Three. More. Weeks. Not that we’re counting or anything.
If you couldn’t tell, all of us over here at Switchcore are beyond ready for the Switch. I mean, hell, our site is named after the thing and has been dominated by Switch related content (more to come, by the way).
But enough with the awkward prefaces. Though most of the people I talk to on a daily basis and interact with in my personal life are excited for the Switch, there are, of course, some people out there who couldn’t be less interested. Whether it be the complaints about battery life or seemingly low system specifications, they just couldn’t give a damn. Which leads me to the title of this post. The Nintendo Switch isn’t for everyone. And you know what? That’s okay.
Defenders of Nintendo will blindly follow Nintendo into the dark. Admittedly, I’ve been guilty on occasion for being that person. For me, the journey to the Nintendo Switch started as a child growing up with Nintendo systems in my house. More realistically, the journey actually started about two years ago with the then codenamed NX. That’s all I needed to hear. Nintendo announced they were making a new device and I was in. For others, it’s not so simple.
Let’s talk about price for a moment. We now know that in the United States, the Nintendo Switch will come with a price tag of $299.99. For that price, you get a Nintendo Switch, a dock, two Joy-Con controllers, a Joy-Con grip, an HDMI cable and an AC adapter. You’ll notice there is no mention of a game. Well, that’s because there is no game bundled with the Switch at launch. This has been a pain point for some people who may have otherwise been interested in the Switch. There is an argument that the Switch is too overpriced for what you are actually getting. This becomes increasingly more difficult to defend when you take into account Microsoft and Sony’s offerings are the same price, but also come bundled with a game.
The devout will tell you how impressive it is that Nintendo has packed in as much as they have with the Switch for that price. Let’s take a closer look. The Switch will be running on some version of Nvidia Tegra. It features a 720p display. It features two Joy-Con controllers that have improved accelerometer and gyrometer controls over the Wii Remote Plus. Enhanced rumble technology that Nintendo is touting as HD Rumble is included in the Joy-Con and Pro Controller. The dock is the thing that makes the Switch the Switch. It’s a console when docked and outputs to your television at up to 1080p at 60 frames per second. Off the dock, it’s a screaming fast portable device designed to play console-grade games. This is what I see when I think about the Switch. The biggest selling point for me is the fact that the Switch is, essentially, two devices in one, for one low price of $299. Then you have the opposition.
For opponents of the Switch, they see a device with a price that was set contingent on accessories they never see themselves using. To them, motion control and HD Rumble is a gimmick. To them, they don’t see the necessity of having a console that converts to a portable on a whim. They believe for a price of $199 or even $249, the Switch acting as a standard console that sits on a shelf near your television would have been better poised to attract them.
And while I completely understand that sentiment and find validity in some of those points, that isn’t what Nintendo is attempting to do here. They’re not trying to make another one of those. In other words, if you find the price of the Switch too high, the Nintendo Switch may not be for you, and that’s okay.
Nintendo has stated a lot recently that they don’t want the Switch to face the same problems the Wii U faced. One of the major problems the Wii U had was a lack of regular releases, especially from first party studios. Nintendo has stated their commitment to not allowing that to happen with the Switch.
Let’s first talk about launch. At launch we are getting The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. That title right there is guaranteed to sell out the 2-million first month allocation Nintendo has promised their investors. Also in March, we are getting Snipperclips, which looks absolutely adorable and I can’t wait to get my hands on it in Chicago next week. The Switch will be launching with 10 games in total. Admittedly, it is a modest launch, but what is on the horizon for Nintendo begins to paint a brighter picture. In year one, we are getting titles like 1-2-Switch, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Arms, Splatoon 2, Skyrim, FIFA, NBA2K and Super Mario Odyssey. That is not a comprehensive list, but just a sampling of what looms in the distance. This may not appeal to everyone, however.
The arguments against the Switch games lineup are that we are seeing too many ports. Sure, that’s a valid argument, but doesn’t every console see a plethora of ports? Nintendo should somehow be held to some other higher standard? Oops, sorry. I’m getting defensive. Carrying on. The main complaint is in regard to the launch titles, or lack thereof. Aside from Breath of the Wild, there may not be a whole lot to entice “core gamers” to drop their hard earned cash on the system. And even that title is going to be available on the Wii U, day and date with the Switch version. Nintendo is touting third party support, even going as far as to pat themselves on the back for getting Bethesda on-board. That being said, the only titles we know coming from the likes of Bethesda, EA and Ubisoft are the safest of games. FIFA, Skyrim, Just Dance; all titles that can be found on other platforms and arguably don’t make the Switch a necessity to pick up.
The important thing to note here is that Nintendo is trying. Sure, maybe launch and year one as it stands doesn’t look all sunshine and rainbows, but we do have several quality titles to look forward to in this initial year of release. If the seeming lack of games in the launch window and beyond is enough to make you turn away from the Switch, then it just may not be for you, and that’s fine.
Countless attempts to soil the name of the Switch ahead of its March 3rd launch occur daily. To be honest, it is a bit bothersome. We hear complaints about the battery life, which Nintendo is estimating between 2.5 to 6 hours. Though the battery life is not setting the world on fire, I believe it to be in line with other mobile devices when using them as dedicated video game machines. Take your smartphone while playing Pokemon Go for example. If you think people were carrying around external battery backs this past summer to be fashionable, you’re sorely mistaken. Even the New 3DS XL caps out at about six hours of battery life.
Then you hear the talks about the proposed system specifications for the Switch. Power. Though we don’t have firm confirmation on specs and most likely won’t until post launch, we are pretty sure it is running on a custom version of the Tegra X1, which if true, would make the Switch less powerful than the Xbox One. Three-plus years post Xbox One and PS4 launch, many believe Nintendo should have been able to pack a bigger punch in their device, especially at its price point.
Once again, if these are things you are concerned about, the Nintendo Switch may not be for you, and that’s okay.
Here’s the thing; New console launches are some of the most exciting times. The period leading up to that device’s release is a huge hype train of anticipation, and the Switch has arguably been one of the most exciting, most hyped and most anticipated releases I have ever seen. The idea of being able to play one device both at home on a television and taking those exact same experiences with me on the go is what the Switch is all about. At the end of the day, if you can’t see what all the fuss is about, that’s fine. Move along. Nothing to see here. But for the rest of us, you can’t kill our vibes.
Just be sure you let me know how Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey run on your PS4 Pro. Oh, wait…