Switch Broke All The Rules

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
#1
The Switch has been an extremely interesting console to not only play, but to follow its success and overall reception from the industry and consumers alike. Coming off the failure of the Wii U, there was certainly lessons learned, but Switch has also crapped all over what we believed was essential for a successful formula for a console. With Wii U, there was much debate in the early years on how Nintendo could rebound from a very sluggish start. While the actual launch moved 3 million units in a hurry, sales then plunged and never really regained significant momentum. Its pretty telling when a console sells 3.5 million units during its first two months on sale but only sells 13 million units in its lifetime. There were many of us who believed that sales would rebound once the big Nintendo first party title rolled out, and while they did show short lived increases in hardware sales, it was never enough to really change the outlook of the console. The idea that a console would sell solely based on quality software was pretty much debunked. Every year Wii U had games in the game of the year discussion, but this didn't change the fortunes for the console.

Nintendo certainly took it on the chin with Wii U, and some strategies were certainly changed with Switch. Launching with Zelda BoTW and having a clear marketing message on what the Switch is and what its all about was very clear, and start contrast to the poor messaging of the Wii U. No doubt launching with one of the great games of all time really helped to get it out of the gate with solid momentum. Having a great game at launch helping move hardware isn't surprising, but what is surprising is the various rules that Switch breaks.

It was a common belief that Wii U was hurt by numerous third party ports being late to the party. Batman AC, Mass Effect 3, Fifa, and Need For Speed MW were all late ports to Wii U. The launch lineup seemed impressive, but many of those games were released on other platformers previously, and this was a common excuse for the lack of enthusiasm for these titles on Wii U. So late ports wont sell right? Switch hasn't been effected in the same way at all. Look at games like Skyrim, Doom, Dragonball Z Xenoverse 2, Wolfenstein 2 and a ton of Indie games on Switch. A lot of very successful games on Switch have been very late ports, and it certainly hasn't been a knock on the console in the slightest.

Another common grievance with ports to Wii U was the performance and visuals were often not on par with competing consoles. Nobody bought Assassins Creed 3, must have been that framerate and missing visual features? Same with Batman AC right? Problem is Doom, Wolfenstein 2, Skyrim and pretty much every major third party title has made compromises in the transition to Switch. Doom and Wolfenstein 2 run at a far lower resolution and half the framerate compared to PS4 and X1. We are seeing late and less impressive versions of games still having a positive impact on the platform.

How many genres have been considered niche and thus completely neglected by most third party publishers? Games like Xenoblade 2 and Octopath Traveler would be hard pressed to find the greenlight on platformers like PS4 and X1, but have been breakout successes on Switch. Both titles cruised past the million sold milestone in short order. Square Enix has reaffirmed its decision to commit to these types of experiences on Switch. Again, these games have been considered niche on other consoles, but these releases have been powerful enough to move the needle on Switch. In a world where hardware is sold for COD and Assassins Creed, Switch leaves plenty of room open for genres that have been considered too niche for many.

The concept in itself was questioned from the very beginning. Is it a console or a portable? Is it really just a portable with TV play? I think the idea that consumers would be all that into a console that can be played anywhere was underestimated, and the limitations that a console that is also a portable would be too much for consumers to tolerate. Who wants to buy a new console with sub PS4/X1 graphics in 2017 and years to come? As it turns out, being the weakest console on the market wasn't nearly as damning as many believed. Even when looking at price, Switch was more expensive than its competitors. If Switch were seen as solely a portable, we have seen pricing being problematic in the past for the 3DS at $230, but Switch hasn't missed a beat at $299.

Switch created its own place in the market and has been rewriting many of the rules every since it launched.
 

mattavelle1

Crunk Ain’t Dead!!!
Moderator
#2
Excellent OP!

One things that I really like talkin about these late in the game ports (Skyrim etc etc) they are the fullest of games. All the DLC / upgrades everything is there. As of late I’m heading at my work more and more people not liking installing there games, always a constant update for games, DL DLC and havin to wait for hours because of skeatchy internet connection. People are into the idea of buying a full game and not having to worry about it from there on out, and I think Nintendo is hitting it right on this note.

ALSO for 3rd parties, Nintendo is breathing new life into dead games that aren’t that old. Time after time after time we see these brand new games launch, first week does huge numbers, 2nd week does good numbers, by week 3 people moved on and the game goes thru a deep price slash. Nintendo is picking these really good games up, rounding out there library with games they may not make themselves, and giving 3rd party’s more of a chance to recoup there money. And why wouldn’t they those games are just sitting in the bargain ben not makin any money.
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
#3
I heard Shenmue 1&2 HD didn't do that great on PS4 and X1. Now we are hearing about a port to Switch being talked about. I agree with Matt, Switch has offered a fresh life line for a lot of titles. Indies have probably benefited in a more meaningful way. When many of them are seeing better sales on Switch compared to Steam, that leaves a lasting impression that this is a platform worth supporting.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#4
The Switch is almost kind of weird because for all of the things Nintendo did with it...the device might be as notable for what it hasn't done.

"It's 2018, so you have to have Netflix and Hulu on there on day one."
No we don't.

"Well, it's 2018, all anyone cares about is the jump to 4K, so you have to do that."
No we don't.

"You have to have a back compatibility solution and virtual console immediately."
No we don't.

"You can't sell a $300 device that people might consider only to be a handheld."
Yes we can.

Nintendo truly pulled out the Michael Corleone balls with Switch. "Here's our offer to what you say you want, gaming industry: Nothing." And I remember how disappointed I was when they showed the thing off, and I'm an effing fan. Focusing on motion controls, HD rumble, selling it for $300, and the peripherals requiring a few trips to the sperm bank before you could afford them? I wasn't happy.

But...they've been right the entire way. It's almost like they figured out a feature and marketed it. Witchcraft.

However, there are a couple of rules they didn't break. If anything they reinforced a few.

-Power doesn't matter if you're in computational spitting distance.
-Market disruption works in a stagnant environment.
-Nintendo tends to succeed when they Nintendo.
-Launch with Zelda.
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
#5
I have to believe games like Sonic Mania, Mega Man 11 and Streets of Rage 4 are positioned in a far better way because of Switch. Switch has kind of been like a portable Steam machine for developers. I still to this day love the concept just as much as I did on launch day. Its something I didn't really understand just how much I would like it before experiencing it. I hadn't owned a portable since the Gameboy Color. I would be perfectly happy to see Nintendo stock with the Switch concept for another generation.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#6
I have to believe games like Sonic Mania, Mega Man 11 and Streets of Rage 4 are positioned in a far better way because of Switch. Switch has kind of been like a portable Steam machine for developers.
One of the underrated things that Nintendo picked up during the Wii U years (in addition to learning how to make HD games) was figuring out how to make their business work well with indie developers. I never imagined the Switch would have this sort of "like Steam, but curated" eShop. There is more than I could ever play, and the library will only keep growing.
I still to this day love the concept just as much as I did on launch day. Its something I didn't really understand just how much I would like it before experiencing it. I hadn't owned a portable since the Gameboy Color. I would be perfectly happy to see Nintendo stock with the Switch concept for another generation.
I can't imagine Nintendo not sticking with this. Mobile hardware has so much power now, and modern game engines scale so easily. Let Sony and MS fight to create consoles that try to give you most of a PC's graphical experience without the compatibility problems. For most people who don't masturbate to DF analyses, a Switch probably gives 80%-90% of the necessary visuals, plus portability.
 
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