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Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Will the Switch ever get a Direct competitor?

The Nintendo Switch has seen a ton of success thanks to its unique blend of mobile hardware, PC-quality development tools, and trademark Nintendo quirk, creating a system you can play anytime, anywhere, with anyone. So far, a few companies tried to pitch a portable tablet or phone as an answer to Nintendo's product. But nobody has really tried to create an actual direct answer to the Switch yet. I think it's about time we fix that. Sure they may not be as popular as the Switch, but a Direct Switch competitor or two could actually provide a nice alternative, and more importantly, make Nintendo more aggressive in an effort to compete. 

Nintendo is usually a much more competitive company when someone creates a more direct answer to their products. With PlayStation and Xbox, they don't give a shit about what the other consoles do because they don't compete in that market space, the powerful stationary home console. Instead targeting an untapped market, IE they hybrid console you can play anywhere and with friends. So Nintendo has no incentive to compete against the PS4 or Xbox One because there's nothing to compete against really.

However, once someone tries to challenge Nintendo on their turf, and directly at their own game. Then the gloves come off, and Nintendo gets more aggressive. 

* Exhibit A - Sony announces the PSP in 2003, which threaten's the GBA's dominance. Nintendo responds with the announcement of the DS that same year.

* Exhibit B - Nintendo rushes the DS to market in NA in November 2004, beating the PSP by about 4 months. 

* Exhibit C - Nintendo drastically cuts the price of the 3DS and and strategically rushes key first party titles out in time for Holiday 2011, after the PlayStation Vita threatened its existence with a more powerful system at the same price. 

* Exhibit D - Nintendo starts pushing motion plus for Wii, and even baking it into later versions of the Wiimote around the time Kinect and PlayStation Move rear their heads. 

The moment Nintendo has a legitimate threat, they start pulling out the stops and do everything they can to make their product as attractive as possible. The Blue Ocean Strategy also gives them a home field advantage as since they have more experience in a market, they have a better chance of outselling any competitor. So we could see that again if the Switch ever gets a competitor. The question then becomes, who will rise up to the challenge? I still maintain that Sony will be the first to create a more direct answer to the Switch, assuming they learned from the mistakes made with the Vita. But I'd also like to see someone unconventional try and take on Nintendo. 

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They couldn’t take the heat and keep competing when it came to home consoles...

I would be surprised when Sony would announce a Switch clone, since they were very successful with the PS4. I could see that Microsoft would try to copy the Switch and at the same time would launch another console to compete with the PS5.

We have to be clear, what is the point of the Switch. Switch is not simply a hybrid, that can be played mobile or stationary. The main point is the unification of the two game development platforms Nintendo has. The hardware is only to accomodate for the different playstyle these prior separated platforms had. Additionally Nintendo tried to get also close to smartphones to get their games too. Looking at the lineup this massively succeeded, while the mega-big AAA-games are missing, the Switch has a lot of lower profile home console game, classic handheld games, PC-games and also mobile games. The unified platform gives the devs the benefit of the bigger userbase and out of the box different playstyles and Nintendo the benefit of a diverse library of games.

Actually Sony is in the worst situation to cough up a competing product. It cannot be the PS5, as mobility would kill the power and people would be severely disappointed, even alienated from the Playstation platform. So it has to be an additional product, which instantly means they would have two different game markets, which was the whole point the Switch was made to avoid. So missing out on the unified platform, game-dev would have to produce special version, as they did for Vita. These are unattractive for gamers and because of new development for devs too.

Microsoft seems to be not too interested in this market. At least with the Nextbox I see them make a competing product to PS5 and this would mean the same as for PS would apply.

Some newcomer on the other hand would have a good chance in this market. Going after mobile games and indie PC-games to create an initial library such a platform could look good. With advanced specs in comparison to the Switch it could present itself as the better option. Even better if a classic company like Sega or Atari would go for it. They could add to the library their old retro games as additional advantage.

Last edited by Mnementh - on 18 February 2019

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The Switch competes directly with the PS4 and Xbox One.

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The Switch is a compromise between power and accessibility. Nintendo considers it worth it due to them not putting that much emphasis on power since the Wii. Sony and Microsoft, on the other hand, are deep in the power race, so they won't really think a hybrid is worth it. Maybe a PS4 portable once the PS5 is done and the tech is there, but that's a massive stretch. Outside of that, other companies are more focused on full mobile than on the "shrinking" console market.

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Hardly, maybe some kind of streaming device from MS/Sony, but even than it will be different because Switch don't require internet and because huge Nintendo IPs.

The question should be: Will the Switch will get a Direct (this month) ?

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Switch will have many competitors in the near future. The dockable Mobile gaming Space is going to be huge. There are a number of technologies coming over the next few years that will see basically every major company offering up direct competitors to the Switch. Solid State Batteries, 5G, Major Leaps in Solid State Storage, Leaps in Memory, Small, Faster, More Power Efficient and Scalable CPU's and GPU's , and Massively Scalable Development Tools will all play a part.

Beyond just a direct Switch competitors, many companies will also give you access to your games, on a number of other form factors. Over the next few years, having the option to play your games at 720p/30 on the go, or up to 8K/60+ at home will become an industry standard. There will be any number of options inbetween, both natively and via streaming.

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Ever? A small form factor isn't something Nintendo just came up with, it's always been the future of gaming. Lots of people have tried to find success in this area, including Nintendo, but the technology wasn't there. The Switch itself is a transitional device.

The real question is, will the dedicated gaming companies like Nintendo be able to compete when people are able to wirelessly connect their phones to TVs and Controllers and play CoD or FIFA?

Edit:  Also, that's some amusing revisionism in the OP. 

Last edited by pokoko - on 22 January 2019