Switching to the Switch

Donovan Maudsley - 3B Mechanical
Posted on: March 11, 2017

While it’s too early to definitively state that Nintendo’s newest console is a home run, people certainly are running home with it. Analysts expect stores to move 2 million units by the end of March, based on recently published sales figures. Extrapolating from this data and previous gaming console trends, this comes out to a rough figure of 8 million units sold in the Switch’s first year. That’s way more than the Switch’s predecessor, the Wii U, which was largely considered a commercial failure. I personally enjoyed a lot of the games on the Wii U, but never owned the console itself.

Critics doubted that the Switch would sell out in its first wave of products. The lack of launch titles and the strange design had people worried, but the early reviews have mostly silenced these folks. Skeptics stated that the revolutionary home console-portable console idea would flop because of hardware issues. Home consoles are typically high powered machines with cutting edge technology, and the idea of a tablet style device with the same capabilities confounded many. Early reports state that the Switch runs terrifically in both home console and tablet mode.

Those worried about the launch titles had their fears mostly abated by reviews of The Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild. Out of all the major reviews, the lowest that I saw was 9/10. This game has been lauded by many as the best action-adventure RPG in recent years, which is saying a lot after the triumph that was The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Considering that multiple companies wanted to give Wild Hunt’s expansion pack Blood and Wine their game of the year award I find it hard to image a game that completely erases this from their memory. I mean, in Wild Hunt the player character’s beard grew in real time!

Breath of the Wild was a long time coming (I think it was officially announced in fall 2014?) and apparently very worth it. I personally won’t be playing it until I beat/replay every other Legend of Zelda game. The graphics, new mechanics and general scope of the game have all been lauded as terrific. One reviewer even stated that it is entirely worth it to buy a Switch just to play Breath of the Wild. While the game is native to the Switch, its port to the Wii U has also been very well reviewed.

So is it worth it to run out right now and get a Switch? I’m not entirely able to tell you. If I could I would, but I typically enjoy eating things other than Kraft Dinner for months at a time, and tuition is still a very real thing.