Personally, I think the thing looks phenomenal. It's not perfect, I'll readily admit… I'm no Nintendo apologist. But it's basically what I wanted the Vita to be (a portable system that doubles as a console, rather than a portable system that kinda sorta supplements your console), it's virtually guaranteed to do gangbusters in Japan and therefore will receive good support from Japanese devs even if it doesn't do great elsewhere, and it just looks all-around awesome… so yeah, it's a knockout slam dunk hole-in-run touchdown for me.But for real though, it's got issues (and also some non-issues)… let's discuss, shall we?
Battery life of 2.5h to 6.5hPretty poor, no denying that. Not as absolutely abysmal as some people make it out to be, considering battery life of other such devices. (Honestly, how many of these whiners didn't bat an eye when they bought external battery packs for their phones during the Pokemon Go craze?)… but I'll concede that for true portability, it really ought to be comfortably above the 3 hour mark.At the same time, I don't personally care about this. Extra battery life would be nice, but in general I'm plugged in 90% of the time on my 3DS/Vita, even when playing outside of my own home. And worst case scenario, I do have a reasonably beefy external battery pack I could use if need be.
Pathetic launch lineup and not much else for the rest of the yearLaunch lineups almost always only have one or two games that are truly worthwhile, if you're lucky. The Switch has the definitive version of Breath of the Wild. Whether that's appealing to you or not will obviously play a large factor in whether the Switch is an enticing proposition on day one or whether you might want to wait a bit.…but wait for what? Out of the Switch's "80+" games currently in development, we know of 58:Lots of titles with TBD release dates, meaning that there isn't a whole lot in the immediate future. It'll be a sparse year, most likely. Consoles have gone through worse (Just look at PS3), so it's not "NINTENDOOMED"… but this is undeniably not good for the Switch. It's clear that Nintendo is trying to strategically space out its 1st party releases to try and maintain some momentum going forward towards 2018.Though once again, this issue personally doesn't bother me. I've got too many games as-is, and I won't even be sinking my teeth into any Switch titles until 2018. You might ask, why would I buy it now? Because I love the concept, and it's got games coming out in 2017 and beyond that I want… therefore I'm voting with my wallet and choosing to buy the Switch day one regardless.For the record, confirmed Switch games I'm currently interested in:Zelda: Breath of the WildMario Kart 8 DeluxeSplatoon 2Super Mario OdysseyXenoblade 2 (Subject to change after I play the original)Fire Emblem WarriorsNo More Heroes 3?Dragon Quest XIOctopath TravellerShin Megami Tensei VSyberia 3 (subject to change after I play Syberia 1/2)BlazBlueShovel Knight Treasure TroveRimeYooka-Laylee
It's too big to be portable and/or I have no need for a portable systemRegarding the size…Totally pocketable, albeit with you probably having to detach the joycons and store them in a separate pocket.Regarding the lack of a need for portability, I'm not buying it. I'm in my bedroom 99.9% of the time and I still find portability useful. Whether it's taking it with me on a trip out of town for the holidays, taking it over to a friend's house, reenacting game of porcelain thrones, curling up in bed with it like you might do with a good book, relinquishing the TV for other people to use, being able to easily transition between different TVs… there are tons of advantages to this system being portable. It's not just for people who travel frequently in a manner conducive to gaming.And unlike most portable systems, this thing seamlessly performs double-duty as a traditional game console instead of being stuffed in a drawer to be forgotten about. It might not be bleeding-edge, but it's what I would consider perfectly acceptable… There are PS3/360/WiiU games that still look excellent after all, if not quite to the same degree as their current-gen counterparts.
Those joycons look so tiny and uncomfortable!This is the one complaint that has me scratching my head the most, especially since so many people seem to dwell excessively on this point.Yes they're small. Yes they're probably not ideal (though by most accounts it sounds like they feel more comfortable than they look, at least with the strap attachment… and I personally think most people were far overblowing how uncomfortable they looked in the first place).Here's the thing though: They can't be big since they attach to the screen to form the portable mode, and the point of the isn't to be the ideal controller in the first place. They're just an easy surefire way to enable local multiplayer regardless of whether you have any extra real controllers. Though some games, like Arms, do make cute use of them as motion controllers… but games like those will be the exception, not the norm.Or in other words, you probably aren't gonna use them that way unless you want to.Non-issue for me because I probably won't hardly ever use them that way, and I have reasonably small hands even I did so it probably would be fine for me. Though for the record, I personally think Nintendo did just about the best job they reasonably could with the Switch's design and deserve more credit. It's truly remarkable how many different features and uses they packed into it, all the while managing to keep it super simple and intuitive.
