Somehow, Nintendo has managed to do it again. After the lacklustre performance of the Wii U, we can officially say that Nintendo has struck gold with the Switch.
While many still consider the hallmark signs of a console prowess to be graphical horsepower, the Switch proves that Nintendo is ready to defy that sentiment for yet another console generation.
Where the Wii U languished, the Switch soars. Bucking the crucial mistake that the Wii U made and establishing a strong brand image has been precisely what the Switch needed to do – and it knocks it out of the park. From the moment that it was announced, the Switch was something that stood starkly apart from the offerings of Sony and Microsoft.
At first glance, the influence of the Wii U is utterly evident. The same central screen returns flanked by two control pad areas – yet that’s where the similarities end. Committed to making more of a splash during this generation, Nintendo has proven that create a hybrid niche between home console and handheld was not only viable but also one that was desperately waiting to be exploited.
Since its launch, the Switch has sold over 22 million units worldwide – hardly a figure to scoff at. Alongside the time it’s seen use, it’s dropped several of the hottest titles in gaming, including brand new game-of-the-year quality entries such as Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
And yet, there still seems to be far more that the platform can be doing.
Although the Switch has proven that it has Nintendo’s unconditional support, it still has much to show regarding third-party support. Thankfully, it’s off to a much better start than its predecessor ever was. It’s almost as if you create a console that plays can flock to, the devs will too.
And while the unique niche has allowed Nintendo to cater to this new and strange in-between area for the gaming masses, we can’t help but feel that there are more things that both developers and Nintendo themselves can do to bring the audience frothing at the mouth for more.
As always, the biggest factor is what the massive software/hardware developer does itself.
As is the case with many of Sony’s closest studios that work tirelessly to bring us games like God of War and The Last of Us, Nintendo needs to keep leading the charge with their weird and wonky device via exceptional first party exclusives that’ll entice newcomers to take a bite, and ultra-diverse support for its third party that ensures the Switch won’t be painted as a console that is targeted at one specific age group.
Ninty has always loved their peripherals, and the design on both the joy con controllers and the wonderfully weird Nintendo Labo proves the point.
Yet, the prevalence – and support – of third-party “pro controllers” that take on a much more traditional Xbox-like control scheme has turned the Switch away from a gimmicky control scheme a la the Wii, and more into a device that offers you every method of playing it in the world – and then some.
The Switch is in a great place, but there is so, so much more that it could achieve. Thankfully for us, Nintendo has been around long enough to know to nail down a successful system – let’s just stay away from the over-reliance of motion controls…