I love my Nintendo Switch. I preordered the system bought my copy of Breath of the Wild, and now….nothing. Selling nearly 3 million units to date is no small feat, especially for a console that completely underperforms compared to its competition. In 2 months we already know that the system hasn’t quite pushed 3 million, 2.74 million to be exact. Yet on every online website from CNN to IGN it is a huge success! Nintendo has done it yet again! They are about to outpace the WiiU, which lets be honest, isn’t a huge feat. 14 million units sold…not good numbers.
Yet we can celebrate a little bit, it’s not as bad as the WiiU which of course is a great thing. Here’s the kicker though, Nintendo isn’t going to sell too many more. Here’s the reality of video game console sales. Your launch is going to be the biggest sales number time. Want to compare Sony’s and Microsofts most recent launches? In 2 months on the Market Ps4 nearly had 10 million units, XboxOne had nearly 3.4 million units. Wait….what?
Well that’s weird. I was pretty sure that the XboxOne was a great selling console right? Well for a lot of reasons that I don’t have time to cover here, Microsoft had a really bad start to this generation. Of course now they are almost to 50 million units, 60 + million from Sony, this generation has definitely made one fact clear. You have to have games. No one cares about your gimmicks anymore. Now I haven’t really covered the switch on here, but I will be honest. I love the thing. I think Nintendo has a great system on their hands, they just need to update a little bit.
(Okay any update but that, WHO WANTED THIS TO HAPPEN TO METROID!?!?!)
First off the switch is in dire trouble, and these are all things that Nintendo could fix, if they were willing to jump forward to the 21st century. Give us games, Nintendo is probably one of the most secretive companies in the business, which is annoying. Where are the games Nintendo? Are we ever going to get another Metroid Game? Why haven’t we heard any details about Monster Hunter on the Switch? Seems Perfect right? Any news on a new Donkey Kong or even lord forbid another Luigi’s Mansion? Nintendo, OPEN YOUR EYES! No instead we get the same games from previous consoles.
Don’t get me wrong here, Mario Kart 8, safe decision. Here is the issue though, why not give us remakes of games that didn’t just come out 2-3 years ago. I am aware that Sony and Microsoft do it too, and just about every other publisher in the world, but I think that most people would agree that they hate that happening. If you were going to re-release a Mario Kart on Switch why not Double Dash? I mean the console is pretty much begging for that to be on there with two controllers right out of the box. Oh and Rayman Legends, old game and even Binding of Isaac. Most of these games that came out within the last few years and we really don’t need them on the Switch.
(Best Mario Kart ever and don’t try to say the DS version is better)
It’s not just me who feels this way either. I hate to bash on Nintendo, but the reality is they make it too easy. Look at Arms? It’s interesting to say the least, but am I ever going to buy it? No, not until it’s a 20$ bargain bin game, Splatoon 2? Nope, I played Splatoon 1 and liked it, but Nintendo’s lack of a robust online system told me everything I needed to know about the future of that game. Mario Kart 8? Oh you mean that game I still own for the WiiU and played a dozen times….Yeah I think Nintendo has some work to do. It’s not that what they are showing looks bad, it just isn’t making me want to buy those games.
The Switch is in trouble people and the writing is on the walls. Remember when the WiiU came out and Nintendo was ranting and raving that it would finally have “real” 3rd party support? Yeah with old ports of games, Nintendo can’t prove the viability of its console to other developers. Do you think that Activision or Ubisoft is going to waste their time porting a game to not only an inferior console, but one where Nintendo can’t even guarantee that their console is going to sell?
(If you think this is coming to switch anytime soon, think again)
No, they are just going to pass them by and stick with the two main consoles and pretend that the Switch is just an outlier. It’s not that the Switch should fail. It’s that it already has. Nintendo knows this, but they are going to support this until it’s dying day. I know that you are thinking I’m wrong and its way too early to call it. You say well there is a new 3d Mario game, oh and there will be games like Xenoblade 2, and a new Shin Megami Tensei game. Too which I say, did you not watch the entirety of the WiiU’s lifecycle. Nintendo kept releasing exclusive after exclusive. Nothing came out of it.
You can’t keep a consoles ecosystem alive just based off of exclusives. It’s a great idea sure, but it can’t be done anymore. Gamers want to play their Call of Duty’s and Red Dead Redemptions. If Nintendo can’t even allow for those to exist on their ecosystem, what’s the future hold? I wish I could tell developers and publishers that if they were willing to put the work in gamers would buy them on the Switch, but there are a variety of other issues to handle before I could even say I would buy Red Dead Redemption 2 on the Switch. So let’s talk about these other issues…..
Issue #1- Online Services
Online. Now I know that Nintendo has never been the up-to-date company with the latest trends, and that is okay. I don’t want them to be just like Sony or Microsoft, being individual is good in this day and age. What isn’t good is staying in the dark ages. After the Wii came out Nintendo knew about the digital age and what it would bring. We had things like Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and even these new things called trophies and achievements. Yet Nintendo in all of it’s wisdom decided to make this a lesser concern. Which for the Wii was kind of smart because who wants to play a competitive game of Call of Duty while waggling your arms in the air like a madman?
