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Nintendo Switch: Home Console/Handheld Hybrid (Updated)


48 replies to this topic

#1
Poe Dameron

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Guys... I think they nailed this.

 

 

I'll cop to being an old Nintendo fanboy, but I've let my membership lapse by not buying a Wii U.  Seeing this though, I can't think of anything bad to say.  I'll have to get my hands on those controllers, and one can only guess about the battery life, but from what we can see, this is rather remarkable.  I had my doubts about the home console/handheld hybrid, but, aside from a larger than a handheld is used to, I'm not really seeing all that many compromises.  The games look good.  From what I'm gathering, it can handle anything current-generation.  So porting will be pretty easy until Sony and Microsoft do a full next-gen update.

 

Everything around it seems well-executed.  The aesthetics are very modern and slick.  I think it's one of the best-looking consoles Nintendo's made.  It looks as though they're incorporating several different ways to play, including insta-multiplayer by sharing the two side of the controller (brilliant if it's comfortable) and an old-school legacy controller.  The branding seems perfect.  Switch is a great name for the console, says exactly what the core idea is.  No one is going to be embarrassed to own this thing.

 

I can totally see kids bringing this to school and playing with their friends during lunch.  Games like Pokemon, Spatoon, Mario Kart, Smash Bros., etc. with console quality graphics in group settings?  It could potentially become a phenomenon.  Yeah, Sony's already tried going high-end for handheld, but Nintendo still has solid credibility in the handheld market and know how to sell games for them like no one else.

 

There can be flaws that we're not seeing in a 3 minute video and I could look silly for saying this by next Christmas.  But this doesn't feel like a gimmick like the Wii remote.  This seems like a solid designing and marketing choice that fell into their lap by technology finally being ready for the leap (including the triumphant return of cartridges).  I really think that Nintendo combining home consoles and handhelds into a single market is absolutely the right idea that can be Wii-level huge if they release two or three killer apps in the next year.  They just need to develop the games to sell it.

 

At this point in my life, I'm a causal gamer AT BEST.  And I think that's still the most lucrative market that the phones and tablets are quickly gobbling up.  This thing seems made for us and could beat back the encroachment.

 

I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Sony and Microsoft outright emulating Nintendo on and adding portable capabilities and returning cartridges two years from now.



#2
Cashmere

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Looks pretty cool. I already have a Wii U and 3DS, so I can't imagine why I'd need it though. As far as group gaming, we really only play Mario Kart and Smash Bros. I'm not much of a solo gamer, but I get my fix on 3DS. I wish they'd bring back Mario Party though. The most recent installment was clearly designed solely to sell Amibos and not for actually playing it.

#3
Driver

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If it works as advertised, that seamlessly, that small of a unit hitting the resolution on a big screen, this is a super game-changer for sure.

#4
El Chalupacabra

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I think the technology of the device is pretty awesome.  However, here are a few thoughts:

 

Seems like something they tried, and failed, to do with Wii U/

 

 It drives home the fact Nintendo still wants to force players to buy their portable platforms.  Why spend all this money on R&D  when they can go subscription based, and produce games that can play off of any smart phone or tablet?  

 

 Also just makes the NES Classic look that much lamer ( at first I thought it was pretty sweet, but more and more I thought about it, not so much), because it proves they have the technology to have made it better, like have ability to come with or download additional games, including SNES, N64, maybe even gamecube or wii etc, etc. 

 

It just seems to me like it is almost a constant in life that almost ANYTHING that is a hybrid is basically a compromise: it does everything adequately, yet doesn't excel in anything.  There is always something that just falls short and it ends of just not pleasing anyone fully.  

 

It comes off as a little gimmicky.  I can't imagine me ever owning one.  Then again, that probably means it will sell like a MFer!



#5
Poe Dameron

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It comes off as a little gimmicky.

 

I disagree.  This did not feel like a gimmick at all.  It felt like a solid utilitarian value-added function.  It's simple and useful.  The Wii Remote was certainly a gimmick.  The Wii U Gamepad was certainly a gimmick.  The 3DS was certainly a gimmick, as was the dual screen and touch screen (though obviously that gimmick proved to be gold).

