The Nintendo Switch: Pre-Launch Analysis
The future of Nintendo will be here on March 3rd. Will the future be bright and exiting or will it be a disappointment?
After months of speculation about their new hardware, a console handheld hybrid called the Switch, Nintendo revealed many important details about the device at a January 13th press conference. In traditional Nintendo fashion, the press conference (live streamed from Japan) was filled with ups and downs. There were plenty of exciting revelations about the new hardware and the games planned for the device but those exciting moments were coupled with groan-inducing moments that left viewers confused or with even more questions. With the newly acquired information from the presentation and a large amount of interviews and events Nintendo has hosted since then, consumers and analysts now have a clearer picture of what the system is and some of the games you will be able to play on it. With the release date looming, it is an excellent time to examine and analyze the information available to consumers. Let’s switch into gear!
Price – $299
The price of the Nintendo Switch will be $299 at launch. The console includes: A Nintendo Switch tablet (Tablet Sized Device), Joy Cons R and L that attach to the Switch, a Docking Station (To Display the Switch on a TV), charging cord, and the Joy Con Grip (used when the Switch is docked). Unlike earlier reports and rumors, there will not be differently priced models (different SKU’s) of the device. This is refreshing, as Nintendo has struggled to market their previous product and what is include in the different versions of their devices. Hopefully, having one SKU will eliminates some of the confusion about which version to buy on launch day. While there are not differently priced models like the Wii-U (which came in a 5 GB and a 32 GB model), the Switch will launch with two different models, both priced at $299. There will be a Switch console that includes muted gray Joy Cons and another model with one Blue and one Red joy cons.
The price of the product has disappointed many fans and analysts. Many analysts were hoping for a $250 to $275 price range, which they believed would help it compete in a very crowded marketplace. Currently you can get a PS4 and Xbox One, both of which are more powerful hardware than the Nintendo Switch for $299 (or cheaper if they are on-sale). It is disappointing that Nintendo did not price the product more competitively, which would make it easier to differentiate the Switch from its competition. That being said, the price of $299 is not so high that the Switch will be dead on arrival. At $299, the Switch is still a competitive product. It is fair to point out that the Xbox One and PS4 both launch at more expensive prices then the Switch but they also more powerful systems as well. Readers who want a Switch but think $299 is too expensive for the product should keep it eye out, perhaps Nintendo will drop the price or create bundles for Holiday 2017.
While the price of the Nintendo Switch is higher than some expected, the price still will allow it to be competitive in the market place. But what about if you want to buy a new controller? What if you want to an extra docking station? Well, the price of many of these items may leave you astonished or disgruntled. A single joy con will be sold for $49.99. A set of two Joy Cons will retail for $79.99. A docking station will cost $89.99. The Nintendo Switch pro controller, which will include HD rumble and motion controls (which were lacking from the Wii-U pro controller) will retail for $69.99, only slightly higher than what the Dual Shock 4 and Xbox One controllers retailed for. While there is admittedly a lot of tech crammed into the Joy Cons, the price of $49.99 for a single Joy Con or $79.99 for two, is not an appealing price point for consumers. If you want to buy a Joy Con Grip that charges your Joy Cons then that will cost you an extra $30 (for the record, the Joy Con Grip that the system comes with will not charge the Joy Cons while they are attached to the Grip).
The pricing of Joy Cons and other accessories could be a serious misstep for Nintendo, as they are pushing the Nintendo to be friendly to multiplayer games like Mario Kart, Arms (which requires a two Joy Con set up for maximum effect), and other games they may have down the pipeline in the future like Super Smash Bros. Early reaction to the pricing of these accessories and controllers has been skewed towards the negative. In an article for Polygon, Ben Kuchera asserted that the consumer perception of the price of these accessories will be “an important detail as Nintendo begins to try to sell this thing to a mainstream audience, and the initial reaction isn’t positive” (Kuchera, Polygon.com).
The battery life of the Nintendo Switch continues to be a point of contention for the new hybrid system. At the presentation, gamers and analysts received information that many had expected: the battery life will largely depend on the game you are running on the device. In their conference, Nintendo asserted that the Switch will give player ” 2.5 to 6 hours of gameplay” per charge. For big games, that number will probably veer towards 2.5 to 3.5 hours per charge. It has been confirmed by Nintendo that Zelda will have a max of 3 hours per charge.
