Nintendo Switch and Other Such Shit
Life is a fucking loaf of bread
Pull out and ride:
It's been a long time since I'm written an article, and though I can't turn back time, at least not without the help of some seriously heavy stuff, I can alleviate the loss by continuing to produce good work on a regular basis, as I have done for five months now. When I take a break from writing, it is not because I need a vacation - when you work hard enough, you don't need, nor desire, a vacation, as every motion in your body regrets not being the best person you can be. Anybody who knows they are going to die is incapable of not doing their best work. I am going to die, and I cannot afford to spend it on cheap entertainment.
Speaking of cheap entertainment - has everybody gotten familiar with the new Nintenthing? It's called the Nintendo Switch, because Nintendo was fed up with everyone taking the piss out of the "Wii" and "Wii U", that they decided to name it after BDSM. I can't wait for the Nintendo Knob, and I'd think of more sexual names, but I don't want to waste the effort if they'll do it for me in a few years. I'm wondering what Nintendo is switching up - anything at this point, considering how their sales have been tanking for four years, and they didn't even get a cut of that sweet Pokemon Go money. It blew up faster than the Burned Furs movement and Nintendo didn't even bother to secure the profits. Venture into the brilliant mind of the most famous games company in the world.
I'm guessing Nintendo is just experimenting at this point, albeit at the rate of a walking tour of the European Union, seeing as their last console was an extra large period pad, and this one is a slice of bread. The thing about experimentation is that it's supposed to happen at a rapid pace, not the rate that my dad gets divorces, and not when you're losing fat stacks of cash and are losing all respect from the industry that you created. Do you have an incontinent, senile old grandad that you just don't know what to do with? Enter Nintendo, and they'll take his place while you dump the old coot in a river.
What can be said about the Nintendo Someone who Participates in BDSM Activities sometimes as a Top and other times as a Bottom? I don't fucking know, look at the website, if it will ever load, or the trailer if you're into an nonspecific genre of rock music. It has a screen and two controllers that plugs into another controller and you can play the game on your screen with you while holding the controllers gormlessly with two separate hands - like a Wii U but for white dudes in their twenties. I'm not sure about the value of having what is a souped-up tablet with a unique control system that also plugs into your television, but I guess I'm a fucking idiot, seeing as I'm the one who's trying to figure out the value.
We will begin our People's Crusade with Skyrim, because it was the first thing I wrote and restructuring my prose is like restructuring a small dog - messy, and I haven't written the rest of the dog. By the end, all 60,000 crusaders will be slaughtered, and we will wonder why we even bothered in the first place. God told you to? Yeah, keep telling yourself that. Today's article is sponsored by blatant atheist propaganda. If you're here from Google, go fuck yourself.
The Skyrim Uprising:
I haven't had the burning desire to play Skyrim, seeing as the Skyrim playerbase takes up the population of The Gambia and I'm as much of an outlier as Morocco to the African Union, which must make United Nations meetings particularly awkward, because the last time I played a Bethesda game, I ended up spending more time in my inventory than I did walking aimlessly around the same football field's worth of grey sand and rocks - and I spent a fucking long time walking, making the blatant green filter even more uneasy on the eyes. My eyes hurt and my brain got headaches and my soul wept while I kept getting interrupted by little robotic mannequins being voiced by the same three guys as they wander aimlessly around with animations like puppets being manipulated by a drunk bird.
So that said, I've never played Skyrim, though I did try it out at my brother's house, spent ten minutes in a cutscene, got led around through a cave for twenty, and then died when I tried to stab a guy with my sword. Not a great first impression, even barring the idea that a sword can't kill a man if you stab them in the back with it. What everybody and their mother seems to be losing their shit over is that the Switch lets you play Skyrim. And while I can't tell the special needs children to stop enjoying their video games, I can say that even in the autism ward, this sperging out is the most autistic at all. I sound a bit like 8chan there, don't I? I hope the words becoming meaningless to the point where your opinions are discounted.
The only people that would think that Skyrim is great, beyond the posers, are the ones who have already played Skyrim to the point where they become a fanboy. "I'm not a fanboy" (yes you are), you may be telling me through hushed lips because we're in the movie theatre with my grandparents and this is a completely inappropriate time to be interrupting "The Great and Powerful TriXXXie's Horse Cock Extravaganza". Granted, the manager was concerned my grandparents were coming, but the funeral director didn't have room for them. If that's the case, why the tongue-sucking TriXXXie are you excited for a game you've had five years to play and will be released with slightly shinier textures eight days from now?
