Photo: Nintendo’s original customer service logo
Written By: Matthew Samples
What do you think of when I say PC? Do you you begin fantasizing about your massive library of games across Steam and GoG? Perhaps you think of the hardware you painstakingly acquired and assembled to run the newest game on ultra-settings.
Now I ask, what do you think of when I say Nintendo? You may think of specific characters, or perhaps a catchy jingle that plays throughout your favorite level. For me, I think of childhood, of growing up seeing my favorite iconic characters that I can’t see anywhere else. That is exactly why Nintendo is still such a strong competitor to the technical powerhouse that is PC.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I’m just in the mood to see certain people in a game; I like to see a familiar face in the crowd of grizzled soldiers, messy haired protagonists, and historical figures that litter my Steam library. Where’s Pikachu? What shenanigans is Link involved with today? Is Mario still a plumber? These are characters you just won’t see in Steam, or really anywhere in your PC unless you participate in the legal, and sometimes moral, grey area that is emulation. These are characters you can only see regularly on Nintendo hardware, especially if you plan to see their newest adventures. Even emulation only goes so far; for example, it will be sometime before new releases such as Mario Odyssey or the upcoming Let’s Go, Pikachu will be available on a PC. That is what pushes you to go buy the latest and greatest Nintendo system.
Nintendo understands as a company that it’s no longer a genericized trademark at home. This is no longer the 80’s when kids would tell everyone they’re going home to play Nintendo, and that meant they’re going to play video games. That spot has been passing between Xbox and Playstation in recent years. However, none of the consoles can hold a candle to the power and customization available on a PC.
That left Nintendo with their last and possibly best card; the characters that made them popular to begin with, alongside the guarantee of quality that comes with them. Once logged into Steam and you begin searching for a game to buy, let’s say a platformer, it’s hard to tell what’s good, even with the help of Steam reviews. Because, as I’m sure we’ve all seen, those reviews can often be caught up in trolling and memes. So what is there to do? Just take a chance on this game you’ve never heard of and hope it’s good? Perhaps you could make a great find and get a fantastic game, or, more than likely, you find one of the myriad of crap games located on Steam. Then you look to your Switch, 3DS, or even WiiU (all twelve of you) and realize you have some of the best platformers already, no fuss required. While I haven’t played every single Mario game, I’ve yet to play one that was outright bad. Then you stop to think that Mario isn’t the only platform series located on the family of Nintendo consoles.
Another one of Nintendo’s strong points is their solid connection to multiplayer experiences, primarily local/ couch co-op games such as Smash Bros., Mario Party, and the ever popular Wii Sports. All of these games can be played with/against more highly skilled players, such as your friends who practice relentlessly, or less skilled players like your family or non-gamer acquaintances. This ease of accessibility is a major bonus for Nintendo when compared to PC, which typically has games that are more geared towards experienced players.
We all love PC; I mean, come on, it’s our company. PC is big robust platform that lets you do almost anything you wish, gaming or otherwise. However, there are things that can be done, and done more easily, with a Nintendo system. Character exclusivity and a wide range of multiplayer experiences are why Nintendo will always remain a rival to the PC powerhouse.