The SG Team gives their thoughts on the Switch’s first year. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!
The Switch had a fantastic first year. Nintendo decided to sacrifice content for the Wii U now seems like it was worth it. Already we had an amazing Zelda and Mario experience on the Switch. These are games that have both won numerous awards and have attempted to redefine their respective formulas. The Switch itself has been an excellent console to own. The form factor is perhaps the best aspect of the Switch. Being able to carry it around and play the Switch anywhere has made it an ideal console for adults. There have also been a ton of games coming out on the Switch which means there is always new content to play. What’s more is that the Switch is region free, and Nintendo has finally embraced the world. We are seeing more and more Nintendo games launch worldwide on the same day with multiple languages.
There are some areas where Nintendo can improve. Their voice chat system is ludicrous, and their store needs an overhaul. Cloud saving or some way to backup saves is missing as well. Virtual Console is also MIA. Hopefully, with the next year, we will see Nintendo fleshing out these other features of the Switch and continue to build an outstanding library of games.
Talk about a great launch year. With Breath of the Wild and Odyssey as two of the best games of their generation and maybe even of their own series, Splatton 2 and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 as sequels that keep on giving, Arms and Snipperclips as two new IPs that have potential to grow more in the future, and lots of games that got their second chances to shine in a living console.
Not even mention the renewed interest of third party developers to test their best sellings in a console despite not being the best equipped to handle high end games. However, this doesn’t mean that the system has few games, thanks to the Indie developers, that have made the Switch one of the best platforms for their efforts.
Despite all of this, there are some glaring shortcomings, like the dull UI for the menus and Eshop, the total lack of VoiceChat and Bluetooth for headphones, the surprising missing opportunity of having a MiiPlaza on the go, like the 3DS and the absence of the Virtual Console, that might be related to the paid internet services.
Anyways, it’s only the first year of the console that might bring Nintendo back to the Wii years in terms of sales, but this time with even more quality behind it.
It’s hard to ignore the high stakes gamble Nintendo was taking with the Switch. Coming off the financial failure that was the Wii U, in addition to keeping the entire thing under wraps for such a long time, it’s easy to see how the Switch could have flopped. And yet, despite a few bumps in the road, the first year of the Switch has shown how much that gamble paid off. The flagship first party titles were nothing short of amazing, third parties were on board with (mostly) impressive ports of older titles to reach a new audience, and indies are thriving on the Switch hype train. Now it’s also hard to undersell just how well the Switch is doing for itself, long outselling its predecessor in the first year alone. And it’s just getting started, what with series like Kirby, Fire Emblem and Metroid getting a slice of the action, and who knows how many more ports around the corner.
Now just fix things like voice chat, the mediocre My Nintendo rewards, the lack of Virtual Console and the storefront, and we’re looking a great console for the years to come.
When you think about it, Nintendo’s Switch didn’t offer much in their launch line-up. Only 5 retail games and 5 additionally eShop games? And the biggest title is also available to its predecessor? Nintendo didn’t went in with a bang, but with a solid strategy: Continuingly releasing games every month and make sure that the system doesn’t collect dust and players always have to play something.
And Nintendo’s strategy worked. No one really minded the “weak” launch as Nintendo always made sure that players have to look forward to the next month. I’m really happy Nintendo found a way to solve one of the biggest mistakes they did with Wii U and not hoping for a “miracle game” that turns everything over for the best.
And with Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, the Switch already got two major big games with lots of content and a refreshing new take on the franchises. And the portability of the Switch makes everything incredibly comfortable to use everywhere. It’s still mindblowing for me to play Bayonetta 2 on the go.
Nintendo had a much stronger concept and strategy for their console than their last home console and it paid off for them. Even tho the Switch relies on many ports, I honestly don’t mind it as this means for me I can play them on the go. I really hope they can keep the momentum for the 2nd year, as this is going to be a bigger challenge for Nintendo. They had problems keeping their momentum in the 7th console generation with their Wii. Fortunately, they don’t have to worry too much about the handheld division anymore so Nintendo is in a better situation this time.
