On the Switch's 4th birthday I think it has been a really good console but also a disappointment in a number of ways.

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bigsocrates

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Edited By bigsocrates
Switch's 4th birthday! Woo! Party time. It's old enough to legally be licensed to drive a shoe car!
Switch's 4th birthday! Woo! Party time. It's old enough to legally be licensed to drive a shoe car!

The Nintendo Switch is 4 years old. I got mine on day 1 so that means I’ve had it for four years, or over 10% of my life. It definitely doesn’t feel new to me, but it doesn’t feel like it’s been with me that long. Time flies.

For me the Switch has been both a good console and something of a disappointment. Breath of the Wild is my favorite game, so it’s hard to argue with that as a major point in its favor, and I’ve played a lot of other really good games on it, from Mario Odyssey and 3D World+ Bowser’s Fury to Xenoblade Chronicles to Animal Crossing New Horizons. It has had enough highlights to justify the money I spent on it, and to have provided a bunch of fun and meaningful experiences.

This is my library sorted by total play time. As you can see there's a lot of Mario and a lot of RPGs. Looking at this list of games it's hard to argue that I haven't gotten my money's worth.
This is my library sorted by total play time. As you can see there's a lot of Mario and a lot of RPGs. Looking at this list of games it's hard to argue that I haven't gotten my money's worth.

On the other hand there are months that go by where I don’t touch it. The Switch has a huge number of games available for it, but many of them are ports that I’d rather play elsewhere with better graphics, loading times, and achievements/trophies (not that I really care about those, but they’re a nice extra.) It’s generally the last place I’ll go to play games if I can avoid it, and I almost never use its headline portability feature. I had hoped that the Switch would be a new kind of Nintendo system; one that married the heavy hitters of their home consoles to the constant stream of software and experimentation of their handhelds. It hasn’t. Instead for me it’s been like the N64 and the Gamecube and the Wii. A place to play the big Nintendo games, which I’ve loved, and a few other things you can’t get elsewhere, but more of a complimentary console than one of my main places to play games. I have a friend who took up gaming during the pandemic and bought a Switch to play Zelda and Mario…and then he bought a PS4 and hasn’t really looked back. If I didn’t already have a PS4 I might have done the same, even though there’s definitely enough available on the Switch to make it a solid primary platform for people who value portability more than fidelity of graphics and UI quality. I’m just not one of those people.

The following are some pros and cons for my own personal experiences with the system. I realize they are not universal.

PROS:

  • The Switch’s best games are among the best I’ve ever played. Zelda Breath of the Wild felt like being a kid again. Bowser’s Fury and Mario Odyssey are the best 3D platformers I’ve ever played. Mario Kart 8 is clearly the best kart racer ever. The Switch’s highlights are unassailable.
  • The Switch does have a strong library of smaller complimentary games. Hades was probably objectively the best game from 2020 that I played. I had a ton of fun with Picross and Crypt of the Necrodancer. I’m sure Cadence of Hyrule is awesome. If you want to play Switch there’s always something new and fun on it. It just might be on something else as well.
  • The Switch Pro Controller is great. Nintendo basically just said “What if we just make an Xbox controller with motion controls built in but no analog triggers” and then they did it, and it’s fantastic. Comfortable, lots of battery, durable, nice looking, by far my favorite Nintendo controller of all time.
  • Nintendo has made efforts to modernize some practices, such as having an actual account instead of all software tied to hardware, decent and somewhat readable digital game sales, and a nascent retro game subscription service. Switch Online is very reasonably priced.
  • It’s a portable and a console. So…yeah. That’s neat. You only have to buy one machine to get access to all of Nintendo’s output, and you can take your console games with you on a bus or play your bus games on the big screen. This was a more valuable feature about a year ago, and hopefully will be more valuable again in the future.
Hades is one of the best games on the system and an example of the type of game it handles well, though there is some slowdown when things get hectic. It's on PC too though, and will probably come to at least PlayStation at some point.
Hades is one of the best games on the system and an example of the type of game it handles well, though there is some slowdown when things get hectic. It's on PC too though, and will probably come to at least PlayStation at some point.

CONS:

