Nintendo Remains Innovative, Imaginative, and Out of Touch with the Switch

Now that I’ve had a few days to digest the recent Nintendo Switch presentation, I’d like to discuss its ups and downs as a core console gamer. One that grew up playing NES and SNES, felt a little burned by the Wii U, and wants nothing more than The Big N to return to form with the Switch.

What we saw was Nintendo continuing to display their innovation, crafting a hybrid home- and handheld console with detachable controllers, offering an accessible co-op experience straight out of the box. Their desire to push boundaries and create fun new experiences remains their core focus, and they were intent on selling the Switch as a brand new console, a new way to play games, to avoid a repeat of the Wii U’s disastrous reveal in 2011.

However, my main takeaway from the presentation is that Nintendo still remains out of touch with the rest of the console market. There are a lot of exciting games in the pipeline, but a weak launch line-up, overpriced accessories, a rather questionable social interface, a lackluster paid online service requirement, and utterly laughable third-party support out of the gate, has me worried that the Switch may be just as successful (or unsuccessful) as the Wii U.

First, let’s go over what we know about the Switch so far.

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The Nintendo Switch will be available in standard grey and this odd neon blue and red variant.

The Nintendo Switch will launch on March 3rd at $299.99 USD. I knew that March was their confirmed release window, but never in a million years would I have predicted a release that early in the month.

There are only 2 different SKUs for the Switch; one with standard grey Joy-Cons and another with a neon red and blue Joy-Con set. Both are the same price.

The Nintendo Switch is not backwards compatible with physical Wii U and 3DS titles, as it only supports a “single screen experience.”

It will, however, be a region free console.

There’s still no word on whether or not the Switch will adopt an achievement or trophy system, similar to those found on Xbox and PlayStation platforms.

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Super Mario Odyssey uses a Mario 64-style overworld and introduces the ability for Mario to throw his hat, using it as an additional platform. It also appears to blend the Mario universe with modern locales.

Although many interesting games were confirmed and shown in some capacity, like the absolutely fabulous looking Super Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Octopath Traveler, Shin Megami Tensei, Fire Emblem Warriors, Snipperclips, Arms, Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers, Super Bomberman R, Puyo Puyo Tetris, Disgaea 5, I am Setsuna, Dragon Quest X, Dragon Quest XI, Dragon Quest Heroes 1+2, Sonic Mania, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (most of which was shown after the presentation), the day-one launch line-up is a disappointing ghost town.

Remember when the Nintendo 64 launched with just Mario 64 and Pilotwings? This is a similar situation, because at least one of these games looks incredible. However, Mario 64 was not available elsewhere. You had to by an N64 to play it. That’s not the case with Breath of the Wild.

Outside of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which will simultaneously release on the Wii U, the Switch launch will consist of Just Dance 2017 (which released elsewhere in October last year), Skylanders Imaginators (which also released elsewhere last October), and the new IP mini-game extravaganza, 1, 2, Switch.

Yes, that’s 1 brand new game, 1 simultaneous Wii U release (which, of course, is one of their biggest console game releases in the last decade), and 2 games that will be nearly 6 months old on March 3rd. If you already own a Wii U for Breath of the Wild, what will entice casual consumers to flock to Switch at launch? Pretty much nothing.

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Splatoon 2 lets you be a kid, a squid, and a kid again.

I’m also baffled how the Switch has been in the works for so long, yet Nintendo doesn’t even have their own Wii U ports ready for launch. How is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe not a launch game? How is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, a version of the game based on its 2011 release (not the new Special Edition with mod support) a Q4 release?

I am Setsuna, a game that’s been available on PS4 and PC since July 2016, is not a launch game. Rayman Legends, which released in 2013 (!!!), is not a launch game. LEGO City Undercover, another 2013 Wii U release, will not be a launch game on Switch, despite it being ported over.

What. in. the. fuck. is. going. on. at. Nintendo?

