The Nintendo Switch has been at a disadvantage for as long as it’s existed. The Wii U was an utter flop, so Nintendo had to start all over again in the middle of a console generation. Despite not having the same graphical capabilities as its contemporaries, Nintendo managed to be extremely successful with its modularity, being able to switch between a portable and a console system. This advantage, mixed with a large amount of first-party and indie support, kept the Switch from suffering the same fate as the Wii U.
Now, with new iterations of the Switch coming out, we have a better idea of what Nintendo has planned in the near future. This leaves me wondering, “Can the Switch survive 2020 and beyond?”
The Switch Is Not the New System On the Block Anymore
Hear me out. I know that the Switch has survived despite its graphical disadvantages. I know that the Switch has a ton of wonderful games. No one is disputing that. It cannot be denied, however, that another aspect that contributed to the success of the system was that it was the new system in town.
Microsoft has announced that the next console will be unveiled in 2020. The infamous Wired article revealed what we know so far about Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 5. The future is coming, and I just worry that Nintendo won’t have enough to offer. After all, the only things Nintendo has announced is an increase in battery life for the Switch and a portable only version that has heavily been criticized as redundant (which I disagree with).
One Step Forward…
Right now, I admit all of this is speculation, but I can’t help but speculate about all of the features that haven’t been announced for the next Sony or Microsoft console. Perhaps they will give the whole portable thing a shot. Backwards compatibility blows Nintendo’s current course out of the water. They have the nasty habit of making you buy what you already own with monthly re-releases of NES games.
It’s hard not to go back and forth about the fate of the Switch. On one hand, no backwards compatibility or Virtual Console. On the the other; it has such an extensive history of games and characters (see Smash Bros Ultimate character reactions if you want proof).
I think about Scarlett and PS5’s better graphics. Then I think about Breath of the Wild 2 and the possibilities of the next Smash characters. I think about how there is no equivalent to Mario Maker on any other console than Nintendo. And yes, I even find myself remembering just how ahead Nintendo is compared to other systems in certain regards. Motion controls became popular because of Nintendo. They were responsible for the modern idea of what a controller should look like.
Ahead Of the Rest?
The weird truth is that Nintendo has kind of always been in its own league. It never really concerns itself with what the other companies are doing. Nintendo deals in nostalgia. This means that while it may feel out of date with their online capabilities, it’s only because they want to take you back to a time when your best friends were next to you.
Your guess is as good as mine, but I don’t know if we should worry about Nintendo just yet. They always seem to survive. Better than that, they always seem to thrive. Anyone who counts them out seems to always eat their words.
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I’ve been writing almost as long as I’ve been playing video games. I also do standup and improv. The game that made me realize that video games could be more than just a toy, was Metal Gear Solid 2.