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Letters from the Front

zeldarun

Alot of things has changed since the introduction of the Switch last March, the console has gone to heights that the Wii U wished it had gone too. This past week, the Switch celebrated it’s one year anniversary and that was quite a week in gaming history.  The Switch has surpassed expections even mine, a person who never really owned a Nintendo console before. The Switch has nearly sold 15 million units and has outsold the previous hardware, the Wii U in less than a year, and judging from what I’m seeing is that it’s poised to have another strong year in 2018, so I wanted to take a look back at Nintendo’s rise from the ashes and starting once again anew.

When the Switch was revealed a year and a half ago in 2016, for me I kinda downplayed it but was kind of interested in it. The rumors surrounding it happened to be true and for me the reason why I downplayed it is because it honestly looked like a second attempt at the Wii U and I thought that Nintendo would surely crash and burn and no longer be relevant but I was wrong. Very wrong. The immediate reaction wasn’t strong and everyone doubted it’s appeal, much of what made the Wii successful came from the mainstream audience usually attracting those that didn’t play games.

Nintendo appeared confident and alongside Legend of Zelda has a launch game, strong sales were bound to happen. As with anything, there’s a hardcore audience within Nintendo that would pick up a new piece of hardware, especially when it comes to something brand new like Zelda or Mario. And guess what happened on Launch day?  Sales were strong as soon as the Switch got out of the gates, setting records for Nintendo and it outsold all of the previous systems, including the Wii. By the end of March 2017, it sold 2.74 million units. It proved me and everyone who doubted Nintendo wrong.

Of course, there were stumbles because the Switch didn’t launch with Virtual Console or it’s online service but in the wake of most things being left out, supply problems, and a bunch of issues threatened to tear down the momentum. What appeared as a problem kind of stemmed over; and despite all of the problems, the Switch continued on it’s uphill success going places that the Wii U wished it had gone too.

splatoon-switch

Sure, year one of the Switch is successful but it doesn’t come without any flaws. Accessories are priced expensively and from what I’ve been reading and what my friends tell me is that there is no way to backup your save games and that the UI still needs work like adding features that my friends want to see. On top of that, online support still needs some work.

Online support like the voice chat is a complete joke, Xbox and Playstation users can get into a party on the console and use headsets while Nintendo requires you to use a phone and some headphones for party chat. Seriously, Nintendo? The Switch faces a task that other consoles don’t have a problem with is that it’s asking those who have enjoyed multiplayer for free begin paying a subscription similar to XBL and PSN which launches in September. This plan has been delayed numerous times and I suggest they go back and delay it indefinitely until they have a system in place and there is little to no information on it except that’s inspired by XBL’s Game with Gold and PSN’s version of that besides offering multiplayer. Also, it looks like Virtual Console still isn’t coming to the Switch; Nintendo get on it!

Despite all of this, the Switch’s future is bright. Sales have exceeded the PS4 briefly and I’m not sure how much it sold compared to the Xbox since Microsoft no longer puts out sales figures; the Switch appeals to everyone because of it’s hand-held nature opens the door for more sales because you can take it wherever you go. This may mean that more Third-Party support is coming to the console and I suggest that Nintendo gets on that quickly because that was one of the causes for the Wii U’s crash and burn.

I hope this year Nintendo continues to bring the software, it’s kind of crazy to see that Nintendo fans not only just recieved one big name exclusive but two in the form of Legend of Zelda and Super Mario in the same year, I myself can’t even believe it. It’s kind of opening the gates to what lays ahead for the Switch, I’m excited to see what the future holds for the Nintendo Switch.

It’s the beginning of something great.

 

 

 

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