Can you imagine a world where Nintendo never made a single console, but their seminal back catalog was readily available to purchase on other mediums of entertainment? Ranging back from Atari's Jaguar to Valve's Steam Machines (if they ever release).
Imagine never holding an N64 controller, or better yet Gamecube (gasp)! Imagine never seeing the Gamecube's start screen, or not being able to sweetly drift off to the sounds of the Wii's home screen theme. Or burning yourself on a SNES' power adapter. Imagine a world without the NES!
I don't ever want to imagine a world without a Nintendo console, because it would be like the world without Firefly - sad, colorless and a bit fàng pì. Nintendo have been the architects of some truly inventive ideas in the console war and some amazing summer holidays!
But, using your imagination again, reader, imagine a lazy Saturday spent lounging in a park on a sunny afternoon, or wherever your preferred lazing locale is, with your smartphone, tablet or...phablet in hand, adding the finishing touches to the defeat of Kraid in Super Metroid. I could dig that to be honest.
What do you make of the idea?
A Very Possible Future
YouTuber MarioLinkSamus created a fake Nintendo commercial positing a world where a "Nintendo App" puts their entire back catalog at your 3DS-less fingertips. Have a look, will ya?
I'm kinda torn on this idea. I'll explain why...
What We Could See
The Wii U has been a blight on an otherwise illustrious history in gaming. It saddens me to say this, but it has. A significant lack of third party games, a penchant for publishing childish games and releasing the console too early has left Nintendo's mouth dry with a bittersweet aftertaste. Whereas the ultra-rich behemoths of entertainment Sony & Microsoft cater to gamers of all ages and, of course, fans of the ol' ultraviolence which Nintendo really need right now. Or do they?
The Wii U had an incredibly solid 2014 (Mario Kart 8 FTW!), and the 3DS continues to destroy wallets. All thanks to Nintendo's incredible in-house game development team Entertainment, Analysis and Development (EAD).
For years Nintendo aimed to shy away from the constant battle of "my game looks better than yours" and concentrate on putting out games of great content, despite what engine resides underneath the bonnet of its current console. They've succeeded at that. But now that the populous salivates over frame rates and the HD/4K madness, Nintendo may get left behind. But saying that, Mario Kart 8 is one of the best looking Nintendo games I've ever seen despite the Wii U being less powerful than its opponents.
What if Nintendo were to shelve making hardware and reroute those funds into expanding EAD and becoming, once again, the world's ultimate game dev? One that cares about its community and won't harangue us into believing season passes are a necessity, will not pack games full of paywall DLC and ship games that aren't broken and/or don't require multi-GB patches from the moment you load the damn thing!
Mining their back catalog and bringing B team characters back into the fray with fresh adventures would be a positive reaction from this. Imagine a new Earthbound or F-Zero? A new side scrolling Metroid would be fantastic. But that is besides the point, Nintendo already has a staggering back catalog that would work perfectly on constantly evolving mobile devices.
A world without a Nintendo console would be a strange place to inhabit, but one without Nintendo games would be even more harrowing. Though I seriously doubt Nintendo will hang up their gloves just yet, it's worth contemplating seeing as the majority of 2014 biggest console games didn't raise an eye to the little Wii U, waving in line, waiting its turn to be seen. Only to be turned away from the party, tail between legs.
"No Call of Duty for you!" Everyone turns, points and laughs. "That's it! RUN, NINTENDO!"
Then comes back with a new Zelda and slays the haters.
NIntendo could go down the same route as their old enemies SEGA and disappear into software dev oblivion, but they would probably end up being more successful than ever.
Nintendo aren't the metaphorical phoenix waiting to rise from the fires of defeat, they carved the match a century ago. And it shall burn forever brightly in their corner as Mario, Samus, Link and Wii Fit Trainer all take it in turns to man their watch and continue to churn out fun filled childhoods for everyone.
What do you guys think?
(Source: MarioLinkSamus via YouTube)