The Nintendo Switch is now fully revealed, and it appears to be something that I have been expecting it to be for a while, now– it is a Japanese equivalent of the Xbox, which appears to be getting a lot of support from Japanese third parties, but only token support from western third parties.
The end result is decidedly mixed- and it’s unclear what kind of long term commitment one can expect from most third parties on the device. It is also clear that this may not be a device you purchase primrily to play third party games, at the very least.
GamingBolt spoke to Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter about the Switch, and its support for third party games. According to him, the third party support is a bit concerning- but nothing that should necessarily prevent success for the Switch.
“Third party support is all over the place,” he said. “It seems like a blend of old and new games, with Skyrim a really old game. It isn’t clear if the FIFA or Skylanders games are current versions, but I suspect that the specs are similar to a PS3, and we may not get a lot of support from third parties with current generation games. Will have to wait and see.
Pachter added that the system should, in the end, do well- or well enough, at any rate. “On balance, I expect Switch to sell at least twice as many units as the Wii U (around the same as Xbox One has sold) in its first few years, provided third party support picks up.
He also praised the extent of Japanese support on the system. “By the way, the Japanese third party lineup is impressive, and Nintendo looks like it has more titles coming in 2017, like Mario Kart. I suspect Western third party support will be more focused on porting games from 360 and PS3, as FIFA was on 360 this year. That could be a problem in future years, we will know more in 2018.”
He has his finger on the pulse- the Switch looks great for Japanese games and Nintendo games, but should you really want it if you want western games, too? Skyrim on the go is great, but is that the only Bethesda game we will ever be able to play on the handheld? The Switch’s ability to sell without big western third parties supporting it remains to be seen.