The Nintendo Switch has now been available on the market for around a year and a half. The promises made by the Japanese console manufacturer Nintendo didn't sound really revolutionary when the hybrid console was released around the world on March 3, 2017. On the contrary: many fans who were waiting for a real power console from Nintendo were quickly brought back to earth when the first technical details were published.
Hardly more computing power than a modern tablet; a screen format in which the Nintendo Switch almost passes as an e-reader and an internal storage capacity that is almost non-existent ex works caused even die-hard Nintendo fans to gasp. Nevertheless: the hybrid console sold splendidly.
And now, about a year and a half after its initial release, Nintendo's boldly designed console is gradually ushering in the console gaming revolution. We reveal why the Nintendo Switch has already changed console gaming forever.
Not a hardware monster, but cutting edge
The fact that the quality of a console is mainly measured by its computing power today is mainly due to the eternal duel between two console manufacturers: Sony and Microsoft. Apparently it has to be ever higher, ever further, ever faster in order to inspire gamers. But is it really like that?
If you look at the total number of consoles sold, Sony's Playstation 4 is clearly at the top. Sony's arithmetic monster went over the counter around 82,2 million times. With almost 39 million units sold, Microsoft's Xbox One is the second best-selling console. The Japanese console manufacturer cannot keep up with a total of 17,8 million Nintendo Switch sales, at least if you ignore the sales periods. The Nintendo Switch was only launched around three and a half years later than the Playstation 4. Calculated down to one month, the PS4 has almost 1,4 million sales, while the Nintendo Switch has sold just over a million consoles per month. The strong sales figures of the recent past are partly due to the mystique of the appeal of the new, but good sales figures can also be expected in the coming months.
Nintendo inspires with the hybrid console in an area beyond the pure net computing power. The selection of game titles alone cannot justify the success of the Nintendo Switch. Sure, there are various exclusive titles that appear exclusively for consoles from Nintendo, but no average player would buy a console that costs around 300 euros just to play through two or three exclusive titles that are not Pokemon. There must be more to the surprise success of the "tablet console" which is, after all, the fastest-selling console in Japan and the US.
The Nintendo Switch is certainly not a hardware monster, but it does have advantages over its competitors that are convincing selling points: the hybrid console is mobile, the control technology is innovative and among the best that the console world currently has to offer - and the Nintendo Switch offers local Multiplayer experience that at least today's "silver gamers" only know from their youth from LAN parties. Finally there is another way to gamble with friends on the console. No matter when, no matter where.
Nintendo has quietly ushered in a whole new generation of multiplayer gaming. What is certain is that multiplayer events will grow in popularity with every new multiplayer title that is released. The next milestone will be Pokemon - Lets Go Pikachu (respectively Pokemon - Lets Go Eevee), which will be released for the Nintendo Switch next November.
Games as draft horses always work
It takes several good reasons to get a gamer to buy a console. The constantly turning performance spiral is often not enough as a purchase argument for average console gamers, because a more powerful console always includes the purchase of new peripherals. Most recently, this was clearly noticeable with the Xbox One X: no matter how up-to-date the hardware of Microsoft's console monster may be, as a player you can only get everything out of it if you have a technically powerful television set at your disposal.
Well-known games, preferably exclusive titles, are indispensable in order to be able to push large numbers of consoles over the sales counter. Nintendo seems to have learned a lot from the Wii U debacle. Instead of relying exclusively on titles with shallow entertainment value and high family compatibility, games from well-known franchises are regularly released for the Nintendo Switch, which among other things appeal to adult players. Wolfenstein: New Colossus or Skyrim from Bethesda, Doom from ID Software, recently even Diablo 3 from Blizzard Entertainment. The Californian games company stands for high quality and strict selection criteria when implementing suitable game concepts like no other development studio. The fact that Blizzard is implementing a game for the Nintendo Switch in-house is something of an accolade for the hybrid console. This fact alone shows where the journey could go in the next few months, because popular games like Overwatch could also be adapted for the switch; Paladins has shown that impressively. The team shooter from Hi-Rez Studios takes the same line as Blizzard's million shooter, but thanks to the free-2-play model it can be played by anyone for free. Technically, the whole thing works flawlessly.
With the implementation of popular titles for adult gamers, Nintendo is also building on a strategy that has worked for consoles like the Xbox One or Playstation 4 for a long time: using the expectations of the players. Possible new announcements of popular brands are constantly floating around. Bit by bit, details about potential adaptations of gaming highlights for the Nintendo Switch are making their way to the public: this happened recently with Diablo 3. Other major game developers such as Bethesda are also actively considering further implementations, exploring technical feasibility - and thus further heating up the fire . What was rather uncertain with the Wii U is considered certain for the Nintendo Switch: gigantic games will appear.
In addition to the titles that appeal to core gamers, Nintendo also uses the invaluable house advantage for the Switch to offer countless well-known franchises such as Super Mario, Yoshi, Legend of Zelda and especially Pokemon in revised or completely new variants. Pokemon in particular is considered an enormously powerful draft horse for every Nintendo console. The latest figures show that Pokemon is even the largest media brand in the world: since 1996, the brand Pokemon revenue of around 59 billion US dollars. If you have such strong franchises in your portfolio, you hardly have to worry about good console sales - assuming clever marketing.
And this is exactly where Nintendo is particularly clever. In a direct comparison of the marketing strategies of the three major console manufacturers, Nintendo deliberately focuses on the personal gaming experiences of future users.
With the Xbox One X and the Playstation 4 Pro, the focus is still on pure performance resources. Microsoft praises the Xbox One X as "the most powerful console in the world"With which you as a player"impressive True 4K gaming with 40% more performance than other consoles“ can experience. The company also adds that "on Xbox One X Games are just better". It doesn't say why.
Sony also defines the new generation of consoles as a performance generation: "Ultra-sharp graphics, stunningly vivid colors and smooth, stable performance bring your PS4 games to life."
Nintendo, on the other hand, presents a playful marketing campaign that focuses on gaming "when, where and with whoever you want" goes. Everything revolves around freedom, flexibility, but above all the personal gaming experience.
You might think that advertising claims like "the Nintendo Switch console adapts to your situation so that you can play the games you want to play despite the daily hustle and bustle. In this new era, you don't have to adapt your life to play games - instead, your console adapts to your circumstances“Are washed out or sound too general, but essentially a completely new console lifestyle is being invented that players have only known from handhelds so far. The strong focus on multiplayer experiences awakens the longing for an evening of gaming with friends: when, where and how they want.
Nintendo has discovered a gigantic niche, cleverly positioned itself there and can now skim off the profits that have arisen from this courageous approach. The Nintendo Switch has a great future ahead of it.