Video Games

A Strong Nintendo Direct Also Showed Why the End is in Sight for the Switch

Is the Nintendo Switch too old? Nintendo’s wildly successful handheld is now in its sixth year, but can it maintain its momentum amid concerns about horsepower and a potentially barren release schedule in late 2023? Are Tears Really Worth $70?

These were some of the questions asked towards the first Nintendo Direct of 2023, the show Nintendo typically uses to set its agenda for the rest of the year. There was excitement, but there was also caution. After a year marred by releases with notable technical issues, and the failure to deliver the long-rumored Switch Pro, the demand for next-gen Switches has become hard to ignore. .

Ultimately, Nintendo fans didn’t get their hands on a Switch 2, or even new info on The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. However, we got to see some high-profile rumors come to fruition, including the long-awaited arrival of GBA games on Game Boy and Switch. Even Mario Kart 8 was a bit of a treat with its new characters and tracks.

In a sign that the Nintendo Switch era is moving forward, many of the announcements were more about looking back than looking ahead. Retro Studios’ Metroid Prime remaster — rumored since the early days of Switch — was a big part of Direct, and even received a shadow drop after the show ended. Metroid Prime has been a highly requested release by fans for years because it’s so hard to come by these days. It has to be.

Nintendo fans know it could get worse

Of course, Nintendo fans know it can always get worse… way worse. In 2016, the Wii U had less than 20 games released at retail. heir.

By comparison, the Nintendo Switch has been surprisingly stable, easily surpassing the PS4 to become the third best-selling platform of all time. Pokemon Scarlet and Sumire were able to move about 18 million together last year, despite technical issues. With a mix of sequels, indie releases, and remasters, Nintendo has consistently maintained a drumbeat of new releases on its platform. Add in the occasional big release, and the Switch remains relevant and even essential despite being generations behind in technology.

That feeling was heightened by the anticipation of today’s The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom trailer. Since its short release in 2019, the long-awaited Breath of the Wild sequel stands on the horizon like a glittering treasure for Switch owners. Its predecessor is so revered that many fans consider it the best game in the series, if not the best game ever made. It came to symbolize the hopes and expectations we defined. This fueled endless speculation about the next Nintendo Direct, the next Smash Bros. announcement, the next remaster, the next sequel.

Nintendo is happy to continue that speculation a little longer with today’s trailer, teasing Zelda fans with about two minutes of new footage. That seems to have been enough to overcome some of my frustration with the particularly high $70 price tag. No, but Nintendo has made a habit of matching and exceeding the Zelda hype.

The dark future of the switch

But after Tears of the Kingdom, Nintendo faces many questions. Most of the expected sequels are out now. The well of the remaster is almost dry. With so few future titles highlighted in the direct, it’s hard to know how the rest of 2023 will affect the Nintendo Switch. There is a growing consensus that it is time to move from

It won’t be easy for Nintendo. The Switch is his most successful Nintendo platform in 25 years, surpassing even the Wii’s all-time high. We’ve seen the company enjoy a creative and cultural renaissance that is difficult, if not impossible, to replicate. It’s hard to imagine another moment: New Horizons.

Nintendo has fulfilled many long-standing rumors and dreams with its first Direct in 2023. After today, not much is left. More than ever, the end is in sight.

Kat Bailey is IGN’s Senior News Editor and co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Any tips? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.

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