[OPINION] Why the Nintendo Switch is winning hearts

Nintendo's latest gaming console, the Switch, isn't the beefiest, most powerful gaming console out there now. Neither does it have the larger selection of games relative to its competition.

That said, I can't help but root for the Switch because it has a steady stream of good games, packed into an easy-to-use and relative inexpensive hybrid gaming machine.

Despite my preference for the PC and the PS4, the Switch just can't help but win hearts with that sort of approach towards gaming compared to its longer-lived competitors.

SWITCH GAMEPLAY TRENDS. Most Nintendo Switch owners play in multiple modes. Image from Nintendo's 'Six Months Financial Results Briefing for Fiscal Year Ending March 2018'

SWITCH GAMEPLAY TRENDS. Most Nintendo Switch owners play in multiple modes.

Image from Nintendo's 'Six Months Financial Results Briefing for Fiscal Year Ending March 2018'

Play what you want, wherever you feel like

Perhaps the first big draw for the Switch is the fact that it's a hybrid console that offers you options for how you want to play.

Specifically, the Switch is designed to be placed on a dock that can be hooked up to a television for home play, but the console itself can be undocked and played on its own handheld screen or on a tabletop with the controllers separated from the console.

What it sacrifices in technical enhancements, it makes up for in portability – a feat that in itself is a great bit of technological ingenuity I can applaud them for.

In fact, Nintendo has gone on record to say that most people use a combination of modes during their Switch play time (50%), and that more people exclusively use the game as a handheld (30%) than exclusively on TV mode (20%).

The games curation is impressive

Compared to the PS4, Xbox One, and PC, the curation of games offerings on the Switch is filled with really good games, with very few low-ranking releases.

On the PS4 and Xbox One, you had a problem of keeping momentum, because the games announced for the system did not necessarily mean they were being released soon after the announcement.

In the case of certain Xbox One games, like Scalebound, these were even canceled.

On the PC digital gaming platform Steam, meanwhile, there are now more games launched on the service in 2017 than the number of games released between 2006 and 2014.

Updated the number of Steam games released per year chart. 2017 already higher than 2015. Over 1,300 new games since Steam Direct launched pic.twitter.com/KySFREY44w — Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) September 8, 2017

Number of Steam games released in CY2017 is set to exceed the total amount of games released between 2006 and 2014 on Steam. whew — Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) September 8, 2017

 

The quantity of games being released on Steam has led to less-than-stellar curation and quality-checking.

The Switch, on the other hand, has kept its buyers busy.

Despite a smaller subset of games, the independent developers – which they call Nindies – and first-party developers making titles for the Switch have games or ports of games that complement the Switch's features accordingly.

The consistent quality lineup has allowed for at least one well-received game to come out every month since it released in March, from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, to Fire Emblem Warriors, to Super Mario Odyssey, and plenty of others in between.

It steers away from most video game controversies

Nintendo's Switch also has another thing going for it, and that's a lack of controversy and hate-mongering.

If you're a microtransactions hater, for example, you're not as likely to have to argue about that on Switch discussion areas.

With the exception of some games that feature microtransactions such as the FIFA and NBA titles, most games have the full game experience in the purchase.

You can, however, support certain games further, such as Breath of the Wild and Xenoblade Chronicles 2, by purchasing a season pass which, to Nintendo's benefit, outlines the actual downloadable content schedule meant for the game so you know what you expect.

One other great controversy it flies past is the game graphics debate.

Switch games don't have to have bleeding-edge graphics – they just have to look good enough for the general public to enjoy wanting to play them on a big or small screen.

To that end, the Switch wins out. Its games are high-quality titles, the console provides gamers with play options, and it avoids controversy by providing what everyone's looking for when they want to play: fun.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'll have to put my dancing cap on as I groove to the theme song of Super Mario Odyssey again. Cheers! – Rappler.com

Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.

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