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The Nintendo Switch is finally on sale since a week or so. Fans had been impatiently waiting since its announcement on January 13 and despite some criticism from the press (particularly due to the somewhat small number of compatible games), the console has proven to be a huge success. Once again, this is proof that the Japanese manufacturer knows exactly how to launch its consoles.

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If you're having trouble getting your hands on your own Nintendo Switch device right now, that's no big surprise. The console is currently out of stock at most stores and on merchant sites. The only way you could have got one was by waking up super early last Friday and standing in line, like my colleague Sophia did - unless you thought ahead and pre-ordered the device.

The best console launch in the US

As one of the most successful console launches in the US, Nintendo were elated as the Switch beat the 2-day sales records for its previous successful device, the Nintendo Wii. While Nintendo has not yet released exact sales numbers, we do know that the Wii sold over 600,000 units in its first week or so and to date, the Wii has sold over 100 million units, joining the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 as one of the most popular consoles globally.

Further afield, the console has been met with an equally enthusiastic response. Over 105,000 units have been sold in France alone and in Japan, over 330,637 units were sold in the first few days after its launch.

Yet press critics had vividly antagonized the Switch. Some criticized its limited gaming catalog prior to the launch, others picked on the HD screen definition, battery life and especially, the high price tag ($299). Had I been particularly enticed by the console and its entertainment aspect, the failure of the Nintendo Wii U might have left me dubious at best regarding the possible success of the machine, at least in its first year of sales.

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The Nintendo Switch is a hybrid console. © AndroidPIT

All these criticisms pretty much had zero impact and the public responded favorably to the launch of the device. The doomsday scenario they insinuated just simply did not happen, which is a stark reminder to all of us that the opinions of the press are not necessarily the rule and surprises can still occur.

A huge community, a different console and... Zelda!

There are several reasons for the success of the Switch. The first is certainly the most underrated: the Nintendo community. Of course, we always knew there was a community out there but we hadn't realized just how strong this community had remained until 2017, particularly after the failure of the Wii U. It's thanks to this that Nintendo is currently going through one of the best product starts in US history for a console. This craze has led other players, who were perhaps a little reluctant at first, to take an interest in the Switch and place an order.

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Zelda is the launch game on the Switch. © AndroidPIT

Another reason for such a great launch is the release of the latest Zelda game, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The game recorded the best launch of any game in the history of Nintendo. The number of people wanting to try it was astounding. However, I am less surprised about this as I had already stated in a previous article: "if you are a fan of the Zelda series and you like the wacky universe of Nintendo, the Switch clearly deserves a look".

Finally, the Switch is a console that stands apart in the market as it has no direct competitor. This totally hybrid console can be both portable and fixed in place at home, thus extending the gaming experience to any location the player desires. Nintendo has targeted mobile users but also people who prefer to just play in their own living room. To highlight its all-inclusiveness, the Switch is aimed at a more varied and more family-friendly audience as showcased by its robustness (made in Nintendo) and the games it offers.

Opinion by Pierre Vitré
The Nintendo Switch will be under everyone's Christmas trees later this year
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Now we just have to wait a few months and see if the success will be short-lived or if the trend will continue. A second opportunity has been thrown at Nintendo now and it's certainly one of the most challenging ones: to reach and entice those beyond its existing community.

Were you drawn in by the Switch? Have you already got one? We'd love to hear what you think of it in the comments below!

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  • I like the SWITCH but it is aimed for a younger audience.This to me is quite good but you can get a PS4 or Xbox One for the same price.The SWITCH,you can take it anywhere you want to take it literally anywhere!I would recommend the SWITCH but due to the lack of games,you would actually say that its kind of a rip-off.If you are thinking that it is a rip-off,there are new games on the way.

  • Nintendo has the advantage here and it's in an area that they are unlikely to lose that advantage. Cartridges is the reason that the switch works as well as it does. I doubt the other game hardware developers have anywhere near the experience the Nintendo has working with cartridges because they never abandon that medium.

  • The reason storm says that, is because he stuck in a state of denial about the success of the Nintendo switch. People who have been predicted Nintendo's downfall for years Have a lot of crow to choke down and it's not easy. these people just want their silly prediction that Nintendo would fail, to be right, so they go on and on sounding like a broken record year after year about Nintendo should stop making hardware/profits/ anything new. You can't expect too much though from the generation that grew up playing call of duty one through 45, halo one through 45 , Gears of war one through 45, and madden One through 45. These sad souls know nothing about variety and different types of gameplay, they just want better graphics for their shooters and football games.

    • storm 5 months ago Link to comment

      No, I say that because the phone has better hardware; no reason to carry multiple devices; the software moves with me to a new improved phone. It's about efficiency of carrying one powerful multi purpose device. It's about not being locked in to a system that abuses you monetarily.

      All the same arguments for the PC over consoles apply here too.

      It's not about wanting Nintendo to fail. It's about getting games to my phone where they're better than on the console, cheaper, and have a longer playing life.

      • And the reason that Nintendo making hardware is good for the video game industry is because different gamers have different preferences. Personally I don't like playing any game where the controls are on a touchscreen only. There simply not as responsive, and since I prefer fighting games and hack and slash games I prefer to have a controller that are specifically suited for playing video games . I'm getting a switch is soon as all the bugs worked out, because the idea of a fully functional console that is portable is right down my alley. There is no shortage of sell phone shovelware games so I have to disagree that mobile gaming needs nintendos contributions.

      • storm 5 months ago Link to comment

        There are plenty of controllers and mounts that integrate the phone and physical controller together, usually of better grade too.

      • ævin ß 5 months ago Link to comment

        No gaming on the phone is ass and always will be because the phone lacks any sort of non touch screen controller which will for the foreseeable future (as in not likely to change any time soon) be a requirement to playing high quality games outside of tap-and-go strategy or puzzle games. If the Switch was a pure tablet with no controllers then it would be nothing special and certainly not capable of supporting excellent games like Breath of the Wild which would not be possible on a phone. Plus the phone has other shortcomings like smaller screen, requires an add on to kickstand or prop up, external controllers and mice aren't very good or necessary for mobile games, not designed to carry games like tablets, consoles, and PC's without sacrificing more necessary and/or convenient features, etc. Sorry to burst your bubble bud.

  • Maybe Nintendo will ever have best available hardware, nor best and biggest games library offers, but it will always give best fun to it's pleyers...

  • storm 5 months ago Link to comment

    They should just write software for phones and desktops and get out of the hardware business

    • ævin ß 5 months ago Link to comment

      The success of the Switch says otherwise, you clearly have no idea what you are talking about. Honestly this might be the single dumbest comment I've ever read in my life (and I've read a lot of really, really stupid comments). I sincerely pray that you are just a troll because if you were serious when you wrote this comment I have zero faith in your ability to think and function like a normal human. May god, or some other higher power if you don't believe, have mercy on your soul.

    • Georg Seebode
      • Admin
      • Staff
      5 months ago Link to comment

      @storm why do you say that? care to elaborate?

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