Nintendo Switches it up

Original Poster
Joined: Jun 2002
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Nintendo's new console is coming out this year.

Behold, the Switch

I think this is much less likely to flop than the Wii-U was. The marketing is much better, it's got a flagship franchise installment releasing with it (Zelda), they're embracing standards (USB-C cords to charge it, standard microSDs for storage), and no region locking!

Most significantly, it's not really a console. It's a handheld with attachments that lets you play on your TV, and their handheld systems are the one area they've consistently done well in.

They may not admit it to themselves, but this is a way for them to bow out of the console race without losing face.
Jan 18, 2017 5:49 PM
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You know, I never got the sense that they were trying to directly compete in the same specific arena as XBox and Playstationm especially with the success of the Wii and how different it was comparatively, but consoles are consoles. It's all really the same race. I appreciate that Nintendo is still trying to differentiate since they're not really going for sheer horsepower. They still have the titles to garner a pretty good presence, so for people loyal to that (like myself), I'm good with it. Wish they'd get a larger list of supported titles, though.
Jan 18, 2017 7:04 PM
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neumdaddyYou know, I never got the sense that they were trying to directly compete in the same specific arena as XBox and Playstationm especially with the success of the Wii and how different it was comparatively, but consoles are consoles. It's all really the same race. I appreciate that Nintendo is still trying to differentiate since they're not really going for sheer horsepower. They still have the titles to garner a pretty good presence, so for people loyal to that (like myself), I'm good with it. Wish they'd get a larger list of supported titles, though.

They certainly haven't wanted to compete directly with Xbox and Playstation. But after all those casual Wii users moved on to smartphone games, they needed the core gaming market again, and those gamers were deciding between Xbox, Playstation, and Nintendo.

The Nintendo system most core gamers purchased was some version of the DS, as opposed to the Wii-U. That makes me a bit more optimistic about the Switch's prospects; it's their new super-powered handheld.

They just need to start marketing it that way.
Jan 18, 2017 7:40 PM
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They've still done some things that a lot of people would consider head scratchers: only 32 gigs of storage, really expensive peripherals, and charging for online (without showing they have a service ready that's competitive with what everyone else is doing). To be fair, I think micro SD is supported--although I guess that has its own issues--and the online service is going to be free for a good while before subscription kicks in. I also doubt it's going to get any more 3rd party support than Nintendo usually gets.

But I've been a sourpuss about Nintendo since the N64, so at this point I'm just mildly curious to see how they do.

Edit: I missed that you mentioned micro SD already. I was listening to some podcast (I don't remember which one) where they talked about how viable that might be when it comes to reliability and speed.
Jan 18, 2017 8:05 PM
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It doesn't seem like they want any sales to the group of people (like me) who want one console to serve all of their media functions (Bluray/DVD player, Netflix, etc).
Jan 18, 2017 8:49 PM
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It's interesting from the 'new mobile machine' perspective, but unfortunately it's Nintendo. That means what - Zelda, Mario, Smash Bros., Mario Kart, and a minute list of third party games. If they open up a marketplace for indie games that would be huge for them, because they will get some adopters that want to play games like Limbo or We Happy Few on the go with a nice screen and joysticks. But otherwise Nintendo software isn't close to moving a system for me.

they also clarified that with their paid online service, gamers will only get to play the 'free' retro games in a monthly offer for the month in which they're offered - it won't work like MS/Sony's system where you get to access those games as long as you downloaded them when offered and maintain your subscription. I think they'll change that, because fuck that.
Jan 18, 2017 9:09 PM
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SpasticNedIt's interesting from the 'new mobile machine' perspective, but unfortunately it's Nintendo. That means what - Zelda, Mario, Smash Bros., Mario Kart, and a minute list of third party games. If they open up a marketplace for indie games that would be huge for them, because they will get some adopters that want to play games like Limbo or We Happy Few on the go with a nice screen and joysticks. But otherwise Nintendo software isn't close to moving a system for me.

they also clarified that with their paid online service, gamers will only get to play the 'free' retro games in a monthly offer for the month in which they're offered - it won't work like MS/Sony's system where you get to access those games as long as you downloaded them when offered and maintain your subscription. I think they'll change that, because fuck that.

