Things seem to be looking up for Nintendo. Though never truly in danger of closing, the entertainment software giant reported dismal earnings for last year and its future was very much in flux. Their most recent home console, the Wii U, had failed to meet even half of its sales projections since the launch and talk was already swirling about their next move.
This has all started to turn around, however, as Nintendo has released new games for the Wii U and sales have spiked. Easily the biggest contributor to this is the newest installment of the acclaimed “Super Smash Bros.” series. The premise is simple enough: roughly two dozen of Nintendo’s iconic or most central characters in a head-to-head brawl. The adoration for this series is astounding. Praise for “Super Smash Bros for Wii U” from critics is almost unanimous, and the game moved almost 500,000 copies in three days, making it the fastest selling Wii U game yet.
As a response to Smash, Wii U sales have skyrocketed and the future looks very promising. The company is expecting Smash to double the Wii U’s total sales in the holiday season rush alone. As such, their upcoming titles like “The Legend of Zelda” and “Xenoblade Chronicles X” can look forward to successful launches next year and sit on much firmer ground than a year ago.
Multiplayer combat games are a staple of the annual gaming market. They are arguably the highest in demand for consumers, as games like “Call of Duty” continue to prove. In a way, Smash is Nintendo’s answer to that market.
Senior Tom Smolinski said, “Smash gives Nintendo a connection to the competitive gamer faction that COD and games like that gather for Sony and Microsoft. It's one of the most iconic game franchises in our age group, and that's not a coincidence.”
In terms of what this means for the console races as a whole, it simply means that Nintendo is back. They had a very rough couple of years with the launch of the Wii U, but now the console can be regarded right up alongside the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as a next-gen experience. The graphics of Smash are beautiful, and provide a much clearer picture than Smash games have had in the past.
Junior Eddie Guillen said, “I’m really impressed by the visuals. It’s not as high-end as the PS4 or Xbox might be but it’s a huge step up for Nintendo and the best fighting game I’ve ever played.”
The gaming community can certainly breathe a sigh of relief over Nintendo’s future. Whether a person owns a Nintendo system or not, losing the studio would be a detriment to the entire gaming sphere. Nintendo is, after all, really the last honest major game publisher not trying to weasel and dupe their consumers out of their money with half-finished products and microtransactions. They’re also the only company out there seemingly interested in solely making games rather than products. Smash has ushered in the new future of Nintendo, and will continue to influence its games and sales.
“I think Nintendo stands to benefit from the attention Smash will bring to its staple of other first party titles, like ‘Super Smash Bros Melee’ did for ‘Fire Emblem’ in the US in the early 2000s,” senior Jon Mangel said.