People are being so critical of this launch. I think they're misinterpreting things and I'm not being an apologist.
Japanese business is very risk-averse. And Nintendo is in a precarious position. What we're seeing is just a risk averse approach.
I predict that with Zelda the Switch will be sold out for a little while, and then basically by the time people are used to it and talking about it we'll get E3.
This is when we'll really get some big news. And the big season for Switch will be next holiday season.
"Don't release it when it's not ready?" Why not? Will kids not want it next Christmas – after the see a bunch of wonderful ads for it with a great library and maybe a friend or two who already has one – or will kids say "nah it came out with not titles in March so I'm done with this"?
It's make or break for holidays 2017.
Also, it's possible they are anxious to bury the WiiU. They maybe could have waited to release Switch, but they want to hurry up and leave the WiiU's shadow. I predict the 2017 holidays will see a Switch bundled with something like 12switch or arms, with maybe some color options, at $299.99.
Also, Nintendo may want to gauge interest in certain features. I think this could even lead to like a "Switch Home" which is a non portable machine for $199 that plays Switch games only in tv.
I'd Switch does really well, they may merge the 3DS line with it, or else keep them separate.
3rd parties may be apprehensive, or maybe Switch was rushed to production. This coming year will allow 3rd parties to consider trying to rush some ports for the holidays, and start production on original games as well.
All in all, all this betrays is a very cautious slow approach by Nintendo.
I would criticize them for the virtual console and online stuff that has been raised. These are fair criticisms. But they might react to them and change their policies.
However the release lineup and timing I have trouble criticizing. The Switch really shouldn't be judged until we see where it is for the Christmas sales season. And as for buying it now: look there will be enough games to make it worth buying and playing (unless you have no other game systems or things to do in life). And February might have a direct about virtual console stuff.
The worst case scenario is that Nintendo will start making Mario for PS4, but even in this case they'd still release it on Switch until the bitter end. So Switch will be viable for this generation of Nintendo titles.
As for the future of Nintendo. I'd say they have to be smart about their online stuff and virtual console – smarter that is. And we definitely have to adjust to the Switch gaming experience to see if it's viable (it's a new thing to be honest). But there's no reason to think that the Switch won't do well.
All it needs is to get like Madden and CoD releases at the same time as the other consoles and people will buy it. And the tabletop feature might be a big deal for this sort of thing.