There’s no doubt that the Switch will be Nintendo’s largest hardware focus in 2017. After the failure of the Wii U, the company is in need of a console that can stand against the PS4 and the Xbox One. While the Switch may not be able to best its opponents with power, its hybrid nature (can be taken on the go like a handheld) and unique lineup of games will be the points that Nintendo pushes. This is an entirely new console, capable of feats that the competition simply can’t keep up with.
Of course, the Switch’s uniqueness isn’t without its shortcomings. We’ve already mentioned that it can’t compete in terms of raw power, most likely due to the console’s small frame. There’s also the matter of a sparse launch lineup. That’s not entirely Nintendo’s fault, though, as most new consoles have light offerings in their first few months. Unfortunately, when coming out in the middle of a generation, a new console has to contend with well-established libraries as well as solid fourth year lineups.
Nintendo will most likely focus on pushing their bigger games to combat the larger libraries. The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Odyssey, and Fire Emblem Warriors will definitely pull attention to help their hardware stand strong, and it may be their only method for the time being, as there is still a lot that we don’t know about the console.
There’s also the fact that Nintendo still has two other pieces of hardware to support. As of the time of writing, the company still plans on keeping the Wii U alive, at least for a little while longer. And the 3DS has been the strongest device from the gaming giant in a long time, and they definitely don’t intend on stepping on its toes. It’s going to be one hell of a balancing act, one that I predict will end with the Wii U being cast aside, simply because it’s the easier thing to do.
That will leave Nintendo focusing on its console/handheld hybrid, and keeping it from pushing its actual handheld into the shadows. If we’re being honest, though, the 3DS likely has very little to worry about seeing as how it is well-established and has an amazing lineup of titles. The only thing that would do it harm is if its parent company got desperate and started moving games over to the newer platform.