It’s been a couple days after Nintendo‘s huge presentation of the Switch, and hopefully, we all have had time to calm down from the hype or disappointment and take in all of the information available to us from when the Switch was announced to its presentation. Let’s take some closer looks at the Switch with a bit of optimism and hint of skepticism.
LAUNCH AND FUTURE GAMES
Launch titles for consoles are usually on the weak side. New hardware means developers will require time to learn how to develop for the new system, with first-party titles usually coming out stronger than third-party titles.
The most positive note is that Nintendo is launching the Switch with one of their strongest titles and IP, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. However, the 1-2 Switch should have been bundled with the Switch console and not sold separately.
Priced at $50, the 1-2 Switch is essentially a product to show-off the capabilities of the Switch, so why not bundle it? Nintendo did not want to take a loss on hardware sales, so take a loss with a single software title to promote the hardware.
If the other games aren’t your thing, remember that the library will eventually expand a year or two afterwards, with over 80 titles currently in development for the system as announced during Nintendo’s presentation.
So, even if you didn’t pre-order or plan to purchase a unit at launch, buying a Switch brand new now or a year later might not make a huge difference. Big emphasis on “might” as sales, bundles, and varying quality between launch and later production models.
That is, unless you do reviews on video games. On the bright side, the Switch line-up for 2017 is rather low (currently 26 announced titles), so that means less titles to play and review than any other platform. Huzzah! For small victories.
PRICES AND AVAILABILITY
I stated before that the Switch being announced at $300 was a bit above the sweet-spot to sell obscenely well, however, recall that Nintendo announced back in October that they planned to launch only 2 million units by March and at no loss.
That said, the Switch has reportedly sold out from major retailers such as Walmart, GameStop, and Amazon, with Best Buy and Target speculated to sell out as well. All of this within 3 days since Nintendo’s presentation of the Switch on Thursday, January 12th.
As for the 2 million units Nintendo planned to ship during launch, that number may change. Another emphasis on “may change” as there is some speculation that more units might be in production when Nintendo announced pre-orders would be available for all the selected regions except Japan, which begins on January 21.
A strange move that would definitely raise some eyebrows. It’s also possible that Nintendo is repeating past mistakes once again, by under-evaluating the potential success of their product as with the Nintendo Wii and NES Classic Edition.
Only one major gripe with the Switch accessories, specifically, the pricing of an individual left or right Joy-Con controller. Only available in the black color and priced at $50 is a bad move. One could argue that $80 for a pair of Joy-Con controllers is fair since it is two controllers (for two additional players) at $40 a piece.
The single Joy-Con option should be priced at $40. Nintendo, cut the extra $10. That’s all that has to be done. Availability in the other color options (neon blue or red) would be a bonus, but since it’s only available in black, mark it as $40 and call it a day.
All in all, the Nintendo Switch hit the ground running and reception is mainly positive with a healthy dose of skepticism. Hopefully, Nintendo won’t make the same mistake with the Switch, in terms of availability, as they have done before – twice.
As for the innovation the Switch brings itself, it will be interesting to see how it effects other platforms, specifically the PS Vita, in the higher-end of portable gaming systems. Cheers, Nintendo and may Nintendogs hide all our Pokeballs.