No, I don't expect you to play every game ever, but I find it incongruous that you're interested in one which is already out for every platform and your fridge, has been released in a long enough time frame that it has been introduced into gamer canon, like Haruhi was for weeb canon, and isn't that good, despite being declared one of the best games of all time (OF ALL TIME. SINCE THE AGE OF THE UNIVERSE. FOREVER) by reviewers on suicide watch, link to my article give views pls, even though The Last of Us is on there, and I think that says it all.
Somebody who has played Skyrim on their choice of platform, the platform that they have all their data on, is unlikely to want to bother with the hassle of porting the data, or ditching it all in favour of going somewhere else. Anybody who hasn't may be enticed by the idea of playing it on a new device that's convenient for them to buy, but this is notoriously bad timing considering how a remastered edition is being released literally a week from now for the Xbone, Pisspoor, and Winblows (hardy har), so that would be the most opportune time to play Skyrim, and not on a piece of bread. Anybody who has played Skyrim and is waiting for the opportunity to play it on said piece of bread, is simply, a fucking idiot. Or a fanboy. So a fucking idiot. I would put more effort into that, but it should be self-apparent that somebody who has played Skyrim, has the opportunity to play Skyrim, and liked Skyrim, should not need to play it on a different console.
Perhaps the brilliant Kotaku journalists are seeing it as a sign that Nintendo is maturing as a company, which ignores the history of Nintendo always releasing at least one token "adult" game on their console per system, under the anti-artistic assumption that you can only enjoy a video game that has been tailored specifically to your age group (see the past ten years of first-person shooters), as well as ignoring that Nintendo has been doing the worst that they have since the three years the Wii U was released. Nintendo is less maturing and more a dancing bear with a fez, hoping the distraction helps them ignore the fact they have been releasing fucking awful games ever since the Wii U came out, pandering only to their target demographic of fucking idiots and children (so more fucking idiots), fucking around with the same fucking properties fucking them up with said fucking awful games, fucking making a fucking holding pattern for fucking idiots, more fucking idiots, and every other fucking idiot out there that believes Nintendo knows what the fuck they're doing. Fucking heck.
I'm wondering who at Nintendo saw their fucking new fucking console for fucking idiots and fucking thought it was a good fucking idea to fucking fuck with fucking Skyrim and fuck the fucking system and their fucking idiots fucking audience and fucking fuck it up by fucking Skyrim with it and fucking pandering to said fucking idiots and pray they fucking unbuckle their fucking wallets and let fucking Nintendo fuck them for fucking money and fucking hope the fucking gambit pays the fuck off so they fucking stay the fuck in business and don't fucking eat fucking shit and fucking die on the fucking pavement like every fucking other fucking game publisher fucked by fucking cultural fucking trends fucking up the fucking games industry. Baise-moi, which is French for, "Soak me with a Parmesan roue and penetrate me with the casings of newly-hatched cockroaches", in the literal translation.
Skyrim on Nintendo Switch out Q2 2017 (update: Bethesda refuses to confirm Skyrim on Switch).
The namesake upbringing:
Switch is a sex term. Article over.
Obvious joke which I already milked worse than a white slave, but the criticism is still true. From a branding perspective, your name is one of the most important things that your business can have - it's the first thing that people hear, the first thing that people will talk about, and what the person will continue to talk about every single time they refer to the product. Naming your line of novelty cola "Pussy Syrup" with an image of a a cat of it would be a decent name for the product. Naming a vaccine after it is a horrible idea.
I'm not just making up marketing advice like the uneducated white guy in their twenties will offer unsolicited, despite having no training, education, or knowledge of the subject at hand. I've read a great deal of books on the subject, and if I was an asshole, I'd pull out the fanciest sounding ones I could because my opinions can't carry a blog on their own and you need some other asshole to confirm them. Who is this "Noam Chungus" I'm hearing so much about? And why is getting the libertarian succ? That's why smart men only read children's books - it's hard to sound pretentious when you're citing Geronimo Stilton.
So when I say that a name "evokes" something out of a brand, I'm not saying that to increase my respect among those too stupid to realise that I'm bullshitting them. But it's true. So we must ask ourselves, simply, what the name "Nintendo Switch" evokes out of us. I will always think of it as a grey piece of bread with an overwrought charging cradle and joysticks that are too damn small for my tiny babby hands, which I suppose it what they want me to think of it as, but isn't a particularly inspiring image, unlike the "NYPD", which strikes fear into the hearts of millions of black people.
