Last night, Nintendo fully unveiled what’s coming on March 3rd with the Nintendo Switch.
Starting at 11:00 PM EST, we learned the price point, release date, and upcoming games. We also learned that we’ll be getting The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on day one. It should last us long enough before more games come out; that situation looks pretty damn dire right now. It’s here that the disappointment begins. I’ve seen comments concerning the $299 price point being upsetting, but let’s be real here: this is the same price (currently) as an Xbox One or PlayStation 4, as well as being cheaper than their launch prices. Sure, one can make the argument that either an Xbox or PS4 is a better purchase (that, or just building a PC), but the counter to that is the fact that the Switch will offer the plethora of Nintendo titles we all know and love.
Minus, you know, Metroid and F-Zero, but I’d rather not rant about those two games for five-hundred words.
I can definitely see the logic behind this “disappointing” price point; why pay $300 for a system with worse third-party support and (currently) lacking software support. To be honest, I really don’t have an impactful answer in this regard. If you’re going to get a Switch, you’re getting it for the Nintendo games. If you’re currently in the market for the “best” gaming console available come March 3rd, there is no way I’m ever going to recommend the Switch for you. Heck, chances are I might not even recommend it come March 3rd, 2018. Sony and Microsoft have such a leg-up on Nintendo with better graphics, more games, and better multimedia features that it’s not even close. Heck, if you’d want to be making this argument, Nintendo hasn’t been the “best” console in years. The Wii’s success was on the back of its accessibility for the non-traditional crowd as well as its impulse buy price point.
That’s not why we buy Nintendo consoles, though.
As the third-party support waned over the years, the quality of Nintendo’s games remained. Was I disappointed with the Wii U? You bet, but I’m glad I owned the system because I got to experience plenty of great games. I’m looking forward to the same with the Switch; Breath of the Wild looks absolutely stunning, I’m excited for a sandbox Mario game, and Splatoon 2 on the go sounds like a fantastic idea. Heck, any of these games on the go is a fantastic idea! To you and me, this is all great news. We’re all game fanatics. We get excited about owning everything we can, playing the latest and greatest.
Of course, with that comes a price: when we don’t see certain things we’re hoping for (Samus Aran, where are you?), we get disappointed. When the mainstream gaming audience doesn’t see enough to get excited, people get disappointed. Does that mean the Nintendo Switch is already a failure? Absolutely not, but looking critically at last night’s event, it’s not hard to see why people are both over-joyed and upset with Nintendo’s latest offering.