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Did the Switch finally destroy Nintendo's "Kiddie" image?

Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Did the Switch finally destroy Nintendo's "Kiddie" image?

I'm 42 years old.

I always thought Nintendo had a "timeless" image. Sega painted them as kiddie in the 90s (or was that NEC?) and it took but I never really saw them that way. In fact, I always thought the Wii was the "old man" console. My wife's dad even had one and challenged me to bowling.



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Mummelmann said:

Most well-known are probably the Binding of Isaac and refusal to accept same sex relationships in Tomodachi Life. They eventually folded on the Binding of Isaac issue though, but it took a long time. They have a history of "shielding" their customers against things they deem unsafe for children, there was also the debacle concerning voice chat on the Switch, where children were more or less prohibited from using the feature at all. Things like that, paired with their continued use of their well-known mascots and evergreens contribute to a perpetuation of their image. That's not to say that their actual customers are kids, their average age demographic is among the oldest of all platforms. But the image persists and there are several reasons why.

The Switch is marketed more towards adults or young professionals but the internal policies on the platform itself and the overall external image through main franchises and mascots remain more or less the same. They've made an active effort to garner more "mature" support, but it doesn't seem to change all that much either. Perhaps if they had more simultaneous releases on par with PS4/One, things would gradually change. But for now, the Switch, like the machines that came before it (post SNES anyway) are where you go to play 1st party titles with cute mascots and run the risk of running into strange or even non-existent technical solutions designed to shield you from the world and market at large.

Regardless of all that; I'm still happy with mine and I gladly pay those games, as well as a few remakes or re-releases since I've missed three generations in a row. It has absolutely no bearing on my enjoyment of the machine itself.

Voice Chat on Switch, silly as it is, is not a children's protection act. That's just what fans assume. But fans are stupid and will blame anything on "protecting the children". The reason stated I believe has more to do with the fact that everyone has a smartphone, and in Japan talking through the phone online is apparently more popular than traditional headsets (or so I've heard). The implementation could be better, but it has nothing to do with keeping kids safe. 

The second bolded is also untrue. Nintendo changed a lot of its internal policies regarding developers for the Switch. It's to the point where they pretty much will let anything on the system. And people are actually buying third party games on Switch. In fact, third party sales are generally on par with and in the case of indies, even exceed the other 3 platforms. 



I don't think so. They've still got Mario, Pokemon, Kirby and so on... it's a tag that they'll never drop.

And that's a good thing, now that they're branching out and including more mature games, it shows that they've got variety.



Soundwave said:

Again look at the US demographic image again

Do you see the question that was asked for that poll?

"How old is the person in your household which has the strongest desire to purchase a Nintendo Switch?"

Do you see the verb being used there? It's not own a Switch. It's not play a Switch. It's purchase a Switch.

I hope you're intelligent enough to figure out how that just might skew demographic data a bit.



TheMisterManGuy said:
Voice Chat on Switch, silly as it is, is not a children's protection act. That's just what fans assume. But fans are stupid and will blame anything on "protecting the children". The reason stated I believe has more to do with the fact that everyone has a smartphone, and in Japan talking through the phone online is apparently more popular than traditional headsets (or so I've heard). The implementation could be better, but it has nothing to do with keeping kids safe. 
You believe, so you're just assuming too then. I think Nintendo's history holds more weight than "I believe." They shut down swapnote specifically to protect the children, don't see why you'd be stupid for thinking further restrictions are done for the same reason. Plus it's either that, or Nintendo is dumb and incompetent. The existence of smartphones is not an excuse to half-ass/omit the most basic of features.

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Nintendo's kiddie image was just their competitors trying to make Nintendo's greatest strength into a weakness. Nintendo typically excels at making games for everyone. That's why Marvel movies are sooooo popular.  Do only kids watch that? No.  Everyone does. It takes a lot of skill to make a movie that appeals to kids and adults. This used to be the norm back in the day but now people see it as the exception. This is mostly because Nintendo is the only console manufacturer still from the classic gaming age. (Atari, Hudson and Sega are all gone). 

Even in the 80's this wasn't even true. More than 40% of NES gamers were over the age of 18.  The kiddie image was always a marketing strategy. It worked for a time. I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes completely discredited by the end of the 9th generation though. I expect Nintendo knows that their competitors are trying to pigeonhole them but you can see Nintendo is fighting it. Why else would they be so adamant about bringing mature games on their system?



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I don't think it has really destroyed the kiddie image.
It has changed a lot but it still hasn't made it a thing of the past.

What i think it remains is the type of games that Nintendo is bringing to their consoles.
It's one thing to have 3rd parties put out some old/oldish ports, another is seeing the big games arrive on the console and seeing Nintendo change the type of genres they make.
So far, the biggest titles still elude Switch and Nintendo's own repertoire hasn't really changed.

In my opinion, the most important and hardest thing that needs to happen, is for Nintendo to start developing their own Halos, GT, Destiny, Uncharteds, etc., etc.
Over the years Nintendo has tried to change demographics and show that they aren't just for kids, but at the end of the day, their own image (SW production) did not change. And you can have great marketing, great consoles, but if you can't serve as an exemple of said change...



Lonely_Dolphin said:
You believe, so you're just assuming too then. I think Nintendo's history holds more weight than "I believe." They shut down swapnote specifically to protect the children, don't see why you'd be stupid for thinking further restrictions are done for the same reason. Plus it's either that, or Nintendo is dumb and incompetent. The existence of smartphones is not an excuse to half-ass/omit the most basic of features.

The difference was that Swapnote had a real indecent that happened, and Nintendo was forced to take action to avoid controversy. The whole Voice Chat through phone thing has nothing to do with protecting kids at all. That's just a made up theory based on an unrelated indecent. I'm not defending the Voice chat only through phone app thing, I'm just saying there's a completely different reason behind it.



Certainly less kiddie, but nintendo will always be known as kids stuff, kinda like disney is known for kids stuff. Even if they occasionally or often make more mature titles.



TheMisterManGuy said:
Lonely_Dolphin said:
You believe, so you're just assuming too then. I think Nintendo's history holds more weight than "I believe." They shut down swapnote specifically to protect the children, don't see why you'd be stupid for thinking further restrictions are done for the same reason. Plus it's either that, or Nintendo is dumb and incompetent. The existence of smartphones is not an excuse to half-ass/omit the most basic of features.

The difference was that Swapnote had a real indecent that happened, and Nintendo was forced to take action to avoid controversy. The whole Voice Chat through phone thing has nothing to do with protecting kids at all. That's just a made up theory based on an unrelated indecent. I'm not defending the Voice chat only through phone app thing, I'm just saying there's a completely different reason behind it.

But you're saying that based on nothing yet calling others stupid when their assumptions atleast have some basis. Also, Nintendo wasn't forced to do anything. It's not like indecent stuff never happens on other communication platforms, yet they are still running. Nintendo shut down swapnote purely because they want to be our parents. Likewise, Nintendo doesn't allow messaging on Switch most certainly because they want to be our parents.