Nintendo’s Switch presentation effectively did its job. I was excited about the Switch by the time the show ended. When the system was originally announced as the NX I didn’t care to know more. The rumors didn’t do much for me, but when I learned it was a console/handheld hybrid I found myself more interested. After the Switch reveal in 2016 I knew that it would be a replacement for my 3DS, yes I do believe the Switch marks the beginning of the end for the 3DS even if Nintendo says otherwise. After the full presentation I’m actively excited that the Switch IS a replacement for my 3DS. Another console simply going head-to-head with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One would have been a disaster for Nintendo. The Switch is a way more interesting system and serves as a complement to the competition. (I certainly wouldn’t own the Switch to the exclusion of a PS4 or XB1.) In many ways, I feel this what people originally wanted from the Wii U and perhaps what the Wii U SHOULD have been.
One major point of contention among gamers is the price point of $300—I personally see it as a non-issue. While many gaming pundits insisted the price is too expensive and that $200 to $250 would have been better, $300 for a brand new system isn’t an unreasonable price. Especially as former US Gamer Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Parish succinctly points out, the capacitive touch screen and haptic motion controllers aren’t cheap to manufacture. People unrealistically expected all of this and more from the system at an incredibly low price. To be fair, New 3DS XL bundles (if you can find them) sell for close to or over $300, and before the holidays a New 3DS cost around $200, and this is a handheld that was released in 2011. Nintendo may be big, but even they can’t afford to sell a brand new console/hybrid at such a huge loss. I do agree the accessories ARE expensive, but It’s not like the Switch won’t function without them. One can also argue that 32GB of storage is paltry and having to buy special SDXC cards are a hidden cost. That said, I’d rather have a more affordable console with the option to use any SDXC card manufacturer of my choice instead of being forced to buy proprietary storage.
If we’re going to be honest, the price of a system (high or low) doesn’t matter if a new system doesn’t have a respectable software lineup. On this front, the Switch’s launch window is somewhat sparse with only a handful of games, but a giant like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an impressive launch title. More games will trickle out throughout the year and I suspect sentiments toward the Switch will be very different at the end of 2017. Personally, I was not expecting the large variety of games that appealed directly to me. Many of the games are still in development, but quite a few titles caught my eye. This includes a new Shim Megami Tensei game (possibly V?), Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Project Octopath Travelers, Fire Emblem Warriors, Skyrim (hopefully this version includes all the DLC), and so much more. While some of these games are coming out in 2017, expect the bulk of them to arrive in 2018 and beyond. I’m pleased with the prospect of owning a Switch down the line, especially when all of those titles in development are actually released (hopefully none of them are cancelled).
The Switch is the first console I’ve been excited about in a long time, thanks to its handheld hybrid nature. Although, I’m not optimistically blind to the reasons to be worried about or critical of the Switch. This is the perfect opportunity to restart work on my backlog. The Switch may be arriving on March 3, but I don’t realistically plan to have one until early 2018. This gives me some time to put a dent in the games I own and haven’t finished or played. (I guess I’ll be joining Drew for Four in February.) Thanks Nintendo for releasing a system that has my blood pumping. 2017 and beyond is going to be exciting for gaming.