2017 was an absolutely great year for gaming, especially with the release of the Nintendo Switch. The console completely changed the way people play, bringing a brand new approach to portable gaming. The Switch sold more than 4.8 million units in the U.S. in the first 10 months after its launch. The powerful handheld is proving popular with gamers that love gaming on the go.
The Switch was released as the same time as one of the most popular games of 2017 – “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.” As of January 2018, the game had sold around 7.78 million units, making it the second highest-selling “Zelda” game, according to Nintendo Everything. The Zelda series taps into a massive fan base so “Breath of the Wild” was always going to do well, but no one just knew how great the game was actually going to be. With physics-based gameplay and an open-world setting, the game is a true masterpiece.
“Super Mario Odyssey” was the next major Nintendo title, reaching 9 million units sold. Like “Breath of the Wild,” the title helped the Nintendo Switch have such an amazing first year. Third-party games have also helped boost the popularity of the system. Titles like “Shovel Knight,” “Binding of Isaac” and “Stardew Valley” are all outstanding titles that massively benefit from being on a portable console.
Breaking down the Switch’s year from a user’s perspective, there are plenty of things to say about it. First off, the Switch is super easy to travel with. Cases are cheap and the added benefit of no more CD’s helps prevent any damage to the games. It is also easy to play with another player. Plenty of games support using half the Joy-Con for multiplayer. The system is user friendly and almost impossible to put down.
Some things to take note of when buying the Switch. The wireless connectivity between the controllers and the system can be unreliable at times - often I found myself wanting to just play handheld. The systems storage size is around 32 gigabytes, basically just as much as an iPhone. In its defense, it is easy to buy extra storage for the Switch.
There are plenty of amazing titles coming out this year. “Dark Souls Remastered” is the long-awaited remake of “Dark Souls” and it is also rumored that “Bloodborne” is coming to the Switch. “Mega Man 11” is expected to come out late 2018, and has a lot of fans excited for a brand new addition to the series. There are also rumors about a Fire Emblem and Yoshi games that may be released later this year.
The Nintendo Switch is exactly what the industry needed, a great quality hand-held gaming system. Portable gaming was always just okay - nothing too exciting or intense. With the option to download multiple titles and play on the go, Nintendo’s system offers a great deal to gamers. The Switch has the power, titles and fan base to really make 2018 a huge year for gaming.