Keep it up, Nintendo!
Whether or not it was because of this site, the fact that I had money at the time, or that I was desperately looking for something to give me happiness, in early 2017 I pre-ordered the Nintendo Switch. Since then, despite its early lack of titles, it quickly rose to become my favourite gaming console of all time. But beyond its success this year, my mind races to its future, and what I hope becomes of the Nintendo Switch.
When examining the 2017 line-up of the Switch, people were justifiably worried. There were only four mainline Nintendo titles, and only one of them was a new IP (ARMS). The launch was especially troublesome, with Zelda: Breath of the Wild appearing as the only notable title. But one by one, our worries were quashed. The success of Zelda, Mario, ARMS, and Splatoon 2, mixed with the arrival of a swathe of Indie titles such a Steamworld Dig 2 and Stardew Valley, thickened the desire for the unique gaming console.
Sure enough, since its release, the Switch has sold over 10 Million copies and is quickly approaching the WiiU’s lifetime sale number of 13.5 million. And honestly, given my experience with the platform this year, I’m not surprised. Beyond its quality catalogue, the Switch has managed to capture the happiest aspects of gaming for me. Its portability and quality enable me to share the titles I love, with people that aren’t that into games but can’t scoff at a low-resolution display or pixel-art graphics. It’s a gimmick that they go along with at first, but ultimately they are captured by its functionality.
Despite the critical reception to the Switch’s first advertisement, the novelty of using the Joycons as individual controllers and setting up the screen in a public place has been intensely enjoyable. I’ve played Mario Kart, Splatoon and others in Cafes, Parks, Cinemas, Lecture Theatres, Cars and so many different places. Similarly, it’s a portable device which holds my attention for rediculous play sessions. I’ve put hundreds of hours into the console, playing all day in some cases, which is not something I ever experienced with the GameBoy, 3DS, PSP, and Vita. Not just because the Switch houses games that grab hold of you, but also due to its comfortable design and different play-types.
But what do I want to see next? Well, its future is bright. The high rate of sales means that more developers and publishers will be willing to make ports for the system. Indies will continue to prioritise Switch versions in order to capitalise on the market, and Nintendo will further strengthen their own releases.
First and foremost, I want all my favourite 360-era games on the system. This is a tall, and unlikely order, but I’d love to see Red Dead Redemption, Infamous, Final Fantasy 12, Assassins Creed, and much more ported to the Switch. The smaller screen lends well to their lower resolutions, and the portability means that I can justify wasting time on older games in many more scenarios.
Secondly, Nintendo needs to keep bringing back their older games and taking their time with the newer ones. If Zelda and Mario are anything to go by, the long wait perfected them. So don’t rush with Metroid and Pokemon, give us a Smash Bros. and Samus Returns port in the meantime!
And Lastly, make noticeable hardware improvements. From my perspective, I’m willing to fork out to get a new Switch if it increases battery performance and enhances framerate and graphics. But please make it worthwhile… I want godrays in my hands!