Diecast #184: Nintendo Switch

By Shamus
on Jan 16, 2017
Filed under:
Diecast

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Hosts: Josh, Rutskarn, Shamus, Campster and Baychel (editor).

No show notes this week. The whole thing is pretty much a Nintendathon. For those that didn’t see it, the full Nintendo presentation is after the jump.


Link (YouTube)

Also: “Joycon” sounds like a convention for people obsessed with joysticks.

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  1. Christopher says:

    Reggie did an interview recently where he asserted that the Switch is not a replacement for the 3DS, which makes that particular scenario of a united console and handheld library of Nintendo games the press has spun for the last year feel like a dream. But I guess it depends on how well it does. I remember them saying the DS wasn’t replacing the Game Boy, too.

    • Thomas says:

      I’m not very convinced he’s telling the truth. I think they’re trying to market the switch as a ‘console that also works as a handheld’. Admit it’s a handheld replacement and you lose half your audience immediately

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    What is the point of home consoles these days anyway?It used to be that they are simpler,cheaper,you just switch them on and play,they had a better screen and shorter loading times.But all of that is gone these days.Heck,as has been shown by the mass hacker attacks,they even have disadvantages that computers dont have(well,unless you use windows 10,but who would be crazy enough to use that?).

    At least with handhelds you have the advantage of being able to use them when you are not at home.Though even they would be obsolete if not for the fact that 99.99% of games for phones are shit.

    • Christopher says:

      The advantage, besides exclusive games, is that I can play my games from the couch in my living room and not need to have a)decent laptop and b) have it hooked up to my TV.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        I have been able to use my computer from my couch for over 6 years now,thanks to the wireless technology.And the (middle of the line)screen I bought back then was better than any tv I previously owned.It took about 4 years for my parents to be able to buy a tv of comparable quality,comparable price,and hook it up to a cable network that would give them access to those features.

        Not to mention that no console hooked up to that tv would be able to match both the framerate and resolution of that,now old,computer screen.And I dont even have a fancy multi screen setup like a bunch of people these days.So even if you already own a fancy tv,it may already be smarter to get a middle ranged computer than a top tier console.

        As for exclusive games,those are increasingly just becoming the useless money grubbing relic of the past like the preorders.

        • Christopher says:

          I appreciate that the setup works for you, but when my dilemma is between replacing my 2011 TV and getting a gaming laptop that still does what I already need it for, or buying a PS4, the first one is not the cheaper and more convenient option. And you can call it a relic all you like, when the difference is between playing games I’d really like to play or not playing them, it does matter what those exclusives are. Like, I can tell you right now that I’m probably eventually gonna get a Switch, because whatever dumbass gimmick they promote Nintendo is still going to create cool games you can’t get anywhere else. The only way they’re gonna chase me away is making a whole console with wiimote waggle again, which makes me amazed that they keep doing it. Chris listed a bunch of wii games, but besides the Galaxy games they’re all some of my least favorite entries in those series because of the controls.

          They’re also gonna chase me away if the Switch is dead on arrival. I was gonna buy a Wii U, but I tend to wait a few years at least until I buy a console, and by the time I was considering a Wii U there were already rumors about the Switch going around. This thing has barely lasted more than three years. I’m quite happy with what seems like enhanced ports like MK8 Deluxe and Splatoon 2 for that reason alone, I would like all of the Wii U’s worthwhile, cool exclusives to show up on the Switch. It’s not even that many, I basically just want the Platinum Games games, Mario 3D World and Smash 4.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            but when my dilemma is between replacing my 2011 TV and getting a gaming laptop that still does what I already need it for, or buying a PS4, the first one is not the cheaper and more convenient option.

            For the same price of ps4 you can get a decent home computer that you can connect to that tv and use it exactly like a console,for playing games and watching movies while at home.Laptops are more expensive,that is true.Which is why I said that handhelds are the exceptions,not stationary consoles.

            As for exclusives,they are relics of the past.That doesnt mean they will disappear,sadly.Because preorders are a still a thing despite not needing to be a thing at all these days.But the publishers are aggressively pushing them,always finding ways to entice people to get them,despite there being literally no need.Preorder this purely digital game and youll get a bonus of purely digital skins that you will be able to enjoy for one whole day(presuming you are able to download and install the game without a hitch).Its a scummy tactics,but it works.Same thing is being done for exclusives.And it will be done for a long time,as long as it remains effective.

            On a more positive note however,it seems to be somewhat less effective than the preorder scheme,seeing how the number of actually good exclusives is shrinking,while the number of multi platform games is increasing.

            • Bloodsquirrel says:

              A $300 PC? For gaming? That will still be good for the next seven or so years?

              Besides, as soon as you invest in a separate device solely for gaming, a console will beat it out for convenience. I’ve got a desktop gaming PC and I have and Xbone, and the Xbone is much lower maintenance. I’ve got my PC set up in my office, where it can be conveniently used to do non-gaming things, and I’ve got my Xbone in my living room where I can sit on the couch and play on my big screen.

              Swapping out the Xbone for another PC or trying to stream HD video to my TV would only add inconvenience to the setup for no real benefit. Especially with my PC being in an entirely different room

              • Daemian Lucifer says:

                That will still be good for the next seven or so years?

                You think the xbone will be good for seven years?Xbone is 3 years old now,and they already are about to release the next big upgrade(and it had a couple of small upgrades).Its the last generation that had the longevity,not this one.

                And yes,if you disregard the screen and the speakers,you can make a gaming rig that will rival xbone for the same price.Heck,even when xbone was new you wouldve needed to pay only slightly more for an equivalent power computer.

                Also,modern consoles are not being made as just dedicated gaming devices.That is why they are constantly marketed as “entertainment systems”,for games,videos,socializing,etc.

                As for maintenance,consoles arent even less maintenance.When a modern console breaks,you cannot just find the one broken component inside it and replace it yourself.Which you can do with a computer.

