I Beg You Nintendo Stop Making Gimmicky Hardware and Just Make Great Games

As of this writing we are roughly 6 days into the lifetime of the Nintendo Switch and while many people are praising the system despite the embarrassingly few great games available at launch there arguably as many people experiencing major issues with the console.

All it takes is a quick internet search and quite a few videos and posts show up from people having the following issues:

Left “Joy-Con” controller desyncing randomly.

Switch tablet screen getting scratched by the Switch dock (the very thing it was designed to be put in).

Multiple forms of complete hardware failures.

Accidentally attaching the wrist straps in the wrong direction (which is apparently very easy to do) and being unable to remove them easily (with at least one minor injury coming from this).

Don’t believe me?

Here’s a 12 minute supercut of people experiencing all the above and more:

Now it isn’t uncommon for first generations of new hardware to have fatal flaws (remember the red ring of death) but I don’t recall most of the past “hiccups” to have occurred with this severity and frequency this early on.

Prior to the Switch launch I felt inspired to start writing this topic up as a perfect way to premiere of a new series for the Youtube channel but had to back-burner it for a number of reasons.  I was hoping to wait until I could work those issues out but now  I find myself unable to wait a moment longer on this.

It appears right now that the Switch is already a bit of a disaster.

Yes it is arguably selling well (based on cherry-picked data) but in my opinion it is undeniable that at best it is a half-baked system that was not ready for launch.  This console/hand-held hybrid should have been left in development a while longer.  The hardware itself is poorly designed with “brilliant” ideas such as not allowing you to charge the unit while playing in table top mode because the charger input is on the bottom edge of the thing.  The latches on the Joy-Con appear to be flimsy and one wonders how long a life the units have before they start detaching freely.  Many people are also experiencing issues with the controllers already starting to “wobble” on their tracks.  While I’m at it, I’d like to add the personal complaint that I find the controllers upsettingly tiny.  My hands would frequently cramp holding the PS3 controller and these things are waaaayyyy smaller.

As mentioned it has been widely reported that the left Joy-Con disconnects fairly regularly for many gamers.  I’ve read and seen everything from being barely six feet away from the docked tablet to putting your knee between the controllers and tablet causing issues with the device disconnecting.

Nintendo responded recently and made these suggestions to fix the problem:

  • Ensure your console has the latest system update.
  • Ensure the Joy-Con controllers are charged.
  • Try to decrease the distance between the Joy-Con and the Nintendo Switch console.
  • Ensure that the Nintendo Switch console is placed to minimize interference with the Joy-Con. It is best if the Nintendo Switch console is placed out in the open and that it is not:
    • Behind a TV
    • Near an aquarium
    • Placed in or under a metal object
    • Pressed against a large amount of wires and cords
    • Within three to four feet of another wireless device, such as a wireless speaker or a wireless access point.
  • Check for possible sources of interference and turn them off. Interference can be caused by devices, such as:
    • Laptops, tablets, etc.
    • Wireless headsets
    • Wireless printers
    • Microwaves
    • Wireless speakers
    • Cordless phones
    • USB 3.0-compatible devices such as hard drives, thumb drives, LAN adapters, etc.

Seriously Nintendo?

These are your solutions?

How did the Switch even get to the point of mass production with these issues existing?

Some of those I doubt many people will experience as I don’t see a lot of people having microwaves near their entertainment setups (who knows, maybe those who live in little cramped “efficiency” apartments will have that problem) but in my lifelong experience as a gamer I’ve learned that most people have their consoles pretty damn close together, along with their TV, maybe a stereo or audio mixer/amp for their home theater, a Blu-Ray/DVD player and sometimes even a PC thrown in.  This means lots of wires, other wireless devices from headsets to controllers and even tablets/laptops nearby.

Most absurdly is the that interference can come from USB 3.o devices as those very devices work with the f’ing Switch.

I don’t know about you but I find all that astounding.

Hardware aside the Switch software is embarrassingly limited a few exclusives peppered with digital games that have been available elsewhere for the better part of a year or more.

1, 2, Switch, which should have been a pack-in, looks horrendous as yet another Nintendo game designed around their gimmicky hardware.  I for one have zero desire to play anything like this.  Wii Sports was novel when it first came out but wasn’t the sort of game I played more than a few times before putting it away for good.  When I play a game I just want to hold a control and play the game on my screen.  I absolutely have zero interest in playing with motion controls of any kind, especially with games that are designed around not even needing the television for the “video” part of “video games”.

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild looks fantastic but even if I had the money to burn I could not justify the expense of a new console for ONE DAMN GAME.

Which brings me to my overarching point in that is I disagree with those, mostly in the games media industry who get their hands on everything that comes out as a part of their job and not on their own hard earned dime, who say things like “You don’t want Nintendo to make games for Sony or Microsoft.  You want Nintendo to be Nintendo.  You want them to put out their quirky consoles and make their Zeldas and Marios for them.”

No. I. Don’t.

Since the Wii, Nintendo has proven they have become more and more out of touch.  They are creating garbage consoles built around a gimmick with overpriced peripherals.  They continue to wage war with Youtubers and live-streamers, using the former’s outdated and draconian copyright system as weapon and creating “partners”  with select members of the latter that creates profit “sharing” with Nintendo collecting the ad-revenue and giving their approved “partners” their “share” as determined by Nintendo.

It’s 2017.

Nintendo needs to join the rest of us living in the real world today.  We live in a world where many (myself included) like to see a game in action before reaching for my wallet and Nintendo needs to join with the countless other companies who have realized the advantages of how Youtube, Twitch and the like function as free advertising.

Nintendo I beg you, please stop making this gimmicky garbage and go the way your old rival SEGA did years ago.  Stop putting your money into half-thought out ideas and concepts and focus solely on making the amazing games you used to for the millions of us who remember what you once were.  The NES and SNES were amazing consoles with a plethora of incredible games and they were simple platforms to play games.  They didn’t bizarrely shaped controllers, they didn’t have gimmicks like the Wii Mote motion controls, the Wii U Gamepad or “HD Rumble”.  They were well designed and sturdy controllers with sensible button layouts that let you play the sort of games that are still remember fondly 20 to 30 years later.

If making games for Sony and Microsoft is what it takes to return Nintendo to the glory days I’m absolutely fine with that.  In fact I would rather they do that because I am absolutely tired of being asked to spend another $300 for console that in it’s lifetime will see maybe 10 exclusive games (if I’m lucky) that I want to play.

-Shad (@PolyNerdic)

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