The Push and Pull of Nintendo

Avatar image for triznoy
triznoy

24

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

1

Followers

Reviews: 4

User Lists: 0

Edited By triznoy

The Push and Pull of Nintendo

I got a lot of problems with the Nintendo Switch! And now you’re gonna hear about it! Ok, ok, I don’t hate the Nintendo Switch, I think I just have an issue with the perception of it and why Nintendo tends to always get a free pass. At what point do we look at the output for the Switch and conclude that it’s spotty at best. There are large swaths of time where the Switch just stays swaddled between the walls of its stand because there is simply no reason to take it out. That is a serious bummer! Going back to late 2019 when Link’s Awakening, Ring Fit, Luigi’s Mansion 3, and Pokemon were released, it has been relatively quiet. 2020 brought unforeseen complications that seem to have gravely depressed the output at Nintendo and also saw the release of a mega-seller with Animal Crossing. But the rest of 2020 was mostly wind and tumbleweeds. The same can be said for 2018 too. And 2021’s slate seems troubling (though still heavily unknown).

Of the top 15 selling Switch games, 5 are ports/remakes and 1 (Breath of the Wild) was a Wii U game that made it to the release of the Switch. Since the Switch was released almost 4 years ago, 12, yes a dozen games have simply been taken from the Wii U library and put onto the Switch. I would also argue that 3 of those top-selling games are sequels in beloved series that came with serious, you can’t allow these things to happen any more Nintendo, complications that tarnished (subjectively) the enjoyment of the Switch releases. This brings me to the forgiving Nintendo over and over again part of the discussion. Nintendo makes great games, they make feel-good games for all ages, but they also are the encyclopedia definition of 2 steps forward 1 giant step back. Super Mario Maker 2 should have been better than the original, but Nintendo’s ignorance towards online necessities clipped the potential this sequel could have had. The problems of sharing and finding levels with people as well as not expanding the game with enough properties the community wanted (Mario 2, where were you?) led to a worse game than the first. Animal Crossing sold a bajillion copies and clearly helped a lot of people get through a tough year, but it was also hamstrung by Nintendo’s life-long misunderstanding of how people want to utilize online and co-op play (also you can’t play Excitebike or Punch Out so Gamecube Animal Crossing 4 Life). Pokemon Sword and Shield is the third sequel that seems to have missed the mark for the Switch. Not only were there significant performance issues that could drop the frame rate to absolutely unacceptable levels but for the first Pokemon game that was on a TV console level of hardware, the game didn’t change all that much visually or with the fighting mechanics, especially with the animations attached to the fighting still being Gameboy-esque. When do the rose-colored glasses towards Nintendo start to clear up?

No Caption Provided

I think ultimately my problem with the Switch comes down to the fact that it’s kind of just the PlayStation Vita. Why do people clown on the Vita ad-nauseam but the Nintendo Switch gets a pass? Both systems had problems with first-party output and major third-party development is scattered at best, but both were/are fantastic ways to play smaller indie titles. Both systems have hardware benefits and complications, from the quality of the screens to the usability of the controls to the technical issues (visuals/frame rate) of fitting console-quality games onto portable systems. Vita exclusives dried up pretty quickly, though I think what’s there is mostly good and certainly underappreciated. How much has truly come from Nintendo on the Switch though? I’m not any sort of Playstation Vita truther, nor do I have any dislike towards Nintendo or the Switch, I’m just curious when the varnish starts to rub off of the Switch, isn’t it just a Vita successor?

Avatar image for efesell
Efesell

6011

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I mean I loved the Vita but what's the Vita equivalent of say like BOTW, or Mario Odyssey?

I bought a Switch because there were games I absolutely wanted to play on it no matter what. I bought a Vita because I liked the PSP and hoped that it would turn out well.

I don't think this comparison is very apt.

Avatar image for gerbilsinspace
GerbilsInSpace

204

Forum Posts

4

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 2

Vitas equivalent of botw: spelunky / persona 4 golden.

