Within a matter of months following the Nintendo Wii’s release, it became one of the system’s best-selling games by default. Now, in 2022 and in the midst of a raging pandemic, it’s become a hot seller once again, if only because people enjoy being able to play sports offline. Isn’t that crazy? A 2006 release thrived again 16 years later, and without even a hint of promotion.
Now, that’s Wii Sports for you. The pack-in Wii disc has been a favorite over the years to millions upon millions of players. From hardcore gamers looking to get a quick game of bowling into senior citizens just looking for something lively to do on a Friday night, it entertained with its simple yet fun-to-play sports activities, including golf, boxing, baseball, tennis, and bowling. It’s no surprise that it’s taking off again in popularity.
Here’s what is surprising – the fact that Nintendo hasn’t given it a chance on the modern gaming scene. It did re-release Wii Sports with a Resort add-on for Wii that did reasonably well, and it followed that up with the enormously entertaining Wii Sports Club for Wii U. When it comes to Switch, well, it’s practically Sports-less.
Granted, we have a lot to play otherwise in the meantime. As Sean Connery once said to Alex Trebek on SNL Celebrity Jeopardy, “You’re sittin’ on a gold mine, Trebek!” Not only is this a viable opportunity for Nintendo to get some cash, but it could provide the Switch with a huge boost from five simple sports activities.
Hear us out – here’s why we think a re-release of Wii Sports would work, and what Nintendo could do to sweeten the pot.
OK, We Could Call It Switch Sports
While Wii Sports couldn’t be quite the name for the game nowadays (though it’d be instantly recognizable), Nintendo could make it work with a new name – Switch Sports. Granted, the control scheme would be the same with the JoyCon controllers (or maybe even other methods, making the game handicap accessible). So it would still be recognizable while working in its own special way.
For good measure, Switch Sports could also provide an option to take the game on the go. In the past, if you wanted to play it somewhere else, you had to bring the whole damn Wii or Wii U system with you, along with a copy of the game. Now on the Nintendo Switch, you bring the system and the JoyCons and you’re practically set, even if the screen might be a little smaller than you anticipated. (You could also bring the whole Switch set-up if you prefer since that’s easier for some.)
This would give the Switch and its new OLED model a much more accessible title, and one that could easily sell millions if Nintendo would just give it a chance. That does leave one audience out – those that own Nintendo Switch Lites. Hey, that just entices them to pick up a regular system for enjoying the game, right? A minor setback for an otherwise popular title that would be a hit, even on today’s market.
While We’re At It, Let’s Add Features
The original Wii Sports structure in itself is excellent, and releasing just a port of the game for Switch for around $10-$20 would hit the spot (compared to the $35+ it’s selling for at GameStop). If we’re spitballing the idea of bringing it to the Switch, why not load it up with features?
First off…how about some new sports? Maybe a basketball shooting tournament where players try to rapid-fire as many shots as they possibly can? Or football tosses, with a touch-football style set-up (no NFL Blitzaction here where you drop elbows on your cousins please). Or, hey, mini-golf! It could work on a Switch platform.
While we’re at it, let’s do what Nintendo did with Mario Party Superstars and really open up some options. Considering that COVID is the way it is right now, how about providing the option for online play? Enabling people to connect with one another through online sessions would hit the spot. They could create a virtual bowling league, or maybe even a quick golf tour that would allow them to reconnect after months of being away due to the pandemic. It could totally work and has done so before with other games.
Stuff like this could help a release like Switch Sports flourish – if only Nintendo could make it happen.
It Sells Itself, Nintendo!
The big “N” is obviously aware that it can put a new spin on an old franchise. Look at what it did this past year alone for The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and Super Mario 3D World, as well as with a new entry in the Metroid series. It could easily give Switch Sports the push it deserves to find an all new audience to entertain. The only downside is that it’d probably knock down the Wii resale value in the process. But most people are onto “new” consoles anyway, so why not?
Here’s hoping Nintendo sees the potential and gives this series a chance yet again…because we sure haven’t given up on it!