Posted by: seanmalstrom | December 2, 2016

Email: Thoughts about the Switch

Just watched the Switch trailer again and came to think about what does
not feel right at the moment. These things may or may not be fixed
before Switch launches, but we’ll see.

Problems with Switch software seen so far:

Mario Kart – if Nintendo really is porting Mario Kart 8 on Switch, I
have a hunch Nintendo does not get what their problem is at the moment.
Mario Kart 8 is the worst Mario Kart ever made, because the gameplay is
nothing but gimmicks, up to an extent the game doesn’t feel like Mario
Kart anymore. Nintendo should port (if they’re not making Mario Kart Wii
HD) Mario Kart 7 instead, the game is so much better.

Splatoon – as much as I like the idea, the game is suffering the same
problems as Mario Kart 8, with it’s controller-as-a-map screen -gimmick
(and gyroscope to an extent). This doesn’t make the game unplayable, it
just makes it not fun. It adds nothing to the gameplay, while taking
away your option to play the game how you’d want to.
This is going to be a problem when porting Splatoon for Switch, because
Nintendo needs to find a way to port the gimmick. If they’d realise they
have fucked up, there would be a fix already for everyone just to
download.

Zelda BoW – we haven’t seen much so far, but judging by the controls
(what we know so far), it’s likely designed to be played also using only
the mini-controller (or whatever it is called), which is good by itself,
but if you’re forced to use the gyroscopic controls “to take away the
fun”, we’re really back where we started.

Problems with the hardware:

It does not look friendly at all. It’s designed the same
(neutral/non-friendly) way as Wii and Wii U, which is the opposite to
Famicom, NES and SNES, even Gamecube was made to look friendly and
appealing. The tablet itself looks like any Lumia or Jolla phone/tablet,
and the table unit like, black matte Wii?

The hardware is easy to fix with “another form factor” Iwata talked
about, but if the games aren’t good, that one’s bad. If Nintendo ports
bad Mario Kart, it means we’re not going to get a better Mario Kart game
in the near future, and the people who said “meh” about Wii U because of
bad Mario Kart, are going to “meh” about Switch because of bad Mario
Kart. People did not say “meh” about Splatoon because the game would be
bad per se, but because of the ackward controls (that made the game
bad). If there’s any momentum, it could easilly be killed by games
people did not wan’t Wii U for.

I am happy to see in this email and on gaming forums people saying, “If people didn’t buy the Wii U for its games, why would they buy the Switch for Wii U ports?” It is a very, very solid question.

One of the great Nintendo truths revealed when Nintendo used to talk prior to Generation 7 (they have since clammed up which has significantly reduced the business content of this blog) was Reggie saying, “Games that were designed for one system do not sell as well when ported to another system.”

Has there ever been a game where the ported version sells significantly more than the original? Sure, there are examples like Resident Evil 4 selling more on PlayStation 2 than on Gamecube. However, that is more of an install base issue well after the install bases were established on two current generation consoles.

I am having problems thinking of a game ported that dramatically sells more than on the system it was originally designed.

I like the Wii U ports because I do not have a Wii U. Nintendo likes the Wii U ports because they are already made games.

But can you imagine if NES games were ported to the SNES when it launched? Man! It would never have worked out!

Imagine if Genesis games were ported to the Saturn when it launched? Knowing Sega who did everything wrong in the business book, they may have already done that.

Did you know that before the Wii came out, people would argue that people bought hardware and not the games? Such lunacy! “PS3 will sell because of Blu-Ray.” So the games don’t matter? “Yeah, Malstrom. The best selling game console will have nothing to do with the games released.” It sounds so laughable today because we are wiser.

People talk about Nintendo’s gimmicks, but what about Sony’s hardware gimmicks? Do we want the game console hardware to do all these non-gaming things? You talk about the cow people had with the Wii’s ‘casual games’ getting non-gamers. At least they were games. Sony and Microsoft were trying to sell their consoles on the basis of their ‘non-gaming’ functions. “HD-DVD!” “Blu-Ray!” That’s non-gaming right there. But the magnificent hardcore do not seem to notice that.

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