How does Nintendo Switch launch library compare?

Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch event on Friday provided some much-needed details surrounding the new console, offering release information (including SA) and much more.

But one of the biggest concerns was the launch library, featuring five titles for PAL territories and nine if you include Japanese releases. So how does it stack up to previous Nintendo consoles then?

Wii U

Starting with the Switch’s predecessor, the Wii U actually had a launch library far bigger than the Switch, numbering over 20 (24 in the UK).

There were multiplatform titles such as Assassin’s Creed III, Arkham City, Skylanders Giants, Black Ops 2, Epic Mickey 2, Just Dance 4, Darksiders II, Tekken Tag 2, FIFA 13, Tekken Tag 2 and Mass Effect 3. Then there were exclusives (or timed exclusives) such as New Super Mario Bros U, ZombiU and Nintendo Land. The latter was also a pack-in title for certain consoles.

In other words, it wasn’t out of this world, but you could pick up a few decent titles at launch.


Nintendo Wii Tim Collins/Flickr
Credit: Tim Collins via Flickr

The Wii didn’t have quite as many launch games as the Wii U (19), but it definitely delivered a few notable titles. In fact, Wii Sports, which was a pack-in title, went on to be the most popular Wii game ever.

As for exclusives, we had the aforementioned Wii Sports, Wii Play, GT Pro Series, Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Red Steel and Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz. Otherwise, Need for Speed: Carbon, Madden NFL 07, Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam, Call of Duty 3 and Rayman: Raving Rabbids were some of the more prominent multiplatform titles.


The ‘Cube didn’t have a stellar launch lineup (although it had 20 games), but there were a few standout titles in the PAL mix.

For starters, there was Star Wars: Rogue Leader, Wave Race: Blue Storm, Super Monkey Ball, Luigi’s Mansion and Sonic Adventure 2: Battle as exclusives. Otherwise, the launch library also included the likes of Donald Duck: Quack Attack, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3, Dave Mirra’s Freestyle BMX 2, Cel Damage, Burnout and International Superstar Soccer 2.

Nintendo 64

Farley Santos via Flickr, Nintendo 64
Credit: Farley Santos via Flickr

Probably the weakest launch lineup in Nintendo (and perhaps general gaming) history, the Nintendo 64 had two titles. Or rather, it had six games by the time of the PAL launch.

Imagine if all these games were crap though. Fortunately, Super Mario 64 was one of these titles, along with PilotWings 64. Other titles available for PAL territories included Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey, Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, FIFA 64 and Turok: Dinosaur Hunter.


Much like the N64, the Super Nintendo only saw a smattering of games at launch, with three for the PAL launch and five for the USA.

European territories received F-Zero, Super Mario World and Super Tennis. The USA, on the other hand, received F-Zero, Super Mario World, Gradius 3, Pilotwings and Sim City.


Mark Ramsey Flickr, NES
Credit: Mark Ramsey via Flickr

The NES may have launched in the USA almost a year before Europe, but American gamers still got more games at launch.

Gamers in the USA received 18 titles, including ExciteBike, Super Mario Bros, Duck Hunt, Ice Climber and Kung Fu. European gamers received eight games, including ExciteBikePinball and Tennis — but they also received two exclusives in the form of Popeye and Mario Bros.



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