On a functional level it makes sense. You switch the thing from your house to your mum's house. You switch the thing from a Wii U gamepad to a Wii with a TV. You switch it from a controller to a tablet to a brick and we can all agree that there is a lot of switching involved. Somehow I doubt that the controllers will come off as easy as it did in the trailer, at least not without the help of some glue, though so long as it does what is advertised, it sure is switching. Along with the likes of the "IBM PC", Nintendo has developed a name that is perfectly descriptive but boring as all get out.
Then again, Nintendo has a history of boring names, such as the "DS" being the "Developer System", despite treating Homebrewers worse than atheists in Saudi Arabia, or women in Saudi Arabia, or foreigners in Saudi Arabia, or journalists in Saudi Arabia, or the sand in Saudi Arabia. They called their first (real) handheld the "Game Boy", which is how you might invite your dog for a round or two. At least it was better than the "City Boy", which would have kickstarted the sexual namespace early. Christ, they named their first console the "Nintendo Entertainment System", which perfectly sums up the Japanese philosophy of "businesses can't have fun", or the Chinese one, or any country not derived from Europeans.
The functionality of the thing:
All of this is a long wad of tossed dosh if the console doesn't have a specific purpose. Most games consoles have the philosophy of "another one with shinier hardware and no backwards compatibility", which is why Sony and Microsoft have been releasing essentially the same thing over the past fifteen years. At least Nintendo has the balls to switch it up a little - it sure paid the fuck off when it came to the Wii / DS era, rolling in more money than a drug dealer could make in a decade, which must have made the IRS give a detailed inspection of their tax forms.
You already know what the switch does - it switches. "What does it switch?" "Locations, mate." "Oh, like a DS!" "Yeah, but you can also plug it into your TV." "So like a tablet?" "No, you have to plug in a device and shove your tablet into the charging station and use the controllers you attach to a brick." "So it's like a tablet with a gamepad?" "Yeah, but you use a brick as a controller and then you take off the controllers and shove it into the tablet to take it with you." "So what do I do with the brick?" "I don't fucking know!"
I supposed the dock is just to make the process idiot-proof, as well as providing some justification that it is indeed a console and not just a tablet with two cheap-ass controllers you have to carry around with it, seeing as the actual dock doesn't >have any processing capability in it. I would wonder why Nintendo is still trying to make the process as idiot proof as possible for a console that is being blatantly marketed towards fucking idiots (though fucking idiots is their entire audience), though given that Micrococks and Sorry (that's some Comedy Gold trademarked) have been slowly and steadily breaking their consoles with every patch since release, causing their subreddits to bitch while the cool kids are playing with their idiot-proof Micrococks Winblows Poopable Piss Cunt Cuntsumer Dickvice to have fun with. I must apologise that my writing has devolved to that of an ten-year-olds'.
Nintendo seems to be so afraid that we will break our consoles given any degree of freedom that they have dedicated their entire existence to making sure nobody can get inside and hack their software, which is as about as effective as the United States throwing people in jail to stop drug offenses. The problem with this theory is that when companies such as Micro...soft... and So...ny... (you see, I can be mature, too) also tell their users to fuck right off, they break their consoles for the users. Why is the console industry so shit when the bare minimum we can ask for, a console that lets us play games on the thing, the companies set up roadblocks specifically designed to stop us? Every console is trying to be like a PC, but the PC does everything that a console can do so effortlessly that it's less a battle and more a curb stomp.
When a games console has the singular advantages of portability and ease-of-access, companies setting up so many barriers to playing games, such as operating system and game updates, the Digital Restrictions Management innate to every console, needing to register with an account to play games, needing a paid subscription to play multiplayer, install games, an d perform basic functionality of the console (also giving the company the opportunity to spy on what you do, and revoke access if they or the government demand it), then it no longer become a games console, but a really, really, really shitty prebuilt PC with none of the functionality, customisability, or processing power innate to that platform.
So will Nintendo make a bold new step and protect their users liber- no. Absolutely fucking not. Nintendo's business practices are so anti-consumer that the only people who buy from them are people too ignorant to understand that a platform where the company has total control over everything you do and everything you can do, is a manipulative system that destroys the natural rights of the consumer to own their system, and not have it lent to them on a day-by-day basis. Given that the Switch will include a new proprietary format that will not be compatible with Nintendos other consoles (and the monkeys will overtake the Earth by the time Nintendo releases PC ports), Nintendo continues to demonstrate they don't fucking care about you, and are only in it to extract money from the sheep.
