Over the past few weeks, Nintendo has finally given us the details about the upcoming console, the Switch. While I pre-ordered my console back when the first trailer was released, I was anxious to see what Nintendo would offer in terms of actual game announcements. After the reveal in January, I gave myself some time to reflect on the launch line-up. Now, I feel that I’m ready to talk about my expectations for the Switch.
A lot of the discussions I’ve seen, be it on blogs or Twitter, centered around the ‘weak’ launch line up for the console. Looking at the list of games available at launch, I can understand why so many people are inclined to worry about the console and the long-term performance. However, I feel like this whole thing is overblown, at least to a certain extend: The 3DS had a much worse launch library. I still remember buying that handheld on day one and mostly using it for playing Radiant Historia and Devil Survivor 2 – both excellent late Nintendo DS JRPGs by the way. At least on the Switch, we get a new Legend of Zelda to boot and a pretty great library of games until December ‘17. And I for my part prefer having a new great game once a month over having a dozen in the first and nothing for the next couple of months after.
Interestingly enough, if you compare the launch line-up for the Switch with the launch of the Wii U, the Wii U actually wins. Sure, there are no heavy hitters like The Legend of Zelda, but at least a lot of ports for the system. That third party support dried out quickly since the console wasn’t selling all too well. Current wisdom says the console was marketed in an abysmal way and that real system sellers just downright didn’t exist. Even Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon were unable to save the system.
This is what I’m really getting at: A system needs long term support. And so far, I think that Nintendo is trying to do just that. If the Switch sells well enough, third party support will follow automatically. Add to this the fact that it’s pretty much the be all end all portable gaming system and we might have a winner. At least that is my expectation.
But what am I hoping for? Well, that the strategy works and Nintendo can completely focus on the Switch (and of course smartphone games). I would love to see some series return, especially Metroid, Mother and F-Zero. And I’m really thankful for each and every new IP they give us, especially considering that Splatoon worked out so well. Another Project Zero/Fatal Frame game would make me happy too. But I doubt Nintendo will do another one, after the last one received little praise.
I also hope that the Virtual Console will be properly supported. But so far, Nintendo has remained completely silent on the subject, which, only two weeks from launch, is not the best signal to send. There has been a rumor around that GameCube games would be supported, which would be amazing. The GameCube has a great library of games that are exclusive to it and were never re-released.
How about you? Are you planning to get the console on launch? If so, what do you expect?