Celebrating over three decades of fun
To celebrate Mario’s 35th anniversary, Nintendo announced a couple of new video games, content, and toys featuring Mario through a Nintendo Direct. Mario has been Nintendo’s longest-running and one of the most critically acclaimed video game franchises of all time. The Italian plumber has come a long way from being called Jump Man in Nintendo’s 1971 arcade game, Donkey Kong.
Since then, Mario changed the industry by implementing innovative mechanics, well-thought-out level designs, colorful and creative worlds to explore, and memorable characters that have inspired millions of developers and players.
This Nintendo Direct with Mario’s 35th anniversary gives us a glimpse of their strategies for the foreseeable future.
Gamifying Toys, a New Frontier
Nintendo has been at the forefront of innovation for decades, having developed joysticks, mobile gaming, mode7, 4player split-screen, and motion control, to name a few. Now, Nintendo has taken a step further by introducing video games into the world of tangible toys and experiences.
Nintendo continues to push the boundaries of innovation by bringing Mario into other mediums. Nintendo has partnered with brands like Lego and Universal Studios to build an upcoming theme park. The Nintendo Direct announced an augmented reality game called Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit.
With Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, children can purchase Mario & Luigi GoKart action racers, which have an attached augmented camera that connects to the Nintendo Switch. Kids can set up tracks using checkpoints that create a virtual race in their living room. The game features the iconic items to attack players with and maintains the same UI from Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Revitalizing Past Products
Before the Nintendo Switch or the Game Boy, Nintendo popularized mobile gaming by creating the Game and Watch. Users could play simple 2D games on a handheld device for the first time. The technology has improved since then, and Nintendo is reimagining their classic Game and Watch for both the old and new generation of players.
Nintendo is taking the risk of developing a product that may or may not be successful, which is production is limited. If they create more quantities than they can sell, they will not receive enough profit. Consoles such as the Wii U were unable to achieve the desired sales.
Distributing a limited amount of products allows Nintendo to minimize risk. In return, Nintendo separates itself from the competition while surprising its audience by continually developing innovative products.
Criticism about Nintendo’s Marketing Strategy
These products are more expensive than your average toy set and do not have replayability as a full-fledged video game. Game & Watch Super Mario Bros, Super Mario 35, and Super Mario 3D All-Stars are limited-time products.
Previously, the NES and SNES Minis have also had limited quantities being sold out in many locations across the United States. Backlash by consumers comes from resellers distributing Nintendo products for a hefty price on websites such as E-bay.
Mario’s 35th anniversary is exciting but comes with mixed feelings. For those who have already purchased previous iterations for the WiiU, it brings little incentive to buy a version. Nintendo continues to rerelease previous WiiU titles on the Nintendo Switch such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe.
I’m a little disappointed that the games aren’t new, nor are they remastered versions.
The past Nintendo Directs been bland, but this has brought some relief. As the PS5 and Xbox Series X launch approaches, will Nintendo’s current hardware be enough to compete against these consoles?
What do you think of Maro’s 35th anniversary and how do you feel about Nintendo’s strategies? Is purchasing a Game & Watch Super Mario Bros. worth it when consumers can already play the same titles on Nintendo Switch already? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comment section below.
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