“— Nintendo has kept things simple for once.”
January 5, 2018 6:13 AM   Subscribe

Nintendo’s Resurgence Was the Best Tech Story of 2017 [The Ringer] “Five years ago Nintendo started unraveling. The company was losing money for the first time ever as the monstrously popular Wii stalled in sales. Nintendo’s savior, a Wii follow-up christened the Wii U, turned into an elaborate act of self-sabotage. The system was poorly named (is that an add-on to the Wii?), poorly conceived (why is the controller a mostly useless tablet?), and poorly supported (where the hell is Metroid?). It became Nintendo’s worst-selling home console ever, and as the company’s losses mounted in 2013 and 2014, it appeared to be on the verge of obsolescence. Last life, no continues. But Nintendo often mines its biggest successes from spectacular failures.”

• Why the Nintendo Switch is selling so well [Polygon]
“The Nintendo Switch has now set records in the United States and Japan as the fastest-selling console in those two respective markets, beating even the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo Wii in terms of early adoption. So what went so right? How did a system with such an unconventional idea behind it get so big, so fast? Here are just a few of the reasons, with some obvious and others a bit more obscure. Nintendo did just about everything right, even if those tricks may not have worked for anyone else.”
• Nintendo Switch Is The Fastest Selling Console In US History With 4.8 Million Units Sold [Nintendo Life]
“Nintendo Switch had an amazing 2017 - racking up some impressive sales figures over in Japan in the process - and it's continuing that positive trend this year, too. It's already overtaken PlayStation 2's Japanese year one sales, and now Nintendo has revealed the little hybrid hardware that could has become the fastest selling console in the United States... ever! With 4.8 million units sold that's one amazing achievement for Switch before its first year has even come to a close. The title was previously held by Wii, with its mightily impressive 4 million units sold. ”
• Nintendo Switch: firm expects to sell 20 million units in 2018 [Den of Geek]
“In an interview with Kyoto Shimbun - as translated by wccftech - Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima revealed that the company expects to sell an additional 20 million Nintendo Switches during the 2018 fiscal year. Kimishima stated that this ambitious projection is based on the fact that the Switch's sales figures thus far have exceeded all of the company's expectations. Still, that 20 million unit estimate is significant for quite a few reasons. First off, the latest round of sales reports indicates that over 10 million Nintendo Switches have been sold thus far. It's currently believed that Nintendo will sell at least an additional 4 million units before the beginning of the 2018 fiscal year. ”
• The Verge 2017 tech report card: Nintendo [The Verge]
“The question of whether or not Nintendo belongs in the hardware business isn’t a new one. Its direct competition comes in the form of two huge, multinational corporations — Sony and Microsoft — and in comparison Nintendo’s hardware is consistently underpowered. Add to this the rise of mobile gaming, which has at least in part captured some of the mainstream audience that Nintendo had courted with the Wii and original DS. In that market, a strange, dedicated gaming console / tablet with detachable controllers like the Switch was far from a sure thing. But the Switch has managed to stand out because it serves a very distinct — and it turns out very popular — function. Previously, there were games you played at home, and those you could play portably. The Switch removes those distinctions.”
• Is Nintendo Switch really as successful as we think it is? [Games Industry Biz]
“Success typically depends on expectation. How well you think you will do and how you end up doing dictates our reaction. That's why Resident Evil 7 can sell 4 million copies and be described as 'disappointing', whereas a strategy game can shift 250,000 units and be called an unmitigated success. In that regard, Nintendo Switch is an unquestionable triumph. Nintendo had set itself a target of 2 million consoles sold by the end of its first month and ended up selling 2.74 million, having to fly in stock to try and meet demand (at great additional cost). The firm raised its full year projections to 10 million and then, three months later, raised projections again to 14 million for its financial year. By the end of March, Nintendo expects to have shipped 16.74 million Switch consoles worldwide. So it has utterly smashed its own expectations but, just as significantly, it outshone everyone else's estimations, too.”
• The State Of The Nintendo Switch In 2017 [Kotaku]
“It would, however, be a mistake to assume that Nintendo has completely settled whatever institutional indigestion it is that leads them to make the kinds of baffling decisions for which they’ve earned a reputation over the years. Splatoon 2’s convoluted online chat setup raises doubts that the Switch will ever be a viable platform for chat-enabled, non-Nintendo multiplayer games. The subscription online service is a question mark. We still don’t know what Nintendo is planning for Virtual Console, or whether we can expect to see games from old Nintendo systems turning up on the eShop. And the Switch operating system is still missing several crucial features. I would love to believe that Nintendo will continue firing on all cylinders throughout 2018 and beyond, but must allow for the possibility that they’ll completely trip over themselves and screw everything up.”
posted by Fizz (76 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
 
Congrats Nintendo! First time I’ve been super happy with them since ~2004. They deserve all of the praise they’re getting.
posted by Buckt at 6:18 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


So, for most of my life I've been a pretty hardcore Nintendo fangirl. Between my younger sisters and me, we've been lucky enough to have owned (if you can own anything when you're 4) almost every console or handheld that Nintendo has put out. I've played handhelds to death. Tetris is my jam. My family makes fun of me because I have to break all the pots and cut all the grass. I even splurged on the fancy Zelda-themed WiiU and have spent countless hours playing Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker on the gamepad because it's awesome, but that really should have been a handheld game.