The battery life remains a gray cloud hanging over Nintendo’s head. It is dangerous for a system which is touted as a system you can take “on the go” to only support two to three hours of gameplays per charge. Perhaps there will be external batteries made by retailers and other companies. Battery life remains an issue that could stand in the way of the Switch’s success. When discussing battery life of the Switch, IGN’s Jose Otero wrote that the Switch could succeed or fail based on how battery “limitation impacts the overall portable experience” (Otero, IGN.com).
One advantage the Switch has over the current Nintendo 3DS handheld system is the Switch’s use of the USB-C charging cable. USB technology is much more common than the cables and charger that the 3DS used. USB-C is a common charging cord used to charge smart phones and other devices. This means that you may already a charger that can be used with the switch.
During their presentation Nintendo gave almost no information about Virtual Console and since the presentation they have remained quiet on the issue. Virtual Console is a digital E-shop service where games can buy and download older generation games. Each game is priced somewhere between $4.99 and $19.99 depending on the console it originally appeared on. Many gamers have spent considerable time and money with Virtual console games on Wii-U. With the advent of the Wii-U many games want to be able to play these games on the Switch. The hot issue is whether this upgrade will be free or there will be fees for moving your virtual console games to the Nintendo Switch.
Additionally, it was rumored that Nintendo Switch would bring some GameCube games to the device, including the revered Super Smash Bros Melee, a game fans wish to have access to and a game that is commonly played at some fighting tournaments. Another rumored virtual console title is Mother 3, a game with a passionate following. Virtual console could be used to pat the launch line up. Nintendo has a rich history of excellent games and making these available could help distract from a lack of software, or fill in the gaps between big first party releases like Zelda and Mario.
Online: Pay to Play (Eventually)
Nintendo is taking major steps towards modernizing their online with the Nintendo Switch. At long last, Nintendo will have a voice-chat a feature that many critics thought hampered multiplayer online games of the Wii-U era, such as Splatoon and Mario Kart 8. The service will let players invite friends to play online, set play appointments, and chat with friends. Online will be free until Fall 2017 when it will become a paid subscription. It will depend on what exactly is provided in the service and the price of the service. A recent interview from Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima revealed that the service cost “2,000 – 3,000 yen annually which translates to $17.62-$26.44 (16.39-24.58 EUR / 13.94-20.91 GBP)” (Pereira, Gamespot.com). While this number may not be an exact estimation for the United States, it is likely that the price will be somewhere in the $20 to $30 range. This pricing model is much more affordable than the price of Xbox Live or Play Station Plus, though it is unlikely that the features included in Nintendo paid online service will as robust as Sony or Microsoft’s are.
Nintendo is opting to use a mobile phone app as the portal for Online chat and other services. This is intriguing since Nintendo has only begun to connect their software and hardware with smart phones and the mobile market since the launch of Miitomo and Super Mario Run last year. Another feature that will come with the paid subscription is access to a SNES or NES game. Unlike subscriptions like Games for Gold and PlayStation Plus, which allows you to keep these games as long as you are a paid subscriber, the NES or SNES game will disappear every time a new month rolls around. In this case, it is more like rental service rather than receiving a free game. One interesting detail that Nintendo has no elaborated on is the “newly added online play” (Nintendo). It is exciting to think of being able to Super Mario Kart and other classic games online. If executed correctly, these monthly games could become exciting community events.
If Nintendo delivers a drastically improved online experience and additional features, then there will be ample justification for their decision to opt for paid online. In an article for Forbes.com, Erik Kain asserted that Nintendo is free to follow Microsoft and Sony’s example by charging for online services, but it is uncertain if the quality will match the online services offer by other companies. Nintendo is coming from a position of “inexperience with online networks” and needs to deliver a high quality service their gamers will enjoy using. (Kain Forbes.com). Until gamers have a chance to try the service, we will not know how stable the online connection is, how effectively features like voice chat and lobbies are implemented in a smart phone app, and if it is worth paying for this service once it becomes pay to use.
Storage – Almost Non Existent
The Switch will launch with a measly 32 Gigabytes of internal storage. As a consumer, this choice feels baffling. While many consumers and fans knew not to expect the larger 500 GB or 1 Terra-byte of storage that comes with a PS4 or Xbox One, many expected a larger hard drive than 32 GB. The Wii-U, which launched in 2012, had options for a 5GB or 32 GB system at launch. This means that Nintendo has not increased the storage space at all since the Wii-U. Since games are becoming larger and larger, it feels like a misstep to not increase the size of internal storage for the system. For example, if downloaded digitally, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild would take up 13.4 GB, almost half of the Switch’s storage.
