2017 retrospective, Nintendo returned and won thanks to Switch

2017 retrospective, Nintendo returned and won thanks to Switch
2020 comes to an end and 2021 begins. Will it be a better year for us gamers? We obviously don't know the answer. But we can answer another question: how have the last ten years been? What major events have marked the world of video games? With this article we want to create a retrospective of the year 2017, discovering its positive and negative sides.

Xbox One X and Xbox Game Pass: the new future of Microsoft

November 7, 2017 Microsoft released Xbox One X, the most powerful console in the world (at the time, of course). The new game machine came about a year after the release of the Xbox One S, which was little more than a slim version of the base Xbox One.

Xbox One X was a serious step up from the previous model and featured more powerful than the PS4 Pro, which has been around for about a year. With this move, Microsoft wanted to regain the ground lost at the beginning of the generation precisely because of the difference in power between PS4 and Xbox One.

Sony's console, in fact, was slightly more powerful than its direct competitor. The difference actually led to minimal performance differences, often imperceptible to a casual audience, but it was one of the details that helped PS4 immediately gain widespread acceptance (obviously without forgetting the "chaos" of the always online initially envisaged by the company. Redmond). With Xbox One X, however, Microsoft regains the crown in console hardware.

The real winning move, however, was the arrival of Xbox Game Pass, to date the best and most convenient subscription service in the field videogame. While it is true that the expansion of the service really took place only in 2018, it is impossible not to consider 2017 the year of the "recovery" of Xbox.

Sony and goodbyes

At Sony PlayStation was a special year, marked by two great farewells.

First of all, Bruce Straley left Naughty Dog. Straley was, along with Neil Druckmann, the co-director of The Last of Us (one of the greatest hits of the "Cagnacci") and the co-director of Uncharted 4 A Thief's End, after the farewell of Amy Henning. br>
Straley not only left Naughty Dog, but in practice he abandoned the videogame world. The official reason was never told by Straley himself, but we can find out through the investigations of Jason Schreier, at the time a journalist for Kotaku and now a Bloomberg signature. Schreier explains that in 2013 Straley and Druckmann, who had just completed the difficult and exhausting development of The Last of Us, had to take over from Amy Henning for the development of Uncharted 4.

Normally, the two directors , together with a small team, they should have taken care of the conception of the new The Last of Us, also having time to rest after the years of work on the first chapter. Uncharted 4, however, was in poor shape and needed their guidance. What followed was a period of such terrible crunch that it finally pushed Straley to abandon the gaming world.

In addition to Straley, 2017 was also the year of the farewell of Andrew House, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment since 2011. Andrew House had been part of Sony for 27 years and had also helped with the launch of the first PlayStation. His successes also include the launch of PS VR, which achieved more success than expected given the limited interest in virtual reality, but above all the launch of PS4 which under his leadership managed to sell triple the units of Xbox One. House was replaced by John Kodera, later replaced by Jim Ryan in 2019.

Swatting

On December 28, 2017, a serious swatting incident took place, i.e. a false report of a critical emergency (usually hostages or the presence of a bomb) aimed at bringing in an emergency team (not necessarily a SWAT team).

It all started following a dispute between two Call of players WWII Duty, Viner and Gaskill. The two players had lost a COD online tournament and its monetary winnings (only a dollar and a half) and Viner blamed Gaskill. Viner threatened Gaskill with swatting: the latter provided an old address in the city of Wichita, where he had lived years earlier, and challenged Viner to actually do so. Viner then contacted a third person, that Barriss, already wanted by the police for various crimes, including false reports of bombs inside schools, as well as assaults and fraud.

Barriss pretended to be a resident of the address indicated by Gaskill and that he had just killed his father: he also threatened to set fire to the house and kill the other residents. The call had been made via VoIP and the police believed it really came from the Wichita area and intervened. Policemen surrounded the house, inhabited by Andrew Finch and his family. Andrew Finch left the house, according to his mother's testimony, having heard rumors. The police ordered him to raise his hands and, following an uncertainty from the man, one of the policemen fired a shot. Andrew Finch later died in the hospital. Barriss was arrested and sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2018.

This is one of the most serious cases of swatting, a practice that has become extremely common over the years within the videogame world (but not only, many celebrities around the world of cinema and music have undergone swatting). Online players have repeatedly exploited swatting to block opponents during a match: most situations are resolved without incident, but what happened to Andrew Finch could happen again.

Nintendo Switch: the rebirth of Big N

On January 13, 2017, the Kyoto-based company revealed to the world the first technical details and the price of Nintendo Switch, after the official announcement at the end of 2016. The release of the console was set for March 3, 2017.

Nintendo Switch was not "just" a new console, it also represented all the fighting spirit of Nintendo that absolutely had to recover from the failure of Wii U. To do so, the Japanese company proposed a hybrid solution that merged a classic console living room, connected to the TV, with a portable console with generous dimensions and versatile functions (thanks to the possibility of disconnecting the Joy-Con and placing the screen on a table thanks to a tripod).

Obviously commercial success is never linked solely to the unique functions of the console but also and above all to games. At Switch's D1, Nintendo also released The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild: Link's new game, while also available on Wii U, became the symbol of the new console and immediately drove sales. Also in 2017, however, another masterpiece also arrived: Super Mario Odyssey. The Italian plumber also made a splash in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which became the fastest-selling Mario Kart in the franchise's entire history (1.2 million in three days). Three years later, it is the best-selling game on Switch with a total of 28.99 million units, surpassing Breath of the Wild's 19.74 and Odyssey's 18.99.

In just one year, therefore, Nintendo was able to publish three games with stratospheric success.

Although it is also an important year for Microsoft and Sony (which we remember also released Horizon Zero Dawn), 2017 is undeniably the year of Nintendo. The Kyoto company rose from the ashes and dominated the gaming market with a single console and three games of great importance that are still among the most loved by fans and bought by new players.

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