  • The Switch has not been the hotbed of Nintendo innovation I was hoping for. My favorite games have all been from franchises that existed for decades, and while they’ve taken shots with new IP like Arms it hasn’t really landed. They haven’t even put out much of the indie-type stuff they did on the 3DS like Boxboy and Pushmo, which are two of my favorite 3DS games. There’s a Boxboy game for Switch, but no Pushmo, and not a lot of innovative small stuff. If you look past the Wii U ports then Nintendo’s development record on Switch is kind of spotty, and definitely lower in volume than I’d hoped.
  • Nintendo has modernized a little…but not nearly enough. You can use Micro SD cards but there’s no external storage even though the Switch proper (as opposed to the Lite) has lots of ports and could easily support an external hard drive if they wanted. Basic UI features are missing like the ability to organize games in folders or stay logged in to the store if you want to make multiple purchases.
  • Switch online sucks. It sucks as a service. It sucks how it’s implemented. The voice chat makes no sense. The friend codes are dumb.
  • Switch retro offerings are very limited compared to the Virtual Console of the past. NES and SNES game selections include a lot of heavy hitters but also some serious junk, and are not extensive. Everything else is a la carte and kind of random.
  • The Switch has not been the system that made me enjoy portable gaming. I don’t like the Joycons as controllers at all and they feel flimsily attached to the machine in a way that feels cheap. Obviously Joycon quality has been bad for a lot of people. Some people obviously love the Switch in portable mode so this is very much a YMMV situation, and my personal history with portables is not a positive one.
  • The Switch is seriously underpowered at this point. That doesn’t matter so much for first party games, which are generally designed to work within the hardware’s constraints and still look great (though Bowser’s Fury can get framey at times, as can BOTW) but a lot of third party games struggle. For someone who plays primarily in docked mode this, plus Nintendo’s bad digital rights policies and other issues, makes the Switch a less appealing place to play games that are available on other platforms.
Grandia is an older game that's on the system through a separate (pricey) collection. The smoothing filter they used looks...well it certainly is something. Who wouldn't want to play more games like this with incredible visuals and dialog?
Grandia is an older game that's on the system through a separate (pricey) collection. The smoothing filter they used looks...well it certainly is something. Who wouldn't want to play more games like this with incredible visuals and dialog?

Four years in the Switch is what it is. It’s a console I’ve enjoyed and played intensely when it had some new game out that I wanted to play, but one that I rarely turn on to peruse the library like I do with my PlayStation and Xbox. There’s plenty of stuff to enjoy on it, again I think that this could easily be someone’s only gaming platform without them feeling deprived in the least, but most of it can be found elsewhere.

The thing that I find disappointing is how little Nintendo has evolved over the last 4 years. Its game output is still relatively low compared to prior eras, and lacking in smaller and more original titles. The UI and account management system still lack incredibly basic features. The retro selection is anemic and packed with plenty of filler. Most of these are issues that could be fixed relatively easily (game output is obviously more difficult than something like adding folders or picking up the pace of NES and SNES releases) but the system is selling well and Nintendo doesn’t want to change. That’s just part of the price of admission.

I like the Switch. I think it was worth the money. If you accept it for what it is then what it is is pretty great. I was just hoping for some things that it looks like we’ll never get.

I've had a lot of fun with my Switch despite my complaints. Yay, Animal Crossing! Happy birthday little black tablet in the weird plastic dock.
I've had a lot of fun with my Switch despite my complaints. Yay, Animal Crossing! Happy birthday little black tablet in the weird plastic dock.

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nophilip

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Yeah I'm definitely with you on this one. Nintendo's first party output has been disappointing for me, and that's the only thing I buy their consoles for. Given the choice of PC and any other platform, I will choose PC every single time, so I don't play any multiplatform games on Switch. I've purchased 10 titles for the Switch to date, and several of those were only for my wife (Animal Crossing, Luigi's Mansion, and the upcoming Pokemon Snap sequel).

Breath of the Wild is one of my favorite games of all time, and Mario Odyssey is my favorite 3D Mario. I don't view my purchase as a waste or anything. But personally (and I realize I'm in the minority here), I think I got a lot more fun out of my Wii U than I ever have had with my Switch, BOTW aside.

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lapsariangiraff

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The timing on this post is funny for me -- I just picked up my Switch again to finally finish Breath of the Wild today. Not that that game isn't amazing, it just was a timesink at a time when I couldn't dive in all the way.

I was in a very similar boat with Hades -- I played it on the Switch, but that was the most use I got out of my Switch for most of 2020, and it was a multi-platform game. So yes, I'm using my Switch, but not for the exclusives I was hoping for after the strong launch in 2017. That being said, the fact that it's a convenient enough platform that I will often go out of my way to buy certain types of games on Switch, even multiplatform games, speaks volumes -- I think it's an incredible little machine. Especially compared to the Wii, which was my last Nintendo console (known in my house as the Super Mario Galaxy/Metroid Prime Trilogy machine).

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MightyDuck

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I haven't really had a Nintendo console since my NES and Gameboy Color. I also got an N64 near the end of that generation, and was primarily a Playstation kid.

So, to catch up on all the WiiU games and new Switch titles has been awesome for me. That being said, I've kind of found myself in a bit of a rut now waiting for more titles to come out. I'm definitely back hooked on Nintendo, but as you said, I could see it being more complimentary.

However, I have to admit, I'd say in the last 6 months, I've been playing way more Switch than my PS4. It's been sort of refreshing in a way, that's allowed me to put off looking for a PS5 until probably mid Summer (if I can even find one).

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Haz_Kaj

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Switch Is a fantastic handheld. Mediocre home console. I've always said this and nothing has happened to change my opinion.

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Ketta

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#5  Edited By Ketta

The thing I've tended to wonder with Nintendo during the Switch era is this: if Nintendo hired like crazy and started doing Ubisoft levels of development, would their games be Ubisoft levels of middling and mediocre? Or would they suddenly blow the rest of the gaming platforms out of the water with some awesome exclusives?

