Nintendo’s most anticipated hardware for 2017 The Switch is set to launch in less than a month and I have decided to postpone my intended purchase. The charm and excitement around this system has been ambient, tangible and tantalizing. Yet, for a Nintendo fan on a budget (such as myself) day one owners are left feeling burnt especially those owning a Wii U.
Launch window is anguish for Wii U owners; subtracting Mario Kart 8 “Deluxe” (a retail value game with %90 of the content on Mario Kart 8 for Wii U) and The Legend of Zelda: BotW (where the Switch’s only difference is that it will output a slightly higher resolution and higher quality environmental sounds than Wii U) we are left with no AAA games and a handful of quality smaller titles awkwardly supporting the system. An undetermined spring release date of Arms and a guaranteed three months’ minimum wait for Splatoon 2’s release is too little too late. And as appealing as $50 for 1 2 Switch seems (rolls eyes) the game clearly should have been a tie in with the console as each “game” so far has looked like notsofun tech demos of the Joy-Cons functionality.
The main draw begins in fall with games such as Skyrim and Super Mario Odyssey intended to release. Although I have played through Skyrim multiple times I find myself drawn to picking up the Switch port for the portability. Mario is as estimable as ever with the praise of consistent quality alongside a promise to return to the grander of openworld 3D platforming (SM64 / Sunshine) is enough to awaken the latent inner child creating an excitement unique to Odyssey. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is also set to release in 2017 and as a fan of the previous two Xenoblades I am pushed into wanting a Switch more. But, with an uncertain 2017 launch and the possibility of the game being delayed purchasing a Switch immediately for the next installment of Xenoblade becomes nonsensical.
Mixed in with these “system seller” games are average third party titles such as an ambiguous Fifa, an ambiguous NBA2K, the latest Dragon Ball game, Sonic Mania, and Minecraft. Which is appealing, but they all hold superior versions on other consoles. Alongside these titles are interesting smaller yet non-commanding of a Switch purchase exclusives; Snipper Clips, Fast Rmx, Super Bomberman and a Street Fighter 2 “Deluxe” (so to speak) are most anticipated. While these expand upon the Switch’s library it’s hard to find justification for a Switch whose non-Wii U launch titles are limited by a lackluster size of content. Worthy of mention, scarce information on virtual console creates potential for an even drier launch library.
With minimal mentionable “new” Switch software available to owners of the Wii U an intent to purchase the console is thwarted further by the price point of the hardware’s accessories. For someone who is looking to have a traditional four set of controllers $80 increase, for a gamer who enjoys staple controllers $70 increase, for a charging grip (the least serviceable accessory as the console already charges Joy-Cons; each having 20 hours on a single charge) $30 increase, and for those hoping for docks across multiple TVs each additional dock is a $90 increase (ironic as the dock transfers the tech from the actual console to the TV at such a high price point.) Personally, I would only purchase the first two accessories mentioned for their utility and that I game on a sole TV. Suffice to say price rapidly increases when factoring in commonplace accessories.
The Switch holds potential to be a thriving platform for players and software. Although excited for the release and my own inevitable purchase of the Switch a day one purchase is nondemanding. With poor software to choose from during launch and a buy in north of $300 I will continue to wait for an expansive library and (hopefully) a price drop or bundle.