Nintendo’s latest event for the Switch gave players more information about the console and has left very mixed opinions across the public eye. Some have been so convinced that they have gone out and pre-ordered the console ahead of its release on 3rd March whilst others have been put off by Nintendo’s latest showing. There are still plenty of questions for Nintendo to answer before the console is available globally but is the console worthwhile based on what we know now?
The Nintendo switch has definitely done some things right in that it is trying to innovate. The idea that I could be playing a full console game on the go or pop round to a friend’s house and play multiplayer games with more ease than current consoles goes some way in convincing me I could use this console. The other factors that are brought into this is being able to play Nintendo’s rich gaming titles on a handheld device, not just to alleviate concerns that I own the living room TV for my gaming activities but also to enjoy Mario and Zelda games that have been missing from the current crop of games.
The Joy-con controller configurations are also a nice touch from Nintendo and at this stage it appears there is some versatility in how these controllers could be used. New IP’s, 1-2 Switch and Arms, are a prime example of how these controllers can be used in innovative and enjoyable ways drawing comparisons to the original Wii console. These peripherals also feel sturdy and good quality which is a nice change from the more plastic feel to the Wii U controllers. The icing on the cake is that these controllers feel responsive and are an accurate representation of the player in the game. You won’t be able to blame the hardware for your mistakes with this console.
Another positive for the Nintendo Switch is the fact that the console is not region locked. This will effectively allow gamers to buy games for their Switch console from anywhere in the world. Bargain hunters may be in for a treat here and even holiday go-ers will be able to bag a great deal abroad for their new handheld console. Just remember some games will probably only be available in the language of origin so buyer beware but still great news!
Despite the positives with the Nintendo Switch, there are some considerable negatives that just cannot be ignored. First and foremost is the price. Most people who were interested in the reveal trailer at the tail end of last year were expecting a competitive price with the PS4 and Xbox One consoles currently in the market. Nintendo have decided that £280 in the UK for the console alone is the right place to position this product but the public are not in the same headspace as Nintendo on this one. Considering that is only the initial outlay for the console and no games, you could be spending upwards of £350 to get fully kitted up with the Nintendo Switch. This is definitely a bit too steep for a console that still has a lot to prove.
The other area that raises major eyebrows is the battery life of the Switch in handheld mode. If you were thinking of going on a long journey and were hoping to get through a lot of ‘Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ then let’s hope you weren’t expecting to play longer than 2 and a half hours before the unit needed charging again. This does not quite meet the expectations that some gamers had with regards to the handheld battery life and could very well be a deal breaker for many, especially when compared to Nintendo’s own 3DS.
The other sticking point for Nintendo is the launch games roster. Currently, these launch titles are extremely underwhelming to say the least. With Zelda the only recognisable release from Nintendo, there is little encouraging me to pre-order now but it appears I may be in a minority, considering many retailers are unable to guarantee day 1 delivery due to high pre-order numbers. Aside from Zelda, players have a selection of 4 other games including 1-2 Switch, Super Bomberman R, Skylanders Imaginators and Just Dance 2017. Hardly show stopping! Despite the lacklustre launch titles, there are some more promising titles expected later in the year which make the Switch more attractive but once again customers may get bitten on price. Currently, the launch games are appearing on the GAME.co.uk website for £59.99 – £10 higher than a new PS4 or Xbox One game!
My Final Thoughts
Nintendo have created such a big buzz for their Switch console that it would have been hard for them to please everyone and I still believe there could be a place for this Switch console in the current video games market. The misguided pricing strategy and uncompelling games roster may be enough to make me switch off now but that is not to say I would never consider buying this console. Nintendo still have some way to go in convincing me this is a must have console at launch but have planted the seeds for a purchase at some point in the future. They will need to act fast though as Project Scorpio could be nail in the coffin for Nintendo if their new console turns the heads of the mass gamer market!