Many of the readers of these pages have owned a Switch for almost 5 years. We probably have vast libraries of games, a wonky Joy-Con stick or two, and lots of fond memories. Still, the feverish attempts to wish for a “Pro” Switch this year, as opposed to whenever Nintendo is good and ready to release an upgrade or successor, testified to this desire for something shiny. and a little more powerful. As millions of Sony and Microsoft gamers – the lucky ones anyway – take advantage of a new generation of hardware, the Switch feels increasingly squeaky, while some ports lately are either extremely rough or ” cloud version”.
On the other hand, however, the Switch has plenty of exclusives on the way. and a vibrant eShop that – once you battle through a slew of distinctly average titles – is packed with gems. The Switch has games, but not necessarily the most technically advanced whiplash Games.
What owners and long-term fans may also not know is that the Switch is still selling out in huge numbers and remains a “hot” item ahead of the upcoming holiday season. Some research shows this, and much of what we might take for granted is still very desirable for many people. It’s interesting that people refer to Nintendo’s reduced projections of over 20 million systems shipping this fiscal year as negative, when these are numbers that – under current circumstances – remain exceptional.
So beyond jaded Switch veterans like us, how could such ageing, malnourished small console still a hot product to pick up almost 5 years after its release? Here are a few highlights that still make Nintendo’s console stand out and be a highly sought-after Black Friday and festive buy.
A competitive price range
This may seem like a strange category to start with, but it East relevant in the context of current market circumstances. We’ll cover this in more detail in another section, but Switch is now competing in the PS5 and Xbox Series X space | S, and while both of these systems have more affordable models with no disc drives or lower specs, the Switch stands up quite nicely price-wise next to them. The OLED model can cost $349.99, but the standard model costs $299.99 (and recently had a price drop in Europe) and is featured in bundles and Black Friday deals. Then there’s the $199.99 Switch Lite, which slips into a great price for second systems, kids’ gifts, and more.
Besides the Lite too, Nintendo has successfully highlighted how a Switch purchase saves some costs in terms of extras. With so many family-oriented multiplayer games working well with unique Joy-Con controls, there’s the angle of out-of-the-box multiplayer with no extra controllers needed. When budgeting for festive gifts carefully, the Switch offers a good option due to its various gameplay options and the ability to do not need many add-ons to have fun out of the box.
The different options also mean that a number of households can end up with more than one Switch, which is pretty much a win-win situation for Nintendo.
All about this ambitious lifestyle
From there, Nintendo continued to promote Switch’s image as a valuable contributor to daily routines, downtime with family and friends, and of course a number of “serious” games. like RPGs to waste time. It goes back to the old argument that the system is more than the sum of its parts – it’s an aging tablet with detachable controllers and a TV dock, but Nintendo has made it a lifestyle device. ‘a way similar to the Wii / DS era.
We see Nintendo promoting fitness and activity with people like Ring shaped adventureit promotes single and multiplayer mental exercise with the next Big Brain Academy: Brain Vs. Brain, and of course there are various other fitness and puzzle games available. There is also a multiplayer wide angle, Mario Party Superstars being a recent example, with marketing for over four years showing a mix of TV and handheld games with friends and family. It’s been established as a very social machine, an impressive PR feat considering its low offering in areas like online voice chat.
There’s also single-player play, of course, with the marketing pointing to gamers immersing themselves at home in a comfortable seat, in front of the TV, or on the go. It’s old hat for many of us, but it’s an ambitious prospect designed to fit people’s lifestyles and respect their time. This is another factor that makes it appealing to people of different types.
There are so many games
It’s easy to forget for those of us who have been on the Switch train since day one and may be struggling to choose a festive purchase (especially with the delay of Advance Wars 1+2: Reboot Camp) but the system now has an exceptional and varied library. After all Mario Kart 8 Deluxe still sells millions of copies a year, so there are always many people discover the joys of running for the first time. Then there are several Pokemon games, let’s not forget, and the permanent charms of Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
The Switch has gradually amassed a sizable library of first-party and third-party exclusives, and has also benefited from a series of Wii U ports – games few will have played in their original form. While it’s easy to focus on what Nintendo’s system can’t offer, like the powerful versions of many top-selling cross-platform titles like Call of Duty, etc., there are plenty of unique or best-played games on the Switch. Again, for those of us who have regularly amassed a collection, it’s easy to outgrow it, but for those coming late to Switch, the variety in the library is exceptional.
So yeah, ultimately the Switch definitely has games.
You can actually find them in stores
This is perhaps the biggest, and a bit of a giveaway for Nintendo in light of the unprecedented challenges of the past two years. Nintendo – like many entertainment companies – saw a boom in sales and profits in 2020 due to global lockdowns and many people in need of home entertainment. Now, in 2021 and into the next year, the lingering impact of COVID lingers while the tech industry also grapples with severe chip shortages and logistical challenges. It is increasingly difficult to manufacture and distribute consoles at the moment, with Nintendo also being affected despite its established pipelines and use of off-the-shelf and established technologies.
For Sony and Microsoft, however, it has been impossible to keep up with demand, especially with the PS5 and Xbox Series X models. end of year celebrations will rely on luck and good timing. The Switch OLED is a bit like that in some territories and other specific bundles and colors are hard to find, but there are standard and Lite models available with a bit of research. While last-gen systems from Sony and Microsoft (PS4/Xbox One) should theoretically be cheap options, they actually feel abandoned and certainly aren’t being promoted.
It’s a tough spot for Sony and Microsoft, but for Nintendo it’s definitely the most available gaming system in stores.
Mass appeal, “the blue ocean”, etc…
To varying degrees, all of today’s gaming consoles have mass appeal – gaming has never been bigger, and it feels like we’re moving to a stage where the term “gamer” will no longer be relevant. The wide variety of games available on different platforms means that most people are now “gamers”, whether on consoles, phones or otherwise.
Switch’s strong momentum and all of the factors highlighted above contribute to that mass appeal that has made it such a successful generation for Nintendo. The company also used this time to build the ‘brand’, with the LEGO Mario series proving hugely popular, and of course the Mario movie coming next winter. After a difficult period in the 3DS / Wii U era, the company’s brand has undoubtedly returned to a high point, being easily recognized and popular.
Nintendo should, of course, not take this for granted, it will need to gain continued momentum.
For many of us, the Switch is an aging but lovely device, but that’s not quite how it’s perceived around the world. It may seem unlikely to us that millions of people will still be buying the Switch – essentially in its original form – at the end of 2021, but it is. Quite where Switch and Nintendo‘s hardware business will be 12 months from now, however, anyone’s guess.