Though it hasn’t been on the market for long, the Nintendo Switch has been markedly more successful than its predecessor, the Wii U. In just 11 months, more Switch consoles were purchased than Wii U consoles over five years.
While there isn’t one single thing that can be identified as the reason for the console’s success, the fact that the Switch has had as many games in nine months as the Wii U did in over two years probably has something to do with it.
Using data from Metacritic, Kotaku established that as of December 2017 the Switch had three times the number of games the Wii U did at the same point in its release cycle, and twice that of the Wii.
This is probably significantly helped by the fact that Nintendo appears much more inclined to support indie titles on its eShop and work with third-parties in order to diversify the Switch library. As much as first-party hits such as Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey have been hugely successful console sellers, it’s the wider software options on the Switch that will keep fans interested.
Interestingly, the Switch has even outperformed the PS4 and Xbox One when it comes to game releases in the same period. Of course, quantity doesn’t necessarily mean quality and Kotaku also took the time to compare the Metacritic review scores. It actually found that, overall, the average quality of the titles was better than those released on Wii and Wii U within the same time frame.
While the Switch is an interesting hardware proposition, it’s clear that Nintendo understands this alone isn’t enough to shift units. While novelty will sell consoles, it’s continuing to offer quality and diverse software that will keep them selling for years to come.