Since 1980 Nintendo has held a monopoly on handheld gaming. From the Gameboy Color all the way to the New Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo has had minimal competition in this market. With the release of the Nintendo Switch on March 3, 2017 many questions have arisen. Being the world’s first “hybrid console”, since it’s both handheld and a console that can be played through the television, it really shakes up the world of gaming. Having the New Nintendo 3DS and the Switch can possibly result in Nintendo competing with itself and causing self-cannibalization. So, what’s the next move for them?
A lot of 3DS owners only have them to play one of the world’s most famous and profitable franchises, Pokémon. Game Freak, the developer behind Pokémon, has recently announced that Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, released on November 17, 2017, would be the last main title released for the New 3DS. All games after that will be released on the Nintendo Switch. In my opinion, this may not be the most profitable at first, but it will be in the future.
There are several reasons why I believe that it will not be profitable right away. The original price point of the New Nintendo 3DS was $199.99 and the price of the Nintendo Switch is $300. That doesn’t sound so bad, except for the fact that the New Nintendo 3DS only has a resale value of $60. That doesn’t put a huge dent in the cost of buying a Switch. In the first 3 months the Switch sold 4.7 million units, while the New Nintendo 3DS sold 4.3 million units in the first 3 months.
Nintendo moving everything over to the Switch has its advantages and disadvantages. Obviously, the graphics would be way better on the Switch. The Switch also has a much better multiplayer interface than the 3DS. The Switch has also been experiencing some problems that might make people not want to buy it right away. There have been multiple cases of the controllers (joy-cons) not connecting to the system. Also, the charging points have not worked for many Switch owners. There have even been some cases of Switches not turning on.
How is Nintendo going to handle this switch? They could do some kind of trade-in deal for 3DSs’ for more money. Nintendo could also just count on 3DS players to splash out the cash and switch to the switch. Another probable thing is for them to just discontinue 3DS games. So what do you think? The switch over sounds messy but will it be worth it in the end?
As many of you have experienced, you buy a new device or download a new software update on the first day it releases. Well when you do that, there are bound to be some glitches with the software. This is what I call “First Day Glitches.” Many companies have this problem including some of the best companies out there. Whether it be Apple, Nintendo, or even Microsoft, it’s basically inevitable.
First let’s start out with Apple and their recent update iOS 11 that launched on September 18th, 2017. This is exactly one week after the iPhone 8 and iPhone X launch. On the first day, many users were experiencing issues. One of those issues was with the iPad, with graphics that were completely out of whack. The user would unlock the screen, and right away the bar that includes all of your favorite apps would be in the middle of the screen. This made it impossible to get to some of your apps that were underneath that bar. Another problem users ran into was with Apple Pay. Some people reported that Apple Pay would not work, or would completely crash when they tried to use it.
With this new update, Apple added a new feature that records your screen while you use it. Although this was a good idea on Apple’s end, it didn’t have the greatest first impression. Users would start recording and their iPhone would freeze or wouldn’t record audio like it was supposed to. The only way to unfreeze your phone was restarting it.
Apple isn’t the only company to have these kinds of problems. Nintendo had had a couple of pretty big issues when they first launched new products. One of those issues was with the JoyCon controllers not being able to connect to the screen when in portable mode. This raised many red flags because it is one of the key points for the switch being both portable like a GameBoy or stationary like a console. The other major issue with the Switch was that the screen would glitch to the point of not being able to see your game or control it at all. This video shows the extent of problems that it caused for many people.
The last company is Microsoft, and they problems they encountered with their launch of the Xbox One. On the first day, Microsoft released their “Day One edition” of the console which had some problems of its own. The “Green Screen of Death” was the biggest issue among them all. On the first startup of the console, the screen would freeze on the screen shown below. Many people got lucky and just unplugged their console and restarted it but some people had to send it back to Microsoft to get fixed. Gamers that also played on the Xbox 360 compared this to the “Red Ring of Death” which cost Microsoft nearly $1 Billion.
Many other Microsoft gamers complained about the optical disc drive either not reading discs or making a crunching noise when the disc was inserted. Along with that, the download times of games was very slow, but the explanation for this is based on how large the game files are in order to provide such high-quality graphics. The higher the graphic quality, the bigger the file will be. This is one of those times you have to decide what you would rather have. Quality graphics and slow download time? Or Bad graphics and fast download time? Read more here.
