The Nintendo Switch will celebrate its fifth birthday on March 3, 2022, and despite the fact that the console was a flop when it was first released, it has since become a must-have.
Since its founding in 1889, Nintendo has worn a variety of hats, including a playing card manufacturer. Since the company began testing video game technology in 1973, Nintendo has released its first home console in 1983. Several decades later, Nintendo is one of the world’s most popular entertainment companies, with a long history of home consoles and handhelds to its credit. In the five years since its release, the Nintendo Switch appears to have kept Nintendo at the top of the gaming industry.
When it comes to home console/handheld hybrids like the Nintendo Switch, however, things haven’t always run smoothly. In fact, the first year of its existence was a roller coaster of highs and lows. It has taken the Nintendo Switch five years to go from an intriguing handheld with some intriguing ideas to a must-have console for any type of gamer.
The Launch Line-Up Is Sparse
As of March 3, 2017, the Nintendo Switch was available in nearly every country in the world. While most critics praised the console’s potential, the lack of day-one titles was a major flaw. Another common complaint about the Switch was its tendency to get scratched when plugged into the dock, which was cited by many outlets as well as the console’s technical and hardware flaws.
Even though there were more games on the Switch’s launch lineup than there were on the Wii U’s, the quality of those games was all over the place. There was no denying that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was one of the best games ever made for the Nintendo Switch when it was released. This year’s Pokemon Legends: Arceus and Elden Ring both clearly owe their success to Breath of the Wild, which was released five years ago this month.
Breath of the Wild’s bold art direction and innovative open-world mechanics marked a true step up for the franchise and for Nintendo as a whole for many people, which was enough of an incentive to own a Switch. There was little to entice those who weren’t fans of Zelda or couldn’t justify spending $300 on a console just to play one game.
In addition to 1-2-Switch, the only first-party Nintendo release in the Switch’s launch lineup was HD Rumble and IR motion sensor-based party game 1-2-Switch. Realistically it was a very basic game that had too many simple mini-games that took too long to set up, which was then completed in a matter of minutes. Instead of asking new console owners to pay $50 for a half-baked experience, many fans now believe that 1-2-Switch would have worked better as a pack-in game, similar to Wii Sports, showcasing the potential of the new technology.
For a long time after its launch, the Nintendo Switch had only two notable games: Breath of the Wild and 1-2-Switch. People who bought the console when it first came out had to make do with whatever games were available, so Super Bomberman R, Shovel Knight, and Snipperclips, a surprising but enjoyable co-op adventure, were all popular choices.
Assuming the Role of an Essential Gaming Console
With games like Super Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the Nintendo Switch had a strong library by the end of its first year and was gaining traction among gamers. According to Nintendo’s announcement in December of last year, the Switch had sold over 10 million units by then, making it the world’s best-selling console ever by a wide margin. According to reports, the Nintendo Switch had already outsold the Wii U over the course of its entire lifespan by the end of 2017.
The Nintendo Switch’s library of first-party titles grew steadily as it gained momentum. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was added to the roster in 2018, while Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Luigi’s Mansion 3, and Pokemon Sword and Shield were added in 2019. As a result of the Switch’s stellar library, it has become an essential purchase for any die-hard Nintendo fan.
In addition to these fantastic first-party titles, the Switch was host to a slew of equally impressive third-party ports. Nintendo’s newest console proved to many that it wasn’t too far behind its competitors by running Doom, Skyrim, and Wolfenstein on its limited hardware.
The Switch’s easy-to-use interface and portability made it an ideal platform for indie games. From Hades to Hollow Knight and everything in-between, gamers can enjoy an abundance of excellent Indie games on the Nintendo Switch’s eShop in just a few years, even though not all of them are worthy of the console’s limited storage space.
As a result of the Nintendo Switch’s impressive first-party games, as well as its many excellent ports and indie titles over the last few years, it has become a console that appeals to a wide range of gamers. In contrast to the closure of cinemas and restaurants due to the global pandemic, the Nintendo Switch has sold out around the world.
Nintendo has confirmed that the Switch has sold 103 million units worldwide as of December 31st, 2021. It’s been five years since the release of the Switch, but rumors of a second generation of the console continue to surface, and Nintendo appears to be happy with its current lineup. It appears that Nintendo fans will have plenty to look forward to for the foreseeable future.