I mean, clearly throwing people at a problem isn't a solution by itself, but I can't help but feel like one big 3D Zelda game, for example, every 5 years, is a pretty slow pace compared to what they could be doing. Realizing that the 2010s gave us only Skyward Sword, A Link Between Worlds, and Breath of the Wild is so depressing to me. Yes, there were plenty of remakes, and whatever Tri-Force heroes was, but that doesn't impress me compared to what other developers do in the same amount of time.

I don't know enough about them. Maybe their developers don't crunch or something. I'd rather them be happy and healthy than crunch to make more games. Just disappointed that my favorite franchise moves at such a snail pace.

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DinosaurCanada

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#6  Edited By DinosaurCanada

Best thing to come from the Switch was the Pro Controller. It's cool to play 7th gen games on my couch while I half watch football I guess.

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SethMode

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I agree with pretty much all of this, right down to loving my Switch but finding it will often collect dust for long periods of time. The one thing I just wanted to chime in and say though, because for some reason it still drives me completely insane every time it comes up, is the frickin' Virtual Console releases. Over the years, there have been many "Nintendo-like solutions" to problems that either didn't exist or Nintendo ass backwardly created and then created poor solutions to, but this is the one that absolutely breaks my brain into thousands of pieces every time a new announcement is made and it's reported we're getting some shitty looking (and feeling and playing) game like Fire n Ice. I cannot fathom why after everything that hit the Wii VC, and hell, even a lot of the stuff that went to the WiiU VC, this is still an ongoing thing. It genuinely at times feels like Nintendo is just a bunch of sadistic assholes that WANT to piss off their fans.

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Gundato

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#8  Edited By Gundato

Yeah...

I love my switch because I have played a LOT of Stardew Valley and Daemon x Machina and the first Hyrule Warriors on there. I wasn't huge on either BOTW or Mario Odyssey but it is nice to see Nintendo reaching the late 00s/early 10s of game design. And any machine with both Bayonettas is nice (I guess there is the 2d side scroller too but that doesn't count).

But... mostly it has been a really big disappointment. I can spend a lot more money to play the same games I do on any other platform (just with that "nindies" branding that always struck me as kind of dickish) except NOW I get the added fun of needing to check if digital foundry did a video to let me know if it is even playable.

Not to mention the joycons being shit when they are functional (how does NINTENDO have a horrible d-pad?) and extra shit when they inevitably fail. I think I kind of "fell out of love" with my switch when I was on travel (remember that), didn't feel like going out with anyone, and wanted to play some moonlighter on my d-pad modded joycons. After about ten minutes I figured out why my little guy kept walking to the left and even after swapping out the analog stick I never really recovered because I cannot trust that device to function. I honestly brought a spare pair of joycons on my trip to Japan right before the world ended because I realized I would want to play some DxM on the plane and "that analog stick is due to fail soon".

Not to mention my initial switch (bought whenever Stardew Valley launched) having joycon connectivity issues just from the stress of holding the fucking thing and only ever even touching the release switches once (to switch to my d-pad joycons).

With the rumors of an imminent switch pro... I think I'm gonna get a windows handheld* instead. 2-3 times the price of a switch but... I already ended up buying two switches this generation (albeit with a hefty trade in for the refresh) for the better battery life and to reset the aforementioned rail issues. And that nintendo tax adds up fast. Not to mention I have no idea if nintendo will even honor the digital purchases on the switch when they decide they changed enough to call it a "switch 2".

I dunno, I say it a lot, but I am really excited for when we get the inevitable "Game Pass for Android" (I know the google play store has something... it is bad). A lot of those "nindies" were already ported to phones and stuff like the razer kishi gives you the switch form factor on a more powerful machine with a MUCH MUCH MUCH better display.

*: Next year... maybe. Already spent too much recently and the Aya Neo seems like what I want hardware wise but is lacking on some QOL features and has WAY too much proprietary software. GDP Win 3 looks awesome but the tiny display (sounds familiar?) makes using win10 kind of stupid and the flat glass touch keyboard is apparently one of the worst things ever made. At 800-900 (plus taxes (plus shipping (plus tariffs))) I need at most ONE annoying ass issue. Here is hoping for a GDP Win Pro 2 or whatever next year, I guess.

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Onemanarmyy

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#9  Edited By Onemanarmyy

I do know it's silly , but being able to lay down and play high quality games is a real good feeling. Like i definitly have been in the position where i could choose to sit down and play a quality game or have a lazy lay-down and do some simple puzzles on my phone instead and chose for the latter.

But apart from the best nintendo games there's so much annoying or objectionable stuff surrounding the way Nintendo does business that i would feel pretty salty about my purchase if this was the main way for me to consume the latest in gaming. I do like that they always try to innovate, but i look at all the One Two Switches and Mario Kart Lives of the world, call it a neat experiment, and ignore these games to play a beefy metroidvania or RPG instead. But if i'm not into these experiments and i don't have a need to play games on the go, there are better game-choices to make for me than go for Nintendo.

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wollywoo

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#10  Edited By wollywoo

I've found it to be far from a disappointment. It has one of the best overall libraries of any console ever, with loads of ports and exclusives as well. I've played Switch probably 10x my PS4.

