I don’t really want a Switch.
“Well, why are you bothering to waste your time telling us that or moaning about something you don’t like?” I hear you ask.
Well, it’s a reasonable deal in fairness since I’ve been buying Nintendo’s home consoles since the Gamecube. I’ve bought into the platforms that struggled at market and I’ve defended the likes of the GC and it’s excellent first-party software as well as the Wii when uninformed types were saying “it’s shit” without even looking at the games. The Wii-U however? That was one child that needed the a LOT more defending than its older siblings and as an adopter of the console who stuck with it to the end, I actually feel quite aggrieved about the Switch and its success.
Now contrary to what you may be thinking, I’m NOT the kind of person who gets annoyed or even affected in general by the success of a product that I don’t wish to buy into so this isn’t going to be one of those rants where I tell people to “buy a proper console” or whatever. No, my grievance is simply with the fact that I feel at least slightly shafted by Nintendo. After all, some of the big games that have helped make the console so popular are things that I have already paid full-price for and enjoyed on the Wii-U. Mario Kart 8 for example is a fantastic game but I’m not buying it again after paying out over £200 for a Wii-U, £40 (approx) for the game and then the DLC on top of that.
Other must-have games such as Pokken Tournament, Breath of the Wild and the upcoming ports of Hyrule Warriors and Bayonetta are all things that I have already played on the Wii-U. I suppose to sum up my gripe with the Switch, I would say that I think Wii-U supporters have quickly been forgotten. The likes of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe weren’t marketed as brand-new games but they certainly come with that image which is – in fairness – understandable given how a lot of people missed them the first time round on account of the Wii-U being such a relative retail flop.
But I paid a lot of money for these things and stuck by the Wii-U, comfortable with the knowledge that a small but perfectly-rounded library was no bad thing. The result of my loyalty is a follow-up console that I really don’t want when the best games currently available (Mario Odyssey aside) are things that I’ve already finished with. I can’t say that I think Nintendo actually care either because a large portion of the consumer base that have made the Switch a success are bound to be new customers who didn’t care about the Wii-U or even knew that it existed. We helped keep them afloat and now we have been ditched.
That sounds more than a little bitter doesn’t it? Well, let’s continue with an open mind and have a look at what else is available shall we? The first barrier I hit is a very familiar one that blighted the early days of the Wii-U: updated ports of old games from other consoles. You have the likes of Resident Evil Revelations, Doom, Skyrim and LA Noire – all great games that won’t suddenly become rubbish by being on the Switch but I’m only interested in new experiences. Obviously, these versions of previously-available titles will be improved or more “complete” than the originals and being able to play them away from the TV screen is a fair selling point but they just don’t do it for me. Then there is the pricing issue…Doom for instance is currently £40 on Amazon whereas I can pick up a brand-new copy on the PS4 for between £10-£15.
Yes, these new versions are probably aimed at people who DON’T have loads of consoles or are Nintendo followers only but the fact remains that many gamers have multiple machines beneath the TV these days. Heck, it has become kind of mandatory since the days of the Wii to own a Nintendo console + either a Playstation or an Xbox since multi-platform releases haven’t really been possible since the Gamecube given the technical gulf between Nintendo’s hardware and those of Sony/Microsoft. When they DO arrive they are late and usually compromised in some way.
Ultra Street Fighter II is the kind of game that is certainly my kind of thing given how I’m a die-hard fan of fighting games but the harsh reality is that the game is simply an updated edition of HD Remix which came out years and years ago on PSN/XBLA. It is a superb update of Super Turbo but I don’t fancy buying it again just for Evil Ryu and Violent Ken, unless there is a bit of a bargain to be had of course.
And away from the un-rewarded loyalty complex that the Switch has given me, this is the other main issue for me: excellent games that are difficult to justify buying unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade or are SO Nintendo that even the concept of holding a Dualshock controller is like being asked to stick your naked arm deep into the bowl of a public toilet that has been clogged-up for weeks.
So let’s be clear: I’m not saying that the games are shit, nor am I saying that the hardware is shit. I’m saying that there is little to entice me into getting involved with Nintendo’s latest offering. I’m glad that the Switch has been a success because things didn’t look good for Nintendo during the Wii-U days and as much as I feel part of a forgotten audience, there’s no way I’d have wanted to see them throw in the hardware towel. Ironically, it seems that the Switch is an amazing prospect if you HADN’T shown your support in the previous generation and passed-up the Wii-U because all of a sudden, you have loads of genuinely great games to play that won’t already be familiar territory.
So this leaves me one final angle to cover: looking to the future. Are there any brand-new games i.e. not ports/updates inbound for the Switch that would make me want to buy one? Well, there are some that I am aware of but possibly others that I’m not so stay tuned for a follow-up post where I will discuss my findings.