Welcome to a new blog post series where I express my confusion and problems with products. I’ve talked about products before but more as reviews. This series is for me to comment on things I never intend to buy. My first target the Nintendo Switch.
Let’s do a thought experiment. In your mind, take away the name Nintendo from the Switch. Imagine it as a new game console meant to reinvent game consoles. It’s portable, but has poor battery life. It’s brand new, but has terrible screen resolution. It’s expensive at $300, but only has 32gbs of storage. It’s goofy looking and lacks the polish of the new Xbox One S but actually costs more. You move on because it’s the new Ouya; the famous failed kickstarter game console.
Now ad the Nintendo name back the the Switch. Does this make it better? Would getting a new Zelda game make you buy this? (There are already classic Zelda games on the Nintendo 3Ds.) Wasn’t the Wii U already a failure? It’s not hard to see why Nintendo won’t save this console.
Nintendo Lost the Ball
Whoever pitched the Wii at Nintendo was their last employee who “got” what Nintendo was about. Nintendo was about playing games with friends in the same room. I’ve spent countless nights staying up late with friends playing Nintendo. Smash Bros, Mario Kart, and Pokemon these are the games that are Nintendo to me. These are all games with friend components. This idea of playing games with friends is gone from Nintendo. The brilliant group based Wii is now just a fond nostalgic classic.
People now only care about Nintendo for the memory of what it used to be like. Look at the runaway success of their retro NES Classic edition. People want access to their amazing back category of games, and Nintendo doesn’t sell it. Instead, we get jokey products like the Switch. For an era when people want to remembered the past, Nintendo is either stupid or visionary.
P.S. From a designer standpoint it’ll be annoying to have to design for two user interface scales, 6 inch 720p and docked 1080p.