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The Switch is a retro console in spirit

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A major part you notice about the Nintendo Switch the more you use it, is that it borrows a lot of its DNA from older consoles, basically 6th gen and earlier. From its OS, to the games library, to the focus on local multiplayer, the Switch does feel very old school, yet new at the same time.

The first major sign of this, is its minimalist UI and OS functionality. Eschewing the multi-media entertainment and social hubs of modern consoles, the Switch presents an interface that can be described as a virtual game-shelf. You pick the game you want to play, watch a splash icon, and you're in. No omnipresent live-streams or social media feeds attached to these icons, just all your stuff laid out in a nice single file line. This extends to the features of the system as well. You have basic stuff like your friends list, a photo album for game screens, the eShop, and your standard settings. And that's it. For better or worse, there's none of the extensive list of features found on other devices, and while there are a couple media apps on the eShop, the Switch is a gaming device in the purest sense. It's the closest platform on the market today that replicates the feel of a retro console, while invoking modern elements as well.

And that also extends to the games. The Switch is not lacking in games, it's got over 1000 of them already. But it's limitations as a mobile device does mean it misses out on most of the more demanding AAA games found on other platforms. However, it has found comfort in other forms of software. Ports, Indie games, Mid-budget games, while these are available on other platforms, they really shine on Switch. The portable nature of the system lends itself well to these games. And things like 2D/3D Platformers, traditional RPGs, and puzzle games have a nice home on the system, as Switch versions of these types of games regularly outperform their PS4 and Xbox One counterparts. This is a case where the Switch's relative lack of power can work in its favor, as genres and game-play styles that have long since been abandoned by major AAA publishers, often stand out the most on Nintendo's system. This Switch has given a good home to some older classics from past systems as well with its remasters.

And then there's multiplayer. While you can play most Switch multiplayer games online, for better or worse, the service it offers is very rudimentary compared to the functionality players on other consoles are used to. No, where the Switch really shines is Local multiplayer. The system comes with Two detachable Joy-Con that can each be used as a self-contained mini-controller for multiple players. Combine that with the built-in Kickstand, and you have a multiplayer party machine, wherever you go. All the Nintendo multiplayer staples like Mario Kart and Smash are here, and third parties have found value in this feature with games like Fighters and Arcade games that you can easily play with a friend. Moreso than any previous console, the Switch actively encourages you to share your games with others locally, and it makes it very easy to do that.

These are the reasons I think, the Switch feels retro in spirit, while still having modern sensibilities.



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Switch aiming for the classic gamer is something that was noticed before it launched, at least by those who didn't strictly rule out that possibility.

Breath of the Wild was a Zelda game that took the original Zelda as its basis and is basically a modern version of it. I doubt that it is a coincidence that Konami made Bomberman, Capcom brought Street Fighter II and Square-Enix had Octopath Traveler in the works, all of those games being announced before the Switch launched. Nintendo had a deliberate strategy to target fans of 8-bit and 16-bit games with Switch.

By now Switch's game library offers mostly everything, so it's harder to pin it down to a single thing, but it never was only about a single thing anyway. It was only in the beginning where Nintendo wanted a clear message that they had not forgotten about the classic gamer.

The only thing that's absent from Switch are new AAA third party games, but that's something the vast majority of Switch owners don't care about because Switch's appeal is precisely that it is not like the other consoles on the market. The biggest mistake Nintendo can commit in the future is try to fit in with the rest again, because that's the surefire way to turn away their customers in disgust.



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I haven't been this happy with a console since the NES, and it is precisely what you are talking about. I love the old school feel of a lot of the games, first and third party. Zelda: BotW, Puyo Puyo Tetris, Axiom Verge, Octopath Traveler, Smash Bros... all have old school appeal.

Of course they also are trying to attract other groups like handheld gamers and N64/Gamecube era gamers. They kind of have something for every type of gaming minority out there. So when you put all of these minority factions together, you actually get a majority.



I find the Switch is the proper successor to the Wii that the Wii U failed to be. So that’s the generation i find it most resembles. It’s slick, sleek, and a compelling concept.

While it is a home to many retro games, the Wii was the first gaming console to do this successfully. Like the Wii, it is also a great console for multiplayer games, particularly Mario Kart. The Wii also had a large number of smaller end but highly creative games, many from indie studios - a huge break away from the trends of the N64 and Gamecube when Nintendo generally stuck their noses up at the smaller yet more creative studios: most games of that era came from a small selection of studios (which Nintendo dubbed the “Dream Team”) and by the Gamecube era the games began to feel repetitive and uncreative.

