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We had the weekend to consume all the Switch information Nintendo gave us despite having more questions than answers for some of us. The basics if you missed our recap of last Thursday’s presentation from Japan are that the console is out on March 3rd for $299.99. There’s also two SKUs to get with the normal black version and also the Neon one with Red and Blue Joy-Cons. The day one launch lineup is also pretty limited to a few games headlined by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. While some of us here at Entertainment Fuse are still excited for the Nintendo Switch and it’s potential, others are concerned about some of their decisions made for the console.
I see plenty of potential in the new Nintendo Switch. Nintendo’s latest hybrid console introduces great ideas with endless possibilities. I was eager to learn about it, but the recent presentation left a sour taste in my mouth. During the presentation, Nintendo was rather vague about the console details. We don’t know how strong this console is or how it’ll stake up compared to its competitors. I’m sure we will learn more in the coming months, but no info on how this console will compete with the PS4 and Xbox One is questionable.
Next, Nintendo’s initial online plan seems sketchy. To change from a free online service to a subscription based plan is something no one wanted to see. I’ve played online games on Wii U like Smash Bros and Mario Kart 8 and all have had issues out the gate. I hope with this premium service, Nintendo has a way of making a quality online experience for all to enjoy.
Not only will subscribers have access to online play, but also will receive a free NES or SNES game during each month. Here’s the catch; the free game is only free for that month, after that the owner has to pay to continue playing it. I think this is terrible compared to PSN and Xbox Live, where members get current generation games for free. Switch owners are left with games nearly 30 years old that just hold no value anymore. If Nintendo is going to offer these classic games to us through this service, just let us keep them.
Now lastly, the Switch’s current line-up is all around weak. Its launch line-up is pretty lackluster so far, but the games set to launch this year are mostly ports of games we’ve already played. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild looks great, but is going to launch on Wii U the same day so if you already have a Wii U, why fight for this new console? Mario Kart 8, Skyrim, Street Fighter II, all look great, but can easily be played right now. If there was a stronger library, I would’ve rushed and got a preorder. For right now I’m content with sticking to what I already have.
I hope the Switch successes, I think it’ll do great in the long run of things. But right now, if you didn’t manage to get a preorder for Nintendo’s latest, don’t shoot yourself in the foot. Wait for the system to grow, and see where it goes from here. Until then, here’s hoping the Switch blows everyone away and all those who did preorder it.
Sigh. What a disappointment that was. I was all in on the Nintendo Switch when they first showed it off. I loved that the ‘gimmick’ was a home console you can take with you and play like a handheld. It seems like Nintendo was putting a lot of past mistakes behind them and really focusing on just making great games again. Then this presentation happened. Don’t get me wrong; there’s still many positives to take from this. The price is good. Zelda looks incredible. Mario looks amazing (if you ignore the New Donk City level which just gives too strong of a Sonic 2006 vibe to ignore). And it still is a home console that’s portable which is just what I wanted. But let’s get to the bad stuff.
I can’t effectively describe how sad I was when they first showed that this thing had motion controls. I enjoyed the Wii at the time but I’m past that now and really don’t want to play that way anymore. When they first showed off 1-2-Switch, which looks absolutely atrocious, my heart truly sank. Seeing people waggle those tiny joy cons was the perfect image if you wanted to illustrate everything I don’t want from the Nintendo Switch. Then Arms happened and now the major games you’re tying to your platform at launch is gimmicky rubbish to me that I have zero intention of playing.
Again, I think Zelda looks like it may be the best one yet and that’s really saying something. But having that at launch and then literally nothing I want to play until Mario in the fall just doesn’t get me excited to buy one of these things. Splatoon is awesome but that trailer for Splatoon 2 genuinely looks exactly like the first game to the point I thought it was just a port until it said Splatoon 2 at the end. Then I’m reminded of the poor online experience I had trying to play Splatoon with friends and now Nintendo is charging for their barely functional online services? I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
I could go on but to keep this brief I just feel very let down after that presentation. I’ve owned every piece of Nintendo hardware and I can’t see that changing in the future but this gave me no reason (outside of Zelda which is supposedly still coming to Wii U) to buy a Switch on March 3rd. And unless they change their messaging this will absolutely be another Wii U. A weird console that relies too much on gimmicks, that had 3-5 amazing games over it’s life cycle but ultimately never reached it’s potential. And if that happens again Nintendo won’t be making hardware after the Switch. I really hope I’m proven wrong.
