The twilight years of the Nintendo Switch deserve more respect – Reader’s Feature

Growing old gracefully (Picture: Nintendo)

A reader looks back at the success of the Nintendo Switch and is impressed that it still has appealing games coming out in 2023.

In the console world, generational transitions are often associated with a decrease in the quality of the ecosystem surrounding it, both from first and third party developers and manufacturers.

However, this fiscal year has shown that the Switch is still going strong, despite Switch 2 speculations ramping up, even as its limitations are now obvious.

A game console is only as good as the games made for it, regardless of its age. So, it’s a good thing that 2023 was a blockbuster year for Nintendo games. From The Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom expanding the world with no major compromises to Super Mario Bros. Wonder being a fun 2D Mario game in every way.

Nintendo proved that regardless of how old the Switch is, the games they make for it can thrive. Even the mediocre Fashion Dreamer finally gave casuals a solid fashion game in the absence of New Style Boutique.

However, the Switch’s 2023 miracle ports also inspired awe. Rockstar released a Red Dead Redemption port that gaming folklore deemed impossible on any console, due to alleged issues with the original code. Yet it runs perfectly (and natively) on the Switch, with good visuals and performance.

However, it was Hogwarts Legacy that was the real surprise as 2023 closed, as it jumped onto the Switch natively. Despite lacking in the performance and visual department, and jettisoning the open world, the gameplay and story is still addictive and engrossing and suited for portable play.

The handheld accessory code Is now CRKD

While less notable than the output of games, 2023 also saw the release of the CRKD Nitro Deck, the best portable accessory for the Switch. Using the USB-C port for a direct connection, the Deck addresses the biggest issue with the Switch by replacing the fragile joy cons with hall-effect joysticks, almost certainly eliminating the stick drift (and class action lawsuits) that have plagued the Switch since launch.

It’s relatively rare for an accessory to completely address one of the biggest sticking points of a console, especially so close to a successor, but the Switch now has it. I hope that a Switch 2 that’s backwards compatible with current accessories is next, because of this accessory alone.

Balancing criticism and adulation

Regardless, the Switch discourse is the most polarised it’s ever been. While some armchair critics throw baseless insults about the Switch and Nintendo at every chance, die-hard supporters continue to handwave away legitimate criticisms of the hardware and company. It’s not unreasonable to criticise the subpar quality [what? – GC] of the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe DLC, how Hogwarts Legacy is objectively worse without its open world (but still exceptional overall) and how anti-consumer Nintendo is.

But they also created two of the best games of 2023, with good visuals and battery life, while fitting it entirely onto small cartridges That deserves downright admiration in an era where games can now take up over 100GB on digital-only consoles and PCs.

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Switching the lifecycle up

This past year has shown why the Switch is one of the best-selling consoles ever and why it could remain relevant even after the release of its successor. It could be argued that precisely because of the age of the hardware, this fiscal year has been the best for the Switch since it launched.

With various games lined up over the next few months (including Princess Peach: Showtime! and Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered), whatever Nintendo releases next has a lot to live up to.

By reader Connor Lamb

The reader’s features do not necessarily represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

You can submit your own 500 to 600-word reader feature at any time, which if used will be published in the next appropriate weekend slot. Just contact us at gamecentral@metro.co.uk or use our Submit Stuff page and you won’t need to send an email.


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