Nintendo Switch Hands-on: Compelling concept with few games to back it up

In an industry led by two video game consoles with very few significant differences — the Xbox One and PS4 — Nintendo’s Switch is a compelling proposition that’s easy to get excited about.

The inherent concept of turning the home console experience into something that’s portable is a fascinating experiment and what Nintendo’s failed Wii U should have been.

The Switch also fulfills a childhood dream I’ve envisioned for decades. As a kid, typically while ‘trapped’ at my parent’s cottage in the summer time or during long car rides, I longed to be able to play my favourite Nintendo 64 titles on the go.
joy-conMy yellow original Game Boy was great (Link’s Awakening remains my favourite Zelda game), but being able to bring a true console gaming experience with me anywhere, was what I’ve always wanted. Even as an adult who spends a large chunk of their time commuting and in airports, being able to bring a video game console on a trip, in a way that’s highly portable and makes sense, is a game changer.

With my hopes high, I attended a Nintendo Switch preview event in Toronto where I went hands-on with the Japanese gaming giant’s latest video game console. To my surprise, I actually walked away somewhat underwhelmed by the brief amount of time I spent with the Switch. The intriguing console-handheld hybrid narrative still has me excited about Nintendo’s upcoming video game console, but I’m also concerned that it’s set to repeat the same errors Nintendo made with the Wii U.

Questionable build quality

Joy-Con controllers

Surprisingly, the Switch’s Joy-Con controllers feel somewhat flimsy. Attaching the Joy-Cons to the side of the Switch is a simple process that only takes a few seconds, requiring you to line up the gamepads with a slot located on the side of the dock. The controllers also snap onto either side of the tablet solidly and don’t flex like other gamepad attachments I’ve used in the past that are designed for smartphones and tablets.

The Joy-Cons felt small in my hands and I found it difficult to not press the controller’s shoulder buttons by accident, though I like how versatile they are. You can also use the controllers while they’re attached together with the Joy-Con grip, creating a gamepad that feels more traditional, or separately and detached in a way that’s similar to the Wii’s Wiimote. Depending on how you’re playing, or if you have the Switch in tabletop mode and held up by its kickstand, this seems to be the most comfortable way to use the console’s gamepads.

Joy-con grip

While the Joy-Cons felt flimsy, I’m hoping that with time the controller will grow on me. After all, when the Xbox One and PS4 launched a few years ago, I actually preferred the PlayStation 4’s Dualshock 4, only to eventually come to the conclusion that the Xbox One’s gamepad is the vastly superior controller months later (offset joysticks ftw!). The Switch’s Pro controller on the other hand, is sturdy and solid, though it likely won’t be compatible with all games

“I’m still holding out hope that the Switch evolves into a viable gaming device”

The Switch’s display reminded me of a mid-range tablet and felt relatively solid, though don’t expect the high-end build of an Apple-made iPad. Unfortunately — and this may be my biggest issue with the Switch — the tablet’s screen only features a 720p resolution, likely in an effort to save battery life, which early reports indicate could be as low as three hours with some games (this is estimated battery life for Breath of the Wild). In a tech industry where 1080p displays (and in some cases QHD) have become standard on most high-end smartphones and tablets, 720p is subpar and borderline unacceptable in 2017.

joy-con front

It also seems like not all games will output at 1080p to the television when the Switch is docked, with marquee title The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild rumoured to hit only approximately 900p, leading further fuel to the rumours that the Switch will have difficulty running ports of Xbox One and PS4 games (to be fair, the Xbox One also often doesn’t run games at full 1080p).

The Switch’s dock on the other hand, is more difficult to judge since it was secured to the table it was sitting on at all the demo stations at the event. Sliding the Switch into the dock is a simple process and only took a few seconds, which was great to see given Nintendo is pushing it as something you can grab and instantly continue playing.

Where are the games?

splatoon 2

Consoles always live or die by the quality of their games and especially in Nintendo’s case, third-party support. Various Nintendo home consoles over the years have struggled with attracting third-party developers, starting with the Nintendo 64 in the mid to late 90s and continuing into the GameCube era of the early 2000s. Even the monumentally successful Wii struggled with attracting developers that weren’t directly associated with Nintendo towards the end of its life cycle.

With the Switch, Nintendo is adopting the same strategy it did with the Wii and Wii U, releasing an underpowered game console that will likely have difficulty matching the hardware featured in current generation competitors. With the Switch, there’s no getting around the fact that third-party support is abysmal at launch, with most games worth playing — Shin Megami Tensei and Rime for example — not arriving for months. In terms of third-party launch titles, only Super Bomberman R and I Am Setsuna interest me.

Super Mario Odyssey

Nintendo’s first-party offerings are equally disappointing, apart from Breath of the Wild, which despite playing spectacularly and being a monumental step forward for the Zelda series’ gameplay, (my colleague Igor Bonifacic is going to take a more in-depth look at the game) it’s actually visually underwhelming. While Breath of the Wild looked incredible in trailers and still screenshots, the game is hindered by slowdown issues and distracting antialiasing.

