10/24/2016

The Nintendo Switch Both Is and Is Not Worthy of Freaking Out

So uhh... here's the trailer, for the five of you who haven't seen it yet:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5uik5fgIaI&feature=youtu.be

What even is this?

So it's a cool idea, kind of, I won't lie. Even I am not that jaded. The idea of a console that you can both play on your monitor at home and on the go is really cool. It's a great idea! But it is already painfully obvious in the trailer that this is not going to work the way that Nintendo thinks it will in execution. Yet everyone I follow on social media seems to be pretty on board... like... really on board... like already convinced that they are going to buy one. Why?

I'm a fan of handheld consoles and home consoles. I was slightly skeptical of the Wii U, but now being an owner of one for over a year, I love it. Did it do anything incredibly groundbreaking? No, but it certainly functions and the gamepad, depending on the game, adds for extra comfort to gameplay, not just gimmicky control schemes like the Wii. Good god, the Wii... I also love the 3DS, as in the 3DS is one of my favorite systems of all time, and I think one of the most underrated. I play my 3DS pretty much every night before bed. I have put more than 200 hours into Pokemon Omega Ruby and still find ways to have fun with it. I also have the guilty pleasure of frequenting Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and will say that Kid Icarus: Uprising is one of the best games I have ever played.

That paragraph was to assure you that I am not a console elitist, handheld elitist, not a fanboy of any other console (I spend plenty of time playing PS3, PS4, and retro consoles; one could say too much time), and certainly not PC elitist. I just like games. I like control scheme comfort. I like practicality infused with originality.

Now it's time to bitch... about THE SWITCH!

I had to come out of the gate with that one. Someone had to do it.

PART 1: IT BECOMES A TONY STARK SCREEN THINGY ON THE GO

Okay fine. But: The trailer shows that IT CAN'T HANDLE IT'S OWN FUCKING GAME! Breath of the Wild can play in 1080p at 60fps on the Wii U and the Wii U isn't even state of the art (technically). It plays on a Nintendo Switch version, supposedly fine, and can be played without a gamepad peripheral, which could be cool. But then the guy in the trailer takes the little clippy things, and puts them on the Iron Man touch screen. This is not where I went ballistic. In fact, I kept pretty calm throughout until after the trailer when I processed what I had just seen. He plays Breath of the Wild and it has noticeable lag! In the damn trailer! Where the screen is edited on to avoid glare. Out of all the capture footage that Nintendo has of their own game, they chose that clip to use. This either means that someone really fucked up in the editing department by picking out that clip, or that this was one of the best instances they had to show. Really think about that process for a second. It has to be one of those two things: fuck up in editing, or fuck up in initial design of the product they are trying (arguably desperately) to sell. This is further proven by the fact that there is motion happening around the Switch in this scene, and it isn't glitching out, so it isn't a technical error on the video; it is a technical error of the Switch in a controlled environment where it should absolutely be able to run a game efficiently, considering that is one of its main selling points.

But beyond this, and this may be one of the key points to take away from this, the Nintendo Switch will also run at 1080p and 60fps, or at least it has not yet been confirmed that it can do 4k, meaning the Switch is basically a gimmicky Wii U... and the Wii U was already kind of gimmicky!

And the main thing I realized about the handheld feature, and I don't know why it took me until the girl at the end was taking it outside to realize this, there is pretty much no protection. Handheld designers: always use protection! The sides of the controller that stick into the thing look sturdy enough but the screen itself is just hanging out. I guess PSP's, PS Vita's, and 2DS's have survived such conditions, but those also have protectors made for them, whether by Nintendo or not. However, those three systems specifically were made to be one piece, whereas the Switch in this case is three pieces (the two side things and the screen module) designed to be continuously pulled apart and reconnected. Even if a protector is made for this, it's another thing you have to snap around, and since most protectors are usually made by 3rd party companies, it's safe to assume that it isn't always going to be that easy, and even if it is, this process would still be more tedious than it is to maintain certain guns. If you want to take that thing on the go anyways, it should not be that much of a hassle. On it's own, it isn't a criminal amount of a hassle. That much is successful. But if you want it to be safe from dust or any breakage, it looks like a losing game. Maybe I'm wrong.

