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Nintendo Switch is Going to Have a Hell of a 2019 Based on Today's Nintendo Direct

Animal Crossing leads a horde of intriguing games.

Opinion by Kat Bailey, .

It hasn't exactly been a slow year for the Nintendo Switch, but in the wake of 2017's incredible one-two punch of Zelda and Mario, most of the system's best games have been indies and ports. But if today's Nintendo Direct is any indication, we're about to be hit by a fricking deluge of amazing games for Switch.

Here's a listing just off the top of my head for 2019. Think of how many of these games will be instant buys for most people:

Animal Crossing, Metroid, and Pokemon are all top-tier franchises that will generate a ton of attention when they come out next year (assuming they aren't delayed). Fire Emblem is arguably in that category as well. And Bayonetta 3 is the sequel to one of the best action games ever made.

We're seeing the best case scenario for the Switch play out before our eyes. Japanese developers are rapidly migrating to Switch in the wake of the decline of 3DS and Vita; western developers are rushing to ensure that they have a Switch version of their most popular games, and incredible indies like Hollow Knight, The Messenger, and Celeste are plugging in the empty spots. There's no content gap on this system. There's a content flood.

As usual, though, Nintendo has done the most to propel the success of its console. Most of the best-looking games coming to Switch next year are exclusives, giving it a clear niche apart from the PS4 and Xbox One.

Even the underwhelming-looking Nintendo Switch Online service is unlikely to derail Nintendo's momentum as it roars into 2019. While it's certainly worth criticizing its very slight list of premium features, it's hard to get too worked up about playing the Switch online. The Switch is by definition an offline system that thrives on traditional standbys like couch play. My own Switch gets most of its play on long flights. All of this makes the service and its accompanying subscription fairly easy to ignore.

The NES controllers being exclusive for Nintendo Switch Online members, though? Yeah, that's pretty lame. As usual you have to take the sweet with the sour when dealing with Nintendo.

The flipside to all that is just how many amazing games are on the Switch now, and how many more are on the way. While some of those games have a chance of slipping into 2020, there are plenty more surprises that have yet to be revealed. Who saw gems like Celeste coming back in 2017?

For Nintendo fans, this new golden age feels like sweet vindication after years of dealing with content gaps while supporting the Wii U, GameCube, N64, and even the Wii. Unless you were a DS fan (I was), you invariably had to wait for one or two amazing games per year. Now it's actually hard to keep up with all the great games coming to Switch.

Enjoy it, Nintendo fans. It's been a long time coming.

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Comments 18

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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #1 LBD_Nytetrayn 2 months ago
    I was really hoping they'd show something for SEGA Ages, though.
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  • Avatar for Wellman2nd #2 Wellman2nd 2 months ago
    I maybe alone but I don't like the NES controller I find the rectangle shape uncomfortable to hold and have felt such for years. So the NES controller and really the NES games aren't tempting in the slightest.

    I will get online because I actually do have more then a few online games and plan to pick up later that require it though.
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  • Avatar for ReptilianSamurai #3 ReptilianSamurai 2 months ago
    @Wellman2nd you are definitely not alone. The SNES controller was an improvement on all levels. Sure, the NES controller is "retro", but we've improved controller ergonomics so much since then!
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  • Avatar for Sidewaystranger #4 Sidewaystranger 2 months ago
    BRING ON SMT V AND A REMAKE OF TOKYO MIRAGE SESSIONS!
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  • Avatar for RushDawg #5 RushDawg 2 months ago
    Are Bayonetta 3 and Metroid Prime 4 confirmed for 2019?
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  • Avatar for Funny_Colour_Blue #6 Funny_Colour_Blue 2 months ago
    @Wellman2nd Yeah, you're definitely not alone. I still remember how sore my thumbs and fingers were after trying to get up to 6-3 in Ninja Gaiden.
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  • Avatar for ArugulaZ #7 ArugulaZ 2 months ago
    Frankly, I'm done "taking" anything from Nintendo in this generation. I got burned with the Wii U, got burned with Miiverse closing down, and I don't really want another bitter taste of whatever Nintendo's offering. Maybe I'll feel differently in a few years, but not now.
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  • Avatar for docexe #8 docexe 2 months ago
    @RushDawg No, not yet, but given standard development times, is when you would logically expect them to arrive. Granted, it’s entirely possible that any of them won’t be released until 2020. Hopefully we will see more of them next year.
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  • Avatar for MindesEndian #9 MindesEndian 2 months ago
    Poor Yoshi doesn't make the list :(Edited September 2018 by MindesEndian
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  • Avatar for SomeKindaWizard #10 SomeKindaWizard 2 months ago
    No Advance Wars, F-Zero, or Skies of Arcadia :(
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  • Avatar for mobichan #11 mobichan 2 months ago
    "For Nintendo fans, this new golden age feels like sweet vindication after years of dealing with content gaps while supporting the Wii U, GameCube, N64, and even the Wii."

    The "years" here are actually 2 decades. Good to know Nintendo finally figured out that the NES/SNES era was successful because 3rd parties filled in the gaps.
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  • Avatar for mattcom26 #12 mattcom26 2 months ago
    Add in some sales or price drops prior to Christmas 2019 and the Switch juggernaut will truly be unstoppable.
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  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #13 NiceGuyNeon 2 months ago
    The biggest indicator of the Switch's success to me on a personal level is that if I only had a Switch I would be completely satisfied with the variety of games available for me to play. I can't say the same for Wii U, Wii, or N64. I almost want to put GC on that list too, but it did have third party support so you could still play games like Prince of Persia and Soul Calibur on it, but by and large, the Switch is really successful in how I literally have no FOMO with it.

    2018 hasn't had a game on the level of Breath of the Wild or Mario Odyssey, but I think people will set themselves up for disappointment with expectations like that since both those games are universally acclaimed. Just seeing the wide variety of quality releases on the system is more than enough to keep me happy.Edited September 2018 by NiceGuyNeon
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  • Avatar for Jonnyboy407 #14 Jonnyboy407 2 months ago
    @NiceGuyNeon true. No massive adventure or platforming games this year. But, hey, there's Octopath, valkyria chronicles and mega Man. MEGA MAAAAAAN!

    Good year for RPGs.

    And did I mention there's a new mega Man?
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  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #15 NiceGuyNeon 2 months ago
    @Jonnyboy407 It's been a great year for smaller games too. Last year was historically great in my opinion, but this year has seen stuff that last year would have flown under the radar imo. Into the Breach is the best game I've played all year and it finally came to Switch, Dragon Quest XI is pretty stellar and is coming to Switch, Valkyria Chronicles and Octopath both look really fun, Hollow Knight got a second life on Switch, and we still get Smash and a Pokemon remake at the end of the year.
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  • Avatar for Tetragrammaton #16 Tetragrammaton 2 months ago
    @SomeKindaWizard SoA is a Sega franchise tho'.

    This was a Direct of Dreams imo. The Asmodee boardgsme pack looks REALLY interesting, especially since they have the LOTR LCG as part of it which implies that Pandemic could end up having the Legacy version of the game come about. The Capcom brawler pack missing Mystara hints at a standalone release for that in the vein of the PC and console versions from 2013. And of course Square is rereleasing Final Fantasy... this time on Nintendo systems.

    Just wow.
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  • Avatar for Jonnyboy407 #17 Jonnyboy407 2 months ago
    @NiceGuyNeon word. I really dug the messenger and I'm about to get into Hyper Light Drifter for the first time tonight. Let the good times roll
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  • Avatar for urbanman2004 #18 urbanman2004 2 months ago
    There was nothing in the Nintendo Direct that was actually noteworthy
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