Avatar image for efesell
Efesell

6011

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@gerbilsinspace: Yeah actually if I do stop and think about what is the number 1 thing I'd be disappointed missing if I never had a Vita and the only thing that comes to mind is P4 Golden.

Which like...seems bad?

Avatar image for geirr
geirr

3988

Forum Posts

717

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 5

Personally I don't like the Switch as a console but it all comes down to the games for me.
For all their flaws, and there are many, they still continue to produce some of the best games.
Switch emulation is starting to get really good however.. 👀

Avatar image for noboners
noboners

276

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@triznoy: there's a lot to unpack in all the things you've said. I think the main reason they get a pass is because at the end of the day, people still like playing Nintendo games. And I think the fans of those games may nitpick changes constantly, but ultimately they aren't deal breakers. Like, the games they are putting out aren't broken. Just occasionally frame-y. Or their online just seems convoluted. But the games work.

Of the games you mentioned, I think I just have very different opinions. I don't think the animal crossing online is that big of a deal for the majority of the community. And Pokemon made pretty big strides with their diehards/online community while also making some QoL changes (access the pc from anywhere, HMs aren't a move and are more a skill) for people that only play the campaign. Mario Maker is definitely a step backwards. But they at least added in the ability to build worlds. (I think Mario 2 is a weird tileset since it follows different rules).

That being said, maybe I'm just proving your point more? I just don't see this as something as egregious as Bethesda's jank (I know you didn't mention it, but I'm bringing it up as long as we're talking about free passes).

Avatar image for imhungry
imhungry

1397

Forum Posts

1241

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 3

User Lists: 3

I'd argue that Nintendo gets the exact opposite of a free pass; people tend to scrutinize their rate of first-party output as a console manufacturer far more than SIE or Xbox Game Studios even when they're similar or better. In the Wii - Wii U eras this was largely justified by the relative lack of quality 3rd party development occurring, but the tendency has persisted till now despite the Switch having incredibly robust 3rd party support, brought on by Nintendo making active efforts in courting that support. Even in your post, you seemingly want to talk about the problems with the Switch's game library as a console but then only focus on Nintendo games, even ignoring Nintendo-published exclusives from other developers.

Of the years you mentioned, the only one I'd agree was particularly weak was 2020, but also it was 2020. And again, that's really only if restricted to Nintendo-developed games. The slate for the first half of 2021 already has the just released Mario game, Bravely Default 2, Pokemon Snap, Mario Golf and those Famicom Detective remakes, not counting other non-Nintendo exclusives like Monster Hunter Rise.

The distinction between 'major 3rd party development' and 'smaller indie titles' feels incredibly outdated for where the state of indie development in 2021, unless big budget graphics are all that you're looking for there's basically no difference in the potential for quality video games from either type of developer.

Even discounting that, you're really underselling how much 3rd party support is present on the Switch. Between efforts to port games like Doom Eternal and weird cloud-based ports like Control and Hitman 3, the Switch's capacity to play current-gen cross-platform games is kind of shocking. Microsoft put out the latest Ori on the Switch! Hades essentially took over the world last year and it's still console-exclusive to the Switch.

If you have a ton of other platforms to play games on and are only interested in playing Nintendo games then I could see how you might think that the Switch has very few games. That being said, considering how few exclusive games there are across all consoles nowadays, the Switch is comparatively doing very well in that regard too.

The larger point though, is that there's a massive amount of quality games on the Switch. If they don't appeal to you or you would rather play the cross-platform games elsewhere that's totally fine, but it doesn't mean the Switch is somehow a failed console.

Avatar image for chamurai
Chamurai

74

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

One glaring omission about the Vita is Sony's proprietary memory cards.

Also, comparing the Vita and Switch as if they are the same thing is kind of an apples and oranges thing. We have one device that was a hand-held only device that, arguably, was released when the DS/3DS was dominant and smartphones were becoming more of an alternative for mobile gaming. On the other, we have a device that is both a handheld and a home console that can be used in either fashion seamlessly.