Despite this, the Switch does have two things going for it storage-wise. Firstly, the Switch is using cartridges instead of Blu-ray discs. The advantage of cartridges is that they do not require storage space or need to downloads data into the hard drive the way Blu-Ray discs have to. Many big games like Halo 5:Guardians and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End required 50-60 GB installs in order to be played. If Switch buyers buy cartridges instead of buying game digitally, then they can conserve their storage space for E-shop games and other digital only products.
Another bonus for the Switch is that it supports the expansion of memory with Micro SD cards. The Switch has a micro SD slot build onto the device, a wise choice considering the rather limited memory the system comes with. Micro SD cards will users to expand the memory of the Switch significantly. Ultimately it is frustrating that the Switch has a somewhat limited memory, but it is something that Switch buyers will put up with and there are already some fairly cheap solutions to the storage problem.
The Launch Line Up
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will anchor the Switch’s launch
The Launch Line Up remains an issue for the Switch. Reports from Polygon and IGN confirm that the Switch will launch with less games than the Wii, Wii-U, Xbox One, or PS4. Currently the North American launch line-up includes a disappointing amount of games: 1,2 Switch, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Just Dance 2017 (Ubisoft), Super Bomber Man R (Konami), I Am Setsuna (Tokyo RPG Factory/Square Enix), The Binding of Isaac Afterbirth, Skylanders: Imaginators, Human Resource Machine, Little Inferno, and World of Goo. Needless to say, the current Switch launch lineup is not the most extensive list of games, but there is some interesting variety in the games available at launch.
While the Wii-U may have launched may with more games, it was not anchored by the launch of a game like Breath of the Wild, which is one of the most anticipate games of the year. Nintendo’s last console to launch with a Zelda game was the Wii, which launched with The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess (also a dual launch game) to great success. While the new Zelda will also launch on the Wii-U, the game remains a huge draw for potential Switch buyers. The game has garnered huge attention from fans and critics alike. With the promise of an impressive open world experience, gorgeous art direction, and a return to the fundamentals of the original Zelda, the game is shaping up to be a once in a generation experience. If there is one game that could offset a weak launch line up, it is Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Software After Launch
Launch line ups for systems are often lack luster for many new consoles, regardless of the quality of the machine. In order to achieve more stable success in the market, a console or handheld needs to have games after launch to encourage consumers to buy the device and to convince current owners to continue to support the device. If the Nintendo Switch does launch with a weak launch line up, as it most likely will, Nintendo can recover from a weak launch line up with a steady flow of games from first and third party developers. In a recent interview, Nintendo President Kimishima assert that it is important to “continue to provided new titles regularly without long gaps. This encourages to continue actively playing the system, maintains buzz, and continued sales momentum for the Switch.” (Gurwin, Digitaltrends.com). Whether Nintendo will accomplish this goal remains to be seen, but if they do, they will avoid a major problem that plagued the Wii-U.
Let’s start by discussing what is usually one of Nintendo’s greatest strengths: first party software. At the presentation, Nintendo showed off two high profile ports/expansions of big Wii-U properties: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Splatoon 2. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which includes all the content of the Wii-U game and its two DLC packs, along with a revised battle mode, will launch on April 28. Mario Kart 8 did astonishing well on the Wii-U’s dismal install base, selling 8 million copies (an astronomical number for a console that has a life-time install base of 13-14 million), and Nintendo is banking Mario Kart 8 to repeat its success with the Switch. While this game may not be exciting to Switch owners who already own a Wii-U, the game is incredible and is a great pick up for any Switch owners who didn’t own a Wii-U.
Splatoon 2, a semi sequel to the Wii-U’s break out success story, will be coming to Switch in Summer. The recent Nintendo press event allowed many to play a build of the game. Splatoon will be coming out in Summer 2017. Snipperclips, Cut It Out Together, an interesting experiment from Nintendo and one of their first E-shop games, will launch sometime in March. Arms, a game that looks like an exciting expansion of Nintendo Wii boxing mini game, will be available in Spring 2017. It’s use of the Joy Cons allows for a unique control scheme. The recently announced Fire Emblem Warriors is slated for a fall 2017 release.
