Nintendo’s games age as old as its platform

With several big reveals for consoles across all platforms, nintendo begins to fall behind with titles and technology. While this could be resolved in the short term with a Nintendo Direct, the recent lack of core Nintendo titles has highlighted a growing problem with the Switch – a lack of support and features outside of the games themselves. The Switch has been a great system with many staple titles like breath of the wild and Super Mario Odyssey even since its release, but the games are starting to get stale year by year.

These games can have a life outside of their single-player campaigns, even without adding anything to the game itself, but Nintendo doesn’t offer players much incentive to play their games outside of the core experience. Nintendo has never been great with social features, and its user interfaces, like the Switch’s home screen, have been fan-fixed, and it’s starting to reflect badly on the system. Social offerings on the Switch lag behind other brands like Xbox and Playstation, and their communities are often self-contained. This hurts Nintendo’s third-party offerings even more when there’s competition – even neon whitethe critically acclaimed Switch and PC exclusive has more to unlock on Steam than Nintendo’s hardware.

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Beyond the simple replayability of a game, the lifespan of a particular title is often tied to its community. Whether through modding, speedrunning, or dedicated fans and updates, a game can sell more copies over the years by getting people to spread word of mouth. Even in recent years, communities have continued around Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Mario 64, Mario Kart Wiiand Metroid Prime, but many of these fanbases were pushed back by Nintendo itself. The best new Nintendo Switch games can avoid feeling older than current-gen experiences by integrating social features to foster a healthy content base for fans.


Lack off Social features on Nintendo Switch hurt replayability


There’s a fair amount of social connectivity available on the Nintendo Switch, but it’s hidden deep within the console’s menus. Finding friends is still a problem with the inclusion of Switch Friend Codes, and there’s little to no chat functionality on the system. Even then, the Switch is still missing important features – achievements, image sharing, and chat rooms are all missing from the system. Achievements are probably the easiest aspects to integrate into the Nintendo Switch, allowing for a sense of progression and accomplishment in single-player games that can be shared online.


While it may be admirable that Nintendo doesn’t add social media to platforms designed for kids, like Miiverse on Switch’s Nintendo gaming predecessor, the Wii U, the lack of integration with platforms third-party social media such as Twitter, Discord or Facebook is always disappointing. Lots of games like Super Mario Maker 2 are still stuck in the past, requiring long tier codes for sharing, and having no intuitive search functionality. Nintendo hurts the replayability and popularity of its titles by not giving gamers the means to stay engaged with their favorite games.

Nintendo’s Free DLC Template Didn’t Fix Major System Issues


Mario Golf's first update is off to a great start

Lots of games like Mario Golf, Mario Tennis and Super Mario Maker 2 that adopt a free DLC model end up being oddly less replayable than they otherwise should be. Because they aren’t updated as much as other triple-A titles, many of Nintendo’s recent multiplayer experiences fell flat after ten hours of play. This release system was once a way to get more content for completed games, but the main core of games like Mario Golf: Super Rush, Mario The Aces of Tennisand recently Mario Strikers: Battle League were disappointing the first day.


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Nintendo needs to fill its games with more content and unlocks to ensure multiplayer games have replayability. At $60, many of these games aren’t worth the wait for new content releases. Adding a backbone through a system-wide community could make the online multiplayer experience more engaging on the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo has moved in the right direction by allowing gamers to purchase player icons and borders with platinum points, but Nintendo may allow players to earn points in various games for the system so that such experiments can be successful.


Animal Crossing is a good plan Games Nintendo


Animal Crossing New Horizon Isabelle update

Nintendo’s biggest success with social features and promotion is Animal Crossing: New Horizons, a game that still sees players adding their own flourishes of creativity. The game has died down for good when it comes to new content, and Nintendo has confirmed that no more free updates are planned, but animal crossing shows that Nintendo can do DLC properly. However, during the peak of animal crossingthe game thrived on the creativity of Nintendo and the fans.

While friend codes are still the primary way to share in-game content, New Horizons allowed players to share their own designs and the internet took notice. Thanks to online features, it was easy to share designs on social media and import them to his own village. This, along with continued support for the game, has kept the community healthy and active throughout the lockdown. Revisit the marketing and content strategy to animal crossing could lead Nintendo to keep its games fresh and exciting.


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A game doesn’t have to get old just because it’s been released for years. games like animal crossing with huge playerbases can last for decades if the company and the community look after the product. Even with small tweaks like achievements, Nintendo can add so much to its gaming experience that $60 versions don’t require. From supporting local communities that produce content themselves, to creating communities it can monitor, Nintendo can do a lot for its player base simply by adding player achievement and reward programs.

Nintendo isn’t doing as much as its competition to justify buying games on Nintendo Switch, and that’s starting to make the system worse than its competition by comparison. The games Nintendo releases can be fun, but without proper support from Nintendo, these new Switch games will have a much shorter lifespan than the experiences on PS5 and Xbox Series X. Times have changed; That’s great nintendo can still create unique games similar to the Wii era that are fun to play on less powerful hardware, but it’s more important than ever to keep even single-player experiences replayable.


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About the Author

Timothy C. Mayo