I love the idea of the Nintendo Switch. Zelda on the go is exactly what I want. As a guy who has owned every console since the SNES, I am their target demo. I’m a nostalgic, misty eyed fool who preorders Nintendo products with the blind unquestioning optimism of a cultist. And this is all in the full knowledge of the inevitable flaws and downsides.
It was no different with the Switch. But there’s still time to undo that mistake, and here are five reasons why I’ve cancelled my preorder.
The launch lineup
A console is only as good as its games. The trouble with the Switch is that it won’t really have any at launch. Zelda is releasing for the Wii U with barely any differentiating factors, and 1-2 -Switch is basically a non-branded WarioWare. There are 3 other launch titles, and no backwards compatibility. Strike one.
The lack of services
We’ve already mentioned backwards compatibility. But there’ll be no media apps like Netflix, no Miiverse, no video capture at launch, no chat functionality on the console, and no reason to buy the console other than the games. This would be fine, but as we’ve already established…there aren’t any. Strike two.
The hidden costs
Poised to be a console that bridges the gap between the mass appeal of the Wii and Nintendo’s handhelds, and the more niche offerings of the Wii U, the Switch is a terrible all on one package. Not only are there no all in one bundles at launch, but the extra peripherals cost extortionate amounts of money. No charging grip in the box? £25 for a USB C adapter? £70 for a controller? Jog on.
Underpowered in every sense of the word
The battery life is a concern. Two and a half hours as your lowest benchmark? There are gaming laptops that do much more and offer double the juice. Then there’s the console itself. Respawn scoffed at the idea the Switch could come close to running Titanfall. You can forget about your favourite third-party titles running on this thing. Everything will need to be bespoke, and I can’t see the install base justifying that.
Everything screams ‘rush job’
All of the above begs the question why the hell Nintendo wouldn’t wait until the console is a more attractive proposition before launching. The timing, before the end of the financial year, is suspect. There are flashbacks of Street Fighter V here – just getting a skeleton out of the door as quickly as possible and adding flesh to the bare bones later on.
Nintendo milking their most loyal fans for all that they’re worth is nothing new. It’s foolish to pretend otherwise. Investing in a console at launch is nearly always based on a brighter future , you do it to be first, to ride the biggest wave of hype. But with Nintendo’s biggest title for the Switch appearing on the Wii U too, I’m happy to wait until Nintendo bother to make the Switch a console worth caring about.
How about you?