                That is why I said that home consoles lost all of their good points.They dont have backwards compatibility,they lost the “one size fits all” property,they lost the “just plug and play”,the lost the “just for games”,they lost the low cost,they lost the easy maintenance,…they lost all of the things that made them easy and convenient to use.

                • Bloodsquirrel says:

                  Yes, the Xbone will be good for another 7 years. The Scorpio is a premium version, not a replacement, and they don’t stop releasing games for a console as soon as the new one comes along.

                  And I’d like to see the math on getting a $300 computer that’s going to run games as well as the Xbone. At best, you might be able to get something that’s close to the specs, but without the advantage of having games optimized and tested for that specific hardware it isn’t going to be enough. Hell, there are a lot of PC ports that run so poorly that even a close-to-top-of-the-line PC will chug on them.

                  I contest that consoles “lost” most of those things. They’re not quite as easy as they used to be, but they’re still far more streamlined for gaming/TV apps than a PC. They’re still much less prone to crashing, won’t interrupt you in the middle of a game because Windows wants to update, and have dashboard interfaces that are designed to work well with a controller.

                  The last time I had a console die on me I shipped it off to Microsoft and got it replaced for free. Most of the consoles I’ve owned lasted their entire generation without a problem. I’ve had many more motherboards fail on me than consoles, and those are a lot more annoying to replace. Also, if your PC is a laptop, replacing the parts is no longer particularly easy.

                  And this assumes that you even know how to in the first place. Most people don’t fix their own computers. They have to bring them to Best Buy to do it, and get ripped off in the process.

                  There has simply never been any point since I’ve bought my Xbone that found myself thinking “Man, I wish I had a PC connected to my TV instead”. Hell, I’ve had old laptops connected to my TV, and I’ll take playing movies on the Xbone over using the laptop any day.

                  • Daemian Lucifer says:

                    The Scorpio is a premium version, not a replacement, and they don’t stop releasing games for a console as soon as the new one comes along.

                    You wont be able to play games at the same specs on the non-premium version.You will be able to on a gaming pc.

                    And I’d like to see the math on getting a $300 computer that’s going to run games as well as the Xbone.

                    Ive checked prices around where I am,and new xbones cost from 250€ to 300€,depending on the version.6 years ago I gave 500€ for upgrading my machine,about 200 of which was for the screen.It can run all of the games xbones can run today,though admittedly not at the top quality for the modern games.But I was able to play witcher 3 at medium,and that one was rather demanding.So yes,you can buy a comparable gaming rig for the same price and it will last longer.Also,I can tweak all the specs in games to get the best performance.I dont have to pick between just 2 options,high res or high frame rate.And the best part,when I decide to upgrade my machine again,I wont have to buy all of it.I can give money just to upgrade the memory,or just the graphics card,or just the processor.

                    Hell, there are a lot of PC ports that run so poorly that even a close-to-top-of-the-line PC will chug on them.

                    Yes,and there are poor ports for both xbone and the pisser.There are games that will run smooth on one,but not the other.Poor optimization is not unique to just computers.But what is unique to computers is that when a game is poorly optimized,you can usually tweak it and mod it to run smoothly.

                    They’re still much less prone to crashing,

                    Thats OS specific.For example,there are some games that are known for bricking consoles,but Ive never had a game bsod my computer.The worst I had was that I had to wait for 30 seconds while ctrl+alt+del took effect and I was able to terminate the program.

                    won’t interrupt you in the middle of a game because Windows wants to update,

                    Again,thats last generation,not the current
                    one.Also,one thing that windows has:The never update option.

                    and have dashboard interfaces that are designed to work well with a controller.

                    While this is true,you have more controller variety on a computer.

                    The last time I had a console die on me I shipped it off to Microsoft and got it replaced for free.

                    If your computer is under warranty,you can do it with it as well.Unless you want to tinker in it yourself.

                    Most of the consoles I’ve owned lasted their entire generation without a problem. I’ve had many more motherboards fail on me than consoles,

                    And I didnt even fry my motherboard when my liquid cooling leaked.Personal anecdotes can go either way.

                    and those are a lot more annoying to replace.

                    Only if you want to do it yourself.If you send it to the shop,it takes just as long as with a broken console,or a phone,or a tv,or any piece of electronics.

                    Also, if your PC is a laptop, replacing the parts is no longer particularly easy.

                    Thats why I said,multiple times,that Im talking specifically about stationary consoles and stationary computers,not handhelds,not laptops,not mobile phones.

                    And this assumes that you even know how to in the first place. Most people don’t fix their own computers. They have to bring them to Best Buy to do it, and get ripped off in the process.

                    And other stores dont rip you off in the process?Heck,I had a usb replaced for me for free after I dropped it and it cracked in one store,yet a friend of mine couldnt replace a usb that was broken practically out of the box from a store right across the street from it.How retailers deal with their merchandise has nothing to do with the merchandise itself.

                  • Kerethos says:

                    I’ve been using a stationary PC hooked up with HDMI to my 1080p TV for about 6 years now and it has replaced my console completely. Better performance than the new consoles too, so I left the console market after the last generation.

                    I even use the old wireless console controllers for couch co-op. So, based on my own experience, I recommend getting a stationary PC for your living room. It’s all the console can do and all the PC can do, in your living room. Basically: it’s great!

                    The only downside is no exclusives. But I don’t want to support that practice, so I don’t really mind missing out on some games I don’t particularly care about.

              • Nessus says:

                “I’ve got my PC set up in my office, where it can be conveniently used to do non-gaming things”

                I’ve got my PC set up in my living room, hooked up to the TV. It is, if anything, for more convenient (and comfortable) than an office for non-gaming things. I sit in an easy chair with a wireless keyboard on my lap, and a mouse on an end table by my right armrest. In fact, since I first set it up like this over 5 years ago, I can no longer understand why anyone who isn’t somehow forced to do so would ever use a desk for their home PC.

