That was that then, the Nintendo Switch reveal actually happened and we have a date, price and a potential launch line-up, the specs of the machine are still in the air however, for those of you who care about that sort of thing.
The show itself was questionable in quality and a few times during the presentation I found myself questioning why I was awake at 4am watching this, knowing full well I was at work at 8am the following morning. Don’t get me wrong, there were a few pops which I had to hold back the hype because it was too damn early but most of the show felt like it was missing a key ingredient. Anyway enough dribble, the good stuff awaits, I did a prediction post a few days ago, I got virtually nothing right, only 1 (2 if you give me Mario in the fall).
The Console Launch
Launch date: March 3rd 2017 worldwide
Colours: There will be a Grey version and a Neon Blue/Neon Red Version
Battery Life: 2 and a half – 6 hours
Home button and a Capture button on Joy-Cons
The presentation started with Nintendo president, Kimishima entering the stage and reeling off the usual bullshit about Nintendo’s vision with the Switch and basically explaining everything. The word “console” was used too much for my liking because it appears to me that this machine’s strength is it’s portability and restricting that to console in my eyes is a bad call, however this is probably in response to when the Wii U was announced and everybody thought it was an add on for the original Nintendo Wii. During this talk he announced that the Switch will be released on March 3rd worldwide, at a hefty price of £280, which in my opinion is too high for the sales expectation they have for this thing. Kimishima also announced that in order to play online there will be a fee for players similar to the XBOX ONE and PS4 with players being able to download and play a NES or SNES game free for a month, which is pretty vague but that’s how Nintendo worded it.
After years and years of Nintendo region-locking there home consoles it was also announced that the Switch would be region-free (BOOM!) which is fantastic news for people who import their games or want to buy a Japanese/USA exclusive or something.
The battery life of this thing is something we all expected to make or break the system, the battery life comes in at 2 and a half to 6 hours depending on what you’re doing on the system, this is reasonable and it comes in at around the time (ish) the 3DS does, plus there’s a play and charge option so there is no complaints from me on this one.
The Games, The Most Important Thing
The games that were there were a mixed bag to say the least, on one hand you’ve got Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and on the other hand you’ve got the launch game Arms, which I got to be honest when I was watching the trailer and demonstration for that game I was questioning my sanity and what I was actually doing with my life and 1 2 Switch is kind of the same boat and don’t get me started when the guy from EA come on stage and talked about FIFA, it’s smart to talk about 3rd party developers supporting your system but trust me, the people watching this aren’t the people that are going to buy FIFA, the people that play FIFA have already invested too much time and money into their XBOX ONE and PS4 versions of the game.
That being said there were some nice surprises that were confirmed during the presentation apart from the two we already knew about being Legend of Zelda and the newly named Super Mario Odyssey we also got Super Bomberman R, Ultra Street Fighter 2: Final Challengers, Splatoon 2 and of course Xenoblade Chronicles 2, I’m not joking everybody, it was about 4:40am and I nearly brought the house down. I had to hold back the hype and it killed me.
The biggest problem with the games is that they were mostly games we’ve had elsewhere before like Skyrim, Mario Kart 8, Minecraft, Rayman Legends, Steep and all that, all playable elsewhere spanning from a few months to about 5 years, is that enough to get the casual/none Nintendo fan on board? Mix that with the steep price and Nintendo might have another hill to climb with this thing.
All in all what I’m trying to say is the only new game announcement you really need to care about is Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and maybe that new game from the team that brought us the brilliant “Bravely Default.” Which has the worst name in the world with, “Project Octopath Traveler”… No, seriously, It looks so cool as well.
The Bad News
Although the presentation itself wasn’t terrible, I feel the bad news came after it like £75 for a pair of Joy-Cons and £60 for a Pro Controller, the hidden cost to the gamer here is significant and when people price it up at home then there’s a definitive chance they’ll pass on the system especially when they find out the system only holds 32GB of memory, there is a silver lining to that because you can upgrade the storage space on the system you can upgrade with a SDXC card these cards max out at about 200 more gig but they’re not cheap for the big ones. It also came out that Zelda is 40% of the internal storage if you want to download it which doesn’t leave too much room for extras. I mean you can get a more powerful machine with 3 years worth of games on it for a similar price.
There was also NO WORD of the virtual console be it either stuff that’s already on there or Mother 3 or even the Nintendo Gamecube games which were rumoured to be coming to the Switch’s virtual console.
POP of the show
The bit I got excited to the most was obviously Xenoblade Chronicles 2, I myself am a massive Xenoblade fan and after the weird Xenoblade Chronicles X which felt more like a spin off than a sequel, it was a good game and everything it just didn’t have the same je nais se quoi the first game had and I was so glad when they announced 2 and not Y or something.
It appears to be in a similar sort of world to the first one, if not the same with different characters and a new threat on the world.
Overall all I think the presentation was too tacky and weird, maybe it should of just been a direct after all, that way it would of been quick and to the point. The show felt like it was missing something as well, call me optimistic but I really feel like Nintendo were sitting on a lot of announcements and saving them for future events such as E3 and Tokyo Game Show (Metroid, anyone?).
They hid the bad news and I feel they would of been better off telling us that a few months ago so that when this event happened we had all forgotten it and were ready to see some games, I pre-ordered one and don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t 100% down to this show, I was always going to. My face was probably a picture though when I checked out and the price was £429.99 (with a pro controller and limited edition Zelda) the average person can’t afford that and I’m pretty sure the average person can’t afford £280 to shell out on this thing.
The zeitgeist isn’t enough to get the 20 million units sold in the first year, Nintendo have to support this thing and I genuinely believe that if they pump money in time into developing games then the Nintendo Switch will be fine. Realistically this kills the 3DS and eventually all time and effort can be put into developing Switch games.
I was really surprised Nintendo didn’t take a hit on this with the price and sell it at £250 or even £199, I’m no business man but more people would buy the Switch if it was dirt cheap, a “fuck it, why not?” attitude would probably sell well over half of the units. I’m unsure of what fate awaits the Switch, guess we’ll have to wait and see.
PS. All that being said, when Pokémon comes out for it, everything’s gonna be fine. Especially in Japan.