Nintendo has finally released details on their new console with a recent presentation and a host of subsequent info released to the press. The result has left the gaming world in a dizzying status that honestly could end up either really good or REALLY underwhelming. Here's 4 reasons why their Switch will be unsuccessful.
More Wii-Motion gimmicks
Nintendo has made it clear that they enjoy motion controls and feel it is a great feature for them. While the Wii did pull in casual gamers with its simplistic controls, the motion controls left out the hardcore community. Granted, the Joy-Con controller does have all of the buttons (except for triggers) that the PS4 and X1 do, we'll see whether the use of the motion controls takes off with developers or if it just fades away. Considering the other consoles don't utilize it, I'm guessing it will fade.
Conversely, if the motion controls are a part of a plan to incorporate augmented reality gaming somehow, THEN you might have something. Of course, that wasn't mentioned in any shape, form, or fashion. As a result, the focus on it (queue the 1, 2, 3 Switch demonstration) feels like Nintendo is relying on gimmicks again.
3rd Party Support is still questionable
As developers are starting to release information on their new games (Clancy's Wildlands, For Honor, Mass Effect Andromeda, Injustice 2, Tekken 7), most of them have been mum on whether or not they have plans on bringing the title to the Switch. Reason being regardless of how 'easy' it is to program for the console, it is a separate design effort on hardware that is less powerful. Just as Bioware has stated concerning Andromeda, they'll all 'wait and see' if allocating money to port their flagship titles to the Switch is worth the effort. With that said, we are seeing a promise to bring 'something' to the console. Early signs are pointing towards previously released titles though.
Once again Nintendo is rolling the dice with designing hardware that processing-wise and graphically is not on par with existing established systems. This is further exacerbated by the fact that the PS4 Pro and the Xbox's Project Scorpio will crank out more horsepower and 4K visual deliciousness. Considering you're going to have a 720p tablet with motion controllers more than a 'forward looking' powerful gaming device, 3rd party developers will have to keep in the back of their mind if they want to bother toning down certain game features or graphics or whatever just so that their game will have an 'equal experience' mostly across the three platforms. We can look at the Wii U for proof of that. The gimmick-y tablet controller made developers 'ooo' and 'ahh' but in the end, didn't convince them to even consider Wii U ports for their blockbusters.
3DS System/Mobile gaming
At first blush, having a system that you can take with you on the go for an equal experience seems brilliant. Unfortunately for Nintendo, they weren't the first to attempt it. The Vita was supposed to have choice titles that would be the same on the PS4 and allow you to save the game to the cloud and continue to play the same game on the go. That was true yet, again, not many developers put dollars towards making certain this feature was taken advantage of. Nintendo is going to have to bridge that blur of a gap between the quick fast appeal of mobile gaming and the more in depth kind of games that console owners want to play. The 3DS seeming has that balance, but why try to replace it? Also, Nintendo has made a new effort to develop mobile games so they'll have to compete essentially with themselves. Throw in the fact that many core gamers already have Nintendo emulators on their phones so playing legacy games isn't that big of a draw for the Switch either. So, where does that leave the Switch? Better yet, where does that leave the 3DS and for how long will they support it?
The Switch will undoubtedly do better than the Wii U on the strength of having a new and highly anticipated Zelda, Splatton 2, and Mario Kart games. If they get the 3rd party games that they promise, they'll further dwarf Wii U sales. Still, that does not equate to success when you have a Wii console that has sold over 100 million units. The Wii U on the other hand has just over 13 million. Let's just say there is plenty of room in between those numbers for the Switch to fall and without significant 3rd party support, they may have trouble reaching 20 million. Only time will tell.