But I just can't quite get behind the Switch, because you burned me with the Wii U, Nintendo, and I haven't forgiven you yet. I am in love with the idea that I can lay in bed and lose hours to a game (something I tried with the WiiU because our bedroom was directly over our living room but the range of the console to the gamepad only worked if I lay jusssst so) but still play it in the living room with my husband helping me strategize. I am so happy to see Nintendo succeeding with another console, because even though after the WiiU I had decided I was pretty much out (let me tell you how awesome it was when I learned how to PC game with a Steam Controller (I cannot for the life of me keyboard + mouse)), even though they really make some terrible decisions, I love this stupid company.

But I just can't with the Switch. Not yet.
posted by alynnk at 6:44 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


I adore the Switch. As a long-time Nintendo fan who spends a lot of time on planes, it seemed pretty much tailor-made for me, and it’s managed to live up to all my expectations. Only thing I’m salty about is having to wait a full other year for Prime 4.
posted by Itaxpica at 6:47 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


(Also I think that the Wii U was a criminally underrated system hobbled mainly by a lack of vision on the part of third-party devs, but that’s a post for another thread)
posted by Itaxpica at 6:48 AM on January 5 [10 favorites]


New user here. Bought myself, erm, the kiddo, a Switch for xmas. Got a couple of Pro controllers too. It's so cool. His friend came round for a playdate, he stayed for six hours, and we all played Mario Kart and Minecraft together. From my pov, and as someone who also is involved with UX and HCI, it's fun, and a home run. I've had conversations with 'hard core' gamers who did not see it as a proper console; but I'm convinced that word-of-mouth regarding the user experience of the Switch will push sales further.
posted by carter at 6:50 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]


I skipped the most recent generation of consoles because I don't have time for gaming anymore, but I bought a Switch. Being able to play games on the TV screen and also take them with me into bed or on vacation or to work is the best thing ever. Likewise how easy it is to suspend a game and pick up exactly where I was. It's the benefit of bite-sized gaming that mobile offers with much more sophisticated games.

It really helps that they put out the strongest-possible first-party title at launch in Breath of the Wild.

But yeah, it's not a system that lends itself particularly well to the multiplayer shoot-fests that are most popular among "gamers." What this means for continued sales, I don't know. For my part, I appreciate the strong first-party titles, and I might pick up Kirby or Metroid when they're out. But there's not a lot of meat for AAA players, and the hardware limitations mean there probably won't be.

Also -- Thimbleweed Park is one of the most fun things I've played in a long time. An excellent buy if you haven't played it yet.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:53 AM on January 5 [10 favorites]


how I knew the Switch was successful: me, casually joking about how cheap the XBone is right now along with occasionally mentioning that the FFVII remake was coming out on the PS4, a game my partner played and really enjoyed as a kid, and her always giving me a perpetual side-eye. then, last month, she independently brought up buying a Switch because she wanted to play the latest Zelda if and when she had time between her shifts at the only level 1 trauma center in our state

how I knew I hit the jackpot: see above
posted by runt at 7:04 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


My favorite thing about the Switch is any single player game that utilizes both controllers can instantly be turned into a hilarious multiplayer game by giving one controller to each person. You haven't experienced Breath of the Wild until you're trying to ride a horse while one person controls the movement and the other controls the camera and the one with the camera keeps yelling "SOOTHE THE HORSE!!! SOOTHE HER NOW NO YOU MISSED IT AGAIN DAMMIT"
posted by brook horse at 7:06 AM on January 5 [48 favorites]


I've always been a fan of Nintendo, but mostly with their handhelds. The Gameboy, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS. I like handheld gaming and being able to play on the couch or in bed. So when I saw that I would be able to play Breath of the Wild and Skyrim in bed, I was sold.

I picked one up for my birthday in November and I've basically ignored my gaming PC for the last few months. I'm one of those who only plays handheld mode. I've docked it ONCE to test it out and that's it. It's everything I love(d) about my Vita, only better.

Full support from the parent company that developed the hardware and third-party companies flocking to bring their games. And now that it's had this success, we're going to see even more game devs jump on board.

Once Darkest Dungeon and Hollow Knight hits my Switch this year, my life will be over. Say goodbye to productivity.
posted by Fizz at 7:16 AM on January 5 [5 favorites]


i am one of like five people on earth who did not regret buying the WiiU (the first and second party library for that sad little console is the bob-omb, folks!) but i love my Switch more than any console i’ve owned since my GameCube.

With a family and one TV to share between us, the ability to pop out the console and keep playing is tops. (theoretically you could do this with the WiiU gamepad but the wonkiness of the network connection to the base console made it more hassle than it was worth if you wanted to leave the living room.)

the fact that nintendo has also sorted out getting indie devs to port to their console this time around is just icing on the cake. stardew valley in handheld mode is the way it was meant to be played.
posted by murphy slaw at 7:17 AM on January 5 [5 favorites]


I have a Switch and I've fully converted to the split-joycon lifestyle. Either that or portable, but the grip sits in the case collecting dust. My only complaint is that the joycons are ruinously expensive: I want another pair!

It's such a strange thing: a mixture of great ideas, rough edges, and Nintendo's appalling lack of understanding of the American online scene. But the fact that I can play Splatoon on the TV, then Mario next to my wife while she's watching british mysteries, then Oxenfree in bed, then the kids over the weekend can play Just Dance with the joycons... the flexibility conceals many sins.

