2017 was an incredible year for Nintendo. Within the 10 months after the release of the Nintendo Switch, more than 4.8 million units were sold in the United States alone. To quote Nintendo themselves, “That’s the highest total for the first 10 months of any home video game system in U.S. history” (Nintendo). So what does the next year have in store for Nintendo? Can they maintain this momentum? Let’s first look at how the Switch got to be in the successful place it is today.
What Made the Switch Successful
This can be attributed to several factors. First of all, the Nintendo Switch’s power and portability. Games such as Skyrim and L.A Noire (originally on THREE separate discs for the Xbox 360), now fit on a tiny 35mm cartridge. Additionally, these games can be played anywhere. You can play remotely in a variety of different ways with joycons. Or simply dock your Switch in your home and play with the traditional controller. This brilliant combination of power and portability made the Nintendo Switch the desired console it’s become today.
Next, the Switch’s launch year was jam-packed with impressive titles. Not one, but TWO of Nintendo’s crowning franchises had major game releases in 2017. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild debuted with the Nintendo Switch in March, and Super Mario Odyssey closed out the year in November of 2017. Both of these games received top-tier game scores, multiple award nominations, and public praise. And on top of these Nintendo hits, Nintendo’s partnership with other game companies allowed Skyrim, L.A Noire, Minecraft, Rocket League and other titles onto the device too. Nintendo’s loaded release schedule, as well as their brilliant partnership with other game developers, created an incredible year of gaming on the Switch.
Now we circle back to our original question: After such a star-studded year, can Nintendo continue the hype for their latest console? Let’s see what 2018 is looking like for the Nintendo Switch.
2018 Games for the Nintendo Switch
As of right now, two of the most anticipated games for 2018 are Kirby Star Allies and Yoshi. These games were announced at E3 2017, and look really promising for the console. Mario and Zelda remain the top Nintendo franchises. But Kirby and Yoshi are still two beloved characters that have a slew of successful games behind them. Kirby Star Allies appears to be a traditional platformer with multiplayer capabilities. Meanwhile, Yoshi will be a platformer that utilizes perspective and dimension to create unique gameplay. These two games will most likely be the Nintendo cornerstones for 2018.
Likewise, another game that has a lot of excitement behind it is Project Octopath Traveler. This new title developed by Square Enix was featured during the Fall Nintendo Direct Conference. This RPG looks stunning. Square Enix boasts that this game will combine the gameplay of old-school RPGs with new and exciting features.
Additionally, we’ve got a few confirmed non-Nintendo titles headed to the Switch this year! Bethesda‘s Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is set to have a Switch release sometime in 2018. Layers of Fear: Legacy, Dandara, Payday 2, and more are set to be released throughout the year as well. Perhaps with Bethesda’s and Nintendo’s strong partnership, we could see Fallout 4, or even Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas remastered on the Switch in the future (fingers crossed)!
We have an overall gist of Nintendo Switch releases for 2018. Still, there are a lot of gray areas to fill in throughout the year. Similar to 2017, we could have announcements of other-developer game ports (i.e L.A. Noire) two months before their release. We’ve also got a new Fire Emblem game set to debut this year, without a title or any more details than that. Hopefully, by the end of January, we’ll have a Nintendo Direct Conference that clears up a lot of opacity of this year’s releases.
Nintendo E3 2018 Speculations
A game that is even more highly anticipated than Kirby Star Allies and Yoshi is Metroid Prime 4. This title has captured the hearts of many ever since its announcement at E3 2017. Hopefully this year, we’ll receive a concrete release date and a gameplay trailer. Bayonetta 3 is in a similar boat. We have a teaser announcement, but no concrete date. Another speculated game announcement is the next Super Smash Bros. This could either be an entirely new Super Smash Bros. or a ported Super Smash Bros. 4 with additions. In a similar vein to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
The upcoming and unnamed Pokémon RPG could be another highlight of E3 2018. With the Switch’s portability, will future Pokémon games be released solely for the Nintendo Switch? Possibly in the future, but at the moment, it feels unlikely. Reggie Fils-Aimé, President of Nintendo of America, has expressed multiple times that the Nintendo Switch is not supposed to replace the Nintendo DS. Thus, this unknown Pokémon RPG game will most likely be the Pokémon focus for the Nintendo Switch.
Will we get an Animal Crossing announcement this year? I hope so, or at least, the mention of a project in the works (similar to last year’s Pokemon RPG announcement). The franchise is so beloved and popular. We know that this game will come eventually from Nintendo. With the recent success of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, hopefully, we’ll get a little tidbit of Animal Crossing Console news.
Overall, it would be nearly impossible for Nintendo to replicate the success 2017. They put all their star players into that year and it paid off-immensely. However, the 2018 lineup doesn’t look half bad. Hopefully, with a Nintendo Direct Conference in January, we’ll have a better idea of what 2018 looks like for the Switch. As long as Nintendo continues to have a steady stream of releases throughout the year, 2018 could very well continue the ever-growing success of the Switch
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