I grew up enveloped in the loving and colourful arms of Nintendo. My first ever games console was my Dad's SNES and I was instantly hooked. Star Fox and Super Mario World are still favourites to this day and it was the main reason I needed (yes, needed) an SNES Classic. From the Super Nintendo I moved on to the GameCube where Metroid Prime, Super Mario Sunshine, Sonic Adventures 2 and Super Smash Bros were my regular haunts. There's just something about Nintendo that makes me happy. Growing up I moved away to Playstation and then in 2006 the Wii happened.
The marketing material didn't grab me, the games didn't look great...I liked my controller well enough, what's this Wiimote business? I should have been worried when my parents purchased one. If there is ever a sign that I'm not going to like a console it's when it appeals to my parents who are not gamers by any stretch of the imagination. Wii Sports was okay, I played Tennis a bit but it left a lot to be desired. The best thing I could say was that it was okay. That didn't matter, the Wii had traction, that included traction outside of the gaming community. It was being touted as a healthy alternative for the family. It worked. The console is, to date, Nintendo's biggest selling home console (if you ignore their many handhelds). The console sold 101.63 million (as of March 31, 2016) copies worldwide. A lack of third party support and HD functionality didn't seem to slow this out of the blue success. It didn't so much compete with the Xbox 360 or PS3 as much as it ran its own race in its own way. When stacked against its generational competition it didn't compete but it did where it mattered, the sales numbers.
Then came the Wii U and Nintendo ran into trouble. The gaming community and the wider public did not trust this system and I feel Nintendo sent this out to die. Firstly by calling it the Wii U. This made it sound like a facelift of the Wii or Wii 1.5 instead of a replacement next gen instalment. Most people, my parents and friends included, had played the Wii for a couple of weekends and since then it had been a pretty ugly dust catcher in their entertainment system. Maybe yours still is, or has it made it's way to the loft? A lack of third party support or triple A games put a nail in the Wii U's coffin and the console only went on to sell 13.56 million (as of March 31, 2017) copies, a mere ten percent of the Wii's lifetime sales. Who'd think Nintendo, who never followed the lead of others deciding instead to innovate in their own direction, would turn this around? I feared the Nintendo of my childhood was dead, if not financially then to me. They seemed content on pushing active gaming experiences despite what the industry was saying.
Cut to 2017 and the Nintendo Switch, a console that in it's short time on the shelves has already eclipsed the total sales of the Wii U, netting a global total of 14.86 million (as of December 31, 2017) consoles. As well as it's portability it is also the platform where the Game of the Year (Zelda Breath of the Wild) is exclusively available and has had strong year one titles including Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2 and ARMS just to name a few. Nintendo took 2017 in it's stride and this is carrying on to 2018 with no signs of slowing down. Despite the lack of Virtual Console (a back catalogue of old Nintendo titles available digitally) on the Switch, online functionality is due for the console in September. Following on from the success of mobile app Super Mario Run, Nintendo have announced Mario Kart Tour, coming to devices in 2019 and they have also partnered with Illumination, the studio behind the very popular Minions franchise, to create an animated Mario film to be co-produced by Shigeru Miyamoto and Chris Meledandri! Then there's Nintendo LABO, turning the interactivity of the Switch into a construction toy for parents and children. Nintendo is back making products their fans want and I couldn't be happier.
How do you feel about Nintendo? What are you must looking forward to from the company and what console was your very first? Let us know in the comments below or via Twitter @ghoulishent.