Nintendo Switch shows they still don't get mobile gaming

We all love Nintendo. The franchises they've built are ingrained in many of our childhoods, and they've continued to capture the imagination with new takes on old favorites. Just when we think they're starting to wise up to the direction of gaming by announcing their first title for any phone, they go and make a new console centered entirely around the mobile lifestyle and miss the conceptual mark completely. Take a gander at the launch video to get an idea of what's up.

Let's break down some of the major selling points Nintendo is pushing in this video.

Remote play

Nintendo Switch remote play

The Switch plays games locally, but there have been many solutions for getting "real" games onto portable screens for awhile. How many people do you see out in the wild using currently-available remote play systems? Systems for playing big-boy games while out in the field have been around for years. The current generation of consoles have those features built in. Even outside of being officially sheltered, services like the now-defunct OnLive service have attempted to let you play your favorite games anywhere. Others, like the NVIDIA Shield, do so more successfully, but still for an incredibly niche audience. (Incidentally, the Nintendo Switch is using an NVIDIA mobile chip (opens in new tab).) If you want to dig really far back, there's stuff like the Sega Nomad trying this same shtick, only relying on physical, local storage.

Selling portable play for AAA games, either through cloud gaming or streaming from your own machine or storing it locally on the device itself, has been around for awhile, and it's been an uphill battle. After years of trying, who still thinks there's a significant audience itching for a platform with that lifestyle baked into the physical design? Who seriously expects Nintendo to sell enough of Switch systems that my buddy will have a mount set up in his car to further facilitate this kind of play?

Tablet gaming

Nintendo Switch tablet gaming

Exclusive games are going to be the only thing selling this gimmicky, awkward mess.

When was the last time you saw a dude prop up an iPad on a plane and bust out a Bluetooth controller to play something on it? I'm not saying it's never, I'm saying it's a very, very small number of people. Part of that is because packing a spare controller is a hassle. Oh, but wait! The Nintendo Switch builds those right in! Holy hell, it's going to be easy to lose those controllers. Are they going to give us lanyards that nobody ever uses, like the Wii? Impact condoms too, for when we inevitably drop them?

The clicky securing mechanism on the Switch for those remotes is charming and all, but how many dismount cycles can you use with them until that spring wears out? Those controllers are microscopic. How can Nintendo expect people to use the halves as individual controllers comfortably? Am I going to have to buy another controller accessory to make this a viable comfortable experience?

Head-to-head local multiplayer

Does Nintendo really think you're going to have a friend that also buys a Switch to enable that multi-console mode? What are the odds they're carrying around a Switch at the same time you so happen to have yours, and you both have time after your basketball game to play a few rounds? Barring a game by pure happy coincidence, there's the physical overhead of arranging a time and place to haul your Nintendo Switch to your friend's place so you can play together. Is that going to introduce so much more happiness than just playing together online?

The Nintendo Switch will lose in mobile because the overhead is high.

Do you really think you'll bump into cute rando gamers at the airport thanks to the Nintendo Switch? What parties are you going to where it's socially acceptable to cram your face into a tablet the whole time, nevermind trying to convince a gaggle of people to come watch? Is Zelda so enthralling that you can't put it down for a second to make sure your dog isn't running off into the sunset while on a walk?


Nintendo Switch esports

Super Smash Brothers and Mario speedrunning are the only hardcore Nintendo footholds that come to mind (correct me if I'm wrong). Does anyone really believe Splatoon can become an eSport that can fill a stadium? Do pro eSports teams that demand that much attention really need an all-in-one gaming system more portable than a gaming laptop? Will environments with presumably strict, competitive regulations actually let players bring their own hardware? I admit, I don't follow eSports that much, but if there's some problem in that scene that the Nintendo Switch fixes, I'm all ears.

Taking a quick look at the comments on Reddit, the big things people sound super pumped about are the game titles, and presuming they're going to be exclusive to the Nintendo Switch. Those games are going to be the only things selling this gimmicky, awkward mess. I think the core of the problem is how Nintendo is conceptualizing playing games on the go. It isn't a social thing that I go to roof parties and bust out, or chat up ladies with, or play after a real basketball game.

Nintendo Switch

It's something I do for 5-10 minutes at a cycle while on the bus, waiting in line, or otherwise have a small gap of time where I have a nominal amount of attention to spare. iPhone wins in this context because the overhead is low. People already have one in their pocket, it's portable, the games are cheap, and often aren't very demanding. The Nintendo Switch will lose here because the overhead is high. It's a big piece of hardware, with multiple moving parts, running expensive, AAA games that require a lot of attention.

