And with actually only one single first party Wii U game in 2016, the anticipation had been huge for what the company must have had put together in that year for the Nintendo Switch and what its internal teams, which underwent a restructuring process the year before, have created.
With such high expectations, it’s probably not a big surprise then that people were disappointed after the reveal of the Switch’s initial game line-up. Once again, it’s become one of the major topics surrounding the new console and target of much criticism.
The largest part of this criticism was addressed to the 3rd party support for the console, as well as to Nintendo’s communication regarding the game line-up. But also the number of refurbished old first party Wii U titles making the line-up look better than it is, and the strength of the first party output in general has been part of the discussion.
For a more clear view on it and also to take Nintendo at its word regarding a better launch compared to the Wii U, I’ve created the following timeline comparison putting the Switch’s game releases until the end of the year side to side with the game releases of the Wii U in the same time interval after its launch:
Personally, I'd say that it already now looks like a much better situation on the Switch side of the timeline in several ways. Most notably, instead of the long drought with no first-party games for more than 6 months after the Wii U's launch, the Switch already has at least three big game releases in the same time.
Also comparing the line-ups game by game paints in my opinion a rather positive image for the Nintendo Switch. With, which is of course a very personal and unobjective evaluation, Breath of the Wild beating New Super Mario Bros U for me, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe even as just being a port easily beating Sing Party, Arms beating Game & Wario and Super Mario Odyssey beating Pikmin 3. And there’d even be a few more good titles left.
The weakest part of the Switch’s line-up appears to be the fall at the moment, with, except for Fire Emblem Warriors, no big Nintendo-published titles announced yet in between Splatoon 2 in summer all the way to the holiday season, when Super Mario Odyssey comes out.
With the console not even out yet and events like E3 and basically a whole year still on the horizon, the list of first party games coming to the Nintendo Switch this year very likely is not final yet, and I’ll update the timeline correspondingly when new information is revealed, including more details on release dates.
For now, a new 3D Mario game, a new 3D Zelda game, a new Splatoon and a new IP from Nintendo all in just 9 months is actually all very big and I think the size of these titles gets lost very easily in between the great number of discussions about the console.
What's your opinion? How positively would you interpret the timeline comparison? Has Nintendo holden it’s promise and is about to deliver a better launch period and game ecosystem with the Nintendo Switch than it did with the Wii U?
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