back to article Nintendo pulls the Switch, fires Joy-con at Microsoft and Sony

Just over a decade after it challenged home gaming with the Wii, Nintendo has aimed a new weapon at Sony’s Playstation and Microsoft’s Xbox. Nintendo Switch Nintendo’s platform-challenging Switch, unveiled in October, will go on sale on March 3, priced at $299.99, £279.99 and ¥29,980, the firm said on Thursday. The Switch …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks an intersting device...

    ..but the price? The add-ons are pretty darned pricey as well.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Looks an intersting device...

      Looks like a GP2X done right to me. My kids won't be getting one at that price though....

    2. Chez

      Re: Looks an intersting device...

      Price, add-ons, and the biggest failing in the entire world of consoles: paid online use. That's right, no multiplayer unless you pay extra. Even though you're already paying for internet.

      I simply don't understand how that's considered to be even remotely acceptable. Can you imagine the outcry there would be if Valve started charging a subscription for basic Steam services? If you had to pay $60/year for multiplayer on Steam games? Why on earth do console owners accept this?

      1. Slacker20012

        Re: Looks an intersting device...

        Well with Sony Playstation Plus you get a handful of free games every month. Personally I reckon that's worth the £35 a year it costs. No idea how much it is on XBOX however.

    3. Jim84

      Re: Looks an intersting device...

      The Switch looks like a good handheld console - but expensive at $300 for a handheld ($200 would be the upper limit I reckon).

      The Switch looks a bit crappy and underpowered as a home console. Why spend $300 on a 0.5TF Switch when you can get a 4TF PS4 Pro for that?

      It is a pity they fell between the two stools. When Nintendo said they had a good idea up their sleve, I was thinking they had some cooling solution (either a good air cooler or a water cooling block) that would let them run a base station chip at the clock speeds and voltage you'd run a chip in a large air cooled PC at. The Xbox and PS4 have basically laptop chips in them at present.

      But that didn't happen.

  2. Rich 30

    I thought the price looked ok for the console.

    Way too much focus on motion sensing controls, which people don't really seem to be interested in; they don't want to be flailing our arms around to play some Mario. At least that's how I see it.

    Also, want a second controller though - £75 (says GAME)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I accept your scepticism about flailing arms amongst "gamers", but the Wii did pretty well out of motion sensing amongst non-gamers and Nintendo need something to pull in the game makers.

      The second controller isn't cheap, but at least they provide a second controller option this time - it was a major oversight with the WiiU having one controller capable of a number of features that couldn't be replicated to the 2nd/3rd/4th controller.

      As for price, the pound doesn't but what it used to so it doesn't look too bad IMHO.

      I've owned a Wii, have a decent library of Wii games and replaced the Wii when it broke (young children...) with a WiiU but only really brought the occasional big titles as it's been pretty average - I'd like the Switch to be successful but will wait and see before buying...

      1. darklord

        WII was way overated, mine sat under the telly gathering dust after about a week, the controllers and motion stuff just made the games unplayable, games where a good idea though it was the controller that let it down.

  3. wolfetone

    I think £279 for the console isn't too bad, considering the price of other consoles that come out at first. It's always usually £300.

    What's really bugging me though is the price of the Wii U still. It's still £249.99 at Argos and Game. It's been like that for 18 months. When will the price drop? I need to get one before they go but I don't want to pay full price for it either.

    I'm tight like that.

    1. Greg J Preece

      Welcome to Nintendo, where prices do not depreciate, ever. I bought a U second hand and I haven't got any games for it yet because I'm not paying $75 for games that are years old that no-one bought. Nintendo never ever ever marks their stuff down. Even when the U was dying on its arse, they refused to discount it. It's the kind of arrogance I've come to expect from them. Christ, the megabomb known as The Wonderful 101 is still $50, a game that tanked so hard it took Wii U sales with it in Japan.

