Nintendo Switch Looks Really Promising Heres How They Might Screw It Up

first_imgBundle StratificationThis is the biggest thing I’m worried about. Nintendo is clear about what the Switch can do, but it hasn’t announced how the Switch will be sold. It’s a gaming handheld and a home console at the same time, using several different accessories to work in different situations. Will the Switch launch as only the tablet, requiring you to buy the other parts piecemeal? Will there be confusing, redundant Home and Handheld Switch bundles, forcing you to fill in the gaps? Will a catch-all bundle with the dock, two Joy-Cons, and a Pro Grip or separate home gamepad be a limited edition package or have to fight against comparatively useless incomplete bundles for shelf space? Will we get a repeat of the Wii U Basic Set debacle? If Nintendo wants to hammer home the Switch’s concept, it needs to put out a single bundle that has everything you need for home and portable use.Disappointing Launch LineupRemember the Wii U launch window? There was lots of promise of games to come in the months following the system’s release, and it still took a year for the library to really get established. The launch window was a weasely way of saying there wouldn’t be many compelling games day one. Nintendo needs to avoid that by having a strong launch lineup the day the Switch comes out. We’re pretty sure The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be a launch title, but that’s about it. For the first party, we’ve seen a few seconds of Splatoon, Mario, and Mario Kart games that could just be mock-ups, and Nintendo will just promise those big names will come out in the “launch window” or later, stringing us along with the promise of them but still making us wait. For third party, Nintendo has a huge list of developers and publishers working on the Switch, but no launch games announced. The Switch needs to hit shelves with a strong selection of must-have games. A Zelda and a Mario, minimum, and a Splatoon would really sweeten the deal while giving third-party developers more time to polish their games.Nintendo-like Online ServicesNintendo has always sucked at online services. Friend codes, home console/handheld walls between libraries and digital stores, completely frustrating and time-consuming transfer processes, awkward purchase tracking and sorting, and just a general sense of Nintendo lagging at least half a decade behind Microsoft, Sony, and PCs on putting games online. Nintendo needs to prove they can move into the modern age with the Switch, and in the process stop treating its entire user base like children. We need friend and party lists, and a simple, direct way to communicate between players in and out of games. We need an eShop that will track what games we buy and what saves we store with a simple login, and the ability to download whatever we buy to any Nintendo device that can run it without the horrible ghost-and-wipe method used with the 3DS. We need parental controls that can be set instead of online features built entirely around the idea that the entire user base is eight years old. We need Nintendo to give us an online service that at least tries to offer what PSN, XBL, and Steam offer, without the cloistered Nintendo bullshit we’ve been putting up with for two console generations.Corners Cut in HardwareThe Switch is basically a tablet with a lot of accessories. It needs to be a good tablet. Part of the Wii U’s problem was that its gamepad was bulky, uncomfortable, and had a washed-out, low-resolution screen with resistive touch. The Switch can’t make compromises in how it looks and feels. The screen needs to be at least 720p considering its apparently six-inch size, and it needs to be capacitive touch. The Joy-Cons need to be comfortable, light, and feel like they’re made of Nintendium (the mysterious alloys Nintendo used in the original NES controller, seemingly related to Gundanium). And, while this is a detail many don’t think about, the Switch needs dual-band Wi-Fi, and the dock needs an Ethernet port. You need a strong, fast connection to download games and play online, and 5GHz wireless and the ability to get Ethernet speeds directly from your router at home would help out a great deal. Nintendo can’t be cheap with the Switch.I want to know more about the Nintendo Switch, and I honestly really, really like the concept. But there are some huge holes Nintendo could easily trip and fall straight into on the way to the system launch. Until we get more details, those holes are going to be out there, waiting to disappoint us. Stay on target Naturally, I’m worried Nintendo will mess it all up. There’s still time, and with few details announced there’s still plenty of room for the company to completely botch the launch of the new system. We have months until it comes out, and no idea about the Switch’s price, availability, launch titles, or features (besides the modular tablet design). Here are some ways Nintendo could still ruin the Switch’s launch.UnderpoweredIt took until the Wii U for Nintendo to hit high definition. That’s a full generation late to the party. No one’s expecting the Switch to be capable of 4K (and really, even the PS4 Pro looks like it will mostly render games at lower resolution and upscale), but it needs to have enough power that the games look modern and developers can easily scale and port software to it. It will get some leeway because it’s basically a tablet, and the fact that it uses a Nvidia Tegra processor means it should have some power, but if it doesn’t even try to come close to PS4 and Xbox One performance it will be just another this-gen-is-last-gen Nintendo system. I’m super excited about the Nintendo Switch. I wasn’t convinced hearing all of the rumors that Nintendo could do it, and I feared something similar to the Wii U Gamepad regarding size and design. I also wasn’t expecting to actually see the system itself during the announcement trailer. But Nintendo came through and showed off the Nintendo NX (now the Nintendo Switch) as a fully realized device, conveying the concept in just three and a half minutes.It’s slimmer and sleeker than the Wii U, and the main unit looks like it could simply be a thick 6-inch tablet and not a big, cumbersome gamepad that’s awkward to hold. It can clearly work as a home console and as a portable, thanks to the dock and Joy-Cons. It could be the one device that brings together Nintendo’s home and handheld resources into a single functional, powerful, successful gaming platform. ‘Star Wars Pinball’ Has Your Favorite Brand in Ball Form‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ Was Final Mission From Late Nintendo President last_img

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