Can I see some of these impressive 3rd party figures? I'm not doubting it, I just have yet to see any that I can recall.
1. Nintendo handhelds were always popular even when their normal consoles were losing steam. Now there's only the Switch and it's a hybrid so potentially both of Nintendo's types of gamers are united.
2. The hook with the Switch isn't really a "gimmick." I say that as someone who liked the Wii and what 3rd party games I got on it, all things considered.
3. Thus far, the Switch has had more 1st party releases in this relatively short length of time than their other systems. True there have been several re-releases of Wii U games but most people skipped that console entirely so it's basically like a new game to them. This is drawing in enough people who want Odyssey, Mario Kart, Zelda etc, who then go "Well I beat Zelda, what else do they have on this system?" Whether it's buying a brand new console or splurging for better graphics cards/components, gamers are always subconsciously looking for reasons to validate their expenditures in this hobby, especially if it's early adopters we're talking about, which everyone who has bought a Switch thus far is. It will be interesting to see if the 3rd party sales improve or evaporate over time as more ports, exclusives, indie gems etc come out, and, eventually, once Nintendo's competitors debut their new consoles.
4. Playstation 4 sales have slowed since the Switch's release and the Xbox One sales are virtually non existent . Yes plenty of this is as a reaction to the Switch but Nintendo (intentionally?) timed their release right around the point where both consoles were hitting the latter half of their lifecycle.
5. In the gaming sphere, what do you hear people talking about in mass? Like consistently, by many different types of individuals/groups and on a mostly regular basis? Your answers are probably either Fortnite, the latest gaming controversy (think loot boxes), or the Switch. Since it's release, I have heard about it constantly. It feels like every couple months, someone I know bought the system until eventually I caved and did the same recently. Like Fortnite, it is the fad that just does not seem to be going away anytime soon. And if new high quality exclusives and worthwhile 3rd party games keep coming, I doubt that will change till Sony and Microsoft start dropping their next gen reveals. Even then, there's no guarantee that will entirely eclipse the positive Switch coverage and public perception for good.
6. I believe part of the reason the Switch became a hit is because several of the last Nintendo consoles weren't a hit for many. Few purchased the Wii U. Many abandoned their Wii to collect dust halfway through it's life cycle, some sooner. And a lot of people passed on the Gamecube for the best selling console of all time. That means that for many, the Switch is their first Nintendo console in about, up to, or even over an entire decade. Many, if not all of, Nintendo's titles bank on nostalgia so it's only fitting the system itself would be attempting to do the same.
7. There's also a healthy variety to the types of games available on the Switch. Almost everything conceivable is being ported to it, and the only genres that come to mind with no real presence are MMOs (which are more common on PC), online multiplayer games like the ones you see on Playstation 4 and Xbox One (Fortnite and Paladins are the only exceptions that come to mind. And I guess Splatoon 2), or heavy processing power or graphically impressive games (I.E. Fallout 4 or Final Fantasy XV). Point being, no matter what type of games you fancy, there's probably something you would enjoy on the Switch, and it might just be ONLY on the Switch. Meanwhile everything Microsoft makes releases on Windows and Sony--actually Sony exclusives usually stay on only the PS4 so nevermind.