Nintendo still has a lot of question in terms of Software for their first year. There will likely be a tickle of announcements prior to the Switch’s launch, and then more announcements coming at their June 2017 E3 conference. If Nintendo wants to succeed, they need to bring an assortment of games and experiences to the Switch. Fans of Metroid may finally see the return of Samus Aran by year’s end, as Nintendo of America President Reggie stated that reports should “talk to me in a year, after we see what happen” (YouTube, Game Spot Interview). One can only hope Metroid will make a triumphant return on the Nintendo Switch.
In terms of Third Party support, considerable questions remain. Will studios like Ubisoft, EA, and others bring their games to the Switch, including games they have developed for PS4, Xbox One, and PC? The showing of third parties at the presentation was rather tepid (including EA’s somewhat awkward FIFA presentation) but there is still hope that third parties will support the system. There were rumors of a Dark Souls port, as well as a Ubisoft’s rumored Good or Evil sequel, will these games end up on the Switch? Only time will tell how well the Nintendo Switch is supported by Third Parties. The future is by no means certain at this moment. And it would be unwise to say that the Switch will be fully support or not support by Third Parties.
Indies game seem to already have an exciting presence on the Switch. Fan favorite Shovel Knight will be an excellent title for gamers looking to scratch their retro gaming itch. The beautiful puzzle adventure game RiME be arriving on the Switch. Yooka Laylee, Playtonic’s exciting new 3D Platformer was cancelled for the Wii-U, but it has been confirmed as Nintendo Switch game for later this year. In addition to the above mentioned games, there are a variety of other Indie games that are coming to Switch, each offering distinct and interesting experiences. It is exciting to see how developers take advantage of the Switch hardware and support from Indie developers so far is extremely encouraging.
What do you think about the Nintendo Switch? Will you be buying the console handheld hybrid when it launches on March 3rd. Will you be waiting until more games come to the system? Are you unconvinced by what Nintendo has shown?
Gurwin, Gabe. “Nintendo admits Switch launch lineup is slim, promises continued stream of games.” Digital Trends. N.p., 02 Feb. 2017. Web. 03 Feb. 2017.
Kain, Erik. “The 5 Biggest Problems With The Nintendo Switch.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 19 Jan. 2017. Web. 25 Jan. 2017.
Kuchera, Ben. “The pricing on Nintendo Switch accessories is a bad, bad joke.” Polygon. Polygon, 13 Jan. 2017. Web. 03 Feb. 2017.
Gamespot. “Nintendo Switch: A Deep Dive with Reggie Fils-Aimé.” YouTube. YouTube, 17 Jan. 2017. Web. 03 Feb. 2017.
Pereira, Chris. “Nintendo Switch’s Online Subscription Service May Cost Less Than You Expect.” GameSpot. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Feb. 2017.
Nintendo “Nintendo Switch online service – Nintendo Switch™ Official site – Online gaming, multiplayer, voice chat.” Nintendo – Official Site – Video Game Consoles, Games. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Feb. 2017.
What do you think? Leave a comment.
This is a well-researched and informative overview. I’ve been following news about the Switch, but this is one of the most comprehensive run-downs I’ve seen and I learned a lot. Great work.
I buy every Nintendo console. It all began when I bought my son the N64. I was amazed by the system. Plug in, no noise immediate action. Then I saw that the Playstation was outselling it by miles. I had never seen or played on one. The kid next door had bought one, so after a month of feeling like an idiot , I borrowed it . Had the world gone mad?! Silly disc, noise, slow loading and the most miserable of colours on screen. I gave it back the same day.
The world was robbed of a fantastic system all because Sony did a better marketing job than Nintendo. Ever since I go for the Nintendo. A nice experience every time with lovely games. My son of course when he became a teenager , bought an X Box and like all Sony and X Box nerds , think destroying endless creatures is great. They grow up of course. I find keeping Nintendo alive really annoys X Box and Playstation owners . They, like most immature people think everything about size.
It might just be Nintendo’s best console since the Super NES.
New Zelda is worth the purchase alone.
I think it will definitely be a day one purchase for the majority of Switch owners who buy the system at launch. It’s one of the most anticipated games of the year on any system.