But about your Online service and Virtual Console, Nintendo…
The Switch had a lot to prove in its first year. It not only needed to show that Nintendo could bring back its home console business from the situation the Wii U left in but it could also provide compelling software that would make the Switch a must have over the cheaper, but older, competitors like PS4 and Xbox One. And Nintendo managed to deliver.
The Switch being region-free and portable was a major selling point for me personally, living abroad at the time, but I was amazed at how well all of Nintendo’s games performed on the go (at least the ones I played). This felt like the first handheld to really have next-gen performance and this was proven with wonderful ports from Bethesda and tons of great new content from Nintendo like Super Mario Odyssey. And clearly many people agree with me as the Switch has done so well that it has outperformed the Wii U’s lifetime sales already. That is crazy impressive.
Now the Switch isn’t perfect. The UI is very barebones and the online still needs some work. But Nintendo has managed to do a near-impossible feat with the Switch so far and hopefully can continue this momentum going forward, fixing these issues either before or in September when the big online update rolls out. I look forward to seeing what Nintendo has planned then.
I don’t remember the first time I took the Switch out of the dock and started playing the system. It was early on; I was interested in playing Shovel Knight, but wanted to be in a different room for whatever reason. And it was really nice; it was fluid and direct in a way I’ve not really felt from a home console since the Nintendo 64, the last console I can remember that had short, sometimes imperceptible load times. And since then, I’ve enjoyed taking it out and playing it on the go, whether due to wanting to be in a different position or circumventing the issue of my TV temporarily not working.
The Switch is not quite “revolutionary,” but it’s exciting. Whether consciously or not, we mentally segregate the notion of “home” and “portable” game. Portable games are supposed to be cute and sweet, able to be played in easy chunks and for dozens of hours. Home games, by contrast, are meant to be technical showcases, the avenue where the big publishers put down all their money and effort. The blending of those two directions means that you can see games in entirely different lights, able to hold DOOM and Skyrim in your hand, take plenty of indies with you on the bus or train, or easily choose how you want to view or enjoy your games on the fly. And, it’s an evolution of the Wii U’s best idea, the notion that one person playing should not stop other people from enjoying the TV. The elements of openness and choice are both fascinating and especially wonderful, and it’s such a nice change from how the PS4 and Xbox One seem to focus only on more and more horsepower.
In October of 2017, Koizumi did an interview with Famitsu where he basically offered up an explanation of Nintendo’s first year strategy with the Switch and how each big 2017 release had a specific role in showing what the Switch had to offer. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to bring the hardcore gamers, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe to show split joy-con multiplayer, Arms to show new control possibilities, and so on. This approach seems more thought out and done with much better execution than any Nintendo launch I can remember. Sprinkle some awesome indie games and a few surprises like Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle on top and you get a launch year that’s better than I could have even hoped for. It’s a little rough around the edges with Nintendo still behind the times in areas like online. And it will probably never run apps like Twitch or Spotify in the background, but if a game has even a sliver of a chance of getting a Switch release, I’m holding out for it. I’m looking at you Dragon Ball FighterZ.
The hybrid console the Nintendo Switch serves as both a traditional home video game machine and an equally-powerful portable system too. This change in design has allowed us to experience games in a completely different way what we’re used to seeing. Nintendo was very smart about the first nine months in 2017. The console launched in early March with one marquee Nintendo title: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Since then, Nintendo has made sure that there’s at least one major Switch release for every month. April had Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, May had Ultra Street Fighter II, June saw the release of Arms, July had Splatoon 2, August had Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, September got the one-two punch of FIFA 18 and NBA 2K18 (we don’t talk about those though), October had Super Mario Odyssey, November unloaded with Doom, Skyrim, Rocket League, and L.A. Noire as a show of third-party strength, and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 came at the start of December.
The system may not be able to handle the top-end AAA blockbusters, but everything else? It can handle all that well enough. Pretty much anything can be ported over. The Switch’s software library has settled into a nice groove, with a few major releases backed up by a host of smaller, interesting titles. As far as features for the system go I just want my themes. Seriously, Nintendo? Basic White and Black really?! My Switch looks so utterly boring! I never thought that I would miss themes so much, I need themes. The only thing that I’m skeptical about at this point is their paid online service. If they want paid online, there needs to be some big game for it to be worth it to be paid. Who knows what game that’s going to be, I secretly want it to be Smash, but I also wouldn’t mind for it to be a new IP for it to launch with. At this point, that’s the only thing I’m slightly worried about. The Switch has a bright future for this year with games possibly like Pokémon, Fire Emblem, Yoshi, and possibly Bayonetta 3 & Metroid Prime 4 it’s going to be another busy year for Nintendo.