I think part of the reason I like it so well is that it suits my style of play. With a few exceptions [God of War, Spider-Man] I have little interest in blockbuster AAAA type of games. Games like Read Dead 2, Last of Us 2 aren't tempting for me. They ntend to be dark and violent as a rule, and I'd prefer something more light-hearted and colorful most of the time. I'm way more likely to pick up some indie game that everyone is talking about with snappy controls and a unique art style.

Basically, the Switch is amazing for

1) Nintendo exclusives

2) Indies

3) Ports of old games

and those are just exactly the three things I want. The things that it does less well (cutting-edge tech, online) are things that I'm less interested in anyway.

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morningstar

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I havent turned on my Switch sine Fire Emblem.

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Quantris

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It's the console I play the most (currently, DQXI). As @wollywoo said above, it's great if you happen to intersect with its niche. Though PC Game Pass (as well as my Steam backlog) means I play a bunch on PC too.

The PS4 meanwhile is almost entirely a Netflix machine at this point. I played a few exclusives on it but nothing lately.

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imhungry

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That's an interesting perspective, what sort of innovation were you hoping for out of the Switch? I don't think of Nintendo's handheld productions as being particularly innovative so I'm curious. The DS (and to a lesser extent the 3DS) produced a lot of innovation by virtue of its unique dual-screen, touch-enabled capabilities and the new avenues that allowed developers to explore.

In contrast, the Switch essentially offers nothing unique from a gameplay perspective compared to any other game device of the last 2 decades. The unique selling point of the Switch is an innovation aimed more toward the lifestyle of how we play games, with much more limited outright capacity for innovation (with the exception of things like Labo or vertical aspect ratio shooters).

Personally, I would very much like if they put out more 'portable-sized' games, like a sprite-based Zelda or things with the scope of Sushi Striker, but its entirely possible that it's just much harder to put out something they're truly satisfied with on that scale given the wealth of games like that coming out on the Switch from 3rd party developers.

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GTxForza

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The only problem with this console's library of games for me at this moment, there is no new F-Zero installment.

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AV_Gamer

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You're pretty much preaching to the choir at this point. Even Nintendo knows their issues with the original Switch. Which is why they just announced a Switch Pro version coming out this holiday season with a larger OLED screen and 4K video output when docked.

Personally, I think the Nintendo Switch is a good piece of technology and I actually enjoyed it as a portable because its very convenient to have when you go places and have to wait. But Nintendo refuses to spend the money to make their technology equal that of their competitors. This has been the case going all the way back to the N64 when they refused to adopted CD-Rom technology and suffered for it. They are always a generation behind, because they put full faith into their first party games and their art designs. Even with this Pro update, its pretty clear that the Switch still won't be powerful enough to even approach the ability of the PS4 and Xbox One, never mind this new Next-Gen consoles that are out.

So yes, you'll be able to play BOTW2 and Metroid Prime 4 at 4K... maybe... but still at 30fps that will often drop down into the 20s.

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tatsuyarr

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I think it's one of the best consoles right now. The only thing I dislike about it is its UI and functionalities. You could do more with your 3DS like consulting the time you spent on games, the number of times you played, you could copy your saves, etc. It looks like the OS is unfinished.

I don't think performance is a problem. For me, on a console anyway, if a game is not running well it's not the hardware's fault, it's the developer's. Consoles have fixed specs limitations and every game should be developed with this in mind. If a game runs poorly it just means it has not been coded well in regard to its target.

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Seikenfreak

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#18  Edited By Seikenfreak

I still haven't bought a Switch. The only reason I have to ever buy Nintendo hardware is for exclusives. This was something I gradually realized over the years since the Gamecubes launch. I had less and less games with each new Nintendo hardware release. And it's just so bad at this point. I'm not really into Mario (but I'd probably still play them if I had the hardware), Zelda had one new release, Breath of the Wild, and I didn't like it. No F-Zero. No Metroid. I can't even remember if there was a Pikmin release. A new Pokemon game was what I figured would push me over the edge to getting a Switch but they still barely iterated at all with Sword/Shield. Was there a Wave Race or anything? Their first party game selection is just abysmal.

On top of that, even when/if something releases, it's handicapped by this crappy hardware. I don't have any real reason or time to "mobile game" so it's disappointing that the docking feature doesn't put it on a similar level to the PS4/Xbox One tier hardware, and it's dumb that they don't just have a TV, non-mobile box version that does have better hardware in it.

Then you have all of Nintendos insanely archaic business practices and game design. They are so far behind in terms of Quality of Life and Online Services that it is maddening. I have no idea why people put up with their BS.

It's all bad. Funny thing is, I just bought my first NES this week. The SNES was my first console and I love it, and I don't have any nostalgia for the original NES. But I've got pretty much every other relevant system in my collection and stumbled across an interesting project so I sourced one off ebay, untested. Bought boxed copies of RC Pro-Am and Super Cars (because I'm a car guy/racing game collector, I guess). Cleaned and fixed it all up. Was kinda a neat but weird/surreal experience to play it. Jamming the cart in and out trying to get the thing to work etc. The classic stuff.

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bigsocrates

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@imhungry: Innovation might be the wrong word. Experimentation might be a better term here.

