Over the Christmas period, many of us at UTM found ourselves in possession of a Nintendo Switch – giving us ample opportunity to delve into the incredible roster of games it accumulated across 2017. With Nintendo hoping to shift 20 million units this year, there’s a sense that they’re building up towards another huge year. We turned our speculative desires into words, presenting you with a list of our biggest hopes for the Nintendo Switch in 2018.
Come on, be a real console! Nintendo can do batshit crazy stuff like sell cardboard and call it innovation cuz fanboys will romanticise and fantasise about pretty much anything. But equally there as many people who WANT switch to be a ‘real console’.
They’re doing okay on the game front, but modern consoles aren’t just for games, they’re a multimedia centre. Give me Twitch, give me YouTube, give me Crunchyroll, give me all the apps! No one will have any need for an iPad if they got a tablet that can play games and do ALL THAT SHIT TOO, for a good price!
Nintendo will always be the ‘other’ console without basic modern functionality, and I really want them to be a part of the best console discussion. I also really don’t want to fork out for an iPad just to watch anime in bed.
More 3rd Party Ports
Although Breath of The Wild and Mario Odyssey were stunning entries to their respective franchises, to access all the incredible roster of games from 2017, your gonna need another console – namely a PS4 (sorry Microsoft). Their list of 3rd party partners announced at the initial Switch unveiling is a wealth of port possibilities and the handheld nature gives these games a whole new aspect in which they can be repurchased.
With Atlus on board hopefully there’s chance to take Persona 5 everywhere in an attempt to make a dent in the gargantuan storyline and max our confidant bonds with Ann (not Yusuke though – worst boy), whilst Square Enix and Platinum could give us a chance to do an introspective weep on the train with NieR: Automata.
No Rushed Major Titles
It’d be impossible for Nintendo to recreate landmark year they had in 2017, their major titles set a whole new benchmark for quality. It’s important that the console shifting franchises they have left are given plenty of time to meet the new standards, and to ensure the Switch isn’t devoid of high quality games in future years.
To guarantee that kids and those who are kids at heart will be unwrapping a Nintendo Switch at Christmas, it’s obvious they’ll need at least one huge game to draw more people in. Animal Crossing seems like the least taxing option, it feels too early to see our favourite mascots scrapping in a new Super Smash Bros, and it’d be a surprise if Metroid Prime 4 is ready for 2018 given it was only presentable in JPEG form at E3.
However, the rumoured push for a Pokémon title in 2018 is the most worrying prospect given that the 3DS is defined by the wasted potential of the games that feel unfinished – exciting prospects were unrealised, the amount of newly introduced Pokémon shrank dramatically, and the worlds were barren of exploration. Game Freak definitely need plenty of time to craft their own Breath of The Wild.
Switch Integration With Mobile Apps
Whilst the Switch was undeniably the golden goose of Nintendo’s 2017, the company also deserves credit for its improved forays into the mobile app market following 2016’s lacklustre social app Miitomo and the gimmicky Super Mario Run. Fire Emblem Heroes was an excellent example of scaling down a series to be more accessible to newcomers whilst rolling out features catered towards its longterm devotees and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp offered a welcome return to the communal aspect of the franchise that fans had grown to miss.
When Nintendo initially teased Animal Crossing for mobile in 2016, they had mentioned they were working to ensure that the smartphone spin-off “will be connected with the world of Animal Crossing for dedicated gaming systems” in future – an aspect they’ve curiously gone mute on following its release. With mainline Switch releases for both Fire Emblem and (assumedly) Animal Crossing on the way, it would be a wasted opportunity for Ninty to not capitalise on their micro successes in some shape or form – whether it be via promotional campaigns and login bonuses in the countdowns to their releases or expense-free opportunities to earn skill points or resources to use on either system.
The Long-Awaited Return of Virtual Console
To both their benefit and their detriment, Nintendo have always been about innovating the way we play games – a desire most recently demonstrated by the announcement of Nintendo Labo this week, a collection of cardboard contraptions built with the intent of offering more child-friendly ways to interact with the Switch. For many, however, the foundation of their love for Nintendo lies simply in their esteemed history of iconic video game titles – making the current omission of a much-adored feature acknowledging exactly that on the Switch all the more frustrating.
It’s uncertain as to why Virtual Console – the Wii era e-shop staple that offered console owners the chance to purchase older titles they missed/miss conveniently on one console – is yet to appear on the Switch. Some speculate that it’ll be revealed alongside the console’s fee-based online services later this year. Perhaps, however, the sweeping popularity of remasters has influenced their approach to porting old titles – a sound business decision supported by the recently revealed HD remaster of the cult DS RPG The World Ends With You and various fully-priced Wii U ports. Regardless of the circumstances, the sooner Nintendo can get their iconic back catalogue of old-school console gems – Super Mario Sunshine, Super Smash Bros. Melee and Kirby Air Ride to name a choice few – to their portable hardware prince, the better it’ll be for business and consumer alike.
Nathan Butler, Connor Cass & Joshua Pauley