Like the dirty-water dogs I ate while in New York, I came away from the Nintendo Switch event with a few concerns. Even with its amazing graphics and ease of use, the device left me teetering on the edge, contemplating whether I was stoked or scared about what the Switch. So, without further ado, here are my top five reasons that I am worried for the Nintendo Switch.
The largest concern I have regarding the Nintendo Switch is its minute dimensions. It’s perfectly easy to see the screen up close, but prepare to hunch if you’re using the device in Tabletop mode. Even worse is using the Joy-Con controllers as “Classic” controllers. I could hide a single controller in the width of my palm, which means that when using them in the horizontal mode (like for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe or Snipperclips) I felt like an adult trying to ride a children’s tricycle. Unfortunately, this made the device come across as more of a novelty than the $300 mobile/hybrid powerhouse that Nintendo wants it to be.
Gamers are used to paying for network usage via some sort of subscription service. Whether PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold, it’s just an expense of gaming. However, most companies now give away monthly free games to assuage gamers—a little sugar with the medicine. Yet, Nintendo plans on only allowing players to “borrow” a game over the course of the month, taking back the title after the time has passed . Hopefully, this means we’ll see a much lower price point than other services charge, but we’re not betting on it.
Will developers stay with it?
and how many games will continue to come out for it. Despite having quite a few titles from various developers announced for the Switch’s first year, we’re still a little gun shy after the lack of third-party games for the Wii U. How will games like FIFA and NBA 2K will really port to the Switch? Will the play be of a high enough caliber for companies like EA to continue to port them? Will the hardcore sports-game audience even be present on the Switch? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Nintendo has announced that the Switch will only have about 2.5-6.5 hours of gaming available per charge of its battery. While probably fine for more casual players—or those planning to use the device primarily in its docked Television Mode—it’s a brutal announcement for commute or travel gamers like myself. Not to mention the stress of charging across the various modes. How much drain will be on the Joy-Con controllers? Will they pull battery from the screen? What mode takes up the most battery? All these questions and more will probably be answered as the Switch gets closer to release, but we’ll be looking for a new mobile powerbank in the meantime.
Nintendo has always bet on its unique systems to carry it through a very competitive market. But will the Switch’s various modes, mobility, and Rumble HD be enough to keep Nintendo in the race? Competitors like the PlayStation 4 Pro allow superior processing power, the ability to play Blu-Ray, and can output in 4K. Microsoft’s upcoming mystery system—Project Scorpio—is supposed to also be incredibly powerful. Not to mention Microsoft’s master-stroke, Play Anywhere that allows gamers to effortlessly play a title on both their Xbox One and PC, with shared progress and achievements. Hopefully, Nintendo shows us that they’re still able to fight, even if the game (market) has changed.
The Nintendo Switch comes to North America March 3rd for $299.99.