After months and months of speculation, Nintendo finally revealed their latest console, and it looks like they’re on top of their game again. With the Nintendo Switch, it would appear as though the company is once again looking to revolutionize the handheld gaming industry. Between the new hardware and the company’s entry into the mobile market, they just may succeed.
Ever since the introduction of the Game Boy in 1989, Nintendo has utterly dominated the handheld/mobile market. While there have been a few attempts at competition—Sega Game Gear and Sony PSP, among others—no one was able to touch Nintendo until the advent of smartphones. The average consumer looking for a way to play portable games received a gift in the form smartphones and tablets, while the Big N’s products (the DS, most recently) became more of a niche product specifically for gamers. Now, the company is looking to attack gaming on the go from two different angles: its new console (Switch, fka, The NX) and its long-awaited entry into the smartphone market.
Nintendo’s first foray into the mobile device market came earlier this year with the release of Miitomo. While it was certainly an interesting experiment, the game was unable to hold the attention of users. Of course, Pokemon Go was another story. It wasn’t directly developed by Nintendo, but the augmented reality game was an incredible success and demonstrated that there was a clear market in mobile gaming. That’s not to mention the opportunity for Nintendo to make a lot of money, something the company desperately needed following the lackluster sales of the Wii U.
The mobile gaming market is a positively massive, multi-billion dollar enterprise. It only makes sense that Nintendo would finally try to get a piece of this gigantic pie. Similarly, the online gaming industry has been looking to take advantage of the market. It’s done so through optimizing their platforms for smart devices, which in turn provide the same experiences as desktop browsers. These convenient versions of tried-and-true classics like slots, blackjack, and roulette can connect with players in a unique way that’s indicative of the appeal of mobile games as a whole.
Nintendo will surely be looking to harness that appeal with a soon-coming game starring their beloved mascot: Super Mario Run. Pokemon proved that Nintendo IP not only continues to be incredibly popular but still has the ability to take over the world the way it once did. It’s this success that makes us believe that the upcoming Mario game will be a similarly huge hit. The game was teased earlier this year to much fanfare, and it could be the mobile game from Nintendo that everyone has been waiting for. Super Mario run is set to arrive on iOS on Dec. 15, and Android users will get their chance to play it in early 2017.
The legendary gaming company is taking a big risk with such an increased emphasis on mobile gaming, but it’s one that has every chance to pay off in spades. With a new console on the horizon and future mobile titles already in the works—specifically, Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing—you’ll be seeing a lot more Nintendo in the coming year.