Best of Gaming 2017: The Year of Nintendo

2017 was hands down the best moment for Nintendo, we take a look on how they finally bounce back in the gaming industry.

We’ve seen and played so many great games this year, but we cannot deny the fact that one company is pretty much dominating the scene with its great line-up of titles and a debut of a new console hardware. That’s right, Nintendo is performing very well for 2017 that it bounced back to the competition after some struggles with the Wii U from the past 5 years, we take a look on what titles and hardware they have released for this year:

The Nintendo Switch

Codenamed the NX, the Switch is a hybrid portable/home console that despite not having a powerful GPU, it made up for its portability that went well to the gamers as they can play it either as a home console or a portable device that they can bring whenever they go. Running at a customized Nvidia Tegra chip, it can still provide 1080 HD visuals for some games when docked to provide a full experience couch gaming, but when set into a handheld, it can provide a full console game entertainment in a portable setup. The Joycons functions as an individual game controller or split up to become a two player device where gamers can do local multiplayer in a single or multiple Switch units. Selling more than 10 million units worldwide (as of December 2017) since its release last March, Nintendo is expecting that they will be able to sell at around 14 million units within March 2018. It became a hot item in all corners of the world that it encountered some unit shortage in most areas, especially in Japan. But regardless of shortage issues, the Nintendo Switch is still going strong

The Switch Games

Of course the Switch wouldn’t be a hit if it wasn’t for the games, which is a main staple for any game console. With a handful of strong first party line-ups available like Splatoon 2, ARMS, Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, it help boost the sales of the console and added more variety for different gamers. The Breath of the Wild game has some big contributions in boosting the sales of the Nintendo Switch as being its launch title, as many fans were eagerly waited for the new Legend of Zelda title and with the game’s focus in an open world formula, it gave a refreshing experience to the already effective formula to its core gameplay. Aside from first party games, there were other exclusive titles from other developers such as Fire Emblem Warriors (Koei Tecmo) and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (Monolith Soft) as well as re-releases of other popular games from the Wii U (Mario Kart 8 Deluxe) and from other consoles (The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, Doom (2016), Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 and L.A. Noire) help added more great games to its library. More companies such as Capcom, Square Enix, Bandai Namco and Bethesda, are committed to bring more titles for the Switch and hopefully title exclusives that could attract more gamers into getting the new console.

The SNES/ Super Famicom Classic Edition

Due to the popular demand of the NES/Famicom Classic Edition, Nintnedo finally gave in and released a follow up to the huge demand on classic consoles. The SNES (or Super Famicom in some regions) Classic was the newest mini console to get its release for long time fans who are looking for another nostalgia trip. Having the same treatment as with the NES Classic, where around 30 games were preloaded in the mini console along with two controllers included in the package, some completionists may want to collect even the Japanese Super Famicom Classic as the two version have different games installed. Nintendo also learned from its mistake on release fewer stocks for the NES Classic as SNES Classic units were doubled from its predecessor so more fans can bring home a piece of memory of their childhood.

The Nintendo 3DS

The 3DS is already at the end of its life cycle, but 2017 gave Nintendo gamers with more great reasons to enjoy with their handheld gaming device. With remake titles such as Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia and Metroid: Samus Returns letting fans experience some of the great classics in a modern approach. 2017 also saw for new titles including Ever Oasis, Miitopia, Monster Hunter Stories, Culdcept Revolt and Hey! Pikmin that expanded the library further with original games to keep players busy for the entire year, then we also saw a new versions of the Pokemon Sun & Moon with Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon adding more content such as new Pokemons, features and areas to explore. This also marks the release of another new version for the handheld, the New 2DS features the same improved hardware from the New 3DS minus the stereoscopic 3D gimmick for a cheaper price.

The Mobile Games

Though Nintendo’s first mobile game attempt has started in 2016 with Miitomo and Super Mario Run, the mobile gaming scene hasn’t drawn its attention to Nintendo until February 2017 when Fire Emblem Heroes was launched. Featuring the different characters from the entire Fire Emblem franchise and molded into a gacha system in collecting them, as well as using the familiar game mechanics that popularized the series, Heroes became an instant hit to Fire Emblem fans and even mobile RPG fans. Though it may not reach the top charts from the likes of Granblue Fantasy and Fate/Grand Order as FEH earned only almost $100 million and 10 million downloads in a span of 5 months since February, but it still managed to garner a large revenue for Nintendo and built a healthy fanbase of FEH players that still continue to play up to this moment. An Animal Crossing mobile game also made its debut in October with Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, using its social interaction gameplay in a wider scale from the mobile game community, the game is gaining some impression from the mobile scene and hopefully would be another major success for Nintendo

The Future

We’ve seen the success for Nintendo this year, and hopefully this could be a sign of a bigger momentum for them come 2018 as more games are expected to launch for the Switch and probably more reveals of new titles beyond 2018. Meanwhile, productions for the older 3DS models have been halted and no new title releases were planned for next year, 2017 could be its swan song but it managed to give its all for its loyal gamers. As for the mobile scene, we might expect more reveals from Nintendo for their plans for more mobile games and continuous support for their current mobile titles. We’ll be looking forward to next year for Nintendo

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