Only 32 GB of storage?!Yessir, only 32 GB of storage.Is this bad? While more storage would always be appreciated, no not really. At most, it's a minor added expense for anyone who was hoping to go all-digital. You can get a 200 GB microSD card for less than the cost of one 32 GB Vita memory card Is this unexpected? Are you kidding… In a portable system where costs need to be low and where hard drives, while cheap, are far too impractical? Again, no. Not at all unexpected."B-b-but my PS4 had 500 GB and I ran out of space super quick! Nintendoomed!" Here's the thing… PS4 and Xbox One have slow Blu-ray drives. All games on those two consoles, including physical copies, install fully to said hard drive to help achieve optimal performance. Or in other words, those two consoles have made a design choice which creates an inherent need for that space… and possibly much more, depending on how many games you accumulate.Conversely, the Switch uses game cards. I can't claim to know the read/write speed of them, but they're almost certainly much better than the PS4 or XB1's Bluray read speed. Physical games on Switch won't have the same need of being installed that they do on PS4/XB1.Or in other words, 32 GB is a bit small but totally understandable, and it'll be a lot less of an issue than most people think unless they're planning to go fully digital.
Paid online service, that also requires a smartphone app? And we only get loaner 20-year-old games?There's no sugar coating it, Nintendo did a pretty poor job communicating this. And based on the information we know so far, this whole thing definitely reeks of "MS and Sony are getting away with it, so we'll have ourselves a piece of that pie too" rather than seeming reasonable and justifiable.But there are so many details we don't know (like pricing, for instance), so this is one of those things where it's probably best to reserve judgment until we know more. That being said, anyone using this as ammo against the Switch to argue in favor of the PS4 or XB1 is seriously daft.Regarding online functionality being handled via an iOS/Android app… well it's certainly a bit of an odd choice, and could potentially be problematic for anyone who doesn't happen to own such a device. But at the same time, I can kind of see what they're going for… There are Playstation and Xbox apps, so imagine that except more robust. It also frees the Switch's OS from having to handle those functions, which means it can potentially use less hardware resources… and in turn, make those extra resources available to games. But again, we know very little… and stacking assumptions on top of assumptions is never a good idea.Lastly, one thing we can wholeheartedly judge: Nintendo being super stingy with their ancient software. Take one glance at eShop prices and you'll realize that this is nothing new, but yeah… one NES or SNES game monthly? And it's only good for the month? Unless the online service is ridiculously cheap (Like, Pokemon Bank cheap… and includes Pokemon Bank as part of the service), this is ridiculously scrooge-tastic. Speaking of money…
$299? I could buy a PS4 or XB1 for that! With a bundled game included!Not really a fair comparison, though not for this reason Nintendo apologists like to use: "PS4 was $400 at launch, and Xbox One was $500" …Utter horseshit, the price that the PS4 and XB1 launched at are completely irrelevant. The only thing that matters is how much they cost alongside the Switch on store shelves.Why the comparison is actually unfair has less to do with launch prices, and more to do with the fact that Switch is a compact portable device whereas the PS4 and XB1 are big boxes. It's apples and oranges… but by all means, go run around in grocery stores tossing fruit out of people's carts because they could be buying two of a different fruit for the same price.At the same time though, I question the validity of Nintendo's argument that they couldn't afford to include a game at the $299 price point. I'm eager to see the Switch torn down and BOM analyzed. But even if it turns out that they're just barely breaking even at $299, they've got no shortage of old NES/SNES games… you seriously mean to tell me that you couldn't toss us a bone, Nintendo? C'mon… that's bullshit and you know it. But hey, if Switch doesn't sell and we see a repeat of the 3DS Ambassador Program, that'd be some sweet karmic justice.
To sum this entire blog entry up…SWITCH HYYYPE!!!