The only saving grace that Nintendo has is that they made a few good games, only to throw all of that the fuck away and release more generic crap. I wouldn't even bring that point up, seeing as a modern games console is, by necessity, a contract that you consent to having everything you put on the console being viewed by a for-profit company at arbitrary hours and with unlimited access to your data and devices to ptoy with, and at that point is letting in a bigger liability into your life than letting the cops into your house. Like I said, only those who are ignorant or simply don't care (both fucking idiots in their own right) would allow such a thing.
I don't have a problem with everything in the pre-Internet era where the systems were offline, and were simply computers that you plugged specific hardware into (barring the anti-piracy measures of the systems being an affront to freedom). I don't have a problem with games that are built for specific hardware that we have to play on specific hardware - I wouldn't expect a PC game to run on a Wii U, just because of how different the architecture is. Similarly, I don't mind specific mediums, such as cartridges, because they provide their own benefits, and is just a way to easily interface a game with the computer.
What I do mind is when Nintendo adds in pre-Internet business practices, such as specialised hardware and controllers due to sheer necessity of forming a monopoly, and adds it into the Internet age where half the world's population have a computer in their home, and the money to buy things for it. When Nintendo continues to shun the largest potential audience in the world, they continue to promote a backwards way of thinking that Nintendo can make people buy their consoles by putting products that, by all rights, should be disseminated throughout the populace with as much freedom as they can while still turning a profit, and to continue to assault consumers with the same line of thinking in a world that has changed over the last thirty years, shows that Nintendo just doesn't fucking get it. The same for Microsoft. The same for Sony.
And this isn't even towing my piracy line, which is that all art, all data, that has been released to the public, by use for the public, should be used by the public without any restrictions or expectations of profit whatsoever, because to create work for the public and to arbitrarily restrict its use by the public, is such a selfish way of thinking that it is on par with somebody with every opportunity to change the world, yet does not do so because of their laziness. It is impossible, in an age where everything can be copied at an instant, and once copied, can be copied forever and for free, to continue business practices which go against these simple principles.
So long as games companies continue to show willful malice the their audience, it is necessary to reverse-engineer, emulate, and disseminate all games, consoles, and software that they release in order to create a culture that allows for sharing regardless of the company's consent - because the company that does not give consent for the consumers to do whatever they like with the products that they paid for, without limitation, is not a company that deserves to be bought from in the first place, with the exception that all products bought will eventually be used to preserve the freedom of the quiet majority which refuses to accept such malicious practices.
So will the Nintendo Switch take a bol- take a fucking guess.
The target target target audience:
We have already well-established that Nintendo's audience is fucking idiots (which I have formalised in my thesis as the "froge conjecture"), though it bears specifying. Are we talking about children fucking idiots, or fanboys fucking idiots? It turns that Nintendo is branching out of their usual conformity zone [froge note: this will never happen] by releasing a trailer not meant for fucking idiots [will still never happen] and hoping that a new brand of fucking idiots will emerge, namely the fucking idiot core gamer. How is the fucking idiot core gamer different from the fucking idiot fanboy? Well, one's likely to suck Nintendo's dick, and the other needs to be bribed first.
No, I don't hate you because you like Nintendo, it's because the voices in my head are telling me to kill and this is the closest thing that placates them. I like Nintendo. They made a few good games. They made a few good games in the era where making good games mattered, and not just the bare minimum template required to move another few thousand consoles off the dusty-foot shelves and into the home of dusty-foot-philosophers everywhere, E.G. fucking idiots. You heard that right - ducking tiddy nuts.
What I like about Nintendo is that, being a company so geared towards fucking idiots, and the children form of fucking idiots and not the fanboy form of fucking idiots (which comes a very very very very [repeat] very close second to the fanboy form of fucking idiots) is that everything they make is designed so damn well that everything they do looks like, for lack of a better term, a video game video game. In an age where everybody is taking themselves so fucking serious, it's refreshing to have a bunch of licensed mascots beat the shit out of each other on copyrighted stages with other recognisable brand marks. Granted, all the Smash Brothers were shit, except for Brawl (yes, I am serious), but the idea that it exists shows that Nintendo has some imagination left in them, even if it's from a purely business perspective and not an artistic one.
