Nintendo Switch Needs to Step up Software in 2019
A Lost Opportunity
The first console I ever owned was the NES, and subsequently before I found my niche in killing monsters in the downpour of survival horror titles and JRPG's that flooded the PlayStation, Nintendo was my only outlet to early video gaming.
I remember tearing open that box on that Christmas morning, my brother getting the system, I getting the TV from my grandfather and each of us getting a game. With countless hours invested on winter break, I had figured out how to get the highest score of the household in Duck Hunt, beat Super Mario Bros, and fell in love with the gold cartridge edition of The Legend Of Zelda.
In a child's world of no income, fourth quarter was Nintendo's opportunity to save all their best AAA titles for countless sales pitches for children to beg for their wares from Santa. Knowing you would most likely only get a game or two for Christmas and maybe another later on a birthday, made the selection that much harder and the the Nintendo of olden day knew to save their titles that could be reserved for video game rentals to come out in the filler months and launched only their best franchises around the holiday season.
Every Christmas there was a new Super Mario something, even in years between main titles we could expect a Tennis, Kart, Smash, or Dr. Mario.
Every two to four years we were treated to a new Zelda and spinoffs like Donkey Kong and All Stars editions made us feel a year closer to those characters we had missed out on.
The old Nintendo knew children and timed their best releases for the holiday season and took advantage being in the black the release of every new system from the NES to the most recent Swtich. While the other systems have suffered their own setbacks like Wii U, which many consumers refused to buy, at least if nothing else the backwards compatibility got the units a decent library but the Switch still suffers from being a great system with nothing to play on it.
Rehashing Old Titles
Call it lazy or genius in a world that pushed away backwards compatibility on systems, but Nintendo had us by the wallet with its unique ability to talk to consumer into buying the same Virtual Console games over and over again on each new system we brought home.
While PlayStation gave us new releases of their best titles of the year as well, Nintendo found no shame in bringing Super Mario Bros 3 to your 3DS XL. And like a sucker for the nostalgia, I bought it again and again.
Here I am in the Switch days, thumbing through my library looking for the upcoming somethings, and I am eyeing up New Super Mario U Deluxe coming in January and knowing although I had taken a backseat to Nintendo in the days of the Wii, but had played the games at friends' houses, they had me by the wallet again buying up an old title.
The Switch continues to do very well in sales going into yet another Christmas but I find myself constantly at a loss of what to buy other than revamped editions of games I already had.
Where are the new titles? Surely they have to have a new something in development for this system right?
Innovative out of the gate, The Switch was everything that failed in the PlayStation Vita, and fans couldn't get enough of launch titles Super Mario Odyssey, and Legend of Zelda: Breathe Of The Wild. Then the DLC content dried up and there hasn't been a new title brought to the system other than Super Smash Brothers that hasn't been a previously released title.
Banking On Smash
Don't underestimate the launch titles for the hybrid console. Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, even though not immediate that game with Mario and the Rabbids wasn't too bad.
Then some time passes and I'm assuming that we are going to see some new Mario title...or something.
There is a few deluxe editions. I play Hyrule Warriors and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. While The Switch store has many indie games, I am not really interested in the prospects.
Sure there are cross console games as well Worms, Jackbox titles, Outlast to make adults keep using the system. Outlast for the love of all that is jump scary and bloody, who in the world if going to devote playing a game like Outlast on a screen that small unless you are always tethered to the television?
All the other ports Nintendo feverishly filled the store with are all things I own on systems that are better equipped to play those types of games. Any gamer will tell you, there are certain games you want on PC, certain games that you want on your PS4.
If you ask me it was a desperate move to give the consumers, something, anything to purchase.
With nothing at all coming out in 2018 on The Switch that wasn't a remaster of something or a port from another system, Nintendo again missed their calling closing the fourth quarter with no new games in any of their flagship series other than Smash which might not be enough to save the console another year.
Nintendo's in house studio is unique in owning the rights to its flagship franchises, unlike the delays other competing consoles and PC face using outside developers for AAA releases. Nintendo could have easily slide out three or more great games to fill in the gaps where PS4 is waiting on The Last Of Us Part 2 and Resident Evil 2 Remake to close of the generation before PS5. The same with no remarkable release slated for Xbox in the coming weeks, but Nintendo has gotten old and lazy.
