Di­a­logue

EDGE - - SECTIONS -

Edge read­ers share their opin­ions; one wins a year’s PS+ sub­scrip­tion

Lie low on Switch

In the past, I have writ­ten sprawl­ing let­ters to Edge on in­tel­lec­tual top­ics, em­bel­lished with cul­tured ref­er­ences and lit­er­ary flour­ishes. To­day, af­ter read­ing your fea­ture in E303, I find my­self in the grip of an ex­is­ten­tial cri­sis that calls for a more prim­i­tive, plain­tive howl: to Switch or not to Switch?

Although ut­terly en­am­oured with the com­pany’s home­town of Ky­oto, a de­tail not as ir­rel­e­vant as it seems, I’ve never been a big fan of Nin­tendo. I had a brief love af­fair with the Wii (who didn’t?) and en­joyed a hand­ful of games on the New 3DS that you guys once awarded to me (mostly Hat­sune Miku Project Mi­rai DX). But here’s the prob­lem: Ky­oto is a friend­lier, quirkier, but also more re­laxed city than Tokyo or Osaka, and even though Nin­tendo man­ages to cap­ture the first two char­ac­ter­is­tics of its spir­i­tual home quite well, it falls dra­mat­i­cally short when it comes to the third.

Al­low me to ex­plain. I ab­so­lutely love the defin­ing con­cept of the new con­sole: the seamless blend of mo­bile and home gam­ing is a stroke of ge­nius, and its hard­ware looks hand­some and welcoming. It is a tri­umphant mas­ter­class in tech de­sign, es­pe­cially com­pared to some of the cheap-look­ing mon­strosi­ties fielded by the com­pe­ti­tion. But the launch lineup is, for me at least, a to­tal dis­as­ter. The lack of third­party sup­port could al­most be taken for granted, but I’m talk­ing about first­party games. Apart from Breath Of The Wild (and Zelda never enthused me, un­for­tu­nately), all the flag­ship ti­tles, from the ridicu­lous­look­ing Arms to the seem­ingly fran­tic Spla­toon 2, ap­pear gar­ish, fran­tic, child­ish or some com­bi­na­tion thereof.

Dear Nin­tendo, can we at least have one or two ti­tles for grownups? Some­thing slow­paced and mind­ful, per­haps? (The zen-like End­less Ocean, one of my all-time favourites from my Wii days, springs to mind.) In short: some­thing that, on some ad­mit­tedly ab­stract level, re­minds me of Ky­oto. Fabrice Saf­fre

Seems like you’ve made your mind up al­ready, Fabrice. These are all fair points, ex­cept the bit about Arms, which is bril­liant fun. Thank you for com­ing at the topic from a unique an­gle, though. And now it’s back to some more reg­u­lar pro­gram­ming…

Switched off

Nin­tendo is dead to me now. Switch is the fi­nal straw. I am done, ut­terly done, be­ing a Nin­tendo fan. I was ex­cited at first. Af­ter the ini­tial ad, and the amaz­ing Zelda trailer, I was think­ing that Switch would be my first Nin­tendo con­sole since the GameCube. I was play­ing devil’s ad­vo­cate to its de­trac­tors and was al­ready look­ing for­ward to Zelda. Then came Nin­tendo’s an­nounce­ment show in Jan­uary, and along with it all the pric­ing and specs. And that’s when it all came crash­ing down around me.

So, let’s see. In the US, $300 for the Switch, $70 for the con­troller that doesn’t suck, $60 for Zelda and around $45 in taxes; that’s close enough to $500. That’s $500 to play Zelda, folks, a game with cut­ting-edge graph­ics from 2012! I think I could just stop there, re­ally, but there’s oh so much more good­ness, isn’t there?

First you’ve got the out­ra­geous pric­ing for Nin­tendo’s other pe­riph­er­als: $90 for an ex­tra dock, $80 for an ex­tra Joy-Con. Next, you’ve got Nin­tendo’s shock­ingly pa­thetic and con­de­scend­ing on­line of­fer, where they ever-so-gen­er­ously of­fer one free, mea­suredin-megabytes ROM game to play for a sin­gle month be­fore they take it back! Wow. Just wow. Third, you’ve got the (shocker!) pal­try specs of the con­sole it­self. Here we are in 2017, and we can’t even get 1080p on a brand-new con­sole. Next, there’s the

“I was ex­cited at first. I thought Switch would be my first Nin­tendo con­sole since the GameCube”

two-and-a-half to six-and-a-half hours of bat­tery life, which, let’s face it, a few months af­ter you’ve been us­ing it and the bat­tery de­grades means less than two-and-a-half hours of por­ta­ble play.

Last but not least, you’ve got the pa­thetic lineup of games. For­get the mul­ti­plat­form ti­tles, be­cause the Switch loses to my PC ev­ery time. Un­der exclusives, the only com­pelling things on of­fer in 2017 are

Zelda, Spla­toon 2, Xenoblade 2, and Mario Kart 8 (a glo­ri­fied re­skin). That’s it, be­cause

Su­per Mario Odyssey will be de­layed. You all know that, right? Arms looks fun for a few laughs, but it’s hardly the next Rocket

League, and 1-2-Switch looks like a $20 tech demo be­ing sold for $50.