      I could potentially swallow the $400CAD cost of the Switch (even though that's more than a PS4...) but $100 for additional controllers is a piss-take, as is charging for their horrific online service. The games are now all $80, too. Plus, they opened pre-orders without even telling anyone the device's specs, or even showing the menu working. It's selling out, of course, because there's no fanboy worse than a Nintendo fanboy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You can get most classic wii u games reduced after a few months, nintendo selects. Not sure if available in America though.

    2. Stuart Castle Silver badge

      "I think £279 for the console isn't too bad, considering the price of other consoles that come out at first. It's always usually £300."

      You sure? Bear in mind that it may not match either the PS4 on XBoneS in terms of specs, won't be able to much them in terms of range of games and may not play other media (it certainly doesn't play any disc based media). Both the others do play other media. Online and disk based. Which certainly helps when justifying spending £300 to your partner, and would be a major selling point for parents.

  4. Chris Byers

    Not exactly family friendly pricing though!

    If you are a parent though, would you pay out almost £300 for one of these or opt for an Xbox One S with a free 4k Blu Ray player and bundled games for £200?

    Couple this with both Sony and Microsoft set to launch new console in the next 12 months and I think that Nintendo are not going to shift as many as they anticipate. It really looks like they have learnt nothing from the Wii U pricing debacle at at launch (that too was $300).

    I really do think VR is the next big thing in consoles and Nintendo's ability to take their eyes off the ball has once more come to the fore.

    I hope I'm wrong, I really do. The industry needs Nintendo in there as a player, but by God they can totally miss what the customer wants on a regular basis.

    *I own a Wii and Wii U and both kids have 3 DS's as well :(

    1. wolfetone

      Re: Not exactly family friendly pricing though!

      I don't actually think the Nintendo Switch is aimed at children though, judging from the video they released. The problem is back in the day you were either in the Nintendo camp, or the Sega camp, or the Sony camp (other camps were available) and you wouldn't dare go to another system. I started on the N64 and progressed up, until I was earning my own cash and bought a Dreamcast. You picked a system because it was unique, the experience was unique, the games were unique.

      Now though what exactly is the difference between the PS4 and the Xbone? Very, very little. They have the same games, offer the same sort of features and experience. One big thing for me is multiplayer games, as in multiplayer games where you have 3 other friends next to you in the room playing. The choice of those games are limited to Call of Duty, FIFA and Trials Fusion. Compare it to just a generation ago there was far more choice.

      In terms of VR I don't think it's actually all that great still. Even those with the Sony VR, spending the tonne of money needed to have it work, are having issues that Sony are ignoring them on. It was a gimmick in the 90's, and it remains so now.

      1. Chris Byers

        Re: Not exactly family friendly pricing though!

        The thing about Microsoft and Sony's offerings though is that they are much more than machines for playing games on now.

        Netflix, catch up TV, DNLA, Blu Ray playback? They are now very important media hubs for those that have them and do the role of several devices.

        *If someone can confim whether the Switch will have third party media apps please let me know, I am more than happy to be put in the picture!*

        And all for less than the Switch.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not exactly family friendly pricing though!

      Xbox One S?

      It's serverly under-powered compared to a PS4 (which is less), The PS4 has all the good games, and will be what all your friends have for this reason. Even UHD is a pointless at this point. The world has moved to streaming media, nobody wants disks anymore. Have you seen how few UHD movies there, and what turds they are?

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        Re: Not exactly family friendly pricing though!

        "The world has moved to streaming media, nobody wants disks anymore"

        I do, when streaming costs less than half than purchasing physical media I may consider moving.

    3. Richard 12 Silver badge

      VR will still be touted as the next big thing

      When the next two next big things are getting old...

      Perhaps current technology is just about good enough, but nobody has actually come up with a form factor and killer application.

      Plus, if you wear glasses, you're out. Seems that nobody is making a headset that fits over glasses or offers any vision correction options. I'm not going to buy contact lenses just to play a game, unless that game is supremely awesome.

  5. Munkeh

    Too expensive, considering the level of power compared to other consoles - although I love the idea behind it.

