Nintendo could very well be seen as the console-wars equivalent of Disney: very much family oriented, they want to play it safe, and they have the needs of the more mature audience in the backburner (despite, surprisingly, having a more relaxed policy towards censorship at the moment than Sony!). So, it’s no surprise that there isn’t a single real money casino on the console. But, did you know, there are actually very few casino-themed games, even?
The “big” release so far has been “Vegas Party”, a game developed by Raylight Studios and published by Funbox Media. And while it boasts “17 casinos and 18 original environments”, one of their big selling points is also “fun for the whole family!”. There’s nothing wrong with being family-friendly, but this decision does bring with itself some consequences.
The most major of those consequences, at least for serious players, is the fact that you can’t actually bet for real on the game. “But, hey!”, I hear you cry, “that’s why we have online betting sites!”. And yes, that’s true! But do you know what’s also true? The fact that the Nintendo Switch does not have a readily accessible web-browser. Yes, it does support web-apps, HTML5 and JS (and actually does have a built-in browser, just not one that can be accessed by the general public), but it does not let you just browse the web. While this makes the closed environment of the Nintendo Switch a very safe place, it also limits its appeal as an entertainment console.
Nintendo have been very clear about this from the get-go: the Nintendo Switch is a games console, not an entertainment center. Maybe that’s why they don’t even have a Netflix app for it yet (though a Hulu app has been available for some time). But the truth of the matter is, Nintendo seem very keen on making the Switch all about games and leaving the “one console to rule the living room” approach for the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One, both of which have full-blown web browsers, as well as apps for Netflix, Hulu and a plethora of other online content providers.
It is still worth talking about, though, that the Switch isn’t really putting out that many casino-themed games that don’t feature real gambling. The Jackbox Party Packs are perhaps an alternative, but nothing comes close to being an honest-to-goodness, grown-up oriented experience.
Is this for the best? Or is Nintendo losing customers and earnings due to their hard stance? Let us know in the comments!
Lover of portable gaming and horror cinema. Indie filmmaker and game developer. Multimedia producer. Born in Paraguay, raised in Canada. Huge fan of “The Blair Witch Project”, and “Sonic 3D Blast”. Deputy head at Vita Player and its parent organization, Infinite Frontiers.
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