I'm convinced Nintendo execs have completely lost touch with the modern gaming market. At least outside of Japan. From the last article I linked to:


A Switch that was sold first and foremost as Nintendo's best portable console would also avoid unhelpful comparisons to the much more powerful (but similarly priced) home console competition in the Xbox One and PS4. Take, for instance, Randy Pitchford's weekend tweets to a fan asking about new Borderlands games on the Switch. Pitchford, the head at Gearbox Software, replied that older titles in the series could come to the system, but a Switch version of Borderlands 3 is probably out of the question. He hinted that the issue was not the game, but Nintendo: "They had other priorities."

It might be easier to court modern game makers by saying the Switch is a portable system first and foremost, thus hiding visual downgrades behind a 720p resolution. With its home use case in the lead, on the other hand, newer games like Borderlands 3 probably can't look nearly as good in that form as they can on the older XB1 or PS4 systems. Which would you rather sell: a low-cost portable console that offers the best way to play recent Borderlands games on the go, or a competitively priced home console that isn't powerful enough to play the newest Borderlands game at launch?
Jan 19, 2017 1:54 PM
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Paquito
SpasticNedIt's interesting from the 'new mobile machine' perspective, but unfortunately it's Nintendo. That means what - Zelda, Mario, Smash Bros., Mario Kart, and a minute list of third party games. If they open up a marketplace for indie games that would be huge for them, because they will get some adopters that want to play games like Limbo or We Happy Few on the go with a nice screen and joysticks. But otherwise Nintendo software isn't close to moving a system for me.

they also clarified that with their paid online service, gamers will only get to play the 'free' retro games in a monthly offer for the month in which they're offered - it won't work like MS/Sony's system where you get to access those games as long as you downloaded them when offered and maintain your subscription. I think they'll change that, because fuck that.

I'm convinced Nintendo execs have completely lost touch with the modern gaming market. At least outside of Japan. From the last article I linked to:


A Switch that was sold first and foremost as Nintendo's best portable console would also avoid unhelpful comparisons to the much more powerful (but similarly priced) home console competition in the Xbox One and PS4. Take, for instance, Randy Pitchford's weekend tweets to a fan asking about new Borderlands games on the Switch. Pitchford, the head at Gearbox Software, replied that older titles in the series could come to the system, but a Switch version of Borderlands 3 is probably out of the question. He hinted that the issue was not the game, but Nintendo: "They had other priorities."

It might be easier to court modern game makers by saying the Switch is a portable system first and foremost, thus hiding visual downgrades behind a 720p resolution. With its home use case in the lead, on the other hand, newer games like Borderlands 3 probably can't look nearly as good in that form as they can on the older XB1 or PS4 systems. Which would you rather sell: a low-cost portable console that offers the best way to play recent Borderlands games on the go, or a competitively priced home console that isn't powerful enough to play the newest Borderlands game at launch?

I agree completely - they should market it as a portable that you can plug into a tv. It's crazy that it's being marketed as a home console, which does nothing modern consoles do like play movies or otherwise provide any media functionality or have modern graphics. But hey, maybe it will get older borderland games...lol.
Jan 19, 2017 4:17 PM
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I'm no against the thing but I have no idea what niche this is supposed to fill. I mean, a midrange tablet with two cheap Bluetooth controllers has access to a bigger software library immediately and no upcoming online charges - and it's a tablet. If you want to connect it to your TV, a PlayStation or Xbox are better options. And it's not cheap.
Jan 20, 2017 1:28 AM
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theVictorianI'm no against the thing but I have no idea what niche this is supposed to fill. I mean, a midrange tablet with two cheap Bluetooth controllers has access to a bigger software library immediately and no upcoming online charges - and it's a tablet. If you want to connect it to your TV, a PlayStation or Xbox are better options. And it's not cheap.

The fact that the controllers attach to it is a significant difference. It makes playing stuff like Skyrim on the move much more viable than if you had a regular tablet & a bluetooth controller. There's that, and there's the usual console perk of having a standard control set & hardware/software specs that many different game developers can optimize around.