Did they push the release date solely to coincide with Breath of the Wild, in hopes that it’d be enough to drive early console sales? With Splatoon 2 being the next big release, would it have been smarter to hold off on the Switch release until they had more to offer?

Keep in mind I’m typing these questions after I’ve already pre-ordered my console, because holy shit I love The Legend of Zelda and I can’t wait to play all of those beautiful RPGs mentioned above. I can still be excited and loving while being a critical consumer.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that Switch games are reverting back to cartridges. Now that MicroSD is extremely affordable and offers considerably more storage than a BluRay disc, this is a pretty smart move by Nintendo. The overall case size seems to resemble the PSP, and the shown box art for most of the games looks really, really good. Like, really good. Really, really, really good. It’s good. Good stuff.

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s official box art for North America is as jaw-dropping as the game’s new story trailer that ran during the presentation. It’s beautiful.

Moving on!

The Switch will not release with a bundled-in game, making it the only other Nintendo home console alongside the N64 to do so. In regards to why Nintendo has opted against including a pack-in game, Reggie Fils-Aime said in an interview with Gamespot “The first decision that we make is, where do we want to be in terms of the hardware price point that’s going to be approachable and hit the marketplace we want? And from a US price point, we wanted to be at $299.”

So basically there’s no pack-in game because it would have made the $299 launch price impossible. I find this a little hard to believe, as the Switch is not only less powerful than the Xbox One and PS4, but has considerably less internal storage space at 32gb (in comparison to the competitors’ standard 500gb storage).

This meager offering can be expanded using MicroSD cards to provide up to 256gb of additional storage. In terms of pricing, a 200gb SanDisk Ultra currently runs $65.60 on Amazon.

Sure, Switch is a hybrid console that can be un-docked and played on the go. However, the battery life will average between 2.5-6.5 hours, with larger games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild being more taxing and only averaging 3 hours on a full charge. At that point, Switch is not considered a dedicated handheld console set to replace the 3DS, but rather features an on-the-go option with limited battery life.

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Each side of the Joy-Con can be removed from the Joy-Con Grip and applied to both sides of the Switch’s display screen for on-the-go gaming. They can also be used independently from one another for local multi-player gaming, or motion controlled gaming, similar to the older Wiimotes.

Is that hard to believe? It shouldn’t be, because Nintendo themselves have already gone on record confirming the statement.

In an interview with VentureBeat, Nintendo’s assistant manager of public relations, David Young, not only confirmed the Switch’s absence of Miiverse and StreetPass features, but confirmed that the Nintendo Switch is a home console first and foremost. It just happens to offer a way of playing it away from your television for a limited amount of time.

I’m not saying that the handheld feature isn’t appealing, as I’m sure I’ll be spending half of my time un-docked from the Switch, but Nintendo does not see this as a replacement for the 3DS. Reggie Fils-Amie went on record in an interview with Wired stating that the Switch and 3DS will co-exist side-by-side, rather than pushing Switch as the best of both worlds and an overall replacement to both aging consoles. That’s disheartening.

But I’ve gotten sidetracked a bit, and I apologize, so let’s jump back in to the issue with pricing and the Switch’s lack of a bundled-in game.

Included with the console is a pair of new Joy-Con controllers that can be attached to both sides of the display screen for handheld gaming, or on to a Joy-Con Grip to be used as the Switch’s default controller option. Speaking on their quality, Switch Player’s Megan Read tweeted from Nintendo’s UK event “the JoyCon are a delight to hold and use, both in and out of their holder. They feel expensive, which is fantastic.” However, their price is a concern for her.

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One side of the Switch’s Joy-Con being used as its own controller. Although they remain unseen in this image, there are L and R buttons on the top of the horizontal Joy-Con. Image via Callvention.

The Switch’s Joy-Con controllers are confirmed to have HD rumble feedback that runs a bit deeper than their competitors; feeling ice cubes clank around in a glass was the example used in the presentation. These Joy-Cons are expensive on their own (which I’ll get in to further down), and can be removed from the Switch display to be used as both motion controllers, or as two separate mini controllers for multi-player gaming.

