Nintendo Switch – The Third Party Problem

Nothing is perfect and the Nintendo Switch is a shining example of that; I would like to clarify, I adore my Nintendo Switch and I am so happy that they sold 17.8 million consoles in its first year (more than the lifetime total Wii U sales). In fact, it is my favourite ever games console and I have owned quite a lot of them. It is everything I dreamed of as a child. I’m pretty sure all us gamers had that issue of our parents shouting our names to go out somewhere and you had to quickly finish a level in order to save your game (I swear it always happened during a boss battle too). The Switch means that you can take it with you and you can finally win all the races in the lightning cup at 150cc (or 200cc nowadays). Moreover, I also love how you essentially have two controllers, although tiny, built into the console so that you can destroy your friends at Mario Kart at anytime when you fancy that little boost to your self-esteem on a bad day (hint: give them the right-hand joy-con and you’re sure to win).

The Switch means that you can take it with you and you can finally win all the races in the lightning cup at 150cc (or 200cc nowadays). Moreover, I also love how you essentially have two controllers, although tiny, built into the console so that you can destroy your friends at Mario Kart at anytime when you fancy that little boost to your self-esteem on a bad day (hint: give them the right-hand joy-con and you’re sure to win).

Nintendo Switch Console Image 2

However, the Switch does have a major flaw for me and no it’s not that it isn’t powerful enough, it has plenty of power in my opinion. It also isn’t the battery life, I usually get around 4 hours 30 minutes of gameplay when on the go, perfect for those painfully long train journeys home when I’m visiting my family during a break from university. It’s also not the fact that you have to deal with the somewhat flimsy kickstand when destroying your friends at Mario Kart; somewhat is a forgiving term for how I feel about that kickstand.  It’s the games.

Nintendo Switch Kickstand

I know there are plenty of them and I welcome the fact that I can play Super Mario Odyssey, Doom, Wolfenstein and Payday on the go; it certainly doesn’t have the lack of third-party support that provided most of the nails in the coffin for its predecessor, the Wii U. In fact, I find it amazing how Nintendo have managed to turn their relationship around with third-party developers in such a short space of time. The issue is the price of these third-party games.

Why on earth would I pay over £40 for Skyrim or Doom when I can buy them for peanuts on a PS4, Xbox One or PC? Yes, I can play them on the go but that doesn’t warrant the significant markup that the Switch versions have. I completely understand that the cartridges most likely add a premium but surely they don’t add a premium of roughly £30?! I am more than happy to pay £40-50 for a first-party game because there’s nothing else like them on the aforementioned consoles (or even on Steam for that matter) but I refuse to pay that for a third-party game for it that’s been out for a few years.

Skyrim Switch Screenshot

It also infuriates me how there are never really any offers on Switch games in general, every time I take a browse in Game or on Amazon they’re normally full price or have the amazing saving of a couple of quid. I bought my Switch just before Christmas last year and I was shocked to see how there were barely any offers available. I did get a bundle that gave me a small discount but nothing on the scale of an Xbox or PS4 bundle. Although there was a ridiculously good deal on Amazon Cyber Monday for it but I missed out as they sold out within a couple of minutes. What has surprised me with the Switch is how well priced the Nintendo eShop is. There are always games on offer and sometimes the savings are huge; maybe Nintendo is limiting the discount retailers can offer to boost their own digital sales?

Nintendo Switch eStore Image

Conspiracy theories aside, this still shouldn’t deter you from getting a Switch, especially since Nintendo are supporting it for another 5-6 years and I can imagine the prices of third-party games will eventually drop. If we take the Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy for example, the pre-order price for the Xbox One, PC and Switch versions are all £28 on Amazon. Even the PS4 version, which has been available for almost a year, is just shy of £26 on Amazon right now. So at the least the prospect of pricing parity is becoming more promising. Moreover, the Switch has lots of Indie games available for it; Indie developers have been quite vocal about their love for the console and I appreciate their games a lot. The PS4 is particularly lacking in terms of Indie titles.

Nintendo Switch Indie Titles

Even with these current pricing issues, I am adamant that it’s worth buying the console. In my opinion, Nintendo makes the best first-party games around; they rarely make something that is a dud. It genuinely offers something different to the competition and with Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey and now Labo, it’s a must have for adults and children alike. Plus, there are even more must have titles just around the corner like Yoshi, which looks fantastic, Bayonetta 3, Mario Tennis Aces, Donkey Kong, an inevitable Pokémon game and *cough* Smash Bros. *cough*.

Edward Flaherty

Edward Flaherty

Edward is a 20 year old English Literature student from Leeds. He has played games since he was 4 years old and the first game he ever played was Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Mega Drive. He has always been a PlayStation and PC gamer but in recent years his love for Nintendo has grown. He is a fan of motorsport and loves racing games as a result; his favourite game of all time is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. He also created and co-hosts a podcast on his student radio.

So what do you think?

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