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Forums - Nintendo Discussion - "Nintendo users only buy Nintendo games on Nintendo systems" How true was this?

Whenever a Nintendo system (usually a home console) suffers from lacking third party support, one of the big go-to explanations for gamers and publishing execs is that owners of Nintendo platforms don't buy third party games, and only buy games that are released by Nintendo themselves. You saw this a lot during the Nintendo GameCube, Wii (to a degree), and Wii U generations. Nintendo versions of games often sold poorly compared to their PlayStation and Xbox releases, and even exclusives often under-performed.

But how true is this narrative? I can easily understand the phenomena with the GameCube. That was a console that pretty much catered exclusively to hardcore Nintendo fans throughout most of its life, creating an unhealthy environment for third party games on the system. There were exceptions, namely games that incorporated Nintendo IP into the GameCube versions like with Soul Calibur II, or games that were akin to Nintendo games such as Sonic. But most GameCube owners, bought it for Nintendo games.

With Wii U, the console itself was just very unappealing. Third parties making boneheaded decisions with releases (Mass Effect 3 at full price with missing DLC, while a trilogy on other consoles was the same price. LOL) didn't help either.

The Wii was somewhat of a mixed bag. Games that played well to the newbie/non-gamer-heavy user-base of the system found success on the system such as Just Dance and Boom Blox. But games that tried to be a "core gamer" experience were often met with disappointing sales. The slew of shovelware that the system became known for was also an issue.

These three systems all had easily explainable scenarios for mediocre third party sales on them. But what about Nintendo's pre-N64 consoles, the NES and Super NES? Those systems launched many of the biggest third party IPs and games. Or how about Nintendo's various handhelds. Franchises such as Ace Attorney, Monster Hunter, TWEWY, Professor Layton, Scribblenauts, Shantae, and others are heavily associated with Nintendo because of them.

And then there's the Nintendo Switch. The Switch has not only seen the biggest third party sales on a Nintendo system to-date, but Switch versions of games often sell almost as good as, if not, better than the PS and Xbox releases. Obviously Nintendo's own games for these consoles are the highest selling, but that's largely due to how Nintendo has historically integrated its hardware and software together over the years.

So the whole "Nintendo systems are only for Nintendo games" mantra is only really true if the console itself isn't very appealing to a mass audience. The GCN was a hardcore Nintendo fanboy console, while the Wii U was kind of bootycheeks. If a Nintendo system has good sales with an appealing hook, then games will sell well on it. First or third party

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Well, I don't have a Switch, but if I had one, it would be only for Nintendo games, since almost all indie and third parties have a PC version, and I'd rather play them on PC.

The fact that Nintendo choose to have only one system for their games helped the Switch a lot, instead of having a dedicated home console and a handheld.

It might be true for maybe 10% or less of the user base. The majority of Switch owners will have half of their collection to be third-party

Usually it's half Nintendo, half third parties. So that narrative is false. However, there are more third party games than first party. In that sense, it makes sense why some people think third party games should sell more. The ratio shouldn't be 50:50. This doesn't mean software aren't selling tho. The Wii and DS sold close to 1 billion, and the Switch has passed 1 billion. It's just that Nintendo first party games are really popular.

The problem is simple. Nintendo hardware are weaker compared to other popular hardware. So modern AAA games aren't going to sell well, third party needs more AA games. Most third party software sold on a Nintendo platform are AA games for that reason. Third parties are way too obsessed with making AAA games. We've been hearing how AAA games are not sustainable, why not make more low budget games. Like if Square Enix has the budget to make Forspoken, make a game for the Switch that isn't from Team Asasno or stuff that already exists. Third parties lacks the mindset to do something new, they don't innovate. Indies are trying their best, but even indie games most are just stuff that already exists. There's also a limit to how much budget they have. Nintendo platforms should be a place to put new ideas into form, I get that implementing motion control and stuff are difficult, but those are significantly more unique than making another generic AAA games to the market. Same with VR, there should be more VR games. Nintendo hardware has so much potential for these third parties, but for some reason they just don't care. Perhaps Nintendo platform and the Switch 2 can potentially benefit from AAA becoming unsustainable.

Last edited by Shatts - on 13 January 2024

I buy anything and everything that holds interest... And sometimes I'll buy a game for the sake of wanting more of that type of game on Nintendo platforms, sales talk in the end. I.E. Neverwinter Nights.

I don't just buy Nintendo exclusives for Switch.

Last edited by Pemalite - on 13 January 2024

--::{PC Gaming Master Race}::--

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Nintendo-published titles seem to be roughly 50% of Switch sales, so yeah, there must be a whole damn lot of people buying mostly or only Nintendo titles - I know I did!

That means the Switch will likely see fewer third-party games sold than the Xbox One despite selling way more hardware. Factor in the weaker hardware and cartridge costs to make the platform a little less attractive and you begin to understand the subpar third-party releases on the Switch.

If you consider Pokémon/Fire Emblem/Kirby not to be Nintendo games, that improves the share of the others a little, but these franchises are still typically Nintendo games in everyone's minds.






They need to start buying Nintendo games on non-Nintendo systems. They need to pick up Mario Party on the Series X. That'll be the day.

My Switch is 150 plus physical games and most of that is 3rd party. You won't find any Pokemon or AC. Very little of Mario and Zelda. All Xenoblades. A shit ton of arcade games and shmups. RPGs.

But my general impression of Nintendo fans over the years. They are the most sheltered. In a bubble. Unaware of a lot of well-known stuff past and present. Extremely unaware of a lot of classic series.

Last edited by Leynos - on 13 January 2024

Bite my shiny metal cockpit!

If there is a game that is on a bunch of platforms, more often than not the version on the Nintendo console is the worst. That said, if you make an exclusive (or give me a reason to buy your port) then I'll gladly pick it up.

A lot of gamers play quite a few indie games on the Switch, although those that bought steamdeck are now choosing to play a lot of indies on the steamdeck instead of their Switches. I play everything from Nintendo made games, to indies, to third party games. Depending on the game, if it's something that will look siginifanctly bettter on the PS5 or if it's on gamepass than I will check it out elsewhere.