Does Nintendo really think I'm going to enjoy the full splendor of remastered Skyrim on a 7-8-inch tablet? Do they think I'm going to have a good time with that experience punctured by getting in and out of an Uber, going through airport security, boarding the plane, getting the in-flight meal, etc. etc.? Hell no, I sit in one spot with a big screen and play Skyrim when I know I'm not going to be interrupted every five minutes. Console games aren't designed to be played on the go, and you can't change that just by dragging and dropping them into a mobile context.

Nintendo Switch multiplayer

We've seen accessory manufacturers try to empower iPad and iPhone with console-class capabilities, and surely Apple TV plays a significant role in bringing those experiences to the big screen. At this point, it's difficult to see what real benefit the Nintendo Switch will offer that this existing combination of products hasn't. Nintendo gets points for trying something new, and for a lot of Wii U diehards, the Nintendo Switch is seen as what the last console should have been: an elegant marriage of mobile and console gaming.

There's still a lot left to be seen about how this imagining pans out. For example, we still don't know things like cost and battery life, which may very easily weigh down prospects for the Switch further, but in my opinion, it's going to be a bumpy March 2017 launch.

Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

  • Impact condoms made the review for me
  • Yep Sent from the iMore App
  • iPad competitor quickly panned by iMore; shock and awe quickly follow. minor note: Splatoon is now part of the ESL .
  • It is not an iPad competitor Sent from the iMore App
  • So Simon is definitely not impressed. Got it.
  • He has a right to his opinion, and he's made a lot of valid points
  • You do a lot of defending around here. I'm not saying he doesn't have a right to his opinion. I'm just pointing out that he's definitely not impressed.
  • Why would you point out something obvious from reading the article, unless you had a point to make?
  • Oh I'm sorry. I didn't know I needed a reason to speak on a public forum. Are you just looking for a debate?
  • No but you were by making the original comment
  • Exclusively defending actually. No value in his comments. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • And yet, still more value than yours
  • And based on what do you dare say this is remote play? The lack of knowledge makes your argument weak. Please go suck some charging Note7.
  • I may be emphasizing cloud gaming or streaming too much in that section, given it looks like you're hauling around the entire Switch system and the games are all stored locally. The point being, the idea of playing proper console games while on the go is a problem that many companies have tried solving in many different ways, and based on how popular those solutions were, it doesn't seem to be a problem a significant number of people are having. It also doesn't seem the Switch fixes it much more elegantly.
  • Hm. I think you're forgetting about the 3DS. That pretty much counters every point you just made in this article. That and the fact that you're complaining about having to "lug around" a console you haven't seen or held or felt the size or weight of, and the controllers that are small and uncomfortable and, oh wait, you haven't seen or held those either. And the springs for the controllers are too weak to be durable but, oh wait, you haven't seen or held those either. Based on this review, I'm going to write an article about how much the iPhone 8 sucks, because apparently never touching a product qualifies you to review it
  • I touched on the 3DS in a comment below. Its portability alone makes it a completely different proposition than the Switch, and it's likely to be cheaper too. Also, this was never posited to be a review. They're first, early impressions and opinions of a reveal video. I've spent a fair bit of time with many different tablets, and these are concerns that come to mind. Is there any reason those concerns are invalid? Whenever the iPhone 8 reveal video comes out, you should definitely share your thoughts on it. :)
  • You are not hauling around the whole system. You completely missed the entire video. Real gamers are praising this system and the number of developers backing this is impressive. I would have preferred a review that wasn't so slanted with how only you can understand mobile.
  • I disagree.
    As a "real" gamer who has been with Nintendo since the original gameboy/NES, this has very little to offer me that I can't get elsewhere.
    I want a handheld, not a mobile console, and this will not fill the void once the 3DS actually dies. It's my greatest hope that we get an actual handheld down the line, because I travel long distances and this is more a social block party/campus kind of "mobile" rather than carry with you.
  • 60 Million 3ds sales say you are wrong. Even the Vita, seen as a failure, sold 14 million. And the vita was seen as a failure because games didn't come out for it. But nintendo is nintendo. The same nintendo that broke records with pokemon go on the same platform you say they don't understand. The same nintendo that opened the latest apple event and got big headlines the same day an iPhone was announced. They can make this a success with only good first party games, and apparently a lot of third parties are already developing. And now they have Nvidia by their side, the same nvidia that succesfully ported AAA games to their Shield. People don't play games on their ipad because ipad games are **** compared to what nintendo will bring to the Switch. Good games weight 40 gb and cost $60. Who is going to spend that money to have a game that occupies all of their ipad???? That's why no one plays big, inmersive games on ipads. They don't exist.