1-2-Switch is a fascinating experiment, but even first-party offerings like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Arms, a game that is essentially an upgraded, more accurate version of Wii Sports boxing, aren’t launching until later this year.

Nintendo Switch Event

It’s quite possible more developers will start releasing games for the Switch in the coming months, and that many are waiting to officially reveal the titles they’re working on, but at the outset, third-party developer support for Nintendo’s new console is incredibly weak.

Conceptually fascinating

Nintendo Switch

With all this said, I’m still holding out hope that the Switch evolves into a viable gaming device, and that upcoming games like the quirky looking Super Mario Odyssey and Xenoblade Chronicles 2, end up being spectacular. It’s also possible that given the unique nature of the Switch, it could become a haven for indie video game developers, similar to what the PlayStation Vita eventually evolved into in its twilight years.

With the device’s launch lineup turning out to be a disappointment, is the Switch’s $399 CAD asking price worth it right now? Probably not. I am, however, still holding out that against all odds, the Switch turns into the handheld- home console hybrid device I’ve always wanted.

 

Just the idea of being able to wake up in the morning, play a game on my television before work, pop out the Switch and play the same game during my morning commute in a packed streetcar, is just too appealing for me to give up on so soon.

Nintendo’s Switch is set to release in Canada on March 3rd for $399.

Photography by Igor Bonifacic.

Video by Zach Gilbert. 

Comments

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  • TK

    Why would anyone expect a portable video game system to be “more” powerful than the current home consoles? Yes I know they have been out for 3 years, but this is still a portable system. The Xbox is still better at games than the latest iPhone, and the iPhone costs almost a grand.

    The other point that this should be as good as an iPad, which again costs twice as much doesn’t make sense to me.

    If I compare this to my PS4 PRO then yeah it’s disappointing. But I see this as a portable system, in which case I’m looking forward to it.

    I’m out right now waiting for my kids class to end. If I had one I could be playing. But instead I’m posting comments.

    • angieazcaban

      A lot of this review seems to biasedly compare the Switch against thing that it is not. Of course the PS4 Pro is more powerful. Of course the iPhone has a higher resolution and a sturdier design. This is not those things but at the same time offers what neither of those things can, a seemless great console and mobile gaming experience in one package.

    • I think that’s a bit of a cop out. There’s no reason, apart from price, that Nintendo couldn’t have made the Switch a more powerful device. It’s obvious with the Switch that Nintendo wants to compete with iOS and Andoid in the tablet space (that’s why the Switch is a tablet after all). You’re right though that the Switch will be capable of much more in terms of control on the gaming side of things, but I’m not sure that will be enough.

    • Shogun

      I think its fair to say that people want more in a pricey unit and gaming isn’t going to be enough to push this over the top. Heck, even a PS Vita is far more capable than this thing is. The point seems moot however because dedicated mobile gaming units are heading the way of the dodo and Nintendo doesn’t seem to be getting the message.

    • Rev0lver

      Haters gonna hate

    • Yes, the PS Vita with it’s 512mb of ram, 960×544 screen, 1gb of internal storage, and proprietary memory cards. Sure sounds capable…

    • Shogun

      Uh…The Vita can play music, stream Netflix, Crackle allow you to browse the Internet and email. I suggest you check your facts more closely before spouting off okay?

    • What Nintendo system released in the past decade doesn’t have Netflix or a web browser?

    • Shogun

      Uh…We aren’t talking about other consoles pal. We are talking about the Switch and the fact it has none of this support out of the box and there is no guarantee it ever will. Fact is that it’s the last platform anyone is interested in developing for and that goes for games as well as apps

    • My point is that every system and device has Netflix for it. My stand-alone blu-ray player has Netflix on it. The Switch will get Netflix, even if it’s not available on launch day.
      And when you say ‘last platform anyone is interested in developing for’, we all know you really specifically mean multi-platform first person shooter developers, because of course those are the only games that matter.

    • cantbanthisguy

      The Switch?

      🙂

    • That’s a technicality, as it hasn’t been released yet. 😉

    • angieazcaban

      Whoa, hold on there. The Vita is not a more capable device than the Switch by any stretch of the imagination. Sure the original Vita has an 544p OLED screen and some decent tech for it’s day, but it was a little overboard at the time and didn’t hugely take off in the market, price being one of the points to why. Even with it’s powerful (at the time specs) many games failed to maintain even a stable 30fps at 544p. Because of that it’s adoption rate was fairly low and the 3DS subsequently took off. With that said, I have a Vita and it’s a great device with a decent library. What I’m looking forward to on the Switch are games running at high frame rates at full 720p or even 1080p docked at home.

    • angieazcaban

      Nintendo always has and likely always will strive to keep it’s hardware affordable for the average consumer. Thus far they have always strived to have a price point it seems of around $250 on new tech, though with the screen and mobility of the Switch $300 was the best they say they can do, without even a pack in game (again something they have tried to do, but haven’t always, and the competition never does on new hardware).

