So, Nintendo finally told us what we needed to know about the Switch. About damn time, now all the worthless rumors and speculation can end and the real anticipation and hype can begin. I’ve always hated the pre-announcement period of consoles, games, and what have you, since it’s inevitably filled with nonstop speculation of the most idiotic caliber, and the near yearlong period, from the first whispers of the NX to today, have been no exception.
By now many of you reading this will have watched the presentation, or seen others post about it, but as per standard operation here, I’m going to share my opinions while I watch a replay of the stream: it just works better for me that way. Again, these are my opinions. If you disagree, okay, good for you. Don’t go crying about it because I don’t think the same thing as you do.
Get comfy, we’re in this for the long haul. The entire stream is available at the bottom of this article if you want to watch and follow along!
The Switch Hardware:
We know what it is. A game console that you can take with you, or play at home. The Joy-Cons look pretty cool, the pro controller is a bonus, and the fact that it focuses, as I have said before, on the gameplay experience directly is a plus.
The major-market release plan is perfect, and the $299.99 US price point is exactly what I was expecting. Release in all the major areas for the right price. The fact the games will be region free is another bonus, and makes sense for a portable console.
The Switch’s online service will have a free trial period, then be a paid service. This at least means it will probably last longer than a few years, as had the Wii and DS services, being shut down well before the systems died. I find it interesting they talk about a “smart device” app – does the Switch tether to a cell phone for network access when away from home wifi? Like, not just using your phone as a hot spot, but I mean via an actual application in particular? that’s kind of cool, if the case, but in any case having a companion app will still be useful for some, I’m sure.
Switch Hardware, 2nd Part:
The “DNA” comment is a little silly, but the symbolism is there, the Switch does look to be a perfect part of the legacy of Nintendo consoles. To that end, the joy-con’s combined with the portability of the console do seem nice. Options are good, but it’s nice that they haven’t forgotten the principle is playing the games – via TV, or the “Table Mode” of the Switch, or just straight up carrying the console around, you’re still playing the same game on the same machine.
The multiplayer elements via the 2 Joy-Con’s are nice.
The screen being a touch screen is a logical element, but hopefully that will not be made an element of any games – it’s useless if the system is in its dock, after all. The local networking ability of multiple Switch consoles does look promising as well, and I can imagine it being a major element in Smash Bros. tournament play.
The detailed look at the Joy-Con’s tell us some things we could figure the units had – Amiibo reading data as the main one. I’m just surprised to hear that they will have accelerometers and gyroscopes. Seriously, give up on the motion controls, they aren’t fun for more than maybe 5 minutes. The IR sensor is somewhat nice, if implemented properly. The “HD rumble” feature also seems nice, again, if implemented properly.
1-2-Switch and Arms
Well, they’re games. Neither look bad, but how deep are they really? Arms at least looks to be more intense, and more enjoyable than 1-2-Switch but still, I just don’t see it as having too much longevity. They talk about it using physical controls, but I have a strong feeling it will use the motion controls heavily as well, meaning unless you’re quite fit, after about 10 minutes of punching you’re done. Then again maybe it will be straight up optional – a menu shown in the battle kind of hints at this.
Who didn’t see this coming? With many of the “special” modes of Splatoon ending over the past few months, and this console being announced, we all knew this was about to happen. It looks like a logical evolution of the game, so it will probably be just as good as the original is reported to be.
Super Mario Odyssey
An open world Mario game? About damn time. This looks to be pretty par for the course, following the gameplay style set way back in Mario 64, but still, it looks like it could be good. The whole “Bowser in a suit” design is really odd, but that’s a minor nuance. I just am not a fan of that particular styling, and felt like nitpicking it. Beyond that nitpick, and the oddness of the hat with eyes (obviously a plot point) this looks good enough.
I’ve heard quite a bit about this series. Like most Nintendo properties of the past decade, though, I haven’t had a chance to play it, and even if I did, I don’t have the time, so I can’t say much. Looks like any other Japanese RPG to me, and I say that as a good thing.
Fire Emblem Warriors
See above. Haven’t been able to play a Fire Emblem game ever. I’m guessing this will be like Hyrule Warriors, with Fire Emblem characters rather than Zelda characters?
The announcement of 50 developers, and over 80 games in development for the console is nice, considering the rather weak major 3rd party support on previous consoles. Many people seem to be a little “iffy” on it, but I’m optimistic here. The two games shown look promising, for what they are, but again, I just don’t think I have time to play this many RPG’s, not like I used to. They show a few devs talking highly about the console, which leads to something people speculated, but I didn’t think would be happening…
Seriously? Fucking Skyrim? Right, let’s just re-release a 5 year old game, again, on yet another console. That’s smart. Sure, it’s portable, I get that, but so is a good gaming laptop. Whatever, it works, I guess, so that’s that. Still, it just seems so odd.. why not focus the new game on it? I just don’t get it, but like I said, it works, so whatever.
Next up, we hear from more devs, including EA talking about FIFA coming to the Switch. Yawn. Not interested, but hey, it’s popular so, good for them, and good for fans. Enjoy it.
What’s in the Box?
Next up Nintendo talks about just what is in the box, and mentions the pro controller will be separate. There will be an alternate-color joy-con version available, but otherwise it’s all just the same console, which is fine: don’t make things complicated.
Next up they announce that there will be chances to play it across the country, before release, and continue to talk about how new and exciting it is, of course. They wanna hype it up, but they leave one more thing to tease us with.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Ah, Shigieu Miyamoto! Nice to see you! They certainly hype this game up, which they certainly should – This is Nintendo’s biggest franchise, arguably: many would say bigger than Mario when you really think about it.
Before they show the game, they talk about pre-order availability the like, then, bam. The game.
Quite the diverse world, they show. It looks promising, this variation on the classic world of Hyrule. Then again most trailers look amazing, so we will see what the actual end product actually plays like.
Voice acting, in a Zelda game? About damn time! It’s like when they finally got people speaking in Final Fantasy (back in 2000, mind you) it was a crazy thing to finally experience.
To top it all off, they end announcing that the new Zelda game would be released with the console, on March 3rd, 2017.
I wouldn’t call myself “hyped” as I’m not that much of a Nintendo fan (I like the games and stuff, but I’m not obsessed with them like some) nor am I one to get all excited over consoles – I guess I keep my feelings low-key and expectations tempered, but honestly, I like what I see here.
There are some worries about the console being underpowered (I guess from the WiiU like graphics shown) but honestly, I don’t think it’s going to matter. It’s probably good enough to run most any decent game, and as always, if the development tools are good, and the hardware is easy to program for, good games will come. The Playstation was “underpowered” in 1995 but look how it dominated the 32bit era! The $299 price point seems high to some, but as I said, it’s fine to me; you’re getting a portable console you can play at home on your nice TV – can’t do that with your PS4 or your Xbox One.
Let’s see what the gamers think on March 3rd.