                Even if you have a family or roommates which force you to do your non-gaming PC stuff in a different room, the TV and easy chair setup is a superior setup in pretty much every way. And as many others have noted, you can just stream your PC or laptop to TVs and inputs in other rooms (and you don’t need a new TV to do it, not sure where you got that idea). In my experience there’s basically no practical reason to emulate a work-style office at home, and plenty of practical reasons not to, so IMO people who do do that are doing it out of pure “devil you know” inertia.

                With a PC, your “work machine” and “game machine” budgets don’t stack: they nest. Take the money you’d use to buy a new “work” laptop and combine it with the money you’d use to buy a console, and you’ve got a single “does everything” machine that’ll outperform a console at games, outperform a work machine at work tasks, and outlast both a console generation and probably 2 OS generations. My current machine cost around 600$ to build in 2011. The only thing needing replacement today is the graphics card, and that’s because it recently burned out, not because it aged out. My motherboard’s onboard GPU can still surprisingly hold it’s own with many games if I set in-game resolution and graphics settings down to console levels (it’s basically halfway between the PS3/XB360 and PS4/XB1 generations in capability).

                I used to be a console guy back in the day. The entire reason I switched to PC was because I was so dirt poor I couldn’t even afford one new device when my laptop gave up the ghost (and my only console was a full generation old, so I hadn’t played anything new in like 5 years). A friend of mine gave me a PC cobbled together out of his old parts, and I spent a year replacing it “Ship of Theseus” style. The result was something that could outperform both a new laptop and a new console, for less than what a new basic laptop + a new console would’ve cost. Only downsides were lack of portability and lack of access to console exclusives, but in pretty much every other way it gave me better performance and flexibility at lower cost.

                These days I can’t see how there’s any reason to own a console outside of exclusives. Everything else has been either chipped away from consoles or added to the PC’s list of capabilities or both. Pretty much every counterargument I’ve heard from the console side has been comprised of really cringey decade or more out of date ideas of how much PCs cost, what they can or can’t do, or how much work/knowledge they require. Even the formerly intimidating skill cost of building a PC yourself has been reduced to that of Lego set (one of the sad little 20$ ones, not the big ones) by online part-picking tools.

          • ChrisANG says:

            They’re also gonna chase me away if the Switch is dead on arrival. I was gonna buy a Wii U, but I tend to wait a few years at least until I buy a console, and by the time I was considering a Wii U there were already rumors about the Switch going around. This thing has barely lasted more than three years. I’m quite happy with what seems like enhanced ports like MK8 Deluxe and Splatoon 2 for that reason alone, I would like all of the Wii U’s worthwhile, cool exclusives to show up on the Switch. It’s not even that many, I basically just want the Platinum Games games, Mario 3D World and Smash 4.

            I know the feeling. I’ve bought every Nintendo console except the WiiU. I always figured I would eventually end up buying a WiiU too, probably when its Zelda and/or Metroid games finally came out. But here we are at the end of the thing’s life already, Metroid is still dead, the Zelda game is coming out on the WiiU and the Switch simultaneously, and now I get to choose between buying a used WiiU knowing that it will have no other games I want, buying a new Switch in the hopes that they will get it together this time despite all evidence to the contrary, or just skipping this one altogether.

            Zelda is nice and all, but I kinda doubt it’s $400 of nice :(.

      • Zak McKracken says:

        I moved straight from having no living room but a PC with TV card to having a PC with TV card in the living room where other people have a TV, to a PC with a projector and no TV card (because who watches TV?) in the living room.

        The trick is just to make sure the PC is quiet and does not look crappy. Internet! Games! DVDs! BluRays(if the player does not screw up)! TV (if I wanted to)! All in your living room!

        Actually, this is not something that anyone could or would want to set up, and some things would be more comfortable to do if the PC was on a normal desk but I’m fine with it anyway. I’ve got my living room PC for fun and games, and another (much older) in another room on a desk for other stuff.

    • Daimbert says:

      I don’t want to do my PC specific things — E-mail, writing, programming, etc — on a TV, and really want to do them on a desk. But I want to play games in the living room (often WHILE watching TV). The consoles are easy to set up in the living room and hide when I’m not using them, while keeping my PC things set up right for what I do with them.

      The Vita and PSP are actually slightly better at that, and never leave the living room.

      There’s really no incredibly comfortable way for me to hook up any PC to any of my TVs/monitors and play games, like I have with the Vita and the console.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        I don’t want to do my PC specific things — E-mail, writing, programming, etc — on a TV, and really want to do them on a desk. But I want to play games in the living room (often WHILE watching TV).

        That is precisely what I am doing.I have a couch in my room that is perfectly placed for watching movies,and when I want to read/write I get a chair in front of it and move closer to the screen.And if I had more foresight,I couldve left enough room for additional screens that wouldve allowed me to watch two things simultaneously.

        Its a pretty efficient little setup,custom made to fit the room snuggly.The only downside is that it is custom made to fit the room snuggly.So whenever I have to move anything its a pretty elaborate process.And I cannot add anything new,like a bigger computer case,or a new screen.

        So ultimately it all comes down to how you use the space you have.

        • Daimbert says:

          I think you missed that it was the DESK part that I’m missing, not just being far away from the screen. For the consoles, I actually have an old TV stand that I have an HD TV on and roll in front of the sofa for watching. I could do that with the laptop, too, but the desk space would be very limited and it’s too low for me to really sit at without sitting on the floor. And having a desk in the living room would be irritating. So a console and the Vita work wonderfully well for what I want, and all of my PCs are in another room set up nicely for all the things I do on a PC. Not sure why I’d ever want to do anything different.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            Im sorry,I didnt describe the setup clearly.Its a custom built desk+drawers+bookcase combo(the bookcase part is the largest one).Thats why I cannot add anything,because the whole piece of furniture takes up the whole wall.Admittedly,it took me a while to set up,and it wasnt cheap to order all the perfectly shaped wood.But its built to last.

