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After a weekend to sit on it, what do you think about the Nintendo Switch?

by Ron Duwell | January 16, 2017January 16, 2017 9:00 am PST

The Nintendo Switch made its debut late last week. Opinions were shared, trailers were analyzed, screenshots were pored over.

We had a full weekend to sit and think on the Nintendo Switch. So, Joey and I decided to have a conversation about the system, its expense and the games. That’s what you’ll find below. How’s the Switch looking a few days removed from the unveiling?

Read our thoughts, then share your own.

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Ron Duwell

Mario Mario Mario Mario Mario.

Mario Mario.

Mario Mario Mario.

Mario.

Super Mario Odyssey. What do you think, Joey?

Joey Davidson

Ha, boy. You know? I sort of agree with you, and your joke actually illustrates a lot of what Nintendo got right alongside what it got wrong.

Make it more like Mario Zelda Mario Zelda Mario Zelda and toss in a little Snipperclips and ARMS and you’ve basically covered the Nintendo Switch’s first year.

Now. Now! That said? I think people who yell about there not being enough games at launch are a mix of right and wrong.

There’s Zelda: Breath of the Wild on day one. Then Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in April. Then Splatoon 2 in the summer. Then Super Mario Odyssey somewhere near the holiday. Then there are all the smaller games in between, and the ones we don’t even know about yet. Not to mention stuff like the new Atlus title (which likes like a Shin Megami Tensei affair) and Xenoblade 2, whenever those come out.

Yeah, Mario’s gonna be my jam, too. Does the Switch have enough, Ron?

Ron

I think so. We’re probably going to average a new game roughly every month and a half or so for the first year, and as an adult with responsibilities, and not to mention another console I still intend to play, that is plenty of video games from Nintendo for the time being.

Somewhere along the line, we forgot that pacing could be a good thing. A new game on the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 every week in the spring and fall is an awful lot, a release schedule I can’t and don’t really want to keep up with.

I actually liked how the Wii U never bombarded us with releases to the breaking point, and I could actually sit back and soak in the games played. With the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in full swing, Nintendo is kind of smart to slow burn its way in the back door and let the Switch find its fans once the console’s strengths and weaknesses are better known.

Plus, I think I’m going to play Breath of the Wild for two months straight anyway, so I don’t mind the lack of choices. Of course, I thought the same thing about Twilight Princess… and my displeasure with that game turned me into an Xbox 360 owner.

What about the price? You wrote a good article on $250 being a fair price, but the turned out to be $299. Are you still alright with the pricing point?

Joey

I think Nintendo would have struck a much better balance by hitting $250, but I’m certain they settled where they did in an attempt to keep the console profitable.

I think that $299 mark isn’t doing them any favors when it comes to forgiveness, though. If it feels underpowered or the battery life is horrendous, 300 bucks is a tall order to get over. $250? Yeah, I could see thinking that it’s worth the price. $300? I could see getting frustrated and thinking it should have been cheaper when it dies after a 2.5 hour ride in the car.

Which brings me to the accessories. You’ll be able to buy a cap adapter for this. It works with USB-C. Go third-party for that, friends. Because the first-party components like the Joy-Con? $80. Sure, you get the left and right Joy-Con at that price, but $80 for a single (sometimes double) input is crazy.

The system also only packs 32GB of internal storage. Now, this thing is cartridge-based, so physical games will do fine. If you want to download-and-play, though, you’ll want a Micro SD card. The good news here? Nintendo, just like with the Wii U and 3DS, isn’t offering proprietary memory (*glares at Sony and the PS Vita*), so you’ll be able to snag, say, a 100GB Micro SD for around $50. And that price will fall over time.

I feel like I’m rambling here. I think $300 is okay, though it’s just a hair too expensive. 720p screen on the go? 2.5 hours battery life in bad cases? $80 controller? 32GB internal storage? I’m not a guy that really cares about stats, but $300 for that? I don’t know. What do you think?

Ron

I’m never one to look at stats and judge a video game console. Frame-rate, screen resolution, battery life, all that… those are things I can work around and learn to tolerate. I’ll buy an external battery for long train rides, and that’s all I need.

But I’m always a “games first” kind of guy, and to me, that $300 doesn’t translate into x-component plus y-RAM equals z-price.

$300 translates into an ability to play Nintendo exclusive games for another generation and maybe try out some fun new tech in the meantime. Nintendo’s controllers have been hit or miss lately, but I wouldn’t pass up a chance to play this line-up for any money. Super Mario Odyssey can’t be played any other way, so if $300 for a slightly underpowered yet portable console is what I need to pay, then laissez-faire.

Nintendo Switch - 28

What about the actual Joy-Con controllers? We’ve seen Nintendo promise us the world with motion controls before, but these things are just insane. That ice cube thing, the cow utters… Do we think Nintendo is going overboard with what might be seen as “another gimmicky controller” by some, or will they be able to make great games with it?

Joey

I think, in some weird way, I perfectly represent Nintendo’s demographic here with the Switch. I’m a gamer first, and I’m the type that prefers solo adventures like Zelda, so Nintendo’s got me covered there.

I travel a lot, so I play on portables pretty often. Nintendo’s got me covered there.

I have company over multiple times a week for game nights. We routinely do the boardgame stuff, but titles like 1-2 Switch where we only need the Joy-Con and the handheld’s screen to play? Nintendo’s got me covered there.

So, yeah, I like the idea of the Joy-Con and the return of motion control. With the Wii, motion control felt shoehorned in. Like, every game had to have it since that was how the system worked. With the Switch, the only motion-control-based products are ones built entirely with that in mind.

I didn’t hate motion control. I hate that motion control forced its way into everything.

Ron

So then speaking of which, the coolest “motion control” game we saw was easily ARMS.

Nintendo is very smart making this game. With it, the Switch has a simplistic game that highlights the console’s unique abilities. I know Nintendo wants 1 2 Switch to be that game, but I think ARMS is eventually going to take over the role of Wii Sports this generation.

It has a fun competitive game for the streaming crowds to get aboard with. It has a party game that friends can enjoy together.

And what I think a lot of people might have overlooked is that it will do very will in Japan. It has an art style that looks very similar to Splatoon, not quite Western, but not quite Japanese either. Nintendo will easily be able to tie the two together in its home country, where Splatoon was a much bigger hit.

What did you think of ARMSs or any other surprise games?

Joey

I like what ARMS looks like, to be honest. It’s a new IP, it’s an interesting use of the Joy-Con and it has that low barrier for entry that I appreciate.

The game no one’s talking about that I’m excited for? It’s a stupid little two-player puzzle game. Snipperclips. Each player controls this weird, solid U-shape character. You can stand over your pal and cut parts of their body away. From there, you work together with your new shapes to solve puzzles.

I mean, Zelda’s the winner here. I’ll play Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, of course. Then Splatoon 2 in the summer and Super Mario Odyssey in the fall. If Nintendo can really get on a roll and hammer out a great game every 1-to-2 months, I’ll be sold.

I want to see Advance Wars and Pikmin. Also, of course, Metroid. That has to be coming.

Ron

And just for fun, outside of Super Mario Odyssey and Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, I want you to take a wild guess at what my most anticipated game we saw last Thursday was.

It’s not that hard.

Joey

Knowing you, Ronaldo? Project: Octopath Traveler.

Ron

What a great title…


Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...

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