So the Nintendo Switch launches here tomorrow, and I’ve just cancelled my pre-order. My concerns over the viability of the console have made me wary enough to step back from the console for a while.
This post is laying out my reasons as to why I cancelled my order, and may be something here you haven’t considered as well.
Firstly, and perhaps the most important point is the cost, both initial and hidden costs make this a seriously over priced bit of kit. Lets break down the costs and total everything up:
- Switch £279
- Game £60
- Pro Controller £65
- 2nd Joy Con Controller £80
- Case £20
- Charging Grip £28
- Screen Protector £15
- Battery Pack £37
- USB C Cable £7
- Micro SD Card £50
Thats a big investment for a console that doesn’t have a lot of traction at the moment. For me the problem here is that there are no console packs. So no bundles which include the console and say Breath of the Wild. If they had those I’d have been tempted more, but since Breath of the Wild is on the Wii U as well, I don’t see the reason to buy a whole new console just to play it.
Now, granted some of these extras can be ignored initially. For example if you’re not going to be taking it out of the house, you can probably drop the case, battery pack and cable, saving a good chunk of change.
However given the way the switch works, I’d still be buying a screen protector, and a decent one at that. Even for just playing in the house, I wouldn’t want to risk it.
When you compare these charges with other consoles: PS4 Slim £252, PS4 Pro £349, Xbox One S £224. Here you can see the huge disparity between the the consoles and the prices. The Switch, as it stands now, is just to expensive.
People buying the Switch at that price are going to want a console that performs well, and from what I’ve
seen thus far it’s not going to do that. To be honest this doesn’t surprise me, Nintendo have never really put out a powerful system.
But thats not necessarily needed. Lets be honest here, games such as Xenoblade Chronicles X on the Wii U didn’t perform well, but we played them because they were awesome games that had moment of breathtaking views. The developers of the games took the underpowered console and frankly put more powerful ones to shame.
So, personally I’m not sure if I discount it out just because it’s underpowered. However it’s starting point is already weaker because it’s using underpowered hardware. Whats more there’s nothing really to get you into the console. There’s no system seller like the previous generations have had. For me Xenoblade Chronicles X was the sole reason I bought my Wii U, and even now I only actually have 3 or 4 games on my Wii U. It was the same with my 3DS, I bought it purely for Fire Emblem.
Here we have nothing to make me sit up and consider buying the Switch. Breath of the Wild is immediately dismissed because it’s also on the Wii U, so it’s actually a detriment. Why would I spend over £300 to get the switch and game, when I can pay £50 to have it on my Wii U?
Then we have the hardware concerns, which frankly are a big one. The battery life on the Switch is
abysmal, just as bad as the 3DS in reality. Breath of the Wild, which Nintendo claims will run for 3hours on batter, in truth runs for 2hours. Though admittedly if you turn brightness down to zero it will run for almost 3hours, about as long as a 3DS will run playing a new game.
If you connect it to the charger, you can play and charge, taking around 3 hours to a full charge (if your not playing) and 4 hours if you are playing. However if you’re on the move and connect it to a USB charger, it’s going to take around 8 – 9 hours for a full charge; however you can’t play any games as the charge doesn’t outstrip the drain.
In fact, at the time of writing, even battery packs don’t offer sufficient power to both charge and play. With the exception of a pack from RAVPower which allows you to charge and play.
Next we have storage, again this is something that Nintendo have always sucked at, however I do think this is the first time where a launch announced title wont fit on the console. Dragon Quest Heroes 1&2 bundle will run you a whopping 32GB, almost 10GB more than the space you have available on the console. So that means an SD card is mandatory.
The problem here is SD cards are horrific for running games on, and within a short time they’re going to break and need replacing. Unless you buy a high end card, which are darn expensive, pushing £40-50 for a 128gb card and almost £150 for a 256gb card. Even these cards however won’t have that long a life span, needing to be replaced every year or so.
This is because these cards weren’t designed for the constant accessing and file updates that games require.
Finally we have the bigger issues in the hardware issues that have arisen in the Joy-Con’s, in that the left controller has sever desynch issues. A lot of reviewers and early users have reported this, but others have also said they don’t have the issues.
Either way this is a big thing and one Nintendo need to address quickly. You don’t need significant hardware issues on your launch!
So, will I be getting a Switch? At the moment I’m having to say no, all the games I want are also going to be on the Wii U, so I see no reason to switch (no pun intended honest!). However if sometime down the road the new Xenoblade game is a Switch exclusive, then yes, I’d be hard pressed to say no!
However I’m hoping the Switch doesn’t end up like the Wii U, rotting in obscurity with developers not releasing games on it.