Nintendo Switch finally leans into its niche at E3 2018: multiplayer anyhow, anywhere

Super Mario Party

Nintendo may have spent an inordinate amount of time detailing the upcoming Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Switch console during its E3 2018 presentation, but if you read between the lines, today Nintendo Switch became the ultimate multiplayer console at long last.

Nearly every game that Nintendo showed off during its keynote either featured or focused on multiplayer, some of which even included playing on multiple consoles at once, like Super Mario Party. This new version of the game was shown allowing players to link up multiple Switch tablets to create custom game environments for a tank combat mini game.

However, Nintendo also looked outward to better fulfill this niche in 2018, with online shooter craze Fortnite hitting the console on the same day of its announcement – for free. Not to mention the indie arcade multiplayer battle craze you’ve never heard of, Killer Queen Black, is hitting consoles for the first time on Nintendo Switch.

All three of these games are mega popular and put a laser focus on playing with friends, whether that’s in your house, out with friends or online.

Pokemon Let's Go

The core conceit cometh

After all, was this not how Nintendo pitched the console back in 2016 when it was first revealed? You honestly wouldn’t know it looking at the first year of the Switch’s life.

Sure, games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2 and Arms carried the multiplayer torch then – but, save for Mario Kart, the masses weren’t exactly flocking to those games. It’s the mainstream appeal that will drive Switch owners to whip out their console at the next party.

Of course, no game is better poised to make that happen than Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which simply screams this concept from top to bottom. Rest assured that this game will allow for multiplayer throwdowns no matter if your friends are in the same room or miles away.

Even the Pokemon Let’s Go games are focused on bringing friends together to play the game side by side. Every aspect of Pokemon is now compatible with local multiplayer – not just battles and trading.

It’s about time for Nintendo to truly lean into the core conceit of the console that it can’t seem to keep on the shelves. And, this laser focus on what makes the Nintendo Switch so compelling is bound to only drive more sales.

Frankly, between Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Pokemon Let’s Go and Super Mario Party, I’m going to be bringing my Switch around a whole lot more than I have this past year to share with friends and family. It’s all the more exciting to know that I definitely won’t be alone.

  • E3 is the world's largest exhibition for the games industry, stuffed full of the latest and greatest games and gaming hardware. TechRadar will be reporting live from Los Angeles all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated E3 2018 hub to see all the latest news from the show. 
Joe Osborne

Joe Osborne is the Senior Technology Editor at Insider Inc. His role is to leads the technology coverage team for the Business Insider Shopping team, facilitating expert reviews, comprehensive buying guides, snap deals news and more. Previously, Joe was TechRadar's US computing editor, leading reviews of everything from gaming PCs to internal components and accessories. In his spare time, Joe is a renowned Dungeons and Dragons dungeon master – and arguably the nicest man in tech.