In the gaming world, all eyes are on Nintendo.
The launch of the hotly anticipated Nintendo Switch on Friday may very well be do or die for the company.
The Wii U, Nintendo’s most recent console, failed to impress a large audience and sold only 13 million units. Company executives had expected the console to sell as many as 100 million units throughout its lifetime.
After years of financial malaise, Nintendo is poised to ditch the Wii U and embrace the Switch. On Jan. 31, Nintendo officially announced that worldwide production of the Wii U had ended – an abrupt end to an overall disappointing era for the company.
With the Switch set to join the gaming market, it is safe to assume that Nintendo will try harder to avoid making the same mistakes it made with the Wii U.
Well … yes and no.
To Nintendo’s credit, it has finally conceived a console that seems to fit nicely in the competitive market of tablets and smartphones.
Unlike the Wii U, the Switch functions as two consoles in one – a device you can use to play games on your television or on the go. However, the console itself isn’t so much of a bargain at $299.
Pre-orders have been selling out around the world, but despite early indications of a successful launch, many investors are worried about the Switch’s long-term viability. Oddly enough, the console’s reveal in January resulted in a slight dip in shares.
Nintendo has always been about games, but in this day and age, it takes more than just producing imaginative software for a video game company to survive.
It’s absolutely paramount that Nintendo utilizes the system to its fullest potential by learning from some of its past mistakes with the Wii U.
Nintendo needs support from third-party game developers – something the company sorely lacked during the Wii U era.
Luckily, the Switch appears to be a robust system with plenty of third-party support. Now more than ever, Nintendo needs to make smart decisions.
Nintendo made a smart choice by making the highly anticipated “Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” a launch title, even if there’s not much else to get on the first day.
Nintendo must keep an open mind to an ever-changing video-game industry. Otherwise, it could be game over.
Israel Aragon is a sophomore majoring in psychology.
Featured image courtesy Flickr user Nick Yap.