Some Switch Comments

You can hold it in your hand very tightly (very tightly)

I’ve had a Switch for more than 24 hours now, so it’s time to talk about it. In a stream of consciousness list form, and mainly concentrating on the negative aspects, because that’s how the internet reports on things now, isn’t it. Hot takes! Coming through!

It’s so much faster than the Wii U
I don’t mean performance-wise, as I’ve seen nothing to suggest that’s the case. No, I mean the UI, starting up, poking around the settings and stuff.

switch home screen

It’s all so very sparse
“Clean” is one way of describing it. The 3DS and Wii U came with all sorts of trinkets and oddities preinstalled, like the AR stuff and other tech demos. Nothing here like that. The eShop too is bare bones, and not simply because there aren’t any games yet. It’s three pages of big “metro” style panels. That’s it.

The home screen is going to fill up quick
I’ve only got five game icons on it and have to scroll through them already. Make the panels smaller, or have folders, or something, sooner rather than later!

The Pro controller is excellent
Comfortable, weighty and with great button press feedback.

The joycons are… odd
Separately, one in each hand, they’re OK. The right stick is a little hard to use like this, but they’re OK. Using a single one as a controller on its own, is less good. They don’t fit in your hand properly and they’re tiny. Even with the rail things on the SL and SR buttons aren’t well positioned and seem pretty unresponsive.

I’ve not had the left joycon disconnect issue
Not yet, anyway, but it seems it’s only Zelda that it has been affecting and I’ve not played that in the way that the problem manifests.

As a handheld, it isn’t great
Two and a half hours on Zelda and the Switch battery was begging for electrons. The whole unit is too heavy, and too thin, to be held comfortably for a long period. The controls on either side seem too far apart as well.

The screen is nice
It is, actually. Incredibly responsive when typing on the on-screen keyboard too.

Sharing screenshots
Needs to be quicker. Too many steps, far too slow. At least let me copy them to a USB drive or something.

The Switch game cards do taste disgusting
Yep.

It’s region free!
Which is excellent news. Even the Switch eShop is effectively region free too! I set up a Japanese account and downloaded demos of Puyo Puyo Tetris and Dragon Quest Heroes I&II. They’re not in the UK eShop, but Just Work from the Japanese one. And speaking of games…

Games!

Snipperclips
Is frustrating. Fantastic, but with three players so damn frustrating. Why won’t you just do what I say, idiot family members?! Note: if family members are reading, I love you very much.

fast rmx

Fast RMX
Is fast. It feels like F-Zero GX did, which I suppose is the point. The looks great, and I can see other people really enjoying it. Just not me so much as I’m not a fan of the genre. Why did I buy it? I panicked.

dragon quest heroes

Dragon Quest Heroes I&II
Might well be in Japanese, and just a demo, but it feels a lot like Hyrule Warriors. Which means that if this is confirmed to be multiplayer, I’m contractually obliged to buy it.

puyo puyo tetris

Puyo Puyo Tetris
Seems to be the same as the 3DS version, but that isn’t a bad thing. I certainly won’t be paying full price for a UK release, but am more than interested in a cheap copy.

And that Zelda game?
It’s… a 3D Zelda game. And I think you all know by now what my thoughts on those are. If you don’t then, briefly: They all seem wonderful but after a while I just get bored with them. This feels a lot like those, only on a bigger scale with everything more spaced out. Except it isn’t quite, as it actually Assassin’s Creed III in Hyrule. And we all know how great Assassin’s Creed III was. And there are Borgia Towers. Sort of. And a million places to visit. It’s Link in Ubisoftland.

Switchmas Eve

The night before Switchmas
And all through the house
Fingernails were bitten
And downed Famous Grouse

I remember the panic of the Wii U launch. Would it get dispatched? Would it arrive at work before home time? Just who the hell were Zavvi anyway? It seems like just a few days ago.

Today, I had confirmation my Switch was safely with the courier. There was some concern that it was going to be dispatched to where I wasn’t going to be, but that was changed this morning. Now, there’s the wait.

Last time round I could entertain myself hammering F5 (or CMD-R, for a change) constantly whilst crying into a bucket. With the Switch, though, it all seems to have gone well. Too well. There’s nothing to refresh, I know – or at least, I am told – it will be with me before noon tomorrow. It’s unnerving.

Just think. In 24 hours I should have a new Nintendo console connected to my TV, with the foul-tasting Zelda game card jammed in and I’ll be playing it. Playing it!

But what other games am I planning on getting? Well, it’s still not 100% on what’s going to be available right away. Almost certainly I’ll download Snipperclips from the eShop, and it’s likely Fast RMX will be purchased too. I really want to get Super Bomberman R, but that’s a lot of money for a game fuelled by in-app purchases, so I might wait a bit.

Further away, the indie reveal the other day showed a lot of great looking titles coming up in the next couple of months.

Shakedown Hawaii will be bought, and the very Advance Warsy game WarGroove is a certainty too. Pocket Rumble should be awesome if it’s close to the Neo Geo Pocket Colour fighters it is trying hard to be, and Yooka Laylee and SteamWorld Dig 2 are definites as well.