  • I'm glad you brought up the 3DS, because obviously Nintendo has a heritage in portable consoles going all the way back to Game Boy. They totally deserve credit for where they've been and what they've accomplished. I wholly agree that the Switch stands to make some high-quality, immersive games that are portable. The point is more that the context for playing immersive games while moving around is very limited. The situations Nintendo is demonstrating are totally unrealistic, and once they're out of the picture, it's hard to imagine exactly how and where I'm supposed to play the Switch outside of the home. Are those situations much different than or better serviced than the iPad? That will vary by tastes and standards, but I think it's going to be a very small audience.
  • Except for maybe zelda and metroid prime I don't think nintendo first party games are really that immersive. And if you think about it, most first party Wii U games have 3ds versions that sell just as well, and even there are Zelda games from previous consoles ported to the 3ds besides the original portable games. What I'm trying to say is that maybe how immersive a game is really depends on the game and not the platform itself. Nintendo is being a bit exaggerated in the examples in the video, but they are shorthand to show that the console is the screen and not the base. The fact that both Xbox and Sony have "stream to PC" solutions talks of the need for people to be able to play their games without hogging the entire living room and annoying everyone with the sound of bullets and explosions. Even to be able to keep on playing inside the house (just like the wiiU did) is still a big plus. Not to mention price. Ipads are $500 for storage that would barely get you one high profile game installed, and that's not adding the price of the controllers to attach to it. The estimated price for the Switch is $300. What I think is that nintendo made lots of immersive handheld games and sold tons of them. Now they are saying that those portable games will be just as awesome as the console ones, because they will be the console ones. That sounds like a dream come true.
  • Exactly my though, he can't compare stupid free-to-play games with AAA games made for consoles ("dedicated game devices" -Iwata). Your iPhone can't do anything a handheld can, deal with it there is a market for people who want to play real games on real gaming devices.
  • For the record, Pokémon Go is not a Nintendo game. They own the characters, that is all. Mario @ the iPhone reveal? Shows immense potential. But, like with the Switch, I will reserve my judgment until they are released. Sent from the iMore App
  • Finally a site that isn’t sugar coating this “switch” reveal. I love Nintendo, Zelda is possibly my most favoured franchise of all time. It would be terrible of Nintendo went the way of Sega and stopped making dedicated gaming hardware. However they seem to be failing repeatedly. The Wii was a selling success but arguable had a library that was composed essentially of shovelwear. The Will marketing message was confusing and there was no third party support so it ultimately failed because Mario and Zelda can only sell so many units. Now with the Switch (not crazy about the name change but I get that it was a code name), they appear to launch with a decent amount of third party games. The consoles approach is said to be hybrid but clearly with an emphasis on the mobile aspect of things or social gaming. So who is going to carry around a smartphone and tag this along also? And carry around SD cards for games as well? Might be just me but this sounds a little out of sync with todays reality.
  • There is no easy solution for mobile console grade gaming. When games can be between 30 to 40 gb, the Switch would have to have a 500 gb SSD to make sense, the cost of the device would go to ****, not to mention that in many places around the world having to download a 40gb is an absolute pain in the ***.
  • Depends on the game. Good games that don't contain stupid amounts of unnecessary pre-rendered cutscenes have a decent size to them. Skyrim remastered is 20 GB, a game full of exploration, quests and content. Compare this to Call of Duty Advanced Warfare's 90GB… yeah…
  • That's still a lot, even if all games were 20 GB to have 5 games would need a memory bigger than 128 GB. Look at the price jumps that tablets have when they have that kind of storage. Transfering the storage price to the games is a better solution if they keep the prices at $60 tops.
  • "Is that going to introduce so much more happiness than just playing together online?" Actually yes, i mis those moments with friends. Today video games are a solo activity, more so with VR coming! It was exactly what some people were criticizing 10 or 20 years ago when they said video games were an antisocial activity. Today, they are right Sent from the iMore App
  • I love local multiplayer for sure. I had a few great nights with Rock Band when that was at its peak. I just don't see the Switch being the revival of those kinds of moments with the additional compromises in hardware controls and small screens.
  • I see your point :) Sent from the iMore App
  • They should've called it the Nintendo Flopperoo or Gimmickus.
  • Hahahaha! Sent from the iMore App
