By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. Close

Although the Wii was a massive success, some Nintendo fans loyal to systems like the Nintendo GameCube were turned off by the emphasis on family fun time and motion controls against the more "Hardcore" focus of those systems, as well as the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 with many arguing that Nintendo "should make a hardcore system for hardcore mature gamers like myself". I mean the Wii U was supposed to be that glorious return to "core gaming" But thinking about it, has Nintendo ever made a successful "core gamer-oriented" console?

For all its faults, the GameCube was essentially, what everybody wanted. A traditional, no-nonsense powerful game console without any significant controller gimmicks or multi-media fluff aimed at hardcore Nintendo fans, with literally every core Nintendo franchise fans could ask for being released. Yet it lost to a DVD Player and a simplified PC.

And I talked before about how the Wii U was when Nintendo was trying to "win back the hardcore gamer" with a focus on third party multi-platform titles, online connectivity, and complex games using the Wii U GamePad. You even had Iwata saying stuff like how the Wii wasn't able to meet the needs of serious gamers and shit. And I argued that was one of the things that doomed the console, not just because they were never going to win that audience over with a device like that, but also because Nintendo has just never been good at making a console primarily focused on the "Hardcore gamer", because the two times they did that resulted in failure.

Nintendo's biggest success have always been the ones where they played to their strengths of being the "Everyman's" game system for young and old. The NES and SNES in Japan were literally called the "Family Computer" and were focused on entertaining people of all ages and gaming skill levels. The Game Boy line, The Nintendo DS, Wii, and the Nintendo Switch.

The funny thing about the Switch is that, if you actually try to use it as a pure, no-nonsense home console for hardcore gaming (Keeping it permanently docked, using only the Pro Controller)... It kinda sucks, especially if you own other systems. Its woefully under-powered compared to the other consoles, it's online service is still mediocre, you still miss out on all the biggest AAA third party games, and when you do get them, they're heavily compressed miracle ports or cloud versions. It just becomes a lame Xbox One knock-off at that point. The Switch only becomes a good system when you actually use it as intended (Playing un-docked frequently, detaching the Joy-Con for multiplayer or motion controls, etc.)

Yet apparently, some people prefer that shit, which is why you see some people argue that the Switch is some kind of return to "hardcore" Nintendo, yet the console's two best selling games are Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Animal Crossing New Horizons. The two most casual and newbie friendly franchises in existence. Don't get me wrong, I adore the GameCube, but it's one of Nintendo's least successful consoles for a reason. It was a hardcore Nintendo system, for hardcore Nintendo fans, and look how well that turned out.

I understand the Wii may have leaned too heavily into motion control and family/social gaming for some gamers' liking, but given that the Switch has also succeeded with those two aspects as a focus, and the Nintendo consoles that were aimed primarily at the "Core Gamer" both flopped, that tells me that Nintendo's strength isn't "core gaming".

Last edited by TheMisterManGuy - on 18 December 2023