A funny thing happened last week. Well…not funny, so much as slightly unexpected.
See, Nintendo launched a little console named the Switch. This console lacks 4K capabilities, multimedia functionality, and many technical niceties that we’ve come associate with modern and future video game devices.
Despite all this, the Switch is sold out nearly everywhere you look. Now, while this could normally be attributed to some of Nintendo’s supposed limited supply promotional methods – which we previously discussed here – this time, there are real figures available to support the Switch’s success. In fact, Nintendo of America is reporting that the Switch is the fastest selling Nintendo console in American history.
Time will tell if the Switch maintains its current success, but isn’t it remarkable that an underpowered console plagued with hardware issues and short on games to play is off to such an incredible start?
It is and it isn’t. See, for as many things as the Switch has going against it, it also so happens to have The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in its favor.
Breath of the Wild is not only being hailed by some as the likely unbeatable game of the year for 2017, but many are going so far as to call it one of the greatest games ever made. While it’s a little too early to start making such claims, the point remains that Breath of the Wild is a game that has captured the imagination of gamers everywhere.
What’s really remarkable about the game’s success in terms of the success of the Nintendo Switch is that Breath of the Wild is not a Nintendo Switch exclusive experience. The 13.56 million people that supposedly own a Wii U can play it without having to buy a new system.
Yet, Nintendo has wisely decided to tie Breath of the Wild and the Switch together. They even launched on the same date. In doing so, they sent a simple – if potentially inaccurate – message to gamers everywhere:
“The Nintendo Switch is a console designed to provide experiences like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.”
This message doesn’t rely on terms like 4K, HDR, upscale, or 60 FPS. It’s a simple statement that uses little more than the experience of a truly great game to justify you giving Nintendo $300 of your hard-earned money.
It’s a statement that makes it clear that nothing sells video game consoles quite like video games.
Now granted, Nintendo’s market is a little different than Microsoft or Sony’s. Still, there’s something to be said for the fickle nature of hardware purist who are always unconvinced that current technology will be as good as it gets for very long. Comparatively, gamers know that a truly great game is timeless.
Funny enough, it seems that gamers will put up with a less powerful, slightly problematic piece of hardware so long as it offers them irreplaceable experiences that they’ll remember years after the technology fueling the game has been labeled outdated.