First Looks// Nintendo Switch Hands-On: The Ups, The Downs, The Games

Posted 16 Jan 2017 16:48 by
Maybe it was because it was five in the morning, but after Nintendo's Switch presentation video was aired on Friday, I was pretty disappointed.

I had high hopes for the console and was more excited about the Switch than I have been over anything Nintendo has done for a long time. It had become a company that had fallen out of touch with what gamers wanted. Nintendo's lack of understanding of how people expect online gaming to work, the drip feeding of games rather than constantly keeping you booting up its systems and its lack of third-party support were all things that annoyed me about the Wii U.

I still loved the system. It had some incredible games that I have gone back to as recently as this morning. But there's this feeling among Nintendo fans that make you question why they can't iron out the creases and take over the gaming world once more.

Why can't they sort out their online network? Why do they overcharge for their digital catalogue? Why can't I play Destiny on the one console that could let me play lag-free in my hands while the wife watches another one of her god damn Soap Operas?

It never sours the time I spend with Mario Kart 8 or Super Mario 3D World, but when you look at something you love, you can't help but wonder how hard it could be to make this brilliant console a commercial success and in turn attract more studios to create games for it.

In 2016 Nintendo seemed to all but shut down. There was nothing of note coming out for the Wii U. Production of the console ended in the latter months and I'd hoped that they were shutting the doors to work on something big.

When the Switch was revealed to the world in back in October I was insanely excited. The video was slick, the message was clear and the console looked incredibly well designed. It felt like a new Nintendo, a new start.

The concept was one that I was fully on board with. A hybrid between home gaming and portable. Something we'd all hoped the Wii U was but this time, they'd nailed it. This was a console I wanted and this time we wouldn't have to utter some small print after saying how much I like a Nintendo system.

As last Friday went on, my mood got worse. Each sarcastic quip on twitter from a games journalist confirmed a new negative element to the Switch. Voice chat but only via your smart phone. Free games every month with a subscription service, but you can only play them for that month. Then there was confirmation of the launch line-up.

I'd thought for sure that Nintendo had a quiet 2016 so they could make sure that they hit the ground running with the Switch. New Mario, maybe Metroid or F-Zero. I wanted to get excited about the games as much as the console itself.

Instead, when you take a look at what's on offer at launch there's a whole lot of nothing. Not even Mario Kart 8 made it to the starting line-up. Instead we have an incredible-looking Zelda game that you can play on your Wii U for 20 cheaper, a party game called 1-2-Switch and something called Arms that looked like it belonged back in 2005.

I went to bed angry. Angry because I thought by that point I'd be sleeping happy in the knowledge that I'd pre-ordered early enough to secure a day one unit. Instead my Amazon order history still stopped at Christmas and I had no intention of trying to get my hands on one.
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