Nintendo plans two new Switch models in 2019 – one pricier and one cheaper. These iterations give us a glimpse into the segment Nintendo wants to plant themselves firmly in the future.
The former model will be more powerful. While no firm details are known, its enhancements are unlikely to match up to the other 4K consoles – Sony’s PS4 Pro and Microsoft’s Xbox One X – given the Switch’s positioning. The latter will have some features dropped and succeed the 3DS. Buyers looking for a pure play handheld will find this a more accessible option.
The success of indie titles – affectionately known as ‘Nindies’ – could be one reason why the upcoming iterations are as such.
From a consumer’s perspective, indie titles already sit comfortably within Switch’s ecosystem. I like how easy it is to take my indie games on-the-go if I have to. And because of the less intensive requirements, the Switch doesn’t suffer in terms of performance while un-docked.
According to GDC’s State of the Game Industry Report 2019, 41% shared that their Switch sales have been greater than the average sales across all platforms.
This accounts only for developers who have released cross-platform. Only 21% have shared that sales from other platforms fared better than the average. The same report also shared that half of the game makers are interested in the Switch. This is up from a third in 2018.
While the findings did not entirely attribute it to ‘Nindies’, we should not discount their likely contributions given their sheer quantity.
The future seems incredibly bullish for Switch. Its bolstering hardware sales now makes it the fastest selling console in history and Tencent was recently granted permission to distribute the console in China. Indies also seem to be doing well on Switch, so what’s next for Nintendo?
I feel that Nintendo’s next challenge and opportunity lies in getting players who play higher budget multi-platform titles to play on Switch.
Bridging their technical gaps with other consoles will improve gaming experience and make that decision a little easier. Moreover, by remaining uniquely portable, the enhanced model could be the key in tipping those players to Nintendo’s favour.
For me, I’m definitely excited about the specifications of the two new Switch models. Maybe soon, playing something like a Red Dead Redemption 2 port without frame drops or excessive loading times can be a reality.
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Do you think indie games are a natural fit for the Switch? Comment below to share your thoughts.