I was just wondering what everyone thought of the Nintendo Switch now that most details have been revealed about it.
While I am unlikely to get one, I do like the clarity of the concept. It feels more like a successor to the Wii than the Wii U in that there’s a clear idea of what the machine is supposed to be: a system can be used anywhere. The marketing around parts of the system being disconnected from a base unit (the system itself from the dock and the joycon controllers from the base controller) is both clear and clever. I suspect the use of Mario’s hat as a platform in the new Mario game was deliberately added to fit in with this concept of detachment as another way of using something.
Nintendo doesn’t need to play the graphics game, and while better graphics hardware is always appreciated, for games like Zelda and Mario which have cartoony visuals, the Switch’s hardware appears to be sufficient (although I heard some troubling comments about the framerate in the early build of Breath of the Wild). What does seem troubling is the lack of internal memory (only 32GB), which will make purchasing an SD card mandatory for people who prefer digital distribution. Who wants to carry loads of cartridges around when using a portable system?
The initial cost of the hardware does seem steep, and the peripherals especially so. But there’s nothing else quite like it, so the novelty may help move units anyway before an inevitable price drop. The Switch is obviously a replacement for the Wii U (no matter what Nintendo may say), but the interesting question for me is whether the Switch will eventually replace the 3DS or whether Nintendo will introduce yet another handheld. Side by side, you have two quite similar sized portable systems. It would make sense to have the successor to the 3DS be a smaller Switch without detachable controllers, but sharing it’s game library with the Switch.
I really liked what I saw with a lot of the reveal, but maybe I’m a bit more optimistic because I’m seeing this as a portable device a lot more than a console. I would’ve felt pretty bad about the internal storage if it wasn’t expandable. However, SD cards are cheap, and I prefer having removable storage for portable devices. I just hope games aren’t comparable in size to Doom 4’s insane 70+ GB.
The biggest concern I really had for the console before the reveal was if there was any kind of L and R buttons for each of the joycons. I was expecting a no, and that you might need to awkwardly use the shoulder buttons on the ends of the controller. They’ve addressed this though, and they both have a secondary L and R button, so I’m really happy about that. The biggest reason I want this console is for portable split-screen Mario Kart, and that’s pretty much confirmed.
However, there’s another reason I want this console. Back in December, there were rumors that From had gotten Dark Souls 3 running on the switch with acceptable performance, and there might be a trilogy re-release on the platform. From Software is on the partners list, so I think there’s a good chance it might happen. Portable Dark Souls would be a dream come true.
The cost of the base hardware seems somewhat reasonable if you look at it as a console. For a portable device though, it is pretty steep. The price of peripherals, however, are alarmingly high. If I want to grab more controllers, I’d definitely buy them secondhand at less than half the price. I just hope there’s a way to adapt older controllers for use on the system, because it would be a shame to spend the cost of the console itself to play 4-player.
I went to reserve the Switch the morning after the conference! I feel this is what the Wii U should have been. I remember laughably, taking the Wii U tablet out of my gaming room and into the bathroom to do the remote play option (yes Wii U let you play on the tablet away from the TV). The second I got not even 6 feet from the console, my wireless connection on the tablet went out! This feature was laughably bad and now the Switch is doing it perfectly. They had the idea with Wii U, but the tech wasn’t there yet, I guess.
I would completely regret buying the Wii U if it wasn’t for Smash Bros and the hours upon hours I spent over the years, with that one game. It’s sad though because the only other Wii U games I have are Mario Kart and Wind Waker HD.
Zelda Delay and the New Rumble Tech:
Also, I mainly bought a WIi U for Zelda Breath of the Wild. Sadly, that was a mistake. Now it would be illogical to buy it on a soon to be dead system. Aside from that I’m very interested in the Rumble HD technology. Being able to feel objects inside your hand inside the controller and the weight of something growing, really intrigues me!
So, besides Zelda and Mario Odyssey (which looks really unique) there is Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and Dragon Quest 11. Already that would be more games I will own, compared to the entire life span of the Wii U!
No Need for Another Handheld:
As far as Nintendo making another handheld, I feel that would only be detrimental to the idea and spirit of the Switch. We have two in one now, there is no need. And now we will have two-fold the games! Not every game has to be a monster house of graphics. We can have the lower end and the higher end of these games, at the same time!
And eventually a few years down the line I know almost for a fact, Nintendo will release the Nintendo Switch Pro. Or something along those lines with improved battery power. It’s inevitable!
