I’ve had the Nintendo Switch since launch day and so far I’m very happy with the console. I’m surprised with how much I enjoy its portability and, so far, I’ve played Breath of the Wild, Binding of Issac, Shovel Knight, and the demo of Snipperclips. Still, despite my current enthusiasm, I have some concerns with the Switch. Below I’ve explained some key points for what the Switch need to do to have a successful 2017.
Online Service has to be worth it
Nintendo has had abysmal online service since the Wii. It’s always been hard to add friends, impossible to talk to people without using secondary devices, and the actual interface always looked more barren than clean. At least it was free. Not anymore, but that will hopefully be a good thing. It has to be a good thing. Nintendo has failed at online for so long that they can’t fail with this new online service that requires payment. I’m already concerned with the “you get free game(s) like with Microsoft and Sony, but then you have to pay” feature. And the vagueness of how easy it will be to communicate with friends (can I use a Bluetooth enabled headset? Can I use a headset? Will I need/ have to use the app to talk to people?) is usually is a bad sign. Also the price worries me. Xbox Live and PS Plus are $9.99 a month. Nintendo’s service is going to be $4.99 a month. Will they still have all the bells and whistles their competitors have or will it be half the service for half the price?
The app has to be worth it
Similar to the online service, this new app has to be good. I’m not too concerned about the app. I think they’ll get it right. Also since some people just won’t want to use it (I.e they won’t play online or won’t use voice chat) I don’t feel the success or failure of the Switch will be dramatically affected by the app. Still, I hope communicating with friends will be easy, and that the rollout of the app is clear to the consumer and comes out without any bugs.
Smooth release for major exclusives
We don’t know every major exclusive that the Switch will have, but with such a small amount of games (being released periodically) they can’t afford to have any issues with their exclusives. Mario Kart 8, Splatoon 2, Super Mario Odyssey: they have to hit on all of them.
No delays, no online issues, and of course great games. If these games flop it could be very damaging to sales, and with production of the Switch ramping up you don’t want Switches sitting on shelves with a lack of quality games.
By holiday season the Switch has to have some bundle options. 1-2 Switch as a pack in game would be good, Super Mario Odyssey or Breath of the Wild would be even better. Having a pack in game people actually want, with the console at a affordable price ($299 including the game), and great games will ensure a great holiday season.
By the holiday season the Switch has to be available to all. No more low stock, no more refreshing Walmart’s website, no more notifications followed by strategic planning—the console must be available for everyone at all times. I believe the Switch can be a popular console, and bring the enthusiasm and popularity this company has had in the past. But if they have internet issues, problems with exclusives, bad apps, and low console availability, I genuinely believe this console can be a failure and perhaps the last Nintendo console we will ever see.