Now is a great time to be a Nintendo fan

It’s a great time to be a Nintendo fan.



Nintendo @ E3 2017 (Super Mario Odyssey)Michael Kovac/Getty Images for
Nintendo

There are a lot of reasons that this is the case, but let’s start
with the most obvious: 2017 is the first year with main entries
in both the “Super Mario” and “Legend of Zelda” series since
2002. No joke!

As Ars Technica’s Kyle Orland succinctly put it:

I’m of course talking about the excellent “Legend of Zelda:
Breath of the Wild” and the upcoming (crazy
looking!
) “Super Mario Odyssey.”

The former is already available (seen below), while the latter is

scheduled to launch in October
.


The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
“Breath of the Wild” currently has
a 97 average on Metacritic
— an incredibly high
score.

Nintendo

But there are lots more reasons why it’s such a good time to
be a Nintendo fan, and the company and its partners
offered many of them at last week’s E3, the annual video
game trade show.

Among the most exciting announcements: Not one,
but two games in development from the beloved,
fan-favorite “Metroid” series. “Metroid Prime 4” offers a
big “wow!” factor for fans, while the second “Metroid” game will
be of a more classic variety. 


Metroid Prime 4
Nintendo showed a logo and
nothing else to announced a new “Metroid Prime” game during E3
2017 in June 2017.

Nintendo

The “Metroid” announcements are the latest evidence that Nintendo
is finally paying attention to its most serious fans. This is a
series that Nintendo fans have been clamoring for, but that
Nintendo has largely ignored. And suddenly it’s getting not one
but two new games.

But beyond “Metroid,” there’s already a steady drumbeat of major
games on Nintendo’s newest console.

The Switch has enjoyed near-monthly major releases of first-party
games, starting with “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” in
March and continuing with “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” in April. That
march will continue through the end of the year with “Arms,”
“Splatoon 2,” and “Super Mario Odyssey” all on their way.

And there’s other good stuff on the horizon. New games featuring
Yoshi and Kirby in the works for 2018. And
a new Pokémon game for the Switch
 —Nintendo goes so far
as to call a “core” Pokémon game — will hit store shelves
sometime after that. Fans have been asking that Nintendo make
just such a game for one of its home console basically since
Pokémon launched.

But Nintendo’s doing other things to demonstrate that it’s
actually listening to fans besides just launching big games and
reviving old ones. One particularly notable example: The upcoming
Nintendo Switch Online Service, which will eventually be a
subscription service that gives fans access to classic games from
the company’s archives. It will work something like Netflix, only
offering Nintendo’s games instead of movies and television
shows. 


Nintendo Switch (online)Nintendo

Set to debut in 2018, the service will also provide online
gameplay for Nintendo Switch titles. And it’s yet another
thing Nintendo fans have been pining for.

Nintendo has long offered re-releases of its classic games
library on newer game consoles — a way for Nintendo to re-sell
its old games over and over again — but has never before offered
them in a subscription format. The service will cost $20/year
when it lights up next year.

Predictably, the first few games Nintendo will offer through the
subscription service will be ones that were on
its original console, the Nintendo Entertainment System
(“NES”). “Super Mario Bros. 3,” “Dr. Mario,” and “Balloon Fight”
are the first three games planned for the service, though
more are expected. It’s not clear if games from Nintendo’s
more recent consoles, like the Super Nintendo Entertainment
System, Nintendo 64, and GameCube, will be available through the
service.


Splatoon 2Nintendo

But in addition to the new games and the upcoming online service,
fans already had something big to cheer about — the Switch, which
debuted on March 3. Not only is it a great console, but
Nintendo launched it with one of the most impressive “Zelda”
games ever made. That game was both seemingly tailor-made for
Nintendo’s most ardent fans, and designed to appeal to new
audiences.

To call all Nintendo’s renewed attention to its fans — and all of
the crowd-pleasing moves it’s made recently — a “big deal” is to
massively understate just how significant all of it
is not just for fans, but for the company itself.

You can see that by looking at sales of the Switch, which
launched on March 3. Nintendo announced in April that its first
quarter sales of the Switch were better
than it initially forecast.
 It also increased
production due to that better-than-anticipated demand.


Nintendo Switch
The Switch is a home video
game console (left) and a portable console (right),
all-in-one.

Nintendo

Meanwhile, the company’s stock has enjoyed a big bounce thanks to
its early success with the Switch:


Nintendo 5-year stock, June 2017Nintendo

People buy game consoles for their games. Nintendo continues
to demonstrate that it understands this with the Switch. And its
focus on pleasing its fans is paying off in a major way for
both them and the Japanese game maker itself.


Do you have an unusual story to tell? E-mail stories@tutuz.com