  • I agree that few people will prop up the Switch on an airplane and use the wireless controllers like shown in the video. I think most people will just hold it in their hands with the controllers plugged in. And that's fine. I have a 3DS XL for vacations, and to me this looks like a 3DS XL *XXL*. I think it might be awesome on train rides, on planes, on vacations, ... just not at rooftop parties. I also agree that home console games are a difficult thing on mobile, because they tend to be too time consuming. Sony fell on its face twice trying exactly that. But the 3DS got the balance pretty well, and I think if anyone can find a balance, it's Nintendo. I am skeptical about all those accessories and all that "switching" of parts; but overall I think this looks very promising. I don't think the tablet holder for the car is a major part of the platform. It's Nintendo's "iPad keyboard dock". Remember that? Nobody does. I think Nintendo absolutely does get mobile now; they *have* to differentiate themselves from that. They lost the day-to-day mobile gaming to phones, and they're addressing that with Super Mario Run and others. They simply have to embrace the high-end market with their own systems. At the same time, they can't compete with traditional home consoles, they can't even compete via motion controls anymore; so they're repositioning with a product that promises to do both mobile and home gaming. That's smart. I think this article is extremely short-sighted. Yes, if you want an apple, then a banana might seem like a fail. You might think, "this is not an apple, they're STILL not getting it!". You might think, "this thing has to be peeled first, there's so much OVERHEAD! What a mess!" But there are also other people, who know that the banana is the queen of all fruit. And then there are those who are just like, "Why choose? I'll eat them both."
  • I like the 3DS XXL framing of the Switch for sure. My perspective has been more from the mobile side, rather as a longtime Nintendo fan (I petered out around the N64 when I switched to PlayStation 2). I certainly hope Nintendo can find its balance, because like you say, it really is stuck between hardcore Sony and Microsoft consoles and a wide net of accessible mobile games. My impression from their launch video is that the space left in between is too small for them to do something that makes sense for a lot of people. Of course, there are going to be diehards who can afford the cost and logistical hassle of carrying around phone or tablet and a dedicated gaming tablet, and more power to 'em.
  • Some decent points. but some unfair criticism (given that you haven't seen or handled the device at all. I dont think this is pitched at involved complex games like Skyrim, but it could be ideal for a Super Mario World or Zelda level of involvement- as seen in much of Nintendo's IP. Its might not work for 5 minutes at the bus stop- but it might work well for a 20-minute or 30-minute commute, or a lunch hour.
  • *pulls up chair to computer* "Ahhhh. Here's the hot garbage article I needed after a long work day."
  • Each to their own, I think this article makes a lot of valid points
  • Omg!! This article is so true and too funny... brutal!!! Get em!!! Sent from the iMore App
  • I just wonder if Pokémon games will be made for these now Sent from the iMore App
  • Nintendo has made numerous console Pokémon games. Sent from the iMore App
  • I mean the ones like Pokémon Sun and Moon type games. Sent from the iMore App
  • Nintendo is the king of mobile gaming. You guys are just salty because Apple is crap for mobile gaming compared to Nintendo. Posted from my Nexus 6P
  • I like the idea Nintendo has here. That basket ball part I have been in may times, going to a friends house with everyone to continue playing on a friends ps4. If I can have the portability of a tablet with console quality games then the switch is worth considering. Having an hdmi out put and a charging input would seal the deal. If the switch allows me to play 3ds games, I am sold. I would take carrying cables around over an entire console any day. Sent from the iMore App
  • This is a very short sighted and close minded article. I'm a father, 32, who has a son that is 6 months old with Cystic Fibrosis. I get almost no time to play my PS3, so my iPhone 7 Plus is king right now. It's fun, sure, amazing games, but there is nothing like Zelda, Skyrim, or NBA 2K (the mobile version is ok) and the overhead to play iPhone games isn't low, in fact it's high. $150/month and $850 device. I get that it's something that I already have, but it's not cheaper. I would kill to play AAA games on mobile. My iPhone doesn't cut it. It's great and has some amazing games (lately it's been Ember, Gemeni Rue) but when I play big name games on my iPhone, GTA Vice City, it NEEDS a controller and it's not that great. So for someone who can't sit in front of a TV that much or at all, but still want to play big name games the Switch is literally perfect. And also, discrediting the mechanisms for the controllers before anyone has touched it really makes your points fall flat and shows you are making arguments that you can't back up. And also talking about cloud gaming and onlive when this clearly isn't that makes no sense either.