I do wish the joycons were less ruinously expensive. I want another pair!
posted by selfnoise at 7:20 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


But I just can't with the Switch. Not yet.

Zelda Breath of The Wild on a switch made 2017 a bearable year and it connected my son and I in a gaming way that we haven't experienced since Wii Boxing (the families who box each other rocks each other?).

The Switch is a really incredible piece of tech.

(okay the Nintendo e-shop is a bit WTF but that's just how Nintendo has always been?)
posted by Annika Cicada at 7:30 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]


We acquired a Switch for the holidays and it is delightful. Spent a good chunk of my vacation wandering Spider-Link across the mountains of Hyrule and enjoyed the hell out of myself.

I think it helps that it's not a pain to develop for and Nintendo seems to have sorted out how to work with third-party folks. Anecdotally, I've heard that for developers who've launched on Switch, it's their strongest-selling platform. I would love to see a resurgence of games that are not GrimDark Shoot-in-Face 3 and the like that dominate Steam, Switch seems to be the best bet for that.

And if/when they announce a new Pikmin title for it, I may have to book a two-week vacation.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 7:30 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Another Switch game rec: the Jackbox Party Pack (there are four, 3 and 4 are both great). Bundles of party games (stuff like trivia and come-up-with-a-funny-response-to-this-prompt that are a ton of fun even for non-gamers), which can be played by up to 16 people (with support for up to another hundred as participating audience members) at a time with a single system by using phones or tablets that each connect to a central room. It’s out for pretty much every system on earth, but the portable nature of the Switch makes it a great fit for breaking out at parties.

In Brooklyn it seems to be a fixture at every party I’ve been to in the last six months, and I’ve literally seen people playing at bars (and strangers joining in). They’re some of the best under-the-radar games for Switch right now.
posted by Itaxpica at 7:38 AM on January 5 [7 favorites]


I would really love if they'd release an all-you-can-eat subscription Virtual Console. Because I don't really need to own any of the classic games, but I'd sure love to spend a few hours with some of them.

Jackbox Party Pack

YES! Jackbox is the best. I hadn't thought about how the Switch's portability would interact with it, but that does sound great.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:40 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


The Switch is a really incredible piece of tech.

(okay the Nintendo e-shop is a bit WTF but that's just how Nintendo has always been?)


And I think this is the thesis of 2018 for Nintendo. They have an incredible piece of hardware and lots of people who want to make games for this device. But their online e-shop and lack of virtual console is something they have to work on and it may still make or break them in the long run.

Their online subscription service was delayed.

[Nintendo Enthusiast]
“While Nintendo was struggling to keep its online from crashing on Christmas day, it seems that the Italian branch of the company delayed the release of the online subscription service to fall of 2018. Originally, the Switch’s online subscription service was supposed to launch this fall. It was then delayed to 2018, with the promise of more details before the year ended. Yet, less than a week from 2018, Nintendo has yet to share any new details on the upcoming service. Although this news may seem disheartening, there is one tidbit that may still bring hope… for North American players. In its original announcement, Nintendo said the subscription service would first launch in the US, Canada, and Mexico. Thus, it still remains possible the delay could be just for Europe. However, given the lack of news on this side of the pond, it’s probably safe to assume the delay is global.”
posted by Fizz at 7:40 AM on January 5


I'm a weirdo because I have a Switch, but I have BotW on Wii U (got it first, Switch came later). It's a great system, there's great games for it, but I find myself wary about the claims of how well it's doing. The Mario/Rabbids crossover is a good example of a 3rd party title but somehow is still almost 1st party due to licensing, and I haven't seen a ton of 3rd party games otherwise.

What's actually coming up that's worth being excited for? I'm being serious -- please, I want recommendations! 2 player coop is the best option, but something that works with 2 people passing control back and forth (how I play Zelda/Pikmin/Mario+Rabbids types games with my wife) also good.
posted by tocts at 7:41 AM on January 5


Spent the holidays with the niblings and their Switch, which was basically:
  • watching the neph die in thousands of breathtakingly pretty ways in Zelda BotW;
  • surprising both niblings at how good I was at Mario Kart in Grand Prix mode
    (but getting absolutely pwned in Battle mode; too much wtf for this eldster)
I'd get one if I had the money, and knew that ms scruss' 9-year quadruple platinum Wii Fit+ piggybank could be kept safe …
posted by scruss at 7:42 AM on January 5


What's actually coming up that's worth being excited for? I'm being serious

Do you have Splatoon 2 or Arms? They're both really good for co-op. Arms isn't everyone's cup of tea but it has a very loyal following online and I've played it (do not own it) and it is entertaining. You should also consider picking up Rocket League and Mario Kart 8, those just scream local co-op fun. These are all currently available right now. I don't have a handle on what's coming out in 2018 specifically for the type of gamer you are.

I'm more into platformers, RPGs, and indie games. So I'm mostly excited for games like: Hollow Knight, Darkest Dungeon, Yoshi, Bayonetta 2 & 3, Metroid Prime 4.
posted by Fizz at 7:50 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


also, the fact that nintendo ported/deluxed-up Mario Kart 8 makes me hopeful that some of the games that were sadly underplayed due to being tied to the boat anchor of the WiiU will make it to the Switch (if only to the e-shop if not physical carts):
  • Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze
  • Yoshi's Wooly World
  • Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
  • Kirby And The Rainbow Curse
  • Pikmin 3
already announced: Bayonetta 1&2, Rayman Legends
posted by murphy slaw at 7:51 AM on January 5


Oh, and here's my wishlist for the Switch:

User Passwords (nintendo, WTF)
Cloud saves (they will never do this)
Bluetooth Headphone Support
USB Controller Support
Virtual Console (I guess, this has been a total shitshow but the steps to fixing it are pretty clear)
Gamecube/Wii Ports (Mario Galaxy? I never played that)
posted by selfnoise at 7:55 AM on January 5 [6 favorites]


Do you have Splatoon 2 or Arms?

