The Nintendo Switch was released to worldwide acclaim for its unique technology. It’s a vital development for Nintendo and, so far, a vastly different situation compared to the lacklustre launch of the Wii U five years ago. Many local stores are struggling to keep up with the demand, and for a company that’s been playing catch-up for far too long, the financial future suddenly seems brighter.
Nonetheless I am resisting the temptation to switch to a Switch. There are various reasons for this; not least, the price is not right.
Right now in the UK a Nintendo Switch will normally cost you around £270, rising to £350 in some stores. Not unreasonable when you consider the cost of producing such intricate hardware, but not so good when that price gets you nothing but the console itself and no games to go along with it.
The next problem is that as yet there is really only one game that plays to the strengths of the console. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild returns to the roots of the Zelda franchise but also revamps them brilliantly. Already it’s earning a place in gaming history; and it also commands £60 worth of your earnings.
The upshot is you can end up paying not much short of four hundred quid for the pleasure of playing just one game – a game which can also be played using a Wii. The rest of the launch-range consists of re-releases or ‘experimentation’ games, which is to say they are really still in development but Nintendo must have encouraged developers to rush them out anyway so that punters won’t be put off buying the Switch by the shortage of games to play on it.
The potential remains impressive, however. Nintendo has been known to end up with a library of games so amazing that it’s honestly worth the wait. The Nintendo 3DS had a similarly weak launch line-up and wallet eating price, but has since become a heavyweight console that delivers entertainment in spades.
I want this article to both celebrate Nintendo’s success and also serve as a warning to those still on the fence about purchasing a brand new game box. The message is to hold out and wait for a more reasonable price, a stronger line up of games, and enough time for any technical hiccups to be ironed out.
Greater pleasure comes to those who wait.