            The idea is actually similar to what my father had built for me when I was a kid.It was a big cupboard,with a protruding desk,that could open up and I would pull out the keyboard from within.He always had neat ideas like that.Practically all of the furniture in our old house was custom made by him and his friends.So I admit,I look at these things a bit differently.

            • Daimbert says:

              Console’s cheaper [grin].

              And it also lets me play the Persona games. The amount of time I’ve sunk into Persona 3 and Persona 4 has reduced my console/Vita/PSP/game cost per hour to under $1, which is pretty good, I’d say [grin].

              • Daemian Lucifer says:

                Console’s cheaper [grin].

                Not really.Especially not now that theyre in the middle of their generation.

                And it also lets me play the Persona games.

                Emulators let you do it as well.

                • Leocruta says:

                  Emulators let you do it as well.

                  And with savestates! I really can’t imagine trying to play P3 without savestates, (although I did play on the harder difficulty.)

                  That being said, it will be some time before I can play more recent persona games on an emulator. Emulators aren’t a perfect replacement for consoles. It’s why I have both my ps3 and pc hooked up to my tv. If I had to choose between them though, I would definitely pick pc.

                  • Daimbert says:

                    Right now I have my TV clear and my PS3 and PS4 hooked up to another TV, so that I can play while watching TV. The Vita works better for that, though. But in terms of games and convenience, right now the consoles win over the PC, despite my having plenty of games to play on both.

                • tmtvl says:

                  Oh yeah, like that amazing PS Vita emulator, what’s it called again? Doesn’t-Exist-Emu?

                  Or those PS3 or PS4 emulators. Well, a PS2 emulator does exist, it’s only fundamentally unfixable because of terrible decisions made when development started.

                • Daimbert says:

                  Sorry, I think it was me who wasn’t clear this time: a console would still be cheaper than building a bookcase/shelf thing like you have. Sure, you could use it for multiple console releases … but then the money you save from not buying a new console will go into upgrading the PC, so you won’t come out ahead. And replacing the consoles is the only reason I’d want something like that anyway. And no, I CAN’T build it myself [grin].

                  As for emulators, I’ve kinda soured on them. The only one that worked at all well was the Amiga one for Space Crusade (the turn based tactical squad game, not the FPS). The others were wonky in various ways. Moreover, I really, really like being able to walk into stores and buy new games. I’m not actually a fan of downloading new games, although I have purchased a fair bit from GOG. And if you want to be able to buy physical games, right now it’s console all the way.

        • John says:

          EDIT: For reasons not entirely clear to me, the following ended up as a reply rather than a new comment. My apologies.

          You can complain about the Switch controller if you like, but speaking as a cranky old man–one whose sense of the phrase “reasonably priced” has stubbornly refused to change with the times–I think all modern controllers are obscenely expensive. Why, for example, would anyone pay $60 for a wireless XBox pad, let alone $150 or more for this monstrosity?

          It’s not that I’m calling these things overpriced, necessarily, more that I can’t imagine buying one at these prices. I don’t actually know how much they cost to make. It could well be that the profit margins on gamepads are tiny. (Come to think of it, isn’t Madcatz in financial difficulties?) My problem is probably the fact that I’m so used to PCs, where input devices are more or less commodities and thus dirt cheap. You can get a fairly decent optical mouse, for example, for under $5 and a name-brand optical mouse for under $10. When I bought a refurbished wired Logitech pad last year, I spent about $15 and it seemed like a lot. Heck, the wireless keyboard & mouse combo I’m using at this very moment was under $25.

          Speaking as a person who hasn’t owned or used a home console since the Sega Genesis, do consoles still usually come with two pads in the box? Local multiplayer is still a thing, surely?

          • Blake says:

            “do consoles still usually come with two pads in the box?”
            Most don’t, but the Switch sort of does as the 2 halves of the JoyCon can act as independant controllers, each with a joystick, face buttons and shoulder buttons.
            Some of the demo videos show local multiplayer done that way.

          • Kyte says:

            To be fair, controllers pack a lot more tech per square inch than a mouse or keyboard.

      • Nessus says:

        “I don’t want to do my PC specific things — E-mail, writing, programming, etc — on a TV, and really want to do them on a desk.”

        Why?

        Not a trick question: I’m genuinely puzzled. I spent two decades using computers at a desk, and when I eventually got the ability to try one hooked up to a big flatscreen TV, I never went back. If you’ve got a decent sized TV, there’s no visibility tradeoff (in fact if anything, visibility is much better), and an easy chair w/ a wireless keyboard on your lap and the mouse on an end table level with your armrest is both much more comfortable and more ergonomic than sitting raptor-armed over a desk. Add a multi monitors, and it starts to feel like a little piece of legit Sci-Fi utopia has arrived in real life. Literally the only downside is it takes up more space than a desk.

        I can’t picture why anyone who’s actually tried TV and easy chair computing would preffer a desk unless it’s a Pavlovian state-of-mind thing (i.e. it just “feels more professional” regardless of the practicalities).

        • Daimbert says:

          My experiences with typing with a keyboard on my lap have been awkward, to say the least, at least in part because I’ve been typing on a desk for over 20 years now. That’s not going to work when I’m writing thousands of words one shot, sometimes over a span of several hours (blog posts, essays, stories, programming, etc). I also tend to pace a lot while doing, well, anything like that, and getting up and off the chair that frequently would be awkward as well. Additionally, I often have to use a number of secondary references and without a desk to put the book on while quoting from it I end up relying on memory too much. And then I’d need to get a bigger TV (or use my smaller one and bring it closer). And if I used my main TV I couldn’t even have the television on in the background while doing this stuff. All of this to put the computer in the living room where I, in fact, don’t actually want it.

          And I don’t have the room in my office for an easy chair … and if I was going to get a new easy chair, it should go in the living room [grin].

          So, for me, an office set-up works best. I’m not sure if that’s just personal or if it’s a side effect of what I do with the PC, but there you have it.

