“Rose-Colored Glasses and the Nintendo Switch”

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Ah, it’s good to be writing about video games again!

So ninety-five days ago, I wrote up a little piece fueled by excitement for the Nintendo Switch. Since then, we’ve had a more than slightly awkward presentation by Nintendo. If you’re into Nintendo Treehouse, then you’re used to it anyway. There have also been several announcements for upcoming projects, first- and third-party titles. Just earlier today, I read an article about three more games which will be made available for launch: Human Resource Machine, Little Inferno and World of Goo.

That makes for a more robust launch but then again, it’s just more ports and re-releases. The Switch isn’t free of naysayers and Donald Doubters (See how I used the masculine for a typically feminine nickname? Did you see that?), I at least was enthused enough for Nintendo’s gimmicky innovative new handheld/home console thingamajig. Just don’t get me started on 1-2 Switch.

Someday I’ll try to address the negatives surrounding the Nintendo Switch, particularly those I agree with (confirmation bias!). There are several things I do not appreciate about the way Nintendo has handled aspects of their business, marketing, and development. Like the NES mini… But today I thought I’d keep it positive and fuel some of the excitement. These are the things I’m looking forward to from the Switch. This way I won’t need to answer everyone individually who asks me why I pre-ordered the system.

As a small disclaimer, I grew up with Nintendo and have indeed been a longtime fan but I passed (easily) on the Wii U and the DS line. I spend most of my gaming time with Sony. Why did I utterly reject Nintendo’s previous console but embrace their upcoming one? Well…

 

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1. The Hardware

I don’t know about you but I was impressed by the singular vision of the Switch, the world’s first home console handheld. I was not impressed by the return of motion controls. But hey, this is a device which can be taken anywhere within range of its battery life and its charger. I no longer have to stop gaming once I leave my house.

I hesitate to use the word gimmick because the entire system is built on this. It’s its purpose. Nintendo hasn’t aimed for the best graphics but for the most accessibility and I hope it pays off. I also hope it will also narrow Nintendo’s market. I’m not a handheld gamer at all and wouldn’t conscience buying a 3DS but with the Switch it seems like there could be a wide range of games developed which are more home consoley and others more handheldey, though ultimately the difference will be irrelevant since I can play them however I like. Could it replace the 3DS?

While I don’t care about the extra accessories, I do love that I can easily split one controller into two with the joy-cons.

 

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2. The Price (?)

Notice that (?)?  Yeah, that’s because some of the additional controls and accessories have ridiculous price tags. The Nintendo Switch itself is gonna be $299.99, though.

I already paid for it. Compared to the prices of the PS4 and Xbox One at launch, that’s pretty great. I couldn’t ever afford those at launch but $299 was actually the exact amount of a recent bonus I just received, so… perfect! I was counting on Nintendo putting out an affordable system and they did. I could wish they’d made it a bundle with an included game, though. This one would’ve been perfect:

 

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3. Return to Cartridges

Let me put it this way: I’ve got NES cartridges, heck, Atari 2600 cartridges which still work on their respective systems. Ask me how many PlayStations I’ve been through with worn out laser disc readers. I’ve had to buy multiple copies of the same game because of measly scratches on the underside of the disc. With the Switch’s emphasis on portability, tiny cartridges that hold more space, have better loading times, and so on are just the better choice. Like will I even have to wait several hours after buying a new game for it to download the other 80% of itself onto my system anymore, or will the whole game be on the cartridge?

 

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4. Zelda

Need I say more? What is this, the most anticipated game of 2017? People won’t shut up about it. And for good reason. It’s gorgeous. It looks spectacular. It’s everything we’ve wanted from one of the most beloved video game series of all time. Breath of the Wild alone is good enough reason to buy the Switch, for me. Saying it won’t drive sales because it’s also going to the Wii U is like saying nobody is going to Disney Land anymore because a Chuck E. Cheese opened up next door. The newest Zelda could just be the game of the year. It’s one of only a few launch titles. I don’t buy new releases too often, so that’s just fine by me.

 

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5. Big Franchises

Besides for Zelda there is of course the return of Mario with Super Mario Odyssey, which looks like the much needed return of 3D Mario whimsy. I was also surprised to see Sonic, Tetris, and Bomberman coming back to the fore. This is just a wish, but who wouldn’t love to see a new Metroid, Kirby, Pikmin, Pokémon, Star Fox, Earthbound/Mother, Luigi’s Mansion, Super Smash Bros., Animal Crossing, or frickin’ Duck Hunt all on one system? If that doesn’t titillate your jibblets, then you probably don’t have jibblets.

