That's not even remotely true.
In fact, the only home console the Switch doesn't effectively replicate is the Wii U. While all core features of the Wii and previous consoles make a return (Gamecube weird button shapes and springy L&R don't really count, as they're more bells and whistles with not much functional implication), not one of the three core features introduced with the Wii U makes a return. The first, a screenbased Gamepad to control a game on another screen - that's gone. Also gone is asymmetrical gameplay. And while offscreen play may superficially resemble what the Switch does with handheld mode, it's something different - the Switch DOESN'T actually use a tethered experience; instead, it transforms into a handheld which can be taken on the go... handheld play is something Nintendo has done for 30 years.
On the home console side, the primary inspiration from the Switch comes from what was introduced with the Wii. Its core controller, the joycon, is multifaceted remote complete with advanced motion interface and HD rumble, a clear successor to the Wiimotion controllers. Even from a stylistic standpoint, the Switch brings back the simple and intuitive OS as well as the sleek appearance of the Wii rather than the Wii U rounded bulk. The joycons can also be integrated with other hardaware like the Ring Fit ring and the Labo cardboard. It does drop the speaker/mic on the controller, but again, like the Gamecube button stuff, this is more of a bell/whistle rather than a core feature.
On the handheld side, it takes everything from the GB line, and while it drops the second screen from the DS line, that has more to do with it becoming functionally obsolete than dropping its capabilities; the DS screen was functionally a divided single screen with designated functionality on each side, not required today due to the Switch's larger screen size (having a separate screen would be more of a cosmetic difference. The Wii U's second screen differs by having it disassociated from the TV.
On a side note, Streetpass, spotpass, and 3D do not make a return from the 3DS, and these are the new features 3DS introduced, so there's nothing significant that the 3DS adds that wasn't already there with the DS. The funny thing is that the Eshop on Switch more resembles an upgraded WiiShop channel than the Wii U or 3DS EShops.
The Switch combines both handheld and home console experiences into one. While Nintendo had experimented with hybridization since the Super Game Boy in 1994, the Switch is the first console to execute it smoothly.
What doesn't make their way into the Switch design is the aforementioned Wii U and 3DS core features. This is why I call the Switch more of a successor to the Wii and DS than the 3DS and Wii U.
The Switch is best described as a completely new platform that functions as an updated Wii in one mode, an updated handheld in the other mode, and NOT a successor to the Wii U in either mode.
Not only did the Switch not need the the Wii U to exist, Nintendo themselves says the Switch isn't a successor to the Wii U.
For marketing reasons of course they don't want the Switch to be referred to as the Wii U successor because the Wii/Wii U brand became toxic.
But in other interviews, I believe Nintendo designers have just said straight up without the Wii U from a design perspective there would not be a Switch.
Even during the design of the Wii U, I believe Iwata said they wanted to put the hardware directly into the Game Pad (which would've made it essentially a Switch), but at that time (circa 2012) it was impossible to accomplish. The Wii U and Switch having the exact same screen size down to the millimeter also suggests probably NX/Switch prototypes started off originally in Wii U Game Pad casing.
Beyond there's no fucking way the Switch has anywhere near as strong of a year 1 without having Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8, and Splatoon 2 (a "new" game but many assets and even many stages full on taken from the Wii U game) in the first several months of release. Cannibalizing the Wii U software really helped the Switch get off to a strong start and it continues to help the Switch even to this day as they continue to plug droughts by porting more and more Wii U software (Pikmin 3 and probably Mario 3D World coming). If you remove BOTW + MK8 + Splatoon 2 + many other Wii U titles from the Switch, the sales are likely no where near as impressive.
If you remove the Wii U ports (BOTW, Mario Kart 8, NSMBU) or games moderately retooled from the Wii U (ie: Splatoon 2, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, etc.), honestly the Switch probably would be in a bit of trouble.
People need to stop equating market success with a system being "good" or "bad".Last edited by Soundwave - on 08 August 2020