Welcome to Checkpoint, a segment from the authors here at LevelSave designed to quickly let you know what is on our minds, how we are reacting to current news and trends, and some looks into content coming soon from LevelSave.com.
February 10, 2017
When you loaded up your Nintendo DS cartridge containing a web browser in order to view this post, did you have to blow on it?
- The Nintendo Switch will not have a web browser at launch. I’m not really that bothered by this, as I’m sure one will come later, but it’s fun to be outraged over it!
- Since a lot of free WiFi out there requires some sort of web browser to accept terms & conditions, I’m curious if Nintendo has a contingency plan for getting on these networks at launch.
- Still… the Sega Dreamcast shipped with one. It was on a disk, sure, but it was there on day one.
- Speaking of the unsinkable Sega Dreamcast, a lot of old Dreamcast online games are coming back online thanks to fans reverse engineering the old server structures and hosting them themselves. There’s even DLC for a select few becoming available again. Fans are amazing.
- Crowdfunding games. Lesson Learned?
- Seriously though: Stop paying for games before they are done. This goes for crowdfunding, early access, and most importantly: Pre-orders. Stop it. Make them earn your money.
- You can pre-order your copy of Super Mario Odyssey on a cartridge right here.
The web browser issue on the Nintendo Switch is overblown, for sure, but it also raises some questions about what exactly the machine is running. A lot of people, including myself, proposed the idea that thanks to the system using a Tegra chip, it may run a fork of Android. After all, Android has been running on Tegra systems for years now and is insanely stable. Nintendo could leverage their own software know-how to make a nice clean version of Android that can also leverage app developers who have been playing in that space for years, which includes a ton of companies who already have working web browsers.
I’m highlighting Android mostly because it’s the most realistic third-party possibility, as Apple would never let them use iOS. More importantly though is the possibility for Nintendo to leverage the extensive work already done in an ecosystem like Android. Games are Nintendo’s thing, but the rest of a modern online device’s offerings are not. Social Networks, Streaming services, browsers… even their settings applications are woefully underdeveloped compared to the built-in options other devices have. Connecting to a network on the Wii/U/3DS, for example, can be a bit of a slow and convoluted affair, while connecting on a smart phone can be as simple as a few taps.
Finally, Nintendo could easily use an existing platform’s strengths to propel their device into a strong position among other consumer devices. Why buy an iPad or Galaxy Tab if the Switch can do superior gaming AND offer them a fully stocked and frequently updated Android app store? I know I’d love to replace my tablet-of-choice with a device as capable as the Switch, as long as I can still stream movies, browse YouTube, Tweet, and read my Kindle books. There’s nothing stopping Nintendo from doing this. Except themselves, I guess.
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