What the Fuck was Nintendo thinking! What is going on with this company? I can personally say I am extremely disappointed with not only this presentation but all the news rolling out after the show as well. I don’t even know where to start, and I really hate being negative on something I was looking so forward to but I can’t just write off the shaw as Japan being Japan. Nintendo has been working at bare minimum for the past 2 years, to the point that they only had 1 game to show at last year’s E3. Granted that game was Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild which is a massive game that looks fantastic and was one of the bright spots of this show, but how does a company that has one focus one industry to focus on fuck this up so bad? Microsoft and Sony have their hands in so many pots and still have the ability to provide great hardware and support for that hardware every year, Nintendo makes games, that’s it! So, how can they take 2 years off and this is what they have to show. Let me take a deeper look at the news and the show itself and break this down a bit.
Let’s start with the presentation itself, as I talked with a few co-workers about it, the one reaction I kept hearing was “hey, it’s Japan”. I have a hard time accepting that, if this was a show exclusively for Japan that we tapped into then sure. Instead it was a worldwide show that included Nintendo of Europe and Nintendo of America. Is Nintendo of Japan that over overpowering that they didn’t discuss with their largest markets to see how they should present their next big thing? I don’t know about Europe but North America knows a thing or two about the effects of a bad presentation.
Microsoft notoriously shot themselves in the foot in 2013 and have been scratching tooth and nail to recover, and Sony had a disastrous reveal for the PS4 Pro which explains why that iteration of the PS4 isn’t taking the world by storm. Opening with Tatsumi Kimishima was fine up until the switch snaps stated, I get that they are trying to be clever but there’s just something weird about a 66 year old businessman in a suit snapping his fingers to get to the next presenter. The awkwardness wasn’t limited to Mr. Kimishima, most of the presenters were awkward because they had NOTHING TO SHOW! A screenshot or a name only to promise a game in the future is bullshit, the Nintendo Switch also known by the codename NX, has been known about for years, how is this all they have to show! I was expecting reveal after reveal, instead I get 1,2 Switch and Arms? Not to sound elitist or entitled but watching this in North America the largest market for video games was tough. The translators had no energy, they had a hard time keeping up and it slowed down the show. Not to mention the suda 51 debacle, apparently suda didn’t follow script. No one saw that coming? Why wasn’t the translator able to just listen and translate? Either way, in the end of that, all we got was another promise. The portion about the Joy Con was interesting, I didn’t expect that kind of tech to be incorporated into the controllers but at the same time its just shows how unable Nintendo is about moving away from the Wii. Makes me wonder if at one time the system was probably named something like WiiGo or WiiMove. Lastly the big news we got was that the system is going to be released on March 3rd for $299, but let’s be honest the system will cost $359.99, I’ll touch on that a little later.
Let’s move on to the games, like I stated before not much was shown. 1,2 switch is the now common tech demo collection to show off the tech of the new system. The catch with this game is that you don’t need to look at the screen to play. It’s meant to show off the tech in the joy con controllers which they are calling HD rumble.
After listening to a few people that were able to get hands on, it appears to be the real deal. The rumble is detailed enough to feel as if you’re holding a cup and are able to feel the ice moving around. One of the mini games even has you hold the controller on the palm of your hand and move it around and it gives the sensation of holding a box and you need to figure out how many steel balls are inside. I haven’t heard anyone yet complain about the game not being fun, but at $49.99 (Gamestop’s listed price) this is far too expensive for what should be a pack in game. Another title that got a lot of attention was Arms, a motion controlled over the top boxing title that has the player using the joy con controllers to control the the movements and physically throw punches to make their character in the game do the same, the gimmick, the arms of the boxers are springs that can reach across the ring and turn given the right movement of the controllers. Very cartoony aesthetic, there have been a lot of comparisons to splatoon as far as the art direction goes. Once again at $59.99 I don’t see this title flying off the shelves. I won’t touch on the games that were promised or are in early development because they really had nothing to show, that also allows me to skip to the good stuff. The Wii U’s surprise hit Splatoon gets a sequel for the Switch with Splatoon 2. I never really got into Splatoon but I can see the appeal and the multiplayer looks like a ton of fun, while it’s not a launch title it will be released during the summer. Super Mario Odyssey gave me chills, it sent me back to 1996 (21 Years ago!) and being obsessed with Super Mario 64. It also gave me a Sonic Adventure vibe as well but that was quickly shaken off. Aside from Legend of Zelda, this is my most anticipated game for the switch and one of my most anticipated games of 2017. Then we get the new trailer for Breath of the Wild and I’ll be honest, I’m not really big into Zelda games. I buy them all and have never finished one, but the look and feel of this game has me intrigued. Its definitely a must buy even for the Wii U if the Switch isn’t possible right away.
