Disclaimer: This post was written before the release of Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Switch has intrigued me since it was unveiled in November, but not really for the reasons a lot of others have noted.
I personally don’t really care about the portability unless Nintendo includes historically portable franchises come to the console. I’d be much more likely to take the tablet on the road if a new Animal Crossing or Pokemon installment was released for it. I believe it’s also worth mentioning that it’s difficult to imagine those series continually evolving without the second screen of the DS and 3DS.
I also don’t really look forward to the returning motion controls, although it will be interesting to see whether the whole ice-water-depth in motion controls is as new as it sounds.
Let’s talk about five things I’m looking forward to, and five things I could see going wrong.
The Good #1- New IP’s
Let’s start with the addition of some new IP’s from Nintendo! Even if not all of the announcements hit home runs (more on that below), ARMS looks pretty great, especially now that it’s been announced Motion Controls are optional. Plus, if they DO announce that heavily rumoured Mario/Rabbids RPG, the experimentation with new IP’s will be just as prevalent as during the early Wii/GameCube era.
The Bad #1- Full Priced Remasters
If they’re rewarding Wii U owners that are sticking around, they sure aren’t showing it with the price of a couple games here. I’m specifically talking about the full-priced Mario Kart 8 remaster. I get that they didn’t sell very many and want to treat it like a fresh start, but they’re kind of treating Wii U players who own it already like garbage. It’s probably happening with the inevitable Smash 4 remaster too. Disappointing.
The Good #2- Super Mario Odyssey
Looking good, Nintendo. This will be a system seller for a lot of people, I can say with confidence. I sure can’t wait to play it. I wrote some ideas for the developers before the game’s announcement and I think a lot of them could come to life. Cool.
The Bad #2- Old IP’s remain Ignored or Misused
Animal Crossing. Metroid. Punch-Out. Geist. There are four intellectual properties from Nintendo that have either been completely ignored or given mediocre side-games and nothing more in the last few years. Animal Crossing is the least ignored of the four, but New Leaf is old enough that it’s reasonable to expect the next installment soon. When it comes to Metroid, they should contact the creator of AM2R and hire him to create an official game. It’s unlikely, but SEGA hired Christian Whitehead to make Sonic Mania, so it’s not impossible.
Let’s look at the other companies involved with the Switch. SEGA hasn’t announced anything relating to Super Monkey Ball, Samba De Amigo, or really anything other than Sonic. Namco-Bandai ignores their mascot in 3D entirely on the idea that the games don’t sell, even though the last two times they’ve tried, it was based on a TV show that no one seems to like. Finally, can you imagine a brand new 3D or 2D platformer starring Mega Man?
The Good #3- Account System
Nintendo says they’re working on an account system to unify purchases under one name, and this is cool. The main reasons this is appealing for me is virtual console purchases. I’ve spent close to $100 on the shop, and it would be nice to play them on the Nintendo Switch.
The Bad #3- No Multimedia Options
Even though I personally don’t care due to my PS4 and Wii U, I believe choosing to not put Netflix or YouTube on the Switch is a bad idea. There’s a fair amount of people who would trade in their Wii U to get the Switch, and removing that big a feature is not a good thing in my opinion.
The Good #4- Cartridges, not Download-discs
I’m very happy that the Switch is running on cartridges, mainly because I hate that when I buy a PS4 game, I have to wait a LONG time on my mediocre connection just to play it.
The Bad #4- Price of the Controllers
Seriously. It’s almost $100 to get the pro controller in Canada. The only controller on the console with a D-Pad (Something that worries me, by the way). Not ideal, and it makes the claim that the Switch is inexpensive “because it doesn’t have a game included” silly.
The Good #5- Strong Launch Year
Zelda. ARMS. Splatoon 2. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Tetris. Mario Odyssey. Skyrim. NBA 2k18. A Lego City Undercover remaster. A lot more. There’s a lot to enjoy year one, and I don’t really have an issue with the weak launch day as the year ahead looks great. It does.
The Bad #5- Lack of Anticipated Announcements and 1–2 Switch
Mother 3 and Mario/Rabbids RPG at launch were both things that were supposed to be announced, but the former wasn’t and the latter didn’t end up launching with the system. Instead, Nintendo was focusing on a title that simultaneously looks perfect for a pack-in, no one seems to want, and costs $65 in Canada. Again, not ideal.
The Good #6 (NEW)- Indies and Exclusive Rights to Runner 3
I had to add this. The Indie showcase had several games that caught my eye Snake Pass, Yooka-Laylee, and Runner 3 being my most noteworthy titles. Runner 3 was a brand new announcement, and it’s a Nintendo Switch exclusive. Nice get, Nintendo.
The Bad #6 (NEW)- Reports of Mediocre Build Quality and Sync Issues
Build-wise, Kotaku’s review mentions that the build quality (particularly the kickstand) seems rather cheap. There are also several Twitter reports of hardware issues. It’s hardly encouraging…
Overall, I was impressed with the announcement of the Switch and I look forward to getting my hands on it. But there were definitely negatives to the announcement(s). In March, we’ll see how the Switch plays and what the future holds.