  • I can definitely see how the selling points of the Switch would appeal to you. I don't think comparing it to iPhone is fair, though - this is a tablet experience after all. My point about cloud gaming is that AAA games are already on mobile. Though my suggestion was that they didn't take off was because low overall demand, it's entirely possible that they just haven't been executed well enough to generate mass appeal. For Nintendo's sake, I hope that's the case. That said, have you tried the NVIDIA Shield Tablet? Is there a reason it doesn't or wouldn't work for you? Obviously we can only say so much about the build quality before the thing has been rigorously tested, but it's hard to not have some concern about a mechanism that's going through that much action, especially when it's dealing with the system's primary activity. I'd be thrilled if Nintendo invented a rail that was impervious to long-term wear.
  • Nintendo is probably just trying new stuff. Mobile gaming is ok, but i prefer to play on a tablet..
  • The most exciting thing is that they are using game cards for the system.
  • "Nintendo Switch shows they still don't get mobile gaming" If not getting mobile gaming means we don't have to endure all of the 'freemium' rubbish that is on the App Store and get to play some of the best games to ever grace gaming platforms (both handheld and consoles) then I'm all for Nintendo's lack of knowledge. Posted via the iMore App
  • You mean you don't want to buy a "box of coins for $.99 or a treasure chest of coins for $4.99" in a Mario game?
  • Funnily enough, no.
  • lets see, I dont really agree on your article :
    - remote play is not good and not an answer to play AAA games portable. I never liked it. it's just a little substitute to temporarily satisfy people that needs portable good games. So, nope, remote play is far lower than to be able to play your games on switch portable.
    - about the plane, I just afraid the crew would be angry if we play with our device, as they couldnt know if the wireless is on or not that can disturb the plane system. so lets skip this
    - head to head local multiplayer can be done and often done on my neighborhood, as we have a gaming community here that meets from time to time to play together. so no, it's not useless. but playing online would be more helpful (and I think switch would support it too)
    - as on the bus, what u said is that u like to play casual games that only takes a few mins to play and satisfy enough for casual gamer. ipad and android did that very well, but I'm sure switch may have some casual games to be played 5-10 mins on a go. there always some games like that.
    for example, I used to like to play punch out (as virtual games on my 3ds), 1-2 rounds on a go. it doesnt need much time. and I would defend punch out as AAA games or at least A games as itself
    so, it's just a matter to find games that suited. Now, I'm not nintendo fans, though I own and like nintendo handheld and consoles and games.
    and I'm not trying to defend it, but I think all ur point on article is just not really right. I think switch is not revolutional, not a new concept like what being advertized.
    Tablet has been able to do that for a long time, to be played anywhere, can broadcast/connect to tv, and can use bluetooth controller (if u want to buy more).
    though detachable controller maybe not, but it's still not any new concept or revolutioner (far from when wii out with it's wiimote for motion gaming) I view switch as a new handheld device from nintendo, the successor of 3ds, which unfortunately, lost its dual screen (the trademark of nintendo since nds, 3ds, and wii u), so it's like vita (with maybe bigger screen), and a detachable controller, and a dock to connect to tv.
    what's new ? sure, hd display (well nintendo's competitor has it a long time ago, and this is the new handheld, so it's no brainer).
    sure, faster processor, etc (with the same reason) so, dont get me wrong, switch is a good new handheld to make sure nintendo not behind its competitor (on spec), but it's just not revolutioner/new/amazing concept. and nope, unlike what ur article said, I believe nintendo will make decent profit with this, like when they make decent profit with 3ds. because like it or not, nintendo 1st party games have diehard fans all over the world (though not me), and nintendo 3rd party games, for some unknown reason (at least to me), always feel so much better than its competitor.
    so, of course if nintendo release some good 1st party games, and have 3rd party release some good games on switch, of course everybody would buy it. But again, it's because the games are great, not because the handheld is that much greater than the competitor (and yeah, I refused to call it a console. To call it a console is a degradation. Even wii is better with its wiimote, while switch back to just standard classic controller again)
  • oh, and again, to prove that switch is nothing revolutioner nor even new concept :
  • Glorified Nvidia Shield with elements of mega flop Wii U. It'll also probably cost as much as a decent large tablet if not more. Same problems of developers outside of Nintendo still being clueless with no idea how to use the machine. This could easily be the floppiest Nintendo flop yet. It'll not sell well and developers will either port pointless shovelware onto it or ignore it altogether after a year of poor sales. Nintendo really should just call it a day and focus on their proper little mobile gaming machines and making games for other people's hardware
  • God, setting up a Wii U for the first time was a f'n nightmare. I help my friend's kid connect it to their TV: 5 minutes. (Yeah, the friend could have done it, but he was grilling, so I offered) Getting though all the accounts and updates: over an hour. Sent from the iMore App
