I’ve been wrestling with this for a while. After my failed attempts to use the wife as a thinly veiled excuse to just buy one (she’s not interested), I keep torturing myself over this one. Should I buy a Nintendo Switch?
First world problems, I know, but I just can’t seem to make this decision. The lure is strong, but I don’t know why. I guess I just love gadgets. This house is not short of games or consoles, with a PC, Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 on the go. In these uncertain times, I’m still trying to be frugal as well.
In my entire life, I’ve personally owned a single Nintendo console, the NES, well into its lifecycle on the market. A gift from the mother ship, with a single game, Super Mario 3, now widely considered a classic. If I finished that game, she proclaimed, I could have another. I never finished it, deep down I think she knew that would be the case.
The neighbour kid had a NES too, once or twice we played together on his console, he had way more games, but I was becoming less interested in traditional video games and consoles.
Some of my friends at school had these things called personal computers, or PCs for short. They had games too. Within a couple years, we had a PC, a couple more later, I acquired the internet for myself. The next 14 years were spent 100% on PC, until the acquisition of a PS3 in 2011.
These days, I’m firmly in the camp of “gamer” rather than PC elitist, or console war fanboy. I love games, I just couldn’t give a monkeys what platform they’re on, as long as I can play them. If I could own and use just a single platform to play all the games I’m interested in, including with my friends, that would be ideal. Sadly, cross-play and cross-save is still in its infancy, but hopefully one day, we can all play together in harmony.
If I want to play Nintendo exclusive games, I’d have to buy a Nintendo console. As is the case with Sony exclusives, otherwise I wouldn’t bother owning a PS4. The thing is, I’m not really interested in any Nintendo exclusive games, that I’m aware of.
This is probably because I’ve never been exposed to many of the franchises Nintendo players hold so dear. There’s no desire to play a Zelda game, Pokémon, Mario or anything else I can think of.
What I am interested in, is the portability of the Switch. Being able to play console quality games on the go is a big draw for me. Commute, lunch times, car rides. That spare 15 minutes you might find yourself with. Many of the Switch owners I’ve spoken to have touted this as the biggest benefit for them too, rarely using the console in docked mode as a result. In fact Nintendo have launched the Switch Lite, intended for handheld use only.
I’m also interested in developers and publishers taking this Nintendo console seriously. Generally speaking, they may have been guilty of ignoring Nintendo consoles in the past, due to them being perceived by many as under powered, or consoles for kids. This doesn’t seem to be the case with the Switch.
I’ve seen Bethesda release Doom and Wolfenstein games, CD Projekt Red have even released a Switch version of The Witcher 3 for crying out loud! The Outer Worlds, which I adored on the Xbox, also recently had a Switch version announced.
The graphical downgrades in many of these Switch versions are something to behold, but who cares, if you can play those sorts of games on the go?
The one thing stopping me from buying a Switch. Streaming console quality graphics with low latency over mobile is coming, no really. Google’s Stadia, released far too early, has been ridiculed, but this is not meant to replace your powerful hardware at home. For some, maybe it can, but this is just another option.
I’ve tried the Microsoft Project xCloud beta, to varying degrees of success, but so far I’ve been impressed.
From my desk at the office, with decent 4G signal, I’ve been able to play various titles such as Forza Horizon 4 and Borderlands 2, with little or no latency and graphical issues. This is on a Nokia 8, a two year old phone, with an £8 clip and one of my Xbox controllers over Bluetooth.
Supporting technology such as 5G is rolling out, newer phones are obviously already available. The internet in my own home is better than ever, in the not too distant future, I will be able to stream the games I want to a device I carry around in my pocket already, with minimal latency, either from my own console or from Microsoft’s cloud servers. So why would I buy a Switch?
My almost 2 year old son will obviously be a gamer, at some point. I’ve already told his mother to accept this. He’s going to see me playing video games, his future school friends will probably play too. This is mainstream entertainment now folks, like it or not.
I feel a duty to give the heir of my estate the video game education I never had, because my parents couldn’t particularly afford it and because I wasn’t overly interested at the time.
Don’t get me wrong, I will still kick a ball around with him and whatnot, if he’s interested in all of that, I certainly was, but I think Nintendo is the right way to go for a brand new gamer of a certain age. Also should prepare for the fact he might have other interests, of course!
I failed using the wife as an excuse then, but perhaps I can get away with using my son as an excuse?! If I purchased him one now, he’d just put it in his mouth and chomp down on it, so perhaps not quite yet, but I reckon I’m sold on this basis. Sod it then, gives me plenty of time to save I guess 🙂
What games on a Switch would be suitable for 3-4 year old? What has your relationship with Nintendo been over the years? Do you own a Switch and want to fanboy/girl about it? Let me know in the comments!