Nintendo and Sony are gearing up to release two highly anticipated games this Friday, “Marvel’s Spider-Man 2” for the PlayStation 5 and “Super Mario Bros Wonder” on the Nintendo Switch.
While both games hold substantial significance in the gaming world, they cater to entirely different audiences. Super Mario, Nintendo’s iconic character, first graced our screens in 1985, revolutionizing the gaming landscape with the groundbreaking “Super Mario Bros.” Known for its side-scrolling gameplay, it has garnered a massive following and fueled Nintendo’s success, with over 420 million units sold from the Super Mario series alone.
In contrast, Spider-Man, the Marvel superhero, made his way into video games in the 1990s but didn’t achieve significant success until the 2000s, thanks to blockbuster movies. Insomniac, a studio acquired by Sony, developed a series of successful Spider-Man games starting in 2018, with 33 million copies sold as of May 2022.
With their new releases, both Nintendo and Sony are taking divergent paths. Nintendo is adopting an old-school approach with a 2D side-scrolling game—a nostalgic nod to its roots in gaming. However, they’re adding fresh elements to the gameplay, like a “Wonder Flower” that can transport Mario to surreal dimensions or transform him into an elephant.
On the other hand, Sony is investing heavily in “Marvel’s Spider-Man 2,” leveraging the power of the PlayStation 5 to deliver cutting-edge graphics that allow Peter Parker and Miles Morales to take on formidable foes, such as Kraven the Hunter.
While Sony is confident that “Marvel’s Spider-Man 2” will be a major success, they’ve observed relatively weak pre-orders in Japan for “Mario Wonder.” Japanese players tend to lean toward 3D Mario games, making it challenging for Nintendo to captivate them in the same way as “The Legend of Zelda,” which Nintendo released earlier this year.
Nintendo’s target audience spans from 5 to 95, whereas Spider-Man caters more to fans of action games. However, both games share the feature of offering multiple playable characters, providing a rich and diverse gaming experience.
Additionally, Nintendo and Sony are capitalizing on the success of movies. The Super Mario Bros. movie released in 1993 was a commercial failure, but its animated follow-up this year, co-produced with Illumination (known for the Minions franchise), achieved great success. Similarly, “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” the sequel to the 2018 Oscar-winning film, performed well at the box office, reaffirming the enduring appeal of these beloved characters.