ScreenCritics Cole takes a look at the Nintendo Switch and the reasons why he thinks the console is destined for success.
As both an optimist and a long time Nintendo fan I think that the Nintendo Switch has a lot of exciting potential and could pave the way for Nintendo’s return to greatness. This potential is something I will continue to believe in up until the very possible situation occurs in which the Nintendo Switch is released to good but not great reviews that state the need for long-term support of the console, that both Nintendo and 3rd parties will fail to do. In spite of this almost inevitable future, I have compiled my top ten reasons why the Switch could be awesome to help me live in denial for just a little bit longer.
10. Online Service
Nintendo’s promised online service comes in at number 10 as there is a lot of ambiguity that still exists around the service as it seems even Nintendo is unsure of what the final version will look like. With some unfortunate Nintendo quirks like the “free monthly game” actually being a free month long rental, the promise of a service worth paying for that stacks up against Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus is still something that I certainly am interested in seeing.
9. Third Parties
As with all recent Nintendo launches, we are treated with the promise of 3rd party support via ports of old games and the occasional cross-platform release from familiar faces like EA, Ubisoft, and Sega. Unfortunately, this promise will dry up after the first year if the console fails to sell very many units, but until that happens, I will remain hopefully and excited about the 3rd party possibilities.
8. More Function than Gimmick
While the Switch does seem to feature its fair share of gimmick with features like HD rumble, there appears to be significantly less of it than seen in Nintendo’s past two consoles. Nintendo also seems much more focused on building the console around traditional playability than they have in recent memory.
Speaking of functionality, the Switch’s most exciting selling point of console gaming on the go is still at the center of Nintendo’s marketing message. The main reason I feel like this does not qualify as a gimmick is that many early impressions indicate that this really is as simple as Nintendo makes it seem, and ultimately players can choose to ignore this feature entirely if they just want to play on a TV. While according to Nintendo the battery may only last as little 2.5 hours depending on the game being played, the removal of the need to be plugged in from the Wii U makes the portability much more usable in many gamers daily lives.
6. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is on this list both because Mario Kart 8 is awesome and arguably my favorite Mario Kart, but also because it is a great sign for those who want to play the best of the Wii U on the Switch. Assuming Mario Kart 8 Deluxe does well enough in terms of sales it would be easy to imagine that Nintendo would bring hits such as Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Mario Maker to the Switch. Unfortunately, I doubt there’s any way for those of us who already own these games on Wii U to cheaply or freely upgrade, but if these rereleases continue to include all released DLC that makes the repurchasing aspect a bit easier to justify.
5. Focus on Local Multiplayer
Personally, my fondest memories of local multiplayer almost always involve Nintendo games primarily because their first party games often do couch multiplayer so well. It is because of this tradition of local multiplayer quality that also has me excited that Nintendo is continuing to support and push local multiplayer as part of their brand. Nintendo even allows for local multiplayer using only the two packaged in joy-cons. I can’t imagine this will be the case for every game or even an ideal way to play but having that possibility built-in is encouraging.
4. Splatoon 2
Splatoon 2 will most likely be Nintendo’s centerpiece for pushing their paid online service as the game seems to be once again very focused on its online play. While this does pose some questions about the portability of the Switch when playing Splatoon 2, it is exciting to see Nintendo continue to invest in online gaming and a new franchise.
3. Zelda: Breath Of The Wild
A new Zelda is always a good reason to be excited, but Zelda: Breath Of The Wild’s excitement is somewhat lessened by the fact that it was originally promised as a Wii U exclusive. If you can this aside though what you have is a very promising new entry in the Zelda franchise that has received quite a lot of positive impressions. Personally, my expectations for the series as a whole are lowered after the train wreck that was Skyward Sword, but what I’ve seen from Breath Of The Wild so far has me excited.
2. Removal of Wii Branding
Nintendo’s biggest marketing mistake with the Wii U was continuing to evoke the Wii brand. This call back was an attempt to capture the enormous numbers that the Wii initially achieved but instead, all Nintendo managed to do was lead to confusion among more casual gamers who were not as in the loop. Hopefully, the move away from the Wii branding is an indication of a return towards a more traditional Nintendo rather than one who has somewhat shifted away from its roots.
1. Super Mario Odyssey
There honestly can be no other reason to be more excited for the Switch than Super Mario Odyssey. Ever since Mario 64, every time Nintendo puts out a 3d Mario game it has been easily one of the best games of that generation. With Mario Galaxy 2 being the last proper 3d Mario Nintendo has made us wait quite a long time, but there is almost no doubt that Super Mario Odyssey will be extraordinary.
Hopefully, all of my excitement and hope will be rewarded will a great console, though I have learned that I probably shouldn’t hold my breath. Either way, we only have to wait until March 3rd to have all of my dreams shattered. And hey, maybe if the Switch is bad enough Nintendo will give up and we can just play their games on a Playstation or an Xbox.