I think Nintendo has been very creatively stagnant on the Switch compared to previous consoles but especially handhelds. All of their big games seem to either be IP that's been around since at least the N64 era or, in many cases, straight up ports. Splatoon is the exception, but that's not new to the Switch either. They have a history of experimentation on handhelds, with weird stuff like Code Name S.T.E.A.M. and that's been entirely absent on the Switch. We don't even have a Mario & Luigi game. I guess you can count Astral Chain and Daemon X Machina as those games, but they are third party collaborations and the kinds of games that would come out on PlayStation rather than uniquely weird Nintendo games. As I said I want a Pushmo or a Box Boy. Small, fun, interesting stuff to compliment the bigger titles and freshen up Nintendo's blood. Indies fill this gap to a degree, but they lack Nintendo's polish and the budget for stuff like music.

@ketta: I don't think anyone wants Nintendo to Ubisoftify its development. That would be horrible. But while rushing games out with massive teams produces weird mediocre games, there are other things they could do like build additional teams or not allow partners like Alphadream to go bankrupt and disappear. Adding developers is difficult and has to be done carefully, so I'm not sure I fully blame them for this, but despite the Switch's incredible popularity they are putting out less software overall than the Wii U and 3DS era (if you count both systems).

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#20  Edited By ThePanzini

The time between releases is deliberate from Nintendo, it prevents franchise fatuige and because most of their titles are evergreen with long tails.

Nintendo releasing DLC for their games has only increased the gap between each game.

Spaced out release, high price point and limited stock and sales are self fulfilling, Disney operates in a very similar way.

The Swtich is Nintendo's best foot forward and I realize their stuff just isn't for me, I do wish I could swap A+B around on a system level.

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Brendan

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I've only had my switch since last August, and my experience playing the hits has been great. I'm sure its a great handheld but I've only ever played docked and with the pro controller which has felt good.

I agree that Nintendo has not lived up to the expectation of first party development that we assumed would happen when combining the development efforts of it's team making handheld and home console games. In hindsight I feel like I should have known better. Making games for a console like the 3DS would take way less time and smaller teams than a home console game with the Calibre of the Switch's graphics. As soon as every game is in that category of production the number of games made will be less. I know traditional large studios use a lot of outsourcing in their development cycles to get large games made, especially for art asset generation. Does Nintendo do this or do they keep their work inhouse?

The Switch is the first Nintendo console I've purchased new. The Wii & WiiU I bought on Kijiji and while the WiiU was mainly a Mario Kart 8 machine for my wife and I (we also spent a significant amount of time playing and re-playing 3D World) the Wii was awesome in the waning days of my local Blockbuster because I just rented all the games for it. I don't know if by the time I've had it for years I'll feel like it was worth it but when I combine all the free time I have to play video games, and split that between the games I play on PS4 and the Switch I will end up with more games to play than I have time to play them so I probably wont notice if the value isn't there.

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ThePanzini

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#22  Edited By ThePanzini

@brendan: A number of Nintendo's studio's are not owned by them but long standing contracts for hire. They do however have support studios, Nintendo pretty much works the same way as every other publisher/developer.

Nintendo are more than capable in speeding up development or releasing content more frequently, but the better question is if BotW is still selling at near full price, why/when do you need a new one?

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Judoboy

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I wish I liked the Switch more. I don't like playing in portable mode and don't have a lifestyle where I need portable games. Any multiplatform game/port/indie etc.. I play on PC or a different console. So it's a Nintendo game machine for me. And as much as I want to fall in love with BOTW and Odyssey as much others have it hasn't happened. I think they are solid games but they haven't connected with me in ways games of the past have (OoT and Mario 64 for example are still far and away my favorites respectively). Animal Crossing didn't grab me like the original GameCube game. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is objectively the best Mario Kart game but it's not my favorite and maybe kart racers just don't appeal to me anymore in general.

I guess I'm realizing this generation of Nintendo games is not connecting with me and it makes me bummed. I'm older now. I have kids. I'm sure if I was 10, BOTW would have hit me differently like OoT did. But geez I hope this is a fluke and future Nintendo games will hit me differently. Maybe that will happen when my kids are older and able to play. I wanna chase that Nintendo high of my youth but Switch didn't do it for me.

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jeremyf

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#24  Edited By jeremyf

I didn't buy a Switch for a while because I was really annoyed at Nintendo's business practices. I've had one for about 2.5 years at this point and while the games are great, seeing those practices get even worse over the last year is really annoying. You were pretty much spot on with your post, but I find myself using the portable mode a whole lot more in bed. The hybrid thing is a lot better than the gimmick I thought it would be, whereas I never want to turn on a Wii U or 3DS ever again. The virtual console situation is really crappy given the variation and pace of releases in the past and how 3rd parties are making really comprehensive collections of their own games available. Finally, we see every Nintendo game on the Switch break series record sales. This is the golden opportunity to revive franchises that haven't performed well in the past. But that doesn't seem to be happening right now.