But from a casual consumer standpoint, you can purchase one of the other more powerful consoles for the same price (or even less) and they come bundled in with games. Unless the Switch costs considerably more to manufacture than meets the eye, the price point seems like an odd excuse for the absence of a pack-in title. Especially when some of the games on display seemed like the perfect inclusions that could do for the Switch what Wii Sports did for the Wii.

For example, 1, 2, Switch is a local multi-player game similar to the WarioWare series. Multiple players use separate Joy-Con controls to compete in a variety of weirdly interesting mini-games, like a quick draw duel, or milking a cow. This seems like an ideal way to introduce new players, both casual and dedicated, to the intricacies of the Joy-Con, but what’s on display is not a game I feel consumers are used to paying $50 USD for (the MSRP according to Best Buy’s pre-order page). It’s like paying full price for the Wii U’s NintendoLand, but without the Nintendo-themed fanfare.

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The Nintendo Switch’s Pro Controller includes HD rumble mechanics and a built-in IR reader for amiibo support.

Another area where Nintendo caught me off guard is in the Switch’s accessory pricing.

  • Pro Controller – $69.99
  • Additional Docking Station – $89.99
  • Joy-Con set – $79.99
  • Individual L or R Joy-Con – $49.99
  • Joy-Con Charging Grip – $29.99
  • Joy-Con Wheel Add-on – $19.99 for a set of 2

The Pro Controller does not feature a headphone jack, but does have an internal IR reader for amiibo support built in to the controller itself. It seems like the most comfortable option for long gaming sessions, and with better rumble technology and the IR reader, the $10 price hike over the competitors’ standard controllers is a little easier to swallow. Though still questionable.

The thought of buying an additional Docking Station to effortlessly relocate my gaming session from the office to the living room is an attractive one, but not for $90. Especially considering the Dock does nothing more than redirect the imaging from the Switch’s display screen to the TV via HDMI. The only reason Switch displays in 720p on the display itself is because that’s how it’s programmed. Makes sense, right? Once docked, the output becomes 1080p, should your HDTV support it. That’s it. For $90.

Although they technically act as two independent controllers for local multi-player gaming, $80 for a pair of Joy-Con (yes, Joy-Con is the official plural term) seems pretty absurd. They’re tiny, look extremely uncomfortable to hold by anyone with normal-sized hands, and are still $20 cheaper than buying Joy-Con individually.

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What also has me worried is Nintendo’s approach to online gaming. Nothing is done internally through the Switch’s UI or OS, but rather through a smartphone app. Use of this app will be required to create parties with your friends, queue for games together, and as a means of voice chat. Not only that, but while Nintendo will offer free online gaming at launch, it will begin charging a monthly fee later this fall, similar to what Xbox and PlayStation already have going on.

Pricing hasn’t been discussed yet, but I can’t imagine this is going to go over well. Nintendo isn’t known for being the place to play games online, so charging for that experience (and its unknown stability) has me cautious.

This means, not only will consumers be paying for their cellphone bill, their internet service, their Switch console, and their game, but also paying Nintendo to play it online with friends… and not even doing so through the Switch, but through a smartphone app.

Similar to Xbox and PlayStation, Nintendo has confirmed that they will be offering incentive games to go along with the subscription fee. However, rather than offering anything modern, they will grant access to a single NES or SNES game through the virtual console for one month. You don’t get to keep the game as long as you subscribe, like you do through PS Plus and Xbox Live Gold, but instead lose access entirely after its month is up.

Nintendo has absolutely no idea how the internet works. They already have the smallest online player-base of the current three console manufacturers, and they’re going to alienate even more users by charging to play games online with their friends. I get that this is commonplace on Xbox One and PS4, but their services are already more attractive (in terms of incentive games and sheer size of their playerbase) and offer these same exact features within their console’s operating system and UI.

arms
Arms, a new IP by Nintendo, pits players against one another using motion-controlled Joy-Con physics. It will feature local and online modes, as well as a variety of characters with different “arms.” Arms can also be played using a Pro Controller.