The Wii U didn’t have a good line up of core games, but with the Switch there seems to be a renewed focus on providing a solid lineup. With Breath of the Wild as a launch title, the new core Mario game, and an exclusive Fire Emblem game coming in 2018, it feels like they’re on the right track. There hasn’t been a mainline Fire Emblem game since Radiant Dawn on the Wii in 2008.
I am conflicted regarding the Switch. I think Nintendo is really missing an opportunity here by not offering a version that doesn’t have the dock and removable controller. The DS line is really long in the tooth at this point and Nintendo really needs something to stand out. Right now you have an expensive handheld and a underperforming console. If they could offer a standalone handheld for under $200 dollars, I would think they could sell a lot more units.
This would also allow them to bring together their development groups to focus on one system as I think the launch lineup is pretty weak (Zelda is great) and it doesn’t appear that they have a flurry of titles that are going to pop up over the first year. They honestly need more software support if this thing isn’t going to go the way of the WiiU, especially since at $300 it is the same or more expensive than the XBone and PS4.
I also think the accessories being shown are overpriced. The official memory cards, extra controllers, standalone chargers for the controllers, etc. are all being priced very high.
Others might not agree with me, but I honestly wish the OS was Android with app support. It would make the price a bit easier to swallow.
Originally the DS was marketed as a third category between the Gameboy and home console lines. After the success of the DS, the Gameboy line disappeared. I think we may see something similar happen to the 3DS, depending on how successful the Switch is. It would be risky to kill the Wii U and 3DS at the same time.
To those who preordered it, how is the Switch? I see that Breath of the Wild has become one of the highest reviewed games of all time, despite some framerate issues when the game is played in the dock.
I’m enjoying it quite a bit. I haven’t noticed any significant framerate issues with BOTW and it feels solidly playable so far. I hear a lot of people aren’t comfortable with the right side analog stick, but I’ve gotten accustomed to resting the tip of my thumb on the ABXY buttons and moving the analog with the lower part of my thumb. It feels much more comfortable if you have the joycons attached to the switch that way. It’s a little smaller than I was expecting, but at the same time feels fairly large for what’s meant to be a console you can play portably. I don’t really have any complaints yet.
The signal is very bad between the joycons and the system when it is docked in TV mode and they are detached. Putting them in the grip accessory to make a controller makes the signal even worse! When playing a game the analog locks up or the input lags. The joycons work perfect attached to the system in handheld mode though! I bought a pro controller and have had absolutely no problems with that…
And one of my joycon straps is defective; first it slid too far down and locked up, hanging too far past the track! Took me almost 20 min to slide it back off! Now it won’t even slide on and attach at all! Yeah, I’m not putting those things on the joycons again!
Did you do a system update? I haven’t experienced anything too bad playing ~12 feet away from the console. However, if I don’t use the grip and hold the left joycon sideways, the analog seems to lock up. I hope this isn’t a problem using it in sideways mode for Mario Kart in the future.
I don’t know if you addressed this already but if not you should contact Nintendo who should repair these for you.
Back to the initial topic, I love the Switch. I initially bought it at a whim for Zelda and played it mostly handled with Pro Controller.
Once I finished the game, I started playing on the go, this feature is great.
When you travel for work or leisure, you can keep playing your favorite Zelda game, or have a more simple/casual game like Tetris.
Orta on this console would be great, especially in mobile mode as a rail shooter is quite simple and levels are “quite” short.
A PD reboot would also be fantastic on this console, you’d mostly be playing handled but would still be able to play on the go. I wouldn’t mind the “power” difference with other consoles out there, the player’s experience makes the difference. I mean look at this Zelda, it is all about the experience…
Now that the Switch has been out for over year, how is everyone who bought one finding it? How do you use it most - plugged into a TV, or as portable system? Does it replace your 3DS or Vita as your primary portable console?
I was just reading an article on Polygon about the original Nintendo DS which talks about how Nintendo needed to make a portable system that is more like a console to differentiate itself from smartphones. This seems like a fair point and it makes me wonder whether we’ll ever see a dedicated portable system from Nintendo again.
The Switch is awesome if you’re a Nintendo Fan: Zelda BotW, Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8 Delux, Kirby Star Allies, and the upcoming Smash Bros Ultimate!
