Saturday, April 15, 2017

Nintendo Switch

Ultimately, looked at as a whole, the WiiU wasn't really that successful as a gaming machine. I mean, it was successful in that I enjoyed quite a few games for it, but in terms of what it was trying to do for gaming, with its pad and motion controls, well, the thing was really not ready for primetime. The pad was clunky, the system was underpowered, and it was too beholden on its Wii past.

The Switch could conceivably go the same way, but it has a few advantages over its predecessor. First and foremost, the system's main gimmick is actually a useful one. It's a system that's meant to be played, constantly and seamlessly, whether you have it hooked up to a TV or sitting on a desk. The detaching controllers do what they're supposed to do.

On top of that, and even more importantly, Nintendo has taken the best features from the current generation of game machine operating systems, and NOTHING ELSE. You won't be using the Switch to watch videos, stream music, control your home, communicating with other people, or any of that other bullshit. Compared to the WiiU interface, it's massively stripped down. It's like an even simpler PS4 interface in Nintendo white.

Games download in the background while the system is in sleep mode, or while you're playing other games. Like the PS4, you can sleep the system whenever and pick up whatever you were playing wherever you left off. There are some basic system management options. As a portable, it holds multiple WiFi credentials and uses whichever one you're near. And that's it. Zero bullshit. It's fast, it's responsive, it's the complete opposite of the WiiU at its launch.

Are there flaws? Sure. For example, the Switch eShop is a bit of a mess. You can't store credit card information for your account, so you're either entering the whole thing each time, or, like I ended up doing, just going to a store and buying eShop cards and building a balance. While the capacitive touchscreen is miles better than the WiiU's resistive screen, the on-screen keyboard is still not up to the standards you'd expect from a smartphone. The sound feedback is wonky, and it's easy to hit the wrong letter.

The screen itself is quite nice. I wish it were bigger, but my eyesight is complete and utter shit. I can't really play Zelda on the go because the interface elements and such are too tiny. This won't be a problem if you can see moderately good. Build quality is fine, it doesn't seem fragile or delicate, the controllers are decent, everything clicks in a satisfying way.

The dock is fine. It's literally nothing but a plastic shell that feeds power to the USB-C connector and takes HDMI out from it, and when Nintendo starts selling bonus docks forninety fucking dollars in a month you'll know where their profit margin lives, but it does the job.

Games will get separate posts, but it plays Zelda now wnd will play Mario Odyssey in the fall and what the fuck more do you want?

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