 

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6. RPGs and JRPGs

My gaming bread and butter. I don’t have so much time for them nowadays but I have loved RPGs for as long as I’ve learned to read. Even with Xenoblade and Dragon Quest titles in the know, I’m most excited about Project Octopath Traveler. Seeing some hefty role-playing games on Nintendo’s new system is a delight considering it seems like they built their past two consoles on dumb sports simulators and party games. It’s nice to see that there will be plenty of games which don’t intend to prey on motion controls, ‘least so far as we know. Keep it traditional!

 

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7. Indie Titles

I’ve come to love indie titles more and more over the past few years. I think they appeal to someone like me who’s got time for shorter games with less “filler” like trophy hunting, grinding, or fetch questing in open worlds. *cough cough* FFXV *cough* So that being said, I’m looking forward to the indie support coming to the Switch. Given indie games’ simpler presentations and shorter spans, they could be the perfect jelly to Nintendo’s peanut butter. Stardew Valley is something I’m already playing but Rime looks awesome.

 

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8. Third Party Support

We’ve all seen this graphic. This is the real clincher, as it should be. Since the N64, Nintendo has taken steps toward exclusivity culminating in the terribly received Virtual Boy. Oh, I mean the Wii U. It hasn’t helped Nintendo’s image and they’ve come across as somewhere between pandering, kiddie, and arrogant. Ports of mature games to their systems like Call of Duty on the Wii were mostly disasters. Who the heck wants to play Arkham City on the Wii? I get that the Wii had its time in the sun and there were some hidden gems on it, but we’re all very excited for the possibilities on the Switch with third-party support. Of the developers who have pledged support, the ones I am happiest to see are ALL OF THEM?!

 

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9. Emphasis on Couch Co-Op

Let’s forget for a moment that it seems like Nintendo doesn’t know what the internet is and recognize that the Switch lends itself to playing multiplayer with people in the same room. That goes back to the glory days before online trolls and memes and little snots cussing at you for being a n00b. It goes back to a time when people called up actual friends to come over for a new game. I dig.

 

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10. No VR

Cuz I don’t care about VR! You wanna talk about gimmicks???

 

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10. Eventualities

Taiko Drum Master! There are so many possibilities with this system. If it sells well and attracts developers and partners, it could usher in a golden age the likes of which haven’t been seen since the NES and SNES. What made those two so special, what made the NES the greatest system ever, in my opinion, is the fact that they both had incredible libraries with vast variety from both a first- and a third-party perspective. I can pass on ArmsImaginators1-2 SwitchFire Emblem, and Splatoon 2 and still be happy. It’s looking like a more diverse line-up than we’ve seen from Nintendo in recent years. Will the Switch be the next Super Nintendo? Well, I hope so. I just dropped 300 bucks on it.

Here’s a great video breakdown by whatoplay about currently known titles for the Switch!

 

 

So do you agree with my points? What are you looking forward to on the Switch or are you not excited for it in the least? Some one once told me “Have fun with your childhood” concerning my Switch affection, to which I retort: “Have fun with everything that sucks about modern gaming”.
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-The Well-Red Mage

 

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51 thoughts on ““Rose-Colored Glasses and the Nintendo Switch”

  1. Really great list of points, I agree with most all of them. I haven’t been able to find a preorder yet, so I’m hoping that there will be some stock at any store nearby within a reasonable time of release (cause Nintendo did so well with the NES Classic right?). One piece I completely forgot about was Project Octopath Traveler – I’m glad you highlighted that, now I can go check out all the tidbits about that game.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, great! Thanks for reading. I feel like I got lucky with the preorder, again considering how terrible the situation was with the NES mini. I was reading an article at the time that said GameStop was sold out on the Switch along with several other retailers but that they’d have it back in stock for preorders soon, so when I went to GameStops site, they didn’t have any. I hit refresh and then they did. Pure luck. Octopath Traveler looks awesome!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Honestly, part of me thinks that 1-2-Switch not being included with the console is a massive freakin’ mistake. The price tag is far too high for a party game, and if they learned anything from the Wii, it’s that bundling what’s essentially a big demo of the hardware capabilities WILL sell a ton of consoles. People in America like bundles because they feel like they’re getting a value.