I do my fast-paced gaming (including Rocket League) on PC (controller for RL). My wife does not do fast-paced gaming. So, Splatoon (interesting, played the first a bit at a friend's) and Arms are not great fits, sadly.

We love basically every iteration of the SMB franchise (2D and 3D), Pikmin, Zelda, and historically liked playing the coop LEGO games though the most recent ones are kinda garbage (they've turned them into like 50% noninteractive cutscenes). Basically any game where there's action maybe sometimes but not non-stop action and not usually twitch reaction speed. Puzzles and explorations a major plus.

(I'd pay so much money if they'd release even a port of the earlier Katamari Damacy games to Switch, let alone a new one!)
posted by tocts at 8:03 AM on January 5


I mean, they don't even have themes for the Switch. My 3DS has themes. 0_o

It's a very small thing and they have more important things that they should obviously work on (everything selfnoise just listed). I too want a proper Virtual Console, but that they don't have something as basic as themes to make that menu pop a bit more is astounding to me.

Though, I guess it's probably because they're going to build this into their subscription service in some way.
posted by Fizz at 8:04 AM on January 5


Fizz, man, Darkest Dungeon, I still occasionally hear the narrator in my head sometimes -

A SINGULAR STRIKE

The light, the promise of safety!

Slowly, gently, this is how a life is taken...
posted by runt at 8:10 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


My first Switch died a death and had to go back to Nintendo for a replacement. I had gotten only a fair way into BotW but I was pissed. The lack of support for saving to cloud or micro SD is pretty close to criminal in my book. Once I received the replacement, I didn't play for a few months, because I didn't want to lose another save. I eventually picked it up again, though, and thoroughly enjoyed beating BotW and getting all the shrines.

I'm currently playing Super Mario Odyssey, and I am terrible at driving Bullet Bills. I have avoided buying Stardew Valley so far, because I know I will spend all my time playing it, and I need to get some actual life things in order first.

I have a PS4, but I only ever turn it on for Netflix. I plan on picking up NieR: Automata at some point, but enh.

I spent part of last week (and $30 for a flashcart and micro SD card) hacking my 3DS, because I didn't realise that they were region-locked and I bought Metroid: Samus Returns (game was US, my 3DS was UK). It was not a fun process, but it works now. I know that supporting 3DS games on the Switch would've completely killed Nintendo's handheld sales, but if they had done it, I wouldn't have needed to do any hacking.
posted by minsies at 8:27 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


DK Tropical Freeze is low-key the best 2D platformer released in the last 5 years, and only Rayman Legends gets close.

The secret to the Switch's success is, as mentioned upthread, that people want to play games on it specifically. Indies, who are finding Steam increasingly unfriendly, seem to be finding they get a lot more exposure in the less- crowded Switch marketplace and thus sell a lot better.
posted by Merus at 8:36 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


I have a Switch and I've fully converted to the split-joycon lifestyle.

This is the thing that has been the biggest happy surprise for me. I play my 3DS XL a ton, and over the years my old-ass hands have been agreeing with this less and less, getting achey and numb after an hour or so. Playing without the grip is *amazing*. I can prop the screen up on the stand built into the lil' $14 case I got for it, and play with my hands on my lap, slack at my sides, whatever. It feels amazingly natural and comfy, and wasn't even something I had thought about when deciding to pick up a Switch.

This is also great for secret playing at the office on quiet days - the console is so small I can carry it in in my purse, put it behind my monitor, plug the HDMI in, and play with the detached joy cons in my lap under my desk. Shhhhh. ;)
posted by Ennis Tennyone at 8:49 AM on January 5 [11 favorites]


I was hospitalized in December. My BFF came by with his wife and delivered a Voltron blanket. Earlier he had mentioned letting me borrow his switch and games which was really kind of him.

After the Volton blanket, he pulls out of the bag... a box containing my own Switch! He bought me a switch! That's insane.

But I was extremely happy and grateful. He let me borrow most of his games and Mario / Zelda got me through 3 weeks in the hospital. I'm homebound now for a bit yet, but I've still been playing the switch while doing my IV in home.

It's an amazing piece of kit. I downloaded some demos, but haven't bought anything off the eshop yet.

I really think Mario Odyssey is just amazing. It's the first game where I felt compelled to collect all those damn moons/stars/shines, whatever.

Zelda, too, but sometimes I get annoyed at the puzzles in the shrines with the weird way the magnesis works, etc... But overall, hellz yes, it's amazing, too.

The funny thing is, every time I mentioned the Nintendo Switch to a nurse or doctor, only a few knew what it was. Most were like "what's that? a what?" So I had to explain. Which... felt weird considering it's supposed to be the best seller.
posted by symbioid at 8:54 AM on January 5 [12 favorites]


We loved our Wii U (Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart 8, and Splatoon especially), and still get enough use out of it and our Xbox One that I hesitated to get a Switch. But holy crap we are having fun with ours.

