The Switch Makes Us Worry About Nintendo

Nintendo is trying to crack the holy grail of gaming with the Nintendo Switch. The device was unveiled to journalists in Tokyo with information on pricing and a few of the exclusives that will be making their way onto the console.

Nintendo is flexing its IP muscles and bringing in new versions of Mario, Legend of Zelda as well as bringing big name publishers like EA back into the fold that had kept its biggest titles away from the Wii U.

At $299.99 in the U.S, this gaming device is not cheap and will not be able to undercut the Xbox One or Playstation 4 like the hugely successful Wii did. So has Nintendo done enough to have an unmitigated success on its hands?

We are skeptical. There are a few things that could mar the experience that Nintendo is trying to promise but let’s start with the good stuff first. The Switch hardware is top quality. The controllers are innovative and intuitive to use once you get the hang of it. They may seem a little small to use as compared to traditional console controllers but not too bad for casual gaming.

A wide variety of games including those that require motion sensors will be able to take advantage of this included hardware. The 6-inch screen on the Switch is also something that makes the handheld experience a real treat. Touch responsiveness on this screen is not too bad either.

Now for some concerns. The Switch is underpowered when it comes to being viewed as just a home console and even though Nintendo has had success with underpowered consoles in the past, it does not have the price advantage to leverage this time around.

Then there is the question of battery life. Nintendo is promising battery of around 3-4 hours realistically which could be way lesser in some cases. That’s a little poor for an additional device that people will have to carry around with them.

We also question the thought process behind this device. Nintendo seems to have made a portable device that can be docked and used a home console as well but the market for portable video game systems is shrinking rapidly.

How many people want to lug around yet another device, this one the size of a small tablet, that needs to be charge ever so often just to play some games? Some people I am sure but enough for Nintendo to call this device a success? Remember the first Surface tablet that Microsoft made? The one promising to be everything at the same time? Nintendo will not be able to stomach a failure of that proportion.

There is no doubt that Nintendo has some of the most beloved games out there and plenty of people will come for all the new stuff they are promising. We are not concerned about those early adopters but the casual, smartphone gamer that Nintendo seems to be targeting.

The Switch could go on to lay all our concerns to rest and find its own niche in the market, though, after all, there are a lot many more casual gamers than hardcore ones. We hope it does because gaming needs a strong Nintendo. It just won’t be the same without it.

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