Super Mario Whatnow
Super Mario Bros more than anything is the bread and butter of Nintendo, it's life blood that runs through every console that they continue to develop. No one will ever say that The Switch is a bad system by any means, although it faced early hardware issues with Joycon disconnections, and charging ports that had bricked early systems.
If nothing else, Nintendo should have had a new Super Mario something ready to come down the pipeline just in time for Christmas. Neglecting the remasters and the spinoff series, Super Mario Odyssey is an anomaly in the fact that it is the only Mario title on a several year old Nintendo system.
Odyssey is a huge game that did a lot of things right, combining the best of all the types of platforming Mario games into a celebration of the 2 and 3D platforming, and open world objectivity of Galaxy and Sunshine, but that classic side scrolling Mario that we get every generation of a console isn't there several years into the hybrid console's life and that is troubling.
Think how many New Super Mario Bros, and Mario 3D titles we got for the 3Ds alone. Here I thought I would shelf my 3DS since The Switch, yet it still has the far superior Mario collection.
How hard would it have been to have a Mario surprise at the ready just in time for the holiday season so fans would again open their wallets?
It is extremely disappointing the best we have coming in Mario news is a January release of two old games smashed together with a new power up and playable character? The decent thing to do would have at least made that a fourth quarter release rather than first quarter of 2019.
Nintendo what are you thinking?
I want to give you my money, and you refuse to take my money by giving me anything to play on this console.
2019 And Beyond
If there is to be a future for The Nintendo Switch, they best start releasing new flagship games in the first few months of 2019 or they will be pretty much done for.
All I hear from gaming media lately is what a disappointment it is each month that ticks by with nothing new to play on The Switch while other consoles are having countdowns for their next latest and greatest.
Don't get me wrong, in the last few years Xbox and PlayStation have had their struggles too as the end of the lifespan of their current console draws nearer and studios are devoting more time to games that will pilot the newest systems on the way in the coming years. Closing out the lifespan of a console is a great opportunity though when you think of what the current capabilities that can be showcased are showing the growth of both hardware and software over the age of a system.
PlayStation 4 still has some great titles on the way that will squeak out and close the chapter of the PlayStation 4 and make it still a valuable system to have as gamers are saving their pennies for the upcoming 5.
The Switch though, young enough to hold its place for at least another five to eight years, in in the talks of The Switch Mini which might be coming as a second generation; there has only been two true titles that anyone has bought this system for Breath Of The Wild and Odyssey- both playing the nostalgia card that Nintendo just loves waving around something comforting and familiar from our childhood.
I'm willing to pay for more of that Nintendo but you refuse to offer me more titles that make me feel ten years old again and your bottom line is suffering for it.
Use this next year to really develop and release more games that fans want to play and stop trying to offer filler that you were fortunate to get a studio to license to the system.
Truly understand the Nintendo gamer.
Young or old, regardless of experience level, from Nintendo we expect family game titles, Mario, Donkey Kong, Kart, Smash, Zelda, etc. Don't waste your time with anything else. No one is dying to play the new first person shooter on The Switch. That is not your demographic. It is not in your systems capability to give me the experience I want from Black Ops on a freaking Joycon.
Do not try to give me big studio action games, survival horror, and RPG on The Switch. PlayStation has already rewarded me since its birth by being the best platform to deliver these types of titles and no one is looking to see that type of title on sandwiched in between Animal Crossing and Splatoon in the E Shop.
Stick to who you are Nintendo. It has made you last this long in the gaming arms race.
It is ridiculous that New Nintendo is fooling themselves thinking they with do battle with PlayStation and Xbox over what they have already been doing best for decades. They know their roles; Xbox gets sports games and first person shooters, PlayStation gets action, horror, and RPG's and everyone is just happy with their role.
You, Nintendo might have the most valuable job yet to make us relive our childhoods in colorful cartoonish violence. Why can't you just deliver on that?