The announcement of Bayonetta 3 at The Game Awards 2017 last night got me thinking about the future of Switch. There's no doubting that the Nintendo Switch has had one of - if not the - best launch years for a video game console or handheld ever.
The hybrid system launched alongside system seller - and Game of the Year winner - The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, brought back masterful 3D platforming in Super Mario Odyssey, and capped the year off with the excellent Xenoblade Chronicles 2. That's all before mentioning the extensive list of high quality indies and remasters like Stardew Valley, Skyrim, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe to name a few.
However, looking to the future of Switch in 2018 and beyond, we can see that details are far more scarce beyond major games like Bayonetta 3 and the already announced Nintendo first-party lineup. I'm not here to ponder about the lack of info, though, as the rumored Nintendo Direct in January is certain to address all of that.
Instead, I want to talk about what I think would benefit Switch in a huge way: more major third-party exclusives like Bayonetta 3. Gamers were shocked (and some were more than a little mad) back in 2012 when Bayonetta 2 was announced as a Wii U exclusive; a sequel to a game that never originally released on a Nintendo platform.
Though the game didn't perform super well in its home country of Japan, it still sold around 840,000 units worldwide (via VGChartz), which is just under half of its more widely accessible predecessor. Those are impressive numbers for a system with a relatively small install base, but that's just one of many similar stories in Nintendo's prolific history.
The Desire and Money are There
In fact, it is going on right now on with Switch. Games like Death Squared (not to be confused with the incomprehensible Death Stranding), Oceanhorn, and SteamWorld Dig 2 are selling up to 10 times more on Nintendo Switch than other platform (via NintendoEverything). Fans are craving not just indies and Nintendo games, but third-party games, too.
The highest selling non-Nintendo game as of late September was Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle (via NintendoLife). Obviously, this is skewed some considering it is attached to the Mario brand, but even others like Skyrim and Resident Evil Revelations Collection have not stopped charting on the eShop best sellers list since their respective launches. To ensure an even brighter future for the system, it needs more third-party games like these.
In the case of the Wii U, a lot of times it was a "did the chicken or egg come first" situation. Without a fan base, publishers wouldn't bother bringing many games to the console. Conversely, without more games, more people wouldn't join the install base. That isn't a problem with Switch, though. Both the desire and money to back it up are clearly there.
Remasters and Ports Aren't Enough
Did you notice how I mentioned three of the highest selling major third-party games and only one of them wasn't a port or remaster? Unfortunately, there aren't a ton of those exclusives out right now and that needs to change. I'll be the first to say that I have a list of Wii U games I really want to see on Switch: Super Smash Bros., Xenoblade Chronicles X, and Tokyo Mirage Sessions being the main ones.
But, when the inevitable first 2018 Direct arrives, my hope is that Nintendo chooses to place more focus on third-party games, specifically exclusives like Bayonetta 3. Remasters and ports are great for those like myself that never owned a Wii U or missed out on some games, but that should be the icing on top of the cake; not the cake itself.
Bayonetta 3 is a perfect example of what we need. Shin Megami Tensei V is, too. Let's get more of that and see some love from Western developers also. Switch has now proven itself as a quality system with a thriving consumer base, so publishers should be jumping on board to get a piece of the cake. Hopefully, Nintendo is reaching out to scarcely seen publishers like Activision.
Overwatch on Switch would be great, but what about a Blizzard-developed, Switch-tailored game that focuses more on cooperative play? Resident Evil Revelations 3, anyone? How about a Telltale adventure game revolving around a beloved Nintendo IP like Pokemon? Keeping more in line with Bayonetta 3, what about a Switch-exclusive sequel to Skies of Arcadia?
The possibilities are really endless. It goes without saying that bringing more multi-platform games to Switch day and date the same as PS4 and Xbox One is even more important, but third-party exclusives like Bayonetta 3 and Shin Megami Tensei V will help to keep this wonderful momentum train going just as smoothly - if not more - as it is right now. Let us know what exclusive games you'd like to see on Switch.