Best New Wii U Games – Nintendo entered 2018 riding a wave of momentum after the successful launch of Switch. The hybrid console hit the market in March 2017 and quickly became one of the fastest selling systems in the history of the company, thanks to most major exclusive streams like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Super Mario Odyssey.
Whereas Nintendo’s focus in 2017 is to build a new platform, the goal this year is to maintain the impressive momentum it has built, and that is done by releasing strong exclusive strings for consoles, along with additional system features such as cloud storage and Nintendo Switch subscription services On line.
Best New Wii U Games
But when 2018 is generally a strong year for the company, certainly not without a misstep. Despite maintaining a regular release schedule, Shift hardware sales were dyed compared to the year of the console debut, and new ventures such as Nintendo Labo, a game line bundled with DIY cardboard peripherals, met with very simple commercial success – certainly not in the Wii Fit league or one Nintendo’s other mass market breakthroughs on the Wii and DS. With 2018 coming to an end, let’s look again at how the Switch fared during the second year.
Solid Year of Game Release, Although There Is No Clear Seller-System
Since the Switch was launched, Nintendo has released at least one first-party game that is famous for consoles almost every month, and that trend continues throughout 2018. While there is no release this year so far enough at the level of Breath of the Wild or Super Mario Odyssey, the system still sees a few exclusive ones were well received at Kirby Star Allies, Mario Tennis Aces, Octopath Traveler, Super Mario Party, and Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee, while the biggest release of the year – Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – arrived on December 7.
With fewer original games lined up for consoles this year than in 2017, Nintendo relies a little more on the Wii U port to activate the Switch during its quiet months, and that is undoubtedly reflected in slower hardware sales than last year. However, software sales remain impressive, and this year’s release includes some of the best Wii U games. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze arrived at the Switch four years after it was first launched on the Wii U and has since become one of Nintendo’s best-selling games on the console. Bayonetta 2, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, and Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition all released for the Switch too, giving them another chance to shine on newer hardware.
Some of Nintendo’s biggest titles from 2017 also received substantial new pieces of content this year, which further strengthened the Switch library. Splatoon 2’s first paid DLC, Octo Expansion, arrived in June and added 80 new challenges focused on single players for the game, while the extensive prequel Xenoblade Chronicles 2 story, Torna – The Golden Country, was launched in September, both as part from game expansion and as a stand-alone release. Nintendo also launched a free stream of updates for Kirby Star Allies and Mario Tennis Aces in a few months after their release, introducing new characters, game modes, and other content to extend their longevity.
In addition, Nintendo continues to make inroads to get more third party and indie support. While the company has traditionally struggled to attract other developers to its platform, this year saw a number of major third-party titles arriving at the Switch. The very popular royale fighting game at Epic, Fortnite, was released for consoles in June and has since been downloaded in “almost half” of all Switch systems worldwide, but it is far from the only famous third-party game to reach the platform . Adult titles like Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Dark Souls Remastered, Warframe, and Diablo III: Eternal Edition all also launched in 2018; the latter is very well known for marking the first Blizzard game that came to the Nintendo console in almost two decades.
Likewise, Indies continued to grow at the Switch, and this year saw the release of Celeste, Dead Cells, Into the Breach, Hollow Knight, and other gems that were critically recognized. Despite the lack of the Breath-the-calibur sales system, 2018 proved to be a good year for Switch software.
Nintendo Switch Online Finally Launched, But This Is A Mixed Bag
After several delays, Nintendo finally launched its paid online subscription service for the Switch in September 2018. Even though online features are free on consoles until then, Switch owners are now required to subscribe to services to play games such as Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Super Ultimate Smash Bros online with other players. Customers also receive a number of other benefits as part of the service, including access to cloud storage, special offers through the Nintendo website, and a library of classic NES games on the Switch, all of which now support several forms of online games.
Given that this service has just been launched, it is still quite early to give a verdict on Nintendo Switch Online. That said, there have been several positive and negative aspects of this service. Although it doesn’t seem to offer nearly as many benefits as PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold – both, for example, give members a choice of free games every month, something that Nintendo services are currently lacking – Nintendo Switch Online subscriptions are significantly cheaper than competition. Annual NSO membership applies to $ 20 (compared to $ 60 for PS Plus or Xbox Live), while annual family packages cost $ 35 per year and can be shared between eight Nintendo accounts on various systems.
The included NES library is also a welcome benefit. While it’s certainly not a substitute for the Virtual Console, having unlimited access to the choice of classic NES games as part of your subscription is more interesting than having to buy individual titles, like you did on the Nintendo console before, and the addition of playing online is a nice new feature . However, Nintendo was slow in introducing additional NES games to the library; only three new titles have been added every month since the service was launched, and it’s still less than some of the most iconic console games. In addition, there is still no news whether Nintendo will bring the SNES, N64, or other legacy titles to Switch either through NSO or Eshop services, which remains frustrating.
