The Nintendo Switch is just over a year old. It has sold more units in its first year than the Wii U sold in its life span. Smash is coming in 2018. Octopath Traveller and a ton of indie titles are coming to the Switch as well.
So that’s got people hyped on the Nintendo train and it’s not stopping until it crashes, right?
Well not really. Depending on who you talk to there’s a wide range of reactions.
You got Arlo all the way to Just buy a Wii U. (insert Top Hat gaming Man) with RGt 85 and Smash JT in the middle.
I personally fall on the satisfied side. Nintendo has been providing some decent pacing with a spoonful of hype mixed in. Metroid Prime 4 came out of left field. This direct, being 3 months from E3, I wasn’t really expecting a lot. But I was pleasantly surprised.
But there were a lot of people who didn’t think Nintendo did enough to pique their interest. Some people going so far as to call the Switch a port machine with no original content. Uh. What.
I’m not a Nintendo Fanboy – there are a ton of faults with the Nintendo Switch and the rest of Nintendo’s practices. They’re far from a perfect company. The Wii U was a huge marketing misstep and overall disappointment for the company.
But now with the Switch it seems they’re learning from past mistakes. One of the biggest issues Nintendo faced is that they appeared to be at least a decade behind everyone else in terms of marketing and fan engagement. It used to be you could just say a game is coming, and then release it in a couple years and people would rejoice, but now you need to release stuff within the year or fans get restless.
So why does this seem to happen with Nintendo products? A couple years ago, Nintendo fans expressed what needed to be done to make them happy, Nintendo actually did the majority of this and now Nintendo fans aren’t impressed.
In 1 year, Nintendo was able to go from an anemic system to a robust platform luring in third party developers and pumping out enough games per month to rival Sony and Microsoft.
But that’s not good enough apparently. Nintendo seems to be the company that everyone loves to hate now a days. Release a system that only the hardcore want to buy? – The fans say Nintendo needs to appeal to the masses. Nintendo appeals to the masses, but now they’re apparently doing a disservice to all the hardcore fans.
Nintendo Labo? – Nintendo fans don’t want cardboard. What is Nintendo doing?!
Wii U Ports – Nintendo, I already played them, you need to make new games for me to play.
Smash on Switch in 2018 – Nintendo, I don’t play Smash, what about Thousand Year Door?
Lugi’s Mansion on 3DS – Nintendo, I don’t play the 3DS anymore. Kill it and start making games on the switch.
The list goes on. Nintendo fans have become jaded and I think it’s because there’s just so much coming in waves. Nintendo releases a Direct every couple of months which is a lot compared to Sony and Microsoft who typically only announce games twice a year. E3 being the biggest fanfare.
We get so much information from Nintendo that people are already talking about the next Nintendo Direct which will probably be at the end of May. I’d worry that Nintendo is showing their hand too early, but they’ve done a good job of only announcing things when they’re ready to release. The exception being Metroid Prime 4 and Switch Pokémon game. I know frustration had mounted when Breath of the Wild continued to be delayed and it’s now apparent they did so to release it with the Switch.
Now I’m not saying some of the criticism is unfounded – Full Priced ports of games from a previous generation are kind of ridiculous. Also the Switch has a lot to go through software wise to become incredibly robust – Netflix, Transfer Shares/cloud saves, Online, legacy digital titles aka Virtual console.
But it seems that Nintendo could do everything the hardcore fan base asked for and someone would still find a way to find fault with it.