Nintendo Switch has been on the market for a full 18 months by now. The launch hype is gone and the dust has settled, so this is a good time to recap the console's achievements or lack thereof. While the general consensus is that Switch is selling well and successful, such a conclusion doesn't hold up under scrutiny. It's not all sunshine and rainbows in Nintendo land and we have to be honest about it.
Exhibit A - Switch is the successor to both the Wii U and 3DS, and it's selling slower than its predecessors
The latest hardware sales update on VGChartz puts Switch's LTD total at 20.1m units by September 1st 2018. That's pretty much exactly 18 months after its launch on March 3rd 2017. Through their respective first 18 months on the market, Wii U and 3DS combine for approximately 24.8m units, so almost 5m more than Switch, according to VGChartz.
Exhibit B - Nintendo continues to make smartphone games and their new CEO Furukawa wants to grow that business
If Switch were truly successful, Nintendo would put their focus on their core business again. However, there's growing determination to shift away from it.
Exhibit C - Nintendo's stock price has dropped by approximately 25% since March 2018
Investors have been losing confidence in Nintendo for a while now. Switch is on a downward trajectory.
Exhibit D - The 3DS was a better portable than Switch is
Switch's battery life barely scraps past the 3 hours mark if we are generous. The original 3DS's battery life was 5 hours.
Exhibit E - The Wii U had better third party support than Switch
Wii U had Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, Darksiders, Need for Speed, Madden, Tekken, Mass Effect, just to name a few. Switch has none of those and it doesn't look like that will change anytime soon, if ever.
Exhibit G - The best Switch games are Nintendo games
This irrefutable fact doesn't point towards a healthy software ecosystem. Quite the opposite, actually. It highlights that third parties aren't willing to invest in the platform.
Exhibit H - Online multiplayer has been put behind a paywall on Switch
The history of paid online multiplayer on consoles is a history of console manufacturers who struggled to make profit via honest business. Whether you take Sega, Microsoft or Sony, it's always the same story.
Nintendo Switch isn't the success that it is believed to be by Nintendo zealots. To be fair, the console isn't an outright failure. But overall Switch's performance in the marketplace has been rather middling and no amount of Mario games is going to change that.