(DAMMIT GEORGE!!! WE ALL SEE YOU!!!)
Regardless they did update somethings by adding in a digital store and even having access to some of the popular “indie games” via the Nintendo Eshop. Eventually that gave way to the Virtual Console and allowing gamers to buy some of their favorite titles from their childhood. Unfortunately Nintendo could never live up to the promise or expectations of gamers, it wasn’t a failure, but let’s be honest it wasn’t a rousing success either. So the Wii was a problematic time for them, the console was developed before many of these digital changes made it to market, so of course we all thought things would change right?
Wrong. Nintendo brought out the WiiU, which before launch seemed to have a lot of promise. Exclusive games, 3rd party support oh and Eshop functionality and a good virtual console. Again, took way too long to implement and ended up failing. So now we have the switch. Have you checked and seen how many virtual console games there are after 2 months? Oh there isn’t any? Hmm… that’s odd. A service that has been around for over 7 years isn’t available on a Nintendo console yet…..
(Wait…you mean we need the digital store ready at launch?!?
Now we get to the heart of the problem. Nintendo doesn’t know how to act or create in the Digital age. You can buy your games digitally, but they don’t know how to make a platform that is unique. We still don’t have Netflix or Hulu on the Switch, which lets be honest is pretty much universal at this point, and these are where the online problems just begin. We don’t have a good way to add friends and we barely have an inkling of an idea how in the world voice chat is going to work in game! Boy splatoon 2 is going to be fun if we have to talk on our damn phones while we play the game.
It’s issues like this that just makes you go…what? Why? WHY?!?!?!? Nintendo isn’t learning from past failures at all. This is an interesting console. You can literally take it anywhere with you and play games. Utilize all of that and give me a good Nintendo network. You change services every time you release a console and then you don’t even know how to make it properly work half of the time. Nintendo, get me a good online infrastructure. Please!
Issue #2- Trophies/Achievements
Now this issue should seem like one you should have seen coming. A trophy or Achievement system in this day and age should almost be a given. IPhone and Android games have it for goodness sake. Obviously they are a selling point, yet Nintendo ignores everyone cries for something new. I don’t know how much work it would take to implement these systems, but is it really that hard? I mean the WiiU should have had them, I understand the Wii not having that system, but we are two generation removed and we still don’t have that? For ***
(I mean everything has an achievement system, COME ON!)
Listen, I know that it’s a stupid argument but if they were to just add a system like that I would be ten times more likely to play a game on Switch then on my Ps4 or XboxOne. I like getting that sense of achievement at the end of a game, so why take that away? Why deny gamers that ability. Something like this would further develop 3rd party relations and also give gamers a better reason to buy your product. I bought it regardless but there are entire communities dedicated towards the unlocking of difficult and easy achievements. Cater to them, because you are leaving a huge part of the market off the table.
I would understand if Nintendo said it doesn’t want to, but Nintendo won’t even talk about this. Do you know how much achievements would help in the sense of discovery for a Zelda title. Oh find all 400 something Korok Seeds, okay, well I get an achievement and an in-game item, worth it! That’s the problem though, nothing is being added to the value of what is currently there. Nintendo we just want it…just give it to us.
Issue #3- Marketing
Now Nintendo has always been a kind of hit and miss type of gal when it comes to marketing. Some of the marketing is extremely well done, that first Nintendo Switch commercial, brilliant. The ones shown during the presentation, ghastly. Nintendo has a huge marketing issue up their sleeves right now and fixing it is going to be a serious first step. First they need to explain what the switch is. They haven’t really explained if it is a home console or a mobile console? Is the 3ds/2ds going to disappear soon in favor of all switch related content?
I hope so, but with the way Nintendo is hiding their cards, no one really knows. They have an extremely powerful handheld on their hands, and a mediocre home console, why not tell us what it really is. Don’t let the gamers define it, because I already have. It’s not a home console, it’s a mobile console. I don’t think my Switch has been in the dock since 2 days after release, and I don’t really have a reason to put it back in the dock. Nintendo needs to really buckle down and tell us what this is going to be.
(Advertised as Mobile, talked about as a console, Clear up the message)
Part of this issues also comes with mixed marketing focused on the interactivity of the console. On online games you can’t actually speak to other people via a headset, you have to use your phone, which is only conjecture at this point too since we don’t have access to any of this. Nintendo needs to get the marketing out there to explain things. So many unanswered questions exist and we don’t know what to do as gamers. Is this going to be a console worth buying? Is this a Console? What type of online fee system are you actually going to use? Do I get to keep any of the games?
Nintendo has answered some of these, but most of the answers are still super vague and typical of a Nintendo answer, meaning no dedication to the answer but plenty of conjecture.
(The atypical Nintendo answer)
So the question still remains, is Nintendo in trouble? I don’t think as a company they are, but their market viability is slowly dwindling down to almost nothing. The Switch is really cool and I want it to succeed, but Nintendo has a lot of proving to do. Let’s be honest here guys, are they really giving you any inkling that they are going to pull it off?
I didn’t think so.
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