Nintendo Switch: The Story So Far

Nintendo Switch: The Story So Far

Depending on who you ask, 2017 was either one of the most exciting years in gaming history, or a bit of a misfire. Just for kicks, take a closer look at the person saying the former. Are they by any chance carrying around a tiny briefcase with an anthropomorphized baseball cap on it? Unless that person happens to be a miniature stockbroker, there’s a good chance that case is holding the latest in portable gadgetry - the Nintendo Switch.

When first announced in fall of 2016, the Nintendo Switch was met with a reasonable amount of skepticism. This new console looked like it had the potential to become everything the Wii U could have been, or rather, everything it should have been. The Switch certainly showed a lot of promise, but some promises are difficult to fulfill. Luckily for Nintendo, the year that followed was one for the history books, but it’s hard to make your mark without a touch of conflict first.

The Nintendo Switch is the perfect console for the gamer with a soft spot for accessorizing.

Despite being Nintendo’s fastest selling system in the United States, there were no shortage of bumps in the road following the Switch’s release. Reports of warping issues, flimsy kickstands, and Joy-Con unresponsiveness did well to expand the already substantial base of skeptics. Meanwhile, the lack of launch titles and internal storage kept even the optimistic at bay. While many of the hardware issues were consistent with what is typical of most newly launched products, all it takes is a little bit of bad publicity to turn doubters into detractors.

Overall, these issues were few and far between, and in turn, the consoles continued to fly off the shelves faster than anyone could fathom. With the hardware headaches being handled behind the scenes, it was time to focus on expanding the console’s library. Nintendo was able to turn things around by maintaining a steady flow of releases to make up for the underwhelming amount of day-one titles. At this point they have more than redeemed themselves based on their third party selection alone. Some may turn their nose up at the number of ports that have made their way to the Switch, but the quality of its ports are hard to argue with. Of course no one needs another copy of Skyrim floating around, but all of those other copies will collect a good amount of dust once you’ve come face to face with a Dwarven Centurion while sitting on your toilet. It’s 2018 now, and if you haven’t played Doom in your dentist’s waiting room, you have not lived.

Breath of the Wild remains as one of the biggest breaths of fresh air in recent memory.

Even putting the countless third party and indie titles aside, Nintendo has continued to do what they do best: exclusive content. In the short period of time the console has been available it has hosted 3 smash hits, with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Super Mario Odyssey being regarded as some of the best (if not the best) entries in their respective series. It’s hard to criticize the system’s launch titles when one of them is already considered by some to be the best game they’ve ever played. Breath of the Wild has wowed Zelda fans and non-Zelda fans alike all year long with its build-your-own-adventure style of play and the seemingly endless amount of content that it provides. You could easily get away with owning just this one title, and it would be months before you find yourself looking to put it down.

The successes of the Nintendo Switch have become inarguable, and the year to come seems to be a promising one. Ports of Wolfenstein 2 and Bayonetta 1 & 2 linger on the horizon, as well as new Metroid Prime, Kirby Star Allies, Fire Emblem, and Yoshi titles, and even a brand-new core Pokemon RPG. What’s even better, if new titles aren’t enough to sell you on the console, the upcoming Nintendo Switch Online service boasts access to a library of classic Nintendo games - clocking in at $20 for a yearly subscription. Being an early adopter of the service will provide you with access to NES titles Dr. Mario, Balloon Fight, and Super Mario Bros. 3 with more to be announced once it officially launches.

The Switch just keeps the hits coming with Super Mario Odyssey

Like it or not, the Switch is almost everything you could want it to be and more. If you haven’t hopped on the bandwagon by now, it isn’t too late to do so. If you are or have been a naysayer, it’s well worth the blow to your pride. Mull it over all you like, but while you’re wasting time second guessing the best decision you’ll make all year, I’ll be over by the Great Plateau cooking up a nice Hyrule bass with a side of spicy peppers waiting for you to come to your senses.

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