One of the most popular web television series on YouTube right now is Cobra Kai. It picks up exactly thirty-four years after the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament at the end of the iconic film The Karate Kid, where Daniel LaRusso (played by Ralph Macchio) defeats his rival Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka).
The new series is currently in its second season and while it’s mostly filled with a lot of flashbacks to the original films, there are also a lot of modern cultural references thrown in for good measure. For example, throughout season two, the popular television and book series Game of Thrones is name-dropped, and in the first and last episode, Daniel’s son Anthony “Antonio” LaRusso can be seen playing a Nintendo Switch.
In the previous season (released on YouTube last year), the character is spotted playing Tekken on a PlayStation Vita:
Of course, the roles have been reversed in the past when Atlus brought The Karate Kid to NES back in 1987, a game which loosely followed the action of the first and second films.
It seems like a positive sign for Nintendo when one of the most popular web television series of 2018 – and one that’s likely to be similarly huge in 2019 – has swapped from a Sony console to its hybrid system. Then again, it has been a natural move for many gamers in the real world as support for PS Vita dries up. You've got to hand it to Sony's portable, though - it has hung around long after first party support ended and it's always been a nice little system; Switch should be proud to pick up where Vita left off.
Are you a fan of the Karate Kid? Have you been watching Cobra Kai? Do you think movies, television and web series are an effective way to promote video games? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.