I keep hearing statistics about how many Switch owners also owned a PS4 or an Xbox One. And, how many Wii owners also owned a Xbox 360 or a PS3. But, is this really unusual? Should a "gamer" only have 1 console? Anyone who does is guaranteed to miss out on some kind of content. But, that's not the narrative going around. Instead, it's that Nintendo isn't good enough to be a primary gaming system, so it has to be secondary to whatever else Sony or Microsoft have on offer. However, the PS4 and Xbox One were out for over 3 years before the Nintendo Switch. Of course someone buying a Switch is likely to already have had 1 of those consoles. Nintendo has already sold over 32 million Switches in less than 2 years, so this goes well beyond the 15m-22m who some people have suggested are "Nintendo's core" (sales Nintendo can rely on in any given gen no matter what their console is). So, naturally there is going to be overlap with gamers owning other systems.
What I really don't understand is why there is a need for this to be twisted into "Nintendo Switch is the secondary console for whoever purchases it". For me specifically, it doesn't match up at all. In 2012 I purchased a Wii U. In 2014, I purchased an Xbox One. By chronological order, the Xbox One would be viewed as my "secondary console". But if you really want to twist things, I must not have been happy with my Wii U to have gone out and purchases another system 2 years later. However, if you go by time spent gaming on the 2 systems, I was using them both pretty evenly. For all the flack that the Wii U go, I enjoyed the hell out of mine and loved the Gamepad. From it's immersive uses in Lego City Undercover where characters not on screen would appear on the Gamepad as "Video calls", to being able to literally draw my own "Hot Routes" and "Blitz Packages" in Madden 13; these were unique experiences I couldn't get anywhere else. When "Shadow of Mordor" and "Dragon Age: Inquisition" came out though, I had an itch to play those games. So, I did go out and get an Xbox One. But, that didn't make the Wii U my secondary console. I divided my time between the different games on the 2 systems pretty evenly to be honest.
Fast forward to March 2017 when I got my Nintendo Switch on launch day. The system is so versatile due to its portability, that I can now play a game from start to finish before getting side-tracked and moving onto another game. As I've gotten older, my attention span and time for games has shortened. So even though I've played a bunch of Xbox One games, and sunk significant time into a bunch of them, I've only actually completed "Ryse", "Lords of the Fallen", and the "Wolf Among Us", "Game of Thrones", "Batman", "Guardians of the Galaxy", and "Batman: The Enemy Within" TellTale Games. Wii U wasn't much different for me, completing "New Super Mario Bros U", "Super Mario 3D World", "NES Remix", "NES Remix 2", "Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker", and "Madden 13". Now compare that to my Nintendo Switch games completion list: "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild", "Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star", "Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon", "Shovel Night: Treasure Trove (Shovel of Hope, Plague of Shadows, and Specter of Torment)", "Super Mario Odyssey", "Fire Emblem Warriors", "The Fallen Legion", "The Lost Child", "NBA 2K18", "I Am Setsuna", "Valkyria Chronicles", "Tiny Metal", "Puyo Puyo Tetris", "Golf Story", and "Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas". That exceeds my completion rate of Wii U and Xbox One combined now that I continue a game even when I'm not at home. So, yes, I am one of those people who owns both an Xbox One and a Nintendo Switch. But, no, the Switch is not my secondary console. (Not to say that I am done with my Xbox One. I just recently started Star Wars Battlefront II, The Council, and Pillars of the Earth. And, I have yet to get Red Dead Redemption 2 and now Kingdom Hearts III.)
Different systems will always have different games. So, no matter which one you own, you are missing out on some kind of content somewhere. If you own a PS4 and not an Xbox One, then you aren't playing Gears of War, Halo, Forza, etc. If you own an Xbox One and not a PS4, then you aren't playing Uncharted, God of War, Spiderman, etc. That 50% of Switch owners already owned a PS4, or 40% already owned a Xbox One doesn't prove a narrative that the Switch is a "secondary" or "complimentary" console unless you want to completely take it out of a gaming context.
Here are the consoles I have owned by console generation:
ColecoVision Expansion Module 1 (this was a peripheral that was basically an Atari 2600 you could attach to your ColecoVision. So, I include it here, because it gave my family access to a whole other system’s video game library)
Nintendo Entertainment System
Sega CD (a peripheral with its own library of games)
I listed the systems in chronological order of purchase to the best of my recollection. So, I owned more than 1 system in every console generation. In some cases, I owned every major system at the time. And I played the games of the varied libraries of each console significantly each generation. (The only 1 I dumped out of quickly was the 7800, because of how much the NES absolutely blew it away.) So, is this abnormal to spend significant amount of time divided between more than 1 console in a given gen? I see so many people on this site say things like “I bought System X and it just sits there collecting dust”. That never made sense to me. There are always different games on every system. In the 6th gen, I would space out my multiplat purchases among the different systems to get the most use out of all 3. If you purchase a system and end up using it as an expensive paperweight, you really have no one to fault besides your own gaming purchase habits. Another thing I find funny is when people complain about third party games not coming to Switch. But the ones that do, I always hear the same people say “I don’t know why anyone would buy that on Switch when they can play it on PS4 which is soooo much better.” If that’s the case, why do you care whether it comes to Switch or not, when you have no intention of buying it for that system regardless?
Anyway, my point is that I have always bought multiple systems per generation. And, I always managed to get the most out of them more often than not. So, I was just curious if that holds true for many others. Do you stick to 1 main console? Do you buy a second console but only use it on occasion for 1st party titles with no overlap between the two?