Nintendo Direct Mini: 6 Questions We Still Have About Switch in 2018
With several reports leading up to the heavily-rumored January Direct, many of us were fully prepared for Nintendo to come out swinging with a solid set of reveals to get us hyped for Switch in 2018. However, Nintendo once again decided to go in a completely different direction than expected and surprised us all with a Mini Direct. While it had some great announcements, it ultimately left us hanging with a lot of questions still unanswered. Here are six things Nintendo still needs to talk about this year.
Launch Date for the New Online Infrastructure
Okay, so let’s just go ahead and rip the band-aid right off and get the most obvious one out of the way first. A great deal of praise and high sales numbers don’t make up for a lackluster online infrastructure. Simply put, the Switch’s current online system still feels like it’s in beta, and that’s precisely the reason why we’re shocked that we still haven’t heard anything about a solid release date for the Switch’s paid online service nearly a full year into its lifecycle. It’s time for Nintendo to start being more vocal about a fixing their voice chat system, matchmaking, and how they plan to improve the overall state of their current online infrastructure
Although Nintendo’s chosen to remain tight-lipped about the matter, we’re still hoping to finally get our hands on Virtual Console for Switch this year. With numerous Neo Geo ports available on the Switch’s eShop, we’re more than ready for an official release from Nintendo to scratch that retro itch. It wasn’t that long ago that Nintendo teased us with a glimpse at its plans for Virtual Console running on Switch in a Netflix style from Via Twitter.
Without question, 2018 needs to be the year that Nintendo sees the debut of Virtual Console for Switch. And not just the classics, 3DS, Wii, and Wii U games either. That’s right, we’re speaking directly about the inevitable release of Gamecube Virtual Console. Whether it’s Super Mario Sunshine, Luigi’s Mansion or Eternal Darkness, Nintendo has plenty of fantastic first-party titles to choose from to get the party started.
One of Nintendo’s most prominent criticisms for Switch is its lack of versatility in regards to managing game save data. In its current state, the Switch has no way of backing up save data to a cloud service, or even an external drive. Meaning that if you accidentally lose or break your Switch, you can forget about completing all those Zelda Shrines that you haven’t gotten around to finishing. There’s been talk about cloud saves becoming a thing when Nintendo launches its paid online sometime this year, and we’re still hoping to hear more about it soon.
More Third-Party Support
2017 proved to be a reinvigorating year for Nintendo and their relationship with larger third-party developers. We’ve seen support from some pretty high profile developers like Bethesda with the release of Doom and Skyrim, and Capcom with Resident Evil Revelations on Switch. Not to mention the astounding support it’s been receiving from indie developers with the release of games like Steamworld Dig 2, Enter the Gungeon, and Yooka-Laylee. So, with the Switch’s popularity only growing larger every day, it’s no surprise that more and more third-parties have either begun or are heavily considering developing software for Nintendo’s hybrid console. Announcing Dark Souls Remastered for Switch in the second week of the new year is a great way to send off strong third-party support vibes for 2018. That said, we still don’t have a solid release date for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, and Rockstar is still tight-lipped about a GTA V port. Sure, Fe looks promising, but are we getting bigger titles like Mass Effect or even Battlefront II from EA?
Where’s Metroid Prime 4, Pokemon, and Fire Emblem?
Now that Mario, Link, and the Inklings have had their time to shine, 2018 opens the gate for a few other notable Nintendo franchises to finally make their debut on Switch. More specifically, Metroid Prime 4, Pokemon, and Fire Emblem. Nintendo surprised all of us during last year’s E3 when it finally announced that the much-loved Metroid Prime franchise would be making a return with the reveal of Metroid Prime 4. However, Nintendo is still holding out on announcing any concrete details, and we’ve yet to see any actual gameplay. Both Pokemon and Fire Emblem are in the exact same boat. We know they’re being worked on, but that’s about it. It’s imperative for Nintendo to become more vocal about their upcoming first-party lineup for the year.
Video Streaming Services
With the release of video streaming services like NicoNico in Japan and Hulu in the west, the Switch officially became more than just a gaming device. Since then, Nintendo has remained coy about further releasing any streaming services on its latest platform. However, the demand for other streaming apps such as YouTube and Netflix remain prevalent amongst fans, and they’re definitely still something we think Nintendo needs to address in 2018.
For more on Nintendo, check out our full Nintendo Direct Mini news roundup.
Filip is IGN’s Nintendo Editor. Find him on Twitter @filipmiucin