    On top of that there's limited third party support which has always been a killer for Nintendo products and the quoted battery life range is wide enough to be something BT would come up with.

    Sorry but this is likely going to fail, although that might mean Nintendo will switch to just producing games that bit sooner. They really excel at that and would be a good fit on other consoles/PC.

    1. A. Coatsworth

      There wasn't much info on hardware or capabilities during the presentation yesterday... so how does it compare to XB1 and PS4?

      I've sadly kind of living under a rock lately so I honestly don't know if the technical details of the Switch are already available...

      1. Greg J Preece

        They aren't. Nintendo didn't bother publishing the specs of their tech device before putting it on sale. Is that even legal?

        1. Martin Summers Silver badge

          "Nintendo didn't bother publishing the specs of their tech device before putting it on sale. Is that even legal?"

          That's not relevant, no-one is forcing you to buy it. More fool you if you buy anything like that without knowing what you are getting.

        2. Greg J Preece

          Yes, when buying a gaming machine, the specs of said gaming machine are not relevant, because "well no-one's forcing you to buy it." Not really the point, is it? I wasn't forced to buy any of the gaming machines I own, but every other manufacturer lets me know what's in them and what they do prior to that point.

  6. MotherGoose

    $299.99??? So that'll be 0.5Whb.........

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You guys missed a big problem...

    Cartridges! It's 2017 and someone is releasing a "new" game system that uses cartridges.

    Oh wait, this is "always late to the party" Nintendo who have yet to release a system that plays media other than their own, and spent years and years trying to figure out how to ruin CDROM and DVDROM so their players can't really play much at all.. The 3DS was a joke afterthouoght slightly based on another cartridge wonder the DSi. So much lack of imagination. Let me guess, is another Mario Cart and another Super Mario Game in the works? Wow! How completely predictable!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You guys missed a big problem...

      And yet weirdly their systems are far less subject to piracy than other platforms, so I guess it isn't entirely without merit from their perspective.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Types of games? They got both kinds. They got Mario *and* Zelda.

      "Let me guess, is another Mario Cart and another Super Mario Game in the works? Wow! How completely predictable!"

      Nothing so predictable. Apparently, Nintendo's "One More Thing" at the end of the Switch press conference was (steel yourself for the surprise)... a Zelda game.

      Yeah, good to see that Nintendo has drastically moved away from the lazily predictable reliance on the same old, tired, thirtysomething gamer nostalgia exploiting franchises that have marked every one of their console releases for twenty years.


    3. Lamont Cranston

      Re: You guys missed a big problem...

      I've long been wanting a return to cartridges - both the Wii and the WiiU take an age to load things from disc (not to mention that our Mario Kart 8 disc became unreadable for no apparent reason - cartridges used to take a beating and keep on working forever, so far as I could tell).

      Mind you, the way games work these days, I expect the cartridge will be little more than a key to unlock the relevant download to the (woefully small) internal SSD.

    4. Greg J Preece

      Re: You guys missed a big problem...

      A new Mario Kart? Don't be so silly. Nintendo are simply porting the old Mario Kart from the U and charging full price for it!

      This is what you get for buying all those Zelda re-releases at full price, Nintendo fans.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I liked the Wii,especially the controls - I wasn't hunched over, I could spread out a bit. I agree that the motion thing was a bit over rated though. Realise this is a generalisation, but found games for other consoles tended to be FPS or driving games.

    Upgraded to the Wii U, which had things like Netflix, lovefilm and BBC iplayer (but my broadband sucks, so never tried them), so the new kit possibly have them as well.

    The other plus with the Wii U, and Wii is that have backward compatibility with earlier Nintendo consoles - I can still play my Wii games. Can't see that happening with the Switch and the cartridges, unless it's possible to download the games - but why the hell should I buy the same game again???

    I'll take a wait and see approach on this one, with any new console it's a chicken and egg situation. I ain't buying it unless there are games for it, but no one will write games for it unless people buy it!

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