Can we talk about the Nintendo Switch with any level of reason?
#5: Your mobile phone sucks for games and also eats battery juice like nothing on sucky games, so why are you complaining about Zelda having two and a half hours?
This one frustrates me to no end. I am a handheld gamer, far more than a console gamer anymore. I know from my 3DS that you only get a couple hours when playing, and it’s probably best to find an outlet if you’ve been playing on a long trip. Cars have charger outlets. Coffee shops usually have somewhere to go. We live in a world where everyone has big glass phones that die out in half a day if your brightness is at high and you’ve been using data for a while.
So why, oh why, OH WHY, is it suddenly a big deal that when playing something like Skyrim or Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, that you’re only going to get two and a half hours out of it before having to charge? Can you imagine your Samsung Galaxy trying to play Breath of the Wild? You’d get an hour at most and the phone would be so hot by the end of it you might as well turn it into a Molotov cocktail and throw it at the Bourgeoisie. I have a brand new phone and even then, I have to kill the brightness on my screen and maybe even shut off the data if I want to get two hours of play time out of it. And that’s a crappy Google Play game. Like hell am I getting Skyrim from it.
So shut up about your phone specs because you’re not getting Nintendo quality games out of it (and don’t link me to some AAA title you got playing on a $800 phone. You want to link me to something? Find me a game at Mario Kart 8 quality for a $300 phone which can run for three hours and I’ll give a care of what you have to say) and shut up about the battery life because we live in a world where recharging a phone is everywhere, and so is recharging your Nintendo Switch.
Nintendo Switch: To conclude
Ever since the Super GameBoy came out back in 1994, I have wanted to play new games on my handheld system since the dream of playing handheld games on my Super Nintendo was realized. I had to wait until 2001 to play Super Nintendo quality games on a handheld, and by then the Nintendo Gamecube was released. This is the first time I’ll get to play console quality games on a handheld without losing the console aspect. It’s everything I have ever wanted for a Nintendo system; the marriage of console and handheld. And even though I realize this is Nintendo’s way of sliding out of the console industry due to pressure from their investors to move more mobile, it’s still perfectly aligned with how I game today. I don’t play 100 games anymore. I don’t need three new titles every month. But I’ll now have a system that just in 2017, when I purchase a Switch at Christmas, I’ll have at least three games ready to go to play for it.
This all said, Nintendo’s marketplace confusion and mediocre online service announcements drive a lot of fear in me, and it all comes back to not a Nintendo system, but the Playstation Vita. See, the Vita was by far more powerful than the 3DS and could play PS3 quality games, with PS4 interactivity. It had a great screen, and was by far the most powerful handheld on the market. And that was its problem, as outlined by Extra Credits. You could make AAA quality games for the Vita, when the handheld market is usually not just a step down in quality from console, but a step down in price. Now Nintendo has a handheld that people treat like a console because they can play it on their TV, which might allow the price to still be high enough to warrant AAA titles to be sold for it. But it will make it a lot harder for the companies who were used to the 3DS level of development and could afford the team for that development to create for it. This is why Nintendo took a, “The 3DS will still be around” stance, similar to when the DS came out and Nintendo said it was just a third pillar. They don’t want companies to eat their hat just to develop for it. So Nintendo not only has to convince AAA publishers to make their game for a handheld/console hybrid, they also have to convince handheld developers with higher budgets than indie developers to make games that fit the system’s quality. It’s an extremely tough sell, and is likely the sell that will make the system unattractive to AAA publishers.
Where Nintendo has some advantage is the talk that the NVIDIA chip is said to be easier for portability than the Wii U was, with a lot of talk on the tools and assets available through it’s custom chip will make it easier to develop games. Japan has just been getting cozy with Unreal Engine 4, and that could mean that anything coming out on the Unreal engine from Japan will be easy to bring to the Switch. What we haven’t heard much on is the indie library, and while I feel Nintendo did a much better job bringing indie games to the fold with the Wii U, they are still way behind what they could do. The fact I never got Papers Please for 3DS/Wii U is a hecking travesty. I’m glad Image & Form Games is on board with the Switch, but pretty much anything that’s going to be popular with Steam should be released on the Switch. No excuses. Farming Simulator 18 and Constructor HD is a good start. I want Night in the Woods confirmed for Switch yesterday.
Overall, I’m still extremely excited for the Nintendo Switch, and if it wasn’t a spring release I would be buying it day one. That doesn’t mean I’m happy with everything announced, even when I’m less happy with the way people are reacting for either ignorant (launches always suck), selfish (Odyssey ain’t coming out for PS4), or unreasonable (just because you pay per month for your $800 cell phone doesn’t mean you can complain about a $300 US price point, especially when you don’t get Nintendo quality games on the $800 cell phone) reasons.
I’m not gonna say, “Nintendo ain’t perfect” because that’s hecking lame. I don’t need perfection. I just need great. And Nintendo needs to prove this generation that as great as they are at making games, they can also be as great at developing and marketing consoles. Jury still out, but it ain’t looking great.