Avatar image for osail
OSail

38

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#9  Edited By OSail

The Vita was a niche handheld system that unfortunately but understandably died on it's arse despite it being a lovely bit of hardware with a few nice games and a decent digital library. The Switch is a massively successful console which outlived it's competitor's prior generation of consoles, has a ton of games, and is doing very well against the competition's current consoles. It also takes a standard Micro SD rather than an infuriatingly expensive proprietary storage solution like the Vita.

The Switch is a console that is much less confusing than those offered by Microsoft or Sony, has the ability to play docked or handheld, and has hundreds of great ports of games you can grab physical or digital copies of, while being the lead console to have name value first party titles you can not play on other platforms. Sure, a good bunch of them were Wii U titles, but unless you were like me and owned a Wii U, they may as well have first come out on the Switch because they are first party titles from a console not that many ever cared for.

Of course there are flaws with the Switch and features of certain major games. If you're big into your tech and own multiple platforms the weaknesses are obvious, but it's by far the easiest console to get into and get others into, and it's digital library as well as it's generally fabulous four year old first party library mean there's a lot to play in a very convenient way.

As much as I like the Vita, the Switch is much more than the Vita ever was in most regards, making almost any comparison outlandish once you have a sense of perspective about it.

Avatar image for sodapop7
sodapop7

691

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 4

Is this Greg Miller’s account? The Vita? I’m sorry but the idea that it’s the Switch is the Vita and Nintendo gets a pass is absolutely laughable. It still succeeds because at the end of the day they continue to make great games. They’re still the best game studio out there.

Avatar image for haz_kaj
Haz_Kaj

208

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@efesell: persona 4 golden is pretty much the only reason people bought that thing.

Avatar image for haz_kaj
Haz_Kaj

208

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@sodapop7: @efesell:

To deny nintendo doesn't get a free pass is hilarious. Only nintendo would get away with shittylinited MP in animal crossing and pricing lazy ports at 60 bucks. Also their eshop interface is embarrassing.

They make great games. Not great systems.

Avatar image for bigsocrates
bigsocrates

3155

Forum Posts

55

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@osail: I have no idea what you mean by the Switch being "less confusing." I think it's arguably the most confusing of the consoles, especially since it has two models with radically different capabilities, including one whose name makes no sense (The Switch Lite is a fine product but it doesn't have the function that IS LITERALLY THE REASON FOR THE CONSOLE'S NAME!).

If you mean that Nintendo makes more approachable games for kids and non-gamers than Microsoft or Sony do, then yeah, that's definitely true.

As for OP's original claims...The Switch seemed like it would likely be a hit from day 1 because Nintendo's handhelds have always been hits, and it had a strong premise and good marketing. It also has a pretty great library of games, both exclusive and non-exclusive, and while it is not as technically capable as its competitors that seems like it's mattering less and less as the benefits of increased hardware power decrease over time. Does Astro's Playground look better than Bowser's Fury? Sure. It certainly has a more consistent framerate and better draw distance/detail, but it's not like playing them back to back makes Bowser's Fury feel outdated or old. The Switch serves a different market than the other consoles.

The idea that Nintendo doesn't get criticism or pushback is also wrong. Nintendo has the most intense fanboys in gaming, but also the most dedicated haters. Look at the amount of criticism it is getting around the Skyward Sword pricing. And it gets criticized for lots of other stuff too. It really depends on what outlets/personalities you follow, but Nintendo gets slammed a lot when it does bad things.

People have noted that Nintendo's Software output on Switch has been disappointing (in terms of volume; there are some all time greats on the platform) but most people who own the Switch either don't play that many games or have another platform too, so they're willing to play the great Nintendo stuff and whatever smaller stuff they want and not worry too much if Assassin's Creed Valhalla isn't on it. It has more than enough software to justify its cost.