    Not for nothing but I foresee a bundle coming shortly after launch that already includes 1-2-Switch…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wholeheartedly agree. My wife and I have that discussion every time we see 1,2, Switch. It’s the Switch’s Wii Sports and as it’s a game that highlights the hardware capabilities, it definitely should’ve been bundled at launch. Otherwise who is going to drop so much money on it? Grandmas and aunts for Christmas as gifts to their descendants they know whose interests they know little about? It’s like I’d play it and maybe have fun once in a while, but even if I was exorbitantly rich, I probably wouldn’t spend the money on it. It’s the worst Switch game I’ve seen thus far, too. I thought the commercial was cute but even after it was over I was like “What is this even about?”

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  3. I’m not getting one due to lack of practicality during commuting (too big), but I’d love to see this succeed for Nintendo’s sake. I’m pretty sure Sony is done making dedicated portable gaming consoles and if the Switch bombs, I’m worried that Nintendo will stop msking portables future too.

    I don’t want the future of portable gaming to follow the typical phone game structure (pay microtransactions to collect gems/orbs and upgrade your blah-blah).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t own any other handhelds but I was thinking it looks too small for me. I’m a big Polynesian dude so this thing looks tiny to me. Like I could pick it up and put it in my pocket a la Jack and the Beanstalk giant. The 3DS is already aging and if the Switch bombs, yeah, there’s probably not a dedicated handheld on the horizon for a while. Mobile gaming is extremely unimpressive. I’m done with Pokemon Go and that was a major grindey obsession for a while. Is the Switch much bigger than the Vita? I think I recall that’s what you play, sorry if I’m mistaken.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You recall correctly 🙂 I play a lot of Vita but lately I’m just using it to remote play my PS4 so my wife can have the TV. The 3DS is mainly what I play on the go nowadays, as it easily slips into my pocket and doesn’t need a carry case (unlike the Vita, which I can only carry in my bag).

        To answer your question, the Vita is a bit smaller than the Switch 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ll be honest. As an Xbox fanboy, I’m seriously happy about the potential of the Switch. Not only because I think they finally honed in on the good points of the Wii and WiiU, but partially because they also dumped the silly name.

    It looks damn cool, and I’d love to be able to get one this year. Just have to convince my wife that it’s a good investment…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As a big fan of the Wii U I think the Switch will build on its best points. I’ve pre-ordered mine! Few consoles launch with a killer game anymore, unlike 20 years back, but the Switch more than has that in Zelda. I hope it will do well – a lot of gamers turn their noses up at Nintendo for bizarre reasons, but they miss out on some amazing games as a result.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey could you help me to understand why you’re a fan of the Wii U? I played a friend’s once (Smash Bros.) and thought it was fun but it still wasn’t something I’d purchase. Maybe you can educate?

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      • Well for me it’s the almighty exclusives it has, such as Mario Kart 8, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Pikmin, Zelda, the retro classics, indie games etc. It’s just not available on the other consoles which tend to go for the violent CoD and GTA clones, with the best of them ending up on Steam anyway. So from that perspective, I went with Steam and the Wii U for this generation. The exclusives really have been brilliant, so that’s what won me over.

        Liked by 1 person

          • It really lacks third party support, there’s no denying that, but there are around 20 must have exclusives on the thing and Nintendo has been on top form. Smash Bros, Mario Kart, Pikmin, and Super Mario 3D World is my favourite Mario game ever!

            It’s not the console to own if you like your third party games, though. No GTA or Resident Evil 7 etc.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I’m far from a fan of GTA or Rez evil or Halo, the big ‘uns. I had the passing thought now and then that I’d pick up the Wii U someday well after it had run its course. Maybe some of those exclusives will go to the switch? A mage can hope.

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              • Mario Kart 8 has already made the switch (oh, I get why they called it that now!). But yeah, hopefully there will be backward compatibility options for the Wii U’s games. If not, in a year or so the console will be mega cheap on eBay!

                Liked by 1 person

        • I never played Xenoblade Chronicles X as I skipped over the WiiU, but I just finished Xenoblade 3D recently for the first time and it was incredible. I pretty much lost my mind during the Xenoblade 2 preview at the Nintendo presentation, and that basically sold the console for me. Pre-ordered it immediately!

