Nintendo have finally blown open the doors on it's latest console, the Switch, but is it enough?
When it was first announced, I was quite excited about the concept. It seemed like great idea... but the more details I see, the more wary I have become.
Firstly, lets get the hardware details out of the way. It uses 6.2" multi-touch display running at 720p (1280 x 720) and stereo sound but, when docked, can go up to 1080p with 5.1 surround. It comes with 32Gb of storage but can take microSD cards, so storage shouldn't be an issue. It comes with a left and right JoyCon controller, wrist straps (no broken TV screens please), a JoyCon (non-charging) grip and the dock. The games come on Game Cards, which are similar in size to the 3DS cartidges.
So far... so good...
But then we start talking about the cost. The initial setup (console, dock, controllers and grib) will set you back £279.99, which is quite expensive when put alongside an Xbox One or PS4, but neither of those include a screen or very portable, so it seems like a reasonable price point (it's £100 cheaper than a 32Gb iPad mini). Nintendo have also announced that the switch will have a new premium online service, much like Xbox Live or PSN, for multiplayer and online communication (via a smartphone app)... but there is no details on price (yet) and it'll only be available in the US, Canada and Mexico at launch. Again, not a major issue (assuming that the price is reasonable)... Microsoft and Sony have been doing this successfully for some time. Where it really starts to rub, however, is when it comes to the games and accessories. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will set you back £59.99 on the Switch, £20 more than the Wii U version. Mario Kart 8... £49.99. Even 1-2 Switch, a collection of party games, is £39.99. And if you want to play Switch's answer to Wii Boxing, Arms, with a friend and need an extra pair of JoyCons you'll need £49.99 for the game... and a further £74.99 for the controllers. That's right... £74.99 for a pair (£42.99 for a single controller) and that doesn't include a grip... that'll set you back £27.99 for the one that includes that ability to charge! If you'd prefer the Switch "Pro" controller (with the D-pad), you'd best have £99.99 going spare.
All in all, it seems rather expensive for a gaming tablet and you'd have to be extremely dedicated to either Nintendo or portable gaming (preferably both). But then Zelda does look rather good...
It's difficult to see where Nintendo are pitching the console but I suspect it will still sell out at launch, on March 3rd... personally I'm waiting to see what happens next.tags: mario, news, nintendo, switch, zelda
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