      Increasing the tech specs in the Switch would inevitably increase the cost, AND at the same time lower the adoption rate, creating another situation like Wii U or even the Vita where relatively few own one and so few third party devs support it worsening the situation.

      Nintendo has always dominated with mobile since the Gameboy, through the DS, and now the 3DS. So it seems they are playing their hand with with this tactic of developing for both console and mobile in one platform. Nintendo has always been great with achieving a lot on relatively meager specifications. With the Switch handling Unreal Engine 4, even some high end games can be ported down to the Switch with relative ease. Even the fact that it will be getting Skyrim shows it can fit a nitch that hasn’t been filled before, console quality gaming on the go.

      So when I say it’s not a PS4 Pro and not an iPad, those roles have been filled well and it wouldn’t help anything for Nintendo to try and take on the competition in those areas. But when you have consumers like myself seriously considering buying Skyrim (a game I own on three other platforms now) for Switch, I think third party developers could do well here. But this will all depend on how the market accepts the device over the next year.

    • Richard Wangly

      Is it the portability aspect that would drive you to buy a fourth copy of a game that most would consider expensive? I’ve re-bought plenty of indie games for that kind of reason, but I can’t imagine doing it with a full-priced title.

    • ShadedPlant

      Battery life is one reason why it isn’t a more powerful device.

    • I think it’s a fair comparison because Nintendo isn’t positioning the console as just a handheld device. In fact, various Nintendo execs have been quoted as saying it’s a “home console first.” The “it’s less powerful” narrative is also quickly going to become an issue for Nintendo when it comes to third-party support, just like it did with the Wii.

      At $399, sure, maybe the Switch doesn’t need to feel as high-end as an iPad. $400 is still a ton of money though, and I think it’s reasonable to expect higher quality from the Switch’s build.

  • Sam Thomas

    this was a pretty shitty video, mobilesyrup should stick with their phone reviews and let gamers review gaming systems

    • I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it. Just to give you a little background on where I’m coming from video game wise, I spent a little over 5 years covering video games for Postmedia as my full-time job, as well as a variety of gaming centric publications, before moving to MobileSyrup. I’ve reviewed the Wii U, Xbox One and PS4 and countless video games over the years. I’m coming into this hands-on with a significant background in reporting on games.

      Just because you disagree with the content of a video, that doesn’t make it “shitty.”

    • Sam Thomas

      I’m sorry i didnt want to insult you but i’ve been gaming for 25 years too and had pretty much every console. I spent more than 4 hours with the switch in NYC and in no way did the switch feel cheap or the joy cons “flimsy”. I was very impressed with the build quality and the games looked really nice on it. What more did you want?

    • Shogun

      You’ve been ‘gaming for 25 years’ because you were probably a kid when you started so its meaningless. In addition, you sound more like a Craptendo fan boy than someone willing to accept this is an inferior piece of hardware in nearly every way. Lousy battery life, poor game selection, build quality issues and and no capability as an entertainment console which is what people want today.

    • Rev0lver

      Let people enjoy whatever they want to.

      Must be exhausting being so hateful.

    • I want a lineup that consists of more than 1 game really worth buying (Breath of the Wild). I want Nintendo to come out of the gate with a title from all its marquee franchises. For once, I want them to not rush a system to store shelves.

      If you feel that the Joy-Con controllers and the Switch tablet are of high quality, I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. Have you used an iPad before or a higher-end Android tablet? To me, the Switch feels like it’s way behind those devices in terms of quality.

  • Lexcyn

    It’s worth noting that some current Xbox one Games are “only” 900p as well so that’s not really a valid point.

    • angieazcaban

      Some? Most Xbox One games similar to Breath of the Wild would only run at 900p. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe runs at 1080p 60 fps. I think 4K is great on my PS4 Pro, but 1080p 60fps upscales beautifully on many televisions. Nintendos commitment to high framerates makes their games hold up against others. Sure some components of the Switch may feel flimsy but they are vastly better than past efforts like 3DS and the sum of all the parts makes seemless gameplay without a cumbersome heavy package.

    • That’s definitely true, frame rates are super important and upscaling does mitigate resolution issues. I’d say I’m more disappointed in the 720p tablet display. I still find that inexcusable.

    • angieazcaban

      It seems the 720p tablet display was likely a compromise for battery life. Had it been a 1080p display I can almost guarantee the battery life on Zelda Breath of the Wild would be more like an hour or less running at 900p. This would defeat the purpose of having a mobile console in the first place. Everyone I have heard from events thus far has said the 720p isn’t very noticeable because of the high frame rates and the bright colorful display. Still it’s good to have a few opinions.

    • To be fair, I make a note of that in the story. I think the difference here is the Switch is coming out in 2017, where as the Xbox One was released almost 3 years ago. With everything moving towards 4K, I expected more from the Switch in terms of hardware power.