I usually keep it docked and hooked up to my tv mainly. I’ve only brought it out in portable mode a few times. But, it was awesome playing Mario Kart 8 on the go! And there are plenty more games coming such as Smash Bros and Metroid Prime 4. Not to mention a new Zelda in the far off future, probably near the end of the systems life span. So there is that to look forward to, if anything!
I think it would be great if we had a new portable system as well. I would really like an upgrade to the 3DS. Keep the 3D but just upgrade the graphics.
I’d be interested in hearing more about your tech setup when travelling. Do you carry a laptop or tablet as well, and do you use the Switch for any other activities besides gaming such watching movies? I’m always trying to find the optimal light but functional balance when travelling.
I’ve tried various different combinations, including just taking a smartphone (a bit limited) and travelling with a laptop and game controller (a bit bulky). And I’ve owned a Gameboy Advance in the past, so I’m familiar with dedicated portable gaming systems, but as I’m usually not sure how much I’m going to play games when travelling, there’s the question of do I really need to add this extra weight? In a recent trip, I carried just an iPad Pro (with carry on luggage only) which I think has reached a sweet spot - it has a good sized display for most “PC” activities, stands in for an eReader, and doesn’t require a seperate game controller for gaming like laptop, with touch screen gaming on it working better on the larger display (the virtual controls of the Christian Whitehead Sonic ports, for example, are less fiddley on the larger tablet screen than on a tiny smartphone). It was nice not to carry an extra bulky controller around, but I guess the Switch solves that by keeping the joycons attached most of the time when you’re on the move?
I think indie gaming has become a lot more feasible in part thanks to all these new portable platforms over the last ten years. You may not have the most powerful system with you when travelling, so that time can be used to explore games that focus less on cutting edge technology, and more on unique ideas.
I finally tried the Switch, spending maybe four hours playing Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart, and various demos in each of the system’s three play modes. Although the Switch+joycons felt a little heavy at first, I soon got used to playing with the joycons attached the Switch in handheld mode. I imagine it would useful to carry the Switch with the joycon controller dock (is there an official name for this?), as that means you could sit the console down on an airplane tray and play with less weight in your hands. It’s an extra accessory to carry for that small convenience though.
My impressions are roughly the same after trying the Switch. It looks like a great system if you want to do a lot of gaming on the go, or are really into Nintendo’s franchises. For me, those aren’t strong enough factors to warrant getting one, and even quality exclusives like Breath of the Wild aren’t system sellers (for me), so I’ll probably stick with PC/PS4 as my main gaming systems, with light portable gaming on iOS devices. But I’m impressed by the concept and look forward to seeing how Sony and Microsoft copy the Switch in the next generation of consoles.
I bought a Switch yesterday. On Richard Leadbetter’s recommendation, I picked up the Switch Lite. The smaller size makes it a great portable machine and the cartoon style visuals of many Switch titles look sharp on that screen, with a high PPI. My only major gripe with the system is that it doesn’t support Bluetooth audio, so I’ll either have to look into getting a dongle for that or carry around a pair of wired earbuds as well.
For now, I’ve just bought Breath of the Wild and Freedom Planet (a personal favourite of mine) for the system; these should last me until Panzer Dragoon: Remake arrives. I’ll post some impressions of BOTW once I’ve played more of it.
That’s interesting as I also got a Switch during Black Friday. Ended up picking Fire Emblem: Three Houses as my first game for it. Technically it’s a very underwhelming game (it’s in between PS2 and PS3 games, complete with framerate problems) but the rest of the game is supposed to make up for it. I also plan to get Astral Chain at some point, and perhaps Panzer Dragoon (if it’s not available on PC at launch). Aside from Bayonetta 3 (which I hope is actually going to be released because it’s been very quiet around that game) and maybe the Xenoblade Chronicles remaster there’s nothing really left on my wish list. The lack of discounts that you regularly find on Sony and Microsoft platforms means it’s unlikely I’ll pick up a lot of games for it.
There’s a neat feature in The Witcher 3 for Switch where you can use your save game from the Steam/GOG version with the Switch version. Especially for people who have a Switch Lite and a high end gaming PC, you could play on the go on the Switch and then switch over to PC when you get home to experience the game with better visuals/framerate than on a docked Switch. Pretty cool (although you’d still need to buy the game twice).
I’d say they should add support for this in Panzer Dragoon: Remake, but if it’s anything like the original there won’t be much progress to save, so it’s questionable whether it would be worth the effort.