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Golden Boy Nintendo

Can Nintendo do no wrong?

By BrianPublished 5 months ago 3 min read
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Nintendo almost can’t do any wrong. They enjoy a very privileged position in the video game industry allowing them to take risks and make errors that would have their competitors hiding from the backlash from their user base.

I think, it’s because a number of times, Nintendo’s games have been groundbreaking, even pivotal moments in the video game industry’s history.

The NES pretty much bought the industry back from the brink of oblivion and their software at times has made Nintendo a trailblazer in video game design and development.

Mario 64 set a benchmark for 3D worlds and the N64 controller introduced analog sticks to console controllers.

A lot of the good will out there for Nintendo now is, in part, a respect for their past accomplishments.

Currently, Nintendo still has a great image despite some of their business practices which would (in my opinion) not be considered acceptable if employed by their competitors.

  • Keeping old software at high price points
  • Releasing software with a shortage of physical copies.
  • Not putting the whole game on the cartridge. (Don’t go on holiday without preinstalling games, you sometimes barely get a demo on the cart and have to download the whole game. Speaking from experience)
  • Tiny storage on their devices
  • Low tech specs
  • Overpriced online services
  • Releasing games that are essentially the same over and over again

Nintendo seem to get away with murder, and even be applauded for what other brands would be torn apart for and have their reputation permanently blemished.

For games specifically, they can practically put anything on the shelf and the industry will fall over themselves to praise it. While simultaneously tearing other games apart for the same design choices.

Since the Nintendo GameCube, I’d argue they actually haven’t innovated in software at all, they’ve shifted their focus to hardware gimmicks to present the same experiences again with new ways to play.

Sometimes their gimmicks hit the sweet spot in the market and trigger a trend. Sometimes those gimmicks overstay their welcome.

We all remember how crazy the Wii was but we forget how quickly that craze fizzed out. The Wii very quickly got relegated to a secondary system, and let’s not talk about the over saturation of motion controls on all platforms after that.

But even with my criticism, even I have to accept that Nintendo is better in some areas than the other options.

  • Their software is very family friendly. I can still be reasonably confident that my children aren’t going to be exposed to inappropriate content.
  • Easy to use. you can pick up pretty much any Nintendo title and be semi-proficient in 5 minutes.
  • They focus on short term enjoyment so their games are fun to interact with (this is also a criticism though as they tend to overlook the long term engagement in my opinion).
  • They’ve kept local multiplayer alive when every other platform is doing their damnedest to leave it behind.
  • relatively safe online interactions.

So when people ask me what system I would recommend for them or their children, I do still often recommend Nintendo because it would do what they want/need it to do and there’s often no real alternative.

And that is what has kept Nintendo relevant, they’re just different enough that you can’t achieve a comparable experience on other platforms.

I’d say Nintendo games being so highly rated are a combination of lingering goodwill from past achievements that allows the industry and market to overlook their shortcomings, a genuine appreciation for keeping certain elements of gaming relevant, and a little selective memory for the appreciation of their hardware gimmicks over the years.

If nothing else, you can trust Nintendo to offer an experience you’re familiar with. You know what you’re getting into.

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About the Creator

Brian

Doing my best to keep on keeping on. I’m a quiet guy with a quiet life and I like it that way.

I like spending time with my family, cooking, fantasy fiction, video games, anime and archery.

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