From the very initial reveal of the Nintendo Switch, I had a very strong curiosity about its execution, but high hopes that it would do well. These feelings were strongly reinforced when we got the Switch Presentation back in January 2017. The night the Switch released will always be memorable to me, having gone out to not one but two midnight releases with friends, trying to make sure we could each get one. Since then, I’ve found myself spending much of my free time with the Switch, trying different kinds of games I left previously unexplored. Beyond my already well-hyped Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Super Mario Odyssey, I found myself exploring into ARMS, Splatoon 2, and Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, none of which I had much knowledge of prior to purchasing. Even beyond this, as the Switch began to pick up a third party support far surpassing that of the Wii U’s, I found myself taking interest in even more games.
Outside of my own personal perspective on the Switch, it’s not an understatement to say that it has had a phenomenal first year. Major system sellers of Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, as well as many others, all contributed to this amazing first year that surpassed the lifetime sales of the Wii U in many locations, if not everywhere. It has done a rather great job reaching out to many different player types, taking in many third party games and appealing to many different audiences, child and adult alike. Despite this huge success, the system is not without….flaws.
As we’re at the first anniversary of the Switch release, I still find many wondering just what Nintendo plans to do with the Paid Online service. This confusion includes the online app as well, which is still just a glorified app for Splatoon 2. In addition, and perhaps this is just a personal gripe of mine, but I feel the “Themes” section of the settings simply taunts people. Sure, you can pick between a light or dark UI, but otherwise, there’s no other sign of themes (aside from a rather hopeful fake leak a few months back). I really hope that sometime in the future we get more, as a simplistic UI may be nice and sleek, but the fun charm of the main menu on a Nintendo system is deeply missed.
Despite the slight negativity in my last paragraph, I’m very optimistic towards the Switch’s future, and am currently very excited to sit down with Kirby Star Allies soon!
The Switch has had a pretty strong opening year, especially when you compare it to the disastrous run that the Wii U had.
Mario Odyssey and Breath of the Wild are two gargantuan games that have really facilitated the Switch’s early success. Interspersed with other hits such as Splatoon 2, Arms and the Mario & Rabbids cross-over, there’s plenty in first party alone to satisfy even the hardiest Nintendo fan.
A plethora of 3rd Party games supplements 1st Party titles wonderfully. Even though some are dubious in quality, we’ve got some of the strongest 3rd Party support for a Nintendo system in several generations.
As we approach 1 year, I’m confident that Nintendo can keep the Switch train on its track! Over the next year, I’d like to see a few more Wii U ports of games like Star Fox Zero and Pikmin 3. Games that I think deserve second life on a system that has a wide install base, though I don’t want to see Nintendo rely too heavily on their ports. A similar output from Nintendo that we’ve seen over the past year is necessary.
Nintendo’s always tried to keep a steady stream of game releases for their platforms, and I think they nailed it with the Switch so far. There are no long stretches without a major game release, be it first party or third party or indie. There is always something new and interesting to check out, even without a Virtual Console-like service from Nintendo to fill the gaps. As great as the 3DS is, its first launch year went terribly. Overpriced for the market, and very few games at launch with a painfully long stretch of time between releases. Nintendo quickly learned from this mistake and made things right. The one thing I really want going forward is a revision of the Switch Pro Controller that has a headphone jack built-in. It’s easily one of my favorite features on the DualShock 4 controller, and there shouldn’t be much of an issue in adding something like that for Switch. Past that, I trust Nintendo to make the right moves going forward. I may not agree with everything they create or do, but whatever they decide upon will definitely push Switch to be even more successful than it’s already managed to be so far.
Mains: Yoshi (64), Game and Watch (Melee), Wario (Brawl), Wario/Pac-Man (Smash for 3DS/Wii U)