As a distant second to the second place console of this generation – the Xbox One - Nintendo wants to survive the video console war with a brand new system: The Switch.
Nintendo itself admits it sold 13 million units since its launch in Fall 2012. The One has sold 26 million since its launch in Fall 2013, according to VG24/7. The easy victor thus far has been Sony with PlayStation 4, which has sold a whopping 53 million units sold (by Sony Interactive estimates) since the same period as the Xbox One’s arrival.
The Switch launches sooner than expected on March 3. It will cost $299.99, but according to Gamesradar, it will lack some popular streaming apps that its competitors offer, like Netflix.
Nintendo showed off its console last fall to a mixed response with the Wall Street Journal and New York Times both expressing financial skepticism. However as more information trickled in as 2017 began, some developrs see hope on the horizon.
For one, the concept of the Switch is quite novel as it is essentially a hybrid system, letting you go from playing at your home on TV to then converting it to be played outside the house. One of the games shown as proof of the device’s power was the acclaimed 2011 title Skyrim, renowned for its size in terms of scale and content. Engadget’s senior editor Devindra Hardawar expressed some optimism stating in an October first Impressions article, “the Switch seems more powerful than the WiiU, which was Nintendo’s first foray into HD gaming.”
Nintendo insists they will show long-term support for the system including from third party developers. Nintendo of Canada’s twitter page boasted that, “There are more than 80+ games currently in development for #Nintendo Switch, with more still to come!”
In terms of first party titles, Nintendo is bringing out the big guns, starting off the system’s lifespan with the highly anticipated The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Originally the game was meant to be the killer app for the WiiU and now it will be utilized for both systems. It is not unlike how back in 2006, Zelda: Twilight Princess was a bridge between the dying Gamecube and the new Wii. Breath of the Wild will also be a launch title.
This summer will see the release of a sequel to one of the WiiU’s standout titles, Splatoon 2, an all ages multiplayer shooter with ink being blasted instead of lead. However the biggest title announced post release will likely be Super Mario Odyssey, coming this fall. It’s Mario’s first title on the Switch and will utilize an open world style adventure platformer, similar to prior entries like the revolutionary Super Mario 64 from 1996 and Super Mario Sunshine from 2002.
Here’s to a new beginning for Nintendo.