Yet another whine about Nintendo Switch

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bigsocrates

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Edited By bigsocrates

I can’t stop thinking about the Nintendo Switch.

It’s now less than a month until it’s release and while I have a pre-order placed I am growing less and less excited for the thing as the date draws near. Zelda looks cool, but I have known about Zelda for years, and Mario also looks very exciting, but is a long way off. Other than that...there’s Snipperclips which seems like a neat little game, and everything else seems more ridiculously overpriced the more I think about it. I’m not even a particularly price sensitive gamer, but $50 for Bomberman and $40 for Street Fighter II in 2017 offends me on a philosophical level. The thought of spending that kind of money on games whose assets are literally decades old (or at least look like it) makes me feel taken advantage of and exploited. Arms seems like a $20 game, though maybe there’s hidden depth there, and 1 2 Switch is something I have no interest in and will never play. Beyond that there’s the full priced port of Mario Kart 8, the full priced semi-sequel to Splatoon (which admittedly could be worth if it there’s a ton of new content), and a whole lot of ports of old games and promises of more down the line.

When the launch lineup is significantly improved by ports of Little Inferno (which launched with the Wii U as part of a much more impressive lineup) and World of Goo (A [good] game so old I played it 4 apartments ago) you know things are dire.

I know there will be more titles later and eventually the system will likely have enough to justify a purchase, but I want to be excited now and I’m just not. Part of buying a new system is that feeling of excitement. PS4 had it with Resogun and shiny versions of current games like Battlefield 4. Xbox One had it with Dead Rising 3 and Killer Instinct. Breath of the Wild will likely be better than all those games, but it is surrounded by a whole lot of nothing.

It doesn’t help that Nintendo has stayed completely silent about its Virtual Console plans (something that could get an old gamer like me pretty revved up if there’s a good selection done right, and justify the purchase on its own) and that they’ve been unclear about exactly what they’re going to port over from the Wii U (Smash Brothers seems like a no brainer, but I’d also love to see Bayonetta 2 and of course Mario Maker make the leap.)

Switch defenders are like “There’ll be enough to play. Zelda will take you a month and then there will be Arms and other games…” but I remember the N64. That kind of release schedule only works if every game on the schedule is good and, more importantly, if you like them all. I like to have a selection of options as to what to play next, not be waiting for whatever game of whatever quality happens to come out.

Add in that using the Switch will apparently be, interface wise, way behind the curve (no achievement system, the social features not fully ready at launch and going through my phone rather than the system) and it just adds up to something I feel like I’m buying almost out of obligation or reluctant acceptance rather than excitement.

And the truth is I don’t need a Switch. I have a PS4 Pro and an Xbox One and an absolute ton of games to play on them. Hell I have PS3 and Xbox 360 games I still want to get around to, so it’s not like I’m hurting. But I want a Nintendo system that’s more exciting than the 3DS (which is seriously underpowered) and I’m into the Switch’s idea of a console you can play on the subway or in the back of a cab. I want to be excited by the Switch, and I’m an easy target with relatively deep pockets. I should be at least part of the demographic Nintendo is aiming for.

I guess fundamentally more than anything the problem is that I feel like Nintendo does not respect or care about its customers. It gouges them on price for games and accessories, it is always tight-lipped and secretive, it hates offering discounts and seems to go out of its way to avoid making things convenient (tying games to accounts rather than systems? That's unpossible), and while it makes some truly spectacular games it seems to do everything it can to make the experience around playing those games as hostile as it can.

So why keep the pre-order at all? I’m not sure. Part of it is nostalgia, since I grew up on Nintendo and its IP; part of it is true admiration for (some) of the software they produce, which really is peerless, and part of it is just hoping against hope that they’ll change and evolve.

A large part of it is just that I have the money right now and I do want to play Zelda (and hopefully some virtual console bangers.)

But if the disaster of the Wii U, a system that sold so poorly that they abandoned software development for it after 3 years, didn’t humble them and make them more consumer oriented, then nothing will. Nintendo is going to do what Nintendo wants. It's not going to start having a good e-shop with account tied purchases. It's not going to start putting stuff on sale like Microsoft and Sony do, or lowering prices as the generation goes on (An Xbox One can now often be had for about $200, and it was $500 just 3 years ago, AND it's the new improved S model.) It's not going to turn Virtual Console into what we all want it to be and it's not going to stop pushing half-baked features for its consoles that never get more than a handful of games. Buying an unexciting Switch is the price I have to pay to get at the good Nintendo games and I guess I'm willing. For now. But if money was tighter or I was just a little less invested in playing video games I wouldn't, and that's something Nintendo should think about. Though they definitely won'.t.

