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In a Year of Disappointments, Nintendo Bucks the Trend

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This year has been a year marked by hype, anticipation, and unfortunately disappointment. We’ve seen Watch_Dogs, Destiny, Assassin’s Creed Unity, and more come into our lives, and they were all games with incredible hype trains behind them. We were all so excited, and yet all of these games left us feeling sort of disappointed. Even if they aren’t terrible games, it’s impossible to deny they aren’t what was promised to us. Despite all the games and disappointment, one company has completely bucked the trend this year: Nintendo.

Yes, the company whose name has been synonymous with “let down” seems to have emerged from the ashes like a glorious phoenix. Okay, perhaps that’s a little hyperbolic, but it’s almost impossible to deny the strength in this year’s Wii U Lineup, and what we can expect from them. Their sales success with Super Smash Bros. as well was Mario Kart 8, and the critical success of more risky games like Hyrule Warriors and Bayonetta 2 shows what I think many are coming to understand: Nintendo’s back, baby!

Even if Nintendo doesn’t win in the sales wars this holiday season, they’re still doing something so many other companies are failing to accomplish: They are living up to their game hype. Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U was probably one of the most hyped games ever for the console, and let me tell you: it is exactly what was promised and more.  The exact same could be said about Mario Kart 8, and Hyrule Warriors was a surprising success. Amiibos are also absurdly popular among Nintendo fans. Next year we can expect to see a new StarFox, a new Xenoblade, as well as The Legend of Zelda Wii U. Best of all, Nintendo is experimenting with new IPs now like Splatoon and Code Name: STEAM. We’re actually seeing a complete turn around from Nintendo in the best possible way.

Listen, I’ve been a Nintendo fan boy ever since I was a kid. That glorious Christmas I got my first SNES is perhaps only superseded by the Christmas I got my N64, so there’s almost definitely bias here, but consider this: Nintendo is much more gamer friendly than the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. All you really need to play all the best games is a Wii U and maybe one other gaming platform (PC included). In an age where “exclusives” are really in name only, the Wii U is really one of the only systems with games that can’t be found on any other.

I’m not saying Nintendo is perfect. There are still very real problems with the Wii U and 3DS like this friend code nonsense, and the impossibility of recovering your eShop games if your system bricks. I would love to be able to interact better with friends on the systems. I also think the Wii U gamepad is notoriously under-utilized. That being said, Nintendo is still showing it has the staying power and the strength of its IPs to not only give us more of what we want, but they are also willing to take big risks. Nintendo’s said they want to bring back the hardcore gamers, and I think this proves it.

Whether or not Nintendo is going to see amazing sales this year depends on a number of factors, but right now it’s looking good. Even if they don’t necessarily “win” this holiday season in terms of sales (they are lagging pretty far behind Microsoft and Sony), they are definitely starting to turn the court of public opinion, and that may make all the difference.

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About Stephen Crane

Stephen was hooked by the NES at a very young age and never looked back. He games on a daily basis and is currently trying to climb his way up the ranked ladder on League of Legends! Outside of the video game world he actually likes running and owns a rapidly growing collection of toed shoes. Stephen Crane is the owner of Armed Gamer.

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