The Switch has been released for almost a year now and what a time it has been. The Switch has had quite the successful launch year by most measures. The pace at which the Switch was able to sell consoles at was so impressive. For many developers, it would become the best system that they had sales on due to so many gamers craving for amazing content.
They have been selling out units almost into the holidays which was made better by how much software it was able to have in its launch year. I thought that now would be a good time to look at the excitement and concerns I had before the launch and see if they had any merit.
One of my major concerns about the Switch was the lack of third parties being initially announced but man was my concern misplaced. Indie games have come out in full force to support the Switch and more surprisingly even large publishers like Bethesda has shown to throw its support behind them. With the support from third-party Nintendo was able to have a steady stream of games released in the launch year.
I am glad to see Switch getting third-party support from major publishers, but we will have to wait and see if this is a continuing trend. For many various reasons such as hardware limitations to online functionality, many players have chosen in the past not to play third party games on Nintendo consoles. The Switch is much more similar to PlayStation and Xbox, but it still is to be seen if major third-party publishers can succeed.
The support from indie games is what is most critical and Nintendo has that on lockdown. Every indie developer I talk to is already talking to Nintendo to discuss potentially bring their titles to the Switch. It makes perfect sense since many of them can take perfect advantage of what the console has to offer. I myself have bought Stardew Valley and Overcooked for my Switch and have enjoyed playing them everywhere.
Unfortunately, the one thing that Nintendo has still yet to fully understand is online functionality. This should have surprised no one but it still disappointing. While I truly empathize that creating a modern online system is no easy task but the fact remains that the Xbox 360 from two generations ago does some online features better than the Switch. When online connectivity is so established in our daily lives it is something you should get right.
Though maybe the Switch doesn’t need to have a robust online system. Most of their games work fine as single-player or local multiplayer. How this will affect their online service when they finally launch it remains to be seen though. We probably won’t be seeing too many games of service on the Switch compared to the PS4 and Xbox One which is probably fine given the audience.
This online strategy while very family friendly isn’t the most enticing to developers that require reliable online functionality. Many online games that can be ported to Switch might perform at a severely reduced performance. For online games where every frame and second matters that can break the experience driving away many online gamers. Developers will be very wary of ports that might hurt the brand of the game.
Those concerns pale to what was by most measures an amazing launch of the Switch. The hardware of the Switch itself is amazing and many developers have been to create amazing games for the platform. The high quality of games that you can play on the go make it a really unique experience.
Personally, I don’t care about online for Nintendo games. Unless their online service has cloud saving I probably won’t be paying for their online service. Most Nintendo games that I play are single-player and local multiplayer. In general, I find myself playing mostly only online games on my PC. Though since I am afraid of getting my Switch stolen and losing my saved file I would gladly pay for that.
What I am most excited for though is the ability to play older games released on previous Nintendo consoles. From games that I never got to play such as Zelda Wind Waker to games I probably still know most of the secrets to like Super Mario World. So please release your virtual console Nintendo!