10 Thoughts on the Nintendo Switch
Nintendo has finally released some details about its newest addition to the gaming world, the Nintendo Switch. After the colossal market failure that was the Wii U, Nintendo needed to rekindle some magic to make themselves relevant in the gaming space. Interest was high after the teaser trailer was released with the promise of a hybrid portable and home console. With the release date of March 3rd, we don’t have to wait long to get one of these into our homes. However, that doesn’t means we won’t tell you our thoughts after watching the press event and hands on experience by the gaming press. I have a few thoughts, 10 to be exact, about the Nintendo Switch and its future.
10 Thoughts on the Nintendo Switch
1. The functionality makes it a promising system
When it comes to Nintendo, graphics are not the first thing that crosses your mind. Instead, it is the new wrinkle they added to the system in terms of controller input. This is the first console in a long time that they haven’t tried to reinvent the wheel. It seems to be the most normal gaming console that they have made in a few generations.
Sure, there is still motion controls in the Joy-Con controllers, but it was clear that motion or any particular type of playing input, wasn’t going to be forced upon the player. Rather than introducing new buttons or motion, they went with just the hybrid functionality. I think this was a smart idea. You don’t want to over complicated things and having a console that you can take anywhere is enough newness this time around.
2. Price is acceptable
While I admit I was hoping for $250, the base price of $300 is completely fine. I’m a little disappointed that there isn’t a game included at that price. I think the game 1-2 Switch would have been a prime candidate for addition with the system. Even without that, I believe that at the $300 price it makes it competitive with other systems.
3. Breath of the Wild looks amazing
I love to find games that make me more excited about playing them each time I look at them. Breath of the Wild is that type of game. With a huge world to explore, Nintendo looks to take the Zelda franchise to new heights. Plus, there even looks to be an interesting storyline and even voice acting. I’m ready for launch day to spend most of my free time diving into this game and playing while commuting to work.
4. You don’t need to buy the Switch day one
While Breath of the Wild will be totally worth the investment, I don’t think you need to rush to get the console day one. The rest of the day one lineup is lack luster for me and just doesn’t look like it will draw many people to get it. While I have heard that ARMS and 1-2 Switch are a lot of fun, they are not system sellers. I wanted Nintendo to come out with a ton games and thus reasons for people to purchase the system. They failed to do so.
5. The rest of 2017 games looks great
Once we get into Summer, the available games for the Switch will be what I expected at launch. With Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Splatoon 2 making there way to the system, that will give people enough options to make the Switch even more worth it. If the Switch has The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Super Mario Odyssey, and many more by the end of 2017, there will be something for everyone.
6. Nintendo should never do live announcements again
I was sad when Nintendo announced that they wouldn’t be doing a major press event at E3. I admit that after watching what they have done with the new format, I have come to love the Nintendo Directs. By using them, they can convey a lot of information in a much shorter amount of time. The Switch presentation wasn’t as clean or informative as I would’ve liked. I happened to watch it, and also hunted out information about the system that Nintendo dribbled out after the presentation. Most casual fans won’t do that. This presentation was the opportunity for Nintendo to get people excited about the new system and they missed it.
7. Worried about 3rd party support
While Nintendo has toted 80 games in development for the Switch, I’m still concerned for the 3rd party support the system will receive in the future. This is starting out very similar to how the Wii U was at launch. If the games that come to the Switch are 5 year old and inferior versions of them, they won’t sell. Developers will see that as a sign that the system isn’t worth investing time and resources in and jump ship. I was hoping for a major reveal at the presentation from a developer and it just wasn’t there.
8. Online features seem misguided
Paying for online systems are the norm and I have no issue with Nintendo charging for this service. This should mean more robust systems with better servers that allow players who want to play with friends have a solid experience. Both the Xbox and Playstation have found that you need to sweeten the deal with free games to get people to pay for the online services. Nintendo decides to add a new twist of only being able to play a game for one month, and then they take it away. Basically this turns the game service into the same as borrowing from your library.
I’m also concerned about having a phone App to be the only way you can communicate and play together on the Switch. It makes sense to have something outside the system itself because of the portability of this system, but there better be functionality for me to use when the system is docked at home that doesn’t require me to look at my phone.
9. UI seems to be improved
We got a brief look at the new UI that the Nintendo Switch will be using from the Treehouse Stream and it looks so much better. Both the Wii and Wii U were cluttered with boxes and were not the most intuitive. I like the simplistic design we have seen. Make the games the focus and allow us to get to them quickly. It seems to be a step in the right direction.
10. Nintendo’s future is unclear
I wanted to walk away from the Switch presentation feeling that Nintendo had learned from past mistakes and that the future was bright. I’m not calling doom for the system, I’m just very lukewarm about what the next few years will hold for the system. I think it will do better than the Wii U, but unsure on the mainstream appeal that is required to get Nintendo back to prominence. If they were able to combine their first party offerings with a third party developers and a competent online system, Nintendo would be the must own console each generation. They haven’t be able to do this over the last two generations and I’m just unsure this will do it.