In case you’ve spent the last few days living under a barrel of Donkey Kong, it’s finally happened. Nintendo has confirmed the upcoming release of Nintendo Switch Sportssuccessor to one of the best-selling video games of all time, Wii Sports, even if it was a bundled title.
As announced during the first Nintendo Direct event of the year, the Wii game is getting a full update in time for an April 2022 release. And while some people might have mixed feelings about companies remaking their most popular games, it’s hard to deny that news of a remake of Wii Sports were incredibly well received.
Finally, a worthy successor
From what we’ve seen so far from the long-awaited Nintendo Switch Sports, it should reintroduce updated versions of fan-favorite minigames like tennis and bowling. The latest version will add badminton, football, volleyball and chambara to the mix, while golf will also return later this year as part of a free update.
All sports will be available for online multiplayer, making them much more competitive than ever before. That’s almost exciting enough to forgive the fact that my personal favorites, boxing and baseball, are notably absent from the Switch version.
The original The Wii version was and still is one of the best-selling video games in history. As it stands, it’s safe to assume the Switch version should also sell well. Aside from the painfully obvious fact that the Switch is the company’s current flagship device, there are several reasons why I believe it’s the perfect console for a remake of the classic. Wii games.
The Switch outsold the Wii
First and foremost, Nintendo Switch Sports will be available to one of the largest player bases Nintendo has ever had, bar the various iterations of the Nintendo DS and Game Boy.
As Nintendo announced during its latest financial results, the Japanese video game company has sold 18.95 million Switch units so far this fiscal year. This means that, overall, Nintendo shipped 103.54 million units over the Switch’s lifecycle, surpassing sales the Wii for 2 million.
The company also expects to sell even more consoles in the coming years, supported by how often Nintendo execs point out that the Switch is just on the market. “midpoint of its life cycle”. And as it is unlikely that we will see a switch to model coming soon, releasing Nintendo Switch Sports now makes perfect sense when the console is already so widely available.
Joy-Cons are perfect for exercise games
Looking back, another big part of Wii Sports’ success can come down to how much people loved the Wii Remote. At the time, the iconic controllers were almost revolutionary, encouraging kids and parents to replace family nights out with more engaging activities.
Enter the Joy-Con controllers.
Since the release of the Nintendo Switch, its two wireless controllers have been a big selling point for the device. The versatility of the controllers allows the Switch to function as a hybrid device that can be played in handheld or docked mode, adding a certain level of convenience that other current-gen consoles cannot. The fact that you also have two controllers from the start means that multiplayer can be enjoyed without having to buy another accessory.
Joy-Cons are much more technologically advanced than the Wii Remote. Both have motion sensors that replace typical button inputs with motion, though the Joy-Con is significantly better at measuring this more accurately. Nintendo Ring Fit Adventure was a good example of how well the Joy-Con works with exercise-oriented games, and even used the much-underused IR sensor to measure your heart rate after a workout.
Incidentally, one of the accessories used in Ring Fit Adventure will also have a prominent role in Nintendo Switch Sports. Physical copies of the game will include a leg strap, which users will be able to use to attach a single Joy-Con to their thigh for a more interactive mini-football experience. This feature will not be available at launch – it is scheduled to arrive in a later update.
come out swinging
Of course, the hardware used in the Joy-Con isn’t perfect. Nintendo recently confirmed during a Q&A that Joy-Con drift – a well-known issue that causes the controller’s sticks to break with constant use – is more or less inevitable.
However, in Nintendo Switch Sports, you will generally use the motion sensing features of the Joy-Con controllers and swing them through the air, no matter how many times you do it, it won’t cause any wear and tear.
While the game is slated to release in April, Nintendo plans to conduct a technical test from February 18-20 to ensure its servers can accommodate a large user base. If you’re planning on participating, my advice would be to ensure your Joy-Con handles are securely attached to avoid breaking any TVs, something that was a very common occurrence when the Wii was originally released.