As for the Vita...it is similar to the Switch in some ways but it lacked the TV play options and it didn't have nearly the software library. Very few people think that the Vita was a bad piece of hardware. It just never had the games it needed to break through. Gravity Rush and Uncharted: Lost Legacy are good games but they ain't Breath of the WIld and Mario Odyssey. Everyone's raving about Persona 4 Golden...which is literally an enhanced port of a Playstation 2 game.

"Now you can play a better version of this PS2 game" ain't selling systems in 2012.

Avatar image for osail
OSail

38

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#14  Edited By OSail
@bigsocrates said:

@osail: I have no idea what you mean by the Switch being "less confusing." I think it's arguably the most confusing of the consoles, especially since it has two models with radically different capabilities, including one whose name makes no sense (The Switch Lite is a fine product but it doesn't have the function that IS LITERALLY THE REASON FOR THE CONSOLE'S NAME!).

I mean in the introduce and pick-up-and-play regard. Introducing a Switch has always been easier than setting up any recent Xboxes or Playstations for people who want to get into games again/need one for a gift, in my experience anyway. The Xbox and Playstation are far more complex devices for people who aren't currently massively into the games and specific platform ecosystems, where the UI design is still not the best and a pain to comprehend for new eyes.

I think the last generation of other consoles are more baffling for the aforementioned set-up and variable models reasons. In terms of the amount of different machines you could get it's PS4, PS4 Slim, PS4 Pro + hard-drive variations, vs. the Xbox One, Xbox One S, Xbox Pro, Xbox One S All-Digital + hard-drive variations, compared to Switch & Switch Lite (albeit the newer consoles have two models a piece too, I do recognize that, but we'll see when that changes in the near future!)

I fully agree that the Switch Lite doesn't do enough to mention how more than a few games will be awkward on it/require an additional $90AUD set of Joy Cons, and it's always a problem with Nintendo. Remember when a lot of people thinking the Wii U was an add on to the Wii rather than a new console? But it's easy to explain that Switch Lite doesn't have removable controllers and is handheld only compared to the original Switch which is more versatile/the better but more expensive option.

Also, great post!

Avatar image for facelessvixen
FacelessVixen

3198

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

I mean, yeah. ...but also no.

Avatar image for bigsocrates
bigsocrates

3155

Forum Posts

55

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@osail: I don't really agree about the Switch being easier to introduce. I've known a few people who were non-gamers and got both Switches and another system (some because of the pandemic) and the Switch has been more complicated. There's a lot to understand, like what the dock does and how to use it, how to use the Joycons and the fact that the grip doesn't charge them but there is a charging grip and also a different official controller you can buy, etc... The Xbox is the easiest system to set up, and the PS4/5 UI is basically as easy as the Switch's, but the Switch has all that Nintendo crud like the crappy Eshop and...have you tried to set up online gaming with a non-gaming friend on the Switch? Not fun. The Xbox and PS4/5 are just smoother experiences for people used to modern software.

The opposite is true for the games themselves, of course, but as systems go I think the others are simpler. The issues around there being a lot of models available only exist right now because we're in a transition period between generations and they'll be the same for the Switch when The Switch Pro or whatever comes out, so that's more of a timing thing than an actual issue.

I think Nintendo gets and deserves a lot of criticism for the fact that playing games online with friends is still kind of a pain on their system, the lack of voice chat built into the system well, and the fact that the e-shop is kind of a dumpster fire to the point where I have abandoned using it and only shop for digital Switch games on my PC (where it's still a bit of a dumpster fire but at least doesn't require that I enter my password every 5 minutes and lets me search with a keyboard and mouse.)

Avatar image for osail
OSail

38

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@bigsocrates

That's fair, I've introduced and set up the Switch and Xbox One to a fair few people, and the Xbox has always been more of a nightmare (a poor UI even in it's current form, slow loading of pages, confusion over accounts and options despite it being the best system by far for accessibility) but anecdotal experiences are always liable to conflict because, well, it's anecdotal.