My dream is that their version of Virtual Console will support GameCube and I can re-connect with Mario Golf and Mario Kart: Double Dash.
posted by AgentRocket at 8:58 AM on January 5


My favorite thing about the Switch is any single player game that utilizes both controllers can instantly be turned into a hilarious multiplayer game by giving one controller to each person. You haven't experienced Breath of the Wild until you're trying to ride a horse while one person controls the movement and the other controls the camera and the one with the camera keeps yelling "SOOTHE THE HORSE!!! SOOTHE HER NOW NO YOU MISSED IT AGAIN DAMMIT"

You may enjoy Game Ogre.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 9:04 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


Got a Switch this December, ostensibly a "family gift", along with Zelda, Mariokart, Mario Odyssey, ARMS, Spaltoon 2. Suspicious of this console being a bit half baked (looking at you WiiU) I was frankly very impressed. Nothing to me felt gimmicky (even the controllers), everything is nicely designed. I was even dubious of all the love for Zelda but I literally can't stop playing it and has replaced Minecraft as my peaceful alone time world to immerse myself in. Their Tetris iteration is on the must get list for my partner.

I'd love to see more ports of old games from all previous devices and arcade cabinets. Smash Bros. will be awesome. Katamari would be awesome. Though I'd like that stuff to be way cheaper then a regular Switch game.

I have 2 feature desires, and they'll likely never do the first one, which is to be able to download a game off the cart so the cart doesn't need to be brought along when we use the device as a portable. The second is to save on the microSD, it just makes sense to do this. Cloud saves would be nice but I can't see them maintaining it.
posted by Ashwagandha at 9:10 AM on January 5


Smash Bros. will be awesome.

For those who cannot wait for a new Smash (which I'm sure is in the pipeline), check out Brawlout. It will satisfy the same itch and it came out a few weeks ago.
posted by Fizz at 9:17 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Nintendo has always done very well with "[Old Game] on a handheld!" But for the first time, they've got a handheld that's more powerful than their previous console. Which means this is a handheld that is capable of playing every Nintendo game ever made.

And if the Switch version of Skyrim does well, I imagine there's going to be an avalanche of third-party titles. I think the Switch could probably handle most PS3 and Xbox360 games. You might get handheld versions of Bioware's catalog, Ubisoft's catalog, Telltale's Catalog, LEGO games, other Bethesda games, Saints Row games? Dark Souls? GTAV? In addition to all the obvious recent games that would be perfect for the Switch like Steamworld Dig, Hollow Knight, Stardew Valley, Owlboy, Getting Over It, Hotline Miami, Cuphead, ABZU, Grow Home, A Hat in Time, etc.
posted by straight at 9:23 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


My friends conspired to get my family a Switch for Christmas, and delivered it by ding-dong-ditching my house on Christmas morning while the kids unwrapped presents. My 6 year old son was overwhelmed with excitement. We were gifted MarioKart 8 deluxe and Mario Odyssey, but clocked most of our hours in MK until I found Lego Marvel 2 on sale at Target. We love the Lego games in my house, and it's getting a lot of play. We also bought Sonic Mania, which is great but hard. I don't think we'll get BOTW because I don't have the time to game hardcore and it's not in my kids' wheelhouse, but I wanted to get Splatoon and am looking forward to Virtual Console options, especially if the online subscription has the ability to get free games.

One thing that I really love about the Switch with kids is the Parental Controls--they're handled by an app on my iPhone. I can see exactly who has played and what they've played and grant extra time or even make the switch force into sleep mode once the time limit has been reached.
posted by sleeping bear at 9:30 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]


All I'm saying is, if Spelunky ever comes to the Switch, my poor Vita will never see the light of day again.
posted by gc at 9:54 AM on January 5


gc, we'll likely get Spelunky 2. I know a sequel has been in the works for some while.

Get your first glimpse of 'Spelunky 2' [YouTube Trailer]
posted by Fizz at 10:07 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Right now the only things stopping me from buying a Switch are time, money and the fact that Breath of the Wild plays perfectly on the Wii U -- which was a great system despite the lack of third-party support, and could have been a world-beater with it. Nintendo's Saturn. So it goes.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:18 AM on January 5


straight: there are a ton of rumors about an upcoming cross-platform Dark Souls remaster on all modern systems, including the Switch, but nothing confirmed yet.
posted by Itaxpica at 10:19 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


This is the thing that has been the biggest happy surprise for me. I play my 3DS XL a ton, and over the years my old-ass hands have been agreeing with this less and less, getting achey and numb after an hour or so. Playing without the grip is *amazing*.

I have the same problem with my 3DS XL, after even just 45 minutes or so, my hands start to cramp pretty bad. I 3D printed a grip for the 3DS XL that I found on Thingiverse, and it made all the 3DS XL so much more enjoyable. Similar brand name items are also available from retailers. Maybe take one of those for a test drive?
posted by xedrik at 11:56 AM on January 5


Dark Souls: "Nintendo Hard" Edition
posted by straight at 12:08 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Nintendo's appalling lack of understanding of the American online scene

I don't know, I've somehow found that I can play on the Switch and live without hearing 14 year olds screaming bigoted slurs and telling me they fucked my mom.
posted by Sangermaine at 12:22 PM on January 5 [21 favorites]


I was pleasantly surprised that their online shop let me buy the Zelda DLC on my computer and it downloaded to my Switch automatically. I figured they'd break that, but it was very Steam-like. (Though their site is really slow overall and needs a lot of help. Like stop having a currency for every game, wtf.)

