We’ve had a lot of information about the Nintendo Switch over the past week. But here’s why we haven’t seen, that I’d really like.It’s been a week since Nintendo let the proverbial cat out of the bag, and finally unloaded a heap of information about their newest console, the Nintendo Switch. We have a release date, a few launch games, a price, and loads more information about what the Switch is, and what its unique selling points are.
But, for all the information we have been given, and the questions that have been answered; there’s always more questions to be asked – Things we’d like to clarify, and suggestions of things we’d like to see.
Now, everyone has something to say about the Nintendo Switch, but here is my personal list of things that I would personally like the Switch to offer.
Nintendo’s new generation
What was most striking about last week’s announcements, was that the focus shifted far away from the usual Nintendo faces like Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma, and onto lesser seen personalities. Much of the presentation was headed up by the console’s General Producer, Yoshiaki Koizumi, a longtime employee of Nintendo who has worked on everything from the manual artwork for The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past, to a Producer for the last few Super Mario games (and of course, the upcoming Super Mario Odyssey).
Meanwhile, the young team of developers that worked on the brilliantly fresh Splatoon are returning to develop its sequel, which will no doubt be a further showcase of the new ideas coming from Nintendo.
With new games such as Arms and Snipperclips, and no doubt even more fresh ideas, there’s a definite hope that this is a Nintendo in a state of transition – A “changing of the guard” if you will. I’d like to see Nintendo continue to take chances on new ideas, and new developers, something which I believe will help the company continue to be an anomaly of the modern AAA business model.
A possibly controversial part of the announcements was that Nintendo revealed the introduction of a “premium” online service, in the vein of Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, enabling Switch owners to play online, as well as offering a few other benefits in the form of monthly free games, etc.
But to truly justify the cost of a subscription service, it’s going to require that Nintendo finally be more progressing in their attitude and approach to online services into the modern age. No longer can Nintendo users stand for complicated friend systems, limited communication options and a lack of voice chat. If Nintendo want to charge for a premium online service, then they must promise a premium online service.
The lack of a Metroid announcement was obviously notable by its absence, the series continuing to be a popular one in the West, even if more recent instalments in the franchise failed to deliver what many fans wanted.
But, following a Gamespot interview with Nintendo of America President, Reggie Fils -Aime, there is a limited amount of hope to be had, following this choice quote:
“But we are aware that there are some key IP that consumers just can’t wait for the next true installment in that franchise’s legacy. Suffice it to say, we’re aware of it, and talk to me in a year and let’s look back and see what’s happened.”
As much as we’ve heard a similar line from Fils-Aime in the past, we have to give Nintendo the benefit of the doubt that they’re listening to the core Nintendo fan – The only real market that the company can bank on in terms of Switch adoption at this stage. The question is: If we do get a new Metroid game, who’s going to develop it, and will it be a real game in the series and not a spin-off?
As Reggie himself says, talk to him in a year and then look back to see what’s happened.
A Virtual Console Switch Up
One of Nintendo’s most brilliant and yet, most underutilised console features of the last decade, is their Virtual Console service. It has always been a brilliant and simple idea – Package up some decent quality emulators for some of the most important consoles of the last thirty years, and let gamers legally play the on their new Nintendo system, for a cost.
As great as the potential has been, the execution has usually been somewhat lacking. For every system sporting a Virtual Console service, is has been prone to a lack of interest from Nintendo as time has gone on. Glaring omissions from Nintendo’s history, inconsistent emulation quality (take a look at any NES Virtual Console game to see how badly that system has been handled), and a lack of consistency in terms of actual releases has soured most people on the idea of the Virtual Console.
Given the success of the NES Classic Mini, and the fact that retro gaming is more popular than ever – Nintendo would do wisely to push Virtual Console further and help it realise the potential it’s never matched up to.
Oh, and some Gamecube games would be nice.
As much as the Nintendo Wii U failed in terms of sales, it succeeded wholeheartedly in terms of exclusive games, and a lot of that had to do with some excellent partnerships made with other third parties. Partnerships with Platinum Games and Tecmo Koei were particular fruitful, with some excellent games coming from those studios, as well as a closer working relationship with indie studios such as Yacht Club Games (Shovel Knight) and Shin’en Multimedia (FAST Racing Neo).
I’d love to see Nintendo pursue more partnerships, especially with more Western developers – For more exclusives or even definitive versions of multiformat games.
What do you think about the Nintendo Switch? Is there anything you’d like to see from Nintendo’s new console? Let me know in the comments!