Online gaming wise I've been lucky in that it's only 51 Worldwide Games, Splatoon 2 and Mario Kart 8 that most people I've had to help wanted to play. I couldn't imagine the hassle of talking someone through Animal Crossing's painful online though, and I'm sure tons of other games are a pain to new people, but I'm still in Australia where the internet is pretty terrible and couch co-op always seems preferable (despite playing online a ton myself).

I might disagree with the idea that Microsoft and Sony won't have additional floods and versions of new consoles compared to Nintendo over the next few years but that's based on the prior generations iteration consoles and some recent Microsoft statements rather than anything measurable right now so yeah, no real disagreement at all.

Interesting about the eShop app, there's no browser option in Australia at all and it's very reliable. Not surprised that it may be a bit rubbish (from experience with tons of the older Nintendo handheld's eShop while living in other countries) in countries with more population density though.

Avatar image for bigsocrates
bigsocrates

3155

Forum Posts

55

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@osail: The Xbox definitely has UI problems that they seem unable or unwilling to fix. I don't really understand it given that Microsoft has been making GUIs for like 30 years but it is what it is. Xbox's account system, on the other hand, is the best in the business, and its set-up is also easy and seamless compared to the other consoles.

I think if you're going to argue about confusing SKUs based on past practices and try to defend Nintendo you're going to have a baaaad time.

Nintendo's SKU confusion issues don't start or end with the Wii U.
Nintendo's SKU confusion issues don't start or end with the Wii U.

My issues with the E-Shop don't really relate to its reliability so much as its design. Having to log in twice just to buy something is very annoying (as is having to log in each time you buy anything else, like if you're trying to buy multiple DLCs for a game or multiple games from a sale), trying to find anything other than new releases or a specific game I know I want is basically impossible, and it is just bogged down with virtually unlimited shovelware.

I like the Switch a lot in many ways, and there's definitely a reason it's popular. It's a great concept and Nintendo really nailed it in terms of the compromises it made in creating the system. I just wish that they would hire someone who understands the Internet and modern console account management. And I'm confident that whatever name they come up with for the enhanced Switch (if that happens) is going to be a confusing nightmare.

Avatar image for brendan
Brendan

9267

Forum Posts

533

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 7

Yeeeup, ultimately Nintendo is a very conservative company runs by really old guys and as a console developer they are middling. As a legal bully they kind of suck! The people making the games do such a world class job that I have a blast with my Switch perma-docked with and the for the first time in almost 10 years just buying the games physically.

Avatar image for osail
OSail

38

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#20  Edited By OSail

@bigsocrates oh don't worry, I was never going to defend Nintendo as a business for their practices, I was specifically talking about the current generation of consoles (well, Switch/Xbox One/PS4) for a more focused example, otherwise I'd be listing fifty thousand Microsoft/Sony/Nintendo business practices that most people on games forums aren't interested in. The 3DS re-releases were a mess of improvements and weird ideas, and I remember when Nintendo 64 games cost up to 80GBP in the UK when I was a kid, which they got prosecuted for a few years later due to illegal price fixing so...yeah, they aren't consumer friendly or what people believe consumer friendly is in a late stage capitalist world. At the same time I should say that I don't regard iterating on existing hardware is a bad thing, but it can sometimes be very odd and the antithesis of consumer friendly.

The eShop issues are interesting because I have honestly never encountered them, and browsing Australian Switch owners complaints there's very little about things that have happened to you (and presumably other people in your country/countries), especially requiring multiple log-ins or time-outs. I do have complaints on a user level for it too, of course, like no basket existing so all purchases having to be separate, loading times etc but I suppose Australian Switch users are lucky in not experiencing the much more frustrating ones you're still dealing with.

Agreed, I love the Switch and believe it's a great portable and home system, but as you've said, the lack of understanding/the lack of care or business interest in understanding how much better they could do certain things related to social game playing and accounts is poor, further proven by their last few consoles. Just the other day I was dreading the idea of losing the dozens of digital games I have on the system over the next decade or whatever, but that's the benefit and wonder of archivists I suppose? Sucks that we can't trust companies who create/publish/distribute art to always keep the art backed up properly.

