Thursday, October 20, 2016

Nintendo Switch Revealed

Marvel at the Wii U 2.0! Marvel at it! It's the Wii U! Just without the misunderstandings! But with crampy controllers! And no dual screen usage! And the same old games! Yay!

First of all, there was no surprise whatever. Patent sketches, leaks and rumors by Emily Rogers and co. already have shown and described the exact the same thing many months ago. Even the launch line-up was revealed a while ago, so you really have to ask, why Nintendo hid the Switch for so long. They already should have shown this at E3 to reduce the blow and even be able to react to feedback.

But the cat is out of the bag now and I didn't drink the Kool-Aid. And this might be for one simple reason: I'm not the main target audience of the Nintendo Switch. But who is this anyway?

The target audience of Nintendo Switch seems to be people, who rejected the Wii U. The Wii U had three major issues. One was the name, which confused the main street. People thought of it as a Wii add-on or something. The other was that the GamePad looked like a handheld console, while it really wasn't. You can hardly play in the next room with it. And the third was that the 3DS became its biggest rival with a totally redundant software library and many ports between the systems.

Now, Nintendo saw these flaws and eliminated them. It has a new catchy name and a unique logo. You get a real handheld device with the system now (correction: the handheld device is the system). You can play games on the big screen and on the go. You don't have to buy two different Nintendo systems just to get very similar games in the end. And that's all really good, but only at first glance.

As the faithful (and easily manipulated) Nintendo costumer that I am, I already bought the Wii U and a New Nintendo 3DS. The latter even only gets used for one game, really. But I have these systems already, while Nintendo just tries to sell their successful Wii U games on the Nintendo Switch again. There's Mario Kart 8.5 with new characters and double items, there is a new version of Splatoon with what seems to be new content. There is of course Breath of the Wild and I wouldn't be surprised to see Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch at launch as well.

And Nintendo knows how to sell the same games again and again. All these re-releases and remakes with little additions, where you can't help it but buy them again, just because you loved the games so much on earlier systems. But that's just something that I may or may not pick up with a new system, it doesn't make me want to buy the new system. It needs fresh and exciting games to come with it. We had similar ports like these in the past, but not in such a majority and not so many at launch. It just really is a "buy all the games that you've missed with the Wii U" campaign.

The presentation of the Switch also doesn't want to make me buy it. I previously thought that it would be a good idea to combine handheld and console, but the Switch just doesn't look good. The constant plugging of the "Joy-cons" seriously annoyed me during the trailer, while these things look very cheap and uncomfortable. My hands start to cramp by simply looking at them, while I always was very comfortable with the Wii Remote and Nunchuks and even the Wii U GamePad. So, that's saying something. The lack of a D-Pad is also bad, even if I understand the design choice to create mini controllers for multiplayer.

But I couldn't identify with the whole "let's meet in some abandoned warehouse and play on tiny screens" thing. Who does that? Usually you just invite people over to your house to play on the big screen. And if my dog needs attention or people want to socialize with me on a BBQ, I put the game away, instead of bringing it with me. The multiplayer and portable gaming aspects are great, but do we really need something like the Switch for this? The whole trailer didn't convince me.

It tries to be both a console and a handheld at the same time, while it doesn't seem to do a good job at being either. The controller design is questionable and it's probably much more expansive and much larger than previous portable systems. And these are issues.

For me as a Nintendo fan it doesn't all matter much in the end, because my love for Zelda, Metroid and co. will make me buy this thing eventually anyway. But I won't buy what they have shown so far, I do need new and exciting games that I really want to play. Or they could just lure me with Zelda themed hardware in a Limited Edition bundle. The latter really is my weakness and the only thing that could make me buy the Switch at launch (which I probably shouldn't say to give Nintendo ideas). Otherwise I'll just enjoy Breath of the Wild on my Wii U for now.


Eduardo Jencarelli said...

It's definitely designed first and foremost for japanese audiences. People who spend a lot of time commutting from one place to another, and who don't have a lot of space in their homes. There's a reason handhelds have always fared better in Japan. Unifying handheld and console environments seems like a natural evolution.

Like any controller scheme, I expect to adjust as I did for the Wii a decade ago. My only complaint is probably the lack of a D-Pad. But we'll see....

Marandahir said...

I imagine you'll be wanting the inevitable "Hyrule Warriors Ultimate HD Edition" for Switch, complete with a bunch of new characters, a new Adventure Map or two, 4 new DLC packs and all of the Legends and Wii U features, save touchscreen/3D compatibility for obvious reasons, built in.

TourianTourist said...

No, I want an actual Hyrule Warriors 2. Much better graphics, many more characters, new story, lots of new enemies and stages, completely new Adventure Mode based on A Link to the Past. More about my visions for this after the final Legends DLC. ^^

It was okay with Legends on the 3DS, but I certainly don't want another port of the same game on the next console. I want a new game and all these enhanced ports are the worst parts of the Switch so far.

Marandahir said...

I'd love HW2 too.

Honestly, I feel like all they'd need to do is create a new story mode with new stages, though, and add some new maps and slightly rearrange the old maps a la Legends (to account for even newer characters).

But even if it was just HW1 again with more stuff exclusive to the Switch, it would be hard to resist, no? The Zelda completionist in me would make it pretty tempting, myself…

Eren Jaeger said...

At least you'd be able to use a normal controller (Switch Pro Controller? :P) while you're playing at home so your hands wouldn't cramp as badly.