There has been no greater tech story in 2017 than the success of the Nintendo Switch. While Nintendo has ostensibly been one of the greatest companies in gaming history, they’ve been prone to leaning into their gimmick just a bit too much. Nintendo’s work with the WiiU was high in quality but it still didn’t clear the bar of fans expectations. So, Nintendo fans and gaming analysts alike were rightfully reluctant to champion the Nintendo Switch. After all, Nintendo was attempting to blur the lines between handheld gaming and console gaming in an era where power is king — just ask Microsoft and Sony. However, with that being said — Nintendo has still managed to get back on track in a big way. Recent sales reports have revealed that the Switch has surpassed Sony’s historic run with the PlayStation 2 in Japan. What does this mean for the future of the console? What does this mean for video gaming in general?
The first thing that gamers need to understand is simple, Nintendo is not the same company that they were a decade ago. While Nintendo can still release best-selling products with their classic IP, like ‘Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ or ‘Super Mario Odyssey’, the company is no longer beholden to their classic IP. Nintendo has opened up the doors to third-party support from indie developers and this has led to a renaissance in Nintendo’s library of video games. The second thing people need to realize is that Nintendo is opening up their doors to more mature content, a rarity in Nintendo’s traditionally family-friendly pantheon. Ports of ‘Doom’, ‘Wolfenstein II’ and ‘Skyrim’ have all given older Nintendo gamers the chance to experience high-quality, mature content in a new way.
The final change that Nintendo is rendering on the gaming industry is a simple one, they are turning their eyes towards online gaming in a way that just hasn’t happened as of yet. While PlayStation Network and Xbox Live have set the standard for online gaming, Nintendo isn’t far behind. Nintendo has put more and more emphasis on their digital store by releasing classic ports. Now, Nintendo is turning to something called Nintendo Switch Online — a service that gives players access to online multiplayer gaming along with other great benefits for just $20 per year. Nintendo is evolving and changing and that should effectively put the rest of the gaming world on notice.