Double Take is a series where we take recent announcements and occurrences in the gaming industry and offer our immediate thoughts on them.
Nintendo has always been a very quiet company, selecting when and where it wants to speak. Like a beast in hibernation, Nintendo would stay dormant for eons and then wake up, let out a roar, and then proceed to go back to sleep.
Things have gotten better thanks to the Nintendo Direct presentations, but with those being so few and far between there are still long periods of almost complete silence from the company. But then there are times when it goes and does things like this.
The NES Classic Edition, or rather I should say, the NES Mini raced into headlines earlier today. When I first saw a picture of it, I thought it was some kind of Photoshop image or even a new Kickstarter campaign, but to my surprise I found out that it’s an actual Nintendo product.
I’m still shocked that it actually exists. The Wii Mini was one thing, but this? What? But I guess I really shouldn’t be surprised—pulling things out of scenic nowhere is pretty much one of Nintendo’s hobbies.
When the late Satoru Iwata revealed the NX, it was at an investor’s briefing and the main topic was the announcement of Nintendo’s partnership with mobile-giant DeNA. E3 is pretty much the time and place for hardware announcements, but Mr. Iwata just thought it would be cool to casually drop that bomb right then and there at the meeting.
There were rumors about a new Nintendo system since 2014, but Nintendo didn’t even wait for E3 2015 to come around before announcing the NX.
What about the announcements of the 2DS? Many people thought it was some kind of elaborate hoax, but no, it was a very real thing. And how about when Miyamoto just casually revealed that Pikmin 4 is a thing in the middle of an interview? Like seriously, what?
Nintendo seems to get a kick out of just throwing these announcements out, like fish bait in a lake. Whether it be at unrelated events, in the middle of interviews, or just out of scenic nowhere on a regular day, this company must have some unspoken policy to rock the gaming world with major announcements at unexpected times. Mind you, this isn’t really a bad thing. While making an announcement during a Nintendo Direct or at an event like E3 would generate large amounts of buzz, it’s also expected that something major would be said. The element of surprise is still there, but due to the nature of the event people wouldn’t be as shocked, unlike what we have here.
Putting aside its surprise announcement, I actually really like the new NES. It’s stupidly tiny, has compatibility with existing controllers (the Wii Classic Controller) and the bundle includes the system and a massive collection of games all for the price of a single retail game. That’s an insanely great deal! The only thing I wonder is exactly why was this created? With the Virtual Console service, this technically doesn’t make sense. But perhaps after seeing the success of amiibo due to the massive amount of collectors, Nintendo must have thought it would be good to appeal to that crowd again; creating yet another item that doubles as both functional entertainment and a great shelf decoration. It’s going to be very interesting to see how this sells when it releases this Fall.