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Wolfgame

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You raise a lot of good points, I love so many things about nintendo, but I've always felt that the requirements to play games and navigating controllers that work with some games and not others to be infuriating. Now the reports I have seen suggest that the Switch is going to be incompatible with every controller currently available. You combine that with the fact that the pricing on the current controllers cost more than a full retail game and a limited launch line up. I can't help but be disappointed. I am not the biggest Zelda fan and right now the only reason I want a Switch is for Mario. I am hoping that when E3 rolls around that nintendo is able to better present their vision for the future of the Switch.

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BrunoTheThird

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It's a risk in a way it shouldn't be a risk. No question about it. Is the 'whining' deserved? Mostly yes, there are straight-up fucking problems with how they've handled an unveiling yet again. I mean for goodness' sake, it's not hard to learn lessons from failures, yet our beloved, legendary Nintendo find a way. Beloved and legendary for a reason, let's never forget that, but it's always been in spite of mediocre hardware and company messaging.

And here we are again. An over-priced, confusing product that's split between several states of previous devices, but is probably going to have stunning games as usual. The only reason I have no issues with my pre-order is for that very reason. People were leaped upon when they said they didn't want a Vita because it didn't have a future -- me in fact, on Eurogamer. I was negged into the ground and called entitled, among other things, just because I wished a game would come to a console I owned as well as Vita -- and yet those people (I checked!) are in the same boat as me now, and complaining something fierce. And they're right, but once you've taken the dive and invested in a product, and awesome games are released for it, it's hard to be so frustrated. The Dreamcast was a total disaster, but some of those games are just incredible, and it is quite fondly remembered. It wasn't because of bad advertising expensive hardware, but it happened, and it's not nice for anyone -- game makers, CEOs, gamers -- but it's always a risk, always. I think it's worth taking more often than not, and I'm sure I will enjoy my Switch just fine, and I hope those people who are really unsure about it will be won 'round, and forget all of this pre-launch doubt.

All we can do is hope, but man, Nintendo have made it real hard for a lot of people this time, and that's a shame. Still, there is a lot of buzz too, more than the WiiU had at this point I feel, and that's something. I'm personally really excited by the 1st year of games we've been told about, but that's as a non-WiiU owner (something I regret).

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ColossalGhost

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To your point about pricing, not only are the games slightly to over priced but, so are the accessories. $70 for a pro controller. $80 for a set of joy-cons. $30 for the ability to simultaneously charge and use the joy-cons. The entire things comes off as Nintendo forgetting that the Wii-U sold poorly at $300(with no price cuts) and, that the 3DS sold so poorly at $250 that they had to apologize for the high price of the system.

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hippie_genocide

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#4  Edited By hippie_genocide

I feel like if you're preordering a Switch, you're doing so because you think it's a cool piece of tech not because there's all these new games you want to play. The release schedule thing has been plaguing Nintendo now for over 20 years, so that's nothing new. For me Nintendo consoles have become a thing where you look to buy 2-3 years after release because that's how long it'll take to have a library that's worth playing.

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WynnDuffy

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#5  Edited By WynnDuffy

@hippie_genocide said:

I feel like if you're preordering a Switch, you're doing so because you think it's a cool piece of tech not because there's all these new games you want to play.

I pre-ordered because of this but also as I missed out on Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon. I spend an hour on the train 4 times a week and have 2 hour gaps between university classes, so the Switch is enticing. I believe Splatoon, Mario Kart 8, Zelda and a few downloadables is enough to jump in for.

@brunothethird said:

An over-priced, confusing product

I'm not seeing how it's overpriced, it's $100 more than the two year old Shield tablet but comes with the controllers and dock.

It would have been nice to be under $300 but the stuff included in the box is clearly pushing it over, though it would be interesting to know the markup on the dock & joycons when bought separately.

Yeah you can get the XB1/PS4 for cheaper or around the same price but those are 4 years old later this year and have had time to go through revisions. They're also confined to the home.

The Switch doesn't seem very confusing to me either.

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ripelivejam

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queue chorus of people agreeing with you. :D

it already sounds like this going to be quite bigger than the wii u ever was if going by preorder furor so i would just give it time for rough patches to be ironed out. only main bugbear for me is the online service but that is definitely something that can evolve over time.

people saying this isn't servicable as a handheld (*cough* jeff) are being a little crazy and harsh. battery life is close to what my new 3ds has anyway.