    • I primarily play home consoles, but I agree that I can’t see the point with them, especially when I am saving up for a built PC. That said, certain console makers seem to sell to their audience the wrong way. Especially Microsoft and Nintendo.

  3. thatSeniorGuy says:

    Haven’t listened to the show yet, so maybe I’m missing something, but I’m intrigued to know who your new editor Baychel is. A relative perhaps?

  4. Christopher says:

    I love that Dan Ryckert milking video. Finest milking game since that one Mario Party 8 minigame.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBxW4bDI1rU

    • Henson says:

      I’ve been away from that site for far too long. I’ve missed so much.

      • Christopher says:

        I’m not sure how long you’ve been gone, but while it’s frankly an impossible task to replace Vinny, Jeff and Ryan just being in a single room together, they have tried very hard these last few years. Best of Giant Bomb is still going if you wanna catch up on some of the good stuff. And this is the best video that’s not gonna be in that playlist.

  5. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Duration: 1:07:18

    Thats a sly untruth.If you stop at that time you will not hear the wise words at the real end of the show.Also,the player is a bit buggy:

    http://i.imgur.com/SNO3Xuw.png

  6. Droid says:

    Is this a guest episode or is Rachel now part of the cast?

  7. Bloodsquirrel says:

    My young nephew and his dad play games like Skylanders and DBZ: Xenoverse on the Xbone (along with indie games like Castle Crashers). Nintendo doesn’t have anywhere near a monopoly on that market.

    Nintendo’s problem is that they’re still haven’t accepted that it’s a third-party world now. Nintendo remembers the days when exclusives were the default (due to radical tech differences between the consoles), and multiplats were rare. Now major studios go multiplatform unless MS, Sony, or Nintendo is putting up cash and/or doing the publishing. Ubisoft isn’t going to make a AAA game just for the switch, so as long as Nintendo remains the odd man out they’re never going to get third party support back.

    Nintendo is running on the assumption that if they just make their console slick enough that third party developers will show up. But if the Switch isn’t powerful enough to run the next Elder Scrolls game, it won’t be getting the next Elder Scrolls game. Bethesda isn’t going to make Elder Scrolls: Switch just for them. Not even the Wii, which had a much larger install base than the Switch is likely to get, attracted much AAA third party attention. The Wii U certainly didn’t get any, and I don’t see anything about the Switch that would change that.

    Once again, I’m left questioning the point of the Switch’s existence. If you aren’t going to use its mobile features (which I, along with a lot of other people, are unsold on), then it doesn’t really do anything that the Xbone or PS4 can’t do, and can’t compete with either of those consoles in a lot of areas. It’s another “You must buy this hardware if you want to play Nintendo games” console, but I’m not going to shell out $360 just to play Zelda: BOTW.

    I wonder how much Nintendo is undermining their future fortunes right now by missing out on so much of the market. Right now they make a lot of their money off of people who grew up with Nintendo and who are still nostalgic for it, but the new generations aren’t building that nostalgia because they have an Xbone or PS4 instead, and are thus completely cut off from Nintendo games. I think at this point their walled garden is keeping far more people out than in.

    • GloatingSwine says:

      Nintendo very much don’t have a monopoly on the family market any more. They did with the Wii, but nobody bought the Wii U, not even for family gaming, and the other consoles have picked up the slack with games like Skylanders or the Lego games.

  8. Volvagia says:

    I counted: With Skyrim, that’s probably a total of 16 titles this year. (The 5 launch titles + Mario Kart 8, Rime, Arms, Dragon Quest XI, Freedom Planet 2, Lego City Undercover, Project Sonic 2017, Skyrim, Sonic Mania, Splatoon 2 and Super Mario Odyssey.) Only 4 of those are Switch exclusive, and the only non-exclusive that MIGHT work better on the Switch than on a normal console is Project Sonic 2017. The biggest thing Nintendo could swoop in and get that’s currently not releasing on a console? Them’s Fightin’ Herds.
    Now, that having been said: I like that Nintendo is TRYING to encourage developers to be unique in how they approach mechanic design. And every developer willing to still attempt to develop for the Switch is getting points in my book.

  9. Henson says:

    I find it odd to hear Chris say that the, like FF15, new Zelda is taking cues from Western games, because my primary thought while watching the game was how much it reminded me of the very first Zelda game. The open world, in particular, seems reminiscent of Zelda 1’s “dump you in the game with no training wheels” approach. I think (or perhaps, I hope) that this is more of a return to its roots.

    • Bloodsquirrel says:

      The two sort of oddly go together. Back when the first Zelda came out the rift between western and Japanese development hadn’t developed yet. Nintendo, meanwhile, has always been sort of it’s own thing, not conforming much to either western or most other Japanese sensibilities. I think with the last couple of Zelda games, some of those Japanese influences started creeping in, so going back to Zelda’s roots does lend itself to giving the game an overall more western feel.

    • Xedo says:

      One of the interesting things going on internally at Nintendo is that it looks like they’re trying to nurture a new generation of talent, since their leads since the days of the NES are all getting up there in age and ready to retire. They let those younger devs loose to make a game on their own, and we wound up with Splatoon, a shooter. Then they made BOTW open world, and what I read somewhere is that they turned to these newer devs that have familiarity with open world games to make it.

      So there could definitely be a situation here where the newer, younger hires at Nintendo are bringing in the ideas they’ve seen while playing western games. Apparently Miyamoto was very open to their ideas on the new mario game too, so that’s another one to watch and see how Nintendo’s internal culture might be shifting.

  10. Bloodsquirrel says:

    I don’t get the whole “It’ll be sad if Nintendo goes 3rd party” thing at all.

    Nintendo is good at software. They’re awful at hardware. They’ve been awful at hardware for a very, very long time, and now they’re awful at online too. They’ve survived on he strength of their games and branding (as well as Sony flubbing their attempts to compete in the mobile market), but the last innovation they had that actually stuck was analog sticks.

