On March 3rd, 2017 the Nintendo Switch launches.
At Final Boss, we are in equal parts excited and trepidatious about this console. By equal parts, I mean that I am excited, and Ryan is trepidatious. There are plenty of reasons to get a Nintendo Switch, but also plenty of reasons to avoid it.
This blog exists to help you decide whether or not to make that purchase.
Reasons To Get A Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Switch brings with it some very interesting perks and functionality. While many of us weren’t won over by the Wii U, is the Switch going to finally get us back on team Nintendo?
Innovative Technology Creates A New Gaming Dynamic
The Nintendo Switch is doing something new. Just like the Wii and the Wii U, it is advancing and changing the way we play video games. Unlike the Xbox and PS4 that still maintain the classic gaming experience, the Nintendo Switch is taking us on a totally different journey.
The introduction of the portable system takes us to a world where you can play proper video games, not just terrible freemium titles, wherever you are. That’s pretty damn exciting.
Add to the that the introduction of the Joycon — Nintendo’s innovative new controller system that brings together the motion sensors of the Wii, the capabilities of a traditional control pad and the brand new 3D rumble — and you’ve got something that offers a totally unique gaming dynamic.
For those unaware, the 3D rumble is a system that creates illusions of sensations occurring inside the controller. For example, there is a game on 1-2-Switch that has you try and count how many ‘balls’ are inside the controller. Obviously, there are no balls inside the Joycon, but the 3D rumble creates a targeted vibration so lifelike it actually feels like a bunch of marbles are rolling around inside your controller.
Fine, it isn’t going to change the way you look at gaming, but it’s a fun and interesting feature that opens a lot of new possibilities — possibilities you couldn’t get on any other platform.
All Your Favourite Nintendo Classics Are Back
Day one of the Nintendo Switch launch sees the latest Zelda game come with it. When asking the question, should I get the Nintendo Switch? I’m sure this will be something that sways a good chunk of the population.
However, Zelda isn’t the only game making a return. Mario and friends are returning in a number of titles, including recently announced Mario Odyssey and Mario Kart. Sonic the Hedgehog will also return, as will the likes of Bomberman and Skylanders.
These are titles bound to be worth your time and only available on the Nintendo Switch — well, Zelda is actually also available on the Wii U, but don’t tell Switch owners that.
If there ever was a reason to buy one of Nintendo’s new console, surely this is it?
Want to enjoy some classic 90s Nintendo? Here’s how to do it.
The Ultimate Family Console
The Wii was a defining moment in console history. It was the advent of something that united a section of the gaming community that didn’t really exist before its release. These were the types of gamers who weren’t interested in Call of Duty or Forza, but instead casual experiences that could be enjoyed without paying too much attention. These aren’t your typical gamers; these are social players, families and young children.
Sure, a few games like these existed on its rivals, but the Wii did it better than any of them. Its range of titles made sure there was something for everyone — and the controller design meant it felt like you weren’t playing something a bit too confusing for your parents to figure out. Now, the Nintendo Switch is looking very much to continue this trend.
With an army of child-friendly games heading to the console, classic retro titles like Mario Kart, plus games designed especially for the new Joycon controller, it is clear that the Switch will hold the title of undisputed king of family and casual gaming from now until… well, the next Nintendo console is released.
For those looking for a more light-hearted take on video games, the Nintendo Switch is definitely your go-to console.
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The Future Of Gaming
A quick Google search finds that plenty of people are asking this simple question: what generation of console is the Nintendo Switch?
The Nintendo Switch marks the arrival of generation nine, with the Xbox One, PS4 and Wii-U part of generation eight. The Switch currently stands alone, beyond the likes of Microsoft and Sony, on a podium, it will take them years to reach.
The Switch will take gamers into the latest generation of consoles, making its competitors pretty old hat. Sure, we are getting the Xbox One S and the PS4 Pro, but these are just revamped versions of the same console, the Nintendo Switch is an evolution of the format and moves Nintendo ahead of its competitors.
Reasons Not To Get A Nintendo Switch
With all that said and the promise that the Nintendo Switch provides, there are plenty of reasons not to buy one. So, now we’ve sung the praises of the new console, let’s really help you answer the question, should I get the Nintendo Switch? With a bit of sheer brutality:
Pathetic Day One Release Line-up
When the PS4 released back in 2013, it came complete with a list of nearly 30 day one releases. That was plenty to get excited for. Now the Nintendo Switch is up to bat, how many games does it have ready for players? A grand total of 9.
Things get worse. When you take into account every game officially announced and soon to appear on the Nintendo Switch platform, you only have a couple more titles the entire lineup for the PS4s release.
Granted, they’ve put Zelda on the table but what is currently on offer, and what is planned to be on offer, really doesn’t add much in the way of variety or value for owners of the console. Most people will be buying the Nintendo Switch for Mario and Zelda, but anyone who isn’t a fan of these franchises hasn’t got a whole lot to get hyped for.
