The inclusion of NBA 2K18 in the initial trailer for the Nintendo Switch had sports gamers around the world singing for joy. At long last, after being mostly abandoned during the Wii and Wii U eras, were real sports games finally coming back to Nintendo consoles? At the time, it sure looked like it.
As we draw nearer to the Switch’s launch date, however, it’s becoming clear that the Switch is not the must-buy that we hoped it would be. However, it’s also not a console that sports gamers can dismiss out of hand, which is certainly an improvement from the last few console generations. In the end, it comes down to the specific sports that gamers prefet to play, as support for each sport varies widely.
Here at Kyle’s Korner, we’ve broken down the support for major sports on the Switch, and tried to determine what sorts of sports fans should be all-in on the Switch. Let’s get started!
If you’re a basketball fan…
Game You Want: NBA 2K18
Analysis: Let’s start with the easy one first. Not only is NBA 2K18 already confirmed for the Switch, but Take-Two has already declared that they’re planning on supporting the system in the future. While long-term support will likely be predicated on the Switch’s early sales/success, the short-term outlook is pretty bright for B-ball junkies.
Should You Buy A Switch? Yes.
If you’re a soccer fan…
Game You Want: FIFA 18
Analysis: EA has confirmed that FIFA 18 is coming to the Nintendo Switch, and it will (supposedly) not be a watered-down version of the PS4/Xbox versions, although it will be custom-built for this console. EA appears to be using the FIFA franchise to test the waters before making a full commitment to the Switch, but at the moment, they at least seem interested in exploring the option.
Should You Buy A Switch? Yes. Not only do you get FIFA 18, but every copy that game sells is a vote of confidence for EA to maintain Switch support for FIFA 19 and beyond.
If you’re a baseball fan…
Game You Want: MLB The Show 17
Analysis: This is another easy one: The Show is a Sony property and a PS4 exclusive, and not even R.B.I. Baseball looks to be coming to the Switch. Unlike you like Mario baseball titles, the Switch is not the console you want.
Should You Buy A Switch? No.
If you’re a winter sports fan…
Game You Want: Actually, there doesn’t seem to be a definitive winter sports title…unless you count the Mario & Sonic Olympic games.
Analysis: Ubisoft is bringing its Steep franchise to the Switch, but it’s also already available on other consoles. Unless you think 1080 Snowboarding is making a comeback, this probably shouldn’t factor into your console choice.
Should You Buy A Switch? N/A.
If you’re a hockey fan…
Game You Want: NHL 18
Analysis: Unfortunately, there appear to be “no plans” to bring either NHL 18 (or even NHL 19!) to the Switch. Plans can change, of course, but for now you’re better off sticking to ‘safer’ console choices.
Should You Buy A Switch? No.
If you’re a football fan…
Game You Want: Madden 18
Analysis: While it doesn’t look like Madden 18 will be appearing on the Switch, don’t write off Nintendo just yet. Madden is THE preeminent sports franchise (in the US, at least), and if both the Switch and FIFA 18 sell well in the console’s first year, Madden is likely the next in line for porting due to its sizeable fanbase.
Should You Buy A Switch? Not yet. Take a wait-and-see approach and keep an eye on FIFA 18 sales, because the idea of playing Madden anywhere without having to carry around a bulky laptop is exciting.
Overall, the Switch isn’t quite the return to Nintendo sports gaming that some of us had hoped, but that’s only a short-term prognosis. If the console takes off like a rocket in its early years, gaming companies will be clamoring for a piece of the action, and lovers of every sport will reap the benefits.