I’ve preordered it despite never pre-ordering a Nintendo system before, but I’ve owned SNES, DS and 3DS. The reason being is Nintendo is important for gaming as it counterbalances the West obsession with realism and living vicariously through games. I don’t want to pretend to kill people and I don’t want to pretend to be a footballer (sorry Fifa, but I won’t be buying you on switch ). Yes,i’m being reductive but generally games on other systems lack imagination. Nintendo is all about creativity and fun – it has the energy and experimentation found only in indie developers. It doesn’t take itself seriously and when it does well it’s games can be completely magical experiences that are unforgettable.
If switch ends up being niche then so be it – Sega Dreamcast was a massive flop, but had some truly amazing and timeless games during its brief time, which I played the **** out of.
This stereotype about Western games being realistic and unimaginative is not even nearly true.
Overwatch, Undertale, Little Big Planet, The Witcher, Rocket League, Dota, Portal, Kerbal, Shovel Knight, Hearthstone, The Last of Us, Alien Isolation, Gone Home, Elite Dangerous, Minecraft, Life is Strange, Xcom. And that’s just in the last few years.
Meanwhile Nintendo gives us another Mario game and another Zelda game.
I never understand the problems some gamers have with Nintendo. If you don’t like their games, don’t by the console. Personally, the only reason you should by Nintendo consoles, is to play their games, which are almost always amazing. Basically, what Nintendo does best (making games), they still do best.
I agree that Nintendo has amazing software. Zelda, Mario, Metroid, Smash Bros, MArio Kart, and all their other games are fantastic games.
I think part of the issue becomes how long are the gaps are between these releases? Sometimes it can be as much or more than four or five months between release and people want other games to play between the time when Nintendo’s big games come out.
That’s where the need for other developers, whether its indies or big developers, to have games coming out on your system.
Thank you for your comment.
I wonder if Nintendo will eventually fade away in the midst of all the newer consoles and games….
The switch concept is clever but perhaps too gimmicky. Too many bits. Might have been better to sell a separate controller for the console/charger (most will prefer this anyway) and just build controls into the handheld.
I patiently await to see what happens with this thing before making my mind up about it.
I miss Discworld on the PC….. I loved those games, I wish developers would make games like that now. I used to play games to relax and be entertained, now it all seems to be shooters and ridiculously difficult rpgs. I just want to switch my brain off from stress, not nearly have a heart attack! I love the lego games, but once you’ve played one you’ve retry much played them all. Heavy Rain was ok, but still not a patch on Pratchett and Eric Idle!
Remember how everyone thought the Wii was a crazy idea and how it would fail? Funny how it turned out to be one of the best selling consoles of all time, isn’t it? Nintendo have a way of making this kind of thing work. This is what they do. You lot sat at your computers haven’t got a clue about the sheer amount of planning and careful design work that has gone into building the Switch.
The best thing about Nintendo is it is idiosyncratic. The worst thing about Nintendo is it is idiosyncratic. It could work but the pricing looks wrong and nowt much inpressive on launch. There are some unbelievably smart people there but they appear hampered by sclerotic management. Time will tell of course.
Nintendo are a company it’s so easy to hate, and yet still engender almost universal goodwill.
There are myriad problems with this launch, any number of which could have been easily dealt with ahead of time.
The console itself is far too expensive.
People won’t mind paying for an online subscription – unless they’re already doing so for both PSN and XBox Live, in which case that’s quite a substantial annual outlay. And the free games are laughable – one free, old title, per month, that DISAPPEARS after that month? I’m convinced this will change. However, the hard drive is too small to hold many downloaded games, so who knows.
The one thing it has going for it over Wii U is that its messaging is crystal clear. Almost everything else, apart from having Zelda ready for launch, has been botched. It really seems like whoever’s in charge at Nintendo has no common sense whatsoever.
And finally, I already have a deposit down for Switch, as, despite their infuriating attitude towards consumers, I love Nintendo and want them around forever.
I think this thing will be the first nail in the coffin for Nintendo in regards to them producing their own hardware. Virtual Boy all over again but less innovative.
The trailer is so utterly depressing. Buy a Switch, travel the world and miss the lot. Sit on a hill as the sun goes down staring at a virtual Hyrule sunset.
Nintendo really messed up their online imo.
Yes, they bring out classic nes and snes games each month. But they seem to last only that month.
Should have copied the Xbox gold model imo, where as long as you have a valid account, all the games are available.
I was quite excited by it when it was announced but I’m thinking it’s going to be another Nintendo console that I wait about three years or so then pick up on the cheap with a (by then) small but perfectly formed back catalogue of excellent games.
