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Nintendo 2017 Report Card: Switch, SNES Classic and 3DS

2017 has been a turning point for Nintendo. The company launched its hybrid console, the Nintendo Switch, with great success and launched widely acclaimed entries in two of its most iconic franchises. But he also did not completely abandon the old 3DS, and came out with some featured games and the new 2DS XL hardware. This year was not all that good, of course, the lack of Switch Voice Voice comes to mind, but 2017 was a crucial comeback for the Big N.

So, when the year comes to an end, let's look back on the year it was for Switch and 3DS.

A strong launch line and stable versions reinforce a new console

After a year of declining sales of Wii U, Nintendo released the Switch on March 3 with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as the game of outstanding launch. It was the strong start that Nintendo needed for its new console; With almost universal praise, Breath of the Wild helped boost demand for the Switch, and it was the best-selling system above PS4 and Xbox One for four of the first six months it was available.

Breath of the Wild was the main focus of Switch owners for quite some time, but there were a number of good games available at the launch, including I'm Setsuna, Snipperclips and Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment. A base of ports, indies and small first-level games gave way to more of Nintendo's big hitters in the coming months, especially Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (which is now the best-selling Mario Kart of all time) in April, Weapons in June and Splatoon 2 in July. By the end of June, Nintendo sales had increased considerably with respect to its 2016 earnings.

Nintendo continued to roll out large franchises as the year progressed, and its E3 projections capitalized on the goodwill gained by Switch's initial success. . Even the smallest teasing was enough to excite people; a logo for Metroid Prime 4 and the mere mention of a future game of Pokemon on Switch were great highlights despite being scarce information (and joined the Fire Emblem previously announced in the list of promoted games of which we know little) . New games by Yoshi and Kirby were also announced, and most of the fans' favorite boxes were controlled.

Super Mario Odyssey arrived at the end of October, mixing nostalgia for the best parts of the previous Mario games with fine-tuning the mechanics of the franchise If Breath of the Wild exceeds the limits of what games can be Zelda, Odyssey captures everything fans love about Mario, and together they are the pillars of a large and growing library.

Third-party support (and ports) Right The Wrongs of The Wii U Era

While several great first-aid games helped the Switch, Nintendo needs strong third-party support to secure the future of Switch, something that could not Make for the Wii U. Small indie games splashed the library switch from the beginning, and the AAA investment went into effect at the end of the year.

To begin, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is an excellent game and an important test case for Nintendo loosening the reins of its flagship franchise. It was announced during the E3 presentation of Ubisoft, not Nintendo, and Miyamoto appeared as a guest for the announcement. Having Ubisoft at the head of the game was a surprising move that indicated, above all, that Nintendo had once again opened to work outside of its well-protected bubble.

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More surprising was the alignment of Switch ports. In a 2013 interview, Pete Hines of Bethesda said Nintendo did not contact third-party developers early enough, which made Wii U support difficult, and the company did not release games into the system. But this November, the ports of Doom 2016 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim came to Switch, and this year Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus is scheduled for 2018. While Doom has performance issues on the console, Skyrim works wonderfully, so It will be seen how well future ports will be optimized.

November also saw the ports of LA Noire and Rocket League, the last of which is one of many independent ports and new launches, to reach the Switch. Axiom Verge and Stardew Valley were ported in October; Stardew Valley is an excellent example of Switch portability, especially for a game, and possibly the best version of the game. New release Golf Story is a great game and exclusive Switch. Indie games are currently a large part of the Switch library and, in addition to PC, it seems that Switch could become a main destination for independent releases.

Great improvements, but there are still problems

On the hardware side, the Switch is less powerful than its contemporaries, but that is compensated by its portability and, therefore, the portability of the grade games of console. Unlike the Wii U GamePad, which was almost never used and hardly portable, the portability of the Switch does not seem like a novelty or a trick, but the luxury console games have disappeared for some time. And although the Switch is not as technically capable as the PS4 or Xbox One, it is a feat that games as extensive as Breath of the Wild and Skyrim look and play as well as they do in handheld mode and on the handheld.

