We’re just over two weeks away from the Nintendo Switch launch and we couldn’t be more excited. It finally feels that Nintendo have gotten all their ducks in a row and realised exactly what they did wrong with the Wii U and are swiftly rectifying it with the Nintendo Switch.

Yes, getting a new console home with you on day one and discovering new things on your own is exciting, but, it’s hard to ignore the fact that there’s a few really important things that we still need more information about.

It’s possible that Nintendo might have a Nintendo Direct, although with each passing day and several major announcements such as the Zelda Expansion pass just yesterday, it’s looking more and more unlikely.


ONLINE FUNCTIONALITY

Honestly, it’s safe to say that everyone has been incredibly confused about the online functionality since the Nintendo Switch reveal on January 13th. From everything down to their premium online service to the free NES/SNES games that you’d get each month.

We still don’t know exactly how much it will cost per month nor do we know exactly when it will launch in Australia. It’s been confirmed that it will only launch in certain regions this Spring, so what does it mean for Australia? Does this mean that we won’t features such as voice chat until even later?

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Speaking of voice chat, a statement initially made by NOA President Reggie Fils-Aime basically confirmed that voice chat and matchmaking would be handled by mobile devices and Nintendo haven’t done much to clarify this. Sure, it’s not the end of the world if voice chat and matchmaking are handled on a smart device, but this would be brand new territory for online gaming, especially for a console that’s already breaking the boundaries in terms of known conventions.

VIRTUAL CONSOLE

You might remember that late last year, there was a massive leak containing Game Cube Virtual Console games. Obviously, Nintendo fans and gamers alike were incredibly excited to have games such as Super Mario Sunshine and Luigi’s Mansion on the go. We were expecting to see some sort of announcement on January 13th.

We’ve literally heard nothing about Virtual Console on Nintendo Switch outside of the fact that we know it exists since Nintendo has already stated that we’ll get free NES/SNES games with their premium service. It was also rumoured that the company that developed the emulation for the NES Classic Mini would be taking over production on the Nintendo Switch VC, which is a great sign as these are some of the best emulations of Nintendo games that we’ve seen.

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It’s also important for a lot of gamers to know exactly how Virtual Console works as it’s likely that we’ll be buying a lot of these games for a second, third or even forth time. Will we have to pay to upgrade again? I’d personally be OK with this due to the fact that having potentially every single Nintendo game ever released on a portable console is a game-changer.

USER INTERFACE

The Wii U user interface was simple and acceptable for the system at the time, but by the end of the console’s life, it was far behind what the PS4 and Xbox One were capable of. Nintendo has barely revealed anything about the Nintendo Switch UI outside of a few screenshots. Some documents leaked earlier this week that taught us more about how the UI would perform, but I want to see more directly from Nintendo.

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From what I’ve seen, the UI already seems worlds better than the Nintendo Wii U, but I want Nintendo to be proud and confident in what they have created and make sure that they own the message before the console gets out there and more information is leaked.

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ACHIEVEMENT SYSTEM

This is a big one for a lot of gamers. Trophies and Achievements provides gamers with a reason to replay games and adds value to their purchase. Whilst it’s an incredible vain thing, it does seem to be important. Some Nintendo games already have their own achievement systems. Mario Maker on 3DS made great use of a three medal system for each level.

Nintendo’s mobile games have all implemented achievements really well. Super Mario Run for instance had a number of challenges that you had to undertake in order to get My Nintendo rewards.SuperMarioRun-Missions

It’s not a huge one for me, but I do think that Nintendo games suit an achievement system better than any other. Most of their games would really benefit from having an achievement system increase replay value and add an extra dimension of difficulty.


The Nintendo Switch will launch in Australia on March 3rd. It will retail for $469.95 AUD.

  • Jeff Zhu

    Did Nintendo really learn from their Wii U mistake? Sure there are some promising features, but by all signs Nintendo have not learned anything!

    The Nintendo Wii was an astounding success, it went far beyond even Nintendo’s own expectations with innovative control and an overall design that largely avoided direct competition with Sony and Microsoft. However ever since then Nintendo have seem to fixate on trying to replicate that success story by insist on being different.

    Wii U failed not because of any of these points raised in the article, it failed because of the lack of support from 3rd party developers, aka a small games library. 3rd party developers don’t want to develop for Wii U because of its mediocre hardware. The big developers wants their AAA titles to have the cutting edge gameplay and graphics, they don’t want to spend years and millions to develop the latest AAA entry only then having to spend the resources to make a port on a much limited platform.

    The Switch is the same, it’s an upcoming brand new console that uses Nvidia hardware which has already been phased out by the manufacturer, not only is the hardware outdated as it is, it’s downclocked because it needs to fit into a portable design and when you unplug it it significantly cuts the performance further.

    So a 3rd party developer not only have to work with lesser hardware to begin with, they have to make TWO versions of the game that puts further limitations on the graphics. Not to mention that the console is launching with the smallest number of titles (something like 10 or 12 games) in the modern era!

    This is what will happen, upon launch Nintendo will try to hype it as much as possible, some 3rd party developer will start with limited support for the platform, but soon the outdated hardware means that they will quickly drop off and nobody will care to make games for the Switch after a couple of years.

    As for those that I see keep on insisting that “It’s not about the graphics!” Well that is total bull, the only exception to this had been the Wii. Other than that EVERY successful home console had always had to have hardware that is UP TO DATE. Nintendo’s own success story, the likes of NES, SNES, N64 etc. had ALWAYS been along the cutting edge of graphical advances, you don’t necessarily need the BEST hardware on the market, but you need one that’s in the same ballpark. What Nintendo is doing is just like trying to enter a horse race with a Shetland pony, sure the winner isn’t always the biggest and strongest horse, but you don’t start the race with something that puts you at a severe disadvantage.