I want to play games on a Stark Industries touch screen as much as the next guy, but until it is stable, I can wait, and seeing as Samsung has already figured out smooth-running "virtual reality", the handheld mechanic of The Switch is a bit behind its time. That's a huge letdown, considering they have been shelling it out into the rumor mill for... holy shit, has it been like two years or am I delirious?

PART 2: THEN WHAT DOES IT DO IN HOME MODE?

Time will tell. Again it seems to function based on a professionally edited trailer, but by that logic, Jabba the Hutt became real in the George Lucas bombed special editions of the original Star Wars trilogy. It seems to be a functioning game system. Personally I think the controller looks like an uncomfortable mix between the Wii U gamepad and the Ouya controller. Yeah. Remember the Ouya? People seem to like the Switch controller, and they are entitled to their opinion, and my opinion that it looks uncomfortable is invalid since it looks conventional enough and I haven't touched the thing for myself. But here's why I'm even steamed about this at all:

Because I'm a jaded asshole and I have publicly proven that I can hate something in everything.

Oh wait that's not it...
People are getting absurdly hyped over a functioning console that can play games that could hypothetically be released on the Wii U with no problem. Has the eighth console generation been such a sad mess that people are praising a console that was designed to play games? Woof. This is a great idea for someone who skipped out on the Wii U, but you expect us to buy this new, Wii U + (Wii Motion Plus reference intended) because uhh... it can detach from itself or something? Will it give us free Netflix? Like... why?

Keep in mind though that this is the perspective of a Wii U owner, so if people skipped out on the Wii U or still think that the gamepad IS the Wii U (which yes, there are still people that think that) then I guess I can see more appeal in the Switch. If you already have the eighth console generation system from Nintendo, hell even both systems if you count the 3DS, I don't see a point in getting one of these?

ALSO keep in mind, that little cartridge slot that the trailer kind of glanced over for a few seconds. That's cool, because you will be taking this thing on the go, but how does the console component know what game is in there, and further more how does it run the game? Hmm... Hmmmmmm...

PART 3: GAME LIBRARY SPECULATION

So here are the games that they show in this holy of all things holy trailer:

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- Already announced as a Wii U game. It's not an ultimate sin to think that this could be a Twilight Princess situation, but this is not Gamecube vs Wii; this is Wii U vs. Wii U 2. Whoops. I meant Switch. In other words, if there are two "versions" of this game, they will barely be any different from each other at all, even if you take away the gamepad functionality.

That Girl at the Airport
- Okay kidding. Not even going to go there.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- That's cool and all, but if you really liked Skyrim, you have probably already played it on PC, Xbox, or PlayStation.

A Mario Kart
- A new Mario Kart. Looks a lot like 8... which looked a lot like 7... oh god.

Basketball
- I'm not sure what it is, but I guess it's not a video game.

Some game that I admit I do not know, but obviously based on Basketball
- I guess it's some NBA game. I don't know.

New Mario
- Looks like Super Mario 3D World and Super Mario Galaxy had a baby. I don't know whether to be excited or terrified. Super Mario Galaxy is one of my favorite games of all time. Super Mario 3D World is one of the most uninspired and boring Mario games I have ever played. Even then, obviously this isn't a completely unique Mario experience at all, just from a few seconds of gameplay. Hype is very understandable, just weird that they felt the need to put this on just The Switch. Oh that's right! Because this will increase Switch sales if they make it Switch exclusive, even though it could totally be on Wii U. Got it.

Splatoon
- I actually have never played Splatoon, so I can't judge here. If it is just Splatoon, as in Wii U Splatoon, then this is dumb.

To recap:
Game that will be on Wii U, girl, game that has already been on other consoles that probably run the game smoother because of this fact, rehash, sports, game about sports, maybe rehash but certainly not a game-changer, and finally a game you can play on Wii U and probably already have several times because it has been out forever.

So far, I'm not sold, or really not understanding why everyone is so ready to jump on the bandwagon that Nintendo has glued together. I get being excited at the potential for this system, but the hype from a trailer that has basically said "what's an original and unique launch lineup?" is unwarranted. I feel like people should at least be a little skeptical, and the majority seem to be embracing complete uncertainty with open arms as if they were at a Journey cover band concert.

Not to mention again, that from a pure technical standpoint, The Switch will not be able to do much that the Wii U can't in terms of processing speed and graphics. Probably. I'm not a hardware expert.

