We have all seen the reveal video but what are your thoughts on it? You my be thinking to yourself, "The handheld market is dying, why would Nintendo make such a move?". I am here to tell you why.
First lets start off with the Nintendo 3DS and how it compares to the past. The 3DS as of December 2015 is sitting atop the handheld market with 57 Million Units sold. That very impressive right? Well lets take a quick look at the Nintendo DS sales. Over it's lifetime there were over 154 million units sold. That's almost a 100 million unit difference and the 3DS right now is considered to be a success. That's a huge difference in the market that was a cash cow for Nintendo. What changed you ask? Well the market changed in a big way.
What is something that has changed significantly since the release of the DS to the release of the 3DS? Well think back to the release of the DS. It was 2004. What is something that wasn't as common back then, that is very common today? Cell Phones. That's right, the huge drop in sales for the 3DS can be attributed to Mobile Devices. In fact I would bet right now you are probably reading this article on some sort of mobile device. Something that you carry around with you all the time. Even if you aren't odds are the people around you are in fact using their tablets or smartphones to do almost everything now including gaming. Now you might ask why would say that? Mobile games are nothing compared to handheld devices that are devoted to gaming. I have a couple theories on that. I think that the consumers started to not want to carry two devices around, plus families probably aren't going to get their children a cell phone, a handheld and maybe a console or two. That's a lot of money going towards your young ones when it comes to gaming. So consumers have to make a choice, get them a cell phone which everyone has or get him a handheld gaming device. The choice is almost too easy for parents. I care more about getting a hold of my son or daughter with a cheap smartphone than drop roughly $200 for a gaming device he will only play every once in awhile, besides they have a console already, they don't need another dedicated gaming device. I think Nintendo got a smart and saw something. What if they got into the mobile market and made a device that you can take with you on the go. Especially in Japan where the mobile market is booming right now. That takes care of the home front in Japan, what about the largest gaming market in the world that is North America?
Here in North America, it is considered to be the biggest market for gaming in the world. Look at the size of North America and look at how many people are in the position to be playing these games. Most people have an internet connection, and if you have an internet connection you most likely have a gaming console as well. Even if that console isn't being used for gaming, at least it is being used for something. This is where in my opinion Nintendo decided to be bold and go for a hybrid unit. Kill two birds with one stone if you will. Why? Because in North America the handheld market is no where near where it used to be. When you are walking down the street does that little boy or girl have a handheld? Probably not, most likely they have a smartphone in their hands. When you see people hanging out at the mall or any other hangout do you see a 3DS or PS Vita? Probably not. Not like you used to at least. There are a lot of people in my experience as well who had owned a Nintendo DS but decided to not even touch the 3DS. Where has the gaming market gone? Am i repeating myself in saying the mobile market again? No. North America is known for their love of console gaming. Xbox One thrives in its home in the United States and Sony has huge market there as well with the Playstation 4. True Nintendo could play catch up and come out with the biggest, baddest, most awesome console we have ever seen if they wanted to and blow Microsoft and Sony out of the water at this point. Nintendo's business model has never reflected that however. Plus most people I have either talked to or have listened to that are from North America don't even want handhelds really anymore. Even in the days of Sega vs Nintendo, Nintendo has never put the latest and greatest tech in their products. They believe that buy making their products cheap and affordable, then the customer will want that as well, something cheap and affordable. How can Nintendo make nice handheld and console at the same time? From what we've been hearing recently as far as leaks are concerned, Nintendo has decided to put some decent hardware into the Nintendo Switch. We still wont see amazing games like we do on Xbox One or PS4, but we will still see something that can still pretty much keep up with them. That my friends is what is exciting about all of this. Could you imagine playing a game on the go that looks almost like your Xbox One Games? By that I mean, you will probably hardly even see a difference.
When talking about the Nintendo Switch with friends and listening to people online talk about it do you what I hear? I hear them say, "I will probably never take this with me, it will sit in the dock all the time." They would much rather use it as a console than a handheld. I'm not saying everyone in America is going to be this way, but most probably would. Nintendo made the wise decision to try and capture two markets that are thriving at the same time with one product. Bold move Nintendo, bold move. We really want the Switch to succeed but time will only tell if it will be a flop, or a cash cow for the Big N. What's next Nintendo? The ball is still in your court and we wait in anticipation the journey that is ahead of us.