  • MoYeung

    “Surprisingly, the Switch’s Joy-Con controllers feel somewhat flimsy.
    The Joy-Cons felt small in my hands and I found it difficult to not press the controller’s shoulder buttons by accident, though I like how versatile they are.”

    Surprisingly, I feel the same way. I wouldn’t call it flimsy but the controllers are–too small, too delicate–for Westerners’ bigger hands. The grip is perfect for smaller Asian hands. There is quite a healthy market for
    it in Asia where majority of the populace don’t have hands as big as the male westerners.

    • Nikki

      Women in general have small hands u i***t…im a girl, and petite, i likely wont have issiues with this, hmmm but anyways, um, every other reviewer of it the joycons, (mostly males) have said thst it feels pretty good.

    • It think it depends on what story you’re reading. I’ve read variety of stories and heard from other colleagues in the industry (some of them women) who had similar problems with the Joy-Cons.

    • Fair enough, but what are we supposed to do in North America? If that was Nintendo’s intention with the Joy-Cons, perhaps they should have released two different versions of the controller designed to target different regional markets.

    • Richard Wangly

      Did you get to try the wrist-strap attachments? I don’t see them in your photos… Much as I expect there will be too many bits and pieces for my taste (as was certainly the case with Wii and Wii U) I feel they should allay that particular issue for most people.

    • Sunny Lee

      …Except there’s no data correlating hand size and nationality. And this “hand size issue” has never been a problem for the hundreds of controllers made in the past since the history of controllers.

      Like, freedom of speech and all that, but can we ban MoYeung from posting? Sick of his nonsense posts on every article.

    • MoYeung

      Why is personal attack being allowed after new rules were enacted in comment section?

      Not data on race and body size? You are wrong, because you are a liar and ignorant. It has been well-proven in the medical field. I don’t have time to educate you because you are stupid and ignorant.

      Why don’t you screw off and not read and not reply to my comments? I don’t you comment in EVERY article, no loss on your part.

    • Sunny Lee

      — “Why is personal attack being allowed”
      — “you are a liar and ignorant. I don’t have time to educate you because you are stupid and ignorant and ill willed.”

      Hmm… That Chinese logic is serving you well. Was your shift at the sweatshop tiring today?

    • MoYeung

      Didn’t I tell you? You liars say one thing and do another?

      Rules of engagement: I have the right to defend myself against attacks and/or threats of attacks.

    • Sunny Lee

      …Huh? Those words were what you wrote… Maybe if you opened your eyes for once, you could see your old comment.

      Either this is one of the best trolls I’ve seen, or you are legitimately incapable of coherent thought.

      Err… Aren’t you *living* in Canada? This is why Chinese people in general are in such poor light here; you insult the country you live in. Maybe step outside of your SARS bubble, open your eyes a little bit. Enjoy the fresh air here, or do you miss your homeland’s smog and basic human rights?

    • MoYeung

      Yes, I said it before and i say it again. Don’t do business with china, if you think china is so terrible. Which part is incoherent? Like how you say one thing and do another?

      Chinese people are in poor light here? Tell me how much you respect the indigenous people here? Where does the land come? No treaties were ever signed with most of the land in Canada, hence native land claims. Google “U.N. report on Canada’s human rights record”.

      Don’t start on how tar sands in alberta destroy the environment, and also your oil pipelines, forestry & mining activities completely devastate the natural environment everyday.

      Do you know many mainland Chinese immigrants actually move back to china instead of staying in Canada?

    • Sunny Lee

      What? Lol. Look at my name, I’m clearly a minority too. The difference is, I actually learned to appreciate the culture of Canada, whereas you managed to live here as an outsider, much like most of the Chinese in urban areas. And you people have it better off than most, I don’t know what you’re complaining about. Arguably, you’re making it worse for people already here, by buying massive amounts of property and driving up prices.

      And sorry, burden of proof is on the claim-maker. I could say “Chinese are less educated than Canadians” and you said “I disagree”, would it make sense for me to say “Well prove it, I don’t have time to educate you”?

      Westerners complain about DSLR cameras from Japanese brands not fitting? Again, this is a baseless claim. I’ve heard Asians complain about DSLR cameras not fitting, and I’ve heard Westerners say it fits perfectly. That Chinese logic really serving you well. I guess they don’t teach “Debate 101” in China.

      I could choose not to read your comment, but it’s really entertaining actually. Keep it coming. Let me guess, no response to any of my points, instead just calling me names? I’m calling it right now, let’s see how good my predictions are.

    • MoYeung

      Lee is a minority name?
      From Wikipedia, there are several distinct origins of the Lee surname. The most common is derived from Old English lēah, meaning a meadow or forest clearing.

      This developed variously into the surnames Lee, Lea, and Leigh. The Lees of Shropshire were notable as the forebears of the colonial American Lee family which produced Richard Henry Lee, Robert E. Lee, and Zachary Taylor.

    • MoYeung

      There is something called common sense or common knowledge. If you lack basic knowledge, i can’t help you. I can’t spoon feed you everything because you are ignorant and uninformed and lack basic decency.

