Nintendo Switch is a real "rising from the ashes" story. Wii U was practically dead on arrival and Nintendo struggled for years to catch up and try to spark momentum, to no avail. Switch took some of Wii U's ideas and refined them, and now the portable/console hybrid is sitting pretty at 10 million units sold in the hardware's first nine months since its March launch. To put that in perspective, Nintendo sold 13.56 million units of the now-discontinued Wii U in the console's entire, roughly 4-and-a-half-year lifespan.
I think there are a few reasons for this. When Wii U was announced, Nintendo's message was confusing and muddled, to the point that the average public thought it was a weird new controller for the old Wii instead of a brand new console. In contrast, Switch's debut couldn't have been clearer in its purpose and utility. That reveal trailer still gives me chills.
Wii U's hardware was a puzzling hodgepodge, with a powerful GPU bottlenecked by a comparatively ancient PowerPC CPU that made the system perpetually sluggish, and a controller that felt like a confusing, cumbersome half-implemented prototype. Developing for this grabbag of hardware was a chore and thus third party support dried up after the first year. Switch on the other hand is based on the efficient, well-known Nvidia Tegra X1 and its ARM architecture, which are so easy to develop for that Switch has an eminently playable port of Doom.
And this brings me to the third and most important distinction: Switch has games, and Wii U just didn't. To be fair there were hits like Smash Bros, Bayonetta 2 and Mario 3D World, but Nintendo struggled to maintain a consistent release schedule and Wii U's lifespan was plagued by several months-long droughts.
It's a simple concept and publishers repeatedly ignore it to their peril: if you don't have the games no one is going to care about your console, no matter how impressive the tech is. Switch had an amazing first year with Zelda, Mario, and Splatoon, but more importantly it has strong third party support and an already massive catalog of indie titles. That's pretty incredible and it's not even a year old yet.
So congratulations to Nintendo and Switch. It's been a great first nine months and I can't wait to see what 2018 has in store for the platform.
Nintendo’s Video Game System Passes Major Milestone in Just Nine Months
REDMOND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Despite launching in March, a month not usually reserved for home console launches, and with the busy holiday shopping season still in full swing, the Nintendo Switch system has already sold 10 million units to consumers around the world, according to Nintendo’s internal sales figures.
Nintendo Switch is a home console that can be played on a TV, and also taken instantly on the go – it lets people play their favorite games anytime, anywhere and with anyone. (Photo: Business Wire)
Nintendo Switch is a home console that can be played on a TV, and also taken instantly on the go – it lets people play their favorite games anytime, anywhere and with anyone. And since every Nintendo Switch system comes bundled with two Joy-Con controllers, players can easily share the fun of compatible multiplayer games with friends and family* right out of the box.
The robust and diverse library on Nintendo Switch features two of the most acclaimed video games of all time in Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. At The Game Awards last week in Los Angeles, Super Mario Odyssey won the award for Best Family Game. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was honored with the awards for Game of the Year, Best Action/Adventure Game and Best Game Direction.
Nintendo Switch is also home to fun multiplayer games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2 and ARMS that can be played online** or with friends and family in the same room, as well as an ever-growing list of great third-party games like Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, FIFA 18, Rocket League, L.A. Noire, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Golf Story and Stardew Valley, Nintendo Switch is truly for any player.
“As you can see in people’s living rooms, on a plane or riding the subway, fans all over the world can enjoy playing Nintendo Switch wherever they go,” said Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime. “The response from fans has been great, and we’re doing our very best to satisfy demand during the holiday shopping season.”
After a record-breaking 2017, Nintendo Switch will continue its momentum in 2018. The system will see the launch of Nintendo-published games like Kirby Star Allies, Bayonetta, Bayonetta 2 and a new game in the beloved Yoshi franchise, in addition to big third-party games like Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus from Bethesda, Mega Man 11 from Capcom, PROJECT OCTOPATH TRAVELER (working title) from Square Enix, Shovel Knight: King of Cards from Yacht Club Games and Runner3 from Choice Provisions.
Nintendo Switch is available at a suggested retail price of $299.99. For more information about Nintendo Switch, visit https://www.nintendo.com/
Remember that Nintendo Switch features parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about other features, visit http://www.nintendo.com/
*Additional games, systems and accessories may be required for multiplayer mode and are sold separately.
**Nintendo Account is required. Online services and features, including online gameplay, are free until the paid Nintendo Switch Online Service launches in 2018.
About Nintendo: The worldwide pioneer in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Nintendo Switch™ system and the Nintendo 3DS™ family of portable systems. Since 1983, when it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System™, Nintendo has sold more than 4.5 billion video games and more than 710 million hardware units globally, including Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, as well as the Game Boy™, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS™ family of systems, Super NES™, Nintendo 64™, Nintendo GameCube™, Wii™ and Wii U™ systems. It has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names, such as Mario, Donkey Kong, Metroid, Zelda and Pokémon. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo’s operations in the Americas. For more information about Nintendo, please visit the company’s website at http://www.nintendo.com.