Now that Nintendo has showcased what it plans to offer with the Nintendo Switch on March 3rd, 2017, we’re weighing the pros and cons and deciding whether or not we’ll be taking the pre-order plunge. Amazon has already sold out of pre-orders twice now, but we’re not exactly sure we’re convinced that Nintendo has learned its lesson from the Wii U. We’re afraid of history repeating itself and these are the reasons why.
1. Nintendo Switch will feature paid online multiplayer.
One of the new things that’s coming in with the Nintendo Switch isn’t a new concept in the industry. Nintendo will begin charging for online multiplayer with the Nintendo Switch. The company was quick to note that during the launch period until Fall 2017, online multiplayer will be free. After that period, it will cost money to play with your friends online.
That’s not so different from what Sony and Microsoft are doing with their respective consoles, but there’s a very important difference here. Both Sony and Microsoft have platforms that are easy to use. Login with your PSN or Xbox Live handle and you have your friends list instantly available. You can create parties and jump in games and voice chat immediately with very little barrier to entry.
We don’t know how the online system will work with the Nintendo Switch, aside from requiring the use of a smartphone application as an accessory, but what we do know is just how bad Nintendo sucks at implementing online play. Friend codes are quite possibly the worst way Nintendo has tried to manage online play and while the Wii U did away with that, the online experience for that console was horrible.
Both Xbox Live Gold and PS+ subscribers get a handful of free games each month that they’re a subscriber, that they can keep as long as they hold an active subscription to the service. Nintendo decided to offer something similar, but with the exact worst implementation possible. They’ll offer subscribers a free NES or SNES game every month. The free game changes every month. No, you can’t keep it once the month has passed. It’s a free rental for a month and Nintendo gets to decide what you rent.
- PlayStation+ gave out $1,150 in games last year.
- Xbox Live Gold gave out $930 in games last year.
- Nintendo proposes to give gamers ~$59.88 – ~$95.88 in games the first year.
When a PlayStation Slim bundle or Xbox One S bundle costs $269-$299 and has had nearly a three-year headstart in building up the catalog of available games, it’s hard to recommend the Nintendo Switch to general gamers who are interested in the hobby but don’t know where to start.
2. There aren’t enough games at launch to be worth the price.
This is the complete launch line-up for the Nintendo Switch’s first year. This hurts hardcore Nintendo fans more than those who are casually interested in a gaming system, because at least five of those games either had a Wii U version or are flat-out coming to the Wii U as well.
Confirmed Launch Games
- The Legend of Zelda – Breath of the Wild – Also coming to Wii U.
- 1,2, Switch – Appears to be the new “Wii Sports” game, but doesn’t come bundled with the console.
- Skylanders: Imaginators – The toys-to-life fad is fading fast and Skylanders’ appeal is lacking.
- Just Dance 2017 – Great casual title for casual gamers, but every Nintendo console gets it.
- Super Bomberman – Unique title, great job.
Super Mario Odyssey looks like an interesting mix of Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy, but it should have been a launch title when you look at how abysmal the rest of the line-up is for the Switch. There’s plenty to be excited about for JRPG fans with new Shin Megami Tensei, new Fire Emblem, new Xenoblade, but what about a new HD Monster Hunter from Capcom? New Smash? New Metroid? New Donkey Kong? No? Okay then. Guess I’ll wait for the inevitable holiday bundle sale when those games are actually out.
3. The Nintendo Switch Accessories are waaaay too expensive.
Alongside the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo is making sure you can easily replace any part that might go missing or get broken. You’ll be able to buy Joy-Con controllers, Pro controllers, a new dock, and even individual Joy-Con controllers should one of your set get broken somehow. That’s great news for people with kids, but what isn’t great news is how much these controllers cost.
- Joy-Con Controller pair – $79.99
- Single L or R Joy-Con Controller – $49.99
- Joy-Con charging grip – $29.99
- Nintendo Switch Pro controller – $69.99
- Nintendo Switch dock – $89.99
Now, all of this except the Pro controller will come included in the first $299 purchase, but if you decide you want any additional accessories these are the prices you’ll be paying. That’s outrageous when you consider that both Sony and Microsoft also offer additional controllers for $59.99. Once again, Nintendo is charging a premium because its system is portable.
4. Joy-Con HD Rumble is another Wii-like gimmick.
I may be alone in my assessment here, but watching the presentation where the Japanese guy waits forever to get a glass of water poured felt like watching a Tim and Eric sketch rather than something an actual company put together to sell their product.
Ask any gamer whether or not they like using the motion controls featured in the Wii and the Wii U and you’ll probably hear, “Not really, they ruined Skyward Sword and I hate that game because of it.” It’s not surprising that motion controls are not fun, considering we don’t have 1:1 movement with our control tracking methods. What is surprising is that Nintendo is doubling down on the motion control gimmick when gamers have been screaming for years for them to stop.
Haven’t you always wanted to have a fake shoot-out with a Wii remote? Ever wanted to milk a cow with one? Now you can. Thanks, Nintendo Switch.
5. Nintendo Switch launching with no game included.
This is a first for Nintendo and one of the things that makes me so wary about the Nintendo Switch despite being excited for the portable aspect of the console. The Wii sold so well because Wii Sports came with it and it was an excellent example of what to expect from the Wii console.
Gather friends around and have fun playing golf or bowling! It makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is why Nintendo is leaving 1,2, Switch out of any bundles for the console when it’s clear that this is the game that Nintendo intends to showcase how awesome and amazing that new HD Rumble feature is. Except you have to pay $49.99 for a bunch of party games you’ll only play a few times when your friends ask you if you have the new Nintendo console.
6. $299 is too much when competitors offer more for the same price.
Going into the presentation I was hyped for the Nintendo Switch. I still absolutely love the concept of being able to play a game on the TV and then take it with me if I need to go somewhere. I’m sold on that concept. But what I’m not sold on is the price for what Nintendo has shown.
The launch line-up is extremely sparse and the only title that really interests me is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. That game is coming to the Wii U which is currently collecting dust underneath my TV. For casual gamers looking for a new console the choice is even harder when looking at the competition.
The PlayStation Slim and Xbox One S are regularly available for much less than $299 with several games included. The online play works well and aside from a few exclusives, both of these consoles are guaranteed to get most third-party games from publishers like Activision, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, and Bethesda.
If you disagree, that’s absolutely fine. I’m more than willing to hear your arguments in the comments below. Please remain civil and refrain from name-calling and childish rants. If your comment wouldn’t be approved over at r/wholesomemes, it won’t be approved here. Our positive article for reasons why you should consider getting a Nintendo switch is forthcoming.