Rapid Nintendo Switch Thoughts
With the conference basically over and done with, I thought I'd go ahead and get some of my opinions about Nintendo's newest console out real quick.
Overall, the highs of the conference were really high. Nintendo's major first-party titles all looked incredible--just about all of them were big AAA titles that looked fantastic. It really looks like Nintendo came to play this year, and vy for that second place spot that Microsoft is lately looking like they don't care about very much. That said, the lows of this conference were pretty fucking low. They wasted so much time trying to explain the intricacies of the system that my friends and I were half sleep by the time they showed off their first game, which looked like a glorified tech demo. The perfection of an edited Direct pulled away, they had to rely on their presentation skills--which have clearly atrophied after years of foregoing E3 and launching pre-prepared videos.
- That price is much higher than I would've guessed, and that extends to basically everything. The Switch itself is $300--the same price as the PS4 Slim and XBox One S. This is in no way any kind of impulse buy--you're either rich or being told to choose between Nintendo and everyone else. And that's before you get to the overpriced Joycons at $80, the new Pro controller being $70, and additional docks being $90. Everything about this system seems like it costs $30-50 more than it should, but that's what happens when you have to create so much new tech I guess.
- Third party support seemed...anemic. There were some big titles that I'll get to, but overall there were way too many people standing up on stage who basically went "This thing looks cool, I guess". No More Heroes as a sequel would be cool, but why not hold back until there's a trailer? Why is SEGA standing up there to talk about how they want to work on a game for the Switch in the future? Why is EA only there for FIFA?
- Having said all that, there's no way this thing doesn't do STUPID numbers this year as the calendar looks stacked: a long-awaited Zelda game in Breath of the Wild, the first 3D Mario game in years, a sequel to Splatoon, and a portable version of Mario Kart 8? Those four games alone could easily move ten million consoles in the first year, something that sounds like a minor success but in all honesty is something Wii U wishes it could've done.
As for games that I enjoyed myself...
My mouth gaped from the moment I saw "Monolith Software". The rumors were that there was an XCX port for the Switch in the works, and I absolutely would've been satisfied with just that--but then they announced this and I just melted. A gorgeous fantasy world that looks like a mix of Skies of Arcadia and Baten Kaitos? One of the creators close to the game claimed it was a 2017 game, and if so? Fucking sold. I'll pick up a Switch just off the strength of this title alone.
Octopath Traveler is the other title that really caught my eye as far as the Switch's initial reveal goes. With art that looks like it belongs in a Tactics Ogre or an FFT, and graphics that are reminiscent of a tabletop RPG/diorama, this sold me on the Switch's capacity to allow handheld titles like this to come to the big screen. In fact, the Switch offered quite a few RPGs in their presentation--which is usually a genre that gets woefully ignored until months later.
And of course, all that is without talking about how potentially cool Fire Emblem Warriors could be, the inevitable Pokemon Switch title, and that Zelda actually looked interesting to me for the first time in my life. So while the Switch's actual presentation left much to be desired, a few of the games IN that presentation seemed like fun and I'm looking forward to seeing what they have for us in the future. Hopefully the lines of communication are kept a little more open than they have been since the Wii U's sales fell off a cliff back in 2014.