Why the Nintendo Switch Marks a Big Change in Nintendo's Strategy
Since 2006 and the release of the Wii, Nintendo has targeted families, children, and people outside of the traditional hardcore gaming market.
Well, what worked for the Wii did not work for the Wii U. Call it overconfidence, call it misguidedness -- but any way you put it, Nintendo's success selling 100 million Wii units didn't translate to the Wii U.
With only 13.3 million units sold, the Wii U was an utter failure commercially. Despite great titles like Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Splatoon, Super Mario 3D World, and a handful of other great games, the Wii U could never get off the ground.
I love my Wii U, but for Nintendo the system was a bit of an embarrassment. Now with the Nintendo Switch, gaming's most beloved company could turn things around. The audience, the system components, and the third party partnerships have all changed.
The system, while nothing is confirmed, seems much more powerful. The reveal trailer shows Skyrim being played on the Switch's tablet, marking the first time that a premier Bethesda RPG is on a Nintendo console. A group of friends also seemed to be playing NBA 2K17 in the trailer, the latest entry in the NBA 2K series
The power of the console is also made evident by the third party partners that are suddenly aligned with Nintendo. Frankly, I don't think that many of these huge developers would partner with the Nintendo Switch without knowing that the system could handle the games that they want to put out.
Something else that should be noted about the Switch's release trailer is the audience. There was no goofy song playing in the background with kids sitting on the floor playing Splatoon.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with kids playing Nintendo Switch games -- in fact, that will still be a big part of Nintendo's audience.
But gaming has matured. Adults play video games, and adults have buying power. Nintendo is finally trying to appeal to the 30-somethings who play games -- a smart move seeing as how 30-somethings are the ones who grew up playing Nintendo games in the first place.
While there is still so much information that we don't know, I think that this trailer is promising. Nintendo appears to have learned from their mistakes. A console that is powerful, attracts third party developers, but still makes the same great Nintendo games is exactly what I want. Now all we need is a new Metroid.
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