pure Nintendo. Good people, with a love for the subject matter. In fact, they love Nintendo so much that when Nintendo Power ceased publication earlier this year, Pure Nintendo rose to fill the void.
After a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised over $22,000, Pure Nintendo had the funding they needed to launch Pure Nintendo Magazine, a more robust and content-rich version of their digital-only Pure Nintendo publication launched in October 2011.
And hey, what better time to fill our mailboxes with gaming goodness than right before the launch of a new Nintendo system, right? As such, I decided to shoot Pure Nintendo founder Justin Sharp some questions to learn just how this all came together.
Gamertell: With the Wii U launch just around the corner, it seems you couldn’t have picked a better time to launch Pure Nintendo Magazine. Was that the intention from the start, or just lucky timing?
Justin Sharp: It was definitely our goal to be able to deliver the first issue of Pure Nintendo Magazine before the launch of the Wii U. I think it worked out nicer than we had hoped, so there’s definitely been some lucky timing involved. We expected a good response, but we were really floored by all the positive feedback we’ve received so far. One of my main motivators for doing the magazine was definitely the Wii U launch, and when I heard about Nintendo Power going away right as the Wii U was coming out, I was even more motivated to develop the magazine as quickly as possible.
Gamertell: Your Kickstarter campaign to launch the magazine ended with 258 backers but raised over $22,000. Do you think it was mostly the loss of Nintendo Power that drove donors to you, or just the excitement of what Nintendo has going on right now?
Sharp: I think most of the backers were more interested because of Nintendo Power ceasing production than just general excitement about the Wii U. Probably a majority were curious since we committed to doing a print magazine when most other magazines were closing or switching to digital only. I think providing a digital version is important going forward, but there’s really no comparison to the quality/resolution you can get with print. High DPI tablets are starting to change a little of that, but for people that don’t have the money to get an expensive tablet, print is still king of both value and quality.
Gamertell: How are you striking a balance between content for the “instant” news website vs. material that’ll be delayed for the print/digital magazine?
Sharp: For the most part it hasn’t been a huge issue differentiating the two. We continue to offer the latest Nintendo news on our website, which contains everything from press releases, screenshots, videos, and interviews; but we saw a huge opportunity to offer an alternative to complement the website. We plan our interviews, previews, and reviews for the magazine and then also offer more commentary for the daily news in each issue. Also, by providing the “Top News” section at the end of each magazine, we can provide our subscribers with the best of both worlds. Not only can they get the high-quality art, previews, and interviews, but they can get a recap of all the major items from the past two months.
Gamertell: Regarding the Wii U, what game are you most looking forward to getting your hands on right now?
Gamertell: We recently ran an article discussing what as-of-yet unannounced Wii U games we’d like to see show up on the new system. Care to weigh in?
Sharp: I’ve actually been playing the new Professor Layton game on the 3DS and I must say it would be perfect for the Wii U. Imagine using the Wii U GamePad to look around the village in 360 degrees and being able to solve puzzles with the stylus/touchscreen. If developers are smart, I think you’ll see a lot of design concepts from the DS adapted for the Wii U. There are a lot of creative DS games that would be great on the Wii U. Obviously there is a ton of potential for Zelda and Star Fox on the Wii U, but I can’t wait to see what we see from Metroid on the system.
I’d like to thank Justin for answering my questions during what is obviously a busy but exciting time over a Pure Nintendo. The magazine is being released bi-monthly, and subscriptions are available at $20 for one year of the print edition, $10 for digital. Learn more at purenintendo.com/magazine/.
Read all entries in the Wii U Countdown.