NL: What was the general reaction of you and your team to the Nintendo Switch Presentation in Tokyo?
Jools Watsham: I came away from the Switch presentation with very mixed feelings. I was already sold on the console from the excellent trailer Nintendo released in October, 2016. For me, January’s presentation was an opportunity to carry the vibe of the reveal trailer into a more informative and glitzy presentation that was focused on games and previously unannounced hardware features. Technically speaking, Nintendo did address those aspects, but in a very awkward and unimpressive way.
David D’Angelo: Great! It was really nice to see Nintendo go more in depth on the console’s features. And of course, it’s always a blast to see Nintendo’s new games!
Julius Guldbog: The fact most of us are getting the system and Zelda at launch speaks volumes, I believe! (laughs)
Dant Rambo: It was definitely positive! We weren’t in the same room when it was airing, but we were all exchanging excited texts over the course of the presentation. It probably comes as no surprise we’re a bunch of Nintendo fanboys over here, so this was pretty much Christmas for us.
NL: Can you consider where the Switch fits in the current games market? Is it a competitor in the home console space, the portable area, or is it attempting to essentially create its own ‘category’ in the industry?
Jools Watsham: I feel as though Nintendo is trying to create its own category with the Switch, which is a lot more interesting than directly competing with any current markets. It is the only move Nintendo can make at this stage, really, and they’re uniquely qualified and equipped to pull it off better than anyone else.
David D’Angelo: It’s hard to know! We are all wondering the same question over here.
Graham Smith: For me, the main attraction of the Switch is that it appears to satisfy both console and handheld gaming needs. With the exception of some PS4/Vita games that support cross-save, I typically have to play different games at home than I do when travelling. I really like the additional flexibility that the portability of the Switch offers.
Julius Guldbog: I think there’s untapped potential in the “in-between” market. There are so many times I WISH I could’ve played my 3DS games in HD and vice versa. Who knows if they aim for Switch to replace their dedicated handhelds or if we’ll see a new mobile device down the line? I personally see Switch as an immediate Wii U replacement and an eventual 3DS successor.
Dant Rambo: In a way, I think this really depends on the gaming habits of the purchaser. For me, I will be using the Switch primarily as a home console, whereas some people will probably use it mostly as a portable. I suspect Nintendo is not necessarily trying to go head-to-head with the PS4 and Xbox One. Not because they couldn’t, but rather they’ve just very much carved out their own niche ever since the Wii and are doing their own thing at this point.
NL: Do you have any major concerns about the Switch at this stage?
Jools Watsham: I hope the price of the console reduces for the Christmas season, maybe going down from $299 to $279 or even $249. I also hope there are some bundles available at that time at a price of $299 or slightly above, so families can make a single purchase and have a game or two to enjoy with their new Switch.
David D’Angelo: The biggest concern is just if people will buy it! It’d be great to see another Nintendo console do extremely well.
Graham Smith: I’m not feeling any concerns currently.
Julius Guldbog: No major concerns, actually. In my experience the battery life of the Switch is great, for instance. It all comes down to how well Nintendo supports the system. It’ll be interesting to hear more about their online services.
Dant Rambo: My answer could change down the road, but it’s a little too early on for me to have any major concerns about the system yet! I think Nintendo learned a lot of lessons from the Wii U, and I imagine those lessons will influence how they handle the Switch over the course of its entire existence. I’m eager to see how things are with it a few years out from now.
NL: How optimistic or otherwise are you that the Nintendo Switch will be a success?
Jools Watsham: The message is clear with Switch: you can play Switch at home and on the go. That is a compelling and unique message in the console gaming market. I think it is safe to say that the Switch will be more successful than the Wii U. Sadly, that isn’t a tall order. I don’t think Switch is something that can come close to the success of the Wii, but nevertheless, the Switch will be considered an overall success for Nintendo.
David D’Angelo: It’s hard to say! If Nintendo can deliver great game experiences at a frequent pace, it will definitely find success.
Graham Smith: I’m feeling very optimistic about the Nintendo Switch. Personally I can’t wait to get my hands on one.
Julius Guldbog: I’m sure it’ll surpass the install bases of both the GameCube and Wii U fairly quickly. But after that it’s hard to estimate. When Pokémon, Monster Hunter and Animal Crossing hits the platform (which they surely will!) I’m sure it’ll take off for real. Even my grandparents called me and asked about Nintendo Switch. If that isn’t mainstream I don’t know what is.
Dant Rambo: It’s a pretty wild time for video games right now, so it’s hard to predict anything with too much certainty. I do feel confident about the Switch and think it has the potential to do really well for Nintendo, but I’m hesitant to say anything more definitive than that!