In amidst all the hype and people raving about it, I’ve just got to say it – The Nintendo Switch isn’t looking great.
I’m a massive Nintendo mark. Have been for ages. I have a lot of their consoles and still play them quite regularly. I recently plugged my Gamecube in again and have been going through Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door again. Their games are second to none. Their hardware has been mostly outstanding to me. I’m even one of the few people (all 7 of us) who owns a Wii U and have gotten a fair bit of mileage out of it (granted I bought it about 2 years after release).
And naturally, a new Nintendo console has been revealed, and I’ve been following every update. So have you, likely. The teasers, the trailers, the game announcements, the First Impressions of people who’ve played it, all the rest of it. And they have all been quite positive. Games are fun, new Joy Con controller works well, motion controls are solid, Zelda is great, yada yada yada. But I can’t help but shake the feeling…
The Switch isn’t looking great. At least to me. Here’s why.
It’s the PS Vita
Wow, a HD console that has cutting edge graphics and is portable! How interesting!
We’ve already had one of those. For ages. And it didn’t do well.
“Oh but you can play it on the TV too!”
The PS Vita can be made to do the same thing. Just saying. We’ve already got this console.
That price… especially in Australia
In Australia, the Switch will be $470. Reminds me of the Sega Saturn launch. Just a bit too much for what you’re asking. My Android tablet has a longer battery life, far more games (and there are actually some great mobile games for Android and iOS at the moment), and far more flexibility, and I think it only cost me $270.
And the peripherals too are just as expensive. $80 for another controller. And I’ve watched everyone struggle with those little Joy Cons when they’ve played it. Just too much to ask, I think.
Where are the games?
Don’t get me wrong, I love Zelda. But since it’s also coming out on the Wii U, I’m not paying $470 on top of the price of the game, for what I can tell is not much difference. When I’ve seen the playthroughs side by side, to be honest, the Wii U one still looks better.
And there’s a new Mario and blah blah blah announced, okay. But there’s no real pledge of third party support – the consistent nail in the coffin for the last few Nintendo consoles (except the Wii, which had heaps).
I already have a Wii U, why would I buy another one?
HD graphics, gamepad, motion controls, the ability to play away from the TV, and made by Nintendo…
…I already have this console.
Granted, the Wii U should’ve been called the Switch instead, because I think the main reason it didn’t do as well is because people didn’t know it was a different console. But still. I’ve already bought the experience they’re trying to sell again.
Once again, it’s not a play that I think is going to work, the Switch isn’t looking great.
Speaking of plays I don’t think will work…
Avoiding the common features isn’t a gamble that’s paying off any more
Since the Gamecube, Nintendo has always reinforced that it isn’t about the common peripherals or the graphics or the media features, it’s about the games. As such, the Wii and the Wii U were fairly behind in terms of their technical prowess, integration with other devices, and even things like hard drive space and online capability.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a view that works any more.
Every other device game developers can design for comes on a more standard, cost effective platform. Content producers and developers can assume on other devices they’ll have more than 35GB to play with. Consumers can expect their device will enable their TVs and living rooms to integrate well with all their other tools, and that all content can be available digitally so they don’t have to bring the physical media around with them if they don’t want to.
The Switch still seems to be playing the “just the games” card, which for the price tag, isn’t going to fly.
So, will I be getting a Switch? Probably not. Maybe a few years into it once there’s some games I’d actually want that I literally can’t find anywhere else, and more than one.
Anyway, just some thoughts on the Switch. How about you? Will you buying it day one? Or are you skeptical about it, too?