There's a game where you lead plants around and tell them to kill themselves so you can go back home to your ungrateful family, a game where everything is yarn and you get to tear them to ribbons to buy furniture, a game where you invade foreign planets in order to deplete their only source of nuclear energy, a game where you make other games which teaches you the basics of programming, a game where you can own your own Pikachu and yell at it and make it do things, and a game where you become a Pokemon and save the world with your ragtag band of buddies and cry along the way. This ugly son-of-a-bitch has done more for video games than any other company, and basically, you are fucking stupid. How? Just read this free article...
I've said it before: every time Nintendo has an opportunity to change our culture with a game that nobody expects, a game that came straight out of left field, a game that no other company has the conviction to develop, market, and publish, they strengthen their iron grip on the industry, creating a justification for its existence that no other company has. When it squanders the opportunity to change lives and make its audience feel things, the same feelings that will indebt them to the company despite every mistake it makes, and instead uses it to release the same Super Mario or Legend of Zelda game that they have for over a decade, they become the laughing stock of the industry, who, like I said, just doesn't get it.
While other companies were on a race to the technical top in the 2000s and 1990s, Nintendo always knew what they were good at - making good games. That's their ace in the hole, and their justification for destroying free culture by targeting pirates so hard: you can only play Nintendo quality games on Nintendo approved consoles, and we'll be damned if you'll play them anywhere else. Everybody else was trying to be like a PC, but better, but when the PC got popular and kicked their ass six ways every day from Monday to Sunday, they lost all their advantages, and Nintendo had every right to come in and scoop up the competition with their traditional knowledge of what gamers want: bloody good games on a bloody good system.
Sadly, Nintendo shat the bed on that front, seeing as their CEO went from the coming of Jesus to the coming of Mormon Jesus, causing them to lose more profits than they have in three decades. I won't say it's because he's an idiot - the man was the most competent CEO in the industry, not to mention having programming experience that makes mere mortals weep. He defined Nintendo during his tenure, making a company that would have been seriously in the pisser had it not been for his insight. It is too bad that the world had to change, and poor old Iwata didn't catch up in time to watch his company turn for the worse, before he crawled into a hospital bed and died. It could happen to you.
Important to note that people were calling for his resignation by the end of days, though we have to take a wonder as to why that is. Nintendo has always sold more games than their competitors - millions more, in fact (PS4, XBONE). But when it comes to the console sales, Nintendo is still struggling against the disinterested wankers who bought a PS4, presumably on the assumption that it has games worth a damn - and even with the 3DS they're barely breaking even. So Nintendo finds themself in the interesting position of having a dedicated fanbase who buy a lot of games waging war against a casual fanbase who bought a console that doesn't have any games. The idea that the latter is in any way competing with the former, and winning, shows just how far gone our industry has gotten.
But that's all consoles. Let's talk about PC - oh, Overwatch has 20,000,000 players? Well, I think that says it fucking all. I guess we're going to ignore how Undertale made $10,000,000? Or how a generic survival horror game like Rust sold 3,000,000 copies in early access, having the balls to charge thirty bucks for the thing without reskins, or how a Harvest Moon clone like Stardew Valley stole away 1,000,000 copies? I guess Nintendo was right to release the same garbage year after year, because that's all that's fucking selling.
All of this leads me to wonder, and I've been wondering a lot lately, as to who the Nintendo Switch is for. The trailer makes it look like it's for twenty-something white dudes, but twenty-something white dudes are already like to go for a PC or a PS4 or whatever distracts them from the grave pot calling kettle grey. This can be seen as an attempt at a hostile takeover, but given that in the minds of the populace, Nintendo is so inextricably linked to their fucking idiot kids fanbase, that any such takeover seems as appropriate as Microsoft making a blood pact with the FLOSS community and deciding to open-source Windows. Granted it's not impossible for Nintendo to change their image, it's just that it reeks of a race to the bottom, when the other consoles are so far below that they have to manufacture their own light out of error codes.
If the Nintendo Switch is aiming for their fucking idiot fanboy audience, then it would have been better to give them what they're expecting every single year - a new Mario thing, or a new Zelda thing, or a new Pokemon thing, because those will sell like hotcakes no matter what they think. It should be said, though, that this is a short-term strategy, likely to fail in the long run as consumers realise that Nintendo are producing commodities that can be easily developed and churned out every quarter, as opposed to a luxury good that is unique in its own special way, E.G. when the sun devours the Earth. You may be noticing I'm thinking very lowly of consumers. Incidentally, I'm currently breathing air and the flesh is very weak, which are all very obvious things I'm pointing out, yet doesn't make them untrue.
