March 3rd 2017 and it’s crunch time for Nintendo, who have everything to prove after the general disappointment with their last console the Wii U and need to hit a home run with their new console, the Nintendo Switch. First day sales have been reported to be positive and everything seems to be going the companies way with the initial launch but are people too quickly calling the Switch a success?
Whilst the hype surrounding Nintendo’s new iteration of a home console is much than their last offering, there is still a lot of people who are not convinced by their latest offering and it will take something special to persuade them. So let’s take a look at the factors we currently know and try to gauge whether the console itself is actually a success right off the bat?
Very likely in the coming days, you will read articles about how the switch is ‘selling out everywhere’ and ‘you need to get it now whilst available’, however this does not necessarily mean that the console has sold as many large amounts as the PS4 and the Xbox One. First hand reports have going around before and since the launch, with some stores stating that they have only received a handful of consoles to sell to customers with the majority being earmarked for those who pre-ordered.
As well as this, Amazon has also had difficulty honouring initial pre-orders for those who got their orders in when the system was first announced. Scarce availability is hardly a new tactic for Nintendo and it seems to be the case here once more. I myself went to a number of gaming shops in my city on launch day and all reported that they had none available and a few stating that had only received amounts in the low double digits, hardly enough for a seemingly in demand new system.
Whilst in these shops I enquired about the availability of their new 3DS XL and Mini NES systems and the same scenario applied each time to all but one of the stores who had just 2 units of the new 3DS. A continuing practice it seems that frustrates customers but appeases the PR departments as they can correctly advertise that their units consistently sell out, even if it does seem in an underhanded manner.
The launch line up does not seem to be sparkling either with only one standout title that wider audiences will likely be interested in, with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild being their flagship IP. Now whilst it is true that Breath of the Wild is getting universally positive scores with reviewers and audiences alike, it does not seem enough to place down nearly £300 just to experience it and have nothing else to placate your interest once this is done. There are a number of titles still to come with Super Mario Odyssey and Mario Kart 8: Deluxe Edition still to come from Nintendo themselves and many indie top sellers such as Shovel Knight and Stardew Valley being released, however these are titles that are already widely available on other systems so can they really justify purchasing a whole new system? Personally it doesn’t seem worth it.
Now with all said here the Switch really is an interesting console and has a lot going for it, with a very interesting element of the portability that is sure to entice a number of people. But there seems to be a number of caveats that will likely frustrate people once they’ve made their purchase. Nintendo have made a good start with the Switch and is certainly a step in the right direction after the badly managed Wii U, but there’s a lot more to be done and the family gaming giant really need to make a stamp to prove that they can impress audiences in the long term and prove their viability. Success will take a while to reach Nintendo’s newest console.