Thursday, July 13, 2017

Why I Don't Find the Nintendo Switch Compelling

I was admittedly upset when I found out that Nintendo was going to develop the new Nintendo Switch, which means they won't support the Wii U going forward, given their past history of dropping support quickly in favor of the new console. At the same time, I understand that Nintendo was losing money on the Wii U, so I really couldn't blame them. I just had that bitter taste in my mouth finding out, because I absolutely loved my Wii U the most out of all the consoles, early in this console generation. My favorite now is the PS4.

I don't know how I stumbled upon articles about Conflict Minerals and their use in electronic components, but I did. So curious, I wanted to see where Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony obtain their sources. I was upset to see that Nintendo uses conflict minerals, but not Microsoft or Sony. Even so, I felt that Nintendo may move to Microsoft's and Sony's position in the future, but this news made the upcoming console even less appealing.

I then found out that Nintendo will take down anyone's Nintendo videos if you're not a member of their White List program. Once approved, you're prohibited from displaying non-Nintendo content. Not only that, you can't just show any Nintendo game, it must be a game that is on their approved White List, otherwise they can ban your channel. No other game developer in the world demands this, as they smartly realize that by allowing people to stream their games without restriction or penalty, they get free advertising worth millions.

They have also sent cease and desist to programmers who made FREE remakes, such as the wonderful Another Metroid Remake 2 (AM2R), whereas Sega actually HIRED the person who made free Sonic the Hedgehog games, realizing they've hired the best employee possible. Indeed, anyone who codes your game with no financial incentive, clearly loves the game and is passionate and Sega found an ideal employee, saving a lot of money from head hunting.

There was still a little doubt in my mind whether I wanted the Switch or not, because of the strength of their first and second-party games, but it became a firm decision to avoid the Switch when my friend lost a lot of his revenue to Nintendo. The negative practices in theory described above didn't really hit home until I experienced the pettiness of Nintendo on a personal basis. That definitely made my decision to buy the Switch an emphatic "no".

What completely cemented this decision and made me realize that I'm doing the absolute right thing, is the reveal of the next main entry (NOT spin-off) Monster Hunter: World that will be on PC, PS4 and XBoxOne. Indeed, this made me yell like a banshee since the series can now take advantage of the current-gen technology, and unleash it's true potential. I also thought with relief, "now, there's really no reason for me to own a Switch".

Given the track record of the past two Metroid Games, Metroid Prime 4 doesn't appear promising; Samus is effectively dead thanks to Metroid: Other M and even worse, Metroid Prime: Federation Force, she wasn't even the playable character.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 looked underwhelming, and it's unclear if there'll be a Bayonetta 3 on the Switch. And, I'm not interested in any Mario games, even though Super Mario Odyssey looks incredible, with emphasis on exploration. It looks like a masterpiece from what I've seen.

However, I wonder, if I love Mario as much as my favorite series, would I get the Switch? My knee-jerk reaction is "hell no", but if I love the game as much as Dark Souls/Bloodborne and this system is the ONLY way I can play the series, I sheepishly admit that I would throw all ethics out the window and get the Switch, but only in very particular conditions.

I would wait until all the technical glitches are ironed out, as there seems to be a lot of problems and no apps (??!?) with the launch. The launch was clearly rushed to appeal to the Board and shareholders for the upcoming financial quarter.

Indeed, there were quite a few articles and videos about the dock scratching the screen, the left joy-con not syncing, and the poor design choices. Also, I have a feeling that once all the Nintendo fans buy the system, it might not continue to sell as well, and there will be an eventual price reduction.

I could be wrong, and perhaps since it's getting the 3DS games, it may take off and sell like hotcakes. However, remember, the Switch has to compete with the upcoming XBox One X and all the AAA 3rd party games, PS4's onslaught of AAA/must-have exclusives, and ubiquitous Smart Phone games, so I foresee price reduction.

As for the Conflict Minerals dilemma, I think Nintendo will move forward to conflict-free mineral program, or so I hope, as a lot of industries have moved to conflict-free sources.

As for the consumer, I can only justify getting the Switch under these rather stringent and tight conditions:
  1. The glitches must be worked out and basic apps are included such as Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, and the like.
  2. Price must be reduced drastically, as well as prices on the necessary accessories. And I mean drastically to $150. Remember, in addition to the accessories such as Pro Controller, you need to buy a screen protector and memory card, as well as game. This may end up costing $250 (that is if the base price is $150) which you can get a PS4 or XBox One S already bundled with a game for $250. 
  3. You can easily afford the console without blinking so you won't be upset if it breaks outside of warranty period.
  4. Super Mario Odyssey and anything Mario is truly your life-blood and soul, so the console is a "must". 
  5. You will NOT be upset if you use it for just one game.
 For now, I'm holding off.

The How of Happiness Review


  1. Seems sensible to me. I have to wonder about anyone fiding one game fascinating enough to buy a problematic game system for. Does anyone rent game systems these days?

    1. I bought a 3DS solely for Smash Bro's. I have played other games, Bravely Default, Fire Emblem, but I bought it for smash and I actually still play Smash. Best £200 I ever spent, closing on 4k hours or so since release.


    2. I agree with Philip Sibly here. In terms of cost, if you spend 500 hours on 1 game (i.e. Monster Hunter can last even longer), that's worth the price of one console and game!

      I remember Blockbuster used to rent out game systems. I wonder if you can borrow game systems from libraries. I know libraries around the country now have video games to borrow.

  2. Nintendo Japan has certainly been absent as far as ethics talk is concerned for the past couple decades now. It's really sad to see the company that once literally save gaming, grow so poisonous to the industry. It's kinda similar to EA games in a lot of ways, originally a company of good intent get greedy as all hell. Luckily EA are starting turn over a new leaf again, hopefully all other publishers start to follow suit and help fix the problems they started.


  3. It's a shame, really. Microsoft and Sony clearly aren't saints either, but they know when they pushed it with their customers, such as the DRM rights fiasco with Microsoft and Sony overpricing the PS3, but they learn from their mistakes, and reverse course. And, you mentioned EA who are really trying to change. I don't know why Nintendo simply doesn't learn from their costly mistakes.

    Also, it's very sad that once Nintendo was the innovator with Mario, Metroid (which started the Metroidvania genre), and so on and so forth, but now they're rather "dated". Breath of the Wild was pushed to open world design, copying other games, I feel unsuccessfully, ignoring their gold standard dungeon designing that made the series unique and absolutely brilliant.

    Where other developers are now influencing gaming, such as Bethesda with the Elder Scrolls Series, From software with SoulsBorne series, CDPR with perfecting the open world formula (from what I've read) and being extremely fan-friendly, and so on, Nintendo is still behind the times. They really need to push forward aggressively and respond immediately to customer complaints (they tend to blame everyone else but themselves), given the EXTREMELY fast pace of video game industry and shrinking consumer dollars.

    1. I'll have to do a write up on it, but there's a hell of a lot more too it than just innovation, just makes the tales of Nintendo and EA all the more tragic really. It's a bit much to talk about here though, quite a big topic video games history, despite only spanning a few decades, considering how far we've came with them, it's quite intimidating to be honest.


  4. Replies
    1. Thanks very much Steffi, and welcome to the blog! If there's anything that you'd like to read about pertaining to gaming, let me know!


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