The city of London is filled with various places to get rid of boredom. Various theater performances scattered in the center of the City; for example around Covent Garden or around Leicester Square.
If that isn’t interesting or expensive, museums with zero entry fees – like the British Museum, the National History Museum, or the Imperial War Museums – are also always ready to visit. However, for Thom (23 years) – a student at King’s College London – the most important thing that day was playing Mario Kart racing game on his latest console: Nintendo Switch.
At that time, London had just entered spring; the piercing cold wind was not as bad as winter. Together with his friend, Tom decided to play in the balcony of the King’s College cafe that faces directly to the River Thames.
“I still play religiously until now, at least 5 days a week and at least half an hour to play once,” he said. According to Thom, the Nintendo Switch provides a rich playing experience as a game machine. “I brought it when I met school friends and continued to play Mario Kart with my friends. Then I went to Paris to play Mario Kart and Arms with my cousin, “Thom added.
Nintendo Switch, a game machine with a tablet-like shape that is equipped with joysticks on both sides, tries to offer a unique playing experience. Unlike the Playstation 4 or Xbox One, because it has its own screen, Nintendo Switch can be played without a television. It can be a portable game device (like Gameboy / Playstation Portable) or still be played as a home console.
Not surprisingly, the word “switch” as a name does have a literal meaning. Because it can switch from a home console to portable, this device can be played while on a flight, just sitting in the park, or meeting friends. Play anytime, anywhere, with anyone. So said Nintendo.
Nintendo Switch is pinned with great hopes to bring Nintendo back from losses since 2012 due to the failure of the Wii U game console on the market. In fact, competitors, especially Sony with its flagship Playstation 4, increasingly dominate the global gaming industry. Fortunately, since its launch on March 3, 2017, the Nintendo Switch has managed to answer the challenge.
Nintendo Switch sales figures for the period March to October 2017 are indeed great. Quoted from the Wall Street Journal, as of October 2017, global sales of the Switch has touched nine million units. March 2018, Switch sold is projected to reach 16.7 million units. In comparison, the previous Nintendo console which was touted as one of Nintendo’s major failures, Wii U, only sold 13.5 million units during its lifetime from 2012 to early January 2017 when production was stopped.
High sales figures also apply to the mainstay of Nintendo Switch games. For example, The Legend of Zelda: BoTW has sold 4 million units and is a game that gets a 97/100 review score from the critic review aggregator site, Metacritic.
Not only that, the Super Mario Odyssey game which was just released at the end of October 2017 has become the best-selling game for physical sales. Another Nintendo classic, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, is the fastest selling Mario Kart game of all time. The game sold nearly half a million units on the day of its release. In addition, these three games are on the list of the 10 best selling products for Amazon retailers in the United States.
The selling of Nintendo Switch consoles and games is a strong reason to say Nintendo has risen in 2017. Proclaimed by the Financial Times, Nintendo is projected to post a net profit of 750 million US dollars for the fiscal year period March 2017 – March 2018.
However, Nintendo’s strategy is not only through Switch, various business expansions are carried out by companies that are more than 100 years old. For example, Nintendo also decided to jump into the current trend of games for smart phones. On December 15, 2016, Super Mario Run was released on the Apple App Store. The latest data from Nintendo shows that Super Mario Run has been downloaded 90 million times, although it hasn’t reached the expected profit point yet.
Therefore, Nintendo’s strategy to rise does not stop there. At the end of September 2017, Nintendo released the Super NES Classic Edition which was a phenomenal game console in the 1990s. Armed with the nostalgia of the retro games Kirby, Super Mario, and Legend of Zelda, SNES Classic Edition is selling well. Together with Nintendo Switch, this console topped the top two positions during October 2017. However, the Nintendo Switch is still not a perfect technology. For example, the Nintendo Switch operating system software has been criticized because Nintendo has not yet launched popular streaming applications such as Youtube or Netflix. Plus, the browser application is also still not available.
Apart from that, can Nintendo maintain the momentum of its awakening?