The Nintendo Switch — Addressing the Issues

The Nintendo Switch — Addressing the Issues

The Nintendo Switch console is only two months away from launching, and gamers everywhere are still speculating on its hardware configuration and features. Thanks to Nintendo’s recent video of the Switch – which was released back in late October — the question about the system being a handheld/home console hybrid was finally answered. As we all know, Nintendo has controlled the portable gaming market ever since it released the original Gameboy back in July of 1989. The Wii U attempted (to some degree) to merge both the portable and home console markets together with its enormous gamepad, but poor battery life and the lack of an on-board CPU hampered the experience, keeping gamers confined to their homes. 

Addressing The Issues:
Nintendo claims the Switch addresses the complaints most gamers had about the Wii U and its gamepad, but early reports from certain developers would suggest otherwise. While rumors can be taken with a grain of salt, some inside sources claim the Switch’s portable battery life is less than 3 hours. And when WIFI gaming is added to the equation, the battery life decreases even further. 

Nintendo could possibly face another disaster like the Wii U. In today’s market, gamers want the best hardware money can buy. With battery technology where it is today, releasing a portable/home console hybrid with poor battery life is financial suicide (especially when portability is the system’s selling point).  A recent report has confirmed that Nintendo has no plans to release a stronger battery for The Switch, leaving gamers with one question – how will they play big box console games like Skyrim Remaster on the go, when the Switch’s battery life will be so limited? (MyNintendoNewsLaura Dale Says Nintendo Switch Battery is 3 Hours Max, Dock Does Improve Performance...) Most AAA titles will demand a tremendous amount of processing power, and this will equate to more battery consumption in the long term. What are gamers to do?

There’s Still Hope…
Nyko – a third-party developer known for its video game accessories — may release a battery similar to its UBoost peripheral, which provided 2x the battery life for the Wii U’s gamepad. When this is taken into consideration, it stands to reason that Nyko may release a similar product for the Switch in the not-so-distant future. If Nyko doesn’t, maybe another third-party developer will? We can only cross our fingers and hope.

The Nintendo Switch’s Future is Already Being Decided…
As gamers may already know, From Software has a copy of Dark Souls III running on real Switch hardware. This is good news for gamers, right? Well, not so fast – From Software will not release the game until they see the sale numbers from launch day. If all goes well, the Switch will receive a port of Dark Souls 3 and (possibly) a Dark Souls Trilogy release.

Speaking of launch titles: what can gamers expect for software when The Switch launches in March? Nintendo is promising Breath of the Wild and a 3D Mario game. Splatoon may also be a launch title, if the video Nintendo released is any indication. 

 Right now, there are at least seventeen games in development for the Switch. (Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nintendo_Switch_games)

Among the games currently in development is Dragon’s Quest X & XI (Squaresoft),  Dungeon of Zaar (a Switch exclusive), and Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom (FDG Entertainment), to name just a few. Out of the seventeen games in development, there are seven exclusives scheduled (i.e. four are from third-parties and two are from Nintendo).

Nintendo Switch Exclusives:
Dungeon of Zaar (FDG Entertainment)
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo)
Pokemon (Nintendo)
The Sacred Hero (SiMPLiSTiC)
Seasons of Heaven (Any Arts Production)
Tank It! (Bplus)

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is currently the only game that has been confirmed to be a launch title.  Nintendo has promised to right the wrongs of the Wii U’s launch by having a plethora of launch titles available when the Switch launches in March, but so far Nintendo has been tight-lipped about available titles.

Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat…
Nintendo’s list of third-party developers has been public knowledge for quite some time. And while that list contains some of the best developers the industry has to offer, it’s still missing certain developers that would make the Switch a must-buy for the average gamer. Nintendo fans buy Nintendo consoles to play first-party titles such as Mario, Zelda and Pokemon; that is a given. Nintendo has said that unlike the Wii U, the Switch will target gamers instead of families. This was a broad statement that not only included hardcore Nintendo fans, but gamers that would otherwise purchase a Playstation 4 or Xbox One.

Nintendo needs to secure franchises such as Grand Theft Auto and Mortal Kombat to attract a larger demographic to their gaming console. Let’s face it: the market at large relies on certain franchises. When a console system has those titles available, people generally buy those systems. It’s the nature of the beast. 

Januaray 12th, 2017…
Nintendo plans to officially announce the Switch via Livestream on Januaray 12th, 2017. One question still remains, though: will Nintendo finally reveal the Switch’s hardware specs during their live event or will they side-step the issue by just focusing on the Switch’s portability? 

It would be in Nintendo’s best interest to announce the Switch’s hardware capabilities. Let’s hope that as a gaming console, the Switch is equally as powerful as the Playstation 4 and Xbox One. Otherwise, Nintendo could lose the interest of gamers before the Switch launches in March. As a Nintendo fan, I hope this doesn’t happen. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Nintendo has finally learned from its past mistakes.

Nintendo Switch Reveal Trailer:

Nintendo Switch Console System:

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