Releasing alongside the much-awaited The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WIld, the Nintendo Switch released with a bang on March 3, 2017, exactly three years ago today. People may have been skeptical originally, following the reception to the Wii U, but there's no doubt now on the console's third anniversary, that it's become one of the most popular video game systems of all time, with its over 50 million sales putting it between the original NES and the Super Nintendo. And what a three years it has been, with Nintendo releasing new Super Mario, Pokemon, Fire Emblem, Splatoon, Luigi's Mansion, and Xenoblade Chronicles games, alongside a multitude of ports of neglected Wii U titles, to boot.
Since we last did a retrospect on the Nintendo Switch, a lot has changed, though many things have stayed the same. 2019 saw the release of some massive new first-party titles, a lot of ports, and unexpected third-party support.
The first release of that year for the Switch happened to fall on the same day of the Nintendo 3DS's swan song game: Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, with Nintendo releasing both it and New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe on January 11th. It wouldn't be the only Wii U game to get a second chance that year, as Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn and Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE also followed, months later. Fans who skipped out on owning a Wii U got a chance to try the games for the first time, while others could experience them in a whole new way: on the go.
Speaking of on the go, Nintendo decided to capitalize on giving players a more portable form factor for their Switch, with the Nintendo Switch Lite. It was just the slightest bit smaller and lighter, though nowhere near as small as previous Nintendo handheld devices. Of course, while we got a Lite revision, the highly rumored Switch Pro was nowhere to be seen, and still leaves some wondering if Nintendo will ever release such a creation.
Ever the gimmick lover, Nintedo also released a wacky game: Ring Fit Adventure. Harkening back to the Wii Fit days, Ring Fit Adventure consisted of players slotting their Joy-Cons into a plastic wheel that could allow for all sorts of health-tracking and minigame misadventures. With shortages of the game and ring in both Japan and the UK, it certainly must have had people interested. Did you manage to try the game out for yourself?
That wasn't all the first half of that year had to offer, as Yoshi's Crafted World, more Toy-Cons, and the very unexpected surprise of Cadence of Hyrule all saw their release. If that wasn't enough, Nintendo had a stacked fall season, with Super Mario Maker 2, Daemon X Machina, Fire Emblem Three Houses, Dragon Quest XI S, Astral Chain, and Luigi's Mansion 3 all available as Nintendo Switch exclusives.
Of course, you can't forget Pokemon Sword and Shield, which found itself front and center in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons, following the reveal that not every Pokemon would be catchable in the games. The ensuing drama lasted for months, all the way until the games' launch date, still continuing on in heated debates over those unsatisfied with the game, and those who loved the new Pokemon games for what they were. Regardless of your stance on the National Dex and the arguments surrounding the topic, Pokemon Sword and Shield were met with absolutely massive success, reaching impressive sales figures.
What an exciting, dramatic, and wild year it has been! Can the console's future year on the market hope to compare, with the release of the hotly-anticipated Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the well, horizon? Only time will tell. But while we wait to see what Nintendo has in store, what do you think we'll see this year?