I’m probably what you’d call A Nintendo fan. Here in South Africa, those are rare – and it’s largely because for a long time, Nintendo wasn’t really a presence here. Yes, the Nintendo Entertainment System officially launched here, but it was too late in its life cycle to make a dent, and was also exclusive to a single retailer.
It meant that gaming mindshare in the 16-bit era belonged almost exclusively to the SEGA Mega Drive (Genesis to our American chums), while the excitement over 3D gaming was almost exclusively help by the PlayStation brand (something that largely continues to this day).
For years now, we Nintendo fans have been hearing about how the company is doomed. The poor reception of the Gamecube was meant to signal the long-standing platform holder’s imminent collapse. The DS was poised to be a silly gimmick, before it ended up becoming one of the most popular handhelds of all time; a similar situation to what happened with the Wii.
The Wii U has, without question, been a bit of a failure. It may host some of the very best iterations of Nintendo’s franchises, but the lack of third party support has killed it. Nintendo’s upcoming NX then, seems like a last, desperate breath; a hope that the company can regain a foothold with more than just a vocal, fervent and loyal fanbase and once again grapple for that mindshare.