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OtterChaos

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I'll wait until the Mario game is out and reviews well. I'm not convinced it will be released this year at all, we have seen almost all games delayed (Zelda included) so what would that leave the Switch with if I'm correct? Zelda and Splatoon are about it for me and I don't care for Splatoon that much. I'll play Zelda on my WiiU and wait for the Switch to have more games before I buy.

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ripelivejam

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the fire emblem musou *shudder* might be alright too. hyrule warriors was admittedly fun.

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Slag

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I personally don't share the sentiment that Nintendo is ripping off their customers with their accessory pricing, just they are moving to HP Printer business model (give away the printer at cost basically and charge very high margins on toner). Doesn't make it any easier to swallow those 70 buck controllers, but I don't think it's unfair.

I also don't share your view of the lineup. However I should note, I do think it only looks good if you like certain genres. It's got some really massive holes in there (basically no shooters or racing games or fighting games etc). For me personally this lineup much stronger than what I remembered out of the N64, but this one has RPGs which is my bread & butter and the N64 didn't. So I get why the lineup can look weak and strong to varying different folks.

I certainly agree that Nintendo could make our lives easier with a better Virtual Console offering that's more fair to longtime fans. It'd be nice if they at least made that part of it easier.

Now that being said, since you already have a XB1 and PS4 I don't see why you need a Switch. But like you said this is probably more of a 3DS replacement in your gaming life if you want one.

So I get why you're torn and I think that's fair. Bottom line is the Switch is a luxury item yet again, a second console for most people not a primary since it doesn't have the marquee 3rd party multiplats. Which is basically where Nintendo has been last two cycles.

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BrunoTheThird

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@wynnduffy: I should have clarified, I'm sorry: I personally don't think it's overpriced for my needs. For WiiU owners it seems a common opinion that for Switch and Breath of the Wild (for UK pricing, I'm from the UK) £329 is too much and not worth the dive, also contrasting with the first year of games (for them). I'm super excited and don't share it fully, but it is a lot I guess. I was speaking on their behalf to some degree. It's a pretty common opinion on UK sites that it's a bit too much, and accessories right now are off, blaming Brexit and all sorts.

And by confusing I mean their unveiling, where it was a mish-mash of motion control gimmicks (which may turn out to be awesome but seems to confuse some about who the console is actually aimed it), weird don't-look-at-the-screen minigames that some people (Jeff for one) thinks would be bad in the environments Nintendo shows in their commercials, which is confusing from that marketing perspective but makes sense for having friends over to play it specifically, etc. There's other stuff. The console itself is beautifully simplistic.

If you just disagree with everything I'm saying that's cool, but this is based on feedback I've seen very regularly on the sites I frequent. Everyone's perspective is different there, as our points of references aren't the same.

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Lv4Monk

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#11  Edited By Lv4Monk

@ripelivejam said:

queue chorus of people agreeing with you. :D

it already sounds like this going to be quite bigger than the wii u ever was if going by preorder furor so i would just give it time for rough patches to be ironed out. only main bugbear for me is the online service but that is definitely something that can evolve over time.

people saying this isn't servicable as a handheld (*cough* jeff) are being a little crazy and harsh. battery life is close to what my new 3ds has anyway.

Yeah, I'm not sure why 3 to 6 hours of battery life on first generation Switch consoles has convinced so many people that it isn't portable. That and I'm all but certain, barring Switch being a massive failure, that we'll eventually see a more compact unit with better battery life in the coming years.

"Introducing Switch Pocket, the all new pocket sized Switch with longer battery life and higher portable clock speeds!"

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Sinusoidal

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@lv4monk said:

... I'm all but certain, barring Switch being a massive failure, that we'll eventually see a more compact unit with better battery life in the coming years.

"Introducing Switch Pocket, the all new pocket sized Switch with longer battery life and higher portable clock speeds!"

It seems like the most common defense for the viability of the Switch that I see is: "Just wait, maybe it'll get better." Maybe it'll eventually have better battery life. Maybe it'll eventually have more games worth playing. Maybe the peripherals will come down to a reasonable price. Maybe Nintendo will get more third party support. Maybe their online service won't completely suck balls this time around. Maybe we'll have a Mario game later this year...

