Nintendo’s Switch is fast approaching sale, after the company announced both its release date and disappointingly slim launch line-up at their highly anticipated January press conference earlier this month. The line-up in particular has been a polarising discussion point. While many will agree that it’s slim at best, strong titles like Super Bomberman R and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild suggest quality over quantity. Others stand rooted within the soil of disappointment over the number of games, but that’s changing rapidly.
Why? Since the January event many independent studios in particular have started raising their voices over Switch support, with the launch line-up effectively doubling in the same space of time. After the press conference, the Switch had five games launching alongside it, namely:
- 1, 2 Switch
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- Just Dance 2017
- Super Bomberman R
- Skylanders: Imaginators
Since then, three studios have thrown their hats into the ring, with The Tomorrow Corporation just yesterday revealing three titles coming day one to the console/ portable hybrid. The launch line-up then wraps up all the above and these five titles:
- The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+
- I Am Setsuna
- Human Resource Machine
- Little Inferno
- World of Goo
So instead of five, the Switch now as ten games available at launch. And since its only been two or so weeks since the event itself, who knows how many more wait in the wings. It probably would’ve been beneficial for Nintendo to wrap all this information up for a single announcement, as the slow trickle additions looks like retroactive action to calm the flames of critics. But at the end of the day the Switch is getting more games – or at the very least, more ports.
That’s still the major sticking point here, and it’s why the doubling of the launch title umber is a far less resounding turnaround than it should be. Take a look at the three games announced yesterday alone. World of Goo, for all its incredible puzzling and level design, is a nine-year old game that you’ve probably played on your smartphone by now. Little Inferno falls under the same umbrella, being five years old and just as readily available on other platforms.
The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ is also an expansion to a game that was first out in 2014, which has seen equally ample time on rival platforms. These games are all still good, and there’s something to be said of their quality managing to age gracefully through time. But they’re still games that don’t get the blood pumping as much as original IP, or new sequels. The sorts of games that Nintendo really should’ve had lined up the sleeve for launch, instead of teasing for the end of 2017 and beyond.
So quantity isn’t the answer, and even though it gives you some minor options on launch day it still doesn’t manage to fill the void that many Nintendo fans are struggling to justify when deciding on a Switch. There’s now more hope than ever that even more third-party indies will arrive to the launch party, but it’s seemingly only substantial if you’ve somehow missed out on their excellence on the many platforms before it over the past half decade. Is that what you’re buying a Switch for?