Thomas Deehan explains why the reception of Nintendo’s new console, the Switch, has been unfair.
Picture the scene, Friday before last: you head out for a night on the town and manage to score with some good looking stranger – until you flip the lights on the next morning and realise that you’ve been knockin’ boots with Hans Moleman off the The Simpsons. Last Friday’s Nintendo Switch presentation left many people feeling the same way.
There was a lot of excitement going into the presentation, particularly after Nintendo nailed the Switch’s initial reveal back in October. The enthusiasm soon evaporated however when it became clear that there would only be five games available at launch, the accessories would be overpriced and third party developers had yet to truly commit to the system. With those aspects in mind, Nintendo done fucked up.
To hear some people tell it, however, you’d think this would be the last we’d see of Nintendo before they drive all hardware production off a cliff and license their IP’s to Sony or Microsoft.
Not by a long shot.
My concern is that people don’t completely understand what the Switch is, and are therefore subjecting it to comparison and ridicule that doesn’t really apply. Here are few arguments that I’ve come across that need to die if we’re to have any genuine discussion about the Switch.
The PS4 and Xbox One are cheaper
Absolutely right. So? Both of these consoles have been on the market for more than three years and were introduced at a far heftier price tag than the Switch’s £279.99 asking price. While it’s true that the PS4 and Xbox One outperform the Switch where processing power and graphics are concerned, anyone focusing on that aspect isn’t truly appreciating the fact that you can take the Switch with you, everywhere you go. As a hybrid system, you’re getting both a traditional and a handheld console – two for the price of one in fact. Add in the fact that due to the Joy-Con setup, you’re actually getting two controllers out of the box, and this seems like a heck of a deal.
The Switch should be bundled with a game
Where the heck did this sense of entitlement come from? Sure, Nintendo have opted for this tactic in the past – Wii Sports was famously bundled with the Wii, just as Super Mario Bros. was with the NES. Out of the three major console manufacturers, Nintendo is the only one with a track record for doing such a thing at launch, but why does no one make this case at the launch of a Sony or Microsoft console? Are Nintendo indebted to give us freebies for the rest of eternity? With this argument however, attention seems to be drawn to the party game, 1-2-Switch. The discourse should be changed to: ‘why the heck are Nintendo charging full price for a pack of mini games?’. £20-25 would be a far better asking price than the £34.99 some retailers are asking for.
The Switch will tank just as the Wii U did
No, just no. Anyone making this argument is again, neglecting to understand what the Switch is. A better point comparison would the 3DS. When the 3DS launched, the selection of games available were truly abysmal. Nintendogs + Cats, Pilotwings Resort, another port of Rayman 2 – are you fucking kidding me? As a result, sales for the 3DS were slow to begin with but as guaranteed hits like Pokémon X&Y and Super Mario 3D Land dropped, the system flew off the shelves. Consider that Pokémon Sun and Moon, which were only released two months ago, had the most successful launch of any Nintendo game in Europe. The Wii U never had a true Pokémon game (Pokkén Tournament doesn’t count) and it suffered as a result. This time we know that such a thing is in development for the Switch. Just give the console some time, it’s sure to come around.
Featured Image: Wikicommons