The Nintendo Switch has been a massive success for Nintendo. It has so far sold more than 14 million units, far surpassing its predecessor the Wii U. And with sales success on the software front, too, Nintendo has definitely made a comeback.
But there’s a point many people have been making, which has only been amplified with the most recent Nintendo Direct. Does the Switch have too many ports, and not enough new content? It’s true, many of the games on or coming to the Switch are re-releases of games either from this generation or the generation prior. While the disappointment is valid, the number of ports on the Switch is not necessarily a bad thing. Quite the contrary, to be honest. The ports being put out on the Switch are a good thing, and they help make the console what it is.
Wii U, We Hardly Knew Ye
The Wii U was not a success. That’s the unfortunate reality. While the Switch has seen Nintendo rise like a phoenix, that does leave the Wii U as a strange blip in Nintendo’s history. The thing with the Wii U, however, is that there’s a wealth of great games on the system that, unfortunately were not played by many.
A game like Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, one that reviewed very well but did not have the biggest audience. A port on the Switch allows this game to be exposed to an even wider audience. Now, this doesn’t mean that Captain Toad is suddenly going to sell 4 million units. However, this is a game that stands out in the gaming sphere, and unlike anything out there. Sure, we already have Breath of the Wild, but The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD was a fantastic remake of one of the best Zelda games.
Sure, there’s something to be said about simply recycling games from Nintendo’s last system. But there’s also something to be said about preserving history at the same time. Games like Super Mario 3D World and Pikmin 3 deserve to be seen by a wider audience. This isn’t to say the Switch should be comprised of just Wii U ports, but sometimes games need to be given a second chance.
Just some food for thought, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, another Wii U port, has become the series’ fastest-selling title, and could very well outsell the original.
Most people have their console allegiances. Nintendo fans seem especially dedicated to the name. There are many Nintendo fans who only buy Nintendo systems, just like there are many PlayStation owners who just buy each generation’s system. The sad reality with this, however, is that many of the biggest games of the last few generations have not made appearances in the Nintendo ecosystem. The Switch seems to be correcting course.
If you’re a Nintendo loyalist (of which I was, and still am, to some extent), you may have unfortunately missed on some of the most significant games in recent years. Games like Skyrim and Dark Souls. The Switch is the Nintendo debut for these franchises. You can say what you want about Skyrim and its constant re-releases, but its Nintendo release has been exciting.
Even current-generation games, like Doom and Wolfenstein: The New Colossus, are exciting releases on Nintendo’s front. It’s the first time in quite a few years that big multiplatform releases have hit the Nintendo side. While not every third-party game has, or will, hit the Switch, this confidence from Bethesda in particular is reassuring. While Fifa on the Switch may have missed the mark a bit, the fact that EA put one of their biggest franchises on the Switch is significant. Even Rockstar has contributed, albeit one from last generation, which says exciting things about the future of this relationship.
Sure, if you’re a multiplatform owner you’re probably not going to make the Switch your home for third party releases. But for those who swear by Nintendo, its very exciting to see these publishers establish a relationship with Nintendo. Speaking of which…
Paving the Way for Switch?
Speaking of establishing a relationship with Nintendo, these third-party ports could bring good tidings. Just a warning, this is the point where we enter some wild speculation.
It’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility to see these ports as a quick way to establish a relationship. A way to test the waters, so to speak. Many publishers pulled out of the Wii U because of its lack of success. But with the Switch that’s not the case.
Skyrim and Doom have both been successes on the system, which bodes well for Wolfenstein II (although sadly it hasn’t exactly been a sales success). Is it possible to see some of Bethesda’s upcoming releases on the system? While seeing the next Elder Scrolls on the Switch may seem far-fetched, never say never.
And what’s to say Bethesda isn’t developing an exclusive game for the Switch? Now that would be a massive development. Some may scoff at that, but it’s a definite possibility. Bethesda and Nintendo have already established a close relationship, and the publisher seems committed to the Switch. Ubisoft has already released an exclusive game for the Switch, so who’s to say Bethesda isn’t next?
What if all these third-party ports were paving the way for exclusive third-party games on the Switch? What if Take-Two were to release a game just for Switch (and not Carnival Games)? EA may be hesitant for now, but Capcom seems all-in as well. Everyone knows a console lives or dies based on its library, and while we probably won’t be seeing Red Dead Redemption 2 or Far Cry 5 anytime soon, the possibilities are exciting.
Portability Is a Factor
The whole concept of the Switch is a home console you can take on the go. Some may not think of that as a necessarily huge deal, but it is. Being portable brings a whole new life to these games. Skyrim is a daunting game, and being able to play it on the go brings a whole new attractiveness with it.
Or imagine playing Dark Souls on the go. Instead of repeatedly trying to beat that boss and having to give up because you need to leave the house, you can now repeatedly try to beat that boss anywhere you go! Sure, the questions some have brought up about Dark Souls being portable are valid, but the prospect of it is exciting.
The Nintendo Switch Stands Alone
The Switch will never be on the same level of its contemporaries. But that’s not what the system is about. This is about being able to play games in a brand new way, and blurring the lines between handheld and home console.
Nintendo has always played by its own rules, always doing something the others aren’t even thinking of. It may not always be a smooth road, but for right now, the future is bright for Nintendo. The ports are an important part of the Nintendo Switch legacy, and they could be the instigator for exciting things on the horizon.
But do you think the Switch ports are important? Give your opinions on the Switch’s third-party situation in the comments.