Overall, these companies are great companies even with their flaws, and it is impossible to be perfect. These examples are why I always wait a few days or a few weeks until getting that new device or downloading that new software. If you wait most of the major bugs and glitches will be taken care of.
Here are a few questions to think about. Are you one of the many that have to have the newest thing right away? Or do you wait?
If you were involved with one of these companies, what would you recommend doing differently to make the first day go smoother?
And what are some other examples that you have bought or downloaded something on the first day it released that had some glitches like these?
What’s all this commotion about a “Nintendo Switch?” If you live under a rock and haven’t heard yet, the Nintendo Switch is Nintendo’s new gaming console that is both a home console and portable gaming system hybrid, allowing gamers to play games in their homes and on the go.
Why is there such a hype for Nintendo’s console in the first place? Nintendo is a strong brand and has a strong fan base. Nintendo has captured the hearts of many gamers from the Nintendo 64, to the Wii, along with many of their iconic IP characters such as Mario and Link. No wonder the Switch looks successful even before its official launch!
There were many rumors about the Nintendo Switch before the official reveal. While that could be bad for the company, one wonders if those leaks were intentional. It certainly helped enhance the already existing hype for the new console. And the rumors were very detailed, stating before any crucial information about the console was officially revealed that it would be a hybrid console.
Nintendo needed to switch things up. Which is why the Switch is so perfect. It’s innovative and what the consumers want! Plus, the product itself works well, many who have already gotten the chance to hold a Switch have stated that it just feels right.
The name itself is clever and works brilliantly. It’s catchy and tells the consumer what the product is all about: switching up the gameplay. Even their advertisement as well as the Switch short animation logo are quick, simple, effective & catchy. You won’t be able to have that little animation and click sound out of your head.
The Campaign Switch!
The Switch’s campaign itself was fairly simple. It started out with a system reveal trailer that clearly shows what this new gaming system is all about. However, it is missing commentary and other key information such as an official game lineup and release date. The missing information may have been also used to enhance the already high hype surrounding this console.
This trailer was followed a few months later by an official one hour long Nintendo Switch Presentation which aired and was streamed worldwide live. In it, Nintendo officials showed off and explained various features and games that will be coming out the Nintendo Switch.
Many ads were also released afterwards, as well as some airing during the key time frame for American audiences: The Super bowl. Nintendo also uses a lot of social media, especially twitter to let their fans know when and how new information about the new console will be released.
The most confusing aspect of Switch’s campaign, is it timeline. Why all the wait? Why was the NX (Nintendo’s Switch working title) not revealed at E3 (a summer gaming convention, known for its gaming consoles and games reveals)? Why was the Switch revealed by a short trailer with no commentary and followed with no new information for months until the presentation?
While many people argue that this is a failure of the Switch’s campaign, I see more potential in its reasoning behind it. I believe this timeline was intentional to add even more hype to the console. Since the console was surrounded by a lot of mystery and many fans, this wait made them even more excited and curious for this console. Even when rumors started surfacing that Nintendo wasn’t going to be able to make a console by March 2017 (since there was no new information regarding the console officially from Nintendo for a long time) and that the NX was already dead, everyone was getting their wallets out, excitingly waiting for any new information they could get. Carefully teasing, one by one its fans, Nintendo found a new and innovate way to hype up their new product before its launch!
The Overall Switch?
Overall the Nintendo Switch has a very effective campaign. The product itself works, its ads are simple and clear and the console is living off its hype. What about you? What do you think? Are you excited for Nintendo’s new console? Do you plan on getting it on its release, March 3 2017? Do you plan on getting it in the future? Do you think it will succeed or is it getting to much hype and will come crashing down as a disappointment?
Nintendo is a company that rides an interesting juxtaposition, between assured, knowing innovation, and a staggering amount of tradition. They are at once the most innovative company in the video games industry, and the most starkly conservative…never embracing the profane, but certainly the profound.
Nintendo has 10 years of seniority on Sony’s PlayStation division, and almost 20 on Microsoft’s Xbox, as well as seeing the rise and fall of their greatest competitor, SEGA, in the 1990s. They single-handedly saved the entire industry from collapse with the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) & Super Mario Bros in 1985, lighting the spark that gave birth to the industry we know today.
