It all comes back to third party support.
The Nintendo Switch seems to be an unusually strong showing from Nintendo- certainly, interest in it is higher than it ever was in the Wii U or 3DS. So one has to hope that this new machine is the beginning of a Nintendo comeback, after the dismal depths they plunged to with the Wii U.
Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily a given- the PS4 and Xbox One are already entrenched, and they have successors in the form of PS4 Pro and Xbox One Scorpio coming. Does the Switch really have a chance against those systems?
This was the question we posed to Michael Pachter, analyst at Wedbush Securities, when we had the chance to sit down and have a chat with him. His take? It all comes down to third party support.
“Unless the NX has strong third party support, its chances against PS4 and Xbox One aren’t too strong,” he said. “It’s too early to know that it won’t have third party support. Nintendo, the Wii had third party support, a lot of third party games which didn’t perform well, but they had third party support. The Wii U, lost third party support quickly, and flopped. So the NX, we have a sample size of one, Wii U- which didn’t get third party support. So let me answer your question differently- if the NX does what the Wii did, and gets a lot of third party support, it will be successful. If it does what the Wii U did, and doesn’t, it won’t be successful. I don’t think any console can thrive with first party content only. And I will say, of the three console manufacturers, Nintendo has by far the best content, I mean by ten times. But it’s still not enough. They don’t bring their games out often enough, and not in sufficient quantity to justify a purchase.”
Of course, the Switch, for now, seems to have very strong third party support- EA, Activision, Take 2, Warner Bros., Ubisoft, Bethesda, From Software, Capcom, Atlus, Square Enix, Sega, Keoi Tecmo, Konami, and more all seem to be on board with the system, among others. But whether or not Nintendo can hold on to that support is what will undoubtedly decide the fate of the Switch in the long run.