I think Nintendo peaked with the Wii Shop music and the Switch eShop will REALLY take off once they bring it back.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 12:28 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


I hear there's an Ace Attorney game coming out for the Switch, and that's enough for me to buy one at some point.

Note: This is how I ended up with a 3DS. And a New 3DS once the 3DS's joystick broke.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 12:31 PM on January 5


The funny thing to me about the Switch narrative is how similar it is to what happened when the Wii first came out. Everyone hated Nintendo, but this quirky new product, with some help from their beloved franchises, is making Nintendo cool and relevant again! Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely getting one even though I've already got Breath of the Wild for my WiiU, I just think it's amusing that this keeps happening in pretty much the same way. I bet the next console they release will be seen as a failure that tried too much and didn't make use of its features, and the one after that will be another shocking success after everyone had counted Nintendo out.

I think this narrative keeps cycling around because people think Nintendo is the wacky cousin of Microsoft or Sony, when what they're doing is actually fairly different. At the very least, they're not making each console basically the same as their previous ones with incremental improvements in processing and memory capacity, and they don't seem to have that much sensitivity to being perceived as a failure.
posted by Copronymus at 12:32 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


In addition to all the obvious recent games that would be perfect for the Switch like Steamworld Dig, Hollow Knight, Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley has been out for the Switch for about three months. I know because my time played is, uh, 90 hours.
posted by Automocar at 1:14 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Steamworld Dig 2 is also available.

There's a totally understandable tension right now between indie devs who really want to put their games on Switch and Nintendo (particularly if rumors be true NoA) who want a healthy supply of games but definitely not the Steam Firehose. So they are left to pick winners and losers, and I've definitely heard kvetching online regarding who is and isn't getting dev kits.
posted by selfnoise at 1:23 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


I think this narrative keeps cycling around because people think Nintendo is the wacky cousin of Microsoft or Sony, when what they're doing is actually fairly different

I mean I've always seen the console wars like this: Sony pushes the media station side of console development especially after their blu-Ray win along with a ton of R&D into raw computational power, Nintendo pushes platform innovation by taking not-yet-popular risks (ex motion control, portability, 3D, etc) that's grounded on the strength of their exclusive franchises which flusters game devs who are forced to specifically design for their console - something that I think helped muffle the Wii U generation, and Microsoft just plays catch-up and tries to be an all-rounder that very specifically really only sells and designs for the US audience (see: Halo and its major obsession with US military culture)

I think this is why why everyone is all agog at Microsoft adopting 4K native faster than Sony who would traditionally be taking the 'most TFLOPS' or whatever crown - it means that the R&D team at Microsoft now has both the engineering and the manufacturing chops to compete with Sony on the raw processing power front even though they were a relatively late comer to this party. meanwhile, Nintendo continues to hire non-STEM probably potheads who spend all day thinking about the actual experience of gaming and less about slightly more efficient memory architecture or whatever
posted by runt at 1:25 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Nintendo pushes platform innovation by taking not-yet-popular risks (ex motion control, portability, 3D, etc) that's grounded on the strength of their exclusive franchises which flusters game devs who are forced to specifically design for their console

What's weird is that this arguably isn't true for the Switch. Sure, it's less powerful than a PS4 or an XBox, but the experience of playing a game on a Switch is... pretty much the same as the experience of playing a game on the other consoles. There are some motion controls available, but they're not central to the experience in the same way as the Wii, and the WiiU second screen thing is gone.
posted by Automocar at 1:34 PM on January 5


this arguably isn't true for the Switch.

I will argue endlessly with you that being able to lug around your gaming console and be able to play it is pretty much the dream of every nerd ever

it's the PSP except with Nintendo franchise exclusives, the Wii U funky controller design that turns magically into a normal feeling console controller in portable mode, and with the ability to plug n play with your friends on a TV - a magical experience now that you're totally conditioned bringing this instead of a tablet with you everywhere you go

no more 'hey let's play this game i'm into, you'll have to come over or i'll have to spend 10 minutes sweating and unplugging everything and look forward to doing that again twice' - now it's just let's play this cool game, at 8pm, ok let's go
posted by runt at 1:47 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


My cat is very happy about split-joycon mode. He can sit on my chest with my arms around him, and I can still play Mario Kart.
posted by lore at 1:49 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]


meanwhile, Nintendo continues to hire non-STEM probably potheads who spend all day thinking about the actual experience of gaming and less about slightly more efficient memory architecture or whatever
runt

This is true (well, probably not the pothead part in Japan, at least):
Even people like Mr. Miyamoto, 65, a leading figure at Nintendo since the 1980s, is ceding control at the company’s Japanese headquarters.

“More and more I am trying to let the younger generation fully take the reins,” Mr. Miyamoto said.

This younger generation has been carefully chosen; Mr. Miyamoto says he wants people who are more likely to create new kinds of play, rather than merely aim to perfect current ones.

“I always look for designers who aren’t super-passionate game fans,” Mr. Miyamoto said. “I make it a point to ensure they’re not just a gamer, but that they have a lot of different interests and skill sets.” Some of the company’s current stars had no experience playing video games when they were hired.

Kosuke Yabuki, a 37-year-old mentee of Mr. Miyamoto, said the company has not changed how products are made. “Our mission remains the same: to find unique ways to explore play,” he said. “The difference is that, perhaps, now is our time.”
posted by Sangermaine at 1:50 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Every day I pick up the Switch I look at my Vita and shake my head sadly. I love my Vita but it was so neglected and unloved and it had all this potential.

