Freedom of play
Early March saw the release of Nintendo’s Switch, and like many early adopters, I pre-ordered one – the Neon variant, if you must know – that came with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (reviewed on page 98) and 1-2 Switch as part of a ‘forced’ bundle. As expected, the latter was a glorious Joy-Con tech demo that should’ve been a pack-in game with the system. There are many things to like about the Switch, such as its sleek, smooth UI, wonderfully sharp display, and various modes of play. At the same time, the small launch lineup – no doubt a deliberate move to stagger releases for the rest of the year – and lack of features (no Virtual Console and Netflix at launch) meant that Nintendo is banking on Breath of the Wild and other piecemeal weekly releases to keep players happy before heavy-hitters like
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe come along. Rushed out of the door or not, the Switch reportedly sold 1.5 million units in its first week. Nintendo is also expected to double production from eight to 16 million units for the first year. A brave move, considering the Wii U sold 13.5 million units in its fouryear run. Making the Switch regionfree helps, more so with Unreal Engine 4 and Unity support if they hope for third-party developers to stick with the system for the long haul. I, for one, am excited to see where the Switch will take us in the coming years.