8 reasons why Nintendo Switch won't be another Wii U

Switching gear

8 reasons why Nintendo Switch won't be another Wii U

Nintendo has finally revealed everything there is to know about the Nintendo Switch, and the response hasn't been entirely positive.

The launch and first year lineups are iffy, to be frank, the price is quite steep, and concerns about the portable mode's battery life look well-founded.

As a result, doomsdayers are already denouncing the Switch as a Wii U-style catastrophe.

But I disagree, and would argue that the naysayers are being a bit short-sighted in their analysis.

Here's eight reasons why the Switch has more going for it than the Wii U did, and why they can prevent it from being a failure.

It's a more focused and better-executed idea

The name Switch tells you everything you need to know about the console - that it's a handheld / home console hybrid. This is one advantage the Switch already has over the Wii U - even now I don't know what that name means.

The Wii U also had an issue in that its primary innovation - the tablet controller - was at its best a tad unfocused, and at its worst ignored by not only players, but developers as well. In fact, you could bypass it completely by opting for the Pro Controller.

That's a problem the Switch solves from day one - the innovation is a portable mode which every single person will use regularly, and it's something we already want.

Console games to take on the go with us.

All the peripherals you need are included in the box

Don't get me wrong, we all appreciated that the Wii U supported almost all of the controllers Nintendo had released since the GameCube. It was a nice move.

Ultimately though, the sheer number of different controllers you needed to play every game felt a wee bit ridiculous, and I'm sure I wasn't the only person who missed out on a ton of games because I didn't want to fork out the nearly £80 required for a Wiimote Plus and Nunchuk.

Nintendo has clearly recognised that problem with the Switch, and instead allowed the Joy-cons to function as an all-in-one solution. It's got Wiimote functionality, the ability to dock them on a Pro-style controller, and they can even double up as two separate controllers for multiplayer.

Couch multiplayer is easier than ever

That brings us nicely onto our next point - that couch multiplayer is now easier than ever before.

That's largely down to the ability to bring the Switch with you everywhere. That gives you two controllers no matter where you are, and the screen itself supports split-screen.

There's support for up to eight player multiplayer as well, and all you'll need is three extra friends who own a Switch to set that up.

Oh, and the best part is that you can do this anywhere - without even the need for a couch.

The smartphone app and improved online service

This is possibly the most overlooked announcement from yesterday, but a smartphone app and improved online service are set to release over the summer.

The online service will be free initially, with a paid subscription arriving in the summer. Details are limited at the moment, but the service should be stronger than the Wii U's offering given that we're paying for it. You'd hope so, anyway.

Meanwhile, the smartphone app lets you create a lobby so you can play games with your friends, and allows you to hook up a microphone to chat with them.

You'll also get one free game per month, exclusive games, parental controls, the ability to easily add new friends, and the ability to share stuff on social media - all in one app on your phone.

That's a smart move - as it limits the need to bring the portable version with you everywhere. Now let's hope for Streetpass-style functionality!

Development fragmentation is a thing of the past

With the launch of the Switch, Nintendo is dropping support for the Wii U and will slowly move resources away from the 3DS. That will allow all of the various development teams to focus on one single platform - the Switch.

As a result, from year two we will likely see a much larger and stronger line-up of first-party games - and this will continue for as long as the Switch is a success.

In brief, that means much more first-party games than the Wii U got and, likely, at far higher quality.

Nintendo has already proven it can bounce back from a rocky launch

You only need look at the 3DS to learn that Nintendo has the ability to bounce back from a tough launch, and that was largely down to a much stronger line-up as the 3DS matured.

And if you go back to our previous point, that's a problem that Nintendo will find easy to solve on the Switch, as the platform itself will have far greater development resources than a Nintendo console has had to date.

It would be silly to discount the enormous appeal Nintendo's first-party games has to the masses. How could it possibly fail?

It doesn't look like a Fisher Price toy

One reason that the Wii U struggled may have been the fact that core gamers will have taken one glance at it and written it off as a Fisher Price-like toy that was aimed primarily at kids.

Anyway who owned the Wii U will have known that simply wasn't the case. We had ZombiU as a launch title - a violent zombie-basher - and the launch of the Pro Controller demonstrated that Nintendo cared about clawing back a core audience.

Fortunately for the Switch, the design is an attractive tablet-style handheld controller that the majority won't feel embarrassed about whipping out in public for a quick game of Mario Kart 8.


Make no mistake - Pokemon is the Nintendo Switch's trump card, so it only makes sense that we end this feature on this point.

For the first time ever, an actual Pokemon game will launch on a home console. And better yet, you can take it with you wherever you go.

I'm not ignoring Pokemon Colosseum and Gale of Darkness by the way, but come on - they were nowhere near as good as any of the handheld Pokemon. Admit it.

Right now, Pokemon's as big as it's ever been. Pokemon GO tore up mobile records when it launched last year, and established itself as by far the biggest mobile game ever. And Pokemon Sun and Moon were warmly received by all.

Pokemon is a system-seller - that's for sure - and Nintendo has it all to itself.

What are your thoughts on the Nintendo Switch announcements? Let us know in the comments below!