On March 3rd, 2017, Nintendo released their next generation console, the Nintendo Switch. The Nintendo Switch has been a smash hit, selling well over 15 million units in its first year. The Nintendo switch has gone on to surpass the life time sales of the its predecessor, WiiU, which currently sits around 13 million. To say that the Nintendo Switch has been a massive success is an understatement; for the first few months of the system’s life stores could barely keep the system stocked. With every shipment came a rapid sellout of the system, usually within minutes. With that being said, how did we get here? And where do we go from here?
In the middle of October 2016, Nintendo released the first trailer that showcased the system’s features such as the ability to switch from console to handheld and the ability to split the joycon controllers to allow for multiplayer on the go. At the time this seemed wonderful in theory, but how would the execution fare during the actual release? The system launched later on in March 2017 and sold out that weekend. In my review last year, I gave the system a 9/10 citing great execution of system features, but lackluster battery life depending on factors like brightness settings and the graphic fidelity of the game being played; the system was also, and still is kind of limited on system features.
Though the system has received a Hulu app, it is still lacking on a functioning web browser as well as the ability to transfer saves to micro SD cards, upload saves to the cloud, a virtual console like the ones on the Switch’s predecessors, more streaming apps such as Netflix and HBO GO/NOW, and the ability to sort games in to folders. Here is a list of the things the Switch has done right and the things it can do better as well as some hopes for 2018.
1. Unlike the Switch’s predecessors, Nintendo has done a stellar job of ensuring that there is a steady release of AAA titles. In the past, Nintendo systems have launched with lackluster games; a lot of their AAA titles wound up not coming out until a year or two into the system’s life. Nintendo has made sure that every month has had at least one AAA release.
a. March: Zelda: Breath of the Wild
b. April: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
c. May: Disgaea 5: Complete, Minecraft, Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix
d. June: ARMS
e. July: Splatoon 2
f. August: Mario x Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
g. September: Pokken Tournament
h. October: Mario Odyssey
i. November: The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
j. December: Xenoblade Chronicles 2
k. January 2018: Lost Sphear
l. February 2018: Beyonetta 2
m. March 2018: Kirby Star Allies
2. Nintendo has also done a good job of making sure that there’s a slew of indies to accompany these AAA titles, and keep us busy each month.
3. Nintendo had done a stellar job of making a versatile system with a multitude of play styles right out of the box with as few pieces of hardware as possible. This is the first time in more than two decades that we’ve gotten a console that allows for two players out of the box. This system doesn’t take up a lot of space and isn’t a wire management nightmare like the Wii and WiiU were.
4. One thing I would like to see going forward are some UI improvements to the home screen. I have amassed quite a few games over the last year, a folder system would be wonderful.
5. I would also like to be able to import my saves to the cloud in case my system breaks, or gets stolen. The saves are currently locked to the system which makes picking up from where you left off in the event of these two very difficult.
6. More functionality such a web browser, more streaming apps, and more robust online multiplayer would also be great.
7. $300 is a solid price of entry that will keep the system selling for a while, but a price drop late in 2019 will really propel it over the competition.
8. I would like to see Nintendo revisit their older IPs like F-Zero, Pikman, and the Mario Party Series; especially the Mario Party series. How the Switch has gone an entire year without a Mario Party title is beyond me.
Nintendo has learned from mistakes made in the last ten years and has applied those lessons to ensure that the Switch is the best that it can be. I’m looking forward to all that 2018 has to offer.
Flemmings Beaubrun is an avid gamer and lover of music. When not working, Flemmings likes to spend his time whipping up dank beats for the masses. He also spends his weekends thrift shopping for rare video games and obscure electronics. Other times he’s in front of a TV with a giant bowl of cereal enjoying shows from the 90s.