      “The difference is, I actually learned to appreciate the culture of Canada, whereas you managed to live here as an outsider, much like most of the Chinese in urban areas. And you people have it better off than most, I don’t know what you’re complaining about. Arguably, you’re making it worse for people already here, by buying massive amounts of property and driving up prices.”

      Do you think I actually know MORE about “Canada & USA” than a lot of other people, even local people?

      I don’t know how much you understand Canada, but based on what you said above, you have no clue why Canada lets us in.

      If you think Canada “had” so much to offer, this place would be filled with refugees. And i don’t mean refugees from middle east or Africa. There are 43 to 46 millions people in USA who are on food stamps right this minute. Let them come.

      We drive up prices? You will let us come to steal our foreign currency, not because you have something to offer. How many local people are still unemployed after alberta went bust?

  • Shogun

    So really the best way to sum it up is this is an overpriced piece of crap with limited potential and unlikely to sell well. Another flop from Craptinedo

    • Rev0lver

      All your comments are the same hateful crap. Must be a miserable existence.

    • I wouldn’t go that far. I think the Switch has a lot of potential. At launch, however, it’s a bit of a mess.

    • Shogun

      The potential is limited and releasing a product with as you readily admit, is a hot mess right now just doesn’t cut it. Not at $399 in Canada or $299 in the U.S. It just is missing too many features other consoles have today and Nintendo is out to lunch thinking people want a device solely oriented to gaming. And even if they did, it would have to be offering more gaming choices than they have at present. If they are competing with tablets and smartphones for the same market then they are even more delusional.
      I agree with those that say the potential of games like Zelda or even Mario Bros on the Xbox or PlayStation platform is far more exciting than the hardware gambits Nintendo continues to indulge in.

    • I love how people complain about a $400 price tag, yet have no problem spending double that on a phone they’ll throw out in 2 years.

    • Shogun

      Comparing a phone to a gaming console is really quite stupid and most people buy phones on contract today versus outright.
      The proper comparison is between this kind of device and just about any other set top box or gaming console such as Xbox or PS4. Not between this and some phone no matter how hard you try.
      You are undoubtedly finding out just how ridiculous the Switch is despite your fanboy tendencies towards it. This thing is DOA. Period

    • Why is it stupid? The Switch is mobile like a phone, and both play games. Just the other day there was a review on here about an iPhone controller add on which compared it to the Switch.
      And if you think your phone contract doesn’t include the price of your ‘subsidized’ phone then I’m worried for you being a regular on this site and not picking that up yet. Also, spreading the phone cost over the period of the contract doesn’t make it any less cheaper. There are financing options for game consoles as well, if you want to get persnickety about it.
      Also, as I’ve mentioned to you before, I’m a gaming ‘fanboy’ in general, not exclusive to any one system or company, unlike you. I can see the value in all products and make valid comparisons that don’t involve being ‘hArdc0r3’ or ‘l33t’. I don’t have to prove to my friends that I’m cool by exclusively playing M rated games and making jokes about how Nintendo is for kids.

    • Shogun

      Nintendo is for kids or for those in their 40’s today who played it back when they were young. That is the bottom line and I can see it really bugs you but at least deal in reality. This is not a platform that gets many if any exciting new releases and when you start asking people to pay $400 for a console that can’t stream movies, music or your own content to say nothing of meagrely game offerings it gets ridiculous. The specs on this thing are totally underwhelming for its price tag as well.
      Your comment about phone contracts is totally laughable as well. You are basically criticizing people who more or less keep their devices for 2 years before moving onto something else and not paying the full cost upfront. It’s the same with car or house financing? Is not choosing to pay upfront the entire cost any more ridiculous? Phones and tablets can do more from a productivity standpoint than a lousy Nintendo Switch and that alone will justify a higher price tag. If you can’t see the difference then I truly worry about your continued posting here when its clear you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    • > Nintendo is for kids or for those in their 40’s today who played it back when they were young.

      Thanks for proving my point. Children in their late teens and 20s still have a lot of growing up to do in the maturity department, which is why they are afraid of playing fun games, and feel the need to stick to their 360 no scope head shots while fist bumping their bros then chugging a Code Red and grabbing a handful of Sweet Chili Heat.

      I’m not criticizing people for getting a new phone every 2 years, but I am criticizing people who aren’t aware they’re actually paying for the phone even if they don’t pay full price up front. Cars and homes aren’t quite the same because you don’t buy them as part of a service package.

      And don’t worry about me, I’ll be just fine. I’m just going to go play some Sony Playstation and use my Sony Xperia phone, like all Nintendo ‘fanboys’ do. Oh, wait, you mean people aren’t allowed to like two brands of products? …

    • Shogun

      Who said you can’t like two brands? Once again you put words in my mouth when i never said any such thing. I’m merely pointing out my view this console is going to flop and I’ve already stated the reasons why.
      We’ve covered this extensively already so no need to go over it.

