The dust has settled. Fanboys and haters alike are absorbing the information after the Nintendo Switch Presentation. We saw games, hardware, and of course, zany presenters. The facts are in, it’s time for some hard opinions!
OH, JOYOUS DAY!
Nintendo really aren’t messing around anymore. They totally nailed the presentation, in my opinion. In true Nintendo fashion, they brilliantly executed the display of innovation that the Switch and the Joy-Con controllers are bringing to the market. In fact, it was actually the Joy-Cons themselves that stole the show. They dominated much of the up-time of the presentation, understandably so, as they’ve been jam-packed full of technology. I was worried that using the Joy-Cons individually for local split-screen would prove difficult for users with larger hands (myself included), but the slide-on wrist straps add some extra ergonomic comfort for my mammoth handed comrades. The feature list is extensive; with IR camera sensors, “HD Rumble”, gyroscope and so much more. You could almost forgive the asking price for a separate Joy-Con. Almost.
Like I said, almost. Considering the relatively conservative (albeit, expected) asking price for the Switch, Nintendo have seriously dropped the ball with it’s peripheral price structure. Although none of this information surfaced during the presentation, and perhaps for this reason, it was announced soon after that a single Joy-Con costs almost $50! It almost feels ridiculous to offer the two Joy-Cons separately, considering they don’t even have the same buttons, nor layout! Technical prowess aside, I think what bothers me the most is that these controllers are so small. I know, that seems like such a ridiculous thing to nit-pick over, but a fully fledged DualShock 4 controller costs less than that, with some of the same features. Thankfully, Nintendo saw some sense, and are offering a bundle of both left and right Joy-Cons for $79.99, a saving of $20.
The buck stops there with the sense-seeing. A much requested feature would be the ability to purchase extra docks so that you could play on other TVs around the house. Well, there’s good news and bad news. We did get that peripheral, for the eye-watering amount of $89.99. That’s a big goof.
BUT, THE GAMES
There’s no doubt now that the Switch will have some superb titles to play. Splatoon 2, Super Mario Odyssey, Xenoblade 2 and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild all looked fantastic. The level of detail in both the Mario and Zelda titles was astounding. You truly feel you could get lost in those worlds. An unexpected treat for me was Square Enix’s brand new IP, Project Octopath Traveller. It’s 2.5D pixel art style is visually breathtaking, and although we didn’t see much of the gameplay, I put my faith in Square. EA really were the big let-down of the day in terms of 3rd party developers. Although the launch of FIFA on Switch will rake in the hardware sales, it didn’t resonate with me. We wanted to see some Star Wars action EA! Even a Mirror’s Edge title would have sat better with me. You big dummies. Regardless of what I feel, this addition to the Switch lineup will only do Nintendo good.
But, and this is a big but! I feel almost cheated that Nintendo have seemingly ditched the “pack-in” trend. At the very least, they haven’t completely disproved that idea, so we’ll have to wait and see if Nintendo add anything to the launch package. What this means for it’s potential success, is that it will be relying on consumers to actually fork out at least $359.99 to actually have anything to play on launch day. A far cry from the reasonable $299.99. Yes, you can tell me that you were planning on buying Breath of the Wild anyway, but the point stands.
LET’S GET SOCIAL
It’s finally happening. Nintendo have succumbed to the paid online service. It’s long been known that Ninty have unacceptable online features, so it’s nice they’re finally investing more into it. It’s too bad it’s my money they’re investing. Let’s hope that they can provide a stable, simple, and fast network for us to completely splat each other in Splatoon 2, or red shell the crap outta people in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. No doubt that a lot of on-the-fence consumers will wait to see how Nintendo’s online service holds up before committing to the console. I’m confident they will get it right after so many years of strife. What I find interesting is that voice chat parties have been promised, but I can’t see any microphone connections ANYWHERE on the console or the Joy-Cons! What is going on here?! My worry is that consumers will be forced to purchase a wireless earpiece in order to use this feature.
All worries aside, it’s comforting to know that Nintendo have their head in the right place. This console would not have survived without a robust online service in place. Here’s hoping it delivers!
Obviously it’s way too early to know the Switch’s future, but I feel Nintendo have put themselves in a good place with the presentation. A few more details here and there would have been a huge help, but I suppose that’s what they want. Addicts can’t survive when being drip-fed, and I’m already looking for something to scratch my Sw-itch.
What, Nintendo are the only ones who can make Switch puns? Pff.