‘A Switch Surprise’ is a series of articles discussing games that I think should come to the Nintendo Switch. In this piece, I’ll be talking about Wii Sports from Nintendo.
I know some of you may have rolled your eyes at the headline, but there’s still the fact that Wii Sports is one of the best-selling games of all time. (Although I will admit that this mostly has to do with it being a pack-in). As the premier launch title for the Wii, it propelled the console to astounding heights when it came to sales. The game along with the system was pretty much a worldwide phenomenon for a time. Wii Sports was responsible for introducing quite a number of people not just to the Wii, but to video games as a whole. I’ve poured dozens upon dozens of hours into the original game and especially its sequel, Wii Sports Resort. Both titles were incredibly fun and engaging on the Wii, but I believe that Nintendo bringing the series over to the Switch would make it all even better.
There is one similarity between the Switch and Wii that make bringing Wii Sports over seem like a no-brainer—the Joy-Con. This controller is essentially an advanced version of the Wii Remote. The Joy-Con’s motion technology is more precise, and it also greatly benefits from having a full set of traditional buttons, unlike the Wii Remote. This opens the door for taking every activity from both Wii Sports games and enhancing them. But, the envelope could be pushed even further than that.
Just recently, I wrote an article praising Bandai Namco’s Go Vacation. Released back in 2011 exclusively for the Wii, this game is essentially the unofficial sequel to Wii Sports Resort, and it cranked everything up to 11. It featured 50 activities, all scattered across a surprisingly sizeable and detailed open-world island resort. Despite being limited to the Wii’s simplistic hardware, it was quite the experience. I almost spent more time playing it than each of the Wii Sports titles combined. Bandai Namco might not do a sequel, but maybe this whole thing can come full circle if Nintendo would follow in their footsteps with an open-world Wii Sports for the Switch.
Wii Sports Resort had tighter controls, but Go Vacation had the open-world. A formal cross between these two formulas by Nintendo would be bliss.
This is what I’d really like to see from a theoretical Wii Sports 3. Nintendo has clearly been displaying that its studios are capable of making amazing open-world titles, so I’m dying to see what they’d be able to do with a more casual title like Wii Sports. Go Vacation pretty much provided an amazing blueprint already.
The Switch is a much more advanced system than the Wii, and it also offers the amazing hybrid functionality. On top of that, it’s built with multiplayer in mind, which is what Wii Sports was all about. All of these factors put together to create the perfect storm.
Just imagine seeing an open-world Wii Sports with HD graphics, all while being able to take it anywhere and have an impromptu multiplayer match. I’m currently on a family vacation in Florida and there are so many activities to do, and I could only imagine having them in virtual form. Not only would that give me a chance to actually do anything without getting overwhelmed, but it would be a whole lot cheaper than having to stay at an actual resort or go on tours! Pretty much all of the sports from two original titles could be brought back, along with new additions like vehicle races, horseback riding, hangliding, zip-lining—the list could go on and on.
The current development environment of Nintendo is a lot different than it was back in the days of the Wii. While Nintendo’s studios were really into creating casual experiences back then, they don’t really have a strong focus on those types of games anymore. On top of that, it seems like Nintendo is trying to distance itself from the ‘Wii era’ and keep the Switch fresh in everyone’s minds. But, that doesn’t mean that this theoretical project doesn’t have a chance of happening.
For starters, Nintendo has already released a few casual titles on Switch like 1-2 Switch and Snipperclips. So, a project like a new Sports game wouldn’t be totally out of place. As for the name, it doesn’t even have to be Wii Sports; how about Switch Sports instead? I think it has an even better ring to it than the original. There’s no telling how well a game like this would sell on the system, but if 1-2 Switch could sell over a million copies, I think an open-world Wii/Switch Sports should definitely be able to grab an equal amount of attention. Even if it isn’t open-world, I still think it would garner a lot of attention just by being a Nintendo game on a Nintendo system that’s very popular right now.
What do you think of this idea? Would you play something like this on the Switch?