Overall, I’m left with more questions than answers. It’s clear that Nintendo doesn’t see itself as a competitor or view PlayStation and Xbox as competition, and that’s bad news. Nintendo makes incredible games, there’s no doubt about that, but the Switch needs third-party support to supplement the eventual Nintendo exclusives.

I don’t see the Switch being attractive to bigger developers and publishers outside of Japan, despite titles like FIFA Switch and NBA 2K18 being confirmed for the console. It’s not as powerful as the Xbox One and PS4, now three years-old, and offers considerably less storage space for digital purchases, which is becoming more common within the console marketplace.

There are other concerns that weren’t addressed in the presentation at all.

To keep third parties around, Nintendo needs to make it quicker and easier for developers and publishers to issue updates to their games, create a better online marketplace that’s easier to navigate and discover new games, and continue to manufacture enough consoles to meet consumer demand.

I’d also like to know how they’re going to approach the virtual console this time around. I’m certainly hoping that I won’t have to pay (again) to transfer the ownership of my current purchases over to the games that will be supported on Switch. I also hope Nintendo makes a stronger push on the Switch’s virtual console than they did on the Wii U, which was fucking abysmal.

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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe introduces new maps and drivers, like the Splatoon Inklings, and finally includes a proper battle mode.

I remain cautious, yet slightly optimistic concerning the Switch’s future. On one hand, Nintendo displays innovation and creativity like none other, offering games and experiences that you can only find on the Switch. On the other, their accessory pricing, paid online service, weak launch line-up, and seemingly paltry third-party support shown thus far isn’t exactly promising.

The Wii U proved that unclear messaging can damage a console for its entire lifepan; a sentiment echoed currently by the Xbox One. The Wii U also proved that a console cannot survive off of Nintendo alone. They need help in the form of third parties and they need to do whatever is necessary to not only entice publishers to give the Switch a chance, but to remain there for the next 5 years.

Will the Switch elevate Nintendo back to the top of their game? That remains to be seen. But there’s clearly a lot of promise and potential buried underneath all of the questionable announcements thus far, and we’ll just have to wait and see how Nintendo manages to adapt on the fly.

I sit here in my office typing this editorial surrounded by Nintendo collectibles, consoles, and games, wearing a Ganon t-shirt, and revealing two Nintendo-themed tattoos that are permanently inked on to my fleshy exterior. I want Nintendo to succeed. I love them, and I’ll always love them, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about their future.

snipperclips
Snipperclips, a new IP on the Nintendo Switch, is a multi-player puzzle game for up to four players. Using individual sides of the Joy-Con controller, players have to cut each other in to different shapes to act as both tools and platforms, in order to solve a variety of puzzles. Screenshots do this game no justice. It looks awesome.

I’m fortunate enough to own a PlayStation 4 and an Xbox One, so I’m never at a loss for things to play. For families and casual consumers who seldom buy a new gaming console, I’m not sure the Switch is attractive enough to warrant a purchase over the competition, at least not right away.

However, I do feel the Switch is the right move for Nintendo; or rather it can be the right move if they address its concerns after release, similar to the Xbox One. They’re manufacturing something innovative and very Nintendo-like, rather than releasing a standard console that’s on equal footing with their competition (a term they should get used to using sooner, rather than later).

I’m okay with the Switch being my “Nintendo box” that I go back to whenever a new exclusive releases, but I’d love to make a Nintendo console my primary home for gaming. And that’s just not happening without third-party support.

What are your thoughts on the Switch? Have you pre-ordered yours already?

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24 thoughts on “Nintendo Remains Innovative, Imaginative, and Out of Touch with the Switch

  1. I can certainly respect your mixed bag of feelings here! I personally won’t be picking up a Switch for a long while yet, so a lot of what you’ve mentioned here about the starting lineup and whether or not more great titles will come along will be known to me by the time I buy. I have bought every single major Nintendo console through the years, so I will eventually buy a Switch as well.

