July 15th, 2019, 16:19 Posted By: wraggster
Nintendo's new Switch hardware is very much the classic Nintendo play. Amidst all of the existing Switch owners and adult Nintendo fans posting semi tongue-in-cheek takes about how much they want one for no particularly good reason, the real purpose of this device might be going a little unnoticed; Switch Lite is designed to take an already successful console platform and make it into a better device for children.
Sure, smaller, lighter and cheaper are great for a pretty wide swathe of the audience -- but at the core of the decision making around this update is a desire to make something that'll work better in the hands of children, and that parents will be more comfortable handing over to them in the first place. Not only is the Lite physically more suited to kids' hands, it's also got no "moving parts" -- i.e. bits that'll get broken or lost -- a practicality on a slimmed down console, sure, but also a callback to the removal of the hinge from the kid-friendly 2DS handheld.
Anyone who loves them some Nintendo knows, of course, that "it's designed with kids in mind" is far from a criticism, and anything but an exclusive statement when it comes to this company. Few other firms are quite so good at managing to create child-focused entertainment that's also outright fantastic for adults. Yet there's still a lingering denial in some quarters of what Nintendo really is -- or perhaps a misplaced desire for it to be something else. Nintendo isn't a tech giant or a media empire in the making; at the company's heart, in its own vision of itself and its audience, Nintendo is a toy-maker, which means its main (but not only) priority is always going to be to entertaining and delighting children and families.
"There's a lingering denial in some quarters of what Nintendo really is -- or perhaps a misplaced desire for it to be something else" That approach was on clear display throughout the Iwata years, with the late CEO being entirely frank on occasion about his perception of Nintendo as a toy company rather than a tech or media firm, as rivals Sony and Microsoft were (and are). The changes of leadership since his untimely death have been well-considered and have left the company in good hands, but one could argue that Iwata's very single-minded vision of Nintendo as a toy company rather than a tech giant seems a little less clear in a world where the company is launching free-to-play mobile games and working with publishers on using Switch as a streaming platform.
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