Outside of footage of upcoming titles from Nintendo, one of the highlights of the most recent Nintendo Direct on Wednesday may have been the announcement that Doom and Wolfenstein II are coming to the Nintendo Switch.
— Bethesda (@bethesda) September 13, 2017
One of the surprising announcements made during the Nintendo Direct presentation came with word Bethesda was working on porting Doom and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus for the Switch. Both FPS blueblood franchises coming to the Switch shows Nintendo is ready to prove once and for all it has a piece of hardware that will be geared for shooter fans, and it can offer more than just Splatoon 2 for fans of the genre.
Don’t get me wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Splatoon 2. I am enjoying the game far more than I anticipated I would, and it is clear it is Nintendo’s way to prove they can have some fun in the shooter genre. But it’s not an FPS title. Amazingly, the FPS genre is one Nintendo has struggled to keep a footing in despite the wild success of one of the all-time great FPS titles, Goldeneye, being a hit on the Nintendo 64. Hardware limitations compared to options from Sony and Microsoft (and PC) have made FPS titles less desired on Nintendo hardware by consumers, and the development process for Nintendo hardware has not been developer-friendly for companies looking to port titles to consoles. And of course, companies were not going to waste resources porting titles to the WiiU, a console that was a commercial failure.
The Switch is off to a very successful start with over 5 million units having already being sold within its first year on shelves (the WiiU sold just under 14 million units from 2012 through this year), and third-party developers are more than willing to give the console a clean slate. Nintendo has suggested the Switch is easier to develop for compared to past hardware options, and it is encouraging to see companies willing to give the Switch a try with that in mind. And experimenting with the Switch hardware by porting over titles that have been available in some other form is a wise strategy from a business standpoint, which I have explained before. Even Nintendo has ported over an older title, Mario Kart 8, and third-party partners are also using this method to get their feet wet with the hardware.
In addition to ports of Doom and Wolfenstein II for the Switch, Bethesda had already committed to porting over The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which will be coming to the Switch on November 17.
Now, Nintendo is right on track with their plan to woo the FPS fans, a consumer base it can thrive with due to the ability to take the Switch wherever you go. If Doom and Wolfenstein II ports are seen as a success, even if by a mild margin, the door will be open to make the Switch a destination for FPS titles alongside the titles hitting PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One moving forward. That should be the goal at least, even if Sony and Microsoft and PC will have higher-end hardware that will retain the core FPS consumer. Nintendo, in all likelihood, will never dethrone any of those for the top FPS titles, but Nintendo can thrive in the genre after years of being an afterthought.
If Doom and Wolfenstein II were not enough to suggest Nintendo is going all in on the shooter genre, then continued support for Splatoon and the upcoming release of Morphie’s Law suggest Nintendo can be a place to enjoy shooting action for gamers of all kinds. Does this open the door for the Switch to bring over other popular FPS franchises? It could. Don’t start holding your breath for Overwatch on the Switch just yet, but if Bethesda feels it is worth developing for the Switch, they could help the Switch become a fun destination for FPS fans as they and other FPS developers get on board.
The future of the Nintendo Switch continues to be as promising for a Nintendo home console as we have seen in quite some time, perhaps since the Super Nintendo.
Doom for the Nintendo Switch is scheduled for a Holiday 2017 release. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is scheduled to be released on the Nintendo Switch in 2018. Exact release dates are not known at this time. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Nintendo Switch will be released on the Nintendo Switch on November 17. Morphie’s Law is scheduled to be released on the Nintendo Switch this winter. Splatoon 2 – Nintendo Switch is available now. Amazon affiliate links are included in this post.