The Switch has a lot of potential. Realizing that potential involves Nintendo doing things that it's historically been terrible at, like encouraging third-party support.
Jan 20, 2017 3:53 PM
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I think Vic has a good point - if this were a 'Nintendo Tablet', more people would be paying attention.


720p graphics(even on a tv), no touchscreen, no mentioned easy web browsing/email/etc. - this is a last gen(last last gen, it seems) console with a gimmicky controller setup and portable screen(is it touch at least?) ?There's actually tablets running windows 10 that are significantly cheaper than this...I don't know, I think this is going to be a tough sell in today's market beyond the initial Nintendo groupies splurge.

And - how could they not have some awesome Pokemon game to launch with this thing? The new portable system can't capture the portable gold of Go in any way to push launch units??
Jan 20, 2017 4:34 PM
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theVictorianI'm no against the thing but I have no idea what niche this is supposed to fill. I mean, a midrange tablet with two cheap Bluetooth controllers has access to a bigger software library immediately and no upcoming online charges - and it's a tablet. If you want to connect it to your TV, a PlayStation or Xbox are better options. And it's not cheap.

The fact that the controllers attach to it is a significant difference. It makes playing stuff like Skyrim on the move much more viable than if you had a regular tablet & a bluetooth controller. There's that, and there's the usual console perk of having a standard control set & hardware/software specs that many different game developers can optimize around.

The Switch has a lot of potential. Realizing that potential involves Nintendo doing things that it's historically been terrible at, like encouraging third-party support.

Who's clamoring to play Skyrim on this thing? Anybody?
Jan 20, 2017 4:44 PM
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Paris the Goat
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theVictorianI'm no against the thing but I have no idea what niche this is supposed to fill. I mean, a midrange tablet with two cheap Bluetooth controllers has access to a bigger software library immediately and no upcoming online charges - and it's a tablet. If you want to connect it to your TV, a PlayStation or Xbox are better options. And it's not cheap.

The fact that the controllers attach to it is a significant difference. It makes playing stuff like Skyrim on the move much more viable than if you had a regular tablet & a bluetooth controller. There's that, and there's the usual console perk of having a standard control set & hardware/software specs that many different game developers can optimize around.

The Switch has a lot of potential. Realizing that potential involves Nintendo doing things that it's historically been terrible at, like encouraging third-party support.

Who's clamoring to play Skyrim on this thing? Anybody?

I dunno about Skyrim, but fans of Borderlands 3 seemed excited about the possibility of playing it on the go with the Switch.

re: SpasticNed, while they don't have a Pokemon game at launch, they are launching it with a Zelda game, which should be a system seller.
Jan 20, 2017 5:01 PM
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Paris the Goat
Paquito
theVictorianI'm no against the thing but I have no idea what niche this is supposed to fill. I mean, a midrange tablet with two cheap Bluetooth controllers has access to a bigger software library immediately and no upcoming online charges - and it's a tablet. If you want to connect it to your TV, a PlayStation or Xbox are better options. And it's not cheap.

The fact that the controllers attach to it is a significant difference. It makes playing stuff like Skyrim on the move much more viable than if you had a regular tablet & a bluetooth controller. There's that, and there's the usual console perk of having a standard control set & hardware/software specs that many different game developers can optimize around.

The Switch has a lot of potential. Realizing that potential involves Nintendo doing things that it's historically been terrible at, like encouraging third-party support.

Who's clamoring to play Skyrim on this thing? Anybody?

I dunno about Skyrim, but fans of Borderlands 3 seemed excited about the possibility of playing it on the go with the Switch.

re: SpasticNed, while they don't have a Pokemon game at launch, they are launching it with a Zelda game, which should be a system seller.

I haven't played 'modern' nintendo games since I think Mario Galaxy 1/2 on the Wii...is Zelda a big thing with people not in their mid thirties?

edit: I mean I get it, it's zelda, and it's getting a ton of attention, and probably always will. I guess I just don't see it as a something cross-generational. There were 40 year old guys playing Pokemon with their 12 year olds, and it made like 10 billion dollars last year. Just seems like a miss to not do something to tie in at launch for the kid market.
Jan 20, 2017 5:06 PM
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SpasticNed
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Paris the Goat
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theVictorianI'm no against the thing but I have no idea what niche this is supposed to fill. I mean, a midrange tablet with two cheap Bluetooth controllers has access to a bigger software library immediately and no upcoming online charges - and it's a tablet. If you want to connect it to your TV, a PlayStation or Xbox are better options. And it's not cheap.

