Nintendo Leans on Fan Favorites and Fortnite

Nintendo called in fan favorites, including Mario and Smash Bros., at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. Super Mario Party will be heading to the Nintendo Switch this October, joined by Fire Emblem: Three Houses and the giant robot combat game Daemon x Machina. However, it was Fortnite, the battle royale game that has become a worldwide phenomenon, that arguably stole Nintendo’s E3 Direct show, with the announcement that a Switch version of the free-to-play game had become available for download via the eShop.
Sharing center stage was Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which will arrive in December. It will feature just about every character who ever appeared in the popular series, with more than 60 fighters available for play. In addition to signature characters Mario, Link and Donkey Kong, it will feature Pichu, Diddy Kong and many others. For fans of the series, this promises to live up to the “ultimate” moniker. With the arrival of the Switch last year, Nintendo arguably turned a corner and has righted its course with gamers. Its presence at E3 this week serves to highlight that fact, but its comeback is far from complete.
Switch sales to consumers in 2018 are expected to reach 17 million, based on IHS Markit’s latest forecast. Last year was a very strong year for first-party Nintendo content, and to replicate that in 2018 could be a challenge. Fortnite could be the game that draws those on the fence to the Switch. Leading up to E3, there was a lot of speculation as to whether the hugely popular multiplatform battle royale gaming experience actually would make its way to the Switch.
In recent years, the battle for hardcore gamers has been fought between Microsoft and Sony for the most part, but the Switch was a surprise hit that connected with the masses. It didn’t replicate the success of the original Wii, however.

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