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            • Seems focusing on the negatives is the neiu-age way on social media 🙂 At the end of the day, it’s all about fun, man. Taking the edge off. The ability to be able to do that in bed (where I prefer to play games, as opposed to a couch) had me sold back in October.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Is that a new spat of lingo I’m not aware of? Neiu-age? Chic! Social media and the clichés of it all. The new Switch commercial where the guy plays pantsless on the toilet is reason enough to instabuy. Can’t do that with my PS4…

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          • Yeah, the Xenoblade games have been stunning since the one on the Wii. Many gamers seem unaware about them, though, which is a shame and they never sell particularly well. Hopefully the Switch title will get snapped up!

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            • I simply cannot wait for Xenoblade 2. I haven’t gotten so emotionally involved in a game like Xenoblade Chronicles in a long time and beating it was very bittersweet! Unfortunately, long, in-depth RPGs still have a niche audience. Younger kids have time but don’t play games that complicated, older players don’t have the time for a 100+ hour game. At least that’s my thinking.

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              • Yeah, seems to be the case. Massive RPGs aren’t enormously mainstream – kids/teenagers tend to flock to the big blockbusters. It’s not been too long since many RPGs simply weren’t released in the West – I had to wait 20 years to play Earthbound, for instance, as it wasn’t released in the UK. Nintendo just thought there wouldn’t be a market.

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                • Well I’m trying to avoid “back in my day” rants now I’m 32, but the onslaught of CoD has been a bit worrying. Kids really shouldn’t be playing it, they should be beating each other up in the playground instead! Arguably.

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                • Arguably. I’m going to be 32 in August, so I sense we share a lot of the same sentiments. Things have really changed since we were children, to be sure. I think that back then we had stylized cartoonish violence, not hyper-realistic violence. I was troubled last year when a 14 year old friend of my kid brother’s was bragging about how he played Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto. He took great pleasure in describing some pretty graphic things in colorful language, and I got the gist that he thought this made him more mature. I’m not meaning to sound needlessly hopeless and I’m glad the industry has really begun to turn back to some of the more “magical and wondrous” type of games, which are suitable for all ages: Journey, Abzu, Rime, a variety of others. This is one reason why I want Nintendo to excel again. Man, this all makes me sound old but I can’t not be true to my feelings.

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                • I read in the Guardian kids are writing stories for class about drug cartels and whatnot, thanks to playing GTA etc. It’s a bit alarming, although I played violent games like Doom when I was a nipper. This was balanced out by reading and Nintendo’s imaginative titles, though, and then discovering books like All Quiet on the Western Front, which balances out the violence I saw on screen (films and video games). I don’t think games make you violent, in most cases, but they can warp one’s world in dodgy directions. Innit, yo yo.

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                • I think the change in the zeitgeist is characterized by the way people now turn up their noses at Nintendo. Yeah part of it is they haven’t been able to produce so many groundbreaking games like they did in the past, but sneering just because they’re less violent, less gritty and less “mature” is really a strange thing the more I think about it. Why should something be “bad” or “poor” simply because it isn’t graphic? I’d agree with you that I don’t think games make you violent, and I’m no social psychologist but I’d say at the very least they cause young people to think about some things that are pretty debased pretty often, considering gaming time can far outpace the time spent watching one movie, and if it’s all just hitting people with your car and blowing away bodies, well. I think this is where the responsibility of parents comes in to help guide the burgeoning young minds of our children. One reason why I found Nintendo’s Bowser parental controls commercial so delightful! 😀

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  6. I’ve already committed 3,000+ words to my thoughts on the Switch, equally positive and negative, but I’ll definitely say that I’m cautiously optimistic. The potential is huge, but if anyone can drop the ball when given so much to work with, it’s Nintendo. I’ve been a Nintendo fan since growing up in the NES era. They have a monopoly on my childhood, after all. I knew that I’d pre-order the Switch as soon as the option became available, and I’ve already done so (along with the standard edition of Zelda, since, in true Nintendo fashion, the collector’s edition stock was extremely limited and picked up by resellers tripling and quadrupling their profits via eBay).

    As someone who primarily games alone, their online functionality doesn’t concern me too much… though it is baffling that they want to handle it all through a phone app. Nintendo, a company not really known for their stellar online services, wants to delegate that responsibility to an app AND charge consumers for it? I… don’t see this working as intended.

