2017 has been a very productive, and successful, year for Nintendo. There are many contributing factors to this, from the release of the smashing Nintendo Switch through to the upcoming Classic SNES console. The company is making headlines for the right reasons – a sharp contrast to twelve months ago.
2016 wasn’t a great year for the company. It’s Wii U console was all but dead, while it’s 3DS began to slip in sales. Pokemon Go’s success was a brief moment of joy in an otherwise lackluster year. It was clear to all that Nintendo couldn’t continue in the direction it was heading – something had to change. With rumors of the upcoming NX console lingered over the discussion; Nintendo seemed to be placing a lot of stock in this one console.
Yet as we pass the halfway mark in 2017, things couldn’t be more different. Nintendo Switch is the talk of the gaming world, while the 3DS continues to fight on (Even if some of us feel that’s a bad move). Thanks to the decision to allow cross-play with Xbox One user in titles like Minecraft and Rocket League, Nintendo seems all the more progressive. Suddenly people are talking positively about Nintendo – and it’s great to hear.
Nintendo has always seemingly appreciated their roots while also experimenting with consoles that are out of the box and stand out from the rest. As well as these amazing consoles is an upcoming attraction in Universal Studios Japan called Super Nintendo World. It’s a sign of a company that’s confident again – willing to make better use of the highly prized tools in its arsenal. It’s a great idea and helps to set it apart from the competition.
One thing that Nintendo has always had on its side is creativity. Their consoles have always had a leg-up in terms of being different and having original qualities compared to typical consoles on the market. The Nintendo Switch and even the Wii are prime examples of Nintendo being unique and successful at the same time.
Even the games that Nintendo has released for the Switch have been very successful, such as Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Next on the agenda is Super Mario Odyssey, and this game already holds lots of promise and hype from the fans. Sure a number of them are re-releases from the Wii U, but it’s those gamers were deserving of a better audience the first time around. The Wii U was failed by Nintendo’s lack of ambition. The Switch is not the same.
The SNES Classic Mini is also a great example of Nintendo listening. They messed up badly with the NES Classic Mini – which I assume they never conceived would be as popular as it was. For its successor, the company is (on the surface at least) seemingly taking note. It’s promised less heartache for those who want one while also offering something unique at the same time. Throwing in Star Fox 2 is a wonderful move – it gives the device a unique selling point and finally delivers one of the company’s greatest vaporware outings. For collectors, it’s a must have.
This tells me that Nintendo is listening again to the fans it ignored for so long.. Bringing the classics back is something that I personally love and enjoy. Of course we want to see these on Nintendo Switch at some point – but that’s a case of “when” not “if”. I’d rather the company deliver a solid platform out the gate than a half-baked Virtual Console. The Switch is begging for retro love, and it’s arguably the biggest hole in Nintendo’s arsenal right now.
Overall, Nintendo has taken 2017 by storm with their successes and innovate releases and ideas. They have been on top of their game, and continue to impress at every turn. Hopefully, Nintendo can stay on top in the future when more releases, announcements, and updates come into place. There is a lot to look forward to in terms of Nintendo, so we will see if they are able to live up to the hype they have created so far in the year of 2017.