When a pre-recorded Nintendo Direct presentation dropped out of nowhere on the company’s website yesterday, it immediately became one of the top trending stories of the day. Despite the fact that it only featured a single exclusive game announcement, the presentation still felt like the awakening of a dormant volcano.
Nintendo fans (and game fans in general) are as excited about the Switch as they have been about anything in ages. At first, it would have been easy to attribute this to the low expectations set by the Wii U.
It really looked like Nintendo might be losing whatever edge it had. So when the Switch — which looked like a potential disaster in the making — launched relatively smoothly with an exciting lineup of games, the community was taken aback.
Not only had Nintendo clawed its way back out of the hole it had dug itself into, but it had done so with a console that was basically the Wii U 2.0. But we’re now a year out from the big Nintendo Switch presentation of last January, and the enthusiasm surrounding the Switch has yet to die down. The Nintendo Direct just proved it.
Here are all of the new games that Nintendo announced on Thursday morning: Mario Tennis Aces and SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy. Two new games. That’s it. Each of the other announcements were either about ports of old games (The World Ends with You, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Dark Souls) or downloadable content for games that have already launched (Super Mario Odyssey, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle).
And yet, Nintendo fans came away from the event encouraged about the future of the Switch. This begs the question: Have fans simply set the bar for Nintendo so low that any amount of new content is enough to clear it?
When the Switch launched last March, we called it an “incredible well-made device” in our review, but admitted that it was still incomplete from a software standpoint. There was no online ecosystem, the Virtual Console was nowhere to be found and we couldn’t even watch Netflix on it. Ten months later, none of these problems have been solved — but in the meantime, Nintendo has reminded us that a game console lives or dies based on its library.