Switch Sports proves that Nintendo’s extreme patience pays off

Polygon Patch notes is a weekly newsletter that tells you about the best things to watch, play and read. Let our group of editorial experts simplify your plans – subscribe here!

In the mid-2000s, Wii Sports was the biggest game on the planet. If Activision, EA or Ubisoft had released the mini-game collection, we would have a dozen sequels and a reboot at this point – maybe even an animated show on Nickelodeon. For better or worse, Wii Sports is a Nintendo franchise, so instead we got a sequel, a remake, and a decade of radio silence.

As a fan of the title, I was disappointed every time Nintendo held a press conference or Nintendo Direct without mentioning motion-controlled bowling. But as an editor who has been covering this beat since the days of the Wii, I understood the business logic of it all. Nintendo has so many beloved studios that they could cannibalize each other if each series got the sequels fans felt they deserved.

So I waited. And I waited. And I waited.

When the publisher announced Nintendo Switch Sports last year I had almost lost hope. I had assumed that if Nintendo were to take advantage of the Wii Sports formula, it would have produced yet another package for the Switch. I was wrong in every way.

As the sales figures (and empty shelves at my local Target) show, Nintendo did not need a packing game to sell the Switch. And where Wii Sports helped sell the Nintendo Wiis, the Switch’s success has the potential to do Nintendo Switch Sports a colossal hit. Just this year, the Switch Wii’s total sales passed and came past 100 million units sold. Which is to say, the potential audience for Nintendo Switch Sports is gigantic. And should Nintendo Switch Sports makes the classic Nintendo game, and gathers huge sales figures over several years, then the game will keep the Switch relevant as it enters the golden years of its hardware life cycle.

Once again, Nintendo has proven that patience is a virtue. We saw a similar situation last year with Metroid Dreada project that had jumped in and out of development since 2005. Whether the publisher is waiting for the right time to revive a series, or holding a project in development hell, the end results are the same: a lasting quality that its peers have not matched (and probably never will).

Until recently, the quote “a delayed game is ultimately good, but a hasty game is forever bad” was incorrectly attributed to Nintendo icon and Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto. However, it is much more likely that the quote was just a common phrase in the gaming industry, the kind of aphorism that helps creatives push the accounting team back an extra month or two. I prefer the idea that Miyamoto did not invent the phrase because it would mean that all major publishers in the gaming industry know that this mantra is true. Only Nintendo has consistently lived up to that.

This week on YouTube | Why has the latest harvest of science fiction video games sounded so … rustic? Do they have more in common than just a country-fried soundtrack? Clayton Ashley explores in this Polygon classic!

Five stories to read

Qui-Gon Jinn and Darth Maul are fighting in Lego form

Photo: TT Games / WB Games / Disney / Lucasfilm Games

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is best when it differs from the movies | “Do I need another Death Star tomb?” this really pod racing? I know Gungans’ side of the fight against the droid army is important, but is it a fun level to play? The answer to all these questions is no, and Lego Star Wars is best when it meaningfully deviates from the cinematic source material. ”

The MCU is not built for a show like Moon Knight | Marvel’s house style limits the emotion and drama and holds back what should be a daring story for Oscar Isaac.

Trade union continues to gain ground in game studios | This week, BioWare QA staff took steps to organize themselves, potentially organizing contractors on the Dragon Age and Mass Effect teams. And Activision QA employees at Raven Software won an NLRB ruling that paved the way for a union vote in April.

Rogue Legacy 2’s Easter egg is a generous nod to an overlooked gem | “FMF Fan” gives players free gold. But what does that mean?

Netflix’s controversial Eurotrash sex franchise gets soft for 365 days: this day | Is this the first movie with “sex golf”?

Five things to see

Hibiki and Uta face each other in a dense field of blue and purple bubbles in the anime movie Bubble

Image: Netflix

Bubble on Netflix | One day you wake up and there’s a post-apocalyptic sci-fi parkour riff on The little Mermaid from a director of Attack on Titan waiting to be seen.

10 latest Nicolas Cage movies you should watch | The star of Massive unbearable weight Talent has been putting together one of the most bizarre and entertaining filmographies of the past decade.

Undo on Amazon Prime | Season 2 of this amazing animated show asks: Is time travel the best therapy of all?

Barry on HBO Max | The HBO comedy is back to make you laugh – but not too loudly.

The 13 Batman movies, ranked | We apologize in advance for the location of Batman and Robin, an underrated disaster piece of flashy commercialism. Signed, management.

Plus everything new for streaming: The Godfather trilogy returns! And 12 great movies are leaving streaming at the end of April.

Three games to play

a scientist in sephonie jumps to another platform.  they run around in a rocky area by the sea.

Image: Analgesic Productions

Sephonie | This 3D platformer game is inspired by Tony Hawks Pro Skater, Spyro the Dragon … and Tetris! Available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows PC, Linux and Mac OS.

The Iron eden | Polygon recommends | A mix of Darkest Dungeon, XCOM and Divinity: Original Sin, this could be the next great turn-based tactics game. Available on Windows PC.

Warframe | Many years into the life of the shooter, its new updates remain consistently bizarre, funny, and compelling. Available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Windows PC.

Free games of the week

A screenshot from The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall with the player swinging a gold sword against a sword-wielding skeleton.

Image: Bethesda Softworks

The Elder Scrolls 1 & 2 | Bethesda shuts down the Bethesda.net Launcher and moves its catalog to Steam. To mark the occasion, the publisher has made the first two contributions in the Elder Scrolls series free. Now you can play the classic games that cleared tracks for Morrowind and Skyrim without having to wonder if it is a good use of your cash when you could just buy Skyrim for the fifteenth time. Available on Steam for Windows PC.

The best of the rest

Batman, a green anthropomorphic allosaurus in a Batman costume, skips the prehistoric plains of the Jurassic League.

Photo: Daniel Warren Johnson, Juan Gedon / DC Comics