On the 20th October 2016, Nintendo finally confirmed that they are developing a new video games system and released a trailer for the device, highlighting its portability and social gaming aspect. The trailer was well received and attracted a lot of attention from gamers looking for a solid gaming experience but also one that they could take with them on the go. Even though Nintendo was scarce with technical and launch details, the hype was high and everyone was hoping that this would finally be Nintendo that we have missed since the N64/GameCube days.
Fast forward to the 13th January 2017 and Nintendo held an announcement event in Tokyo and with the hype reaching to high levels, they had attracted a lot of attention and had the perfect platform to bring back old gamers and attract new gamers alike to their platform, yet after the event there was general negativity attached to the Nintendo Switch.
The general negative subjects that seemed to emerge from this event, were:
- The high price of £279.99/$299.99 for the base package. A lot of people where expecting a lower price due to various leaks pointing to a £200 price point and one retailer going as far as to open their own pre-order price for the Nintendo Switch at £198.50.
- The lack of launch day titles and also the lack of titles coming in the first year of the console.
- The lack of technical power compared to the likes of the PS4 and Xbox One.
With the PlayStation Vita still selling for around £180 in the UK, I was never expecting the Nintendo Switch to be anything less then £200 however I did feel that a £250 price point was the sweet spot for the device but with the latest Brexit related issues in the UK I can see how the device had gained a £30 additional premium that seems to be the latest trend (such as the latest iPhone price increase).
The main issue with the price is that its fighting against two other consoles that are well into their lifecycle and as such, are cheaper in comparison to the Nintendo Switch. With both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 being around the £230 mark, the price difference between these devices and the Nintendo Switch will be a major consideration for gamers and parents looking at buying a console for their children.
The actual launch day games has been the source of a lot negativity and to be honest, I can see why. The Nintendo Switch is releasing with the following games on the 3rd March:
- Fast RMX
- Just Dance 2017
- Human Resource Machine
- I Am Setsuna
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- Little Inferno
- Shovel Knight
- Skylanders: Imaginators
- Super Bomberman R
- World of Goo
As you can see, for a console launch, there is an extreme lack of well-known titles from the likes of EA and Ubisoft. I think it is safe to say that anyone picking up an Nintendo Switch at launch is only getting the console for one reason and one reason only, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Nintendo has already detailed that the likes of Mario Kart, Splatoon and Mario will all be released over the course of this year but it is very worrying that no major third party developers are bringing any of their franchises to this new system. Hopefully over time this will change, with the Nintendo Switch maturing and increasing its install base but for now, it’s a valid concern for anyone looking at the consoles future.
This is one area that I feel that gamers have wrongly focused on over the past few years. The Nintendo Switch is looking like a console that could contain less power and graphical fidelity compared to the Xbox One and PS4 but this should not be a major concern when you consider that Nintendo have never really focused on games that push a systems graphics capabilities to the maximum and instead focus for core gameplay experiences.
Just because a console does not run every game at 1080P/4K, it is not the end of the world and in one way it may allow developers to actually focus on gameplay developments rather then trying to create jaw dropping graphics which seems to be the main priority in the last few years with only a few games being released with true gameplay advancements in the video games industry.
For me, the Nintendo Switch is the perfect console/handheld for me, at this point in my life. It provides me with a console gaming experience rather then using my iPhone to play mindless freemium games to kill the time. So I will be able to complete a shrine in Zelda BotW during my lunch break or maybe completing a few levels of Snipperclips after coming home from a long day at work and wanting to just rest in bed.
I do agree that the launch day releases are poor but as I have mentioned before, everyone will be getting this console for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and based on the current previews, we will all be very busy and content until Nintendo start rolling out their other titles.