Green Beer and Mario

So it is St. Patrick’s Day today, and a Friday, which adds up to a huge proliferation of drunken parties tonight! But while there will undoubtedly be thousands upon thousands of parties going on tonight, and throughout the weekend, what sort of role do you think video games will take part in such festivities?

In years past, I suspect the many party games available for the Nintendo Wii, not to mention the Wii U, would get brought out at homes across the globe, to entertain millions of drunken sots. And as funny as it is to think of all the Wiimotes getting drunkenly flung into expensive television screens, I just don’t see this happening all that much this year, at least not for this particular holiday.

Why? Because the Nintendo Switch just came out, and it has no decent party games released for that platform yet.

Yes, people could gather around the television and watch someone play “Breath of the Wild”, or a couple of people could drunkenly stagger their way through “1-2-Switch”. But compared to the fantastic, and inclusive, party games of previous Nintendo systems, these make for a rather sad offering this year.

Anyway, I feel Nintendo really dropped the ball here. They should have released “1-2-Switch” as a pack-in game, and put out at least one great party game that could be played with at least four person local multiplayer, on a split screen. Perhaps a new “Mario Party”, “Smash Bros.”, or “Mario Kart”?

Regardless, Nintendo would have done well to release one, great party game at launch, because “1-2-Switch” just isn’t up to snuff. And with so many people getting together for St. Patrick’s Day parties tonight and through the weekend, this would have been the perfect way to sell the new console/handheld system to people who otherwise might have overlooked the Switch.

It was this market that made the Wii the best selling console in Nintendo’s history. It could also be this market that makes or breaks the Switch, regardless of how well the system has sold in their first couple of weeks.

Unfortunately, it won’t be until much later in the year that you will have lots of people gathering together and mostly remaining inside, where the Switch could garner plenty of casual attention. Memorial Day and Independence Day are both traditionally spent out-of-doors for the most part, same with Labor Day. Halloween isn’t a great holiday for gathering around the television to play party games, so that leave Thanksgiving – a full eight months from now – before you have another opportunity like tonight to soft-sell the Switch to the casual market.

Maybe that was Nintendo’s intention, as they will have a much larger supply of games out for the system by then. But at the same time, much of the hype for the Switch will be long gone by then, with people spending more time playing the XBox One Scorpio, instead.

 

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