Posted by: seanmalstrom | October 20, 2016

Emails of some first reactions…

“What does Malstrom think?” I’ll hold off my thoughts as I want to hear what others pure first reactions are…

 

Well, the Wii didn’t reveal itself with Wii Sports. It revealed itself with the controller at TGS 2005. Are the games shown going to be launch games?

 

 

I am hearing much concerns about the buttons and the feel of them.

 

Nintendo always fights Sony and Microsoft asymmetrically.

A reason splitscreen died off on the “hardcore” consoles was because the loss of power meant their largest constituencies (soldier games and RPG adventures) would need to be downscaled up to four times. The Switch will lower the cost of “lan parties” by both combining multiple consoles (probably) and having multiple built in displays. It also looks SO much easier to set up; I remember planing for two weeks and taking 2 hours the day of to set up a halo 3 lan party.

Nintendo once again focuses on local multiplayer, and I think it will do a good job of it.

Having said that, that machine screams overshooting the handheld market, so I doubt it will be their only device. How much is this thing going to cost?

 

The cost can make or break this for sure.

 

You asked your readers for feedback, but please post your own thoughts as well!

It comes with an interesting promise: play games how you want. They need to marry this promise to a competent account system. I’m hopeful for a lot of peripherals and custom controllers, similar to the NES. I counted 5 different ways to control game in that trailer (Pro controller, weird round Saturn-looking controller with a touchpad or something in the center, 2 of the Joy controllers held in each hand, 1 Joy controller held in the hand, and holding the unit itself as a handheld with controllers snapped to the side). I think that is very important. If they’re emphasizing a wide variety of control options and situations where you can play, then it means they’ll be forced to focus on OMGSTORY less and quick, snappy gameplay more. That has always been the appeal of the handhelds for me. I tolerate the tiny form-factor to get at the games, which are designed for fun bursts of play instead of epic Hollywood storylines.

The fact that each unit includes 2 controllers is quite significant. I expect most games (or at least most/all Nintendo games) will include some form of multiplayer mode, similar to how most DS games included some sort of minigame collection to show off the touch screen since everybody has 2 available controllers. Nintendo really wants people bringing this unit with them and playing with their friends and family members. Unless my eyes are off, I didn’t see any touchscreen functionality. Doesn’t mean they’re omitting it, but maybe that’s worth paying attention to. Cartridges confirmed lets me breathe a sigh of relief.
As far as the games are concerned, it’s a mixed bag for me. 2p local Mario Kart for every system is going to be significant. Showing off 3D Mario instead of the painfully-obvious sidescrolling Mario (with multiplayer) is disappointing, because the system is an obvious match for local sidescrolling Mario. They’ll make it, sure, but we know where their priorities lie (at least for now). Splatoon and “eSports” at the end was also pointless. Not seeing any killer app yet, but I suppose this is just a teaser. The Nintendo Direct that shows off the unit, price, and launch library in more detail will help us all understand what sort of library we can expect. I’m not seeing a Wii Sports or even a Super Mario Bros game, though. I need Nintendo to show me why it’s fun to bring this unit with me as I go to the park to walk my dog (lol) or why I’d interrupt my game session to bring the unit over to a friend’s house.
What would be really interesting is to see how Nintendo prices/markets the thing. Will they sell a “core” handheld unit for ~$200, as well as a “deluxe” package with the dock, extra controller options, etc for $300+? I think Nintendo would be missing an opportunity if they didn’t have a $200 (or less) unit at retail. Overall, though, price is less of a factor since we know we’re getting a unified pipeline of games
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My initial gut feeling is ‘excitement’.

They’ve ditched the split controller system that the WiiU used (one person gets a touch pad, everyone else gets something different), and it’s cool to see what they’ve done with a controller that has multiple setups, especially in that they’ve also basically created two controllers in one. It comes capable of playing with friends right out of the box on that alone.

I do have some reservation about the controller size when it comes to two people playing off one controller or ‘airplane mode’, but that’s something I’m sure will become clearer closer to and after launch.

They did a great job selling its mobility, again especially on the play with other people angle. It’s a system that looks easy to take with you and set up for multiplayer games anywhere. And yet it also easily hooks back up to a TV when you’re at home. I think they may have successfully merged the best of both their home and hand-held consoles with the Switch.

I also loved what they showed with real people playing the games and what looked like real-in game footage (even if I’m sure it was recorded or pre-scripted). The bit with the ‘pro splatoon players’ was cheesy, but I loved the emphasis on real people playing out in the world, again especially when they made a point of multiple people playing together. The Switch is definitely not a console you buy if you want to sit alone at home and not interact with real people. It’s looks like a console for real people with real lives.

If there’s one major concern I have right now, though, it’s battery life. How is that going to be handled, how much power is it going to have, and how difficult is it going to be to charge out ‘in the field’?

I currently find myself excited about the Switch (which I think is a name that’s already growing on me). I own a Wii, I completely skipped the WiiU, but if I continue to see things about the Switch that back up the initial feelings I’m having right now, and dissuade the concerns I’m having, odds are that I will probably get one.

 

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