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A somewhat common sentiment with Nintendo fans is that Nintendo Switch marks the return of a "core-oriented" Nintendo. One that makes games for hardcore mature gamers like myself almost exclusively, finally abandoning those filthy casuals and banishing them to Smartphones /s.

Obvious sarcasm of course, but the narrative does pop up at times. Honestly however, I feel this statement has always been sort of BS, because the Switch isn't anymore hardcore than Nintendo's past console's. Hell Nintendo really never was "Hardcore" at all. While yes, It's true the Switch's concept and premise is one that can resonate well with core gamers, they aren't and never really were the primary focus. Like most Nintendo products, Switch is aimed at a wide audience from seasoned gamers, to people who never really even touched a console. Just look at the hardware. It's a 6 in. tablet that has a multi-touchscreen, and uses two candy-colored detachable motion controllers you can share with a friend for multiplayer, either horizontally or like a remote ala the Wiimote. That sentence practically screams casual friendly.

Look at some of the games Nintendo put out for it

  • 1-2 Switch - a silly motion controlled party game that requires the 2 players to look away from the screen and instead at each-other. Sold over 2.5 million copies

  • Nintendo Labo - a series of cardboard construction toys for children, that have the Joy-Con and Switch placed in various props for interactive software, and a garage mode that lets kids make anything they want. Sold 1.39 million Kits in 3 months

  • Super Mario Party - a reboot of an already casual oriented series that has no handheld or Pro Controller support, and requires the use of a single Joy-Con only thanks to a good number of motion-oriented modes and games. Sold 1.5 million thus far

  • Pokemon Let's Go! - a simplified, motion-focused version of a decade old RPG series that serves as an entry point to newcomers by borrowing a lot from Pokemon Go!. Sold 3 million in just a few weeks

So it's not too dissimilar to the types of games Nintendo has put out for the past decade or so. Yes, there's a lot of core friendly software like Octopath, Smash Bros., and Zelda, and you might make the argument that the titles listed aren't 20 million selling mega hits like Wii Sports or Wii Play. But there is still a large audience for these games on Switch.

Point is, Switch is not the return of some hardcore gamer oriented Nintendo because it never existed. Even Nintendo themselves doesn't think it is, as their PR for the system lately has been almost entirely about attracting people don't play a lot of games. Everything about the Switch from hardware to software, is designed to appeal to a wide range of consumers. The difference here, is that Nintendo actually has reliable third party support for once, and has done a more consistent job of balancing for the two audiences.

So Switch is as casual friendly as any other Nintendo console. So while you'll still get your Metroid and Fire Emblem, expect more Labo-like wackiness from Nintendo in the future.