    • Rev0lver

      Why do you hate it when people like something you dislike? Are you ready that insecure that you require everyone to agree with you? Man, just live and let live.

    • gommer strike

      Unfortunately what he’s saying has some truth to it.

      Look around you, your friends and family. How many of them bought their phones outright? Dare I say very, very few? They are rocking their iPhones, their Galaxy phones, and the only thing they know is that they paid $300 for their Google Pixel(on contract of course, but who cares about that).

      There’s no such thing as a iPhone for $1000, in their mind. To think that anyone would willingly fork that out, is crazy. Show them the craiglist ads and they’ll respond “I can get one for $300 for Rogers”. That’s the state of how things are, like it or not. As a final challenge, how many of your friends/family bought a Galaxy outright, and are on the BYOD plans from their carrier?

      Comparing a Switch vs an iPhone/Galaxy/Pixel is a false comparison. A smartphone is very important communications tool for a great many people. A Switch, as a dedicated handheld game console, is not. The average, everyday Joe/Jane will go “I can play games on my phone, why do I need another device”.

      They don’t care about precision controls. They don’t care about first party titles. Those things are simply inconsequential. If they want to play games on their TV, well isn’t that what the Xbox/PS is for?

    • Well I’m not arguing against the fact that the majority of people do not understand their phone bill.

    • Rev0lver

      Why do you insult people who disagree with you. You are truly a pathetic creature.

  • Andrew

    I figured the truth about Zelda would eventually come out. I had a feeling the game was going to be a choppy mess with graphic issues. No wonder Nintendo is keeping gameplay videos to 5-10 minutes from the same build. This company is just a bunch of clueless morons now. Hope it fails hard.

    • I still think Breath of the Wild is going to be a great game and exactly what Nintendo needs to do to modernize the series and push it forward, I just found it visually underwhelming.

  • Eric King

    I’m conflicted. On the one hand I’m always desiring more in terms of performance from my games. Higher resolutions, smoother framerates, anti-aliasing, etc. more often than not seem to equate to quality gaming when they really shouldn’t.

    I have a Nintendo DS from 2004. It works like a charm to this day. I can pop open Mario Kart DS, game at 192p on a three-inch screen and somehow lose an hour of my life without ever glancing at the clock. It’s not because the game blows me away with its technical capabilities. It’s just a product of good game design. It’s timeless.

    Nintendo has made many mistakes thus far. The console is overpriced by at least $50, and their primary focus has been making the device a home staple with a portability aspect (it should have been reversed). They have one major advantage though: they make experiences that last. Looks fade, great gameplay prevails.

    I also seem to recall that the DS launched with mostly forgettable software. Not every juggernaut hits the ground running.

    • That’s certainly true. Here’s hoping Nintendo can pull it off! Technical specs aren’t everything and the 3DS and DS have proved that for years. I think the argument is a little different with a home console though, especially one that’s going to need third-party support (a notorious problem for Nintendo).

    • Eric King

      That is a concern for sure. As good as Nintendo’s first-party software is, it can’t sustain a system on its own. Developers need to have the ability to translate their experiences to the Switch with minimal fuss. The Wii U was apparently a pain to develop for.

  • cantbanthisguy

    Could you imagine what a Nintendo game would look like with decent hardware nowadays? I would love to see Mario, Zelda, Metroid on a PS4, XBone or even PC, running high(er) res and high frame rates. This is what Nintendo should do after the Switch pulls a Dreamcast! 😀

    SEGA!

    • That certainly seems like where Nintendo is headed. I’m still hoping the Switch works out for them though!

    • Nintendo is doing just fine with their hardware business. Does everyone forget how many units their handhelds sell?

    • Shogun

      This company IS NOT doing well and never really did until they realized they had to mark down the price of the 3DS and the Wii U flopped. The only exception here really is the original Wii. Otherwise the track record as of late is nothing to brag about.

    • Are you forgetting the original DS sold over 150 million? And so what if the 3DS price dropped? Nintendo still sold them for a profit. Their stock price has been steadily rising for years now as well.

    • cantbanthisguy

      It seems like a very similar pattern to Sega’s retirement from the console business though. Sega was very competitive until 2 consoles in a row flopped (Saturn and Dreamcast, of which the DC was FANTASTIC!!!)

      Previous success doesn’t mean continued success. If the Switch fails, Nintendo will have to seriously re-evaluate what it is doing for gaming, especially console gaming, unless their business model is moving away from consoles which it really seems it is.

      The thing is, I love Nintendo and their games, but the last system from them that did anything for me was the Gamecube for games such as Res Evil 4 and Eternal Darkness. Wii was a huge disappointment and I got rid of it within six months (and I usually keep all my systems as I still have my ps2 and Dreamcast 😀 ), as I’m sure many people did when gamers realized it was just a Gamecube in a PS3/360 world… which completely left the wii behind in the level of Quality games. Sure it sold a 100 million consoles, but how many people still have one now?…

    • I think the thing that separates Nintendo from Sega is that the latter really had very few IPs that held their worth, beyond Sonic, and even he didn’t fair too well after the first few games. Nintendo has a lot of popular franchises to keep them afloat for a while, enough to sell hardware for a while at least. But yes, if somehow the Switch completely flops they’ll probably need to invest their energy in a new direction.

