How the Nintendo Switch Will Be the Real Successor to the Wii
The Nintendo Switch Presentation showed that the Japanese company stuck to its one core value, creating unique experiences. The show was especially reminiscent of the Nintendo Wii reveal.
Just like Wii Sports changed the way people played video games by simplifying gameplay with motion controls, the Switch expands on the pick-up and play style with portability and new features in the controllers.
With support for up to 8 players, "HD Rumble" feedback, and making a controller even more simple than the Wii remote, Nintendo seems to be honing in once again on a mass-appeal system.
The Wii was an instant hit from day one, selling over 100 million units in its lifetime. The Wii U on the other hand, sold less than 15 million units, making it Nintendo's worst selling home console. Selling only a fraction of the systems, the Wii U failed all expectations of being a true successor to the Wii.
The name itself didn't even make it clear that it was a whole new system. Nintendo's marketing focused primarily on the tablet, making it unclear whether they were buying a new system or a fancy controller for the Wii.
The Wii U's Gamepad has a few interesting features which weren't put to use by many developers.
Nintendoland did a fair job at showcasing the different uses of the tablet controller, like five player games where one player plays with the tablet and the rest play with Wii remotes. However, other than Mario Chase, the rest of mini games weren't very memorable.
Many of the best Wii U titles, like Bayonetta 2 or Super Mario 3D World played exactly the same with a Pro Controller. Splatoon is one of the Wii U's most popular games, but the sequel on the Switch is shaping up to be a huge upgrade.
Premiering 1-2 SWITCH as a launch title shows that Nintendo is emulating the broad appeal of Wii Sports by creating a whole new social experience. By eliminating the need to stare at a screen while playing, Nintendo is inviting a whole new audience of gamers to try out their games. They made a point to focus on it being a party game, one that you can bring anywhere and anyone can jump in and play.
The second revealed title, ARMS, leaves the impression of an in-depth, wonky Wii boxing. Combining simple controls with fast-paced fights, the game is also directing a mass audience.
Creating these fun, multiplayer experiences, may not appeal to hardcore gamers, but is what will ultimately make the Switch a household name.
That isn't to say that Nintendo decided to leave its hardcore fanbase in the dust. Following the footsteps of the Wii, the Switch will launch with an all-new Legend of Zelda game that was announced for the previous system.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an evolution from the most recent home Zelda game, similar to how Twilight Princess was drastically different than The Wind Waker. The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword was a great game, it even got a 9 out of 10 here on GameSkinny, but unlike Breath of the Wild, it doesn't boast an open world landscape.
Along with Breath of the Wild, Nintendo announced an array of AAA titles such as Super Mario Odyssey, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Fire Emblem Warriors, and a new entry into the Shin Megami Tensei series.
The Switch presentation was quirky, the translators were awkward, but the overall message was clear: Nintendo is trying to make a fun system that anyone can enjoy, and if all goes according to plan, the Switch will expand the gaming audience like the Wii did before it.