Edited: 01/11/17 to reflect Jeremy’s expectations of price
With just a few short days before the full unveiling of the Nintendo Switch (admittedly, it will feel like an eternity), there are still plenty of unanswered questions regarding the Switch. Though there have been plenty of leaks regarding just about every facet of the device, nothing has been officially confirmed by Nintendo since the October 20th video of the “First Look at Nintendo Switch.”
With all that being said, here is a list of Switch predictions, expectations and desires that Switchcore’s contributors and editors would like to see during the January 12th-13th blowout.
Nintendo has been making great consoles for the past 30+ years, and I don’t see that trend stopping with the Switch. Though I do not expect the Switch to compete at a level of sheer horsepower with devices like the PS4 Pro, I do expect it to be a significant upgrade over what the Wii U has to offer in terms of power. That’s a given. Nintendo has always been a company that has been very good at squeezing a lot out of a little. Let’s face it; they basically get lemons and make profound story driven, visually polished, gameplay altering lemonade. It’s nothing short of amazing.
As for predictions?
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will make the Switch launch, globally. The rumors floating around about a delay in the EU, in my opinion, have been greatly exaggerated. Though I have historically defended that Nintendo has never actually stated BotW would be a Switch launch title, it has been heavily insinuated. What better way to kick off the release of a brand new device than with one of the most beloved game franchises of all time?
At this point, I expect Nintendo to have a full-blown, system-wide achievement/trophy system. My thoughts on this have been outlined in a recent article, but I find it important to differentiate between desires and expectations, and I definitely expect this to be there. I know the majority of the folks over at r/NintendoSwitch disagree with me on the value achievements add to a device or service, but Nintendo has a way of taking ideas, expanding on them, and making them completely unique to the Nintendo way of doing things. I expect this to be no different.
Nintendo fans and Switch-watchers undoubtedly know Obe1. Yes, that Obe1. The hype train of a man whose personality and love of Nintendo has seen his YouTube channel grow to north of 37,000 subscribers. Why do I bring him up? Well, he has been “leaking” Switch information for a little over a week now with more “leaks” coming in the days leading into the big Switch blowout. One of those leaks is in regards to the possibility of Nintendo Switch VR. We covered a Nintendo Switch patent a few weeks back, which discussed details such as Virtual Reality. I expect Obe1 to have hit the nail on the head with this leak. I predict, once again, that Nintendo Switch VR (or whatever they decide to call it) will be outlined during the Switch event on the 12th/13th, but will not make launch. Maybe VR could be the killer app that gets Nintendo through holiday 2017?
Admittedly, I have not spent a ton of time dabbling with Virtual Console games on any platform. However, that won’t stop me from getting fanboyishly excited about the possibility of Gamecube Virtual Console support on Nintendo Switch. Eurogamer ran an article in December stating that Gamecube VC support is in. I have been clamoring for the past 18+ months of the inclusion of Gamecube Virtual Console on the Switch. Please, Nintendo, do this. Also, consider releasing the Switch with the largest catalog of VC titles available for a new system at launch. The idea of playing Gamecube games and the rest of Nintendo’s back catalog of amazing games at home on the TV, as well as on the go, is nothing short of euphoric.
How could I forget about price!? Nintendo has historically been very price conscious, attempting to strike the perfect balance between profitability and what the market dictates. Over the past decade or so, Nintendo has opted out of the arms race for sheer power, theoretically keeping the costs of their devices down. The Wii U was an outlier in that regard and cost Nintendo dearly. Many seem to think that a $250 price point is the sweet spot, and I will not argue. The question really becomes “Will it come with a game,” and “Will there be multiple SKUs?” My guess is the Switch will feature a pack-in title, though I’m not entirely sure which game they intend to feature. If Mario does make launch, this would arguably be the best game for the job. I firmly believe, in accordance to make the Switch’s launch as simple and complication-free as possible, Nintendo will release just one SKU.