Nintendo continues to wow the gaming industry. According to VentureBeat, the Switch best-selling hardware platform in February. It’s no surprise, considering stock trackers on Twitter alert their followers whenever a Switch bundle appears in the wild. With all of its success, the gaming giant is attempting to meet the content demand of gamers by porting specific titles over. Recently, the company released Apex Legends on the Switch Platform, and the negative points of most reviews point to the performance. The question is, does Nintendo really need to risk porting over third-party video games?
Having video game titles available across multiple or all platforms is great for the consumer. In Apex Legends’ case, it opens the door for Switch owners to join players from every platform. Nintendo has had near-perfect ports like Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and hits like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. However, The Witcher 3 is a prime example of the risk associated with porting to the Switch. As it stands, the Nintendo Switch’s limited capabilities could hurt ports in the future.
Nintendo was never a ‘core system’ company
Fans enjoyed The Witcher 3, and there’s no doubt many will love their experience with Apex Legends. Despite that, many titles for the Xbox Series X|S and PS5 will unquestionably tax the Switch if Nintendo ports them. No one has to worry at the moment, considering developers are still creating games for the last-gen consoles. Yet, when developers inevitably develop a host of exclusive titles for next-gen, the Switch will be left behind.
That’s not a real negative. Nintendo never really catered to the hardcore franchise audience. Nintendo has its own brand of games that fans consider hardcore – they’re the games we associate with Nintendo. Whether it’s Metroid, The Legend of Zelda, or Mario, the company offers its own core experience for its audience. Not only that, the Switch and its predecessors serve as one of the best party consoles on the market.
What I’m saying is Nintendo is in their own lane; They could abandon ports like Apex Legends and remain comfortably in their own niche. However, there’s still the performance ceiling to think about when it comes to future innovation.
Nintendo does need an upgrade
I hate to say it, but Nintendo needs the fabled Switch Pro. Not for the sake of competing with Microsoft and Sony’s next-gen consoles, but to power their brand of games.
Remember the Pokémon Legends: Arceus reveal? Fans are excited to see an open-world Pokémon game, but the reveal featured a spotty performance. I want to stress Nintendo showed an early build of the game. Still, watching the frames drop reminded me that the company would hit a wall one day in trying to make larger video games. To improve on the games that captivate its core audience, the Switch will eventually need more power – whether the Switch Pro is real or not.
If Nintendo does create a more powerful console, they will future proof themselves for future innovations. Simultaneously, they can port third-party video games over without agonizing over sacrificing performance to give their audience more video games.
Of course, I expect that Nintendo is thoughtful enough to keep their eyes on the future. Does that future need taxing first-person shooters to propel Nintendo to new heights? No. They already made a name for themselves. Ports are just the cherry on top.
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