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Gundato

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#25  Edited By Gundato

Its tangential but one thing that is probably worth touching on is the fairly regularly stated "Nintendo games don't lose value" or "Nintendo games have really long tails so they don't have to lower the price" style remarks

What Nintendo does is the microeconomics textbook example of a price floor to manufacture something akin to artificial scarcity. That Mario has a higher value because it is still 60 dollars while Shantae or Gianna Sisters is 10 dollars in the five minutes there is not an active steam sale. Its no different than understanding there is no difference between the designer jacket and the cheap knockoff brand but still being worried that something a third of the price "has something wrong with it"

This was discussed a lot way back during The Rise of Digital Distribution. EA and GoG (yup...) were particularly adamant about not wanting to "race to the bottom" with steam sales because they felt it devalued their games and... it totally does. How many of us have said "That is my fucking dream game but I am going to wait for a sale" and that is why so many indie devs are increasingly launching cheap but NOT doing discounts (although Rimworld seems to have shifted that to "only the latest expansion will never be discounted")

And there is definitely a sweet spot. But the reason most (basically everyone but Nintendo) studios have chosen to go for the tiered pricing (of some form) is because it IS more profitable. If two games launch at 70 USD and both sell 40 units then cool. Next month one game reduces to 60 USD and gets all the "savvy buyers" who were waiting for a sale and maybe another 30 units. The one that stayed at 70 might get a few word of mouth purchases or people who can't wait anymore. And so forth.

But this does lead to weird scenarios. Folk will argue that Nintendo titles "have really long tails" and "don't lose value" but I have a hard ass time thinking a 60 dollar Zelda game that was never patched and STILL runs like poo has more "value" than something like Terraria that has been floating around the 10 USD range for the better part of a decade and is probably due for another free "This is the final massive content update, we swear" . Or even stuff like Paradox games or other Live games that definitely cost more but tend to "earn" those DLC purchases.

I often call Nintendo a "toy company" because that does explain a lot of "this needs to turn a profit and not much more" style limited releases. But I am increasingly wondering if they aren't actually a marketing company or even whatever the fuck we call stuff like the firms folk like pewdiepie and that other one people like do.

------

@zoofame: That is kind of a different role and is probably best suited by phone+controller grip. The idea of the window handhelds is you have a moderately powerful gaming laptop in a form factor that you can shove in a bag and hold in your lap while you are on a train or something (but probably not a commuter train 'cause that shit is expensive). I suspect that when I finally break down (sounds like the win max 2 was planned for end of 21 and will be a win 3 but with the clamshell and physical keyboard!) I'll end up experimenting with and trying to get linux to work as that scales a lot better on smaller displays that win10 but... even with a lot of the efforts valve and the open source community have put in, gaming on linux is still a second class citizen thing. And it would mean no gamepass.

What you seem to want is more the "retro portable" market. There have been a few high profile ones recently that I don't know the names of (google) but I have very much been considering just getting a raspberry pi and one of the gba-like kits out there and going to town. If only as another way to stave off the lockdown madness for even a few more weeks.

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permanentsigh

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I think the Switch would have gone the Wii U route of failure had they not allowed for an eShop full of indie releases. That console could have not survived on Nintendo and paltry third party releases alone.

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GTxForza

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MrGreenMan

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This has been the problem since the launch of the Switch, though it's selling better now than ever, so what do I know. Clearly whatever Nintendo is doing is working at least when it comes to sales. As a consumer it's very frustrating.

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mellotronrules

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hmm- i imagine my experience/perspective on the switch is a little less common around these parts, but i was a NES kid that took a break after the n64...the switch was my first nintendo console since the mid 90s.

as someone who was looking to check out 'the state of nintendo' by looking-in on 1st party franchises that i either neglected for 20 years (mario, mariokart, zelda, etc) or experienced for the first time (animal crossing, fire emblem, Pocket Monsters if you can believe it), AND had a lot of long bus rides in my life- the switch has pretty much delivered on every front.

it's not a perfect device and has some well-documented frustrations. but as the place to get The Nintendo and perhaps do so in a portable fashion- i feel i've certainly gotten my money's worth. it would be a bummer if the switch was your only place play (i also have a pc and ps4)- but since i pretty much treat it as supplemental exclusives-only box...i'm still pretty stoked on it.

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FacelessVixen

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As someone who slept on No More Heroes, Fire Emblem since Sacred Stones, Zelda since Wind Waker (though I have mixed feelings on Breath of the Wild), and I basically ignored the Wii U despite Bayonetta 2 and Tokyo Mirage Sessions, I can't complain.

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geirr

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It's another page in my story of buying a bad console for the good games exclusive to it.

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Justin258

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I don't know if I'm all that disappointed in the Switch. Seeing Doom Eternal and Skyrim running on something that I can hold in my hands is one hell of a novelty. I played about fifty hours of Skyrim on it, mostly while working a boring-ass night shift job that had little supervision, along with some other things (Minecraft, Octopath Traveler, Fire Emblem).

It's an excellent primary console for the right person - someone new to gaming looking to get a sampling of the best that a lot of genres have to offer, a kid who only gets one console and really wants one that he can take anywhere with him, someone who travels a lot for work - but for someone who lives at home and already has some experience with video games? Eh.