In addition, even though the subscription is now being asked to play the game Switch online, the actual online experience is not too different from when the service is free. Features such as voice chat are still handled through a separate NSO smartphone application rather than being built into service – a nuisance decision when Fortnite applied original voice chat directly through the console. If you can, there seems to be no reason why other games can’t follow it.
The special offers mentioned above through the Nintendo website have the potential to be valuable, but the two single offers so far have been quite disappointing. In addition to a free set of equipment at Splatoon 2, NSO customers can order a pair of exclusive NES-style Joy-Cons. It resembles classic NES gamepads and looks pretty neat, but they come with a few caveats that make them a little more than new. Overall, the Nintendo Switch Online service has room to grow, but the offer so far has been pretty good.
3DS Still Has Some Remaining Life
While the Switch naturally focused Nintendo’s attention in 2018, the company did not leave the dual-screen 3DS first. Despite being over seven years old at the moment, this platform has received several important releases over the past year, including Detective Pikachu, a Pokemon spin-off that will inspire the upcoming live-action film starring Ryan Reynolds. On top of that, this year also saw the release of WarioWare Gold, Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology, Yo-kai Watch Blasters, and remakes from classic GameCube Luigi’s Mansion.
It remains to be seen how long Nintendo will continue to keep the 3DS line afloat, but obviously the company has plans to support the platform for the near future, with another 3DS batch game on its way in 2019. In the first half of this year, Nintendo will release the Mario & Luigi remake: Bowser’s Inside Story and Yo-kai Watch 3, while the port of the charming Wii platformer Kirby’s Epic Yarn is scheduled to arrive at several points in 2019. Atlus’s Etrian Odyssey Nexus, installments of the final 3DS in the recognized underground crawl series, will also be launched at the start this year, and maybe there are still one or two surprise releases that are still on the platform before Nintendo finally ushered into the sunset.
A promising looking promising
Nintendo uses the E3 2018 presentation to reveal a ton of new details about the release of this year’s Tent Switch, Super Smash Bros Ultimate, but also provides a tantalizing glimpse of what’s ahead for the system in 2019. Among other things, we got the first look at Fire Emblem: Three Houses, the installment Switch that will come in a long-term strategy RPG series, as well as surprise announcements like Daemon X Machina, a new mech-action game styled from veteran armored veteran Kenichiro Tsukuda.
In the following months, Nintendo will reveal additional titles that came to the Switch in 2019, painting a very promising picture for the future of the console. Perhaps the most prominent, the company finally confirmed that Animal Crossing game is indeed being developed for the Switch and will be released next year. We also learned about the Luigi 3 Mansion and saw the beautiful Yoshi’s Crafted World again, which is now scheduled to arrive at Spring 2019.
In addition, The Pokemon Company reiterated that the “core” of the Pokemon RPG for the Switch announced earlier will be released in 2019, and the developer Pokemon Game Freak has another RPG in the work for a system called Town, which will also be launched next year. There is also New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, which was released in January and combines New Super Mario Bros. The more challenging U and DLC expansion, New Super Luigi U, together become one package.
Together, it seems that Nintendo has laid the foundation for another year’s release of a stable Switch. It’s likely that there will be even more surprise games in store for consoles throughout 2019, and that’s nothing to say about Metroid Prime 4 and Bayonetta 3, both of which Nintendo has publicly announced but not sharing any details about first.
Other Things, Short
After initial shipments in 2016 and cancellations in 2017, Nintendo re-issued a micro console that was very hard to find, the NES Classic, last summer. Together with the SNES Classic, the company has sold a combined 10 million more micro consoles to date.
Nintendo released the fifth mobile game, Dragalia Lost, on iOS and Android this September. Co-developed by Cygames, the title was launched for mixed critical acceptance but generated more revenue during the first two weeks of the company’s previous mobile game, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, performing during the same point in his life.
With the exception of Hulu, the Switch still lacks many special entertainment applications, but the YouTube app finally arrived this November. Netflix, meanwhile, said it was still “exploring the opportunity” to bring the application to the console.
The long-lost Nintendo arcade game Sky Skipper was unearthed and finally received the North American release right through the Switch Eshop this summer as part of the Hamster Arcade Archive line.
Tatsumi Kimishima, who had served as president of Nintendo after the death of Satoru Iwata, resigned from the role in June and was replaced by Shuntaro Furukawa, a long-time member of the company who has held a high degree in all marketing and corporate planning.
Nintendo announced it was working with Despicable Me Illumination studio on the Super Mario animation, with creator Mario Shigeru Miyamoto involved as producer.
Among the handful of exclusively well-received, several major third-party releases, and ongoing Nintendo support for old games, the Switch has another solid hardware lineup in 2018, although there are no heavy beats like Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey produces hardware sales that are a little slower this year. The old Nintendo Switch Online subscription service is also quite weak in current conditions, but has the potential to grow when Nintendo launches more classic games and exclusive offers for customers.
After the disappointing performance of the Wii U, it seems that Nintendo has achieved a winning formula with the Switch, and the first glimpse that we got in the 2019 system lineup shows its best days ahead.
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