Friday, October 21, 2016

Tech: Nintendo's last stand

The Wii U is the first Nintendo home video game console that I skipped out on playing. Overpriced, underpowered, and saddled with an awkward not-quite-a-tablet-controller, the system's put up laughable sales numbers compared to the Xbox One and PS4.

Now, Nintendo hadn't lost its ability to make great games (in fact, many of their Wii U titles are excellent), but they had lost their sense of what mattered to gamers. All that, combined with a flagging handheld video game market thanks to smartphones and tablets, forced a very radical step - the Nintendo Switch:



It's the merging of the Nintendo home and portable worlds, and it's one of the most daring things they've ever done. You turn two streams of revenue into one, you risk confusing consumers, and you put all your game design eggs into a single fragile basket. Will people want to play a weird tablet with detachable, uncomfortable-looking controllers? Time will tell...

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