games / Columns

411 Games Fact or Fiction: Did We Like the Nintendo Switch Announcement?

October 27, 2016 | Posted by Daniel Anderson
nintendo-switch

Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s edition of Fact or Fiction. As always, I am Daniel Anderson, and I hope everyone has had a good week. We got some big news last week with Red Dead Redemption 2 being announced and Nintendo announcing their new console. Normally this amount of new stuff happens around E3, but I am not complaining. Anyway this week we have 411’s Jeremy Thomas going against Sean Garmer. Let’s see what they have to say, shall we?

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1.) You liked the Nintendo Switch announcement overall.

Jeremy Thomas Fiction: I don’t think it was the disaster I’ve heard from some corners, but I do think it’s a clear statement that Nintendo has given up on being a player in the console market in any real sense. The Switch is making a pivot toward what Nintendo does best: mobile gaming. And that’s fine to a degree, but it’s definitely not what I was hoping for. Hybridized hardware is a risky proposition because you’re relying on where the Venn diagram of console gamers and mobile gamers meet, and there’s only so much of an audience for that. The fact that some reports claim it’s behind the power levels of the current gen of Xbox and Playstation consoles is both understandable given where the system is going and disappointing. It’s not easy to have it both ways and I don’t know that Nintendo will be able to pull that off here.

Sean GarmerFact: I know people wanted more facts. Especially considering how long people have been waiting for this announcement, but the three minute plus trailer showed a lot in saying a little. Yes, there are tons of questions that Nintendo has failed to answer and we may not get anymore from them until January either. But many of the rumors came true in that trailer. It was slick, I loved the song, and if it works like in the trailer, I really want one. The portability is going to be a huge asset. Not too sold on the Joy-Cons, but I’d probably get a Pro Controller anyway. Glad they had games to show and that the announcement was focused on adults. Makes you feel like they may be learning something. Obviously, we need to know about battery life, if it has a touch screen or not, what’s actually inside powering the machine and how the online system is going to work too. But it was a good start that generated buzz for Nintendo.

Score: 0 for 1 – I am not sure how far behind it will be from the PS4 and Xbox One in terms of power. Fact is, we just do not have the specs. I think that the video showed that Nintendo has not given up on the console idea, but just wants to make sure people can play their console on the go as well.

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2.) The Switch name is a fine name for the console.

Jeremy ThomasFact: This is something I did legitimately like. The NX was an okay name but branding that would be trickier because — well, it’s just two letters. The Switch throws the silliness of the Wii and Wii U’s onomatopoeia elements out and goes for something that relates to the device’s function. That’s a smart move and one I’m generally on board with.

Sean GarmerFact: It is simple, upfront about what it is, and shows Nintendo wants you to make a switch in how we think about gaming. You can easily switch from portable to dock to kickstand and more. I don’t see what the problem is. What did you want Wii 3?

Score: 1 for 2 – At first I was not a fan of the name, but the more I thought about it the more I liked it. Fact is, as long as good games are available people will buy the console.

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3.) The Switch will get more 3rd party support than the Wii U.

Jeremy ThomasFiction: We’ve already seen that some games aren’t coming out on the Switch in Mass Effect Andromeda and possibly Skyrim, even though the latter was featured in the announcement trailer. Bethesda is still saying it will support the Switch but you have to wonder how much after that. The thirty-parties that didn’t support the Wii U made that decision because the console couldn’t compete with its competitors in the hardware arena. With developers now looking toward 4K and other advanced hardware options, I feel like the console is going to end up further and further behind. There may be a bit more equity initially but that will go away in fairly short order.

Sean GarmerFact: It all depends on how well it sells. No matter how great your marketing is, if it doesn’t sell, the third parties will slowly dissipate. It looks like Nintendo has everyone on board right now and as long as they deliver on their end and get the Switch in the hands of consumers, I think they will be ok. What’s great about this system is that they can get the consistency of games they had on 3DS, but with the graphics of a more powerful system. I think that keeps hold on the third parties for much longer than on Wii U. Also, I think there’s no confusion like there was for Wii U. So, people will buy this and that also keeps third parties around.

