At 4am this morning (UK time), the latest news on Nintendo’s new console the Switch was revealed online in a live-stream. Details from this included the console’s pricing and release date, as well as trailers for several of the upcoming games.
I wasn’t able to stay up late and watch the live-stream myself, but I managed to catch all the details as soon as I woke up this morning. The general consensus from most people appeared to be one of disappointment, but I don’t know why – I’m more excited than ever!
It seems that a lot of people have issues with the console’s pricing. It ranks up there as one of Nintendo’s highest ever, and is pricier than latest releases from competitors like PlayStation and Microsoft. I personally don’t have an issue with the price, having not purchased a new console since the Wii U debuted back in 2012. £280 for the Switch seems like an acceptable price to me, given it essentially acts as a follow-up to the Wii U AND 3DS, and it will likely be a couple of years until Nintendo replace it.
I can’t really comment on the pricing of additional hardware, like extra Joy-Con controllers, because Nintendo UK doesn’t seem to have any in their online store at the moment, but I have seen the American pricing for these. I will admit that this is where the cost is more of an issue. Having been one of only two people in my friend groups to purchase a Wii U, and the only person to still own one, multiplayer game-play has always been down to being able to play on my system. Although I’m hopeful that more of them will be interested in the Switch, if that’s not the case then I’ll have to shell out money for additional controllers if I ever want to do multiplayer games. I don’t mind paying money for extras, but I’m struggling financially as it is.
Still, I haven’t seen what the UK prices for those are, and I might be getting ahead of myself. I know that there’s been a lot more interest in the Switch than there was about the Wii U.
What I was probably most excited about from this live-stream (apart from discovering the console’s release date – March 3rd) was getting a more in-depth look at some of the games previewed in the console’s announcement trailer last year. Most notably I was hoping to find out more about Nintendo’s latest Mario title.
Named Super Mario Odyssey, the game is the company’s most ambitious yet for the beloved series as it’s set in an open-world landscape that is reminiscent of releases on the Nintendo 64. It follows the success of Super Mario 3D World which, as the title suggests, was the franchise’s latest foray into the 3D world of Mario after so many games set in 2D.
After watching the trailer, my anticipation for this game is higher than ever. The quality of the graphics looks superb and the gameplay shown is so perfectly Mario while also appearing fresh and exciting. There’s a much greater depth to the locations than there’s been in the past, and the inclusion of a real-life style world inspired by New York is both shocking and incredible. Also, a new mechanic has been introduced in this Switch title – Mario’s hat. It can now be used as a platform when launched out like a boomerang, making it easier to cross gaps and reach new heights.
Unfortunately for the console, this game isn’t being released until the end of the year, despite being a great title for the launch in March. I can see where the company is coming from with this, after all it’s something that will attract sales several months after the Switch is launched, but with so much depending on the success of this console, I would have expected Nintendo to pull out all the stops from the start. The new Legend of Zelda game is a great launch title, especially given how long people have been waiting for it, but I’ve never played anything from that franchise before, so it’s not enticing me to buy the Switch on release day. Of course, I’ll definitely be getting the console at some point. I think it’s a great development by the company, but given I don’t always have time to play video games, I need something brilliant in order to pay out a couple hundred quid.
Other trailers shown during the live-stream were ones for Splatoon 2 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The former is a sequel to one of the Wii U’s most popular titles which was released back in 2015, with more weapons, customisation, story-lines and game modes. The latter is an updated version of another of the Wii U’s biggest games, with all the same content as before, but with a whole lot added in. There’s new tracks, new characters (both from the Mario franchise as well as from Splatoon) and,most importantly, a revamped battle mode that features proper stages as opposed to existing race tracks. These games are tipped for a Summer and April release respectively and both look like worthy purchases in their new trailers.
Overall I don’t agree with the hate that this new system seems to be receiving. As a devoted Nintendo gamer, I’ve never been overly disappointed with anything that the company produces. I’m not an action/adventure/shooter kind of gamer, so the content that Nintendo creates in the form of animated platformers/life simulation/party/racer games is exactly what I enjoy. The mechanics of the company’s consoles are something I’m very much used to, and the combination of these in the Switch is something I’m extremely supportive of.
Whether I buy the Switch on release day will come down to how desperate I am to play it. I might be swayed if there are consoles packages like there have been in the past, where you can get the Switch and a game as one unit. 1-2 Switch looks pretty enjoyable and seems similar to Wii Sports and Nintendo Land that came joint with the previous consoles, but it’s the kind of game that I’d only play if it came free as opposed to going out and buying it. The titles that Nintendo showed during the live-stream are great, but their release dates are letting the console down slightly.
Anyway, that’s all I have to say on the matter for now. Despite the hiccups I’ve mentioned I’m not disappointed in what the live-stream showed, and I can’t wait to get my hands on a Switch (at some point during this year). I know that I’ll be playing on that console for a long, long time!