Avatar image for bigsocrates
bigsocrates

3155

Forum Posts

55

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@osail: I don't think hardware iterations are bad and I don't even think the PS4 Pro or Xbox One X are bad, but I think Nintendo's naming of the 3DS line was ridiculous.

I mean 2DS is sort of a clever name if you know what the system is, but it doesn't really make sense if you think about it independent of the 3DS, and the "new" (legit the worst name ever for a system) and XL versions and all that stuff...

All I'm saying is that SKU confusion is actually one of Nintendo's strongpoints and they just haven't gotten around to it yet with the Switch.

We can revisit this once Nintendo releases the Switch upgrade called the Switch Minus (because the HDMI port is on the console itself so it no longer needs a dock; minus the dock) and calls the old version the Switch Plus.

Or they call the new version the Switch Original (because it fulfills the original promise of the Switch) while the old version is the Switch Advanced (because it was ahead of its time.)

Nintendo system naming peaked with the Gamecube!

Avatar image for osail
OSail

38

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#22  Edited By OSail

@bigsocrates

I'm hoping for the Nintendo Switcheroo (more powerful standard Switch, easy) and the Nintendo Swhich Switch Is Swich (a box of hexed factory error Switch consoles that all seem fine but have secret frustrating problems...but no joystick drift...)

Or the New Nintendo GameRectangle. Much like the Gamecube it'd have a weird handle.

Avatar image for senorsucks2suck
senorsucks2suck

89

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 9

User Lists: 1

#23  Edited By senorsucks2suck

Without reading (and i will). Nintendo gets a pass because they are a safe company to engage with if you have kids. I don't have kids but when i do, if the big 3 are still a thing, my kids won't be getting a playstation or xbox unless it's a curated hand-me-down system from me. PCs and the other systems are just the wild wild west for content. Nintendo builds in enough challenge and references multiple franchises in such a deliberate and complete manner that things a young mind need as far as increasing challenge throughout the life of a game or availability of other games in completely different genres (Mario RPG, or Mario Golf) that you can let your kid's mind wander to whatever his/her soup du jour and engages them outside of games. Now for me, personally, I really can't stand Nintendo:

  • The things they do to ruin games like Animal Crossing by not applying genre standards from the last 2 decades
  • Free-to-play model in the mobile space (mario kart and animal crossing) when they have the leverage to charge $50 and give me a complete game have pissed me off to no end.
  • JoyCon pricing because they can
  • Arbitrary number of times a demo can be played back on the DS/3DS which probably live on in the Switch is petty and mean. Reason enough for me to have skipped to skip the wii, wii-u, and switch (despite a momentary lapse with the switch lite because i was hyped for an ultimately delayed animal crossing)
  • Refusal to give us a "gritty" challenge in the first person/ 3rd person shooter genre. I want something exclusive that capitalizes on Nintendo's unique hardware and maybe something along the lines of Splatoon, except that game has no campaign to speak of...
  • No blu-ray or dvd player since.. the Panasonic Q
  • Is there a web browser? HBO Max? Youtube App? I'd like to relegate my phone to it's original intent.
  • The list goes on

Vita issues were numerous and probably more unforgivable than Switch sins for me:

  • Proprietary memory cards
  • Memory Card prices and sizes
  • Playstation 1 Parity impossible because of:
    • lack of R2 and L2
    • lack of R3 and L3
    • stupid back panel touchpad
  • Proprietary power so car chargers super expensive
  • No internal or little memory so initial purchase was just the beginning
  • no free games. If i buy a full fledge ps3 game i should have gotten something for free like tomb raider so i dont have to buy $50 games
  • bubble interface never changed and was just terrible.. should have mimicked the ps3
  • 3g gaming.. really. Even in 2021 we can't reliably game online. So 15 years ago.. didn't make sense even then.