    The online play thing must be frustrating to many people. I don’t play online with other humans ever unless it’s Mario Kart 8, and even then it’s a rare thing for me. I can’t imagine paying to play online with any console, so it’s something I won’t be doing when I get my hands on a Switch. A lot of the games I like to play are best played alone, anyway.

    I am excited about the lineup, and I totally hear ya on your concerns about why ports of games that have been out for a while aren’t ready. It’s really strange! I don’t know anything about how releases and porting works, but I can’t imagine there shouldn’t be as many delays as there are right now given the time they’ve had to get things together.

    I hope the console will eventually impress you and many others. Nintendo has always been my favourite, though lately I’m starting to see what the competition had to offer back in the day. It’ll be interesting to see how it all settles out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One area I’m not too concerned about from a personal standpoint are the games. Nintendo exclusives rarely fail to deliver, and I’m fine having the Switch sit around until the next big one comes out because I’m fortunate enough to have other consoles with massive backlogs (haha). I love RPGs and typically find myself playing games offline, but I really loved Splatoon and Mario Kart on Wii U. It’d be a shame to pass them up because I just can’t fathom wanting to pay Nintendo an extra fee to do so from a fucking smart phone app.

      Nintendo is and will always be my favorite gaming company, and it’ll take a lot to change my opinion on that, but they’ve done some questionable things over the years with their home consoles. Here’s hoping the Switch delivers even a fraction of what the Wii did.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree with you on pretty much everything. The launch line-up is weak. And I will also add that the games that are coming up during the console’s first months is quite unappealing. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe doesn’t impress me (I already have the Wii U game and there is no way I am playing full price just to get new tracks, characters, and modes) and Splatoon 2 looks like a glorified port (even if we have not seen much of the game).

    Breath of the Wild will likely draw some players to the system, but I will just play it on the Wii U and buy the Switch whenever exclusive and appealing software becomes available.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. There really isn’t much to draw in folks who already have a Wii U until the holiday season, when Mario Odyssey hits. It’s also rumored that Xenoblade 2 and Fire Emblem Warriors will launch this holiday as well, so that might be a good time to consider a purchase.

      Even with the lack of launch games, I still pre-ordered mine. I love Nintendo, I had the funds set aside, so fuck it. I’ll jump in front of the bus and see what happens.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This was a nice rundown of everything. I too watched the presentation, and while I’m definitely excited to pick up one of these machines, the launch line up is far too anemic to buy one day one. Zelda will also be on Wii U, where it will undoubtedly be far more collectible. Much like the Gamecube version of Twilight Princess, I’d expect the aftermarket price to stay around MSRP or even go higher, while the Switch version will probably be a $20 Selects game in a couple of years.

    I think a lot of people overlook one massive possibility though, and that is, Nintendo is likely going to disrupt the tablet market with this console. Think about it, a decent tablet that is games capable is going to cost close to or above what the Switch will cost. Even though it falls behind the PC/XB1/PS4 trifecta in terms of power, it is still far beyond what any budget to midrange priced tablet can do. And on these tablets, most of the games are F2P, P2W, Microtransactioned to death titles. One has to really dig through thousands of them to find something that is a full, pay once for it game. And one has to dig even further to find one that has AAA effects. On top of that, these titles don’t run properly on most budget priced tablets. But here comes Nintendo with their “Gaming Tablet”, that can play AAA games, and still let you do tablet things like websurf, go on YouTube, etc. PLUS it easily connects to a TV with its dock. Suddenly the Switch becomes a very considerable alternative to a $200 budget tablet. Especially since many of those are given to children who run up their cards on P2W.

    Then on the enthusiast side, you have folks like us who play, research, review, write, study, follow games. The Switch is giving us all of those great Nintendo experiences, and probably a few cool third-party games along the way. This machine could very well be a bit more Wii, and a lot less Wii U. In terms of sales, and popularity.

