Did you grow up with a Nintendo console? Chances are you did, and if you so, you most likely grew up with some sort of Mario game. Be it Mario Kart, Super Mario Bros, or Mario Party, you and your great friend the plumber would spend hours stomping on turtles and saving pixelated princesses among other things. Now you are an adult, you have not turtles but taxes, so it’s time for you to go to work and maybe enjoy some mobile gaming.
You’re on your daily commute and suddenly you feel the need for a boost of Nintendo nostalgia. It’s unlikely you just happened to bring your old GameBoy, so you get out your phone or tablet, and what do you see but a new Mario game… for your phone! You are overwhelmed with joy and memories of being eaten by spotty carnivorous plants. Or at least, I’m pretty sure that’s what Nintendo is hoping with its move to mobile gaming.
With Nintendo’s past consoles having fast loading times and few updates, the company has always appealed to casual gamers, as has the mobile industry. So I think it makes perfect sense for Nintendo to join the two audiences together into one super audience. It’s possible they were inspired to make this move after the success of Sonic the Hedgehog in this area.
Did you know that around 80 million Nintendo Switch consoles have been sold? From that you could guess that over 80 million human beings have access to a new Nintendo game right now, and that’s not even thinking about those with older consoles. Just to give you some perspective for such a big number, if that many people wanted to watch a football match, you would fill over 1,300 stadia.
So Nintendo has a pretty big audience. But did you know that across the world approximately 5.13 billion people have a mobile phone? That is a lot of people. With Nintendo moving into mobile gaming, they are not doubling, not tripling, but just over sixtyfourling their audience. Smart move.
Nintendo Switch Online offers a range of benefits to Nintendo Switch gamers. From access to games from old consoles to chatting online with friends while you play. The Nintendo Switch Online app allows for voice chats and online play for games including Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Splatoon 2. I think Nintendo having an online service is a really great thing, with more gamers moving online and using it to keep in touch during the pandemic. If the online chat was also on your Switch, you’d have to swap between your game to the chat every five seconds, which would be a pain. However, because Nintendo is using the phone app for the chat facility, it works much better, actually.
Interesting fact, Nintendo’s best selling console is not even the Nintendo Switch but is in fact the Nintendo DS. From this, we can see that Nintendo’s fans like a handheld system, perhaps because Nintendo is really good at making them work. Although we love the DS, it is getting old. It’s rare for a new game to be released for it, usually only from modders at this point, and the graphics are poor in comparison to high tech, next generation consoles like the PS5. However, there are frequent new releases and updates for mobile. The next phone will have smoother graphics and better resolution, and I think that appeals to a lot of people.
While many embrace Nintendo’s move, others are skeptical. Some think that tapping a high resolution screen can never compare to the feeling of pressing a button and watching a two dimensional plumber leap into the air before compressing a Goomba into a coin. It’s possible they are right, but something I love about video games is that they are always changing and improving.
Nintendo, along with other companies, has gone from 2D to 3D, pixels to ultra high resolution, two-button play to complex JoyCon and Pro Controllers, and now to mobile gaming. In under 50 years, the video game industry has done all of this, and that’s really impressive. Who knows what’s to come in the future? Maybe one day we will all live in a horrific dystopia where Mario controls our minds through a psychic link brought on by using virtual reality devices. Let’s hope not, though.
Thank you for stopping by Nintendo Link for one of our special features from a guest writer. What do you think of Nintendo and their approach to the mobile market? Do you think it is a good thing? Let us know in the comments below!