Last Thursday Nintendo held there presentation for the Nintendo Switch. While I was interested in what I saw, there were still enough concerns I had with the presentation that made we worried for the Switch. However, that was my initial impression with what I saw from the presentation. After a week of demos and new information, I am more excited for the Switch but I'm not going to be a Day 1 purchaser.
My first concern is that the system is coming with only 32 gigabytes of internal storage. In this day and age that is sad. While the argument can be made that most people are going to buy physical media, that is not a guarantee. Many times I have bought a game digitally when I have seen a online sale for it or if it is online only. And yes you can upgrade the internal memory up to 2 terabytes, but currently the highest SD card available is 512 gigabytes.
While I am not too critical of the cost of the Switch, the cost of the accessories is a little much. $70 for a Switch Pro controller makes no sense to me. $60 I could live with, that falls in line with there competitors. Same thing with the Joy-Cons, $80 dollars for a set is way too much. While I understand it is newer tech and that costs money, Nintendo needs to find a way to lower this cost for the consumer. The $90 for the dock, while still a high price point, is a lesser concern for me since this is a more convince item. The rest of the accessory prices pretty much fall in line with what is considered normal pricing.
Between the storage space and the accessory cost you start to realize that the real cost of this system can go well beyond the initial $300 price. Then again, no one is making you upgrade the storage or buy accessories. You can easily go the whole console's life cycle without ever upgrading the storage or buying accessories, except when a controller wears out which happens with all of the systems. So depending on how you look at this it may or may not be an issue.
Having to pay for the online is still not a concern for me. As I said before, if that is what it is going to take for Nintendo to make a solid, working online service so be it. Getting a free NES or SNES game for a month and only a month is sad, but that could always change in the future. The real question is that if we are going to be paying Nintendo to use there online service, are they going to deliver a reliable service?
Now while everything that I have said up to this point can be taken as me being critical of the Switch, after a week of news on the Switch there are some things I am looking forward to now.
Arms is a game that the more I read and see, the more interested I am in it. While I have no problem playing a game like this with motion controls, the fact that I am not required to is nice. This is going to be a game I will get when I do get a Switch.
Nintendo also held a Fire Emblem Direct on Wednesday, January 18th. During the direct, they announced a Fire Emblem mobile game, a remake of Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia for the 3DS, a Dynasty Warrior-style game for the Switch along with a new game in the series for the Switch. As a Fire Emblem fan, this was a huge direct for me and the fact that there are now two fire emblem games going to the Switch makes me excited to get one now.
My only concern is that Arms is not coming out until spring of this year while Fire Emblem Warriors is not slated until the fall. Even with Splatoon 2 coming out in the summer, I am in no real rush to get a Switch until the summer at the earliest. There is just not enough good games that I am interested in to rush out and get one at launch. That is not to say that I would not pick one up sooner if the opportunity presents itself.
Well, after watching the Nintendo Switch presentation last night, I have a problem. On one hand I was underwhelmed with the whole conference. On the other hand I saw a handful of items that makes me want to get one. I'm gonna break down what I took away from the presentation:
1. Release Date 3/3/2017 for $299.99
A March release date is something that was known well before this presentation. All this does is confirm it. The price does not surprise me too much. When you step back at look at it, you are buying a tablet, controller, docking station, two joy-con straps and a joy-con grip. On the other hand at that price point you are competing with the Playstation 4 and Xbox One. The question becomes will first party titles be enough to warrant that price?
2. Online will become a pay service in the fall
When the system launches the online will be free for everyone and it was mentioned to switch to a pay model in the fall. No price was mentioned which I felt it should have been. If Nintendo implementing a pay system is what it is going to take to support online communication between players, a stable online connection and other online features, then so be it. But this can also be considered a blow to people who were looking at Nintendo for the up to now free online.
3. Region Free System
This is great news for someone like me who does like Japanese games that do not always come over here to the US. If you do not import games this news means nothing to you.
4. Basic Switch Information
We already knew that you could play this on the TV, on a table or as a handheld. Being able to connect up to 8 Switches locally for multiplayer is a neat concept, but where is this practical? Sure, I could see 4 being connected locally, but outside of esports and maybe college campuses doing up to eight at one time seems a little much.
The fact they focused on the motion controls concerns me. I'm not against motion controls, but if I want to play with motion controls, I'll play my Wii. But if these controllers have better motion sensing, that can definitely lead to better quality motion games (hopefully). The screenshot/eventual video recording button is a nice touch. These still look small, I'm curious how comfortable they are going to be when using them. Just because they sound like a great piece of tech does not mean they are going to good in practice for gaming.
6. Joy-Con Games
1, 2, Switch is a party game. Not having to use the screen to play and instead focusing on the other player sounds interesting. But I would have to see it in practice. Being a launch game will help get people involved with using the Switch in a group setting.
Arms caught my interest with its combat. With the options to play single player, local multiplayer and online, this is one I'm going to keep an eye on. And a spring release date means its not too far off after the console launches.
7. Splatoon 2
Hard to believe by the time this comes out in the summer of this year Splatoon will be two years old. When a sequel comes out I expect there to be what they announced, new stages, weapons and specials. Still, knowing they are going to have a new Splatoon game on the Switch is a good thing.
8. Super Mario Odyssey
A sand box Mario game that uses real world landscapes. These types of games do not interest me but I can see a lot of people happy about this one.
9. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 /Fire Emblem Warriors
I own Xenoblade Chronicles for the Wii but never got a chance to play it. The trailer did look good though. Fire Emblem Warriors was, for me, the best news out of the whole presentation. I am a fan of Fire Emblem games and I am a huge fan of Dynasty Warrior games. Combine the two and if this gets a confirmed US release date (or since the system is region free, English subtitles/menu options), I might plan my purchase of the Switch around it.
10. Other Announced Games
-Dragon Quest 10 and 11 coming to the Switch is a good sign, Dragon Quest is a major franchise in Japan.
-I like that they are bringing Dragon Quest Heroes 1 and 2 to the Switch, but these are Dynasty Warrior style games that might not appeal to the masses.
-Altus announcing a new Shin Megami Tensei game for the Switch is not surprising since they have been releasing games from this franchise on the 3DS. It is good to know though.
-Octopath Traveler from Square Enix looks like it could become a unique RPG
-SEGA comes out and talks about the Switch, but did not show anything off.
-Bethesda talked about Skyrim on the Switch, and while it is great that a game like Skyrim is coming to the Switch, this is nothing we did not already know.
-FIFA game on the switch. Soccer fans rejoice
-Suda51 is making a game for the Switch
11. Zelda Trailer
I'm not the biggest Zelda fan but I have to admit the trailer they showed was pretty dam good. If I do get a Switch I will get this game at some point. The reveal that this is going to be a launch title is important, this game is a system seller.
While the presentation answered some questions, I had some that were not. How much hard drive space is in the tablet? How is the online going to work? What other launch games are coming out besides Zelda and 1, 2, Switch? We have six weeks until launch and I'm sure some of those questions are going to be answered. Still, you think they would have said something during this presentation.
Also, no mention of a new Metroid was a letdown for me. Doesn't mean one won't be announced later (probably E3), but since we did not get a Metroid game on the Wii U, announcing one now, even for the 2017 Holiday, would have given me more interest in getting a Switch sooner rather than later.
Like I said, as a whole I was not overly impressed with the presentation. While a few things caught my eye, I did not see enough to warrant me to rush and go preorder one. Still, with them showing Zelda and Mario that was enough to get a lot of people on board with getting a Switch. In the end it is not the die hard fans that need convincing. Was there enough to convince the non die hard Nintendo fans to get one? Time will tell.