Ok, I’ve had a few days to sit and organise my thoughts on the subject, so let’s dive in shall we?
I won’t go into why I’m not pre-ordering the console. I made that pretty apparent on Friday. What I do want to talk about is the presentation and it’s effectiveness and some general stuff about the console as a concept.
Let’s start where the show succeeded:
I think that the console itself is a great idea. I think that Nintendo has shown a real flare for creating a mobile product – with the 3DS’ obvious success at destroying the competition being it’s main claim to fame – so creating a home console that can be taken anywhere and you still get to play titles that are generally considered “home” games is pretty fantastic. I also think they’ve solved the issue of having portable games that you want to be able to play with friends. The Joycons are smart and (granted I haven’t held one so I can’t say this with total authority) well designed. I love the idea of being able to bring everything over to a friends or to a family event in one small, convenient package with no wires. Hauling the Wii around – despite being quite small, was always a pain because it came with controllers, 3 wires for AV/power/sensor, the sensor, plus big disc cases.
I also think the presentation was rather effective because in some ways I think they did exactly what they needed to do. They showed several big games for the launch/first year line-up. They showed a Zelda, Mario, Mario Kart (technically) and a huge 3rd party game – Skyrim. I think in this way, they definitely learned from the mistakes of the Wii U. Oh, I didn’t mention it initially – but Bomberman! Not that I know 7 other people who will buy a Switch, but the idea of playing 8 people side-by-side Bomberman is pretty awesome.
Where it failed:
Conversely – there were a lot of announcements that I thought were lacking. I mean, this was Nintendo’s chance to really wow the world. And there were a lot of big franchises missing. For one – Nothing on Pokemon! I mean, we know they have Stars in development! And even though it isn’t the Pokemon game we really want, it’s what we know is coming. Beyond that: No Metroid, Star Fox, Donkey Kong, Smash Bros or a new Mario Kart. Also – the 3rd party line-up aside from Skyrim was…well bad. I mean, a few games looked cool like the oddly named Square Enix project.
The other big blemish for me is Nintendo’s insistence on including their proprietary kookiness. Arms and 1-2-Switch are just straight up weird. I get that Nintendo still wants to be the family console – that’s fine. But there are other ways.
The overall tone of the presentation was good. I think Nintendo having some different faces out there, now that they are down a major player, is important. And I know Japanese culture is very different from North America – but they need to find some more charismatic showmen for something of this magnitude.
Also – if they’re going to copy the pay subscription of the other guys – you have to be willing to match it all. Not being able to keep your monthly games is a deal breaker.
For me, here are the two biggest drawbacks of the Switch: Price and memory. See, I like good graphics, but I have a PS4 and an Xbone Elite, so I don’t care too much what Nintendo’s graphics card/capabilities are. Battery life is about where I expected it. But the price is off the charts. Considering there is no 3D tech – this should have come in somewhere closer to the price of the 3DS.
So far as memory – starting with 32GB, expandable to 2TB, when installs are going to be 14GB for bigger games – unacceptable. The cost for a reasonable sized SDXC cards are over 100$. Adding even more incentive towards waiting out the price drop.
– The Ego