Gaming

Xbox's Phil Spencer can't stop gushing over Nintendo

It's "magical" how Nintendo approaches video gaming, Spencer said.

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If there's one company that has genuinely enjoyed a powerful streak in industrial gains and revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is Nintendo. And that success isn't lost on industry giants that compete with the company. In the latest episode for Animal Talking — video games journalist and screenwriter Gary Whitta's talk show based entirely in Animal Crossing — Xbox's Phil Spencer frankly spoke about Nintendo's recent and massive wins.

To be clear, this isn't Spencer reluctantly admitting that Nintendo is outdoing other industry titans. The man has been pretty candid about his admiration for the company but these particular observations come during a time when most industries and companies have struggled to win and retain consumer attention.

"The pure thing about what Nintendo does," Spencer told Whitta, "is they think about games, and they think about their hardware and their platform all as one thing, and build those experiences — and I know the teams there pretty well — and I think it's magical the way they're able to create a complete Nintendo experience on their devices, and this experience I'm looking at right here, in my hands, on my Switch, is Animal Crossing. From the Switch running it to the game itself to the way you go to other people's islands."

Here's the full clip of Animal Talking featuring Spencer.

Success that'll knock the air out of you — Spencer has full reason to admire Nintendo. The company released its most recent financial earnings statement, which showed Nintendo's jaw-dropping ascension between the months of April and June. Its operating profits increased by 427.7 percent, its year-to-year sales shot up by 108.1 percent, and its net profit witnessed a meteoric 541.3 percent increase. In addition to these astronomical figures, Nintendo's software and hardware sales have increased while its digital purchases now make up 55.6 percent of its hardware sales.

Digital balm for the quarantined — Titles like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Super Smash Bros, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild, and others have sold over 105 million copies collectively. It turns out that quarantine-induced boredom and isolation worked neatly in Nintendo's favor. Heck, even streetwear brands and fashionistas joined the party.

Protect Nintendo at all costs — The main takeaway from Spencer's adoring words for Nintendo was that the company should be shielded and promoted as the golden standard for gaming concepts, hardware manufacturing, software design, and more. And it's hard to disagree with him.

"In entertainment business, you know," Spencer told Whitta, "most things don't turn out to be huge successes so there always has to be some amount of surprise, but Nintendo is just masterful at what they do, and I've said it before, I think they have the strongest first party pedigree out there and strength, and they're a jewel for us in the games industry and something we should protect."