    The biggest issue I have is the anemic launch though. The paid service will be annoying since Nintendo has always been PC like with online multiplayer insofar as it being free to play your games online. But they probably see the success of XBL, and how Sony benefited this time around from following suit. At this point they may have just seen it as leaving money on the table. I don’t know that their service will be as good. But, I also think that with games like Splatoon 2 on the Switch, people may very well pay it simply to enjoy multiplayer. It could also be a draw for some of the Third-Party developers since so many of their games rely on competitive multiplayer modes to give them longer legs. So on this I’m of a wait, and see mind.

    I’m also curious as to how the phone integration is going to work. One thing that has come out about it is that they felt it’s easier for the average person to communicate with their smartphone, rather than having to invest in a bulky headset. Which may be true, but enthusiasts generally prefer a headset for better sound. Again, it’s wait, and see for me. I’m sure the app works fine if you have the phone connected to the router through Wi-Fi so added data on people’s bill shouldn’t be an issue.

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    1. For me, it’s mainly a matter of convenience. I don’t have to have to run apps and chat features on my cellphone, let alone pay for a compatible headset to do so. iPhone accessories aren’t cheap, right?

      What I think would soften the blow is if Nintendo let users pick which NES or SNES game they want free each month, since they’re not letting them keep it *and* they’re only giving one incentive game in comparison to Xbox’s 4 and PlayStation’s 6. We’ll have to wait and see when the service goes live this fall.

      The launch lineup is certainly a problem, and hopefully we’ll hear more about upcoming releases sooner rather than later. Even if it’s just Wii U ports.

      I’m honestly surprised we’re not seeing a Super Mario Galaxy HD Collection, or even a Mario bundle that has both Galaxy’s in HD, SM3DW, and NSMBU. That’d be one hell of an incentive while we wait for Christmas (and a potential 2018 delay) on Mario Odyssey. With Xenoblade 2 rumored to hit English speaking territories this year, an HD port of Xenoblade Chronicles would be nice as well. Or at least a Virtual Console port that won’t ask me to pay a transfer fee from Wii U.

      There’s a lot of games on Wii that could have a nice second life on Switch, same with Wii U. I wouldn’t be mad, and I’d even double dip on things like Xenoblade Chronicles X, knowing I could play it on the go.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been grappling with the launch details, and there’s no way around it – the launch lineup is thin, as you point out.

    Launching with a new Zelda is great, but where are the first party flagship games? And third party support is weak, even by nintendo’s standards.

    I’m tempted by Mario Kart 8 since I don’t have a Wii U, but I suspect I’m in the minority.

    A lot to be concerned about here, Nintendo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have MK8 on Wii U and I’ll be buying it on Switch for sure. It’s essentially the same game, but with a proper battle mode (main selling point) and a few more characters. I believe it has all of the Wii U version’s DLC characters/tracks as well. I’m assuming the MK8 community that still plays online will migrate to Switch.

      The Switch is certainly not their weakest launch lineup, as I mentioned about the N64 only having 2 games on day one, but if Zelda isn’t your thing it’s going to be a bit before considering a purchase I’d thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think Nintendo is looking at Breath of the Wild to drive sales for the Switch, but I can see your trepidation with that since it’s also going to be released on the Wii U. It really seems like the big N is attempting to correct their foible with the U and make a viable hybrid console/handheld system. As for Nintendo and the internet, that’s a major problem. Even if they had the experience both Sony and Microsoft kind of have that area locked up, so Nintendo charging for it is not a good move at all. They should offer it gratis for at least a good long while so they can get into the swing of things, since most gamers are already spending their money for PSN subs and whatever Microsoft has as the equivalent.

