Reactions: Nintendo Switch Presentation

How does the staff feel about Thursday’s big Switch reveal?

By Nintendojo Staff. Posted 01/14/2017 17:00 3 Comments     ShareThis

Nintendo’s long-awaited Switch presentation has come and gone, and reactions to the event have been varied, to say the least. While many of the games showcased during the broadcast are certainly enticing, the console’s pricing and sparse launch lineup have left many concerns lingering around its prospects. Now that we’ve had some time to process all of the new reveals and details on Nintendo’s new console, what did the staff think of the presentation?

Joshua A. Johnston

Great presentation, really. I am particularly impressed with the feature set: crazy modularity, motion-sensitive controllers, IR, NFC, touch screen, Wi-fi, local multiplayer, and a surprising number of buttons in each little Joy-Con. Plus, Nintendo did a good job bringing the one thing I’ve been most vocal about: the games. Just about every genre, first party and third party. I’m still in shock over all the RPG announcements alone.

I do have some reservations. The online business sounds like a real work in progress, especially if you need a smart device to do some things. Maybe that’s why the online will be free until the fall. The price point is also a bit higher than I was hoping for; with all the functionality, I get the $300, but I think $250 would have been a real home run. Let’s hope Nintendo doesn’t come to regret overshooting the mark, as both they and other companies have in the past.

Anthony Pelone

Very mixed on the presentation. On one hand, the pacing/messaging felt very off; for instance, aside from Zelda, Nintendo hardly elaborated on what would be available for launch, and that they saved that afterward for the influx of information/press releases following it led to much confusion. The lack of emphasis on Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Virtual Console also felt like missed opportunities, and certain announcements like the high price and online subscription were also bummers, although I’d be lying if I said I didn’t expect the latter.

On the other hand, the games and announcements shown were great! Super Mario Odyssey had me grinning from ear to ear, and I’m more thrilled than ever to play Zelda! Xenoblade 2 was a delightful surprise, as was Fire Emblem Warriors (even if I called it). Regardless if it soars or sinks, I think I’ll be sticking with the Switch until the bitter end.

Robert Marrujo

I have that feeling again. It’s similar to the one that I had when Wii U launched; I really don’t know for sure if this is going to work. Now, hear me out, because I know I sound negative; I’m honestly just trying to be realistic. For starters, I firmly believe that the hardcore Nintendo fan like me, my fellow writers, and most likely a lot of you kind people out there reading this, will buy any and every console that the company puts on the market. If I wasn’t a kid without cash back when Virtual Boy dropped, I would’ve bought that thing, too. I love how Nintendo makes games, I love how it designs hardware, and the lack of third-party support never personally bugs me because, well, who needs Grand Theft Auto when you have Super Mario Galaxy to play? My point is, I was sold on Switch back when it was NX and a giant question mark. Nintendo gave the sort of presentation and has the sort of software lined up that its loyal fans love and will flock to.

What I wonder is, will anyone else be flocking to Switch? I have no clue. I’m inclined to say… maybe. The system looks great. It has a sophistication about its design that’s right up there with PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The premise is also sound; take every game you play at home on the go! Yet, at the same time, I feel like there are flaws with Switch that are staring all of us in the face. I think that the lack of memory and skimpy maximum memory expansion to 256 gigs is way too small, whether the games are shipping on cartridges or not. The launch lineup as of right now seems a little skimpy, whether Breath of the Wild is there or not. Honestly, I don’t care how close to launch it is, how is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which is an enhanced port of an almost three year old game, not there at launch? I’m just frustrated, I guess. I know I’ll be happy with Switch, but I don’t know that it’s going to woo all that many people who aren’t already part of the Nintendo faithful. Of course, Wii wasn’t on all that stable ground back when it launched either, and look how things wound up for that console. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see along with everyone else.

Maurice Tyler

I have mixed feelings as well. While I’m always super excited by anything Nintendo, I also have to acknowledge that, like Apple and their one button mouse, Nintendo are often times stubborn for all the wrong reasons.

Don’t get me wrong, the Switch is an awesome piece of kit. It’s very elegant and capable. However, cartridges are the bane of any developer’s existence due to their cost. While solid state memory has dropped considerably in price, it’s still an order of magnitude in complexity above disc media to produce. That, coupled with long lead times, will cause many developers to shy away — especially the relatively small, independent variety. Let’s not forget about all of those E.T. cartridges buried in a New Mexico landfill. Once again, we may be faced with another Nintendo console generation filled with first- and second-party titles. It’s a shame because I love the idea of cartridges (little to no load times, instant on, minimal patching, etc.). Here’s to hoping that a newly consolidated Nintendo development staff can churn out a wealth of content consistently.

On a positive note, we will finally be able to realize the dream of taking the home console experience with us on the go. Portability is the Switch’s killer app and I look forward to utilizing it to its fullest capacity. Icing on the cake would be some sort of 4G capability and Android or iOS compatibility. Let’s also hope that the Virtual Console makes a valiant return.

Andy Hoover

I hate to make us sound like a broken record, but I too was left rather ambivalent by the announcement. I agree that the messaging was a little off, and I really think that could have been fixed with region specific press conferences or Directs. Beyond that, though, there were a lot of interesting things that I am very curious to know more about.