What does a white guy want? The white girl succ? A Nintendo console? What does Nintendo offer that is compelling enough for a white guy to play? The chances are good, damn damn good, that a white guy will have already bought into Nintendo, and will happily pay for the new Nintenthing no matter what it is, or they've already fucked off back to some other console. What does a tablet with 99% of the apps removed offer that a regular cell phone doesn't? You could say that it has exclusive games, but Nintendo's relationship with developers is like my dad and his girlfriends - narcissistic and mutually abusive.
Nintendo is a company that either has fans, or had gotten to the little fucking idiot children so early that they converted them into fans, and trying to convert fans is a hard, hard battle, especially in an industry that creates larger cults than Scientologists (please dox me daddy. prove my point. prove my fucking point), who treats their fans like dogs, points them to somebody they don't like, and then they scream and bitch and moan and make asses out of themselves. Basically they've weaponised fandom, which is a symptom of a culture where you never have to hear anybody else's opinion if you don't want to, and is a symptom that isn't going away for a very long time.
Who the heckie is it for?
What's compelling enough for the Nintendo Switch for non-fans? Who is this system for? Why does it exist? All of these are questions that I don't have the answer for, and so it seems to me as one big experiment that Nintendo is throwing at the wall and praying that something good happens. A system without a purpose is a system that does not need to exist at all. At the very least, the Piss Poor and the Xbone can say that they provide a "mature" gaming experience, in the same sense that Family Guy is technically a "mature" cartoon. As to what the Switch does beyond being a big dancing bear in a fez, in a world with an audience that is likely to see it as a toy and nothing else, I am baffled.
Well, there is one thing, and I suppose it's easy enough to bring to a friend's house (you have friends? fucking loser!) and then pop off the controllers and then play, even though they're smaller than Halloween candy and with controls that look as uncomfortable as a slightly damp pair of briefs, meaning that you can carry it with you and then play with it or whatever. I suppose that reinforces the idea of twenty-something white dudes, as they are most likely to give up that sweet anime pussy and go out into the real world. Sorry, that sentence sounded bizarre. There is no way in heck they're giving up that sweet anime pussy.
In a world where everything is online, Nintendo is still doing smart to be the only company that provides free multiplayer, even if it's with an account that you can shut off at any time for any reason, or be searched by the government to see your shit taste in video games, which is why you're still a fucking idiot for buying into the console. If the Switch doens't have multiplayer gaming that's as easy as finding Wi-Fi and launching a game, it's going to be a massive missed opportunity on their part, because otherwise the justifications for buying the thing are getting slimmer and slimmer. It's safe to say that, if you're going to mimick a tablet, then you better well fucking have a good tablet.
Playing a game on a TV (for those who still own one, worse still if you bought a Telescreen Smart TV) and then having to pause it to go somewhere else because your parents insist you have mandatory family time even though you will swiftly realise they are horrible people, is a smart idea. You get that comfy home screen experience, which you never get with a handheld device (you only get the comfy bed experience), and then when you're on the go you can take the game with you and start up exactly where you left off. In a games industry filled with constant, constant inconveniences, the theory is strong that a responsive device for, eh, seamless and intuitive consumer consumption... would be a generally good idea.
Two caveats: what's the battery life, and is it that fucking easy? The five-hour battery life of the 3DS was bearable, but then I learned to charge it at every opportunity using that dock that you got with the box that no other company seems to want to package with their mobile devices. Then again, the 3DS only had to power a screen the size of a sticky note, so whatever is powering a fucking brick, it better have some juice in it if it wants to be useful for more than a trip to the pisser. Ideally it'll be used for pissing the night away. A fifth of the night? That's no fun at all.
And two, is it that easy that you can simply pick it up and take it with you? If I know my marketing, and I do, it's blatant lies. I'm going to hazard a guess that the user interface is going to throw up some error or another that all the controllers are too far away, or misconfigured, that you need some updates to the software, that the software decided to have a cry and a crash, or that you have to go into the settings and muck with everything before you get the bloody game to work as intended. Whenever a company tells you something is idiot-proof, take it as a sign that everything will go wrong for you at every opportunity.