    I’m a bit disheartened that the third party issues is such as major one, too. I’d heard promising things, but that promise seems to have fallen flat, and they are not going to survive without that. Nintendo was my first “modern” system, at least it’s the first system I played that’s still active today, so I’m hoping that someone the Switch will…switch things up (I couldn’t help it…) and revitalize the company in some way. I will say that pre-order sales do look promising. They’re apparently sold out already in many areas. I’m not going to do that, since I like to wait before buying a new console (the first batch can often have some bugs), but it may be on my birthday wish list.

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    1. Nintendo claims to have 80 games in development for Switch right now, so there’s clearly more third-party support going on behind the scenes. We just haven’t been shown very much. It’s still worrisome that bigger publishers like Ubisoft and EA aren’t doing much.

      Nintendo also has a bad habit of manufacturing well below the demand, using headlines like “Switch pre-orders are SOLD OUT EVERYWHERE!” to build artificial hype. It happened with the recent NES Mini, and hopefully that’s not the case with Switch. The moment publishers discover Nintendo isn’t manufacturing consoles to sell to the public, those third-parties are giving up immediately.

      But, I love Nintendo and I hope to see them at the top again. No games make me feel like a kid again like theirs, and they make some of the best around. I want to believe they’ll change, but based on the limited info we have, I can’t help but be cautiously optimistic.

      Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was discussing this with someone about whether or not they were doing it purposely or whether they just couldn’t keep up with the demand. I think it’s a bit of both. Keeping supply low pretty much guarantees their units will move when they’re available, and it makes consumers rabid. It also lines the pockets of those who can get their hands on multiple devices, and they can sell them for however much they want.

        I feel the same way you do. Nintendo will always have a special place in my heart and on my shelf, because it was my first real gaming system. While I technically cut my teeth on ColecoVision and Atari, Nintendo was the first system that I loved and could honestly pull a favorite game from. My trepidation is due to that love. It’s similar to how I feel about Final Fantasy/Squeenix. The biggest fans are often the ones who complain the loudest, because we care dammit!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post. I feel very similarly to you on this one. I walked away from the latest conference less excited for the Switch than I expected to be. There were just a lot of little things I feel they are kind of messing up on. Many you covered here. For instance, the need to expand from the on-board 32GB, the online subscription fee (along with the way they handling and their history of handling online elements), and the expense of extra controllers are all costs that sort of add up. Any one of these on their own wouldn’t be so bad, but I feel together they start to worry me. Along with adding costs on for consumers when next to better value from competing consoles, it just feels like a number of poor decisions.

    I do really like what the console is. The hardware looks really cool. I loved off-TV play on Wii U, so while I will largely play it on my TV, the hybrid nature is definitely appealing to me. The controllers have a lot of neat little features too.

    The games I’m a bit more mixed on. Zelda looks incredible. I know I’ll enjoy Mario, but the realistic settings were a bit off-putting and I prefer 3D Marios to be linear (like Galaxy and 3D World) as opposed to the route they are going here. I’m glad Splatoon is a getting a sequel instead of a port, but the whole online sub thing takes away a bit of my excitement for that. I wish they had teased some further out projects too. After the Wii U, I want to see their commitment to support the Switch. And with the way they pulled support early from the Wii U, I feel they should have plenty of projects in the works.

    Another thing that excited me about the Switch and its hybrid nature is that all of Nintendo’s devs would be working on it as opposed to being split between console and handheld systems. I know they said what you mentioned about the 3DS continuing on, but I’m hoping that is just lip service. They did afterall once say that they’d keep the Gameboy line going alongside the DS, that the DS was a third pillar alongside their consoles and Gameboys. So I’m honestly hoping 3DS development will move to this before long. I’d love to see a 2D Zelda on Switch for instance in a couple years while they soldier on at the next one of the 3D Zeldas which only come once in a great while now.

    All that said, I pre-ordered one. I am unbelievably excited for Zelda. I haven’t had to buy any consoles for a couple years and am not interested in the Pro or Scorpio, so I was able to put aside the money for this a bit ago. So, I’m jumping in anyway, but a lot of things they have shown/announced have me a bit worried at how successful this will be. And I want it to be successful because I want Nintendo to be able to make lots of games for it! Hope they can iron out some of these issues and make this work. There is definitely potential here.