So, yeah. So long, Nin­tendo. I don’t wish you luck be­cause your ar­ro­gance, stu­pid­ity and stub­born­ness are hold­ing us all back. If you make a few es­sen­tial games in the next few years, I’ll just wait and play them on an em­u­la­tor in 2022. Ray­burn Odom

We’re only print­ing this so that it’ll be seen by the fel­low who told us E303’ s cover story had “no hope or joy for the medium”. Sud­denly our take looks like an out­ra­geously op­ti­mistic one.

Back my Switch up

In Di­a­logue in E303, I no­ticed af­ter one per­son had writ­ten in about his con­cerns for the Nin­tendo Switch, you said that you had re­ceived many emails like that. Don’t get me wrong, I have wor­ries as well – one be­ing Nin­tendo try­ing to switch (yes, I went there) PS4, Xbox One, and PC play­ers over to their new con­sole. But I per­son­ally love the sys­tem.

Why? Be­cause Nin­tendo isn’t about the specs. As much as that is now help­ful in mod­ern-day videogames, Nin­tendo is per­sist­ing to view games the way they did 20 or 30 years ago. And that, gen­er­ally speak­ing, is keep­ing the fun in videogames. It’s quite ev­i­dent that now gam­ing has be­come more of an on­line thing, with teenagers and adults tucked up in­side their bed­rooms with a head­set on, shoot­ing things (there’s more to it, I know) and stuff like that. It’s never been my cup of tea, even though it is all of my friends’, but I do like play­ing games that are more fun rather than com­pet­i­tive. Which is why, at a young age, I fell onto Nin­tendo’s path. Even now, they still want to make unique gam­ing ex­pe­ri­ences, with­out just fo­cus­ing on how pow­er­ful the con­sole is, and which graph­ics card they are putting in, and this is what I love about the Nin­tendo Switch. It gen­uinely looks like some­thing fun, some­thing that is dif­fer­ent, and some­thing that is new to the world of games. The fact that you can change from your TV to play­ing on a hand­held screen in a cou­ple of sec­onds, is, quite frankly, rev­o­lu­tion­ary.

I love it. Not ev­ery­one will. Some peo­ple pre­fer high-qual­ity graph­ics, and I have noth­ing against that. As I said, I do have my con­cerns, although right now I’m putting those aside, as they are more about the wider au­di­ence. Yes, maybe one day I will end up switch­ing (sorry, again) to an Xbox One or PS4, if Nin­tendo quits the con­sole mar­ket and be­comes a third­party con­sole or mo­bile game de­vel­oper (though I’m sure ev­ery­one agrees with me that we don’t want to see that hap­pen). But for now I’m go­ing to lav­ish praise on the Nin­tendo Switch – maybe not ev­ery­one’s cup of tea, but cer­tainly mine. James Bald­win

Some pos­i­tiv­ity at last. It says a lot about the tone of this month’s mail that we’re award­ing you a free PS Plus sub. If you’re not about to get a PS4, it is of course Vita com­pat­i­ble, or you could flog it to an ap­pro­pri­ate friend for some cold hard cash.

Job switch

I have just read Adam Dut­ton’s let­ter ( E302) where he talks, among other things, about not hav­ing any more Un­charted games un­less they are given to a third­party. I’m not so sure we have seen the last of Nathan Drake. Would Sony re­ally kill off its golden goose?

I can see a game where Nathan Drake be­comes the next Jack Bauer, called out of re­tire­ment be­cause some evil bad guy has kid­napped Sully or even Chloe (see the link there?!), and un­less Jack – sorry, Nathan – re­cov­ers some arte­fact from some ob­scure place in the world, they will be killed. Cue a race against time around the world solv­ing puz­zles and climb­ing handily coloured cliffs and walls lead­ing to a thrilling cli­max with said bad guy…

I ex­ag­ger­ate, of course, but while Naughty Dog re­mains wholly owned by Sony, I wouldn’t say it’s the last of us. Sorry, the last we’ve seen of Nathan Drake. Mean­while, I am off to copy­right my idea. Luk­gargnes

Or you could do the Des­ig­nated Sur­vivor thing, which is es­sen­tially Jack Bauer in The West Wing. Nathan Drake for pres­i­dent! (Could a per­son made en­tirely out of tiny elec­tri­cal pulses run­ning through a PS4 do a worse job than what’s in place now?)

Switch on the lights

Jen’s in Mar­gate. Kids be­ing looked af­ter by friend. I’m in a dimly lit pub try­ing to read

Edge but the type­face is too small. Tim Top­ple

Sorry about that, Tim. We’ll see what we can do. And please do keep send­ing us up­dates on how your life’s go­ing.

We party

Richard and Slim are at it again Yes it is Quiz Night on this com­ing Fri­day 10th Fe­bru­ary 7.00PM start­ing at 7.30PM £2 per per­son max team four. I hope to see you there, sorry about short no­tice com­puter trou­bles Slim

If any­one is in a po­si­tion to help Slim with his com­puter trou­bles, please let us know. Spam-fil­ter rec­om­men­da­tions are al­ways wel­come here, too, of course.

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