And this is all on the software side. Hardware-wise, I'm skeptical, even outside the battery life. I didn't see any charging devices outside of the massive port, so I don't expect the tablet will be chargeable on the go, and it's always a letdown when your handheld dies while you're somewhere you don't want to be. If the controllers aren't locked onto that system tight, they'll be easily lost, meaning that you'll be shit out of luck when it's back to playing at home - though I should stress the 3DS stylus was pretty flimsy, and I've never lost that in the four years I've had it (a modern miracle).
However much you're expected to carry with you while on the go seems to be limited to what you want to; either take the tablet for the casual setup, the tablet with the brick for the comfy setup, or the tablet with the brick and the charging station for the travelling setup. The main problem is with the brick, not being able to fit into your pocket, and expecting you to store it somewhere else along with the tablet. If that's the case, you'd be inclined to also take the charging dock with you, but then it is extraordinarily bulky, and not always necessary if you're not plugging it in. I suppose the convenience of the thing depends entirely if Nintendo has a separate charging cable for it, much like the 3DS charger.
There is hope though. The controllers are pretty neat, and given Nintendo's legendary hardware quality, I suppose they will feel good to use despite their small size. A cartridge-based format, despite being another jab at pirates which I'm not worried about because they built dumpers for the DS, will mean that the games will load much faster than their competitors, so long as the software doesn't take the piss out of us by showing minute-long boot screens at every opportunity. The tablet will probably be flash memory, meaning that it'll have a fast operating system, so long as the software isn't characteristically slow and unresponsive, as is par for Nintendo. There is hope, but expect Nintendo to fuck it all up, because they are Nintendo, and they are incredibly incompetent.
And I suppose some other quick assassinations to be easily-digested and forgotten about, as so many journalists write like:
Some other quick ass:
*Touch screen: It would take the piss out of the tablet to lose your controllers and then be shit-out-of-luck with how to control it, especially given how small the things are. With a 3DS, the controllers are attached to the thing, and you can always use the touch-screen. With a traditional console, the controllers are so bloody big and expected to be in the vicinity of the consoles at all time, that they are very hard to lose. I suppose Nintendo will have to educate consumers (which is always an uphill battle) to never, ever lose the controllers. If there is a touch screen, well, I don't see much point in it for gaming, as the controllers are perfectly functional control devices, and a touch screen would be an unnecessary gimmick for developers to waste time on.
*Form: Gun metal grey is a fine, professional colour to sell a console with. It isn't as dark and uninspired as the Xbone and PS4, which look like VCRs respectively, and isn't as cartoonish as the Xbone variants or the Wii U and 3DS lines, giving it a much more mature, though distinctive feel, and is much more appealing than the cheap plastic the other consoles appear to be made out of. Granted, I'm sure the Switch is made out of plastic, but Nintendo makes plastic look so damn good that I'm wondering why the other consoles aren't taking notes.
Nintendo always did industrial design well. Their secret is that they don't take themselves so seriously. While the other consoles are trying to be the best, most cutting-edge they can be, Nintendo focuses on creating a rock-solid design that stands the test of time, rather than trying to be what's new. Every other console that had to compete with Nintendo had a completely uninspiring design, giving them no status whatsoever in gaming canon, with the possible exceptions of the Dreamcast and original PlayStation. When you think of Nintendo brands - "N64, Gamecube, Game Boy, DS, NES" - it evokes so much more history and a sense of "gaming" than when you think of "Vita, 360, PS3", and so on.
There are a few reasons for this. Matte plastic always looks better than shiny plastic, with very few exceptions, such as in cars, cell phones, and office supplies, and Nintendo has always made their consoles matte - with the exceptions of the Wii and original DS, which is why the Wii isn't very inspiring in its default colour, and the DS only pulling it off because of its bright colouring. The Switch is matte, naturally, which goes very well with its combinated squircle and rectangle forms.
As for the tablet itself, it looks like any old regular tablet, like a DS top screen made a lot bigger. I'm not expecting the display to be amazing, but I at least expect it to have the same level of quality that the DS did, namely the color quality won't turn to shit if I turn it slightly. The strange thing is, despite the detachable components, this is Nintendo's least gimmicky offering in a while. I know that's like saying that the 3DS isn't gimmicky if you remove the 3D, but that statement is also true. Nintendo seems to be offering a professional system that will hopefully not shit the bed, and if Nintendo does a good job with it (though history has shown that they won't), then it'll turn out good. Not that I'll ever buy one, DRM, spyware, affront to freedoms, et cetera.