    Nintendo going third party would mean no longer shackling their game development to poorly-thought out hardware. It would mean exposing them enough to the rest of the market for them to maybe learn a thing or two about areas that they’re deficient in. It would mean not ruining an entire generation of Nintendo games with waggle controls.

    I’d buy Zelda: BOTW at launch if it came out on the Xbone, and the game would be better for having that extra power available to it.

    Nintendo just doesn’t understand the business of building a platform, rather than a proprietary toy that they begrudge other companies to put games on. So why does everyone want them to keep trying?

    • Matt Downie says:

      It didn’t work out too well for Sega…

    • Christopher says:

      The fear for me is that one of the reasons their games are good is because they themselves are developing the hardware that their games run on. It’s not a given that if we take away a large source of their income, suddenly we get high quality games on all other platforms that they have no idea how to make games for.

      The reason it’s sad is because Sega didn’t exactly set the world on fire after dropping their hardware development.

      • Bloodsquirrel says:

        Sega never had Nintendo’s strength in software development. Mostly, they had Sonic, which never made the transition to 3D smoothly. Also, Sega might have fared better if they hadn’t gone through bankruptcy, another reason for Nintendo to make the switch sooner rather than later.

        I just don’t see any reason to suppose that the quality of their games has anything to do with their hardware, especially not in a positive way. Even if it took a deep familiarity with the Wii U’s architecture to get BOTW running on it, getting it to run on the Xbone should be comparatively easy. It’s not like Nintendo’s games rely on being cutting edge tech showcases anyway.

        • Volvagia says:

          3-D Sonic eventually “made it”, mechanically, though. Generations is, even now, still the best 3-D platformer of the 2010s. Here’s hoping they blow themselves out of the water with Project 2017.

          • Cybron says:

            “Generations is, even now, still the best 3-D platformer of the 2010s.”
            How many other 3D platformers from the 2010s can you name? Because I love platformers and I can only think of one other respectable 3D platformer in that time period. Certainly no other non-indie releases.

            • Viktor says:

              Assassin’s Creed, Tomb Raider, and Prince of Persia, depending on your definition of “Platformer”. They have the mechanics even if they have moved away from the traditional markers.

              • Falterfire says:

                Eh… I’d argue that part of being a real platformer is that there is challenge involved in the platforming. In Assassin’s Creed and Tomb Raider at least (haven’t played PoP), traversal is a simple matter of moving in the appropriate direction while holding down the “climb improbably” button, possibly with a handful of clearly telegraphed special button presses mixed in.

                It feels more like busywork than real gameplay to me, as there’s no real threat of failure nor really any way to be better. You just pass the obstacle as soon as all the animations are over.

            • tmtvl says:

              Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time? The new Shantae game (which looks amazing)? Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (idem)?

              Generations may be the best 2010’s platformer for now, but just you wait.

              • Volvagia says:

                I specified 3-D platformer, which Shantae isn’t and Bloodstained is probably a slight stretch, but would make a 2-D only list. And Thieves in Time, if I get to it, would probably make my top 10 3-D platformers. Yooka-Laylee looks pretty good this year, plus, we’re getting Psychonauts 2 next year. If we’re talking ALL 2010s platformers, though, I doubt anything is going to top Limbo and Inside as #2 and #1 respectively.

                Expected 3-D only list:

                10. Sonic Colors
                9. A Hat in Time
                8. Super Mario 3-D World
                7. Ratchet and Clank 2016
                6. Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
                5. Super Mario Odyssey
                4. Yooka-Laylee
                3. Sonic Generations
                2. Psychonauts 2
                1. Project Sonic 2017

                Expected 2-D only List:

                1. Inside
                2. Limbo
                3. Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse
                4. Sonic Mania
                5. Shantae: 1/2 Genie Hero
                6. Rayman Legends
                7. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
                8. Rayman Origins
                9. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
                10. New Super Mario Bros. U

                Expected combined list:

                10. Rayman Legends
                9. Shantae: 1/2 Genie Hero
                8. Yooka-Laylee
                7. Sonic Generations
                6. Sonic Mania
                5. Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse
                4. Psychonauts 2
                3. Project Sonic 2017
                2. Limbo
                1. Inside

        • Christopher says:

          Truth be told, I don’t know the first thing about hardware and software programming. Besides the income from it giving them more resources to work with, I just thought that it would have to be a reason for their success because I don’t think the people at Nintendo are inherently more talented than other developers. But something in their culture leads to them putting out great game after great game, with relatively few exceptions and letdowns. I’ll concede if you don’t think their work environment as a producer of both the console and the games for the console have anything to do with the quality of their work, that’s just a parallell I drew for myself. And that’s why the idea of them dropping consoles worried me. It’s not like I dislike the idea of having all the good games on a single platform instead of several. It would be pretty sweet to not have to pay for two consoles just to play both Mario and Bloodborne.

          • Bloodsquirrel says:

            I think Nintendo certainly does have some more talented developers than other studios, and a corporate culture that encourages different priorities on top of that. I doubt that they have anyone who can match Epic for cutting edge graphics engine expertise, but they’re really good at mechanical design and putting raw charm into their games.

            • Thomas says:

              I think the income stream is a really important part. Valve has Steam, CD Projekt Red has GOG, Blizzard have WoW subscriptions, Nintendo has console royalties.

              If you’ve got a steady income source you can scrap bad projects and delay unfinished projects till they’re finished. You can weather losses until the hit comes out (Blizzard’s reputation would have taken a hit with Diablo 3 and the decline of Starcraft 2 as an eSport, but they had the money and the people to plug away until they hit Hearthstone and Overwatch).

              Saying that, Nintendo’s back catalogue has to be good enough to effectively be another income source right? People will buy Pokemon forever and Nintendo merchandising must be huge.

    • Echo Tango says:

      “the last innovation they had that actually stuck was analog sticks”
      Motion controls are now on all the consoles, which is pretty much due to the success of the Wii.

