Following its release over a year ago, the Switch has not only become a great platform that third parties are jumping on but is also attracting more indies than ever. While Nintendo introduced a good amount of indies into their library starting with the DS and Wii, it really began to pick up during the 3DS and Wii U era by introducing Nindies. Most recently Nintendo has put a lot of focus and highlight on indies both old and new making their way to their systems and of course most recently Switch. With their new lineup of Nindies constantly releasing on Switch, Nintendo is going strong with a variety of titles for players to experience for the first time or simply pick up their previously released favorites once more.
Those who have dived into the Switch’s library will know that it’s overflowing with a variety of indies both old and new. This may go overlooked by many who only look to Nintendo for their first-party titles, but the indie inclusion on Switch has proven to create a big boost in interest and sales. A recent look at Shovel Knight’s overall sales revealed that a little over 17 percent of those game purchases were from Switch, beaten by PC and Nintendo’s own 3DS. While not an indie, it was also recently revealed that Disgaea 5 saw more sales on Switch than on PS4 which released two years prior proving just how well the Switch can do with any style of game given the opportunity. Having made not only a strong impression on large third-party titles but many indies, it’s no wonder that many have begun flocking towards the Switch as they realize the player base is actively interested in these titles regardless of their age.
The Switch would not be where it is today if not for its portability; plain and simple that’s what makes it stand out so much. Nintendo knows handhelds best and the ability to have all these games on the go is what makes it work especially when it comes to indies. Although it’s a little more niche for some indie titles, the Switch’s handheld mode makes for a huge amount of opportunity for current and upcoming ideas for indie developers. Not only does it offer an alternative way to play, but a great way to incorporate local multiplayer functionality and touch controls. We’ve seen more games recently taking advantage of playing the Switch in handheld mode while vertical, which could come into play with some unique indie titles. It’s possible that the versatile aspect of the Switch may cause the system to become the leading system overall when it comes to indies.
Perhaps one thing readily helping indies on Switch is the small amount of download space it offers. While that might sound odd, most of these indie games aren’t as large and make it easy to fit a large amount of $5-$15 indies to fill up the Switch. Take into account the new My Nintendo system, which allows players to spend their gold coins on purchases and players could easily pick up indies for low prices or free after buying just a couple of first party games. Nintendo wants players to dive into their indie library and explore what they have to offer and it’s why their Nindie showcases are such a wonderful introduction to titles many players might not have even heard of.
Nintendo has made a splash with their recent love of indies and it’s showing in the sheer variety readily available to players now on their latest console. With many indie titles now matching or even going above their PC sales on Switch, Nintendo has lined themselves up as the greatest indie console platform for players. Those who don’t look at Nintendo’s variety of indies are truly missing out on a huge library that will only get better. While people have recently seen Nintendo as merely a first-party title based series of consoles, there is much more potential than ever for this indie expansion to grow and thrive along side the Switch for as long as it may last and perhaps even make itself the superior platforms for all indies to come.