Nintendo Got A Lot Of Things Right With The Switch- But This One Thing Could Kill Their Chances

Nintendo’s Switch could have an uphill climb ahead of it, because of one major blunder.

Posted By | On 15th, Jan. 2017 Under Article, Editorials | Follow This Author @Pramath1605


Yesterday’s Nintendo Switch reveal was a mixed bag. The presentation was all over the place, the format (held live in Japanese, translated live into local languages) made me miss Nintendo Direct more than anything else, a lot of important information was simply not communicated, and a lot of the information that was communicated was hype killing.

On the other hand, there was a lot that Nintendo got right yesterday, too. The most important of this is, without a doubt, the games- Nintendo announced so many games yesterday, all of them apparently due for this year, all of them incredibly exciting, and worth splurging on a Switch for. Just this year alone, Nintendo claim that they have Super Mario Odyssey (a brand new open world 3D Mario of the kind that most people have been dreaming of since the N64 days), Xenoblade 2 (a sequel to the Wii cult classic, that sidesteps the more divisive Xenoblade X on Wii U), Splatoon 2 (the sequel to the runaway third person shooter on Wii U), Fire Emblem Warriors (a Fire Emblem game that for once in your life lets you enjoy some frenetic action), Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (an enhanced port of arguably the Wii U’s best game, with new characters, new tracks, new items, and an all new Battle Mode), and of course, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

That’s a great lineup- that actually gives the Switch more exciting exclusives in its first year on the market than PS4 or Xbox One have even now. And yes, there’s no AAA western third party support- not a lot of it, anyway. Third party support seems to be, as I had guessed, mostly limited to Japanese and indie third party developers. So sure, if you want to play Shin Megami Tensei V or Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, you will get a Switch. But if you were looking for Mass Effect or Red Dead, you’re out of luck here. But I think the Switch has a legitimate chance of success even without that support- as a merger of a Nintendo handheld and console, it will now have the combined might of Nintendo’s entire first party pushing games for it. This will have the dual benefits of ensuring that the Switch never has a shortage of games, and that it remains an appealing prospect to pick up for playing Nintendo and Japanese games.

"Nintendo announced so many games yesterday, all of them apparently due for this year, all of them incredibly exciting, and worth splurging on a Switch for."

The counterargument to this, of course, is that Nintendo games alone don’t sell systems anymore- just look at the Wii U. But this argument fails to account for the fact that most appealing Nintendo franchises never made it to the Wii U. Sure, it had a great Smash Bros., Pikmin, and Mario Kart, but in terms of actual volume, it was probably Nintendo’s poorest foot forward to date. The system that did get the bulk of Nintendo’s first party efforts last generation was the 3DS- and the 3DS remains the highest selling system of the generation so far, with 65 million units sold.

It was 3DS, not Wii U, that got instalments for Mario, Zelda, Pokemon, Animal Crossing, Fire Emblem, Kirby, Yoshi, Super Smash Bros., Kid Icarus, Luigi’s Mansion, Mario Kart, Pilotwings, Nintendogs, Donkey Kong, Xenoblade, Paper Mario, Star Fox, and Metroid– many of these franchises failed to make any appearance on the Wii U, including major, system selling ones like Zelda and Pokemon. As a matter of fact, one could argue that the only truly exclusive showing the Wii U had over the 3DS was Splatoon, and that was a new IP.

So, if there’s a new system now that is guaranteed new entries for Mario, Zelda, Pokemon, Animal Crossing, Fire Emblem, Kirby, Yoshi, Super Smash Bros., Kid Icarus, Luigi’s Mansion, Mario Kart, Pilotwings, Nintendogs, Donkey Kong, Xenoblade, Paper Mario, Star FoxMetroid, and any other Nintendo franchise out there, it automatically has immense appeal- you’re going to see it sell good numbers by definition. Maybe it won’t sell PS4 numbers- but the Switch does not have to sell PS4 numbers to be a success. It can sell N64 numbers, and still be a success. It can sell SNES numbers, and still be a success. It can sell 3DS numbers and still be a success- and it will probably end up selling 3DS numbers, because with indie game support, all of Nintendo’s first party game support, and Japanese support, the system is spiritually a 3DS successor.

zelda- breath of the wild

"The Switch does not have to sell PS4 numbers to be a success. It can sell N64 numbers, and still be a success. It can sell SNES numbers, and still be a success. It can sell 3DS numbers and still be a success- and it will probably end up selling 3DS numbers, because with indie game support, all of Nintendo’s first party game support, and Japanese support, the system is spiritually a 3DS successor."

This, plus the Switch’s central concept, look, aesthetic, and design are all innately appealing- it’s a convertible console. Everyone knows what it is, and it looks like a desirable piece of tech. So that right away gives casuals who want the latest gadget a reason to look into it. Which means that between the game and the basic hardware, Nintendo has done a good job of making the Switch appealing. It should be a hit. But they’ve made one crucial mistake, and I believe this mistake has the potential to come back and haunt them.

That mistake is the pricing. Nintendo have gone ahead and priced the Switch far too high. $249 would have been the expected, ideal price for this- at $199, it would have sold like hotcakes. $299 is expensive- you can get a PS4 or an Xbox One, each bundled with a game, for that price, too. The Switch is never going to sell as anyone’s primary system- it’s missing too many big AAA titles for that. But people are probably definitely going to pick it up as a companion piece to go along with their PS4 or Xbox One, like they picked up the 3DS. The problem is, $299 is simply too much for a companion piece- especially when you consider that Nintendo’s prices for the Pro controller, Joycon, and other accessories are extremely high, or when you consider that Nintendo, too, have started to charge for online play now. What average customer will want to pay for Nintendo Network in addition to PS+ or Xbox Live?

This isn’t even going into the prices of the Switch elsewhere in the world- in Canada, the Switch is $399, and a pair of Joycon controllers is $105! In Australia, the Switch is $450. In the UK, the Switch is £280. The prices for the system are extremely high all around- add to that the cost of something as simple as online play, and you can see why there is a problem.

"This launch pricing could sink the Switch- for what the system is, it is great. It has a great concept, an appealing look, and a lot of great looking games coming to it just this year. But for what it is, it is also priced too high."

This launch pricing could sink the Switch- for what the system is, it is great. It has a great concept, an appealing look, and a lot of great looking games coming to it just this year. But for what it is, it is also priced too high. I am sure Nintendo will sell out of their initial shipment for the Switch- but sales after that could stall, just like what happened with 3DS and Wii U. Nintendo managed to turn the 3DS around- hut remember, that system didn’t actually take off until it got that massive price cut. My biggest fear is that that is what Nintendo will have to do with the Switch, to ensure it takes off, too. Because, as appealing as it looks otherwise, I don’t know if it will actually sell much at that price.

Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization.


Awesome Stuff that you might be interested in


Keep On Reading

 

Copyright © 2009-2018 GamingBolt.com. All Rights Reserved.