Friday, January 13, 2017

The Switch Reveal Proves That Nintendo Learned Nothing from the Wii U

If you're like me (and as always, God help you if you are), then you might feel a bit disappointed at best and laughing with mild insanity at worst regarding Nintendo's big Switch reveal last night. While the games shown weren't horrible by any stretch of the imagination, many in fact looking awesome, the majority of them won't be at launch. With regards to the Switch's price point, the lack of many interesting launch titles, and an assortment of other concerns, the similarities to how Nintendo botched the Wii U are quite concerning, showing once again a company that really has no grip on reality.

Starting off, we begin with the number that immediately turned off many a gamer from the Switch: $300 USD. Just like the Wii U, not only is the price more than what people were expecting and desiring, but the cost of the console is up due to a controller that no one asked for. With the Wii U, it was the GamePad, with the Switch, it is the need to implement so-called "HD rumble" to jack up the console's price. Yes, you essentially get two controllers with the Joycon that comes with the Switch, but if you want any more, you're unlikely to just go to a store and make an impulse buy when an extra Joycon controller is seventy bucks.

Now, let's talk launch lineup. It's abysmal. One of the worst in launch history for both Nintendo and just consoles in general. When the main game being talked about is also available on Wii U and on the same day, it's really challenging to make people think, "Oh, yeah. Sure. I'll pay an extra $300+ just for the pleasure of playing a hardly-improved port." What makes Nintendo think that this lineup for launch is good for the asking price? Hubris? Stupidity? A mixture of both?

Then, you have the total lack of commitment from third party developers. I don't think old ports of FIFA and Skyrim, and these aren't even going to be at launch, are going to get any gamer excited or wanting to drop $300 for the system. Even the majority of upcoming Japanese support near launch is of old ports of games that have already seen success on other platforms.

A huge question to consider that also could have been asked with the Wii U is... "What in the world has Nintendo been doing for all of this time?" To be fair, Nintendo could have been like Sony with the PlayStation Vita, saw the Wii U was a bomb, and just dropped all support within the first two years. Instead, Nintendo gave its fans and owners of its Wii U some of the best games of the generation instead of dropping it like a rock. However, Nintendo stopped supporting the Wii near the end of its life, thus resulting in the system flat-lining instead of continuing to prosper. (Sort of where all the "Wii was a fad" nonsense comes from.) I remember thinking along many other gamers that Nintendo surely did this to have lots of games ready for the successor, the Wii U. As history shows, however, this couldn't have been further from the truth.

And now here we are with the Switch, and history has once again repeated itself. We thought, "Nintendo wouldn't just slow down support for the Wii U if they didn't have lots of games and projects for the Switch coming, right? ....Right? ....RIGHT?!" Well, wrong. Once again a Nintendo console gets fully revealed with an anemic amount of games ready for launch and a paltry amount of games from third parties coming. Not even indies have much to show, which says that Nintendo's secrecy and need to only give dev kits to bigger developers to prevent leaks have been another mistake.

That's really the mantra of Nintendo nowadays: Mistake after mistake, all adding up to be incredibly self-defeating. It boggles the mind how Nintendo consistently shoots itself in the foot over and over again and puts itself in such a poor predicament time and time again. We've seen this with the Wii U, we've seen this with the 3DS (which due to a quick price cut stopped the bleeding, thankfully), and now we see it with the Switch. It's immensely disappointing that Nintendo keeps crapping the bed over and over again, showing that regardless of the man in charge, Nintendo really has no idea what it's doing anymore.

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