I would like a new Nintendo console, but the detachable handles worry me greatly. I like hardware, be it a console, a phone or whatever, to FEEL nice, to feel well made. I fear that the Switch might feel a bit loose and wobbly.
That aside, it looks pretty promising to me. I’ll have to get my hands on one and then decide whether to get stuck in straight away or wait for the next iteration of the hardware.
Will almost certainly have to get one eventually, though. Nintendo consoles are home to so many great games that you can’t get anywhere else, it will inevitably be worth picking up.
This console looks so creative, and I can see the idea of powerful ‘gaming-tablets’ being a popular thing in the near future. If only it wasn’t so expensive. I can see this console having a slow start, but becoming successful once the price is dropped.
Maybe, just maybe Nintendo want this to be the overall successor to both the wii and the 3DS in one package.
I like the idea of a Nintendo to play games with my kid who coming up to the age of 5 is about ready to start playing games and be able to continue doing so on long car journeys.
As a long term gamer I have yet to play any iPhone/iPad game that is anything other than a time killer
It seems this time Nintendo is doing things right – no gimmicks, and a lot of focus on merging the 3DS and WiiU talent to make the best games. It’s a shame the launch lineup is a bit thin (of course Zelda will sell a lot of Switch consoles at launch), but if they get it going and make the right calls with the virtual console I think they can be massively successful! Good luck Nintendo!!
I think we’re a generation, maybe two, away from the end of the home console in the sense we currently know it. I don’t think Switch will be the thing to move us forwards to some new epoch, though, just an interesting blip.
The danger is that, rather than shaping a whole new way of playing games, it could very easily fall down as trying to be all things to all men. Rather than trying to create a new way of playing games, or a whole new gaming paradigm, or finding a new market – some combination of which was what lead to the success of the Wii and DS – it’s just trying to combine two existing models into one, and it’s a little harder to get excited about that.
The problem is that there are so many things vying for your leisure money now – to make up some ballpark figures, a console might set you back anywhere from £200-£300, with a new smartphone around £200, a new tablet another £200, a new laptop another £200-£300, a smart TV another £300, a new smart watch however much they cost.
Of course, no one needs to buy all of those things, and you’re unlikely to buy them all in a short space of time, but it’s a lot of products out there all fighting for your cash, and something has to give. For most people, handheld gaming is a time-killer, and why buy a Switch when you could just as easily play a couple of games on the smart-phone or tablet during your train journey instead? Sure, it might not be the new Zelda, or a port of Skyrim, might just be a dodgy old Puzzle Bobble knock-off, but when there’s hundreds of pounds to be accounted for, and all you need is to fill time for an hour or two, does it really matter? And as a home console? It’ll struggle as the Wii U did.
Really love the idea of console and portable gaming in one device. But the Switch does not seem to be that device. In short it is portable machine that you can hook up to your TV(like a tablet) rather than a gaming console you can play on the go. And even for that, the battery life is sub-par, the price too high, and third party support next to non existent.
Sadly, it seems I will have to stick to my PS4/Vita for the time being.
This console seems to be a way of bridging the difference in gaming between Japan, the US and Europe. Handhelds are everywhere in Japan with hardly anyone playing at home now, elsewhere its all about the home systems.
I’m a big fan of Nintendo but no way will I be taking the risk buying this at launch, the launch line-up apart from Zelda is crap. And as a very rare Wii U owner i already have Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon and can buy Zelda: Breath Of The Wild on Wii U as well so I have no reason at all to buy this, sorry Nintendo, must try harder.
The key thing is really the line-up. I’ve bought every console from Nintendo since the N64 but I agree this is a wait and see. I love the N games in general but do want a decent football game. Loved PES on the Wii and still play it but need something new. Fifa seems lame in comparison.
I agree with your thought! At this point, there isn’t a strong reason for Wii-U owners to move to the Switch. With Zelda launching on the Wii-U and Mario Kart 8 already on the Wii-U. The portability of the Switch is exciting for not necessarily a reason to buy a Switch when you already own or can own games like Zelda and Mario Kart on the Wii-U.
I think Super Mario Odyssey will be the big reason for Wii-U owners to migrate over to a Switch.
Personally, I was one of the few people that did not buy Mario Kart 8 on the Wii-U so buying it on the Switch will be my first time with the game.
With countless thousands of great free games available for my iPad, why rush out and spend £280 for a handheld unit with a screen smaller than an iPad mini which only has a couple of decent games?