 

If anything, I thought it was remarkable how focused and uncluttered a concept it really was.  There's doesn't appear to be a touchscreen for one thing.  The central Wii U concept and the DS's bread and butter appears to have been intentionally abandoned for simplicity's sake and there are no delusions that this will function as a tablet.  If you never took the Switch out of its television dock, it seems like you'll have a gaming experience little different than you'd find on a PS4.  All of the bells and whistles seem to be there to simplify the gaming experience.  The "Joy-Con" controllers look brilliantly designed to be pick up in all their multi-functionality (and you have the Pro Controller if that's not good enough).

 

Unlike with motion controls or the touchpad, developers won't need to accommodate some extraneous functionality they probably don't want to deal with in order to justify games on this system.  If you know how to make a PS4 game, then you basically know how to make a Nintendo Switch game.

 

This is why I'm suggesting it could become an industry standard.  At its heart, it's a very simple idea like memory backup, analog functionality, controller feedback, or online multiplayer.  This could well be something that gamers never knew they always wanted.  If the home console market could be merged with the handheld/cell/tablet markets, that would be a HUGE shot in the arm for the industry and a way to gain back control of marketshare that tablets and smartphones are occupying.

 

 

 

It just seems to me like it is almost a constant in life that almost ANYTHING that is a hybrid is basically a compromise

 

Again, I'm just going by the video, but that's why I was surprised by this.  I thought the same thing when I heard the idea.  But seeing the proof of concept video, I'm thinking that Nintendo has done a very good job of eliminating the compromises that you'd expect.  I'm sure there are some hardware compromises in order to fit it into the small device, but we've reached a point of diminishing returns on graphical improvements anyway.  Graphical design is much more important than graphical power these days.  The important thing is that it looks like a very solid home console experience and it looks like a well-designed handheld system.  Both look like they're completely "pick up and play".

 

It still has to prove itself.  Will it really perform at near PS4 levels?  Will it have a battery life beyond 15 minutes?  Will Nintendo jack it up by not having enough games for it or messing up some basic gaming functionality (online multiplayer)?  Will the 3rd parties support it?  We need to see.

 

But if they pull this off, then Nintendo's got a massive winner on their hands.



#6
El Chalupacabra

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When I say it seems gimmicky, I mean it seems that way to me, as I was explaining why I wouldn't be buying one. I'm like you, a casual gamer, if that.  It's a thing I might do for 10 minutes or so, once a month, if that, and even then, it's old games.   At the same time, I think it is pretty cool technology.   And as to it being a big seller,  it probably will  be. I didn't mean it will be gimmicky to everyone. 

 

As far as hybrids are concerned, we'll see how it compares when competitors come out, or even existing consoles.  Nintendo's graphics have lagged the competition for the last decade or so. We'll see if people prefer portability over graphic quality, and I have the feeling that this new offering by Nintendo will still lag existing Xbox and Playstation dedicated consoles, and we will see how it fares if/when the competition offer their versions of Switch. Or, maybe we have reached a level where graphics are good enough. In that case, what happens when (not if!) game manufacturers offer their games for smart phones, and third party companies offer controllers that snap onto the smart phones?  That's all I am saying.



#7
Poe Dameron

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Or, maybe we have reached a level where graphics are good enough. In that case, what happens when (not if!) game manufacturers offer their games for smart phones, and third party companies offer controllers that snap onto the smart phones?  That's all I am saying.

 

We're getting there pretty quick (though I have my doubts about snap-on controllers).  Even Nintendo is beginning to release Apps for smartphones and tablets, so even the king of console exclusivity is bowing to the future.  Casual gaming is pretty heavily done on phones already.  That's a lot of what I like about this.  It cuts directly into that market.  As I said, I can easily seeing high school kids sitting around in a circle playing a game of Smash Bros., Pokemon, Mario Party, or Mario Kart every afternoon during lunch.

 

It's an attempt to become the high-end part of that very market.  And, of course, the Nintendo IPs remain very potent when it comes to mobile gaming (see Pokemon Go).



#8
Brando

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If it works as well as presented, it will likely be a game changer. If it is limited by a short battery life or for some reason not all games are compatible with the portable features (not sure why this would happen, but we don't really have details) then it is just a gimmick and Nintendo suffers greatly.

