I have a serious problem. No, it’s not that I’m addicted to League of Legends, though that’s definitely a problem to be sure. My issue is that I keep on buying games for the Switch, and I’m not really sure why.
Since buying the Nintendo Switch on day one when it released last year, I have continued to buy new games for the thing, only to never play them. It makes me feel bad to have so many of these fantastic Switch games sitting in my backlog, only to have never touched them. Even worse, this practice continues to put a dent in my wallet.
As of writing this piece, I have about 20 games that are sitting on my Switch or are available for download. Of those 20, I can honestly say that I’ve put a good chunk of time into maybe 6 of them. Yes, I have purchased or downloaded nearly 15 games for my Switch that I haven’t even really touched.
Looking back just this summer alone, I bought Hollow Knight as soon as it released because I had been waiting so long to play it. I still haven’t. I downloaded both Dead Cells and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker before a series of flights I had to take about a month ago. I ended up sleeping on most of those flights instead of playing anything. Heck, going back to even last year, I ended up buying Splatoon 2 on launch day, to only play it for a handful of hours. I may have even played the beta more than I ended up playing the full game.
What’s even worse is that as I glance at the eShop right now, there are at least a dozen or so other games I’d love to purchase this very moment. I never got around to playing Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze on Wii U, and it has been an internal struggle for months for me to hold off and avoid purchasing it since it released on Switch. People have been raving about Octopath Traveler since it released, and I’ve been dying to give it a go for myself. There are even games that I know aren’t up my alley like Xenoblade Chronicles 2 that I have a weird urge to buy. Not to mention wanting to re-purchase games I already own on other platforms like Bastion and Hyper Light Drifter.
So why do I keep doing this? Why do I have these strange cravings to buy so many games on Switch, even if I know ahead of time I probably won’t play them? I think the main reason is that of the convenience factor of the Switch and the ability to take it anywhere I go. This is what I tell myself internally at least every time I splurge on a new game. What’s downright idiotic about this though is that I rarely even play my Switch in handheld mode.
That’s right, I’m one of those weirdos who predominantly plays his Switch games on his TV. To be honest, I do have a great TV, so I love to play all of my games on it whenever I have the chance. Still, knowing this about myself and my gaming habits flies directly in the face of my rationale of, “Oh, I should buy this game on my Switch so I can play it on the go!”
To be even more honest, I’ve also kind of fallen off of handheld gaming as a whole the past few years. My time spent gaming on handheld systems probably peaked with the Game Boy Advance and has since been in a steady decline. Don’t get me wrong; I still find myself playing portable systems somewhat often, especially when the PS Vita was still alive and kicking. But with the Switch, I’ve honestly not used it much as a portable console. I don’t really know why, either.
At the end of the day, my inclination to buy games on Switch non-stop purely for the portability element that it offers is probably music to Nintendo’s ears. When they envisioned this system a few years ago, my response is probably the exact one that they would hope consumers would have all across the board. From talking with some of my friends and peers in the industry as well, many of them seem to share the sentiments I have expressed here. There’s no telling how much money we’ve collectively spent on games that we don’t even play.
The Switch is a nifty little device, and the simple act of loading it up with games to play is satisfying to me even if I never even get around to diving into a majority of those games. Then again, I never know when I’ll be stranded in the middle of nowhere with my Switch on me, so it’s always good to be prepared.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve had my eye on Mario Tennis Aces for awhile, and I think I’m going to go pick it up.