Nintendo recently had a press conference unveiling a plethora of details regarding their new console, the Nintendo Switch. Launching on March 3rd, the Switch has taken the gaming community by storm, with pre-orders sold out across all major U.S. retailers. While many are stoked about the new system, there are also many tell tale signs that not only will the Switch fail, but that it will most likely be Nintendo’s last foray in the home console market. Now, to preference, as a huge fan of Nintendo, growing up playing and owning a myriad of their games and consoles, by no means do I want them to fail. There are just too many similarities to the flop that was the Wii U that constitute this notion.
First, let’s start with the actually hardware itself. Nintendo didn’t specify any of the actual specs of the system, but it’s clear that it doesn’t quite have the horsepower as it’s competitors in the Xbox One or the PS4. Graphically, it’s akin to a PS3.5, and it’s eerily reminiscent to the Wii, and the Wii U. Sure, the Wii was a tremendous success, but essentially it was just a fad. The Wii U had a lot of trouble selling because it was an underpowered system, and most third party companies weren’t going to bother with having to make an underwhelming port of a PS4 or Xbox One game. Furthermore, while the Xbox One, PS4, and even the PS3, utilize Blu-Ray to store their games, the Switch is using a game card. That may help with load times, and negate the tedious method of game installations, but obviously won’t hold as much memory as a Blu-Ray disk. This shows the inability that Nintendo has in creating a console that’s on par with the competition.
This segues to my next point, the price. $299 is just too expensive for a console that’s only perk is the ability to take it on the go. At the same price as the Xbox One S and PS4 Slim, it just doesn’t have the added value that the other consoles have. Both are more than just a game console, they’re multimedia hubs. Which brings me to the gimmick, yes gimmick, of console portability. Something that the PS4 and PS Vita can do, albeit not to the same level, with remote play. Many people will say that it’s an added perk for people who live in mass transit cities, or for parents to give their children for a long car ride. But after working in New York City for over six weeks, who would risk bringing that on the E or F Train during rush hour? A more reasonable price to me would be $200 or at the most $250. At least it gives you the edge vs the competition when it comes to the price, and that could potentially sway customers looking to save some money.
Next on the list of things wrong with the Nintendo Switch is the controller, or joy con as they call it. The thing is just horribly ugly, and it’s much too small. When will Nintendo finally realize that nobody cares about motion control, and that gamers want to use regular controllers. I don’t want to snap my controller in half and give a piece of it to my friend to play local multiplayer games. And I don’t want to have to buy a “pro” controller for $70 just to have a normal gaming experience. It’s just another dumb gimmick that Nintendo is oh so famous for.
Last, but not least, regarding why the Nintendo Switch will fail, is because of the lack of triple A, third party support. There’s no doubt that Zelda, Mario, and whatever other first party Nintendo games get released on this system will be all-time classics. It was the same on the Gamecube, Wii, and Wii U. The difference being that since the Gamecube was more powerful than the PS2, it had a higher amount of third party support, including ports. People are excited about Skyrim and NBA 2K17 being ported over, but it’s quite apparent that this trend isn’t going to last. Like the Wii and Wii U, the power of the hardware just doesn’t compare to the competition, so third party companies aren’t going to keep wasting time or money to make or bring over games that aren’t up to snuff. If triple A games are ported over, they may have some issues, lack of certain content, and won’t be the console of choice for multi-platform games. With the Xbox One and PS4, sure they have Gears or War and Uncharted, but a vast majority of their success is because of the abundance of third party games like Overwatch, Battlefield 1, and Grand Theft Auto V.
So to reiterate, I don’t want the Nintendo Switch to fail. The gaming world honestly seems like it’s in nirvana when Nintendo is on top. But the company has made so many of the same mistakes and errors that plagued the Wii U, and sure there’s a tremendous amount of initial fanfare, but how long is that going to last? The dominos are seemingly set to fall in a bad way for the Mario makers, and it’s all brought upon themselves. This was their chance to cut the stupid gimmicks, create a powerful console, and make a huge splash in the gaming world. Alas, this is all pointing to the signs of the Wii U 2.0, and nobody, I repeat, nobody, wants that.