This morning’s Nintendo Direct presentation, a near-monthly webcast in which Nintendo president Satoru Iwata announces new titles and initiatives from the Kyoto company, was a crowd-pleaser. Among the revelations that sent fans into a frenzy: a sequel to the seminal Super Nintendo Zelda game A Link to the Past, a new Mario Party game, and a new game in the beloved Yoshi’s Island series, a Mario spin-off.
It was also the clearest picture yet of the company that Nintendo has become in 2013: One that boasts a robust and flourishing mobile game platform and drags around a flagship console business that continues to languish.
As Kotaku’s Jason Schreier wrote in February, the 3DS has turned into a little powerhouse. A 2011 price drop from $250 to $170, combined with a strong library of games (including a 3-D remake of the greatest game of all time, entries in some of the company’s best loved series, and a growing eStore), has boosted sales. That’s an impressive feat in the teeth of a marketplace that is booming with mobile gaming options. Today’s announcements should only feed that momentum.
Look: Most game companies would be ecstatic to develop one game of the quality that the new Zelda game will assuredly possess. But this is Nintendo, the company that defined platform gaming, adventure gaming, 3-D gaming, motion gaming, casual gaming, and so on. The gaming world expects them to push the medium forward.