    The couch co-op focus is nice too, particularly with the games that support each half of the Joy-Con as an independent controller. I wish games like Puyo Puyo Tetris and Super Bomberman R weren’t so pricey given their content (content we’re used to paying $20 for digitally on other platforms), but I get that it’s launch time and everyone wants to capitalize on opening day.

    I’m not too worried about the meager storage space offering either, since I buy all of my Nintendo games physically. I save the HD for the virtual console and those games aren’t very big.

    Speaking of which, I wish they’d hurry up and release some solid information on how they’re approaching the Switch’s virtual console feature. Are we going to have to pay a third time for games we already own? What’s going to be featured? Is the GameCube rumor true? Etc, etc.

    Imagine how much money they’d be printing if they opened up every Nintendo-published game ever on the Switch’s virtual console on day one.

    On the game front, everything looks fantastic. Well, as you said, 1, 2, Switch, but otherwise fantastic. I’m surprised to see so many RPGs announced already, which has me excited since that’s my primary genre of choice. It’s nice to know that we’ll have a steady stream of games released this year (ports included) and a nice meaty Fire Emblem in 2018. I’m also guessing we’ll see the Bravely Default team’s Octopath Traveler in 2018. Hell, we even have an RPG on launch day with I am Setsuna, which is a nice entry point for folks that don’t have access or haven’t checked it out on PS4 and PC.

    Great write-up! It’s nice to see some optimism.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Optimism can be refreshing, eh? Like I said, I’ve got gripes with Nintendo but I think the singular vision of the Switch could end up being a game changing move. Lots of potential, like you said, but Nintendo has indeed made some serious mistakes in the past. Example: There’s a collector’s edition for Breath of the Wild? I had no idea. Haha!

      Their approach to online gaming doesn’t concern me either, since that’s not my thing, but it does sound prehistoric in their approach. I wouldn’t want to pay for the service. It’s like, do they even know what Sony and Microsoft are doing?

      I want some Virtual Console info too! They’ve been very vague about a lot of things. I get the sense it’s a laying down the tracks in front of the train sort of process. What is the GameCube rumor? I’ve long said that what they need to do is play on the retro-lovin’ community with a robust Virtual Console. Every Nintendo-published game ever would be a dream come true.

      And the RPGs! Lots to look forward to but again I don’t feel overwhelmed by so many purchases I won’t be able to afford. It seems just right for my budget. Thanks for the great comment!

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  7. Couch based multi-player. That alone is a huge selling point for me and is one of the reasons why I loved the Wii so much (missed out on the Wii U). My kids were pretty young when we first bought the Wii and we spent many a night gathered around the TV playing all manner of Wii Sports. Not only that, but the rest of my family, brothers, sisters, parents – everyone joined in! There’s no feeling like that of being able to physically reach out and punch your brother in the arm for besting you with Ken AGAIN! (just have a good cover story for when he starts to cry)

    Also, RPGs! I love me portable RPGs because I don’t often have time to sit and play the on my home console for long periods of time, but am more than happy to catch an hour or two here and there, which is very possible with the 3DS. Now I don’t have to limit myself to portable titles, per se. I can just grab my Switch and head out of town or to visit the family and have the exact same game right there with me. I have high hopes for the Switch, and if anyone can pull it off I really think the big N can do it. I mean, they are the company that gave us analog controls, motion controls – many of the staples in modern systems Nintendo created first! The Switch has the potential to be a competition killer if they do a good job. At least for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When the Wii was in its prime, it was awesome. It’s astounding to me how quickly the culture shift occurred though. It was embraced and every single household I knew had one, and it was regularly played. Then a little while later it was despised and people treated it like an ex, like it was something they gave up because it wasn’t good for them anymore. Maybe that’s because its releases failed to build upon and utilize its hardware in meaningful rather than novel ways? I do miss the golden age of the Wii and like you said there was never quite anything like it. I don’t know if that could ever come back unless the Switch manages to be a truly local co-op contender beyond lame party games. Ugh again I’m not impressed by 1, 2, Switch.

      But those RPGs though! Playing them on work break is going to be great, as is not being limited to portable specific titles. I mean, imagine if we can get some Final Fantasy or Kingdom Hearts with the Switch. Nintendo has indeed built the industry with their innovations and the other companies have followed suit, to often greater success, but we owe Nintendo a lot, like you said. I hope it puts them back on top! Record pre-order sales so far as I’ve heard. Maybe that’s from all the people regretting they couldn’t get a NES mini! lol

      Liked by 1 person

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