I suppose you could add in the DS DNA too... not just the handheld portion but the large number of Rexcept on steroids because, while both were home to large numbers of RPGs, some of those on Switch are on the higher end. While reminiscent of handhelds, this is new for Nintendo consoles. While the SNES has several noteworthy RPGs, its library in the genre is still dwarfed by that of the DS and Switch... Of course, many RPGs on the SNES were never released to the Western or US markets. SNES has 35 RPGs, but the DS has 134. After only 2 years and a bit, the Switch already boasts 104 RPGs.

With the Gamecube in particular, Nintendo simply followed the conventional tech jump and brought their hardware to resemble Playstation as closely as possible; only problem is Sony makes Playstation consoles a lot better than Nintendo, and ended up smashing them that generation.

But the Switch continues what Wii started when Nintendo decided to break away and go down their own path. This was hardly the first time Nintendo had done this either, the NES was exactly this sort of strategy. With the SNES they integrated a lot of new chip technology to make their console (already years out of date with cpu power) look and sound more impressive: DKC remained one of the best looking video games until the Dreamcast came out. Not to mention the SNES invented new interface methods.

But anyway, the Switch is the latest Nintendo console doing what Nintendo does best. For my money, it is the best to date.



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Jumpin said:
I find the Switch is the proper successor to the Wii that the Wii U failed to be. So that’s the generation i find it most resembles. It’s slick, sleek, and a compelling concept.

While it is a home to many retro games, the Wii was the first gaming console to do this successfully. Like the Wii, it is also a great console for multiplayer games, particularly Mario Kart. The Wii also had a large number of smaller end but highly creative games, many from indie studios - a huge break away from the trends of the N64 and Gamecube when Nintendo generally stuck their noses up at the smaller yet more creative studios: most games of that era came from a small selection of studios (which Nintendo dubbed the “Dream Team”) and by the Gamecube era the games began to feel repetitive and uncreative.

I suppose you could add in the DS DNA too... not just the handheld portion but the large number of Rexcept on steroids because, while both were home to large numbers of RPGs, some of those on Switch are on the higher end. While reminiscent of handhelds, this is new for Nintendo consoles. While the SNES has several noteworthy RPGs, its library in the genre is still dwarfed by that of the DS and Switch... Of course, many RPGs on the SNES were never released to the Western or US markets. SNES has 35 RPGs, but the DS has 134. After only 2 years and a bit, the Switch already boasts 104 RPGs.

With the Gamecube in particular, Nintendo simply followed the conventional tech jump and brought their hardware to resemble Playstation as closely as possible; only problem is Sony makes Playstation consoles a lot better than Nintendo, and ended up smashing them that generation.

But the Switch continues what Wii started when Nintendo decided to break away and go down their own path. This was hardly the first time Nintendo had done this either, the NES was exactly this sort of strategy. With the SNES they integrated a lot of new chip technology to make their console (already years out of date with cpu power) look and sound more impressive: DKC remained one of the best looking video games until the Dreamcast came out. Not to mention the SNES invented new interface methods.

But anyway, the Switch is the latest Nintendo console doing what Nintendo does best. For my money, it is the best to date.

GameCube games were uncreative?  Guess that launch Luigi's Mansion was totally same old same old.

Also Sony had terrible reliability for 1st Gen PS1 which overheated and PS2 disc drives/laser broke more than grandma using PC CD ROM drive as a cup holder.  Sony didn't get good at making console till PS3.  I consider reliability one of the most important aspects.  Doesn't matter what your specs are if your console breaks.  Just ask some early 360 adopters.  Yet people become so invested in console with games and controllers they just buy another one.



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I certainly get what your point is, but the Switch ditched Virtual Console.

One of Nintendo's biggest mistakes of all-time, IMO. At least at the moment, considering they don't have a proper replacement.



Lifetime Sales Predictions 

PS4: 122 mil (was 100 million) Xbox One: 55 mil (was 50 mil) Switch: 79 million

3DS: 77 mil (was 73 million)

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Wman1996 said:
I certainly get what your point is, but the Switch ditched Virtual Console.

One of Nintendo's biggest mistakes of all-time, IMO. At least at the moment, considering they don't have a proper replacement.

Man I miss virtual console....



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As much as I love Nintendo, not having a virtual console is absurd. The Switch is perfect for SNES, GC and Wii games. Their online service is absolute junk. Having said that, the Switch is great hardware with amazing games. So I am still happy with my purchase. But I can't see ever paying for their online component.



TheMisterManGuy said:

While you can play most Switch multiplayer games online, for better or worse, the service it offers is very rudimentary compared to the functionality players on other consoles are used to.

Yeah, for better or for worse. Also known as just for worse.



Get what you pay for. Switch online is cheap and junk. Having said that, all online play should be free. Paying is BS.