  • "What are the odds they're carrying around a Switch at the same time you so happen to have yours, and you both have time after your basketball game to play a few rounds?" Did you not watch the whole video? It's obvious at the end that the one controller is used by two people. They're each using half. Some of the full games will need a full controller, but not all. Have you played any games on a Wii U? Beyond that, does anyone think touchscreen is better than physical buttons? There is no way I would play Skyrim on a touchscreen. It wouldn't work. You have to spend just as much time wondering where your hand drifted in relation to the buttons, as the actual game. With a controller, I don't have to worry about where the buttons are, and just press things. Nintendo has gaming better imho. You can actually share the console without the other person having one. The Nomad was pretty cool, just a little advanced for it's time. It was both a Genesis and a portable one. It allowed other controllers at the same time. I think the main thing was the battery life, and most people had a Genesis already. I think the main issue with the Switch will be the cost and battery life. Beyond that, how well it does WiiU games will be an issue too.
  • So the Apple fanboy can base all this all off a 3 minute video introducing the system. Unless he knows something that he can't talk about due to an NDA, the video doesn't tell you everything that it can or cannot do.
  • Man, I really feel like you're missing the point here. The Switch isn't attempting to compete with mobile gaming. If it were, why would Nintendo have committed to bring popular franchises to the iPhone? The Switch's goal is to be a home console that isn't limited to the living room. For a casual gamer that mostly only plays mobile games, I can see how that isn't appealing. But for someone who spends a lot of time gaming on a home console, Nintendo or otherwise, this is a game changer. If I'm playing Zelda at home before leaving on a business trip, I can just pack the system up and pick it back up when I get to my hotel. I agree that the use cases in the teaser video are a little unrealistic, but they were chosen to drive home the point that this is a legitimate game console that goes where you go.
  • I think this new Nintendo is awesome and it will be great for families! I'm excited for it.
  • The Switch isn't taking aim at "mobile gaming", it's trying to make console gaming more mobile. Very different things, and it doesn't require Nintendo to "get mobile gaming". The thing is a hot mess though as far as I'm concerned. But Nintendo has IP to leverage and so the Switch will sell because of it - probably only to the audience that the Wii U was selling to, but sales are sales. I suppose there have to be props given for trying something a bit different.
  • Agreed. I see it a little less of a "hot mess" and more of a "a little too versatile and flexible" (if that's not the same thing.) It's as if Nintendo couldn't quite figure out exactly the use-case so they tried to make it do everything to see what would stick. Hopefully this lack of focus doesn't kill it and customers do solidify on the two or three best aspects of it that may get refined in the next version down the road.
  • Gimmicky awkward mess? I don't think so. Looks like a large hand held that plays console games with complete mobility and lots of interface options. I don't see gimmick or awkward anywhere. ALL the options crush playing on a dedicated tablet/phone and destroys the freemium concept which needs to die quickly. Yes it may fail in the marketplace but that is certainly after I have bought several (I have lotsa kids!) and enjoyed they immensely.
  • As someone who has recently got back into gaming, I think the idea of the Switch is great. Hopefully they can execute it well. My current console (Xbox One) is in my living room. When I want to play after the kid goes to sleep I have to double check with my wife to make sure she isn't watching something or needs the tv. When she has her book club (drinking club), living social club (drinking club part 2) I either don't play or have to move the entire machine up stairs and when you are talking about a mounted TV with everything in a cabinet, that is a pain in the ****. I use my tablet and more so my phone for mobile gaming but let's be honest here, the console games are much better. Much more immersive, better looking (most cases) easier to play with a controller etc. Something like the Switch would be great. Grab it out of the dock, go anywhere I want to in the house and play. Take it to a friends house and maybe play come couch co-op (can't do that on my iphone/ipad). However, I have 10 minutes to spare... grab my phone/tablet and play a quick mindless game. As some have said, I don't believe that this is to compete with your tablet/phone but complement them. Yes they both provide games and gaming but in theory, the dedicated Switch should be better, easier to play, and provide other benefits that a console can provide over any tablet/phone. I do believe that there are room for both of these concepts. Now, let us see if Nintendo can get it right. I for one can't wait to try it out in real life.
  • Well said!
    I kind of got away from gaming when I had a kid, and for years started favoring tablet and phone games out of convenience and time management.
    But tablet/phone games have devolved to money-ware crap or "yet another puzzle game" or candy-crush like copy. I've nearly given up on phone/tablet gaming.
    My kid is a little older now and starting to get into games. I also have a bit more time and I've been picking up a few AAA games and spending more time on the console.
