The Nintendo Switch Is Going Out With A Bang, Not A Whimper

Image: Nintendo / Kotaku
Image: Nintendo / Kotaku

It’s funny that one day ago, just before Nintendo’s June Direct, we had almost no idea what the next six months would look like for the Switch. Nintendo has confirmed it will have news on its next console in the coming months, and that means the Switch is in its twilight year. But after a 40-minute presentation, we now know the console/handheld hybrid is about to have a banger of a closing act.

Let’s take a look at just what Nintendo has scheduled for the next year:

  • Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD - June 27

  • The Legend of Zelda: Echoes of Wisdom - September 26

  • Super Mario Party Jamboree - October 17

  • Mario & Luigi: Brothership - November 7

  • Donkey Kong Country Returns HD - January 16

  • Metroid Prime 4: Beyond - 2025

  • Pokémon Legends: Z-A - 2025

Even though we don’t know exactly when Metroid Prime 4: Beyond and Pokémon Legends: Z-A are coming out, those are two big tentpole games to send the system into the sunset with next year. But in just the next six months, Nintendo has a really solid line-up of games to fill store shelves and Switch card slots for the rest of 2024. Echoes of Wisdom is giving Princess Zelda a much-deserved starring role with a unique, puzzle-based spin on the series’ usual mechanics. Mario & Luigi: Brothership is bringing back a beloved Mario spin-off series after almost a decade in stasis. And that’s just Nintendo’s offerings. The Direct was full of so many promising third-party games like the Dragon Quest III remake and Fantasian. We’re eating.

The Switch library started out incredibly strong when it launched in 2017 with the paradigm-shifting The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and it hasn’t really lost momentum in the seven years since. Sure, some years have popped off better than others, but there’s never really been a dearth of solid Nintendo games coming to the system. Part of this is likely because, whereas previously Nintendo had both consoles and handhelds to think about, the Switch now occupies all of the company’s attention by covering both markets, so even when the system is having a relatively “off” year, like it did in 2021, we’re still getting some solid GOTY contenders like Metroid Dread.

When the Switch has been at its best, we’ve gotten some of the best entries for Nintendo’s biggest franchises. Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom changed open-world games forever, Fire Emblem: Three Houses was a cultural moment for a franchise that had long deserved that recognition, Pokémon Legends: Arceus was a true evolution of a series that had become stagnant, and Super Mario Odyssey is one of the most inventive games in one of the longest-running franchises in the medium. The Switch has had one of the best runs inNintendo’s history, and it would have been a real shame if it lost steam just as we prepared to move on to what comes next. The Switch 2 is still an enigma, though we have heard enough rumors and reports to suss out that it sounds like a proper Switch successor, rather than a complete reinvention of the wheel. But looking back at how well-served the Switch was across its lifespan, maybe we don’t need Nintendo to reinvent the wheel this time.

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