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30 years ago the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was released with an unforgiving rectangular controller with five buttons.
The console was the birthplace of a number of popular franchises, including the Legend of Zelda series, and with Legend of Zelda still going strong you still can buy the NES, in miniature form, today.
While the miniature NES has been hugely popular, 30 years on from its original release and with Nintendo’s latest console, the Wii U, beginning to feel outdated, it’s time for a new console.
It comes in the form of the Nintendo Switch.
The console is the first of its kind, acting as a hybrid device that can be used in the home like a traditional console as well being able to transform into a portable system.
Nintendo is staying true to its roots in making some of their most beloved games available on the console (Mario, Legend of Zelda, etc), and the console, much like its predecessor, steers fairly clear of the embittered PlayStation/Xbox battleground with it’s family-friendly cartoon advocates and new option to take it on the road.
The Brandwatch React team decided to take a look at the data surrounding the Nintendo Switch and how the hype can be broken down ahead of its release in March. We also thought we’d try out our new tool, Unlimited Historical Data, in the process. After we set up our Nintendo Switch query, we waited a few minutes for the system to do its magic and then had thousands of mentions going back to it’s October 2016 announcement to play with.
Nintendo released their Super Bowl ad a week before the actual game, resulting in a significant and sustained spike in mentions on February 1st. When the commercial was broadcast during the Super Bowl it got a fleeting spike of over 5k mentions but the Switch didn’t generate as many mentions on the 5th of February as it did overall on the 1st.
The first week of February saw over 95k mentions of the console, with Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild making up a huge chunk of that conversation.
While Breath of the Wild was center of attention during the first week of February, we thought we’d take a longer view of the hype surrounding games coming out on the Nintendo Switch. We searched for terms associated with the games featured on the Nintendo Switch Game Store web page at the time of writing back to October 2016. These are mention volumes of games within the overall Nintendo Switch conversation, as estimated by our Unlimited Historical Data tool.
It looks like, fairly predictably, old favorites Legend of Zelda and Mario are the top hyped games, while newer Nintendo additions like Splatoon 2 and Arms are still holding their own.
In terms of gameplay, we also took a look at mentions surrounding the different ways gamers can use the Nintendo Switch. Though mention volumes were fairly low (we only found 1,460 mentioning the specific modes), we found that TV-mode appeared to be the most discussed way to play, closely followed by handheld mode.
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