To me, this thing right now is a $300 Zelda box. That doesn't include Zelda. And then, even Zelda runs at 900p, 30fps, which - if not a deal-breaker exactly - is disappointing in 2017. I want to want one, but I'm so completely underwhelmed by everything Nintendo's shown, I just can't justify it. The most frustrating part is that there are just about a million things that Nintendo could have done with the Switch that would have gotten me on board, but they've gone and made something that's somewhere between an under-powered console and a half-portable handheld that relies heavily on gimmicky motion control that I'd hoped was finally behind us.

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fnrslvr

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I find myself getting one at launch, along with a Breath of the Wild limited edition. Gotta play Zelda somehow, and the Wii U has proven a little more difficult to get at this point than I'd like, so I figured I'd be better off just going in on the Switch.

But I share many of the same concerns as the OP. I don't see the Switch finding a mass audience if they're selling the console for $300 and not bundling in the main party game that's meant to sell casual players on the gimmicks. I certainly won't be getting 1-2-Switch unless they retroactively bundle it in as a digital download or something. I'm intrigued by Arms and hope it's got some depth to it, but I doubt I can afford to pay full price for it. Then things like SFII selling for more than $5 in 2017 just confound me. I get the feeling that Nintendo doesn't think price will be the deciding factor for consumers -- either it takes off and they capitalize on the high price points, or it doesn't and wouldn't've anyway -- but I think it'll have an impact.

I have 15 hours per week of commute by train coming up, so hopefully being able to play Zelda in chunks on the go will be a good experience. (Or it could turn out to be like The Witcher 3, a game I ended up binging because of the overly needy main story.) But after that, I am worried that I won't be able to justify paying full price for more games for the system, and it'll just kinda sit on my desk at home, gathering dust. I don't know, maybe I just don't have deep enough pockets to justify getting the system right now. But eh, gotta play Zelda on something.

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Zevvion

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If you don't like what you've seen then don't buy one. I'm not trying to say you're not allowed to voice criticism, but this has been going on for a long time and the crux of the argument always falls to a one-sided comparison. The PS4, which is massively successful, didn't start to have a steady stream of good games for at least the first 1,5 years, yet the Switch is getting flak for possibly not having a ton of games in the first 6 months alone.

Just free yourself from the idea that you need to have something on day one. You clearly do not want one and aren't excited enough for it to warrant a purchase. It almost reads as if you're disappointed with yourself that you're still going to buy it even though you don't really want it. In fact, you even admit that you would definitely not buy a Switch if you noticed the money you spend on it was gone. You should buy stuff that really excites you.

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Lv4Monk

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#16  Edited By Lv4Monk

@sinusoidal: I'm not saying anyone should buy the Switch because it'll eventually get better. If anything I'm saying that I'm buying the Switch because I like Zelda, I like that it's portable, and I trust Nintendo to release enough great games to justify it's existence. If you don't like Zelda then yeah, why not wait?

My prediction of a more portable Switch is just that, it's not a reason you should buy it now. Partly as a response to people saying the Switch isn't portable and partly as a response to people saying 3 hours minimum battery life is a deal breaker.

Waiting on the Switch for more games is hardly a sign of a failing console so much as a smart thing to do if what's out doesn't currently interest you.

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sammo21

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#17  Edited By sammo21

The thing I can't stop thinking about it how little we know about this system and its out in like 2 weeks :| We don't have a clear indication of almost anything outside of some of the games. The fact we practically have 0 virtual console information makes me think that even they don't know.

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@sammo21 said:

The fact we practically have 0 virtual console information makes me think that even they don't know.

So now it's confirmed there is no virtual console launching on the Switch, you were right on the money there.

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I've owned every console since the playstation 1, and this is going to be the first time I wait for a bundle. Next year, or even the year after I'm sure there will be some good first party games and hopefully some reduced cost controllers.

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AdequatelyPrepared

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At this point I'm honestly curious to see what the buzz is like at launch day. Every time I think it's going to sell poorly or something I remember that there are a lot of people that buy whatever new tech Apple releases against my predictions. Makes me think that maybe I don't have that great of a read on the modern tech consumer.

Edit: I do think that launching without a web browser and having the MP stuff handled through the phone are both massive missteps. The modern tablet is theoretically meant to be a super portable jack of all trades device. I realise that the Switch is a gaming device first but just look at it. The lack of a web browser means that it is launching without a feature that is ubiquitous among it's similar looking competition, and the phone stuff creates a very unneccesary layer of messing around with more equipment to accomplish a task that is done incredibly simply by just about every other modern gaming device.

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