    So more kid-friendly games have entered my sphere these days. But I also want to not be tethered to the TV all of the time. I'd love to take a console in the car for my kid to play, or me to play in different places.
    It's as if Nintendo figured out all of these variables and aimed for this unversed market. Sure NVidia Shield has been there, but not quite in the same way.
    I'm hopeful that this will be mostly what I want. I won't be giving up my XBone and PS4, but I might invest a little more into this (instead of phone/tablet games.)
  • I remember the ad for the Vita showed 2 people passing each other on the street, their Vita's beep, they whip them out of their back pockets and dual it out on whatever game it was. My wife bought me a Vita for Xmas that year. I've never met anyone else on the planet that owns/owned one. Also, the game library was mostly crap.
    "Everyone" owns a smart phone. If Nintendo made a smart phone controller-case and/or Bluetooth controller, and sold their FULL-SIZED games in the mobile App Store of your choice, then required their Nintendo controllers to play, they would crush it.
    People just don't see the value in mobile gaming appliances anymore. ESPECIALLY the expensive ones like the Vita. 3DS did well bc it was for kids without phones, and it was cheap enough for a xmas gift, and cheap enough to justify if you are of age to own a smart phone.
    I do like that the tablet IS the console. Vs the Vita, which claimed "Remote Play" with the PS3, but supported literally ZERO games (I never bought a PS4, with which this is better supported) but you had to have a network connection good enough to stream the game; rather than having the full game locally on your portable. Sent from the iMore App
  • I don't know. There is a lot of nay-saying in here. I get that use case of this thing is highly dependent upon multiple friends getting them and using them the way they're advertised. But think about who it's really targeted at (as with ALL Nintendo products...) The child to teen age range.
    Gameboy and DS have been very successful and I see this as the next evolution of the DS, really. These kids will get them for Christmas (if they're actually cool) and the kids that don't will want to get them to join their friends. Eventually you have that ecosystem. It really depends on how much this dang thing cost. If it's pretty expensive, then forget it. If it's reasonable, then maybe it'll work. It sure as heck appeals to me. I'll get it for my kid (and me) to use. Many valid points made in this article. However my first impression is that Nintendo really thought this through and executed on that vision of flexible semi-portable gameplay and we'll see if it sticks.
  • Well iPhone and iPad gaming is pretty much crap. Anything worth playing is a money suck and I hate those games. If it's not, it's a creative puzzle game or yet another candy-crush/bejweled like clone. Yes there are the occasional gems out there, but it's a depressing state and I for one have just given up looking for iOS games.
    I've shifted back to console and PC gaming. I've resisted any other portable game device because none of them really have much I want to play.
    But this seems like a worthy shot at REAL one-time paid games (not just something designed to get in-app purchases) that can be enjoyed on the road or on the TV. The multiplayer support is always welcome.
    Well this could fall flat and flop, or it could become a trend. We'll see. I'm really happy that Nintendo tried this bold move, though.
  • "We've seen accessory manufacturers try to empower iPad and iPhone with console-class capabilities, and surely Apple TV plays a significant role in bringing those experiences to the big screen. At this point, it's difficult to see what real benefit the Nintendo Switch will offer that this existing combination of products hasn't." Controllers. Controllers fully supported as part of the standard equipment of the device. Touch controls limit mobile gaming, plain and simple. They work for certain types of games, almost always with simpler control schemes, and they outright fail for many other types of games. The Switch has more potential to deliver console-class gaming because it can offer console-class controls. Touch control gaming is always going to be limited and shallow compared to what can be done with proper physical controls. Mobile gaming (on touch devices, e.g. smartphones) must be the future, continues to say the tech press, because of the explosive growth of mobile devices--sorry guys, it can never be the future because of the inherent limitations of touch controls. Unless the future is one million endless runner and <insert pop culture brand> Go apps. Blegh
  • Yikes, someone didn't watch the video. Real gamers hate mobile gaming because of the way, much like gambling, it is about cash grabs than actual games. Apple, Google et al have had years to get their stuff together and no one has bothered to address this issue. Cloud gaming is a figment of imagination for most countries where LTE is patchy and congested, so I'm not sure why Nintendo would even entertain this idea. Then there's the runaway success of the 3DS and the author has the gall to suggest that the only company to have successfully nailed mobile gaming doesn't understand it's market. I like iMore but please, leave gaming commentary to the experts Sent from the iMore App
  • Mobile gaming can be great providing you avoid games with IAPs, they can be difficult to find though