The Vita was great for my purposes, lots of Indie-game support and lots of JRPGs. Both are my bread and butter.

I feel like Sony executives are too proud now to admit that they wasted an opportunity. That somewhere an executive is kicking themself in the ass because they see how amazing a portable handheld can be when it has the support of its company.
posted by Fizz at 1:52 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


yeah, the PSP folks were really a neglected part of that company. I bet some of them are, at this moment, making a very strong pitch to reinvest in handheld development and also feeling very satisfied about how so-and-so incompetent executive really was just a near-sighted old person who needed to get out of the way

which, from the link above, sounds like Nintendo's whole ethos so good on them :)
posted by runt at 1:56 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


I don't have a Switch but the fact of its existence has made me stop playing freemium games on my phone (with the exception of Pokemon Go because I can go for walks with my kids and hunt Pokemon). I was playing Breath of Wild on my WiiU and thought "If I have the option of playing this, a game who's only real purpose is to be fun, on the go then why would I ever want to play one that is trying to get me addicted to it for the sole purpose of getting a constant stream of money out of me?".

My MO for the last couple of consoles has been to be late to the party and play the hell out of 5 or 6 games until it was time for the next generation. When I got my WiiU 2 years ago I figured that my daughter was old enough that she'd take an interest in playing. That didn't happen at the time but she's getting into it now so we can probably spend a few years playing through the WiiU library before I have to get the Switch.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 2:04 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


BTW, the WiiU was a fantastic console and you done messed up not getting one.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:08 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


I need to stop reading this thread. You guys are making me NEED a Switch, and that would be very bad for what little free time I have these days.

... but I bet if I got one I could play Zelda just a little bit, here and there, no biggie ...
posted by DingoMutt at 3:36 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


The gameplay and physics of BoTW is really satisfying. Early on I was trying to solve a shrine (one of those where you can control the water level) and I came up with a solution 4x as complex as it needed to be. But it worked! After, I looked at a tutorial video for it and was like, "duh."
But just the fact that there are many solutions to the challenges in the game makes it that much more fun.
posted by starman at 4:20 PM on January 5


It's a shame the wii u didn't do better, partly because I feel like it should have marked a motion control watershed in that they got the latency down to below the point at which the movement feels like a separate event from the result. It's a constantly recurring thing in Splatoon discussions where someone new will dismiss them as an old gimmick, and everyone will try to convince them they're as good as kb+m. The switch I got for Christmas (thanks guys!) is effectively a Splatoon 2 machine for me, and though it feels like there's a tiny bit more lag there, it's an impressive experience having that level of frantic shooter control in a handheld. I'd be curious to know what changed between the wii u tablet and the joycons though.

The voice chat setup does look cumbersome, but I assumed that was nintendo wanting to offload concerns about who children are talking to onto another device. I can't remember what the exact mechanics of it are though, so I might be wrong.

> I feel like Sony executives are too proud now to admit that they wasted an opportunity. That somewhere an executive is kicking themself in the ass because they see how amazing a portable handheld can be when it has the support of its company.

I jokingly call the switch my nintendo vita, and I still kinda hope to one day hear a mea culpa from someone at Sony about how hard they dumped the thing.

tocts, have you tried Snipperclips?
posted by lucidium at 4:44 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Bought a Switch day one and it's at least a hundred million times more likable than the Wii U.

Wii U was a stinker which I tolerated only for killer games like Super Mario 3D World, Captain Toad, MK8 and Bayonetta 2. You can turn it into a better machine by ditching that awful GamePad (with its 3 hour battery life) and getting a Pro Controller. Also, with a little Loadiine hacking, you can use a Wii U as an incredible emulation machine, running NES/SNES/GameBoy Advance/GameCube titles.
posted by porn in the woods at 4:56 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


I jokingly call the switch my nintendo vita

OMG!? I'm stealing this and that's what I'll be calling mine from now on. It's absolutely this.

What kills me is that I love this handheld and these indie (I refused to call them Nindies, yuck!) games so much that a lot of the indie games I purchased on my Vita are being re-purchased for the Switch. In some cases not just double-dipping but tripple-dipping purchases that I already own on Steam as well.

*sighs*
posted by Fizz at 5:12 PM on January 5


But just the fact that there are many solutions to the challenges in the game makes it that much more fun.

There were more than a few shrine puzzles where I went, "Okay, I see what you're wanting me to do here, but no, I'm gonna find some completely backwards way to do this instead." On purpose. I like trying to break the game and find different ways to solve things or reach a destination, and a game like BotW wins big points in my heart for letting me do that.
posted by xedrik at 6:09 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


My partner got me one as a surprise. I am a Zelda fan from way back and had every console up till the Wii (and every zelda game). I gave them all up like 9 years and aside from occasionally playing on a gameboy (whatever iteration I had .. advance maybe?) I hadn’t played in ages. When the Switch came out with a Zelda game I talked half-heartedly about getting one, but it was never in stock and I wasn’t willing to pay extra on the secondary market or haunt a store daily. He happened to find one when he was in Target a couple months ago and got it and Zelda. It was a present for me but he’s played it as much as I have (maybe more).