      And yes, I wasn’t a big fan of the Wii, but the Wii U on the other hand has been a fantastic system for me, with some of the best quality games they’ve ever made on it. Unfortunately I think the name confused a lot of people or gave them the wrong impression of what it was, so many missed out on some great games.

    • Shogun

      The DS? That was over 13 years ago buddy and frankly I don’t know ANYONE who even still has that thing. And you missed my point about the 3DS which was that they priced it at a level that wasn’t sustainable, just like the Switch, and needed to mark it down considerably before it moved in any great numbers. Also, the game title offerings were improved for that unit and that’s something unlikely to happen here given the resistance of developers who don’t seem keen to go down this path again. By some accounts, making games for the Switch presents additional challenges that I think many will take a pass on.
      If Nintendo had prices this around $199 U.S. or around $250 CDN I think it could’ve been more compelling but at $399 up here it’s insane.

    • The original DS was only discontinued 4 years ago, it’s still a valid sales comparison.
      Also, Nintendo released their annual figures today, and the 3DS numbers are up 10% over last year, so clearly your death knells for Nintendo are unwarranted.

    • Shogun

      The sales numbers for the 3DS are really no more impressive than they were for the PS2 back in the day. That being said you’ve mentioned multiple times how you use other consoles and yet curiously you get offended and soooo defensive whenever someone has something negative to say about the company.. Why? I mean really man you sound like another poster here that can’t stand a negative comment about Blackberry because he’s a diehard and I have to say you come across as the same.
      Certainly you are welcome to buy whatever floats your boat but just because there are people who don’t agree or think the company’s best days are behind it doesn’t mean you have to be so self-conscious about your purchase. The sentiment out there towards this console is not a positive one on balance and I think you’ll find the $399 you shelled out for this thing will be cut by at least a $100 or more once Nintendo realizes there is no appetite for what they are offering here. Maybe that’s what’s bothering you. That you got ripped off. I know it would bother me. 😉

    • No more impressive than the PS2? The PS2 is the top selling console ever, so it’s pretty impressive.
      I only get offended by people saying stupid things, no matter what the subject matter. In this case you clearly have a vendetta against Nintendo, and your comments are pretty stupid, so I’m offended. If you started making comments about how the PS4/XB1 suck because ‘PC Master Race’ I’d be defending them the same way.
      And I know the price will be cut for the Switch eventually. Every console by every manufacturer gets a price cut eventually, so that’s a stupid point. And why would I feel ripped off spending $100 more now to get to play it on release? $100 is not very much money. Even $400 is not really a big deal, especially if it’s only every 5 years. I’ll spend way more on the games themselves than the price of the system, and this goes for any system.

    • Shogun

      You see there you go…My comments are ‘stupid’ and you take ‘offence’ because you don’t like what I have to say. It doesn’t mean they have less validity and that’s the point you are missing here.
      And your suggestion that EVERY console has a price cut is downright dumb. Microsoft and Sony do not cut the prices of their units because of lagging sales whereas Nintendo needed to do this to move 3DS units. The reasons are totally different so if the Switch gets marked down by say a $100 in about 6 months time its an admission of failure for their initial pricing.
      Also I have to say your talk of $100 not being very much money or that you find it okay to pay more for something that isn’t worth it to be spectacularly stupid. Its consumers like you that companies love to sucker in with the pre-orders and other gimmicks because you’re just that gullible.
      BTW, did you look at the recent financials here yesterday? Software/gaming is eclipsing hardware in their earnings which speaks directly to my thesis that Nintendo should stop with the hardware insanity and focus on delivering content to mobile devices and consoles already out there.

    • I don’t take offense because I don’t ‘like’ what you have to say, it’s just that your points are stupid and full of anger. Saying the Vita is more capable? …Un huh…

      And maybe you should do some research into the PS3 and its price cut due to lagging sales.

      Why am I gullible for paying full price at release? The system is worth $400 to me. If you don’t want it, don’t buy it. Do you tell people to stop buying iPhones because they are overpriced? What about someone wearing diamond jewelry? What about someone driving a Mercedes? Some people just like what they like and don’t mind paying for it.

      And yes, the financials showed hardware is down, but if that is a surprise to you seeing that the Wii U sold under 1 million units last year, then I can’t trust any of your predictions about their future.

    • Shogun

      Yeah the Vita is more capable in its functionality. Your comment is laughable when you yourself said that processing power wasn’t everything. lol! Fact is I can do more on a Vita from an entertainment standpoint than I can a Switch right now. Maybe that’ll change. Who knows but as of today the answer is no.
      Look I don’t really care where you spend your money or if you think $400 is cheap or whatever. Maybe I value a dollar more than you and belief in maximizing value but whatever…
      And 2007 was a very different year with the introduction of the Wii and the Xbox 360 which obviously created a very competitive market. Its not hard to see why they cut the price on top of the fact they released a lower end PS3 at the same time. The circumstances are not at all the same given the context.
      Furthermore, the Wii U was a flop here pal. Amazing how you delude yourself into think otherwise. Hardware is down and that’s the bottom line. If the Switch flops like I think it will then the ‘game’ is up for Nintendo and they’re going to have to take a different tack going forward. Something you yourself acknowledge so frankly we seem to be closer in sentiment on this topic than would otherwise appear with all this back and forth.

    • So the only thing you judge a game console on is whether you can watch Netflix on it? That trumps every other feature? You’re an interesting fellow.

      $400 is not much money. I spend more than that on milk in a year. I’ve spent that much on a single purchase of plywood. I’ve bought two sets of tires in the past year, and each set was $1000 for some pieces of rubber. Get over it, or get a new job!

      And yes, the Wii U flopped. I never said it didn’t. But it was expected to not sell many units in 2016 due to the announcement of the NX and limited game releases. The 3DS is still going fairly strong, and as I mentioned it increased in sales over the previous year, despite being a 6 year old system. Their portable products have always been stronger, which is why the Switch has good prospects, better than the Wii U did from the start.

    • Shogun

      My God man you are one daft fellow aren’t ya. lol! Uh, watching Netflix, CraveTV, Crackle, Plex etc. are all important to people who view a console as more than a gaming device, but even more so when its being acknowledged the Switch is going head-to-head with other mobile devices, all of which can do this. Can you browse the Internet on the Switch? Email? Play your own music or stream such as Spotify? Load your own music or movies to play? The answer to that is NO and for now the Vita and other devices are far more capable. There really isn’t much appetite in the market anymore for pure gaming devices but you can keep believing otherwise.

      And you’re an interesting fellow who seems to think $400 is ‘not much money’ and that somehow its justifiable to spend that so you can play some lousy Mario Karts or Zelda iterations. lol! You are truly in the minority and being downright stupid in your defence of the indefensible.

      I suggest we revisit this topic the next time Nintendo reports their earnings in about 4 months time. Then we’ll see who was right about this okay?

    • Well it most likely will get the video streaming apps eventually, seeing as how they’ve made them available on all their existing systems. But is anyone really buying it for that? I doubt it. It’s a nice feature to have, but everyone already owns 27 devices they can watch Netflix on. Same thing goes for PS4/XB1, nobody is really buying it for video streaming, it’s just icing.

      And I’d have to say that the Mario Kart and Zelda games have offered me more enjoyment than any of the CoD or EA Sports games I’ve owned. I’d say the GTA series is comparable, but I would never pass on a Mario Kart game. The fact that you’re putting these games down based on your childish opinion that they aren’t ‘h4rd c0r3 l33t’ games is pretty sick, bruh.

      Checking their next quarterly financials is not a good example. We already know there’s somewhere around 2 million Switch pre-orders sold. This quarter will be high. You need to wait until this time next year after the holiday rush before proving your point.

    • Rev0lver

      Good comment. Imagine if Nintendo partnered with only Sony and exited the hardware business. That move would likely be the end of the Xbox.

    • cantbanthisguy

      That’s what brought about the Playstation back in the day. Sony and Nintendo were partnering on the Super NES cd-rom and something went sour so Sony went out and created the Playstation. And the rest is history 🙂

  • Smanny

    I wonder what Nvidia SoC they are going with? Especially since the Switch has a USB-C port. That port could have the capability to drive a VR headset, or not depending on the SoC. This could also extend the life of this game unit. If it’s the X1, then it has the processing power to drive a VR headset. I am hoping it’s some kind of Nvidia Pascal version SoC. The VR headset could be as small as the LG 360 VR headset. Here’s to hope!

    • Eric King

      I’m waiting patiently for someone to rip this thing open and look inside (namely Digital Foundry). Otherwise, it probably won’t be revealed prior to release.

    • That’s definitely going to be interesting. It’ll be fascinating to see what the legit benchmarks are.

  • seinfeldand24

    I attended the Nintendo Switch preview event on 28JAN17 and also walked away underwhelmed. I have a Switch pre-ordered but even after a hands on experience with the device, I’m still not sold.
    The Pro Controller felt great, excellent in fact. I was very impressed by it, but it also costs $90.
    The Joycon’s on the other hand were the biggest disappointment. The buttons are far too small. I have large hands and when playing attached to the screen in handheld mode or independently, my hands cramped and were uncomfortable.
    I can not see an instance where I would ever play holding a single Joycon. Even docked on the grip, it still felt cramped.
    Zelda was great but I have it pre-ordered from Bestbuy from 3+ years ago for $45 so its a no-brainer for me to opt for the Wii U version.

    What would sell me on it? Complete backwards support for previously purchased Virtual Console games and a trophy/achievement system.

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