The Nintendo Switch is an incredibly exciting new platform that has most of the gaming community looking forward to January 12th—the date Nintendo will finally give everyone an in-depth look at the hybrid—as the real Christmas Day. Though we weren’t supposed to hear any news from the time the reveal trailer aired until the January event, numerous rumors have since surfaced from seemingly reliable sources (Laura Kate Dale being the most prolific). Out of the bunch, there was one that had me concerned almost immediately–the first six months of the system launch is rumored to be comprised of Splatoon, Mario Kart 8, and Xenoblade Chronicles  X  “enhanced ports,” with many speculating that Super Mario Maker and Smash Bros. will follow shortly after. 

Some argue that it makes sense from a business perspective to bring over the more popular Nintendo titles many gamers missed out on this generation. From that angle, I can see why they’d do it. But from a Wii U owner’s angle, I can’t help but feel disappointed. The fact that these games are going to be repackaged and brought to another platform isn’t what’s bothering me–heck, I had no issues when Wii U ports starting showing up on the 3DS. But when launch comes and the majority of first-party games are ports, what are Wii U owners supposed to get excited about? There has to be more than Zelda: Breath of the Wild to entice upgraders. 

The vast majority of Wii U owners are hardcore Nintendo fans. These are fans who already know they’ll preorder the Switch or grab it on day one. Whether they buy Nintendo consoles for certain games (Smash Bros., Mario Kart, etc.) or because they know Nintendo delivers the kind of experiences they love, these are the company’s most faithful customers. Is it a tiny percentage of the market? Absolutely. Does it make sense to reach farther and pursue more diverse audiences? Definitely. But making the foundation of your new system launch a series of remakes that your core audience has likely already played screams misstep. 

So how do they remedy this if the rumors are true? Easy: carefully pick the ports that have the most potential and upgrade them to sequels. 

Splatoon seems like it’ll lend itself well to this approach–the new version shown in the trailer is already being hotly debated amongst its fan base as to whether it’s a sequel or not. With the addition of the long-desired pants and hair customization options as well as new maps and weapons, the port/sequel is poised to please fans of the first game and newcomers alike. Throw in another solid single-player mode and revamp the lackluster local multiplayer and you have yourself a true gem of an exclusive FPS. 

On the other hand, there’s not much that games like Mario Kart 8 and Smash Bros. could really do to differentiate themselves. Add new characters and stages? Sure. But from what we saw in the reveal trailer, MK8 looks just about the same as it always has, albeit with a two-item mode. In terms of Smash Bros., it’s hard to imagine another full entry being made for a long time. The cast of characters is so huge and the stage selection so inclusive (not to mention the seemingly endless bonus modes and extra content), it’d be insane to do anything other than make a port with updated graphics and all of the DLC packed in. 

It’s understandable that Nintendo wants to release definitive versions of a few of its key franchises. But it’s also important to cater to owners of those original titles. Sequels are one way to do this; charging the double-dippers half price for digital downloads of the enhanced ports is another. Whatever solution Nintendo decides on, there has to be one–the Nintendo faithful can’t be left out to dry come launch day. 

– Brent Middleton

Strategy-RPG junkie. Splatoon addict. Lover of games with color. Want to know more? You can follow his blog CreamBasics.weebly.com and follow him on Twitter @CreamBasics.

Leave a comment below.

Latest Posts

Sean Baker's new film harnesses the perspective of childhood in a way that is relatable and terrifying.

Review: ‘Total War: Warhammer 2’

With Total War: Warhammer 2 Creative Assembly have done a sterling job of developing a game that appeals to fans of their own franchise and enthusiasts of Games Workshop's iconic intellectual properties.

Toronto After Dark: ‘Beyond Skyline’ Defies Everything And Refuses To Be Restrained

'Beyond Skyline' is a fun, ambitious sequel that doesn’t even require you to watch the awful original.

Toronto After Dark: ‘Sixty Minutes to Midnight’ is a Pulpy, Calculated Genre Film

'Sixty Minutes to Midnight' uses its inspiration to help get you in the mood for what it’s about to lay down, but then has enough tricks up its sleeve to feel wholly its own.
Studio Ghibli

GKids and Shout! Factory’s Studio Ghibli Releases Do Justice to the Beloved Classics

How much do these new versions differ from the the Disney releases?
Saru

Saru is the Focal Point of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

Saru, as First Officer, is in a position to go from prey to predator, how his character develops will influence the direction of the series as a whole.

‘Flame In the Flood’: A Beautiful And Harrowing Game of Survival

Flame in the Flood is Don’t Starve meets Toobin,’ and for the most part, it works. It’s beautiful, stylish, fun, difficult, frustrating, and overall well worth checking out for fans of both survival sims and stylish indies.
Banner-3DS-CuldaceptRevolt

Roll the Dice and Rebel in ‘Culdcept Revolt’

'Culdcept' fuses board games with card games in an odd meld of turn-based tactics and deck-building strategy.
myboyfriend_sback3-1600x900-c-default

‘My Boyfriend’s Back’ – A Wicked Satire on Teenage Brutality, Puberty, and Small Town...

My Boyfriend’s Back is a hilariously tongue-in-cheek send-up of both zombie movies and romantic teen-comedies, with a touch of social satire.