The timeline has been extended by 1 year giving a first look now at how the Switch's second year might compare to the Wii U. A lot is of course still completely unknown at the moment and about to change (at the same time last year there was only 1 Switch game officially announced, compared to more than 20 games from major publishers now already).
So if you like the timeline, continue to regularly check it up and share it as it'll continue to be kept up to date also in 2018!
Games published by 2K Games, Activision, Bandai Namco, Disney Interactive, Koei Tecmo, Square Enix, Telltale Games and WB Games are now all also included in the timeline!
Filters do now enable you to only view games from certain publishers or developers, exclude eShop-only releases or choose the region for which you want to see the data. This should simplify getting an overview of the increasing number of games and also allow you to get whole new views on the data!
Moreover, the mobile design of the timeline has been completely overhauled and the text accompanying the article has been restructured so that main updates to the timeline are now summarized here. If you want to read the original article, a slightly updated version can still be expanded below.
And with actually only one single first party Wii U game in 2016, the anticipation was 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, had been onto.
With such high expectations, it’s probably not a big surprise that people were disappointed and the game line-up once again became one of the major topics that surrounded the new console at it's launch. Much skepticism was addressed toward its 3rd party support, but a lot of criticism also went to Nintendo’s communication regarding the game line-up, as well as to the number of refurbished Wii U titles making the line-up look better than it is and the strength of also the first party output in general.
For a more clear view on the matter and to take Nintendo at its word regarding a better launch compared to the Wii U, I created the above timeline 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.
I think the timeline really gives a lot of space for individual interpretation and offers many interesting different ways to look at it.
Today, I'd say the line-up looks actually way better than what the general feeling was around the launch. Especially as we've now crossed the first 4 months in which the Wii U port Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has played a way bigger role than it should've in my opinion (although it actually has totally fulfilled it).
3rd party support stays a difficult topic for Nintendo, although the Mario+Rabbids Ubisoft collaboration might point to new impulses to that front after more than a decade of 3rd parties never being quite sure how to approach Nintendo's consoles. 3rd party indie releases on the other hand appear to be doing rather good on the console and are getting a whole lot of recognition on it.
And then there are of course Nintendo's own games, which from Breath of the Wild, to the new internally developed IP Arms, to Splatoon 2, to Super Mario Oddyssey in October are really shining and on a very high level.
Moreover, the game releases are all evenly distributed, which I think is the real strength of the line-up. The communication might not've been perfect, but looking at it now there's something new every month and it appears Nintendo really has put a lot of work into arranging this carefully with it's own big and small releases and the games it has closely worked for with other companies.
In that regard, I think Nintendo has indeed holden it's promise. Looking at the left part of the timeline, it now is clearer that the Wii U had a much fuller launch with tons of 3rd party releases - the question of why they didn't really appeal on it being another one -, but then you've got to look very very far down to see other games that matter and even further for even bigger titles. Looking all the time also over to the right side and seeing what comes or came out on the Nintendo Switch in the same moments of time paints a rather clear image in my opinion.
Of course by far not everything is perfect with the games situation on the Nintendo Switch, but there are a lot of good titles from many companies to be found and 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 really big, I think the size of these titles just gets lost way too easily in between many discussions about the console, less so today and after E3 than directly after the launch though.
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?
Watch next: This nice trailer with games magically playing themselves without anyone moving their fingers to control the console that was previously at the top of this article:
There's a lot of data being handled here, so mistakes might happen. If you see a wrong release date, data that is no longer up-to-date or if a game is missing, please feel free to notice me about it in the comments. I very much appreciate any form of help!
If you like this timeline, share it to help it reach more people. Or leave a comment, if you want, with perhaps your own take on what to make out of the data. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and via RSS for more original content!