What makes the Nintendo Switch more valuable or attractive than mobile gaming?

Better games thanks to being able to reliably spend more and being nagged less for it, and a standard precise input mechanism that leads to different games.

Why are the games on Switch better? Simple. Money and payment method. Breath of the Wild released at $60 and Nintendo knew when they put it out that it was likely it would sell 5 million copies (in reality it’s sold a lot more than that – and Nintendo doesn’t do deep discounts). So Nintendo were able to put in an amount of resources worthy of a game likely to raise $300 million in revenue because it was a safe bet that it would raise that much money if not more.

Meanwhile there have been only approximately 60 mobile games that made $300 million in revenue when all was said and done – and almost no one spends more than $10 up front on a mobile game. This means two things. First that there are very few games that can be made with the expectation of raising $300 million in revenue. It’s a risky bet not a relatively safe one (Genshin Impact is one of the very few exceptions that’s not a licensed property) so you need to build with relatively low budgets and comparatively limited experiences.

The second is that to raise that much money from a low budget you need in-app purchases and this actively disrupts gameplay. I’d rather pay $60 for a game that didn’t nag me than $5 ten different times because my game nagged me to keep feeding it; even if I’ve “saved” $10 I’ve been irritated when I want to relax. Also I know I’m probably having a worse experience than people that have been feeding their games more and I’ve probably had the game made worse so it can keep whining at me for more money.

The input mechanism for the Switch is a gamepad (most of the time). I know you can use a gamepad with a phone but the number of people who do is minimal so it’s barely worth porting gamepad games for mobile. There are advantages to both touchscreens and gamepads (the Switch can do both) – but gamepads can be more precise in directions and timing. So if that’s what you value the Switch provides a better experience.

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