Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Switch and Virtual Boy: Gambling Game Consoles

On March 3, Nintendo launched "Switch," a new game console. It has a unique user interface. Players can select some forms according to their play styles such as tabletop mode and handheld mode.

There are several consoles appeared by some developers so far. Some of them became popular, attracting users joyful mind. However, others were forgotten by most consumers other than a few enthusiasts.

Nintendo Virtual Boy is one example of the big failure. It was released in 1995. Players can look into the scope to see the 3D vision. But its performance was too unique to be accepted by many users and developers.

International Business Times: Switching it up: 6 of the weirdest consoles from video game history

Developing a game console is a gamble for a company. Usually, developers sell a new console at a price which is less than the total cost to make one. Making the console spread to consumers is the essential goal. Then, other companies are willing to create new games with this console. The developer of the console gets the license fee from the game designing companies. The many famous titles are released, the many players buy the console. Finally, the developer reduces the price of the console because the cost of developing the machine has been already retrieved. Then, more gamers buy the console.

Sony Playstation, Nintendo Wii, and Microsoft X-Box series took this process. In contrast, Sega had to abandon Dreamcast, a game console which was competing Sony Playstation 2 temporarily. Dreamcast was not so inferior to Sony's concurrent consoles. But it failed to gather many supporters. Sega, suffering from money shortage, finally decided to retreat from developing the game console.

It is unsure whether Nintendo Switch will win the race of the game console war. Switch will ignite the motivation of game programmers, with its unique appearance. But it is another issue whether consumers become accustomed to its user experience. Preceding Nintendo Wii U is deemed as a failure, although the ex-President Toru Iwata was struggling to sell it.

In my sense, Switch is possible to be successful. Nowadays, many people play games with a smartphone. However, the UI of a smartphone is limited to a touch screen. Some gamers feel it uncomfortable. Switch's unique UI may meet their need to grip the game controller emotionally.

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