#9
Poe Dameron

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Pretty much what I've been thinking about this as explained by a off-brand muppet.

 

 

And cuteness:

 

CvOLVNCWgAEh-zr.jpg



#10
Odine

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I find it more interesting the dude is playing Skyrim on a Nintendo. 



#11
Poe Dameron

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Okay, with 2 months to go until launch, Nintendo's finally given us some real details beyond a proof-of-concept trailer.

 

 



#12
Poe Dameron

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Thoughts on the reveals:

 

Positives:

  • March 3 launch. Speculation centered around March 17.  So we're like 7 weeks away from launch already, which is rather nuts.
  • Legend of Zelda looks amazing.  We already knew, but the trailer again adds excitement.
  • Splatoon 2.  Nintendo's newest IP is already getting a full sequel.
  • No region lock.  Feel free to import any game you want.
  • Super Mario Odyssey looks solid.
  • 1-2, Switch looks like it could be an awesome party game.  Yay for bringing back Wild Gunman!  Though I did think Red Dead Redemption for just a moment there.
  • Arms also looks like fun.
  • I liked the little wrist attachments that go with the Joy-Cons.  Clever way to upsize the controllers a bit for instant multiplayer.  Good idea to have the multicolored SKU as well.
  • Xenoblade 2 is near the top of my list.
  • No More Heroes 3 (or whatever it's called).  Gotta love a series that's all about a guy who buys a lightsaber online and decides to become an assassin to buy wrestling videos.  Though the Suda 51 segment should probably be in the negatives since it was awful.

Negatives:

  • $299 price tag.  $50 more than I thought it would be.  Not a deal-breaker, but disappointing that they couldn't hit that mainstream price.  The accessories are also pretty expensive ($70 for pro controller).
  • The 3rd Party section was a bit disappointing even with Nintendo mainly plugging their own products.
  • No pack in game.  Not too surprising since you don't need an entry level game like Wii Sports, but still disappointing.
  • Didn't see anything about Virtual Console.
  • I'm reading that online play is going to be subscription based, which means I won't be playing online (not too much of a loss to be honest).
  • Battery life seems to vary, but the most intensive games might be under 3 hours.  Could be a significant problem.
  • Smash Bros. and Mario Kart are supposed to have upgraded ports from Wii U, which no one bought, but neither got dates, and I didn't even see a Smash Bros. mention.

Not sure:

  • 1-2, Switch and Arms felt almost like throwbacks to Wii games.  I personally liked Wii, but I'm a bit surprised they're going back there again.  Guess they're still going after casuals.
  • Super Mario Odyssey is being described as more of a sandbox game like Mario 64 and Mario Sunshine.  I know a lot of people were pulling for that after the last few 3D games on Wii U and 3DS, but I personally would have preferred if they just went back a tad to where they were with Mario Galaxy.  I thought that was a great compromise that created great platform mechanics and let you run around and explore a bit.
  • Project: Octopath Travler wins the award for most random game title.  I kinda like the art style for a JRPG though.



#13
Dark Wader

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Not sure:

  • 1-2, Switch and Arms felt almost like throwbacks to Wii games.  I personally liked Wii, but I'm a bit surprised they're going back there again.  Guess they're still going after casuals.

I'm a little surprised too but I think it's an example of how they see the Switch as a refinement of the Nintendo consoles. They see it as a device where some will use it for your average gaming and some to use it socially at parties or wherever, or both. They don't seem to be pushing developers into using the motion controls so hopefully they'll have a better balance of hardcore and party games. 

 

I'm really excited for this console, I just hope Nintendo is able to bring in and keep more developers. The potential is there, hopefully it can live up to it. 



#14
Poe Dameron

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I'm a little surprised too but I think it's an example of how they see the Switch as a refinement of the Nintendo consoles. They see it as a device where some will use it for your average gaming and some to use it socially at parties or wherever, or both. They don't seem to be pushing developers into using the motion controls so hopefully they'll have a better balance of hardcore and party games.

 

I noticed that.  They come out with these two games that could have featured for the Wii as their two big surprise reveals, but absolutely no one else is using motion controls in a major way as far as I can tell.