Flash forward to today, and Nintendo finds itself in a difficult position. PlayStation & Xbox have the hearts & minds of the hardcore, traditional gamers. Better graphics, robust online services & complete support from the third-parties. Meanwhile Apple has a complete grip on everyone under the age of 13. The iPhone plays plenty of games, as well as providing access to the “Let’s Play” culture that young gamers have embraced so enthusiastically. Satoru Iwata, the company’s CEO, and spiritual leader has passed away from cancer and the Wii U, their latest console offering, is a commercial failure. Things aren’t looking good, but I’m here to tell you everything will be great in the end.
Nintendo has been around for almost 130 years, starting as a manufacturer of Japanese playing cards. They shifted their focus to traditional toys throughout the early 20th century, eventually coming into the then new field of electronic games in the late 1970s. Nintendo made arcade games far before they ever made a home console. Mario Bros, Donkey Kong, Balloon Fight & Karate Champ were all products of the company early on. They even manufactured small handheld games called “Game & Watch”, which were more akin to those cheap Tiger handheld electronic games. Some of the Game & Watch even had dual-screen designs, which later came back to inspire the Nintendo DS in 2004.
This was all before starting the traditional video game industry as we know it today, and I believe it proves that Nintendo existed long before video games, and will exist long after the concept of console and cartridges has died out. They are a wily, flexible company. Just when they realized they couldn’t technologically compete with Sony, they took a left turn and put out the Wii, which ended up being the most successful console of all-time.
The biggest strength Nintendo has going for it though, the secret sauce that has sustained it all these years is their ability to create master class video games. Nintendo at the top of their game is absolutely untouchable in making polished, enjoyable video games for the whole family. Almost every gameplay mechanic or hardware innovation can be traced back to Nintendo’s internal development studios: automatic jumping, analog sticks, rumble, shoulder buttons, motion controls, 3D targeting and movement, open world design, side-scrolling mechanics…the list goes on forever.
Nintendo set the standard for 2D games in the mid-80s, and then ten years later totally changed the game again with 3D environments. Games sell consoles, and Nintendo does this better than anyone else. There aren’t many Nintendo games being released right now, because they are surely saving their biggest guns for the next console. A new Zelda or Metroid would be invaluable to a console launch.
Nintendo has seen failure far worse than the Wii U before. The Virtual Boy, a prototype VR headset released in the mid-nineties had a limited catalog of games, a lousy controller and users experienced headaches after just a few minutes. The N64, for as prolific as it’s games catalog is, was not a top seller in its time. The PlayStation destroyed in here in the US. The GameCube was equally as lackluster in terms of sales, selling 20 million in the same era when the PS2 sold 150 million consoles. These consoles were all successful, and led to great software sales, but they weren’t the runaway successes that the Wii or NES were.
Creativity is a hard thing to distill, or bottle, but Nintendo’s had a secret fountain of inspiration for the past 30 years in it’s lead game designer, Shigeru Miyamoto. A list of his notable works and creations include; Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, Star Fox, Wii Sports, and Pokemon. A more impressive and varied resume doesn’t exist in the whole of game development. Nintendo is at it’s creative best when they’re scared and backed into a corner, and Miyamoto will work best under these conditions as well, continuing to create the industries most valuable IP.
Neil Peart once wrote, “Changes aren’t permanent, but change is”, and if there’s one thing Nintendo has become comfortable with over the years, it’s the idea that the industry will change, but the core values that have made them one of Japan’s most successful companies, will sustain them. The core tenants of innovative hardware, masterclass games and the strength of their IP and creative forces will continue to see Nintendo through it’s golden ages and dark periods.
To quote Nintendo’s finest title, Ocarina of Time, “The flow of time is always cruel… Its speed seems different for each person, but no one can change it… A thing that doesn’t change with time is a memory of younger days”. That’s Nintendo at it’s best. It’s exactly as you remember it, and in a hundred years they’ll still be the company capable of making you feel that way. That’s a uniquely Nintendo asset, that no one else in the industry can replicate. They’ve been here since the beginning, and they’ll be here and long as people want to play games.