I can’t see any logic at all in this. Just outdated. Bad management, or something.
If the Switch can integrate games with mobile phones instead of a separate console, I could see it doing well.
The thing is, outside of home, most people play simple games on their phones, not on their Sony Vita etc which are no longer popular. So if the controls could be used on a phone and then the game could continue at home on the console or TV, that would be cool.
I can’t play games on the go whilst riding my sweet hog across the globe.
I’d buy a Switch if you could just get the system without the touch screen. Same went for the Wii U, although to be fair that gimmick was integral to some of the games.
I won’t be suckered into buying another Nintendo system. Few games, short life cycle… you just can’t justify making the investment in the console before the next one comes out and you have to start again!
Short life cycle? The Gamecube was out in 2001/2002, followed by the Wii in 2006, Wii U in 2012 and now the Switch in March 2017. Roughly 5/6 years per console isn’t short at all… and the Wii was clearly supported longer because of the consumer support. Their handheld sector has similar periods too… the 3DS is 6 years old in March.
My only worry with Nintendo is their inability to create games regularly to satisfy their fans, on two different systems. Now we have one, hopefully, this should be improved. Even as a Nintendo fan, I’m still not sure I can jump in on this at launch just yet either.
Agreed. Nintendo are living off the success their employees of the 1980s and 1990s brought them, in addition to mindless sheep who buy their products regardless just because it’s from nintendo.
Listen people, make nintendo earn your money, don’t just give it to them.
I don’t care what anyone else thinks, I am pre-ordering one. Yours, lifelong Nintendo fan.
Yes! Nintendo! Please take my money!
I’m stoked. The new Zelda looks fantastic. My little girl wants it now. Man, she’s 4 and has remembered every last detail of Zelda.
Multiplayer also looks pretty damn good on Switch. Hopefully we’ll get a new Mario Kart (Yeah… *duh* I know!) and, cross fingers, pretty please, a new F Zero X in the mould of the N64 version.
I am worried about the return of F-Zero. The franchise has been dormant for so long, hopefully it will return on Switch.
If you are interested in the F-Zero franchise I would check out Fast RMX when it comes out on the Switch, which is a semi sequel to Fast Racing Neo on Wii-U. It has a F-Zero vibe, but unfortunately it doesn’t have Captain Falcon.
I don’t care what they release tbh as I’ll be buying it for Zelda alone. Anything else is a bonus.
This is a very thorough review. I wanted to learn more about the Switch ever since I heard of it’s launch and this is one of the most complete and detailed analysis I have read till now. Hats off!
I was actually more hyped for the Switch before the reveal last month. The launch titles are lacking and the non-inclusion of Virtual Console at launch means that people are basically buying a $300 Zelda machine. I’d rather have a launch delayed until the holiday season to give them more time to polish it and give it more appealing launch titles. Great analysis!
I am pensively excited for the Switch, but with how big of a screen it has I am worried about breaking it if I take it outside and play on the go. You would think from the 3DS they would know how to format battery life and how to make the switch last for longer than 2-3 hours. I still plan on getting the Switch, but I don’t plan on ever taking it outside unless I’m moving or bringing it to a friend’s house.
Hi! I would recommend checking out this Forbes article about battery life.
They have some interesting statistics and comparison to the battery life of other electronic products.
Like you, I am also not planning to take the Switch outside, but I think battery life is important to a system touted as a console experience “on the go”.
Excellent article, thanks for posting.
As for the Switch itself, I really want to love it. Going back to a cartridge based system is a great move, and Nintendo consistently builds excellent, long-lasting machines. Plus, I’ve always had a soft spot for Nintendo properties. I’ll be picking up one of these consoles eventually for Breath of the Wild alone.
However, I am skeptical of a few things. My biggest concern is the lack of Virtual Console at launch. This should have been a no-brainer, since Nintendo has an amazing backlog of incredible games. Weak storage and lack of third party support is also disappointing, but not as critical.
Still though. That Zelda.
Happy Nintendo Switch and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild launch! I hope that if you are looking to buy a Switch you can find one and enjoy playing it!
I thought the price was a bit too high as well. The system feels pretty awkward, but my 9-year-old seemed to have no problem transitioning.
It seems that the one saving grace of the Nintendo Switch is the price of games and subscription price—provided that the price of new games is also competitively priced and there are a lot of games that require additional the additional controls.