*Price: Generally whoever is willing to buy a games console is going to buy the one regardless of the price. Games are currently a luxury product, and though Nintendo has traditionally towed the party line of affordable family-friendly entertainment, they can't pull that same con with two other contestants in the arena, with the Wii U and the 3DS on the console and mobile markets. However, Nintendo will have to establish that this is exclusively a games console, and not just a tablet or other mobile device, because otherwise it would be hard to justify a higher price point - this is partially why the Nvidia Shield failed so much.
I'm not saying that the Switch should be cheap, but the gimmick has to be valuable enough to justify the price, as well as the potential to buy games for the thing - which are likely to be expensive because of the cartridge format (or cheap, rather, seeing as DVDs are more expensive than cartridges in this fucked-up, backwards world we live in). What Nintendo has to answer is if they're going to price it like the Wii U, or like the 3DS, because in the latter, I would say it was worth the original $250, and the $170 sale was selling the console short. I find it astounding how Nintendo can build and sell a specialised device for that cheap - especially given the New 3DS XL being just $200. I would have sold it for $300, myself, but I always err on the side of more expensive, myself.
Anybody who criticised the PS3 for its high price was ignorant of gaming's status as a specialised, luxury product, where the price is something that is an issue once and never again, except for the price of the system's games. The PS3 had no games, as has been well-established in the Biblical canon, and the lack of compelling features (beyond Blu-ray) and expensive hardware costs meant that Sony had a very slow start with its gaming division. Had the console had more compelling launch titles and more killer features, the price would have been a non-issue, as anybody who wanted to buy a PS4 would have none so regardless.
The PS4 is currently being sold for $400, and the Xbone is being sold for either $300 or $400 depending on the storage space, which always reeks of desperation when you slice off $200 to compete with a console that outsold you times four. I guess Microsoft is realising that years of dicking over consumers and a complete non-presence in Japan means that you don't sell as much as you're used to, eh? Given that these consoles have zero unique features that a PC cannot do, this is actually worth the price, as not even $400 can purchase a PC that can play games that don't look like rubbish. You get what you pay for.
Unlike the 3DS, which exists in a gaming-industry monopoly where their closest competitor is lagging behind fifty million units, a more expensive price point is not appropriate here, because the console has failed to develop compelling features that make it a monopoly in its own niche. It is, however, a complete oddity, in that it has the (and I'm not reading from a press release) the convenience of both a console and a handheld device, and Nintendo should have released technical details to hammer that point home. This is a practical feature with a unique selling point that's very compelling, unlike the last gaming innovation of virtual reality, which we can agree by now is janky as all get out.
Nintendo is likely to compete by reducing the price point to $350 or so, though this seems to me a missed opportunity. Nintendo has the ability to grab mobile gaming by the balls and give core gamers the device they always wanted - console quality games on a mobile device. If Nintendo has a good enough operating system and software to justify turning it into its own mini PC, like the DS had so long ago, and what all their other consoles failed at, then they have an ace in the hole. Otherwise, it'll be another gimmicky load, like the Wii U ended up being, because it offered no compelling features at all, beyond Nintendo's traditional killer software apps.
I recommend a $500 price point if Nintendo has the balls to make a great console. Otherwise a $350-$300 one seems appropriate, given that Nintendo is notorious for making shitty operating systems, and I don't expect the Switch to set the world on fire if the customers aren't completely 100% blown away by the quality. The keyword here is quality - if the Switch is awesome, it will be worth every penny, and the gaming industry will hail Nintendo as king. Otherwise, it will be the Wii U 2 - a misguided project known only for its inability to justify its existence.
Given that this is Nitendo's last shot to make an impact in a home console, and not a handheld, market, you would expect them to make it good. Given that this is Nintendo we're talking about, a company that's as liberal with their business practices as IBM, I'm not optimistic at all. I won't blame anybody for betting on a different horse this round, if you're into wasting your money on needless bets, seeing as Nintendo's practices have worked in a different era than this one, and it is indeed a different era, and Nintendo has shown no signs of changing. So let's see if this prediction ends up true: goodbye, Nintendo. And if not, I'll be happy to see your return, if only to get the industry out of its fucking slump for fucking idiots.
Not a sub, dad - Froghand.
Today's page was updated on October 24, 2016!
I can't wait to read this in five years and have clowns laugh at me.