Score: 1 for 3 – I think it all depends on how well the console sells. If Nintendo can have a stellar launch lineup and sell a ton of consoles initially then third party support will follow. It also depends on how close the Switch comes to the power of the current gen consoles. If games can be adapted without much work then there is no reason not to support it if you are a publisher.

SWITCH!

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4.) You like the multi-player options that the Switch announcement showed.

Sean GarmerFact: Yes. Although, I really want to know how the online system is going to be, before I am totally onboard. How does the section where the two Switches are back to back work? Is it as seamless as the video shows? Those are big questions. Being able to just pull down a controller and hand it to a friend is amazing. You can instantly convert a casual friend into a big Mario Kart or Splatoon player. That’s a tremendous advantage that doesn’t cost another $60 like a controller would. It looks like there are four controller ports recognized. So perhaps you can buy an extra set of Joy-Cons or you can use two pro controllers. Looks like there’s some possibilities.

Jeremy ThomasFact: Vaguely. I’m not a big multiplayer guy as a rule, but I do kind of like that Nintendo is keeping local multiplayer in play. I don’t know how much use it will get, as most people seem to be geared toward online multiplayer, but it’s definitely going to make some people happy and Nintendo players tend to be the most geared toward local thanks to the likes of Mario Kart and Mario Party. It wasn’t enough to get me particularly jazzed for the console itself, but it’s a nice little bonus.

Score: 2 for 4 – I think it is interesting. We can have two people playing on one Switch, and it looks like two Switches can be connected for 2v2 multiplayer. There are a lot of possibilities in this setup.

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5.) After Red Dead 2, Rockstar’s next game will be GTA VI.

Sean GarmerFact: Seeing as the market is cornered on racing titles, I don’t think Midnight Club needs to make a return anytime soon. I’d be really surprised if we see another Bully. It seems like that was a one and done game. Remedy is the one that really handles Max Payne. It may be really down the road, but yeah, I think it is GTA VI.

Jeremy ThomasFiction: Rockstar has a lot of options besides just Grand Theft Auto. It’s always possible that it could be the next game, but GTA V still gets a lot of play from people and I don’t think it’s necessary for them to go to that well again quite so fast. People will always come back for that franchise and I think Rockstar knows it would behoove them to expand their options instead of relying on that one franchise over and over again. I won’t complain if I’m wrong because I’m looking forward to the eventual sixth GTA, but I don’t see it right now.

Score: 2 for 5 – Unless they bring back Table Tennis for the various VR systems then I see it being GTA VI as well.

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6.) Red Dead 2 will release in 2017.

Sean GarmerFact: Rockstar doesn’t just announce things unless they are really going to do it. If they announced a release year, it is because they feel they can get Red Dead 2 in 2017. Rockstar to me is in a place by itself when it comes to trust. They are so solid and so reliable, it is hard not to trust them completely.

Jeremy ThomasFact: Obviously the likelihood of delays is there, and perhaps even a probability. Rockstar’s been pretty good amongst their delay-heavy brethren though; the PC port of GTA V was delayed but that’s a bit more expected with ports. Right now we just have “late 2017” and while the “late” means that any delay would likely push it to 2018, I’m going to go with the long odds and guess that it will be out before the end of next year.

Score: 3 for 6 – It probably will. I just worry about delays because this generation has been full of them.

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Bonus Question: Which of last week’s announcements did you like better and why?

Sean Garmer That’s easy. Nintendo Switch. It’s the bigger deal and I still need to play Red Dead 1 to know what the fuss is about.

Jeremy Thomas Red Dead Redemption 2, definitely. The reason is simple: I’m not much of a Nintendo guy at this stage and the Switch announcement didn’t do much to bring me back on board. Meanwhile Red Dead Redemption 2 will be available on my console and I’m very, very much looking forward to it. That makes this an easy pick

That wraps up this week’s edition of Fact or Fiction. Sean and Jeremy went 3 for 6 agreeing as much as they disagreed. I hope everyone has a good week, and until next week, happy gaming.

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