You’ll Need Another Console
If you are a ‘gamer’, especially one who enjoys the online scene, you really won’t get much out of the Nintendo Switch. Your Triple A titles, Call of Duty, Fallout, Titanfall, Halo, Uncharted, etc. None of that, nor anything similar, will find its way to this console.
Anyone looking for a traditional gaming experience, and to hope onto the big names like the upcoming Red Dead Redemption 2, will need to have either an Xbox One or a PS4. Unlike these two consoles, the Wii Gameboy Nintendo Switch simply won’t allow you to join in on most of the big new games of the year.
You’ve got Splatoon 2, which is similar to a AAA title, but that is basically your lot.
The Hardware Is Hella Expensive
What really attracted people to the Wii back in the day was the price. When it launched against the Xbox 360 and the PS3, it seriously undercut them on price, and rightly so. The Nintendo market is, on the whole, a much more casual audience. Families, occasional gamers, people who want games for parties and social occasions.
Just look at the frigging 1-2-Switch title launching with the console. It is literally just a bunch of party games for people who want to mess around. Pretending to shave? Really?…
These types of consumers aren’t looking to spend the big bucks, not like your hardcore Xbox fan who spends £100 on a headset so they can hear the footsteps behind them. So, when the Nintendo Switch was announced at £280, it came as a bit of shock. The Wii launched at £180, £100 cheaper!
This is not the kind of price anticipated from a Nintendo console. With both Xbox One and PS4 now retailing near the £200 mark, the high price doesn’t seem all that appealing.
But it gets worse.
Peripherals for the console are also super expensive. The Pro Controller, basically a standard gaming controller, retails at £60. If you want another Joy-con controller for local multiplayer and those party games you basically bought the console for, that’s an extra £70.
So, if you are looking at buying a Switch, you are looking at a major investment. True, the same can be said for any gaming system, but this doesn’t exactly play to the Nintendo Switch’s strengths.
The Battery Life Is Reportedly Poor
Perhaps the main reason to buy a Nintendo Switch is the innovation it has brought in terms of taking home console gaming on the move. However, before we all get amped about playing Mario Kart on our long-haul flight to Japan to thank Nintendo, take a breath.
It has been reported that the Nintendo Switch will last outside of the dock for as little as 2 hours, with 3-4 being the average playtime you’ll get. Batteries are a bit of a problem in the portable tech world these days, unable to keep up with the new hardware. But still, 3-4 hours?
This sort of battery life is disappointing. Of course, you’ll be able to buy booster packs to keep it charged longer I’m sure, but they’ll undoubtedly cost the Earth too.
The Hardware Is Outdated Before It Has Even Launched
Well, it worked for the Wii right? The processing and graphical capabilities of the Nintendo Switch are seriously limited compared to its rivals, and those rivals are years old. But we can look past that because that isn’t what the Nintendo Switch is about.
What is pretty galling is that a new piece of tech launching in 2017 still operates on maximum 780p-1080p — 780p for portable, 1080p for docked. The new king of screen resolution, 4k, has been obviously missed from the list of capabilities. Which means, unlike the soon to be launching Xbox Scorpio and PS4 Pro, you’ll need another piece of hardware in the house if you want 4k playback; not to mention you’ll miss out of the brilliant experience of 4k gaming.
The console also doesn’t launch with any VR capabilities, despite Playstation already kitting their ‘old’ console out with it. A launch that begins the ninth generation of gaming should really be incorporating this type of hardware. The capability is coming, but it is some way off yet.
Should You Get A Nintendo Switch?
Given the arguments for and against, it is pretty tough to decide which way to go. For us at Final Boss, you basically have three choices, depending on the kind of person and gamer you are.
- Buy Now If: You are massive Nintendo fan, love Mario and Link, and can’t wait to get back in their world. Sure it’s got downsides, but **** ‘em, you’ve got princesses to save. Also buy it now if you love the wacky party games and having some friends and family over for a laugh and some casual gaming banter.
- Don’t Buy If: You don’t care about Mario and you’d much rather be immersing yourself in rich, lifelike environments or crushing your enemies in hectic multiplayer.
- Wait Until Christmas 2017 If: You are intrigued by the Nintendo Switch’s technology, enjoy Mario and party games, but can live without them for now. By Christmas 2017, there will be plenty more titles available, the prices will be down, and somebody will have undoubtedly created a portable charger to keep the Switch alive on your plane trip to Japan.
Let us know what you think of the Switch, whether you bought one or not, in the comments! If you are looking for more gaming blogs, then take a look around THG, we’ve got much more to offer.
James is THG’s technophobic TV nut, movie addict and theorist crackpot. He’ll be bringing you features, insights and incoherent ramblings on all your favourite and least favourite shows and movies.