Throughout its history, Nintendo has constantly been ahead of the game, introducing so many of the play control features we now take for granted on game platforms, pushing forward with novel ideas that expand what we can do with games in a way that it wouldn’t be able to if it was not in the hardware business. It’s been able to create unique software like Super Mario Maker that wouldn’t function nearly as well on a generic hardware device (or wouldn’t be made at all in a more competitive environment). A game industry without Nintendo hardware is a lesser one, so when Nintendo starts to struggle with the fundamentals of the business, it’s worrying.
The company’s been around longer than anyone expects,1 and they’re an icon of my childhood. Pokémon, you guys! And the Smash Bros series? The sound of annoyed swearing interlaced with Pikachu’s sound effects and my cackling2 is how I know it’s a school break.