 

1-2 Switch is basically a party game compilation of mini-games.  Maybe it's your thing, maybe it's not.  A harmless title either way that could just as easily been branded with a Mario Party theme.

 

Arms is getting some positive buzz from what I can see.  Though I do wish they had mapped the movement out onto the joystick.  Using motion controls for the arms looks like fun, but using it for getting around will probably be more frustrating than anything else.

 

As far as balance goes, their announced games are fairly balanced.  For casual you do have 1-2 Switch and Arms.  For general audiences you have Splatoon 2, Mario Odyssey, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.  And for the more serious gamers you've got Zelda Breath of the Wild and Xenoblade 2.  Plus I think that Pokemon Stars game will make it out this year.  That's a fair list of 1st year games across categories I think.  Hopefully Xenoblade 2 doesn't get pushed back (though I wouldn't bet on it).

 

 

 

I'm really excited for this console, I just hope Nintendo is able to bring in and keep more developers. The potential is there, hopefully it can live up to it.

 

Honestly, I don't know if 3rd parties ever matter when it comes to the success of a Nintendo system.  Check out the Wii's list of best-selling games.  You have to go all the way to #18 before you find a 3rd party game (Just Dance 2), unless you want to count the Mario/Sonic collaborations with Sega.  3DS you have to go to #12.  DS you have to go to #15.  All three were highly successful #1 selling systems, and all three had plenty of 3rd party support (at least through the first part of Wii's cycle).

 

I tend to believe that people have things backwards when it comes to 3rd party developers and Nintendo's success.  3rd parties don't make Nintendo systems a success because they can't.  For many reasons, Nintendo will always dominate their own sales charts whether the system is a flop or a runaway success.  But, if the system is a runaway success, then there is room for profit even with Nintendo taking the lion's share, so 3rd parties sign up.

 

BTW, that's why Nintendo keeps ignoring investor cries to go 3rd party.  There is so much more money to be made as a whale than there is as one of a hundred companies pouring money into games praying that it gets noticed.



#15
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Oh I agree 100% - I buy Nintendo for their games, and pretty much that alone. But at the same time, I'd still love to see some more third party games & developers come along to the party as well, that maybe haven't come along in recent years. But it won't be make or break for it. 



#16
RamonAtila

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I think they nailed the console, and Zelda, but NOT Mario. I think they screwed the pooch on Mario. Not very Mario-y at all.



#17
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reminds me what they tried to do with the Mario Bros. movie in the early 90s. People said Sunshine was bad, but I loved Sunshine. Nowhere near as un-characteristic as Odyssey. To give it a chance I'll have to take it as an allusion to the urban style of the original Donkey Kong game 



#18
Dark Wader

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It did give me some flashbacks of some of the older 3D Sonic games....but it's Nintendo developing it, not just anyone. I'm confident it'll be another home run. 



#19
Poe Dameron

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It's only one level, not the concept for the whole game.  Most of the trailer's got your usual bright Mario color scheme and squash and stretch enemies.



#20
RamonAtila

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I believe the city is the hub world. Why couldn't they just make the hub world the.mushroom kingdom? Anyway it's.not like I can resist the urge to.buy it anyway

#21
Poe Dameron

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I don't think there actually is a hub world.  It looks like the giant hat directly transports you between levels.  You can see it on the ground in at least three different worlds.  My guess is that the big globe that you see in front of it opens up into a map and you just point to where you want to go.

 

I could be wrong.  Nintendo hasn't had a proper hub world since Rosalina's planet in the original Mario Galaxy I think.



#22
RamonAtila

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Oh so they're going super Mario Bros 3

#23
Poe Dameron

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They could handle it a few different ways including that.  Mario Galaxy 2 was pretty close to it.



#24
Jacen123

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I miss the hub worlds.  I always really enjoyed just exploring those and jumping around them even when I had already explored them.  Not having one was one of the very few faults Galaxy 2 had for me.



#25
Dark Wader

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Man I can't wait for Zelda, just over a month away. I love all the Zelda games and think they are all fantastic, but I think this one has the potential to go up against Ocarina of Time's mantle. 





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