  • You have to be more diplomatic and objective if you're going to write articles like this. It's clear this isn't competing in the mobile market. I know it looks like an ipad in form factor, but I don't think anybody would watch that trailer and think it was competing with tablets. It's a dedicated Game console, a child could figure that out. Also, my god the headline is just so abrasive and... just incorrect. What do you mean, they "Still" don't get it? To say "still" implies they've shown they didn't get it once before... When was that? Do you mean Miitomo? because they call that a Social Networking App, not a game. Also, Nintendo pioneered video games, they GET video games. Mobile games are a success out of convienience, not because they're good, are you insane? Mobile games are shovelware. I swear to god you did this just to get people to join this crappy site to argue with you in the comments
  • This is exactly what I thought. I have yet to see a site that argues that this is going against the mobile gaming market. Not even the peeps at the Verge thought like this. When I saw this my initial thought was "Oh cool, I can play a console game on the go and not be tethered to a TV" not "Oh I think I finally found an iPad Air 2 replacement." The iPad and this serve 2 different purposes, primarily being that the iPad can also be used a productivity device. Seriously Simon, can you explain what you meant by "they still don't get it?" Was is the Wii U remote by any chance?? I really can't recall Nintendo being dead set against rivaling with the smartphone market. I don't know, while you do make a valid point or 2, should I be surprised that a fanblog would become so defensive at the fact that Nintendo is going to release a console that just happens to take a tablet-like form factor?? I mean everyone has a right to an opinion of course, but man this article really threw me off. P.S. - sorry I went on a rant on my reply towards you.
  • I really don't understand these criticisms. While it remains to be seen how well everything will work in practice, this literally looks like my dream system. I like Nintendo but they started to lose me with the Wii, and the Wii-U never appealed to me enough to buy one. I haven't played my 3DS in months. But this? I will be first in line. It looks amazing. Sent from the iMore App
  • This is a deeply compelling product because it solves the three biggest problems in the current mobile gaming ecosystem: lack of physical controls, uncapped spending, and sunsetting. It provides an option for consumers who do not want games as a service. It's ideal for players who crave skill-based experiences. It carries on the tradition of the VITA (which has replaced the iPhone as my go-to mobile gaming solution for the past two years), but it ups the ante with true console-grade visuals and the ability to easily continue playing on your TV when you get home. I've never been more excited about a piece of hardware in my life. It feels like it was made just for me, to satisfy all of my needs as a core gamer with limited access to the television in the living room.
  • Your sentiment on games as a service on mobile is common among Nintendo fans I'm finding, but in-app purchases aren't exclusive to mobile, nor do they constitute the entire mobile gaming library. In my experience, there are games on mobile that appeal to the core crowd, even if they take some time to dig up. This whole notion of "real" games being nonexistant on tablets is crazy. Firstly, there are full-blown console ports available: the bulk of Square Enix's retro library, Telltale's story-driven games, a handful of GTA titles, Bastion and Transistor, Banner Saga 1 and 2, Baldur's Gate, Sonic games, Max Payne, X-COM, Lego games, Borderlands, Portal, Hearthstone... The list goes on. If we're talking about games that are home-grown on mobile, we'd have to figure out which qualities we're comparing. If we're talking in terms of pure challenge, I would point to Duet and Super Hexagon. If we're talking graphics, I'd say Asphalt 8 and Infinity Blade III still stand out. Innovative game design? Threes, Hitman Go, Just Dance Now? The Switch will entirely likely deliver better-quality games as a dedicated gaming machine, but for a lot of gamers, the current offerings for tablets are and have been good enough, especially given how much more their iPad can do than just game.
  • I'd say most AAA games are better on other platforms than they are on the iPad, unfortunately, with the possible exception of Hearthstone. ;-) I prefer physical buttons for: RPGs, platformers, shooters, action games, rhythm games.... basically most types of of games with the possible exceptions of board games, puzzles, strategy games, and point-and-click adventure games. And I probably prefer a mouse and keyboard for strategy games... Phones are OK for dance games, but the Kinect is superior.
  • You're probably right, but I can't seem to give up my physical buttons. I still want physical buttons when I play Mario, Zelda, Metroid, or Pokémon. It's possible Animal Crossing or Fire Emblem would be OK with touchscreen controls, but I'm not holding my breath. On the iPad/iPhone I've disliked touch controls on nearly every game I've tried except for SpaceTeam and point-and-click adventure games. It's so nice to go back to real, physical buttons on a handheld or dedicated controller.
  • Come to think of it, the 3DS stylus doesn't seem to used for too many things, but it is certainly useful in two of my favorite DS/3DS apps: Art Academy and the Korg DS-10 plus music synthesizer. DS-10 is available on the iPhone and it isn't as easy to control, though it works somewhat better on the iPad; I wish Art Academy existed on the iPad with the Apple Pencil, though!