Tech wise we got a lot information on the Joy Con controllers but not much on the tablet itself. We were told the battery life depends on the game being played, and that a game like Breath of the Wild would kill the battery after 3 hours. Thankfully the switch can be charged with a USB-C cable which should make it easy to charge on the go or buy a rechargeable battery pack to keep up with extended play sessions away from the dock. We did get confirmation that the 6.2 inch screen is touch screen and displays at 720p, when docked the picture of the TV goes to 1080p. It comes with 32gb of storage built in (Breath of the Wild is rumored to be around 15gb alone) but you can expand using a Micro SDXC Card.
My final take away is that, while I’m very interested in the Nintendo Switch, $299.99 is too high a price for a system that isn’t as powerful as the Xbox One or PS4 both of which can be bought for the same price and with a game included.
Let’s also be honest this system is far more than $300, right off the bat you have to add $60 for Zelda, the only major release day one. Then you should also add in the cost of a Micro SDXC card because the 32 Gb in the system won’t last. So we can see the system’s real cost will be over $400 dollars which is the current price of the PS4 Pro. Nintendo’s online service which they announce will be free at launch but will be a pay service much like Xbox Live and PS Plus by the end of the year is also shaping up to be a huge let down. Splatoon 2 will be the first real online heavy game and they are releasing it in the summer to hook everyone then force them to pay to keep playing online. Shitty move on Nintendo’s part, also part of Nintendo’s service is their own monthly “free” game. They have announced the games would be NES or Super NES games, with the Super NES games having online multiplayer added on. The catch! The game goes away at the end of the month unlike Sony’s and Microsoft’s keep the game as long as you have the service plans. Nintendo’s gives you a tease then takes the game away and replace it monthly. Now if they were doing this with Switch games I might be okay with it but NES and SNES games? Are you kidding me? Those games range from 5 to 8 dollars and chances are you have already bought the game 4 to 5 times because nintendo doesn’t allow transferring old purchases over. This is a terrible idea and it’s such a missed opportunity to make right with a community that has been loyal to your company. There’s no word on the price of the service yet, but if they think they can charge $60 like PS Plus and Xbox Live when those services give games such as Sleeping Dogs and Sunset Overdrive for free, you’re insane. So while I’m excited for Zelda, it appears I may need to play it on the Wii U because I might as well wait for a holiday bundle that includes Mario and maybe a price cut because I don’t see this system flying off the shelves. Nintendo is gaming in my eyes and I can understand their need for gimmicks, they are never gonna be able to keep up with Microsoft and Sony power wise but if you’re gonna take a year off like they did in 2016 you should have more for the Switch. Also third party support also looks like it’s gonna struggle with the Switch, with most of development focusing on the Ps4 and Xbox One and their Premium systems the Pro and Scorpio. I can’t see developers taking the time and money to make the same games for the Switch. Once again it’s gonna fall to Nintendo to provide the big hits for their system and if we see how well that worked for the Wii U.
A Quick Break Down:
Releases March 3rd 2017
No pack in game
Launch Day Line up
1, 2 Switch $49.99
Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild $59.99
Skylanders: Imaginators $59.99
Just Dance $59.99
Pro Controller $69.99
Joy Con Controllers (L+R Set) $79.99
Joy Con Controller Individual (L or R) $49.99
Joy Con Charging Dock or Grip $29.99
Joy Con Strap (L or R) $7.99