Finally! Thank you Nintendo for finally giving us a good glimpse of what the NX a.k.a. it’s real market name, the Nintendo Switch, is. I’m writing this about 50 minutes after the teaser was announced earlier today and I am super excited for this new device. The capability of something like this is amazing and that is more than enough reason to throw money at this hybrid console. However, I still have some lingering questions before I start saving up for this machine that is coming to us in march of 2017.
As I mentioned above, I’m writing this pretty much directly after the trailer was released so some of these things we may have more answers to later in the day. Also, I don’t want to seem like a Debbie downer as you read on. This hybrid machine seems impressive, but I believe it is important to be critical on something you are going to drop at least a few hundred dollars on. And that leads me to my first question…
What is the price of the Nintendo Switch?
This is the next magical question in my opinion. We have a controller, a console/screen, and a narrowed release window. So what is the price of all this good stuff!? My gut feeling says somewhere around the $300-$400 mark and I would be super happy with that. Something to think about though, whats included in that $300-$400 package? I’m going to safely assume the console, screen, and break apart controller (which Japanese images are calling Joy-cons), but what about that pro like controller? Is that something that is going to be separate like it was with the Wii U? The buttons are organized different, as well, so I doubt the Wii U Pro controller will be compatible with the Switch. Are there going to be different skews of internal storage? Is there even going to be internal storage? So does that mean I have to buy a separate storage unit, like the SD card with previous Nintendo consoles. I saw a frame for the screen during the scene involving playing Mario Kart in the van, is that in the box? To be honest with that, I don’t even know if that is a real thing but these are the types of pricing questions you have to think about before throwing money at Nintendo.
What kind of 3rd party support are we going to see?
Yes, I see the picture above, yes, I see a lot of big names, yes, there are names I’m absolutely in love with (Bethesda), yes, I want you to do the Daniel Bryan “yes” chant every time I write yes. This is great! This is fantastic! All of Nintendo’s problems are behind them! THEY ARE GOING TO TAKE OVER THE UNIVERSE!!! BUT…have we not heard this before on E3 stages in the past?
Yea…and look what happened to the Wii U…(take deep long sigh)…now moving on.
It is promising to see 3rd party titles featured in the teaser today though. Yes we have seen that before too, but these were heavy hitters. I fully expect the Skyrim remaster to chart on NPD, and NBA 2K will keep charting NPD for the next few months if history from past titles repeats itself this year. There just has to be continued support after the initial wave. For that to happen units need to be moved and Nintendo themselves will be a huge part of that. Units need to move because it’s not going to worth the effort for developers to port something to this console. That was what happened to the Wii U and it can’t happen again. With the way this hybrid works, it is not going to be a “simple” porting process that you see regularly with Xbox One and PS4. You have to make it worth the time, money, and effort to work on these Switch ports. That is going to require a good number of units in consumers hands. That’s how you are going to keep this 3rd party support going.
What are games going to look like?
Having what I assume is going to be a port of Skyrim on this machine is great! Finally, getting to play a Bethesda game on Nintendo seems surreal, but what if this game looks like shit on this machine. Now performance is another issue, I just expect somewhat poor performance on console from Bethesda, but if this game looks worse than the PS3 version (especially after 20 hours) there are going to be problems. We’ll be a couple months removed from the PS4 and Xbox One port, but there will be comparison screens of how the game looks on the three consoles. I don’t expect it to look as good, thats asking a lot from this type of hybrid device without paying a ton of money, but it needs to be at least on the same level as the Xbox 360 version. This goes for any port that comes to the console though. These ported games need to look good to some standard because people will continue to go to other machines to get these experiences and sink money into those ecosystems. This question is more pointed at the 3rd party games, I fully expect the Nintendo 1st parties to make fantastic looking games and they are already proving me correct with how the new Zelda looks. There is a question I have for the 1st party studios though.
Are we going to get more new IPs on the Nintendo Switch?
We have potentially seen first glimpses today of a new Mario game and a new Mario Kart game and thats fine. It is what I expect from Nintendo. I’m going to call out the 1st parties though. Make me a new IP that I’m going to fall in love with. I’m not saying make me a new IP that carries as much weight as Mario because that’s a once in a lifetime thing, but give me something that can sit next to the Metroid games. I will say Splatoon is a new promising IP that came with the Wii U. I’m just asking Nintendo to do it again. You see Sony and Microsoft attempt to do this each time a new console comes out. Most of the time these new IPs catch on and work. Nintendo runs the risk of making there go to characters stale. They need to give these characters breaks of multiple years like they are doing with Samus and the Metroid series (I’m just ignoring the arena based 3DS game). In order to do these breaks and continue supporting this console they need a plethora of IPs to go to and that’s why they need to keep creating these new characters, worlds, and experiences.
Is the online experience going to be a good one?
I actually don’t have much to say here with this question. This is straight forward, but such a huge component of consoles nowadays. I’m not too sure of how the Wii U’s online capability is so I have nothing to say as far as fixing things goes. Online is so important today that it needs to be talked about going forward as we get closer to march. The LAN stuff is worth mentioning and seems really cool. If the connection process is easy to manage, that is going to be a huge win for Nintendo especially with its Hybrid capability.
As I stressed twice already, I’m all aboard the hype train to march. I’m just as excited as most individuals today (Not as much as Joe…that’s a whole different level). It is just these were the lingering questions today for me after watching the trailer three times and going through it frame by frame. Be sure to listen to our podcast that will post tonight to hear just how excited I am with the rest of the crew! For now though, here’s Daniel Bryan leading a “YES!” chant.