For me personally, the Switch is theoretically a great place to play a lot of 2D games, but in practice I wind up buying most of those on PC anyway. I did play a bunch of Baldur's Gate on the Switch late last year/early this year and finished it there, that's the most use my Switch has seen since Minecraft. The Switch is pretty much what the Vita should have been - a handheld that can play some AAA-style big games but really shows its strength when playing smaller old-school type games or older games that were ported up to the Switch.

Like every other Nintendo console, it's a novelty most of the time and a great gaming machine when Nintendo decides to release something good for it.

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prolurker

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@geirr: I kind of agree, botw is probably my all-time favorite game. The ecosystem, on the other hand, feels like an afterthought. I remember owning a gameboy advanced, and you could play so many retro games from the $5 dollar bin at walmart. Things have certainly changed since then.

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Nodima

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Since I got mine for free in some kind of weird karmic raffle I still haven't fully wrapped my head around, I can't complain. It's also only been three-ish weeks, so I've barely gotten my feet wet. I can also really only frame my likes and dislikes around Breath of the Wild, though I get the impression these comments can apply abstractly to the console as a whole.

Before I get into it, Hades is impressively blurry on the big screen. Beautiful in portable but the action is pretty hard for me to read there considering I've never really been a handheld gamer outside of Pokémon Yellow and so screens have only ever gotten bigger in my life, not smaller. I am a little sad by just how amateur Hades can look at times on my 50" QLED.

Anyway...

• I find myself between Gerstmann and Dan when it comes to BotW.

• This game came out four years after GTA V and the same year as Horizon: Zero Dawn and yet its weapon and ammo juggling systems are no more sophisticated than A Link to the Past! What the hell?

• I really struggle with "find the fun" games in general, doubly so when a game is hard enough that a brief foray into experimentation can lead to a quick death. I've laughed at deaths plenty of times in this game, but I gotta say the basics of combat and the Guardians and all that are mostly mediocre. Horizon, Genshin Impact and Ghost of Tsushima are all games Breath of the Wild reminds me of that have far, far, far more interesting combat loops for me.

• I don't hate the weapon degradation, I just don't think it actually makes much sense. Shouldn't the armor then be able to be lost as well? It just seems like they should have gone with a Souls-like repair function instead of outright breaking stuff. It discourages using weapons that seem truly unique or powerful because you never know when you might really need them.

• That said, I've had enough moments I can count on both hands where I solved a situation only to look up a guide or two afterward and realize that even after four years, if I wasn't finding a new solution to a problem I was at least finding something obscure enough that nobody was pointing it out on the internet. That's fucking rad and almost worth any of the gripes I've had so far.

• By the same token, I get why Jeff argued the puzzles/dungeons were bad during Game of the Year, but as somebody who fell off of The Witness like a complete idiot after less than an hour, I love the simple act of dropping rocks into formations for Korok seeds and figuring out how to get around poison wells to climb a tower. Puzzles designed to stump 10 year olds and merely tickle adults are the puzzles for me!

• That said, without the Zelda IP and the Nintendo charm (seriously, these audio cues and soundtrack decisions!) BotW feels like a premise in search of a hook. The story is repetitive to the point the Yakuza series appears straightforward and, again, there were contemporary games around BotW that did its core mechanics far better. I've played for 60 hours or more according to the Switch these past three weeks, so that IP and charm offensive has clicked quite well.

• Unfortunately, this experience has kind of led me to question purchasing anything else on the console. Between Hades' questionable appearance despite not looking substantially more taxing than Transistor and many folks' favorite game of all-time hitting me like a mostly inferior open world action game with one very unique hook...I'm just looking at the rest of the eShop where everything else I've heard is great...or has achievements on PS4 (seriously, who knew how empty it'd feel to beat a boss and just...get back to playing the game after a decade of trophies?)...I'm kind of wary to purchase anything else.

• My main takeaway so far: I'm elated I can finally say I played Breath of the Wild and can have my own thoughts on the game...but I'm almost nearly as happy I never bit the bullet and bought a Switch for myself.

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mikewhy

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I definitely have regrets after purchasing mine, but that's all on me and I don't want to take away from people that actually enjoy theirs. Will probably look to resell the thing since it's just been sitting unused on my desk for a whiiiiiile.

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rorie

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#37 rorie  Moderator

Damn has it already been 4 years? Feels like 2 at most, but maybe that's just quarantine time.

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Sulcath

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The switch has always been mediocre and underperforming. Too short of battery life, shit controls, underpowered, online support is basically non existent. I just want the switch, but not a half-assed piece of garbage. Since day 1 that's what I have wanted. I bought one, played mario, Zelda, xenoblade and Smash, then sold it. Don't regret the decision. Where is Bayonetta 3? Nintendo has done more wrong than good and only succeeded by raw luck and nostalgia.

Make more first party games, release better hardware, stop fucking around with online services.

Thank you.

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SethMode

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@sulcath: Nostalgia? I don't know about that. The one thing they've seemingly refused to capitalize on is nostalgia with this. Add to that the fact that it's wildly popular with people with no real nostalgia for Nintendo or Nintendo first party games.

