Nintendo knows exactly what it’s doing and/or has no idea

In the same week as a Nintendo Direct which included the confirmation of SNES games on Nintendo Switch Online, Nintendo has thrown this excellent teaser video out there:

What is it? Why it’s some sort of ‘Nintendo Circle’ of course!

The leading theory is something along the lines of Switch Sports or Switch Fit, and the mystery will quite possibly prove to be more interesting than the reality when details follow next week. But in the meantime, it’s highly effective in getting people talking – surprisingly, there are even some entertaining comments on YouTube.

It can be easy to be cynical about Nintendo. Take that news of SNES games being added to Nintendo Switch Online. Super Mario World, for example, has been released on SNES and Game Boy Advance, and more recently on Virtual Console and the SNES Mini. Now it’s included in a subscription. Hooray! Hooray?

And then there’s the SNES controller for Switch, which will be available for £26.99. In addition to the NES controllers for Switch, which are already available for £49.99. Which I bought, and used about half a dozen times.

But I’ll still buy the SNES controller, because it’s beautiful. Is this Nintendo cynically cashing in, or giving people what they want?

So with this vague announcement video, it’s good to be reminded that Nintendo does come up with new stuff, that no-one else is doing, and is a bit odd, and is announced in a bit of an odd way.

Sometimes these things catch on, sometimes they die a quiet death. When they take off, we declare that Nintendo knows exactly what it’s doing – cleverly innovating with one hand, celebrating its history with the other. When they fail miserably, we declare that Nintendo has no idea what it’s doing – dinosaurs from a bygone age milking nostalgic fans, while flailing around madly in the modern world.

I like to think that – confusingly, impossibly – it’s both.

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