Things that have been great about us both playing “separate” games:

* we solve shrines very differently sometimes. The trickier ones often have multiple solutions! It’s fun to see that.
* we explore differently so we’ve both found places or shrines or side-quests the other hadn’t.
* we can watch each other play and it’s fun. “Where’s that?” “I’m going to go there and
* relatedly, since the game very much supports “it would be reasonable to be able to do X here so I’m going to try”, we both try unexpected things but often think of different ones to try.
* portability and quick save/sleep has been so useful. Just being able to relinquish control and not have to finish some long dungeon (as much as I love dungeons) is very useful and makes it easier to keep coming back.
* lots of small dungeons. I always wanted more dungeons. Now I have them. Also the story important dungeons are better integrated with the world which is pretty cool.

Anyway, we haven’t really had time to play lots of video game but we’ve made time. The kiddo enjoys watching too though it’s a little creepy to have her talk about “blood moons”. :)


posted by R343L at 7:40 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Oh also, I’m somewhat more hasty sometimes so I’ll just be like “f- it, I’ll use a bomb arrow” when my partner will spend like 15 minutes figuring out how to carefully get a remote bomb in the right place exactly while in another place he’ll go all hack and slash and I’m slow and careful sneaky. It’s funny.
posted by R343L at 7:42 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Grandma got us a Switch, my son is seven and Mario Odyssey has been perfect for him to learn puzzle solving skills and exploring an open world. On Christmas morning I put it straight on the tv in console mode, and only today when we had a 4 hr round trip drive for hockey did I bust out portable mode, it blew his little mind. Me I haven’t had a console since the N64 but I can still get sparks in Mariokart.
posted by furtive at 10:17 PM on January 5


(didn't realise Breath of the Wild was available on Wii U, have just gone and bought it online thanks to this thread. Baby's First Zelda game!)
posted by pseudonymph at 11:08 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


(didn't realise Breath of the Wild was available on Wii U, have just gone and bought it online thanks to this thread. Baby's First Zelda game!)

Good luck with the gyroscope shrine. /s

Trust me, you'll know what fresh hell I'm referring to when you stumble upon it.
posted by Fizz at 5:13 AM on January 6 [2 favorites]


Good luck with the gyroscope shrine. /s

You're giving me flashbacks of contorting my body to get the gamepad in the right position. I'm just glad I play sitting on a bed so rolling onto my head isn't that uncomfortable.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 8:50 AM on January 6


I tried and failed for 35 minutes, then became upset and shook my Switch in handheld mode in rage and that solved the puzzle. I think I cried a bit at the end.
posted by Fizz at 9:06 AM on January 6


get the switch if you can! i promise it's time!

basically imagine if you somehow combined all the best aspects of the GBA, DS, and Wii. that's what it feels like to me. it's so good! So many wonderful games and third party devs actually seem excited. E.g. you can play Skyrim, Doom, LA Noire, likely with more to come.
posted by vogon_poet at 9:12 AM on January 6 [3 favorites]


I've seen at least two different ways to solve that gyroscope shrine by turning the controller upside down. Both of them are significantly easier than the totally unrealistic solution nintendo intended for that stupid place.

Anyway, the switch is great. I've been playing Crawl on it lately, I've got the wii U/gamecube controller adapter to get some 4 player mariokart going when I'm on a TV, I've got Disgaea 5 for a far-too-long tactics RPG. War Groove comes out soon to scratch that old advance wars itch and Dragon Quest Builders looks like a pretty good minecraft-a-like. This year is going to be a great one for videogames.
posted by fomhar at 2:58 PM on January 6


What's actually coming up that's worth being excited for? I'm being serious -- please, I want recommendations! 2 player coop is the best option, but something that works with 2 people passing is also good

Snipperclips released a Plus! version with the DLC in a physical form a few months ago. Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is also available on Switch. People on the switch subreddit recommended the following in a thread a few days ago:

Overcooked
Enter the Gungeon
Nine Parchments
Crawl
Fire Emblem Warriors
posted by pwnguin at 6:46 PM on January 6 [3 favorites]


The Nintendo Switch has now set records in the United States and Japan as the fastest-selling console in those two respective markets, beating even the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo Wii in terms of early adoption. So what went so right?

To me, this seems obvious: they didn't forget to release a Zelda game for it. Even the N64 was criticized for not having OoT ready for Christmas 97.
posted by pwnguin at 7:00 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


I've heard mixed reviews about Fire Emblem Warriors. I've been on the fence for a long while. I'm such a fan of the recent 3DS titles from Fire Emblem: Awakening onwards. Ugh....do I take the plunge not?!!
posted by Fizz at 7:13 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]


it’s my understanding that your response to fire emblem warriors will correspond more to your opinion of musou games (dynasty warriors et. al.) than anything about the fire emblem series
posted by murphy slaw at 1:28 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


I've not played any of the musou (dynasty warriors et. al.) that you refer to. So I don't know. I have also heard that it's very fan-service-y to the Awakening/Fates Fire Emblem games and that beloved characters from there, show up here and that this more than makes up for some of its failings, depending on which side of the fan-service-y side you fall on. Hmm.
posted by Fizz at 6:37 PM on January 8


Musou games are terrible, but if you're really into whatever their theme is then I guess they could be fun. My wife worked for Koei ages ago and I kept telling her that they should make a musou game where you got to upload people's faces into the game so that you'd be fighting hordes of your friends. That would be fun to play.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:39 PM on January 24


« Older Like having your mind disassembled, then put back...   |   Love Your Body Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments