Nintendo has been a game development company since the dawn of gaming itself, and recently with their newest console—the Nintendo Switch—they’ve made changes that are worth taking a look at. Notable games last year, like Super Mario Odyssey and Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, grabbed most everyone’s attention in the gaming community. I think that Nintendo has positioned themselves well for another successful year as they continue to work on major titles. Of course with this in mind there is the chance for them to take a misstep, which we will be discussing as well.
First let’s take a look at their general direction. With the Switch introducing some pretty neat ways to use hardware, I have a feeling they will make some bold moves with new ideas, with the first of these being the Nintendo Labo. In regards to the Labo itself, I think it is a fun way to showcase what the Switch can do in addition to giving tools to creative minds to make simple games. But overall not something that will be loved by the majority, and I have a feeling they know that as well. But we will have to see what other crazy ideas they introduce as the year goes on.
As far as games go, Nintendo has always had a basic formula to use. Make a few big games for their iconic characters, release a few sequels to well known games, and introduce some new type of game which gets close to the edge of simply being a failed indie experiment. With this pattern they have been successful, however I think that now the Switch has solid titles on it in addition to the addition of classic third party games, Nintendo may start introducing new styles of gameplay that they don’t usually branch into. For example the new Metroid game that’s in the works, if they try something new it could be a huge success. But knowing Nintendo and their fans, going with what they know works might be their best bet.
Though with new ideas on the horizon, there is always the potential for those ideas to crash and burn. If Nintendo isn’t careful and they don’t continue to deliver those iconic titles we’ve come to know and love, they could get in trouble. On top of that, they have had gimmicky products in the past such as their Virtual Boy, so if they start trying too much out of the ordinary, they may find themselves back in the age of the Wii U… and I know that no one wants to go back there.
The future of Nintendo looks stable for the time being, and this year is a good year for them to continue moving forward with leaps and bounds, or to go backwards and lose their customer’s confidence. But I guess for now we will just have to wait and see.
Author: Joseph Musgrove