First, I was surprised by just how much the Joy-Cons can do. Some of the tech does initially seem like a bit of overkill, but it could ultimately prove to be quite useful for innovative developers alongside potential re-releases of Wii software. Unfortunately, the fact we don’t really know well these features will be implemented has somewhat dulled my excitement for the likes of Arms and 1-2-Switch. The games don’t really look bad or anything like that, but we’ll have to wait and see how well they work and how much depth and content there is. Of course, I would have liked a bit more clarity about what exactly was coming out and when!

Putting aside the negative, one thing I will say is that I am seeing a lot more excitement than I did with Wii U. Maybe this is just my experience, but I went to GameStop to put in my pre-order this morning, and there was already a line waiting for the store to open. Some were even talking about how they hadn’t picked up a Nintendo system since GameCube. Altogether, there was well over a dozen people who were there to put there money down right off the bat. Furthermore, multiple retailers in my area confirmed the intention to have a midnight launch, something that nobody did for Wii U. In the long run, this early buzz might not mean much, but at the very least I think it shows Nintendo has done a better job of striking a chord with its fans.

Kevin Knezevic

I suppose I’m in the minority, because my opinion of the Switch presentation, on the whole, was pretty positive, though like everyone I also have some reservations. The rumored $250 price point was always kind of a stretch, especially considering how much technology is actually packed into such a little console, so I’ll happily part with $300 for my Switch. The paid online service, however, is what really concerns me, especially since Nintendo has made it a point to offer free online play since the original DS. That said, I’m very curious to see what this new subscription service will entail, and I think it certainly has some potential. Receiving a free NES or SNES game through it every month is a nice bonus, but what’s really exciting is their added online functionality. That certainly seems to open the door for other classic titles — like Super Smash Bros. Melee, perhaps — to have online functionality added to them.

I can also understand everyone’s concerns about the launch lineup, though I personally think it’s fine. It may be shallow, but the system is also launching alongside the most expansive Zelda game yet, and who, honestly, would have time to play anything else? Super Bomberman R also looks like it could potentially be a sleeper hit for the system, as could 1-2 Switch, though I strongly believe it should have been packed in with the console (or at the very least bundled with an extra Joy-Con). Seeing it in action brought back so many fond memories of WarioWare: Smooth Moves, but I doubt many people will feel compelled to plunk down $50 on it. That’s a shame, too, because it looks like the perfect showcase for what makes Switch such a unique console.

But while the launch might be a bit sparse, it seems Nintendo has tried to stagger releases throughout the year to avoid any prolonged droughts. In that respect, it makes sense to hold Mario Kart 8 Deluxe off until April, and not long after that we’ll be getting Splatoon 2, with Super Mario Odyssey serving as the console’s marquee holiday release. And I have no doubt in my mind that Nintendo has yet more unannounced titles up its sleeve for Switch’s first year.

Speaking of games, I was personally ecstatic with what was shown off during the presentation. No, we may not have seen Retro Studios’ long awaited next title, but the important thing to remember is that the presentation was broadcast from Japan, so it was mostly tailored to that region’s tastes. As much as I’d love to have seen what Retro has been working on these past few years, I don’t think Japanese fans and investors would be as interested in it as the many RPGs Nintendo chose to highlight. And what a lineup it was. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is vying with Mario Odyssey for my most anticipated Switch game, and Fire Emblem is such a natural choice for a Warriors crossover. I was also happy to see Square Enix reaffirm its support for the system with so many Dragon Quest titles, not to mention the wonderfully quirky Project Octopath Traveler. The presentation may have had some faults, but I came away very excited for Switch’s first year.

3 Responses to “Reactions: Nintendo Switch Presentation”

  • 745 points
    OG75 says...

    Kevin Knezevic: “And I have no doubt in my mind that Nintendo has yet more unannounced titles up its sleeve for Switch’s first year.”

    I’m banking on this! Some of my best memories/experiences with the Wii U were when games seemingly came out of left field, specifically Earthbound for VC and “NES Remix.” I may be in the minority here, but NES Remix is one of my favorite Wii U games. Can’t wait for some Switch Surprises.

  • 1379 points
    xeacons says...

    First off, the Pros: The amazing versatility of the Joy-Cons, the diversity of the games, and they weren’t all just remakes and ports, but BRAND NEW, including the new Super Mario and Splatoon 2. Great that, despite rumors of delays, Breath of the Wild will be released at launch.
    Now the Cons: most of these titles won’t be out until later this year (holiday for Mario), Nintendo mentioned absolutely nothing about the VC. I’m worried they’re abandoning it. Considering most titles will be downloaded, the Switch comes with only 32Gb of memory and one micro SDXC slot. Way to go, Nintendo. You just took us back to the Gamecube and switching out memory cards.

    As for the price, I’m actually surprised it was so low. I was expecting upwards to $350 to $400. Keeping the Switch price in last-gen limits is a reminder that it is not a home console you can take on the go, but just a portable console you can play on the TV.

  • 1561 points
    penduin says...

    Even if the Switch turns out to bring nothing else to the table but what we’ve already seen, I’d still want one. It’s all about the games, and I need that new Xenoblade. I want that new Mario. Zelda I could get on Wii U instead, but I already know I’ll be taking the plunge.

    Whether it does XYZ sales business whatever, I don’t care.

    I was a little surprised by the $370 price tag. (I’m not about to buy a Nintendo system with no d-pad!)

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