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    1. “Another thing that excited me about the Switch and its hybrid nature is that all of Nintendo’s devs would be working on it as opposed to being split between console and handheld systems.”

      I think you hit the nail on the head with that one, in regards to the importance of Nintendo focusing on one core platform instead of dividing up their developer relations.

      If this thing goes south like the Wii U and the only games drawing people in are the exclusives, I think they’d be just fine if everyone solely worked on the Switch. The Wii U on its own had a great library of games that were spread a little too far, but when you add in the 3DS exclusives you’ve got a substantial block of games to pick from.

      Imagining one console where I could play Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, Xenoblade Chronicles X, the Xenoblade Chronicles remaster, Fire Emblem, Phoenix Wright, Professor Layton, all of those Shin Megami Tensei games, the Marios, the Zeldas, Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze, Bayonetta 1 and 2, three generations of Pokemon, multiple Harvest Moons, Animal Crossing, Yo-kai Watch… the list goes on. With or without major third parties, that console would have had a killer lineup.

      Like

  7. Wow. They copied their competitors by charging for online play, but give us a crappy deal (old games for a limited time.) Those third party titles are going to sell poorly. Why would anyone pay for stuff that has been out on other systems for ages now?

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    1. Yeahhhhh. The online play is free from the March launch until later in the fall, so I guess we’ll see how fast the playerbase drops for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Splatoon 2. Paying for a service is one thing, but not even including it in the console’s UI is baffling.

      We haven’t seen much announced from third-parties, but they’ve said there are currently 80 games in development for Switch right now. The bigger publishers, EA and Ubisoft, seem to be putting feeler games… but they HAVE to know they can’t judge excitement based on two old games and a weak port of FIFA. If the Switch is only slightly under the power of PS4 and XB1, why not bring ALL of the sports games over? Mass Effect? Port Dragon Age Inquisition with all of its DLC. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. Watch Dogs 2. The AC Ezio trilogy. Something attractive, not this whack ass lineup.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I also have mixed feelings on the Switch, I really want to like it, but like you, I have too many questions, most notably in regards to backwards compatibility with my digital Wii U library. I’m very on the fence about it which I’ve never really been for a Nintendo console until now. You could see my first article on my concerns on my page for those who are interested.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I have at least $100 worth of virtual console games on Wii and Wii U that would be nice to play on Switch without having to pay a 2nd or 3rd time for.

      I don’t intend on unhooking my Wii U, so I’m less concerned about backwards compatibility, but I understand why that’s attractive to other consumers.

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  9. Awesome post! This is one of the best Switch blog posts I’ve read on here. I’m a huge Nintendo fanatic and I really like your honesty about the Switch. My inner child will always love Nintendo and that’s why I preordered one without thinking too much. The lack of third party support seems like it will always be a problem for the stubborn Nintendo. Like you, I’m also blessed to own a Xbox One and PS4 so that’s a non-issue for me. I personally don’t play online much so their silly attempt at the service doesn’t impact me at all. It does seem like a slap in the face to just let you keep a game for a month though. Don’t get me started on the overpriced accessories… Our weak Canadian dollar makes them ever more outrageous!

    Oh I really hope they don’t have a trophy/achievement system. I don’t think my backlog can handle me wanting to 100% Breath of the Wild, lol

    Like

    1. Wow, thank you! That means a lot and I appreciate the kind words!

      Like you, I pre-ordered without hesitation. Nintendo will always have a special place in my heart and I’ll always buy their consoles to play along with my favorite game series’.

      Sometimes I like going for achievements, and it’d be a nice way to add additional life to their currently shy list of games. It’s not a dealbreaker at all, as it hasn’t kept me from playing Wii and Wii U games, but it’s something important to a large group of people that would help the Switch ecosystem thrive.

      Liked by 1 person

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