If there’s one thing I know, it’s that this guy – Dave, the HD Hubby – is not Nintendo’s target audience. I am, however, their intended holder of the purse strings. As the father of two up and coming gamers, Nintendo is going on a multi-city offensive to get the word out about their latest and greatest gadgets, just in time for the holiday shopping season.
For starters, what’s cooler than a Mario enclosed Airstream trailer? This ride is truly tricked out for the gamer in all of us. Leather couches, stone countertops and flatscreen TVs galore. Stepping inside the Airstream, I was greeted by a team of Nintendo reps – led by Mark Cvetovich, a former Boeing exec who has always been a hardcore gamer. Together, our interest in aviation and electronics clicked and we immediately started in on the pitch for the new releases.
Nintendo is releasing a new 2DS gaming system that’s easy on the eyes and on the wallet. At $129.99, this system is a beautifully engineered alternative to the 3DS and 3DS XL systems. Given that the 3DS continues to dominate the handheld gaming market – sales of 3DS games have exceeded 6 million in 2013 and are up 30% year over year – Nintendo is wise to release a system that fits the more budget conscious consumer. The 2DS plays all existing handheld games and could find its way into many homes this holiday season.
A few new games are launching in the next few weeks that have the Nintendo audience buzzing. A $50 price drop for the Wii U Pad ($299.99), makes playing some of Nintendo’s legacy games that much cooler. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD is aesthetically breathtaking and features a ton of old-meets-new features that fans of the Zelda series will go bananas for.
Speaking of bananas, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze features the exploits of our favorite gorilla as he takes on Vikings in a variety of tropical and arctic locales. I only played this game for a few minutes, but I can tell you, the visuals will blow you away. Factor in the ability to interact with objects in the background, this game is light years beyond the Donkey Kong I remember playing as a kid. Here’s a preview of the new game from our friends at Nintendo Insider.
The personal gaming pads and new titles are nice and all, but you can’t talk about Nintendo without talking about our favorite plumber, Mario. The mustached man is back with his pals for what is sure to be an epic adventure. Super Mario 3D World captures your attention and won’t let go. This multiplayer, co-op game has it’s share of unique wrinkles…the coolest, perhaps, being the hidden levels and a “cat suit” skin that you can don with just a few trademark head smashes. Of the 40 minutes I was in the Nintendo Airstream, we likely talked about this game (aka – played) for 70% of the time. Check out the game’s trailer here.
Simply put, Nintendo certainly has some challenges and major competition this holiday season. It’s hard to compete with XBOX, PlayStation and, heck, even the iPad. But at the end of the day, Nintendo has been holding it’s own in the gaming marketplace for more than two decades. Young or old, we’ve all come to appreciate what the gaming giant has to offer. The best part? Nintendo just keeps getting better with age.