PART 4: MULTIPLAYER COULD BE COOL IN THEORY

The controller can split into two tiny controllers, which are probably about as awkward as playing a game with a sideways Wii remote. I like playing NES games and a very select few other games on Wii and Wii U with this control scheme, but basing a whole console on this in 2016, aiming for a 2017 release, seems really dangerous bordering on stupid. Unless I am missing something incredibly vital, I can't imagine these kids at the basketball court playing an intricate basketball video game with so many commands using just a tiny joystick and a limited amount of buttons. Very limited. Being able to play something like Kirby Super Star or Ice Climber together on these tiny controllers on the go is really cool and admittedly innovative, but if we are playing something more complicated, I'm not going to want to do it on the go and break my spine looking down on it with a limited control scheme and a controller thinner than my own hand.

The other sad thing about this idea, considering it isn't really a bad idea, is that it came out in the wrong era. Even though split screen multiplayer is easier to create now, more and more developers are making games that only have online multiplayer. You won't even be able to use this feature for every single game. In most cases because of all of the third party developers that have signed on, you probably won't be able to use this feature on most of the games even if you have every Nintendo Switch game ever made. That's just speculation based on observation of course, so far we don't have many actual confirmed games yet (for a console that Nintendo supposedly wants to release soon even though we haven't known anything about it for roughly two years and still don't really know much about it now). I would hope that this system could encourage developers to refocus on split-screen and other forms of local multiplayer, but I'm not getting my hopes up, because my hopes are already pretty low for the console in general.

CLOSING ARGUMENTS

The Nintendo Switch is a bandaid on the past decade of Nintendo's odd console design choices, but in the end we are left with a pretty standard console that you can mostly sorta play outside. Take away the whole disconnecting one good controller into two okay controllers gimmick and the fact that it can be a glitchy handheld with little to no drop protection, and you have a console with a controller that can play games efficiently, but is that really it? Considering the Xbox One runs you through a load of ads and other convoluted garbage before you can even play anything and most PS4 "exclusives" can be played on PC, I guess The Nintendo Switch has come out at a somewhat opportune time.

This just seems unnecessary. What I wish they would have done is hold on to this idea until console generation nine was upon us. That way when we hypothetically got an Xbox 7203490 that streams thirty minutes of ads based on the porn we looked up in its browser and the PS5 that is basically a PS4 Neo with a higher focus on VR, there would be a more fleshed out, tested, and better researched piece of technology coming from Nintendo that would stand out from the crowd, and would be easier to advertise as such (unlike the Wii U). I know that's a long time to sit on a console, but with today's technology, the other consoles are not doing much to separate from PC gaming.

The possibilities that the Nintendo Switch could present based on its few gimmicks are enticing, but not enough is known to justify being this excited for something great. I'm not saying the Switch will be a complete flop and that we will all hate it two years from now like we did the Wii, but this isn't even a new console generation, and for the millionth time, the Switch is technologically on par with the Wii U if you take away it's selling points.

I will tell you all what I told my friend when he asked me about the "NX": They will have to release something groundbreaking. They will have to release a game that is so mind-blowing and catered to my personal taste in games that not buying it would lower my quality of life. It would have to be something absolutely ridiculous and simultaneously well-designed. Considering most modern games look piss-poor to me and I'm wholly content with my small library of PS4 and Wii U games (have gotten plenty of amusement out of Uncharted 4, Digimon Story, Smash, Bayonetta, etc.), I just can't see myself shelling out a butt-ton of money for this thing considering it does things my previously existing consoles can do.

Not even the new Mario cuts it for me and I love 3D Mario games. It looks too much like Super Mario 3D World. That is appealing to some, but terrifying to me. Nintendo and the Mario franchise specifically have hurt me too many times in the past decade to merit buying a Nintendo Switch. I'm at least going to wait until it gets a decent library, but even then, if similar games are coming to Wii U, or nothing is coming to either system that interests me, then I'm not spending the no doubt daunting cost of the Wii U 2... Switch. I meant Switch.


If I missed something, comment at me or message me somewhere or something. This is just an opinion piece on why I don't get the hype and why I personally have no interest in buying a Nintendo Switch. If you are excited about it and you are dead set on buying one, then you have every right to get it and say "the Randomrings Channel guy was soooo wrong, I'm having sooo much fun". I don't want anyone to feel offended or talked down to by this post. Okay thanks for reading.

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