      • Bloodsquirrel says:

        They’re pretty much an afterthought, though. The Kinect seems to be abandoned at this point, and the PS motion controls never amounted to anything. The whole thing was a dead end, and the only parts that are surviving are the ones that happened to coincidentally be useful for VR, where motion control were a part of long before the Wii anyway.

        • Kyte says:

          Nevertheless, somebody has to take the leap for the sake of innovation and for most of history that somebody has been Nintendo.

          Even if the attempts don’t pan out. That too is part of innovation.

      • GloatingSwine says:

        Motion controls were briefly on all the consoles, but now they’re relegated to “that thing you also get with VR” because nobody liked or wanted them.

  11. Ninety-Three says:

    “Animal Crossing hasn’t evolved because Nintendo has no competition pressuring them to innovate” is an interesting read on the situation, and I think it’s borne out by looking at their whole catalogue. The indie market is awash in platformers, but if you want a AAA platformer, the only competition I can think of for Mario is Rayman. Mario did more innovating back when “Character-driven action platformer” was still a Big Thing. Pokemon is the exact same game as it was twenty years ago because no one else ever managed to capture much of the “We want more of Pokemon” market. Meanwhile Metroid and Zelda have to keep doing new things because they’re in genres with more competition.

    • Volvagia says:

      Um…Sonic? Okay, Sonic isn’t as “consistent” as Rayman (where there is very little distance between the peaks and valleys), but his peaks are WAY higher than Rayman’s peaks. Peak Rayman is, what, Rayman 2 (which, in spite of a fairly perfect camera, holds up as worse than almost all of the 3-D Sonic titles) or Legends? Peak Sonic is, depending on whether mechanics or the stories/world building draws you to the franchise more, Sonic 2 and Sonic Generations or Sonic Adventure 2.

      • galacticplumber says:

        Actually peak Rayman is literally just origins and legends. Polished to all hell and back, and built from the ground up with memorable style, excellent momentum based speedrunning, heavy exploration, and collectathoning with each being a very different way to play a given level.

  12. Ranneko says:

    Josh’s link is broken, I suspect that Twitter account no longer exists =(

  13. Syal says:

    Chris, Legend of Zelda has had voice acting for a while now.

  14. I’m confused about why Nintendo finds a technological gimmick to use as its focus when it comes to selling a console.

    Nintendo: “Look! You can play it at home and on the go! Wow! So awesome!”
    Sony: “Okay, we got badass games, so, uh, buy this stuff.”
    Microsoft: “Mass surveillance. Big brother is watching you.”
    PC: “Ultra graphics to the extreme and more badass games!”

    PC is the best option of these examples, but I’m still perplexed by the fact that Nintendo always seems to take a technological, handheld standpoint, when they have the worst hardware capabilities of their main competitors. Who are their competitors, anyway? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPhone_(1st_generation)

    • WarlockOfOz says:

      For me, and I suspect a lot of other PC gamers, the reason to stick with the PC isn’t so much ‘badass games’ as ‘greater variety and quantity of games’ combined with a lot of sunk cost (not least, muscle memory). My 2009 gaming PC has had some mid life surgery (Ram, SSD, Graphic card, OS) and now lives behind the TV instead of under the desk but is a long way from replacement and still plays everything I ask it to, including the dozen or so new games I get each month for peanuts. Adding a Xbox or PS isn’t interesting because they don’t bring much new – neither has many games that the PC does not and they can only be used in the same place, at the same times as my PC would be available. The switch’s promise of full-fat gaming anywhere is far more tempting, though I’d want it to also replace my tablet to justify a permanent space in my coat pocket.

  15. GloatingSwine says:

    I don’t think the switch is selling the “handheld you can plug into the TV” thing very well with its software lineup.

    Of the launch games two are waggle tat, one is Skylanders so extra plastic tat, and so you won’t want to take those things with you. Only Zelda and Bomberman are going to deliver that portable play. Of the imminent releases only Mario Kart is really going to do it as well, Splatoon and Arms are fundamentally online, for instance.

    It’s going to be a long time before they have a lineup of things you’d want to take with you. They needed to have the word Pokemon prominently in that launch window.

    • Aspeon says:

      Splatoon might have a local multiplayer option? You can WiFi up to eight Switches together.

      There’ve been rumors about a Pokemon Stars for the Switch, but I assume they aren’t announcing it to avoid cannibalizing sales of Sun & Moon. Heck, I’ve already heard of people holding off because of the rumors.

      • GloatingSwine says:

        Can you imagine trying to play a third person shooter splitscreen on a 6″ 720p display though?

        Sure, it might have local wifi, but that means you need more than one Switch, more than one copy of the game, etc. And this is supposed to be the console where you can do multi on the move with the two joy cons.

    • Blake says:

      I think I agree.
      I feel like they should have made the switch compatible with DS carts in some way, then they would have had a monster library and gotten a bigger install base that way.

      As it stands I know I’ll be getting one at launch, mostly because I need Zelda and waiting isn’t going to make it any cheaper. I know 1st party console titles will ultimately be enough for me to consider it worth it, but if they get lots of mobile games happening then I might end up getting heaps of use out of it.

  16. GloatingSwine says:

    Because things moved on without this being addressed:

    The reason they took the Gamecube capability out of later release Wiis is that it’s really quite expensive and fiddly to make a slot loading drive that won’t completely lose its shit when you try and put one of the small Gamecube DVDs in it.

    Ergo they started using more standard slot loading drives that didn’t have the extra business to cope with the smaller discs.

    • Also, the backwards-compatible Wii systems had hardware for plugging in controllers and memory cards. As an aside, I think I heard that the backward compatible PS3s basically had a complete ps2 built into them. Not exactly cheap, even for old hardware.

  17. CoyoteSans says:

    On “Nintendo’s Future”, every time this comes up, I offer a couple alternative paths than “go SEGA and make Nintendo games for my PS4 and fulfill all of my nerd wishes”. And every time I do, people refuse to believe me, but this time I have real-world evidence to back my theories up.