I was hesitant on pre-ordering a Nintendo Switch after what transpired at their presentation last Thursday. Despite waking up early enough last Friday to still snag one, I remain baffled today of their decision making. The price point is the best they can go with to not piss fans off, but no pack-in game? 1-2 Switch is the ideal pack-in with it’s quirky mini-games and being fun at parties. Not sure many of us would pay $50 for it though. Speaking of that, fans were outraged at Nintendo going back to motion-control heavy games with 1-2 Switch and Arms. Personally I didn’t mind it to diversify the lineup, but Nintendo is trying too hard to recapture the Wii magic.
The baffling decisions don’t stop there for me. How about those overpriced extra controllers? The Wii was the last time I invested in extra controllers. $80 for another pair of Joy-Cons and a Pro Controller for $70? That’s overkill. Plus I might get a Hori arcade stick for Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers. Then there’s the online features they barely talked about last weekend. Their service being paid eventually had to happen, but using a paid online smartphone app for voice chat?!? What?!? Sure, I don’t use voice chat much these days for online games unless I’m with close friends, but cmon Nintendo. I know you still want to be outside the box with this, but are you kidding me?
However, where Nintendo dropped the ball most for me so far with the Switch is what we thought it would be in the first place. With the console also being played on the go, we would see the console/handheld lineups unified into one hybrid. In other words, we would see games normally on 3DS finally on console like the mainline Pokemon games. Instead their messaging currently seems to be that the Switch and 3DS will still coexist on the market together. Nintendo development teams don’t seem to be all-in on the Switch as many expect. This is just gonna be another console for them to sell except that also has portability. The portability is still neat, but those expecting a new Nintendo to come out swinging at launch are pretty disappointed.
With all that said, there’s still games I wanna play on the Nintendo Switch. The new Zelda and Super Mario Odyssey are obviously must plays this year along with Splatoon 2 for me. Despite control issues, I’m still down for Ultra Street Fighter II. For Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and eventually the Smash Bros. Wii U port, I’m not sure yet. Some changes for Mario Kart seem substantial like the revamped Battle Mode. However local multiplayer still being 30 fps when playing with three to four players still shakes my head. Hopefully the unification of lineups happens sooner than later for the Switch because this is shaping up to be deja vu like the Wii U if that’s not gonna be the case.
The Nintendo Switch looks to be the best system they’ve ever made. Granted that’s a bold proclamation, and I’ve never said that with any of their other systems (though I thought Wii was going to be a big deal since the Wii Remote unveiling in TGS 2005), but hear me out.
It’s modern-looking like a high end piece of tech, but simple to understand. Not only that, but unlike the Wii Remote, it does not interfere with any sort of modern gaming. Like the presentation said, it combines every hardware feature they’ve added (with the exception of the 3DS’ stereoscopic 3D) and then added some subtle stuff like the HD Rumble (which stunned hands-on players). But the best part will be the inevitable lineup.
With no parallel console and handheld market to perform a two-sided war against console and mobile competitors, everything’s on one system. The next Mario? On Switch. The Next Zelda? Pokémon? Switch. Fire Emblem? Splatoon? Switch. Animal Crossing? Switch. And if they drag Metroid, Star Fox, F-Zero or any other Nintendo franchise? One place to look: Switch. That’s not even counting the expected Wii U ports, in which we’ve only seen one: Mario Kart 8, aka the #1 selling game on the system.
Lastly, it’s a good home for third-parties to find unexpected successes: international markets. The 3DS has been a surprisingly successful home for Western releases of Japanese games than they’ve ever been on consoles and other past handhelds. Monster Hunter and Shin Megami Tensei sold okay in the West prior to the 3DS and are now hitting the NPD charts like never before; and games like Project X Zone blew way expectations ten-fold thanks to the Western audiences.
With Western games like Call of Duty and GTA gaining traction in Japan, the Switch puts these types games on the handheld platform they desire. Don’t be surprised to see FIFA, Skyrim, Minecraft and NBA 2K18 all-of-a-sudden topping a Japanese chart like never before. It’ll do fine at the very least in the West (preorder quantities seem to outpace Wii and demand is much better than Wii U), but it’ll completely monopolize the market in Japan with those games plus million-selling franchises like Splatoon, Super Mario, Dragon Quest, Shin Megami Tensei, Sonic, Fire Emblem and the inevitable Monster Hunter and Pokémon. This is the system that helps everybody.