The Nintendo Switch is killing it sales wise already near beating the sales record of the Wii U. There has already been so many great titles I have come to love and enjoy. To Super Mario Odyssey to third party offerings such as Sonic Mania thus the amazing slew of new titles has so far satisfied me. But there is still a huge elephant in the room whenever I and maybe a friend watch one of Nintendo’s latest game announcements for the device and that is indeed ports from past hardware being shown from either a 3rd or 1st party developer. Now recently we have been provided with an pretty decent Nintendo Direct and I decided to watch it with a friend and it started a huge debate over a couple of the ports announced.
So here is a quick list of ports they announced: Donkey Kong Country Returns, Dark Souls Remastered, Payday 2, Hyrule Warriors and surprisingly, The World Ends With You. My reaction was pretty great until I got into a constructive but interesting argument with my friend over the fact that these games are available on other platforms already and can even still be purchased. It got me thinking a bit about ports hitting the console/hybrid so frequently, could this be a problem? This isn’t the first person to mention this to me, online I pretty much get the same reaction from users on occasion whenever a port is announced. Notably on the first party side with Nintendo, I must say it is pretty understandable that the Switch is getting Wii U ports like DK: Tropical Freeze and Hyrule Warriors.
These types of games were released on a console with an understandably low user base. Not many people were able to play these solid titles without owning the Wii U. Its sort of smart of Nintendo to have this business mindset, it does fix release date droughts, however, I then looked at my copy of Hyrule Warriors and don’t really plan on re-buying it a 3rd time. I think It would be a bit smart for Nintendo to discount past owners for the games they have purchased on the past console. It would be great to see a downloadable copy be discounted to coax me up a bit into repurchasing a Wii U title. But knowing Nintendo, it will probably be a while before that somehow becomes a viable option for them to even consider the Switch. To conclude on the first party side, I am pretty much OK with the first party ports to the device, but I would hope for more sequels or development to these games in the future.
Now when it comes to third-party ports I slightly squint my eyes at some releases. The third party ports, in my opinion, are mixed to decent. You have some developers who release 5-7-year-old titles at full price on the console. Lego City Undercover is technically one of the Switch’s 3rd party games during its launch and it was being sold for $59.99 USD. Its 30 bucks now, but when it was available at launch I found that pricing outrages due to the game being cheaper on other platforms. Then you have the mediocre ports like FIFA 18 which is relatively new, but utterly underdeveloped, full of bugs and performance issues. These rushed 3rd parted ports, with full price tags on them somewhat bother me because it shows that some developers are fast to try and cash in on the Switch’s success.
This reminds me of a console that’s main selling point was motion controllers: the Nintendo Wii. The Nintendo Wii was a device that was massively popular in the 7th generation console span. Just like the Switch, the Wii attracted new developers ready to cash in on its arguable success of motion controls. At first, we’d get decent ports from past 6th or 5th generation consoles, but over time as the 7th generation continued you started seeing the poor mans version of a lot of games from other consoles. Good or bad, the games would, of course, have irritating control implementation or downright awful performance. I hope this doesn’t happen with the Nintendo Switch. However if Nintendo quality controls these ports coming to the device, this issue could be curbed, then again Nintendo could make some negotiations for more exclusive titles instead of ports to the console in the near future.