By Jason Parker (Ragachak)
It’s that time of the year once again! That time where I, the Dark Prophet, appear to make predictions that will inevitably come true! I do believe I’m 3 for 3 now, and this one’s going to be a hard one to really nail down. Not because it’s difficult, but because I frankly don’t want to be right. As the Head Console Writer, I decided to write about an upcoming console: The Nintendo Switch.
A quick Google search confirms many have this fear.
And I don’t want to be right here, because my official prediction is: The Nintendo Switch is going to fail. And fail hard. How hard? Remember Godzilla 2000? Yeah, about that hard. But it’s not going to be because of a poor line-up [they already have a Zelda title coming], the price [we’re already used to ludicrous costs, and most people are willing to pay up. More on this. . .] but it’s going to fall down to it being a gimmick. That’s the major problem right there, it’s a weird, silly gimmick piece.
Most people when asked about the VITA have no idea this is even a thing.
Vita had a gimmick with its back-touch-screen, but it’s not used anymore. In fact, I’ve only used it for one game, and it was a launch title. Wii did pretty well, but the Wii-U was a dismal failure. It was much gimmickier than the Wii, and fans these days aren’t fooled. I worry about it being basically a console with a detachable gaming tablet. Yes, gaming tablets exist, but it’s a really stupid concept. Not to mention, they’re pretty expensive as far as I’m aware of. That makes me wonder a few things like “Is it going to wirelessly transmit the game to the tablet? If so, how far will it transmit?” Let’s all remember how awful PSNow is. Spoiler: It’s absolutely effing dreadful. That’s the first real hurdle I’m looking at. If it’s going to load the game directly onto the tablet and let you carry it around, just how powerful can it be for the asking price? Are they putting all of the powerful processing power in the tablet? Is the base just a charging port for it, so games can be streamed to the TV when they’re connected? I have too many damn questions, and I have a feeling they’re trying way too hard to reinvent the wheel. That’s not necessary. Nintendo fans just want an awesome console and the bright, colorful games of their youth. It’s one thing to revolutionize console gaming, but there’s a line in the sand that we dare not cross. Nintendo’s pole vaulting across, and right into the ocean.
Let’s talk about my other major complaint: Region Locking. The Sony consoles haven’t been locked in a long time. Since the 90s. What does that tell you? Nintendo consoles have been locked since the NES [unless you count the NES top loader, or taking the dust flap off the SNES to load Super Famicom games], and it hasn’t really changed since. It’s 2017, and more than ever, people want to play imported games. It’s not a new thought since there are so many amazing Japanese games that never hit our shores. I can think of a few right off the top of my head that I’d like to play more of. Sengoku BASARA got a Wii release, and when I didn’t have a PS3 I had a Wii. Never did get to play it… Then there’s the various amazing puzzles games! Am I willing to buy a Japanese console, import it, and then import the games? Do you know how expensive that is? Just to play a handful of games?! Now, I get it. The DSi was incredibly easy to hack, and the DS itself was remarkably easy to pirate games for, with the advent of R4 cards/etc. And I get that they want to prevent their handhelds/consoles from being hacked, but there’s absolutely got to be a better way. Not to mention piracy’s going to happen. I don’t condone it, but it’s going to happen. And punishing the whole of your audience for the people that simply want free games? Seems ludicrous. Region Locking is a thing of the past, and it’s going to hurt Nintendo to keep this policy up in this modern era. If the Switch fails, Nintendo’s console days are over. And I honestly think that might be for the best… Maybe stick to handhelds. Don’t be the next SEGA and destroy your ability to create technology over foolish pride. Nintendo is where I got my start; I don’t want this prediction to come true, but if they keep up, they’ll wind up down a dark path that I cannot follow.