    The first is that they simply abandon the console market and focus on *DS, and/or if that dies, move to mobile gaming. We have game companies doing exactly that, and even if we don’t like their games, the Japanese/Korean mobile market is more than enough to sustain them, quality or ethical marketing practices be damned. I consider this the “realistically optimistic” option.

    The other one is that Nintendo pulls out of traditional video games entirely. In particular, this suggestion gets me tons of flak, but as the show noted we now have Konami which has done exactly that. And, despite continued denial in the fan communities, they’ve not only survived, but flourished in the gambling market. Video game development had become an albatross holding them back, not an asset.

    It comes down to the difference in how Western and Japanese businesses are run. An Western business executive will gladly run a company in a certain industry into the ground as long as they can Golden Parachute themselves to safety. In Japan, dynasticism is what’s important. As an executive, it is your job to keep the business alive no matter what. No one in the senior management wants to be known as “the man responsible for Nintendo going bankrupt”.

    Nintendo was in business for a hundred years before they started with video games, selling all kinds of things. Video games, at that time, represented a lucrative opportunity for Nintendo to exploit. That may not be the case anymore. They didn’t start in making video games, and they may very well decide to not risk ending in them either.

    In this scenario, I see them transitioning to doing something completely different (like wearables or pachinko or whatever), or profiting off their mascot IPs (see the recent negotiations they’ve been in with movie studios and such regarding their properties). Say goodbye Legend of Zelda: The Game Series, say hello Legend of Zelda: The Movie Series?

  18. Baron Tanks says:

    I’m just going to copy paste my comment on today’s Jimquisition here verbatim, cause I feel there’s not much else to say. Basically feeling the same as the majority.

    Everything we’ve seen so far mirrors the launch the Wii U, coupled with some out of style motion things as a poorly thought out wii 2, topped off with an insane online service and downright arrogant peripheral pricing.

    The only difference here is that many people (myself included) were enthused by that initial reveal, which highlighted all the potential this machine has. But then, as Jim so aptly put it, they Nintendoed it up. And ultimately, when it comes down to it, they could do everything wrong and still have a great console just with strong first party software but that’s the real stab, stinger, the one that hurts. There’s no sign that this isn’t going to be the same Wij U drought all over again (both concerning quality and quantity). What a crying shame. And to think I was rooting for them. And for those that think I write them off too quickly, it’s simply because I remember the lifespan of the Wii U. The writing is on the wall here and there’s no signs it’s going to be different this time. And unless Nintendo changes something drastically in the next 24 months, to expect any other result would be the definition of insanity.

  19. Thomas says:

    Nintendo has to be worried this might be their last console launch ever – maybe that’s why they’re protecting the 3DS.

    It’s not about money, Nintendo has enough money to become an arms dealer if they want to stay profitable.

    But after the cataclysmic failure of the Wii U , if the Nintendo Switch were to fail, how could they ever convince consumers or developers to back a Nintendo console again?

  20. Wide And Nerdy® says:

    Curious about the hint of California speak. Did they tell you to try to sound like Mumbles, Rachel? Did Shamus say he wished you would be more like her? Just nod your head if you aren’t free to speak.

  21. Mormegil says:

    So apparently some things are genetic and I look forward to Rachel’s Mass Effect style thesis length series on where Animal Crossing went wrong.

  22. Phill says:

    The other problem Nintendo have with trying to attract third party support is that they have an (entirely deserved) reputation for being an absolute pain to work with. Aside from the fact that developing on their hardware is very different from PC/Xbox/PS, the whole business of getting dev kits, getting through their QA approval procedure is so much more frustrating, long (and expensive) than for the other consoles.

    Where I used to work, we made some games on the Wii. When the WiiU came out, people played with a dev kit to estimate how much work it would be to port to the platform. Add in the known overhead costs I mentioned above, the extra time and testing required, looking at sales of our games on the Wii… we never released a game on the WiiU. And that was before their console sales completely tanked.

    Basically, Nintendo’s whole attitude and culture plays in to the reason they don’t get third party support. It’s not the whole reason, but it is another nail in the coffin when deciding whether to port to Nintendo hardware.

  23. Phantos says:

    “Nintendo is going to stop doing game consoles/go bankrupt/otherwise fail”

    I heard that when the Nintendo 64 came out. I heard it when the Gamecube came out. I heard it when the Wii was announced. I heard that when the 3DS was announced. And when they did screw up and gave us a Virtual Boy, I’d heard that they’d never recover from it.

    But no, for real you guys, I’m sure it’ll happen THIS time! I SWEAR!!

    *starts cry-laughing*

    • CoyoteSans says:

      Except they didn’t ever really recover from the Nintendo 64? There’s a difference between a sustainable business model and inertia. Nintendo has the latter. The root causes for the failure for the N64 were still there when they did the Gamecube, the Wii, Wii U, and now the Switch. The Wii was an aberration because it capitalized on an untapped casual market… that ended up blowing up in their face in the long run when Apple and Google poached it from them right under their noses with the mobile market. Put that data point aside, and they’ve been in a weaker position with each successive console generation.

      People think of Nintendo consoles these days as “consoles to play Nintendo games”, not “consoles to play games” like they did a couple decades ago. They’ve lost a ton of influence and prestige in the market and it all stems from the arrogance and pettiness they’ve had towards their customers and third-party devs since the SNES era. They never learned to get over it, and it has cost them dearly.

      To say “that’s it, this is the big one, they’re dead NOW” may be an exaggeration, but it’s not hyperbole to see where they’ll end up if they can’t reverse this two decade long trend. And they so no signs whatsoever they even realize why they keep failing to begin with, much less taking the necessary steps to correct it.

  24. Ilseroth says:

    I can corroborate what Shamus was saying regarding UI and scaling. I do indie stuff in a few different engines and when you take it below a certain resolution you absolutely cannot use some fonts, have to sometimes rebuild the UI art completely (or it just looks blurry and messy)

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