The fact that the controllers attach to it is a significant difference. It makes playing stuff like Skyrim on the move much more viable than if you had a regular tablet & a bluetooth controller. There's that, and there's the usual console perk of having a standard control set & hardware/software specs that many different game developers can optimize around.

The Switch has a lot of potential. Realizing that potential involves Nintendo doing things that it's historically been terrible at, like encouraging third-party support.

Who's clamoring to play Skyrim on this thing? Anybody?

I dunno about Skyrim, but fans of Borderlands 3 seemed excited about the possibility of playing it on the go with the Switch.

re: SpasticNed, while they don't have a Pokemon game at launch, they are launching it with a Zelda game, which should be a system seller.

I haven't played 'modern' nintendo games since I think Mario Galaxy 1/2 on the Wii...is Zelda a big thing with people not in their mid thirties??

Nintendo first party games are consistently good and have high production value. And the new Zelda is the first truly open world game in the franchise, it's shaping up to be pretty amazing.
Jan 20, 2017 5:12 PM
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Paquito
SpasticNed
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Paris the Goat
Paquito
theVictorianI'm no against the thing but I have no idea what niche this is supposed to fill. I mean, a midrange tablet with two cheap Bluetooth controllers has access to a bigger software library immediately and no upcoming online charges - and it's a tablet. If you want to connect it to your TV, a PlayStation or Xbox are better options. And it's not cheap.

The fact that the controllers attach to it is a significant difference. It makes playing stuff like Skyrim on the move much more viable than if you had a regular tablet & a bluetooth controller. There's that, and there's the usual console perk of having a standard control set & hardware/software specs that many different game developers can optimize around.

The Switch has a lot of potential. Realizing that potential involves Nintendo doing things that it's historically been terrible at, like encouraging third-party support.

Who's clamoring to play Skyrim on this thing? Anybody?

I dunno about Skyrim, but fans of Borderlands 3 seemed excited about the possibility of playing it on the go with the Switch.

re: SpasticNed, while they don't have a Pokemon game at launch, they are launching it with a Zelda game, which should be a system seller.

I haven't played 'modern' nintendo games since I think Mario Galaxy 1/2 on the Wii...is Zelda a big thing with people not in their mid thirties??

Nintendo first party games are consistently good and have high production value. And the new Zelda is the first truly open world game in the franchise, it's shaping up to be pretty amazing.

Is it a system mover for you? ?
I agree on the quality of their games, and if it's open world then that speaks to me. But personally buying a launch system for it,with nothing else but those same new versions of games on the future menu? It would have to be so amazing compared to all the other open world games it's now in league with. I even like the old-school style of Zelda for portable gaming, and have the Adventure Time Zelda clone on my Vita.?
Jan 20, 2017 5:48 PM
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And if you aren't that into Zelda this has nothing for you.
Jan 20, 2017 5:50 PM
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SpasticNedIs it a system mover for you? ?

Eh, I'm a weird case. I don't invest the time into playing games I used to; I read more about the industry than I actually play. But I was a big Nintendo fan way back when, and this new Zelda title is the first one in a while that really interests me. I still don't know if that's enough for me to get me to buy this at launch though.

Like you and Paris are saying, at launch they're still only enticing their base. I suppose they want to see more initial sales from their base of the Switch than they did of the Wii-U, and then work to expand that their market share going forward.
Jan 20, 2017 6:00 PM
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The weirdest thing I'm hearing is that voice chat will be handled through a smart phone app; that is just super puzzling.
Jan 20, 2017 9:41 PM
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DefaultThe weirdest thing I'm hearing is that voice chat will be handled through a smart phone app; that is just super puzzling.

Each person will have a unique 10 digit code that you can key in to your phone that will allow you to talk to that other person if they choose to respond to a notification that you'd like to chat. They're still working on a name for the service.
Jan 20, 2017 11:11 PM
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