If you thought last year was ‘sad’ for the Switch, 2023 could be tough

I won’t even mention it below, but it was Other great game of 2022 Image: Gemma Smith/Nintendo Life

Soapbox features allow our individual contributors and contributors to give their opinions on hot topics and random things they’ve discussed. Gavin is watching some hot takes of 2022 today and instantly turns into a confused John C. Reilly gif…

As a site focused on Nintendo, we will naturally be more positive about Nintendo than, you know, Other sites. We have Nintendo enthusiasts on our staff, and we, as fans with long experience covering and enjoying the company’s products, will resonate with us, Nintendo games and hardware. That doesn’t stop us from sometimes being frustrated or outright angry when it comes to some of the more difficult decisions platform holders make – it’s often the mistakes that confuse us even more! – but as you’d expect, the PlayStation and Xbox sites will be enthusiastic about #Sony and Microsoft content, here we like some Switch games. Crazy, huh?

And there have been so many in the last year! In 2022, we managed to view over 300 of them, and, unfortunately, we had to miss many more beautiful ones. It felt like an entire year of cutthroat storytelling to me, so I was a little confused when I saw headlines like “Without Pokémon, 2022 would be a sad year for the Switch‘ and ‘Fails 2022: Nintendo Switch really showed its age‘ when the results of the year began to appear in the gaming network in December.

This is not to say that the premise of articles like the above is not clear, and many other commentators shared similar sentiments. Sure, Pokemon Legends: Arceus, Scarlet, and Violet were big hits, and yes, hardware is getting old – we’re nearing the end of it. sixth a whole year on store shelves, after all. However, while Nintendo Life “defends the honor” of a Nintendo console may be the most obvious in the world, these arguments strike me as odd given the brilliant games we’ve all enjoyed in 2022.

Let’s take Pokemon out of the equation for a moment. The first roster remains, including Xenoblade Chronicles 3, Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Splatoon 3, Nintendo Switch Sports, and Mario Strikers: Battle League. Nintendo also published Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes, Bayonetta 3, and Square Enix-developed Triangle Strategy and Live A Live. Whatever you say about the individual games in this lineup – and throw out the last ones that weren’t developed in-house, if you like – this is an eclectic pile of software stuffed to the brim with quality. And this is while completely ignoring all those published by third-party games, of which there were many. At the time of writing, Scarlet and Violet aren’t even in the top 50 on our Best Switch Games of 2022 readers’ rankings.

So many indies too
Indie, so much indie Image: Gemma Smith/Nintendo Life

No, 2022 didn’t bring a new Mario or Zelda, but since Tears of the Kingdom needed a little more time in the oven, it was Pokemon’s turn to support Nintendo’s release schedule with Tents of the Year. Saying the year was a disappointment if you don’t like Pokemon is like saying the PS5 would have a downer if it wasn’t for Sony’s big exclusives. ‘Without Horizon And god of War, 2022 would be a sad year for PS5.” Um, huh? Is it time for another The last of us reissue yet? And did Microsoft release anything in 2022!? “Without Game Pass, 2022 would have been a failure for Xbox.”

Maybe it’s just me. With young kids consuming my free time like a pair of cute, outrageously expensive super sponges, I don’t play 24/7 like I used to, and the Switch is perfect for my lifestyle. 200 hours ancient ringThe most obvious jewel in the 2022 crown that was denied to Switch gamers is simply not an option at the moment.

I also absolutely understand that for those who have already bought and played elsewhere the great ports that the Switch got – Persona 5s (finally!), NieR: Automatas, No Man’s Skys and the like – there was a bit less choice. But I would argue that the sheer variety of games coming to the Switch in 2022, old and new, exclusive and otherwise, was sensational. There were just a huge number of titles to enjoy. There is nothing wrong with only playing your favorite genre, or buying a system just to play a certain series, for example, Call of Duty or FIFA (in which case the Switch is definitely not the console for you!), but I’m struggling to understand how anyone who loves video games can describe the last year as a disappointing one for the system. Even if we blow up Pokémon for the sake of an argument.

As for the switch showing its age, this has been a problem since 2017. Almost from the start, we’ve seen calls for upgraded hardware with a bit more power to better run big games. Yes, it would be great if more games hit framerate and resolution goals more regularly, and new hardware will certainly be on the horizon over the next year or so, but as the platform matures, developers are correspondingly better at squeezing the best out of it. , and that was certainly evident in 2022. We see calls from developers for Microsoft to stop limiting more powerful consoles by making lower spec Xbox Series S support mandatory, so it seems odd to single out the Switch when its limitations are so well documented and 30fps limits have started to appear for well-known titles on PS5 and Xbox ( looking at you Gotham Knights). And so many Switch games – against all odds, as always – have performed admirably!

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Image: Damien McFerran/Nintendo Life

Sorry if this sounds like “ranting”, but I’m honestly baffled that gamers and YouTubers are calling 2022 a bad year for Switch owners. Imagine the headline “Only three Marvel movies out, what a terrible year for cinema.” Same energy! Each month brought me a new wave of mandatory games. I won’t make comparisons to The Lean Wii U Years™, or the convenience of handheld play, or the price of my own games versus the competition, because none of that is relevant. In terms of quality games released in 2022, I’d say the Switch easily held its own against the PS5 and Xbox.

Since Nintendo has likely shifted internal resources and attention to its next console and prioritized its own software release schedule to repeat the once-a-month rhythm that the Switch performed so well in its launch year, the likelihood that 2023 could be same “quiet” year when Zelda: TOTK does the hard work for the current system. I’ll be looking forward to new hardware announcements along with all the other Nintendo fans, but we mustn’t let the lack of hot announcements of Switch Pro or Switch 2 or the delay in a highly anticipated game cast a shadow over us. shadow on what was a really great year.

Will we see similar ‘Without Zelda…’ headlines in December? Probably. We hope 2023 proves to be as disappointing for the Switch as 2022 was.

What do you think? Was 2022 a sad year, saved only by Pokémon? Let Gavin know if he should give up the crazy pills by voting in the poll below and leaving a comment if you’d like.

And of course Happy New Year!

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