E3: Is Nintendo Winning Back Hardcore Gamers? [OPINION]

Is Nintendo getting the respect back from the hardcore gamers that abandoned them 23 years ago?

Ever since Nintendo went to the cartridge well too often with the release of the Nintendo 64, most of the hardcore gaming community turned their back on them and gave their business to Sony for the Playstation, and later Microsoft for the Xbox. Since then the battle for gamers' hearts has been a primarily two-dog race. Nintendo has been hanging around ever since surviving and at times, striking gold with their niche ideas for home consoles and continued dominance in the portable videogame market.

Now half past 2019, two major third party companies in Capcom and Square Enix, who saw some of their best business thriving on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), coming back with games once exclusive to Playstation. It used to be when ports were released of older games in the era of the PS and Xbox, most third parties decided to pass on Nintendo.

Every generation, Sony and Microsoft go neck-to-neck on the horsepower of their gaming machines, while Nintendo's specs can barely even keep up technologically with Sony and Microsoft's previous consoles. With Microsoft teasing Scarlett and Sony likely to release information on the Playstation 5 soon, third parties are starting to port a few of their back end signature titles to the Nintendo Switch.

With Nintendo's E3 presentation, Capcom announced new ports for Resident Evil 5 and 6. Earlier in 2019, the company released the once-Gamecube exclusives in Resident Evil Zero, Resident Evil Remake, and Resident Evil 4 to the Switch in HD remastered editions that contained all the bonus content previously released on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC. It should only be a matter a time before Resident Evil: Code Veronica and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis will also likely make their HD transitions to the Switch.
Square Enix also became more generous with their signature franchise, Final Fantasy. Since 1997, when Square decided to abandon Nintendo in favor of the disk-based Playstation for Final Fantasy VII, the company was primarily loyal to only Sony releasing most of their titles to their PS brand. Now the once exclusive PS Final Fantasy titles in VII, VIII, IX, X and XII are all going cross platform to include the Switch. Prior to the 2019 announcement of VII, IX, X, and XII making their way to the Switch, the only FF titles they saw were ports of games IVI.

To top that off, Square Enix announced VIII will also be getting the HD remaster treatment to join in IX, X, and XII for the Switch at E3. Hell, I'm surprised Kingdom Hearts I and II HD editions aren't also going the same route.

Beyond Capcom and Square, Bethesda released Skyrim at Switch's launch. Bioware and Rocksteady previously released Mass Effect 3 and Batman: Arkham Origins and Batman: Arkham City games for the Wii U. Ubisoft ported Assassin's Creed III to the Wii U and Switch. CD Projekt announced at E3 they will port The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt to the Switch.

Granted the Switch isn't capable of producing the horsepower of the PS4 and Xbox One like , it shows third parties are being more receptive to Nintendo given their success with the Wii and the Switch. It's becoming harder to deny them a slice of that pie.

Now there are still plenty of exclusives to current gen consoles we won't see on the Switch. Perhaps with greater third party support than ever before, it might provide incentive for Nintendo to be more on par technologically with their powerful counterparts.

Do you think with better support, Nintendo make their next console as powerful as Scarlet or PS5?

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangora. As a professional writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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