Despite growing up with Nintendo, I’m not a Nintendo fanboy or even really a big fan…but the Nintendo Switch has us all talking.
Look, Nintendo conned me once before with the Wii. Okay, so “con” might be kind of an exaggeration. I loved my Wii. I loved playing it…for about a year. After that it just sat collecting dust because there were few games that interested me after I got bored of playing Wii Sports.
The Wii got my attention with a great gimmick and at first glance, the new Nintendo Switch looks to try and do the same thing.
The Nintendo Switch
The long-awaited debut of the Nintendo Switch had the interest abuzz. Would Nintendo go back to the “wave you arms” well? Would they come up with something new? Is it a handled or a home console?
Surprisingly enough, it’s a little bit of “all the above.”
The Switch’s claim to fame so far is that it doubles as a tablet-sized handheld and can then dock to become a home console for your TV. Smart move. Next, the controller essentially detaches and splits into two parts so it can be used as a normal controller or even two controllers for two separate players. Very cool, very neat…that honestly solves a problem we all have.
Technically, I don’t know exactly what’s under the hood and that doesn’t really matter. Is it fast? Sure. Is it faster than the PS4 or Xbox One? Probably not but it doesn’t have to be. What matters is games and Nintendo makes some very good games that play to their audience…but can the Switch break Nintendo’s first-party curse?
The NES and SNES were flush with third-party games which is why kids like myself fell in love with it. The Wii failed to bring in many non-Nintendo franchises and it suffered because of it. It’s the one reason why my Wii is still tucked away in a box somewhere.
Will the Switch have awesome new Mario and Zelda games? Of course but what about those of us that aren’t big fans of the plumber and his friends? Why should we by the Switch?
Maybe the answer is we shouldn’t. And that’s okay…but then we shouldn’t be surprised when Nintendo gets a big initial splash but falls short in the hardware market once again.
I’m sure the Switch has some surprises left to tout…like a touch screen, or hologram laser or boombox or something. They’re not done, that I know. But hardware only goes so far when you’re trying to sell a game machine.
And look, I’m not saying I want to see Metal Gear on the Switch, okay? I don’t know what type of games I want to see…I want to see new games, fun games. I’m not looking for the same old games I can play on Sony or Microsoft, or even the same old Nintendo games (I mean, how many Smash Bros. games does a guy need?).
Nintendo does innovation well and the Switch is certainly that, and I hope their games do that too. I don’t mind buying another console for my home, which brings me to one last point.
I can buy a new PS4 or Xbox for under $300. That’s a lot of power and a lot of games for a really good price. If Nintendo doesn’t deliver on price, the Switch is dead before it even starts. And then instead of Nintendo getting more money out of me for their newest console, they’ll only get $60 out of me for the NES Mini.
Even though I’m not a big Nintendo fan anymore, I still love Nintendo. Mostly for nostalgia but also just because I like what Nintendo does, what they represent and how they do it. I really want them to give me a reason to buy the Switch but as of yet, I’m not convinced. We’ll see what the next 6-months bring.