OPINION: Nintendo needs to step its game up

by | Dec 11, 2020 | Opinion

It’s been three years since the Nintendo Switch was released and the last console of the decade before next-generation consoles (PlayStation 5 and Xbox series X) came out.

Throughout the years’ Switch has been on the market, video games have been the focus to rope-in buyers. Nintendo launched limited-edition bundles, its own internet service provider for online gaming, a YouTube app and the Super Nintendo Entertainment virtual console, but the Switch hasn’t seen many software updates, such as a webpage browser, apps for music and streaming services.

To add software updates might seem trivial, but it almost feels as if this console remained in the past, if not taking a step back. The Wii and Nintendo Wii U both had web browsers and streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube and Hulu Plus, along with Wii U Chat and Miiverse and its time that Nintendo started to add some of those features to Switch.

An argument can be made that Switch is purchased or to play video games and has successfully done that with Animal Crossing: New horizons holding the second-highest number of sales (26.04 million copies) boosting console sales by 136 per-cent (noted by videogameschronicle) in less than a year, surpassing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild and Pokémon Sword and Switch which have all been out for a year plus.

It was Doug Bowser, president of Nintendo America, who said in a press release, “seeing encouraging sales growth like this in the fourth (year) of Nintendo Switch proves to us that the system has many more years and great games to come.”

As Bowser said, during October the Nintendo Switch recorded its highest number of sales, reaching 68 million units sold worldwide, proving that the console could stand beside its same generation competitors, the PS4 and Xbox One X, without web browsers, apps and streaming services.

However, even with Animal Crossing, and a global pandemic pushing people to buy Nintendo products because they have more free time on their hands the Switch still comes up short in comparison to Wii sales which has sold 101.6 million units sold worldwide as of 2020.

The PS5 and Xbox series X are already proving to be on a whole new level with graphics, hardware and software features, and running out of stocks within the first few days of their release.

Nintendo has always found innovative ways to keep up with the competition and to keep fans enticed, but there’s always room for improvement. It may be too early for a new console but adding streaming apps and a web browser could bring new life to the Switch.