Does The Nintendo Switch Stand A Chance?

Way back in October, I wrote a somewhat controversial piece about why the Nintendo Switch is set up for failure - highlighting some key problems the company should avoid if they want to stand a chance against Sony and Microsoft. Did they listen? Let's take a look at what they announced in Tokyo.

Watch the whole stream below or scroll down for the rest of this opinion piece!

So, paraphrasing the previous piece, here are the metaphorical mines they should avoid stepping on:

  • Underpowered hardware
  • The poorly timed launch date
  • This cannot be just as pricey as their competitors

And did they listen? No - but to its merit sometimes.

With a lack of dedicated graphics and an ARM-based NVIDIA system-on-a-chip, the hardware does not have anywhere near the same 4K power that you will find in its competitors. However, as many of you already know, Nintendo's bread and butter is an artistic game design and captivating gameplay.

Let's make no bones about it - Super Mario Odyssey looks gorgeous (even though seeing him run in a real-life city amongst regularly proportioned human beings distresses me to the level of Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast), and Zelda is nothing short of jaw-dropping in visual flair.

But, I'm in two minds about this and your comment-based opinions would be helpful. On one side, I know consumers do chase speeds & feeds - so knowing that the tablet runs at 720p and the full console (when docked) runs at 1080p will immediately disengage some people in the face of 4K gaming.

However, on the other hand, 4K gaming is still a new concept that people aren't really going to use for the next two/three years until the TV prices come down to acceptable levels. Is the Switch perfectly placed or a bit too out of date? Answers in the comments, please.

Oh, and if Nintendo were actually serious about their online efforts, they'd put more than 32GB in this machine...

Moving on, they announced the launch worldwide on March 3rd... You already know my thoughts on this. While it seems interesting to go for a completely different launch window to the fall - which is dominated by the other two key players - spring is never usually a time when most consumers want to think about buying a new console.

And in my previous article, I predicted that while Nintendo would probably enter the market with a cheaper system at the time to entice consumers, Sony and Microsoft would just lower their entry-level price points to match.

Turns out I was wrong because Nintendo's pricing strategy is rather astronomical.

At $299 (going up to £279.99 for UK), it's going to be the same price (or slightly more expensive in some cases) than the Xbox One and Playstation 4 - two consoles with an already well-established pedigree.

I won't deny this console may do well with the Nintendo-core. But with the announcement of 1-2-Switch demonstrating the company's intent to relive some of that Wii glory and go for the popular consumer. But without that same $50 undercut of the former console, they may not pay attention.

You're playing a dangerous game, and I hope it all works out. But I've got my doubts...