The Switch has a special feature that no one is giving much attention…
To the Nintendo marketers reading this site…. *waves*. I know you are here. Here is a picture of a kitten:
Above: Kitten picture for the marketers. (It helps calm them down. We try to help out the Nintendo employees in every way we can, reader.)
Nintendo marketers are probably wondering how to market the Switch to gamers over 30 years old. If I know the marketers, I bet they are thinking of marketing the Switch as a way to play beefy games like Skyrim on the go like when riding planes or doing something else (going over to in-laws house).
But there is a better way. And it is the reason why I will be buying the Switch.
Anyone older than thirty knows and lusts after cartridges. Game systems stopped being fun in large part because of discs. Cartridges last longer than optical media. The retro game industry, which has ballooned, revolves largely around cartridges. Also, consoles without a optical disc player means there are no moving parts. It means a more durable machine.
Nintendo never left cartridges. The DS and 3DS kept using cartridges. Iwata ingeniously repackaged the DS cartridges in a type of plastic box folder as opposed to a cardboard box. Why? It was for adults. And Iwata was right.
The Nintendo Switch is the return of cartridges to the home console in twenty years since the N64.
“I don’t see what this is a big deal,” pouts the reader.
When you saw Skyrim in the Switch trailer, what did you see? Those who are younger than 30 saw Skyrim being a mobile game. Those who are older than thirty saw something different: Skyrim as a cartridge game.
Cartridges are fun to collect for and worth getting as they last forever. I want to buy a Switch and buy all the games since they will all be collectible since I can play them on an outside visual output (a TV), with a custom controller (not stuck with handheld controls), and they are self-contained. I am sure there will more downloadable stuff. But as a MOBILE device, the Switch cannot be expected to be connected to the Internet 24/7. Do you know what that means, reader? It means online DRM will not be omnipresent.
It means I can start collecting cartridges for a HOME CONSOLE again. I had to wait over TWENTY years in order to do this.
Now, the launch titles of the Switch scare me, and most seem to be retreads from the N64 era. But still! Cartridges! On home console!
I hate 3d Mario and some other games, but I still want those cartridges.
“After twenty years, you can buy cartridges for your home console again…” That will get the attention of 30+ year olds.
Do you see what I just did there, reader? I gave free consulting to Nintendo Marketing (and a picture of a kitten). It will make them millions. And they don’t even give me a thank you card.