With the major Switch announcement coming late Thursday night and a preview of the actual console on Friday I decided it was time to rant. Below are 5 burning questions I still have for Big Daddy Nintendo.
1. Party Chat
The more I think about my gripe with Nintendo’s future with party chat the more I realize it will all be okay. At first my issue was around the fact that even though they are now charging a premium to use their service they still haven’t figured out the simplicity of party chat (see PS4 and Xbox One). Nintendo’s party chat function allegedly works through your mobile device and this got me thinking….NO WAY that’s the only way. This Nintendo party chat has to work on PC/Mac as well. If this is the cast I won’t be as disappointment as I was initially. However, if party chat ONLY works through mobile devices than clearly Nintendo has given up on caring about a hardcore audience. I get that the Switch will not be most peoples primary way of playing multiplayer games but to limit even a small minority to taking out their phones and plugging headphones into them seems a bit dated.
Now back in the Wii U days my friends and I would play Splatoon online and try to even do ranked matches, however, Wii U didn’t have any game chat or party chat function. This made things tricky as we were stuck using either Skype or Discord. Both are great chat apps, however when you play with a headset and you can’t get chat and game coming through the earpiece its troublesome and jarring. I had to have ear buds going from my game pad my ears and my headset on my head for chat sound.
When I play single player games, if it’s something all my friends are playing we’ll hop in a chat and chill while we all play. When Zelda launches I would LOVE for that to be the case and for me not to have to turn my computer on or go on PS4 chat.
Nintendo, I just want one time when I log on that I can see a normal friends list and click “invite to party” and then start talking. It’s simple, easy and makes your system intuitive. Please.
“The reason for that is, it continues to reinforce our commitment to online, and do so in a way that will enable the consumer to enjoy their Nintendo Switch and to still be able to play those connected experiences—like Splatoon, like Kart, like fill in the blank—while they’re on the go. Instead of having some sort of bulky gamer headset, you’ll be able to do it right off your smartphone, put in your earbuds that you use for your standard mobile device. We think that’s a pretty sweet solution. That’s part of the overall opportunity that we see in a subscription service.” – Reggie Fils-Aime
As a “bulky gamer headset” user, this statement makes me lose full composure.
2. Trophies/Achievement Functionality
Now I know “trophy hunters/achievement hunters” are a small minority of gaming but trophies are a way to extend play time to a game and have a little bit of fun with friends. In the early days of Xbox 360 and PS3, having the ability to get trophies each game became a race to see who could get the most between my friends and I. Instead of just beating a game like Halo 3 we would go back into the campaign just to grab achievements, thus extending a games playtime.
I only ever focused on achievements in single player games and if there’s one thing a Nintendo home console provides me with is a ton of single player experiences. I found myself a majority of time playing Wii U games looking for achievements, looking for friends to compare my achievements with and compete. This never happened, Wii U didn’t have that ability and I hope this is where the Switch rights Wii/Wii U’s wrongs.
Having trophies isn’t a be all end all for the Switch but it does add to them either understanding or not understanding consumers.
3. Virtual Console
This doesn’t have to do as much per say to the games associated with VC (Virtual Console) but with transferring VC content from past systems to the next. Nintendo, unlike Microsoft, has been piss poor (putting it lightly) when handling VC transfers from each console to the next over the years.
Where Xbox One has all my current and past Xbox 360 content available, Wii to Wii U and even 3DS to extend it further continually make you re-purchase content over and over again.
I don’t want to re-purchase Super Mario Bros. 3 or Earthbound for a 3rd and 4th time. Why can’t this data transfer over? It’s 2017, we have the cloud. I have files across 3 different computers, phones and tablets at any given time yet if I want to play Mario Bros on Wii U but own it on 3DS, I got to pay $4.99? What is this 1974? C’mon.
All I want is when I boot up my Switch for the first time and log in to my Nintendo account that I have the ability to download all available games from 3DS and Wii U. Not re-purchase them. Pls
Also, don’t get me started on the Nintendo online subscription service and only allowing you to “rent” an NES and SNES classic game for a month then it disappears and you’ll need to buy it. That discussion will come in a later post
4. Third Party Support(ish)
I am not asking for a miracle here. I know we won’t be seeing Mass Effect Andromeda launching on the Switch. I know at E3 when Red Dead 2 gets shown as well as Destiny 2 that we won’t be getting these games on the Switch, but when you show off a game like FIFA just please come with the goods.
Last time Nintendo had “FIFA” and “Madden” on it’s console it was just a one-off title, something that didn’t follow the same guidelines as FIFA 13, 14, 15 ect. FIFA on the switch, for me, is the best of both worlds. Play at home, play when docked. However, if they think they can pull a fast one and give us Xbox 360 style graphics with no Ultimate team and few game modes then whats the point?
It’s one thing to say you have third party support but announcing Skyrim and FIFA isn’t overly impressive or reassuring. This also isn’t a question that will be answered over night. This is something we’ll have to check back in on in a year or 2.
Third party isn’t everything but it is important to sway people to play a game on different platforms. Unless the party chat really is horrendous (which it looks like), in which case no one will play most third party titles on the Switch.
5. Apps, Apps, Apps
Netflix has already stated that it isn’t developing it’s software for the Switch….yet. I’m really hopping since this is a tablet that we can get some type of Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Twitch, YouTube, Hulu ect. So if you are to travel with the Switch or sitting at home you can actually utilize it like a tablet and not just a handheld gaming console. Let me take this thing on a plane, get an hour and half in of Zelda and an episode or 2 of the Office. Playstation, Xbox, PC (Duh) all have these capabilities, I know you can too.