As tough as it is to come to terms with knowing that the only way you can put to words the effect advertising and brands have on a person’s life is to be under their effect, I will dare say that I’m not the only person who feels this way and this year’s E3 is proof. People take sides in the so-called console war, but let’s get down to brass tacks here… it’s a war that will never end because it seems, consoles have forged gamers. People who play X-Box and Play Station have an affinity to games considered less “childish” as the market defines it and more for grown ups.
We’ve narrowed it down a bit, that leaves us with the Microsoft and Sony exclusive titles, which are more or less multi-port, except of course for the timeless classics: Sony has its Crash, Nintendo has its Mario (or Zelda) and Microsoft has Minecraft (I couldn’t honestly think of any other… Maybe one from RARE?), but it’s pretty much those two having their isolated battle while Mario and company have parties and play tennis in the background.
Generation after generation these heroes and villains have reinvented themselves and updated but still stayed true to what made them loved, or at least their plot line. Needless to say fans of Nintendo are fewer, but it’s a more hard-core relationship that goes deeper than other consoles and few brands manage to keep an omni-device presence.
Zelda fans will always be Zelda fans and thus they will get a Toon Link amiibo or the Triforce 3DS case, the game travels from the screen and becomes a part of the gamer/fan’s life, taking full advantage of this is something that Nintendo does very well and let’s remember that it began as a trading card company… You don’t see baseball cards anymore but you do see Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer amiibo cards.
Need I say more? Yes. It may have come to be noticed that I’m currently based in Amsterdam, where there is a store called Pop Cult. Alright not one store, there are at least three in the city centre and some in other Dutch cities. The shelves are stocked with Mario, Link, Princess Peach, Zelda, Toad, Luigi and some other franchises from other consoles but not nearly as much.
The trend here is that Nintendo has figured out the formula to comfortably have a console that doesn’t deliver 1080 HD image quality and frames that look as good as if you were in a cinema, but the experience that you get out of it will make you want to come back for more, the game catalog may be repetitive to say the least but the franchises always deliver and they don’t just stay on the screen, they come in the form of figures, cards, apps, merchandising and a handheld console (which Play Station doesn’t make anymore and Microsoft didn’t try… yet) it seems that Mario’s reach is further and broader than its rival’s.
Acknowledging that everyone has a different taste of ice cream or preference for a phone, the console you play with or the games company you have an affinity for is a determining part of modern culture, Nintendo has managed to make gaming mainstream, cross generation, out of the living room and I think my 3DS won’t stop being part of my essentials any time soon.