Nintendo finally unveiled the successor to the Wii U and 3DS — the Nintendo Switch. Interestingly, Nintendo won’t just be showing off its own games before the release. In the press release, the company announced that it has partnered with most of the big video game companies. For once, Nintendo wants to partner with third-party developers in a big way.
While many video game companies have developed games for the Wii and DS, it’s been another story with the Wii U and GameCube. These two great consoles didn’t really sell well, and many third-party developers simply stopped working on games for these consoles shortly after the release.
This isn’t great for gamers as you get stuck with Nintendo games. While Mario Kart is great, it’s also nice to be able to play games from the other big companies.
And yet, it looks like Nintendo is aware of this risk. This time, the company is already announcing a ton of names for the Nintendo Switch. The main developers, publishers and middleware partners plan to support the Nintendo Switch.
In particular, Unity Technologies and Epic Games plan to support the Switch, meaning that all games that run on the Unreal Engine or Unity engine could potentially run on the Switch.
Other big developers and publishers with in-house game engines, such as Ubisoft, EA, Activision, Take-Two and Bethesda also plan to support the Switch.
These are encouraging signs, at least for the first year of the Nintendo Switch. After that, it’ll come down to three things. If Nintendo can sell enough Switch devices, the console will remain a big potential market for third-party developers.
Second, as the Switch is both a home and portable console, let’s hope that developers won’t be too limited by the console’s computing power. Otherwise, they’ll have to make sacrifices for the platform or develop other game versions.
Finally, it looks like Nintendo realized people like playing with a controller. The various configurations of the Joy-Con controllers put buttons front and center. The message is clear — the Nintendo Switch isn’t a new way to play video games. You’ll use a good old controller to play the Switch, whether at home or on the bus.