Last ditch Switch

I know the title implies a pretty negative connotation to what I’m about to lay down – but trust me – it isn’t.

I haven’t been this excited for anything Nintendo since the N64 released Pokemon Stadium! I mean, I’ve bought every Nintendo console since the dawn of time…Or, you know, had it bought for me. Not a lot of disposable income in 1987 being that I was 4.Though, admittedly, both iterations of the Wii were giant flops. Not just for me either and I don’t need to go through the list either. If you read through my previous posts, you know how I feel about the Wii (U).

But the Switch holds a hell of a lot of promise for Nintendo. If they handle this right – they could completely turn their company around. And just in time too. Because if this doesn’t take, well, see the title. Time to hang up the ole’ spurs.

Here’s what’s on my mind:

Nintendo, for a long time, has been a much better software developer than hardware. And, frankly, that’s been true since the N64. Things have been going downhill since then. I’m sorry Gamecube die-hards, but you know I’m right. But one thing Nintendo does extremely well is make hand-held consoles. Vita who? Sony, you really shouldn’t have bothered. But the 3DS is doing, and historically has done, really well. Now just think of it – a home/hand-held console. The lack of divergence in R&D, both teams working towards one end – that’s a winning idea. And the promise that holds – oh boy. We may get what we’ve (read me) been asking for for a long time – a fully 3D rendered Pokemon game! Of course, all of this is operating on the premise that there won’t be a heir to the 3DS throne. Since 3D is a fad of the past, one can only hope that the successor will be the Switch. I mean, it only makes sense to focus all of the effort on one machine.

Now, I’m sure a lot of you are skeptical, and I understand. So am I. I’ve been burnt twice too. I bought both of the last consoles at full retail and regretted it. But, like many of you, I will be in there in March picking up my switch.

I also know a lot of you are reading this, saying: “But Ego, how is it going to compete against the PS4 and Xbone?”

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To you I say: It doesn’t have to. Nintendo has always exited in a curious niche of the industry. The gimmick niche. And I think that the Switch will continue to exist there as well. But if they can put out an offering that at least matches the visuals of the generation (I’m not talking PS4 Pro and Scorpio) – I think that the Switch will have a lot to offer. The hardware difference has never been a real deterrent for people buying Nintendo consoles anyway.

Now, this is the part where I talk about the meaning behind the title. In my ever so humble opinion – this is it for Nintendo. This is their absolute, dying on the vine, last ditch effort at being a hardware developer (outside of maybe sticking to just handheld games, but I really don’t see the point of that). If the Switch doesn’t succeed – take my advice -hang it up. Do yourself (and your investors) a favour and become a software developer. That is something Nintendo does very well. License your titles to Sony and Microsoft. Let them shoulder the burden on losing money on consoles. You’ve proved you can win on platforms other than the home console – look at Pokemon Go. Hell, strike an exclusivity deal with Sony or Microsoft and let them take Mario, Luigi, Link, Zelda, Donkey and Pikachu under their umbrellas and just watch the truckloads of cash pile up. With the winning franchises you’ve created, you don’t need to make the system to play them on too. It worked for Sega.

– The Ego

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