Nintendo & # 39; s now the standard motion controls have seen an improvement in the switch, both in quality and implementation. Its use no longer depends on the placement of a sensor bar, and the performance of the movement controls is largely constant through the different control schemes of the switch (portable device with attached Joy-Cons, separate Joy-Cons). , Joy-Con joystick, and Pro Controller). Besides that, the movement controls are optional in most games: the gyroscope objective in Splatoon 2 is one of the best uses and is considered by many players as the best way to play, but it all depends on personal preferences .

However, there are still some frustrating Nintendo-isms in Switch. The lack of built-in voice chat and poor management of friend lists, topped by the persistence of friend codes, is incredibly limited. Splatoon 2 would have been a good litmus test for the future of Nintendo's online offerings, but basic communication functions are still impossible within the switch. In addition, there is currently no replacement for the virtual console as it appeared on Wii and Wii U, and Nintendo's paid online service has been delayed until next year.

A switch update in October added quite a few new features and fixes, most notably the game recording and saving the data transfer. Although there is still no saving of the cloud, a characteristic of quality of life that is standard at this time, the update did indicate that there is room to grow. Voice chat still does not seem likely, but there is hope that some of the most outdated parts of the switch can be improved over time.

Finding success off the switch

Even with the Switch at the front, Nintendo did not completely abandon its other avenues. After the very popular NES Classic of 2016, Nintendo launched the SNES Classic at the end of September and sold 2 million units immediately. It comes with 21 games, including some of Nintendo's most beloved ones: Super Mario Kart, Super Mario World and The Legend of Zelda: a link to the past, to name a few. SNES Classics are hard to come by, but it seems that Nintendo is slowly learning from mistakes, since it is bringing the NES Classic back in 2018 for a second race.

Nintendo also ignored the aging of 3DS, releasing the new 2DS XL in July. While there were not too many new 3DS games in 2017, there were some that stood out: Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia and Metroid: Samus Returns, as well as the remake of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. Samus Returns, in particular, launched quite quietly, but proved to be a faithful successor of Metroid 2D games.

Other Matters, In Brief

  • Nintendo was coupled to the mobile with adaptations of some of its franchises, including Fire Emblem Heroes and Animal Crossing Pocket Camp, but with a mixed reception.
  • Nothing is yet known about the Virtual Console for Switch, although the October update mysteriously and silently added GameCube controller support without any obvious use.
  • Miiverse closed on all platforms and regions in November, but its meme-legacy is still alive in the Splatoon 2 message system.
  • The production of the new full-size 3DS ended in Japan and Europe. (It never came to the US Outside of special edition packages.)
  • The SNES Classic included the previously unreleased Star Fox 2, which originally had to be released in 1996 before being canceled.


After some disappointing years for Nintendo, 2017 has been a year back. The Nintendo Switch launched with Breath of the Wild, dominating the sales charts and dramatically increasing the company's revenue. The switch still suffers some of Nintendo's most obsolete quirks, especially the lack of built-in voice chat, but the updates leave room for hope of improvement.

Most important, Nintendo seems to be learning from its past mistakes. Critical third-party support has been on the rise, joining great first-class games to make a strong first-year library. The company seems to be listening to the fans, bringing back Metroid 2D and launching two essential tickets in two of its most beloved franchises. And in doing so, while not completely abandoning the hugely popular 3DS, the powerful Nintendo central is created that we were so lacking. 2017 has not been a perfect year for Nintendo, but it's definitely the one I needed.

The Good The Bad
  • Strong and stable series of games from the launch
  • Switch has the third initial support party that needs to prosper
  • Portability combined with excellent first-hand favorites makes the Switch is an essential console
  • Despite its age, the 3DS has not completely forgotten in the shadow of the Switch
  • Switch still has quality of life problems, such as lack of voice chat and savings from the cloud

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