The Nintendo Switch is doing well, there's no doubt about it. With recent sales figures reaching 4.7 million hardware units shipped in just 4 months outside of the holiday season and sales up by 148.6% year-on-year, it's safe to say that the Switch is nothing short of a success so far and that consumer demand is there.
But the Switch isn't just a good thing for the people that play on it. Sure, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is adored by critics and fans alike (it's both the fastest selling launch title and fastest selling game in the series to date) and software is doing well on it (Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shipped 3.54 million units and ARMS shipped 1.18 million units), but the console is a monumental victory for the gaming industry itself, one that – as of late – as been marred with repetition. In other words, the Switch is a breath of fresh air.
Not only is its hardware itself innovative – a fulfillment of the promise of console gaming on the go – but the games on it are just as ground-breaking. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild diverges from the series' roots and focuses heavily on exploration, borrowing RPG elements and making for one of the most personalized Zelda experiences ever created. ARMS incorporates mechanics reminiscent of Wii Boxing in a variety of scenarios that entices users to become better at the game while exercising in the mean time. And though releasing later this year, Super Mario Odyssey is set to return to the era of Mario 64, all the while incorporating brand new gameplay elements in the franchise as it makes its debut to this generation of consoles.
The fact that the Switch is selling well means its increasingly becoming a threat to the console twins, too, and industry competition is never a bad thing. Competition encourages the finding of new ideas and fosters a willingness to thread new, untrodden ground. It encourages companies to listen to their consumer bases more closely in an attempt to build brand loyalty – a big win for consumers. And it encourages Sony and Microsoft to develop new hardware innovation – something Sony has taken some initiative with with PlayStation VR.
Aside from all this, there's legacy. It's common knowledge that Nintendo almost single-handedly saved video games from obsolescence during the gaming crash of 1983, so to see the company continuing to be successful in the present day instills the industry with pride and lineage – important factors to consider, given how nascent our industry still is. To many, the house of N is still synonymous with gaming as a whole, and there's great reason for that.
Nintendo was, is, and will continue to be a beautiful thing for video games, and it doesn't plan on leaving anything soon.
The opinion expressed in this article is purely that of the author and is not representative of KeenGamer as a whole. Follow David on Twitter: @ZenoCreator125