The Nintendo Switch has taken over the world of gaming since its March release and shows no signs of slowing down. Nintendo has been on dodgy ground the past few years because the Wii U had been written off as a failure a mere six month into its release. So when the Switch was announced, a lot of people were pretty skeptical.
As we know now, Nintendo has continued its legacy of enormous bounce-backs. Despite the timing of the release, the Switch sold like gangbusters, selling 7.63 million units between the release and Sept. 30, 2.74 million of which was in the first month alone.
But this number is actually deceiving.
The Switch had a limited run of consoles produced, creating a bit of a scarcity within the market, and if more consoles were made available during that time, that 7.63 million would likely raise by a good margin.
Now, I hate to say I told you so, but I did.
Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote a column predicting that the Switch would exceed the expectations of the doubters and quickly bring Nintendo back into the forefront of the slowly diminishing console race.
However, now that we have hindsight, we can more easily decipher what exactly Nintendo did correctly to get to the point they are at now.
First of all, Nintendo has always had the ability to learn from its mistakes and mold those mistakes into future savvy business moves. Nintendo knew early on in the Wii U’s lifespan that the console was not going to do well. Its confusing name made it seem like an add-on for the Wii.
Nintendo made the smart move to hold back some of the biggest titles it had been working on and later use them on this new hardware. The Wii U never had a proper Zelda game nor a proper Mario adventure.
Nintendo was smart enough to save its two most popular franchises for the launch of its brand new, cutting edge console. After the releases of the Switch and the new “Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” 83 percent of Switch owners also owned a copy of “Breath of the Wild,” proving that Nintendo’s time-tested franchises will always be console sellers.
The time that Nintendo diverted from the Wii U was enough to make “Breath of the Wild” and the more recent “Super Mario Odyssey” some of the best first-party games made. Both are reveled by critics and have proven to be financially successful as well.
The Nintendo Switch, according to the Wall Street Journal, is predicted to sell 17 million total units by March 2018. This by far surpasses the first-year sales of the Wii U.
All of this is ignoring the obvious reasons that led to the Switch’s success. Its innovative dual-playing experience between the console and the handheld, the general family-friendly demeanor associated with Nintendo and Nintendo’s consistency with handling its priority franchises (i.e. Zelda, Mario) and new IPs (Arms, Splatoon) all have an equal impact on the Switch’s booming legacy.
Nintendo has proven time and again that it is ahead of the curve when it comes to the world of gaming, and the Switch will likely fit nicely alongside the Wii as one of Nintendo’s most invigorating machines of all time.