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Jam13

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I think the original poster hit the nail on the head that the switch is a complementary/supplementary console for those interested in games enough to have a more powerful console or PC as well. Think it's only best suited as main console for kids due to the lower price point and ease of use.

I think this is a purposeful play from Nintendo to carve out it's own niche that doesn't directly compete with Sony and Microsoft. Treating the switch in any other way shows its limitations.

I've had mine 3 years now and happy to use it to mess around on the sofa playing indies and nintendo first party. If I didn't have my PC as the "main games machine" I'd be far less pleased with the switch.

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#41 bmccann42  Online

My main Switch issues have been around battery life and system power. When the system had big frame rate issues with BOTW I was a bit worried, but only 3 hours of battery life was just crazy.

On top of that I have had constant issues trying to play and charge the Switch at same time, and times where the Switch just refused to charge off a plugged in USB-C.

When they claim 4K on this new version, and the Switch can barely do 900p I am very skeptical. Will this version struggle for 1080p, but be proclaimed to be 4K?

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AV_Gamer

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#42  Edited By AV_Gamer

@bmccann42 said:

When they claim 4K on this new version, and the Switch can barely do 900p I am very skeptical. Will this version struggle for 1080p, but be proclaimed to be 4K?

Yes, if the rumors are true and the sources are solid enough to say they are, then yes I believe this new Switch Pro will be a slightly enhanced product, but not much else. I don't believe it will be powerful enough to run all the games at 4K - 1080p at most and many of the games will still struggle to hold a smooth 30fps, forget 60fps. Nintendo knows their audience and they know the fans won't demand too much of them. Hell, the regular Switch is still selling out as I type this.

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Gundato

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#43  Edited By Gundato
@bmccann42 said:

When they claim 4K on this new version, and the Switch can barely do 900p I am very skeptical. Will this version struggle for 1080p, but be proclaimed to be 4K?

Most likely this is just "able to output 4k" which likely means it was cheaper to get an hdmi port/package with that capability than not at this point. MAYBE netflix will do it (I am kind of reminded of jokes about not being able to get a Yugo up to highway speeds by tossing it off a cliff) and MAYBE something like tetris royale as a stunt but... yeah

That being said: if the rumors of DLSS capable hardware are true (and I am VERY VERY VERY VERY skeptical of that from just a cost and supply standpoint)... some nintendo games could do it. For those unaware, that is some straight up black magic that can upscale a render to much higher resolutions in ways that the vast majority of consumers will never notice. But that ALSO tends to fall apart when the base render is <720p unless you have some REALLY basic ass stuff on screen. Which... kind of IS the "nintendo style" so who knows?

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Ry_Ry

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I've been very happy with the Switch. It gets the most use out of any of our home consoles by far.

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Seikenfreak

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#45  Edited By Seikenfreak

This thread is refreshing. It feels like a much more grounded, balanced sentiment here than what people seem to say on any podcast I listen to. I have no problem if people wanna buy a Switch, I myself feel like I've been on the fence ever since it came out, but don't act like the Switch and what Nintendo does is infallible or something special. More just feels like they have certain killer IP that everyone will buy hardware for and also COVID happened. And apparently a lot of people just have lots of open time in their every day lives to game mobile-y or home situations where they can't use their TV. Neither situation I've had in my entire life; I'm either in my house doing whatever, or I'm outside the house to do something. If the power goes out, then that'd be the one brief 30 min - couple hour scenario where it'd be nice.

Occasionally Jeff will go on a bit of a rant about Nintendo, typically when they run into yet another situation where they're handling something in the most ass-backwards, frustrating way imaginable but I honestly don't think it happens enough lol They operate in such an insular bubble that it's insane.

It feels like they have so much potential sitting on the back burner, and again I'm not that big of a Nintendo fan, that they could be wielding to their advantage that even some old curmudgeon like myself would be at least curious about their games.

I'm also pretty annoyed when something like Bravely Default 2 is Switch exclusive. I want to try that. It would also run much better and at a higher res on the other consoles. Ugh

Talking about this and also messing with some GBA games on an emulator made me dig out my DS and 3DSs last night, just to make sure they still work. No bulging batteries. See how they feel in the hand again. I'm thinking of buying an original GB Advance and doing some mods on it to mess with. Nice screen and speaker. I'd want one in the original box though and they're kinda pricey.. Anyway, tangent.

@nodima Agreed. I do not understand why people think BotW is so incredible. It's okay, I guess. Have they not played other open world/survival games? Or physics games? Do they not have other/more powerful hardware? I gave up on it after doing the main dungeons. You run around, deal with the dumb weapon system, cry when you get the Master Sword, find the occasional neat puzzle, and do the lame main dungeons. All the while, it doesn't run particularly great and looks pretty low res i.e. lots of jaggies everywhere. When you have a nice, clean, bold art design.. and then everything has sawtooth edges on it and bad pop-in? Eh

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#46 Efesell  Online

I feel like I can't be disappointed in the Switch because it fulfills the exact role that I purchased it for which is to play Nintendo exclusives and then rest comfortably on a shelf until the next one.

Which could be a positive or a negative but if it's why I bought the thing and that's what I use it for it's hard to be all that negative about it.