And Stardew Valley. And Blaster Master Zero. In fact, that’s plenty for a while, isn’t it? I’m not even thinking about other retail games yet!

Nintendo Switch Direct Content Leak!

RUMOURS NOT FAKE NEWS

Yay! Things are being announced, so let’s stab randomly in the dark at what those things might be! In the post-fact world we now live in, fake news is where the real facts are!

Tune in to Nintendo’s Live From Tokyo, France, feed at 4am Genuine Pre-Brexit Real Time (GPBRT) on Friday the 13th (ruh roh!) to tick off how many of these are correct!

Hardware

We already know some stuff about the hardware. It has a screen! It has detachable controllers! There’s a base unit! Nvidia! But here are some things you might not know:

  1. The console is 12 inches thick. Not wide, not tall, but thick. We’re gonna need some bigger hands.
  2. The battery life is long enough to last from the moment you take it out of the dock to the time you sit down on the sofa with it. After that, you need to buy a new battery, because:
  3. That’s right – that battery can’t be recharged and needs replacing every time you handle the console. Batteries will not be available at launch.
  4. Nvidia didn’t make the chip in the Switch – they simply made the socket the Switch’s chip fits into. The chip itself won’t be available at launch.
  5. There will be an unlimited number of SKUs, each with different colour cases, amounts of RAM, screen shapes, and connectivity options. Most of these will not be available at launch.
  6. The charger will not be USB-C as widely reported: it will use the original Game Boy Advance SP charger. These will not be included in the box, and will not be available at launch.
  7. The Switch is not compatible with HDTVs. They only work with CRTs and 4K TVs, and only then with a converter cable. This cable will not be available at launch.
  8. The vitality sensor will finally be released, along with the SD adaptor originally planned for the GameCube. Again, these will not be available at launch.
  9. The console will be region free! Only not in Europe.
  10. The replacement for the Switch will be teased at the end of the Direct, and will be available at launch.

Software

We know there will be Strictly Just Do Dancing 2017, Zelda BOFH and NBA 2K BBQ NSPCC, but what else?!

  1. Every single GameCube game ever made, for every region, will be available on the eShop from launch day. In the UK they will cost £13.99 each, in the EU they’ll be €44.99, and in the US, $4.99. In order to play them you will need the GameCube controller components for the Switch unit. These will not be available at launch.
  2. A new F-Zero game, called F-Zero 0, set 200 years before the original F-Zero, will be announced and available as a launch title. It will be controlled with the Wii balance board, which requires an adaptor to work with the Switch. Nintendo will not be manufacturing any new balance boards, however, and the required adaptor will not be available at launch.
  3. The rumoured new Mario Switch title will be revealed as a launch title. It’s a free to play, free-roaming RPG with platform game elements. Each level needs to be unlocked with a different Amiibo, but these Amiibo will not be available at launch.
  4. A port of Star Fox Zero is a launch title. You will need a Wii U Gamepad in order to control it, however. These will not be sold separately.
  5. All of your Wii U and 3DS eShop purchases will be transferable to your Switch console, for free. However, in order to do this you must send your Wii U and 3DS to Nintendo as they are the ones who need to perform the transfer. You will still need your 3DS in order to play 3DS eShop games on the Switch, as it acts as the controller. And the screen. This functionality will not be available at launch.
  6. The Rabbids and Mario crossover that was rumoured is actually two separate games on the same cartridge. There is no crossover at all, they’re just very small so they packaged them together.
  7. Retro have been working on a new Metroid game. It will be shown in teaser form at the Switch event, but will not be available until 2028. It is completed, but as the game is physically set in the year 2028 it was decided that was the best time to release it.
  8. New Donkey Kong Country Returns will be out in the 2017-2019 launch window.
  9. New New Super Mario Bros U Switch will be out in the 2018-2020 launch window.
  10. New Luigi’s Mansion Switch will be available at launch, but the day one patch that is required to play it will not.
  11. Nintendo’s new “Nintendo don’t have a game like this” IP is actually an MMORPG set in a world overrun by evil kangaroos. Players take the role of camels who hunt the kangaroos using hilariously oversized pea shooters. It’s free to play.
  12. Sega, Konami, Codemasters, Melbourne House and Amsoft are all confirmed to have games available at launch. These games will not be available at launch.

Online

  1. You can import your existing NNID onto your Switch, although this feature will not be available at launch.
  2. Nintendo’s ONline SErvice (which will be known as “NONSE”) will make use of “chum numbers” that are definitely nothing like friend codes. For your convenience, these CNs will expire every three months.
  3. The Switch will come with a built in web browser, Twitter client, Soundcloud integration and IRC chat. Some of these features, specifically those that use online services, won’t be available at launch.
  4. NONSE will remain free, although you will need to pay subscriptions for each individual game or service you wish to use on it. Prices will vary, but Twitter is known to be £4.99/€5.99/$19.99 a month. You can use My Nintendo gold coins to obtain a 5% discount, although this will not be available at launch.
  5. Miiverse will get an overhaul, with tighter integration in games (some games require a Miiverse account to work), but Miiverse will be unavailable at launch.
  6. Network connectivity is 801.11ac wireless only, is not compatible with 11a, b or n, and supports WEP security only. A wired LAN adaptor will be available, although not at launch, but this will only support Wii and Wii U games bought on the Switch.
  7. Nintendo have partnered with Virgin Media to ensure that NONSE is incompatible with Virgin.
  8. Children under the age of 21 will not have access to NONSE.

