Thoughts On The Nintendo Switch Presentation

joy

Last night Nintendo finally spilled the digital beans on the forthcoming Switch and, at least for me, the presentation felt underwhelming.

Allow me to expound.

I love Nintendo. I have a lot of historical respect for Nintendo. But, in the last chunk of years, I have no idea what Nintendo is thinking.

Or doing.

So we know the Switch will launch on March 3rd. This is so soon. It feels strange to find out so much about it only weeks before it hits retail.

We found out it will cost $299.99. That was strike one for me. That price point feels too high. Particularly with how poorly the Wii U was supported, as an early Wii U adopter, I felt like a price point of $250 would have been more appropriate. I mean, for perspective, you can buy a PS4 or Xbox One for less than $300, and you already know it will have excellent software support. For the Switch, even though various games were mentioned, there was only one game that was listed as a launch title.

That’s a bit alarming.

Even more alarming is that launch title was initially supposed to release over a year ago on the neglected Wii U.

I was glad to see that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild would be a launch title. If it had been mentioned with anything ambiguous (e.g.: summer 2017), I would have been genuinely worried about yet another delay. I think it was one of the most important moves Nintendo could make.

When the battery life was discussed, I was concerned that the minimum and maximum were rather different. On the low end they stated 2.5 hours, and the high end 6.5. That still doesn’t seem like a robust battery.

I have to admit, I was surprised to hear confirmation from Todd Howard that Skyrim will be available on the Switch; I did not think the system would be able to run it, particularly in its handheld state. I think, even though Skyrim released in 2011, it is a huge get for Nintendo. People need to see that third party support in action and this is a big step.

I really liked the fact that there was a button on the controller to take screenshots. I’m interested to hear more about this in the future. The Share functionality on PS4 is a button I never thought I’d use, but end up using so often. I never knew just how much I’d love it.

I know Nintendo has strayed from the press conference scenario the last couple of years and more towards the Nintendo Direct route, but I do have to say, this presentation often felt awkward. More awkward than necessary.

And I like awkward.

But this felt, I’m not even sure how to express it, almost uncomfortably awkward.

When they got to the point where they were discussing the Joy Con controllers and said, “We call this sharing the Joy,” I actually said out loud, “Oh, barf.”

I understand it must be incredibly difficult to create an engaging and informative presentation, but various aspects felt more forced than usual.

After hearing more details, I’ve decided not to get a Switch at launch. I think the price point is too high, and one game listed as a launch title is far too little. I doubt there will be a price drop (just look at the Wii U), but I can’t justify spending that much on a console that, as of yet, seems to have so little coming to it in the launch window.

Did you watch the Switch presentation? If so, what did you think? Will you be getting a Switch at launch?

18 replies »

  1. Rebekah, from your blog, it looks like you made the right decision. I’m a fan of Nintendo. Them bringing back SF, Street Fighter would have been enough to “sell” me on the device. The pricepoint isn’t worth it, imho! Also, like you stated the lack of games is another reason not to buy. Hoping things change in the future; if the past is a good indicator; don’t hold your breath.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The presentation itself was just terrible. Awful. It was like amateur hour.

    Having said that, I like the concept of the system. The console / handheld hybrid could be fantastic.

    Most of the time, I would have the system docked. When using the handheld, the battery life seems low, but honestly my other handheld devices have pretty crappy battery life also. I’m just used to constantly charging things up these days.

    The list of games is good, but not great. I am excited for Zelda and Xenoblade, but everything else I could give or take on. I’m sure I will wait out a purchase until a longer list of games I am interested builds up.

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    • I can’t disagree with you on the presentation! I often found I was just staring, wide eyed, at what was happening or being shown.

      If I had one, I’d likely have it docked most of the time, too. But I do find the low end of the battery life to be a little too short, even by today’s standards.

      I’m right there with you. I want to see how the first year is handled by Nintendo.

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      • Some of the presentation’s awkwardness was cultural. But still, if Sony or Microsoft had done a presentation like that, they would be laughed off the stage.

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      • Of that I have no doubt. But some of it was just…yes. Awkward.

        Oh man, if Sony or Microsoft had had a similar conference, yes, you are correct, they would be roasted.

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  3. I do like the concept of the Switch, as I’m all about gaming on the go. But I do wonder if I’d use the Switch while commuting instead of my trusted 3DS. The launch titles aren’t for me. Zelda is the only interesting one, other then that I wouldn’t know what to buy. Maybe if I am Setsuna releases in March then that would be interesting. Looking at it after a nights sleep, I don’t think I’ll pre-order..

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    • I like the concept, too, but I wonder if it will be as easy to bop around with as the 3DS. I feel like it won’t be nearly as convenient.

      I’m right there with you on the launch titles. I’m very much looking to see how Nintendo handles the first year after launch.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ll be holding off on getting a Switch as well. Since Breath of the Wild is still coming to the Wii U I’ll be picking it up for that. Some of the upcoming games sound like things I’d be interested in, but not enough to plunk down $300 on right now. There will probably be a decent priced bundle around black Friday or sometime in the future. I’m also disappointed that we’re finding out more after the event than during.

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    • I hope you are right about bundles for Black Friday. I feel like the base unit is already priced too high, and all the peripherals are far too expensive. To get a decent unit up and running with ample storage space would cost far more than a PS4 Pro or an Xbox One S. I just can’t justify it.

      It was very strange to not provide more information up front in the presentation, indeed. I sometimes have no idea what Nintendo is thinking.

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  5. Although we’re a very large consumer, I agree with a comment made in some other forums: this device might not have been intended for the United States market. Usually the innovation and compact nature appeals more to the Japanese market, which is still a place where Nintendo can thrive. However, I have to admit that all of what I said may be way off base, simply because this country is one of the largest consumers in the world; massive revenue opportunity.
    Admittedly I’ve never really been a Nintendo fan, but it looks like their just slipping away with the thought that the more innovative they are, the more people will buy their products. Clearly this isn’t the case for our market, as we’re still settling for 10 lb noisy/hot boxes that require cables and outlets to function :) For all I/we know, this might have been their overall goal since starting the Wii. It’s my hope that they can stay in the game and be competitive against Sony and Microsoft (which they currently are not, but fingers crossed), to help keep driving the innovation and competition. Ultimately it’s how we, as consumers, win in these show-downs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I could very much see that. It seems logical that it was created with the Japanese market in mind. Though I do wonder what their thought processes are on various aspects.

      I would just love to see a “normal” console from them and have their main focus be on games to support that console. I can take or pass on their hardware, but their software is where they can shine.

      I doubt that scenario will ever happen. :(

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I concur. I too will not buy a Nintendo Switch at launch. Years ago now, the Wii was my first console in that generation mostly due to it being the cheaper option. Back then I’d read Game Informer cover to cover looking for an exciting Wii game that never materialized. Additionally, Nintendo doesn’t have a nostalgic appeal to me (but if Sega returned to the console market I’d snap at least the first iteration up purely due to nostalgia). If I’d kids, I’d definitely have the current Nintendo console in my living room. But I don’t have kids and Nintendo’s games just don’t appeal to me enough to make room in my living room for an entirely separate console.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Everything you said makes perfect sense. I mean, when I finally got my hands on a Wii (back in the day), I did find a few games that I quite liked on it (e.g.: House of the Dead: Overkill!), but overall, it felt lacking in quality titles.

      I think your approach is more than sound!

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