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[Opinion] Nintendo’s Switch plans are disrespectful to consumers

Written by Austin Griffith

Earlier this week, Nintendo unveiled the Nintendo Switch in all its hopeful glory to the general public. This is the second third fourth fifth sixth time since Nintendo’s Switch launch announcement that I’ve felt horribly disrespected and let down by Nintendo. To begin…

Launch Title Embarrassment

First off, Nintendo announced to the world today that the Nintendo Switch’s biggest launch title, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (which is also releasing on the Wii U), would run at 900p and aim to hit 30fps on the Nintendo Switch.

This is embarrassing.

Let me reiterate that before we move on to my point: in March of 2017, you are going to purchase a brand new next-generation console – Nintendo’s second in this ‘generation’ — and your graphics will be lower than the episode of The Simpsons that will be airing Sunday night.

legend-zelda-botw-release-date

Not only is this embarrassing, this is disrespectful.

Storage Space

The second time came at the announcement of shipping the Switch with only 32GB of storage. The year is 2017, the iPhone and most other cell phones bottom out at 32GB. I’m fairly certain (but unable to check) that my 3DS even came with at least a 16GB microSD card in it — which I have nowhere near filled in my years with the handheld because it’s a mobile console with small games.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is set to come in at 13.4GB or over 40% of the default storage. This is of course not counting what space we’ll surely lose for the Switch’s OS. In the age of digital where GameStop is turning in to Hot Topic because physical games are dyingNintendo wants to restrict our digital gaming by forcing us to purchase a micro SD card to hold more than one or two titles?

Paid Online Service

Nintendo Switch Online

The third comes with the handling of Nintendo’s online services. This is an area I have been very worried about from the start considering how far behind Nintendo has been, and it does not look like they plan to improve it any. While yes, the Switch does have an online service with digital chat and monthly free games similar to Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus, they’ve managed to horribly destroy any chances of value within it.

Anyone who pays the unannounced monthly fees to access Nintendo’s online service will be able to:

  • Use voice communication through their phone (why don’t we just use Skype, or better yet, a phone call?) Why am I paying Nintendo to use the phone I already pay for?
  • Try a selection of NES or SNES games every month, similar to Games With Gold, except you don’t get to keep them and they go away after a month… really? Is Nintendo that worried about losing revenue on their games from 20 years ago that they won’t let me keep one a month?
  • And of course, play games online.

Nintendo expects you to pay not to access the online services bundled with the console, but to access the online services through an app on your smart phone. They are the only features you get for paying for the online service.  Really Nintendo?

No free title to show off the console

Fourth we have the status of the console at launch, mainly the games. Where are they? Where’s my free pack-in game? Why do I need to spend $360 + tax + the cost of a microSD card at launch just to play my $300 console?

Of course, not every console needs to have a free game included. The Xbox One did not, nor did the PS4 or Wii U – and that’s fine because they’re all standard consoles.

The Switch, just like the Wii, is the introduction and re-introduction of many new gimmicks. With the biggest title at launch being Zelda, a non-gimmicky title, fans have no easy reason to try out the various new things being introduced in to the Switch. Does Nintendo really think ARMS, a game about punching, is worth $60 to consumers? Imagine if the Kinect didn’t include any software with it and you had to pay $60 for Kinect Adventures.

That’d of been a big problem…

nintendo-switch-games-confirmed-games-list-launch-titles-1484567293Take a look at the image at the top of this page. See the consoles JoyCons at its side and separate from the screen on a grip? That is not included. If you would like to play your Switch frequently you’d better remember to put the JoyCons back on to the console when you’re done so they can charge – otherwise you’re spending another $30 for a JoyCon charging handle.

That brings your day one costs to $300 (Switch) +  micro SD card + $60 (game of choice) + $30 (charging handle) + any applicable taxes, bringing the true price of a Switch to well over $400.

Third Party Support

Finally, we have the third party support. This was the Wii U’s final nail in the coffin, and right now it looks like it will be similar for the Switch. At time of writing some of the highest profile games we have coming from third parties include Ubisoft’s Steep and Rayman Legends, Bethesda’s Skyrim, and Telltale’s Minecraft: Story Mode. See my point? No?

These are all titles I can have been playing on other consoles for years! Bethesda is bringing is the older of its two most popular titles to the Switch. Why not Fallout 4? Could the Switch not handle it? We know that Fallout 4 began by porting Skyrim to the next generation, so why give us the older, more widely available of the two?

nintendo_switch_skyrim-600x310In Conclusion

Does anyone really need a fifth platform to play Skyrim on?

Do we need another online service to pay for that offers us absolutely no tangible benefits?

Do we expect third party developers to develop for a touchscreen system that heavily relies on a docked configuration where the touch screen cannot be accessed? Will anybody develop for something that is unusable in the docked position?

Is this what we want for our $300+ $400+? A console to play last holiday’s titles six months later?

I can’t tell you if Nintendo is incompetent, unintelligent, or just completely uncaring of consumer wants and needs. What I can tell you is that Nintendo is disrespecting us, the consumers, if they think this is the proper way to go about selling a console in 2017.

I love Nintendo, I always have, but the way the Switch is starting to line up has me considering taking my preorder and cancelling it rather than wasting my money on another failure like the Wii U.

What do you think?

About the author

Austin Griffith

Austin Griffith is LevelSave.com's Owner and Editor-in-Chief. He began gaming young with Pokemon Silver and Banjo-Tooie and hasn't stopped since. You can find him on Twitter @AustinG909 and on Xbox Live at iKarmakazi. You can email him directly at Austin@LevelSave.com

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