20 Things I Want from the Nintendo NX – How Many Can I Have?

Future Shocks

Long time readers, assuming they’re not asleep, may recall a post I made back in May about 20 Things I Want from the Nintendo NX. Well, now we know more about the console, including that it’s called the Nintendo Switch and not the NX, I can look back on my list and see just how close to creating the perfect console Nintendo have come.

Key: Red – No, Orange – Unknown or Partial, Green – Yes.

  1. The Nintendo NX must be region-free
    We don’t know this yet but it has been rumoured.
  2. Have Mario games on it
    Well duh. Although no confirmation of any one(s) specifically.
  3. Have actual buttons on the Nintendo NX controller
    YES!
  4. Finally fix the issue of jerky credits scrolling that blights every game ever made since 1994, previous to which for some reason it wasn’t an issue
    A real concern, but no details have yet to emerge.
  5. Support exactly 17 Nintendo NX controllers
    It would appear it also supports just one, so no.
  6. Take Sega Mega Drive cartridges
    This now seems unlikely, although there’s a chance the dock will have a cartridge slot.
  7. Available in two colours: green, and very green
    Only grey has been shown, but green versions may yet happen.
  8. The Nintendo NX to be able to download games without it being turned on. Or plugged in. Or even taken out of the box
    No information on this yet.
  9. Have games on square optical discs
    Games will come on 3DS-like game cards, but square optical discs have not been ruled out.
  10. Have a picture of Jacky from Virtua Fighter under the flap
    Current status unknown.
  11. Have a flap
    YES! Flap confirmed!
  12. Make sure the flap is backwards compatible with the Wii and Wii U flaps
    No available information.
  13. Gold plated flap as an optional extra
    No available information.
  14. Actually, have two flaps
    Unconfirmed, but it appears that yes, it has two (or more) flaps. The dock may also house additional flaps.
  15. Console needs to be completely spherical
    All signs point to no.
  16. Able to perform a quirkafleeg
    No confirmation on this functionality yet forthcoming.
  17. Holding down the A and B buttons on startup causes the console to dispense poisonous gas into the room
    The A and B buttons do exist, but it is unclear on whether they can perform this particular function.
  18. Five screens. One of them inside the console but you can’t see it
    YES! The launch preview video clearly shows multiple screens, and one of them does indeed go inside the console where you can’t see it.
  19. Every single Nintendo game ever made, and all those not made yet, available at launch
    Nintendo are not clear on this point yet.
  20. Free sweets in the box
    We can hope, but again, nothing confirmed at the moment.

And the Scores

1 point is awarded for Orange, 2 for Green, and nothing for Red. Total possible points are 40.

Red: 2
Orange: 14
Green: 4

Total score: 22/40

Which means the Switch is currently just over 50% the console I wanted. Hurrah!

The Nintendo Switch

I hear hot takes are the done thing these days.

This week, Nintendo finally unveiled the console that until Thursday was known as the Nintendo NX: The Nintendo Switch. It’s a car crash.

nintendo switch
The Nintendo Switch. JUST LOOK AT IT. Urgh.

I hate everything about it. The tiny little controllers. The way it seems to be aimed at millennial hipsters. The way it doesn’t fix the issue of too many controller types that the Wii and Wii U suffered from. The stupid little kick stand for when you need a tiny console to play on an aeroplane. Having a screen when most of the time you won’t need a screen. The new Nintendo logo. The way it sort of replaces both the Wii U and the 3DS without actually doing so.

It is all utter nonsense. Nintendo have lost the plot. Although they did provide us all with this:

nintendo switch
Lip biting confirmed.

The system is absolutely not what I want from a Nintendo console, but that does present a question: what do I want from a Nintendo console?

The answer? I don’t know.

I do know what I want from Nintendo games – that’s easy: fun, happy blue skies games without swearing that my family will also enjoy, but in terms of hardware I have no idea. Maybe this tablet with detachable controllers will be excellent, or maybe being able to use two tiny pads with a tiny screen in two player will end up being a killer feature. I can’t see it right now, but Nintendo have a habit of knowing what works.

It may not have been commercially successful, but the Wii U is a great console. The 3DS may not have matched the sales of the DS, but it’s a fantastic little machine. The Wii sold well but was derided for the slew of crap it put out and the “waggle” in titles, but there were some incredible games for it.

Ultimately, it would seem that although I don’t know what I want from Nintendo hardware, Nintendo do, and in the end it’s the games that matter. And the games will be outstanding, because they’re Nintendo games.

And for that, I’m in for a Nintendo Switch. All the way in:

nintendo switch