Comment: Switching it Up!

You can tell we don’t try and do news here at squareblind.co.uk given our relative silence, aside from Neil’s excellent News-Round Up, on the latest console to emerge from the Mario’s Mansion. Let alone a certain cowboy game which will sell like gangbusters.

Whilst musing whether the Switch is right for me – the day has finally happened: My Xbox 360 has apparently given up the ghost. They’ll be a few more experimental attempts to get it working, but the HAL-esque single unblinking red light seems to promise the console has had it.

xbox-3000

The terrifying machine in my living room

Coming home

Having practically set the pace over 25 years ago, when it comes to console cycles Nintendo is always first. And make no mistake this will make or break the Japanese gaming monolith. Wii U despite its innovative yet curious touch-screen peripheral hasn’t been an industry success. I haven’t been back to Nintendo (hand-helds aside) since the N64 and with my fourth Xbox 360 probably busted what next for me? Do I do a like-for-like replacement? Second hand, I can pick the second generation console for around £40, keep my library of games and with a large catalogue of unplayed titles – there’s still life in the old bird yet!

The alternative is I upgrade. But Playstation or Xbox One? The former means I get to play with Mr. Merrett, in particular The Division, Rocket League or the Overwatch are titles which scream co-op with Neil! But as a longtime Xbox owner, I can’t see myself switching sides.

No way station

There’s always the Sony. I acknowledge that its probably the superior machine, but its surprising how I’m adverse to the dual-shock and protective over my gamer score. It never comes up until you face the choice. Beyond the unchangeable (for Sony) I’m also most excited for Sunset Overdrive of all games rather than any other “next-gen” title. If I switch consoles, the Switch is the only alternative for me.

blue-water

Deep blue sea

Some think the Switch is an attempt to bolster a market Nintendo has traditional dominated the hand held. But this misunderstands the fundamental mantra of Nintendo, which is the company looks for Blue Water. To call the Switch out as Nintendo trying to sew up a segment the company already dominates is naive; where’s the competition and why bother? The PS Vita is unpurchasable, not in that it’s bad; it’s practically not on shelves (aside from promotional packs) and its digital market place has been gutted and partly mothballed.

Obviously Switch?

Mobile and tablet is for all intents and purposes the meteor heading towards the gaming hardware dinosaurs, particularly traditional portables so why would Nintendo want to bet its long-term strategy on twilight years? The Switch should let me hand-held and console game which is the promised converged future.

To me, the Switch is Blue Water. But I can’t call it as a potential success yet. Serious questions hang over the device namely price, battery life and storage. But at the moment all this is moot. And that’s aside from the Schrödinger’s cat-like state of my current console before I turn it back on. This has been my 3rd 360, and I think I’m going to get a fourth – because I’m a clearly a core gamer. There’s a half truth to that joke. I’m thinking I need a console, I’m thinking my next-gen console is the Switch, with yet another last-gen machine as the stop gap. I’ll hold on an Xbox One, but only if the Switch fails to deliver.

@megaalligator

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One response to “Comment: Switching it Up!

  1. Very interesting take on the Switch. I think you’re right that they are trying to adapt to the current state of players and appeal to a wider audience. On the other hand, Sony is trying to dazzle with tech, and I’m still not certain the PS4 Pro isn’t meandering down a road to consoles become more PC-like (which is a rant for another day).

    Battery life is a major concern for the Switch, as you mentioned, if it wants to deliver on the promise of players taking their console games with them someplace else. I’m tentatively optimistic about its release because it seems like the Switch is what people wanted the WiiU to be, but I’m withholding purchase until I’ve seen it in action a bit.

    Like

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