7 Reasons Why The Nintendo Switch Might Fail

After months of anticipation, the Nintendo Switch — a new game console to replace the Nintendo Wii U — has shipped to stores around the world.

It looks great. The Switch has a fantastic new gaming dynamic as a sort of cross between mobile gaming and a traditional console. This much is clear, and it’s exciting.

But is it enough? Are the Nintendo Switch’s other features (or lack thereof) about to cause its undoing? Could we be witnessing massive discounts in time for Christmas, in order to shift old stock? No games console has a perfect launch, but could the Nintendo Switch actually fail because of these factors?

1. Backwards Compatibility Is Non-Existent (So Far)

This is a big problem. Both the Nintendo Wii U and Nintendo Wii offered compatibility with titles from the immediately preceding consoles. You can play the vast majority of Wii titles on the Wii U, and GameCube titles on the Wii. It’s even possibly to play GameCube titles on the Wii U with a bit of hacking!

But the Nintendo Switch doesn’t have this. It isn’t built in at launch, and Nintendo says there are no plans to introduce backwards compatibility at a later date. Considering this is a new console with an embarrassingly small collection of big-name launch titles, this missing feature seems a massive oversight.

Considering the size and cost of certain games (such as the Lego Dimensions series), it seems foolish to introduce a new console that has no support for games that many, particularly the vital family market, would want to take across.

2. Storage Capacity Is Embarrassing

Dragon Quest Heroes I and II is an upcoming Japan-only title for the Nintendo Switch, and it’s 32 GB in size. Meanwhile, the internal storage of the Nintendo Switch is… 32 GB. Do you see the problem here? Because apparently, Nintendo doesn’t.

Quite simply, the Nintendo Switch has a default storage size that is too small for any real use beyond a couple of titles, at best. Physical cartridges don’t require installation to the system memory, but the portable nature of the Switch means users will tend towards digital downloads.

Nintendo’s previous home consoles weren’t exactly brilliant in this area, but then again, they weren’t portable. Storage on the Wii U Basic Set was just 8 GB, but on the Deluxe Set, it was 32 GB, just like the Switch. The Wii U released five years ago — the Nintendo Switch should have at least 64 GB by default.

Anyone buying a Nintendo Switch is going to have to buy some additional storage by the end of the first month. While microSD cards are compatible, we recommend the more robust microSDXC variant. The Nintendo Switch supports sizes up to 2 TB, although this capacity isn’t currently available.

3. Joy-Con Issues

Two Joy-Con controllers ship with the Nintendo Switch, making portable play and two-player gaming possible right out of the box. These compact game controllers snap onto the console for handheld play and cleverly slide off the side of the Switch for use separately as Wiimote-style motion control wands. They can also attach to a new controller frame, known as the Joy-Con Grip — but unfortunately, this doesn’t charge the controllers.

But the issues with the Joy-Con go beyond this. Syncing with the main console is prone to random disconnection, leaving gamers unable to complete games without inadvertent death or disaster of some other form. Meanwhile, the signal between the left controller and the Switch (when the controllers aren’t attached in handheld mode) appears weaker than the right device.

Although a patch was released on launch day to deal with this, it appears to have been in vain.

4. Wireless Audio Hasn’t Been Thought Through

Want to take your Nintendo Switch out and about (presumably with a portable power supply, as the upper 6.5 hours of battery life is unlikely to reach) and play with headphones attached? You can!

Just imagine, kicking back on the train to work, playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild with the sound piping through your top-quality earphones via the headphone jack.

The problem is, you can’t do the same with wireless headphones. In an age where the drive on portable hardware is away from headphone jacks in favor of Bluetooth, Nintendo has gone in the other direction. Fancy the idea of relaxing on the sofa, your Nintendo Switch docked, playing games through your big-screen HDTV with your wireless headphones while your family is busy doing something else?

Well, it’s not going to happen. The Switch supports cabled headphones only. Oh, and there’s no voice chat at the moment, regardless.

5. Expensive Accessories

Keeping your Joy-Con charged shouldn’t be a problem, as they’re supposed to have a longer lifespan than the console’s battery. As long as you keep them charged when not in use, you should be fine.

But if this is a problem for you, the Joy-Con Charging Grip — onto which the two controllers are mounted to create a traditional game controller — is available for around $30.

A charging dock for the Joy-Con can be picked up for the same price, while a new Joy-Con pair will cost around $80. Then there are carry cases, replacement adapters, and the $70 Pro Controller to worry about. And don’t forget the screen protector!

It’s not cheap to accessorize the Nintendo Switch. Throw in the cost of games ($60 a pop) on top of the $300 console, and you’ve got a very expensive launch, attractive only to hardcore gamers.

6. It Doesn’t Do Anything Without Games

This is perhaps the most baffling problem of them all.

Think of a PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or a Nintendo Wii U, and they all have something in common: you can still do something when there are no games loaded up. Given the Switch has a limited launch selection by modern standards, it might seem useful to use the device for watching Netflix, or browsing the web.

No such options are available. The Switch doesn’t have a web browser. No media streaming apps are available. In an age when Netflix and YouTube come preinstalled on TVs and phones, there’s no option to install either on your Switch.

Again, this comes as a sharp contrast to its predecessor, the Wii U. Hopefully some apps will be along a few weeks after launch, but nothing has been confirmed. In the meantime, you can’t even admire your game scores and achievements, as Nintendo hasn’t yet included anything along these lines.

In short, when you buy a Nintendo Switch, make sure you have plenty of launch titles.

7. It’s Unfinished: You Are the Beta Testers

The list of Switch problems is long: dodgy controllers, poor battery life, low storage, no video-on-demand apps, zero backwards compatibility or Virtual Console. Then there’s the lack of achievements and integrated voice chat. These are just a few of the issues surrounding the Nintendo Switch, a device that simply was not ready for release.

Even the dock, a vital component for playing your Nintendo Switch on a big-screen TV, has a nasty design flaw that can lead to the console’s display being scratched if a screen protector hasn’t been applied. Then there are the dead pixels. Oh, and a plastic kickstand for portable group play.

Plastic.

In short, the buyers who have spent the best part of $1,000 for the console and some games have been co-opted as beta testers. It’s amateurish, and unbecoming of a company of Nintendo’s status. At least the cartridges are coated with a nasty repellent to keep kids from eating them.

Will the Switch Be a Hit?

In all seriousness, the Nintendo Switch has had a successful launch, having outsold the Wii U in Japan, the U.S., and Europe.

So it’s not DOA, but there’s a crash team on call. Right now, it’s the hardcore gamers buying it — and no console was ever declared a success on the basis of a niche market.

Can Nintendo turn it around, push out the updates (and DS-style hardware revisions) and make this a device that families will fall over themselves for, like the uber successful Nintendo Wii? Or will the Switch languish in the homes of hardcore gamers only, lacking the tools and reach of more successful consoles?

Time will tell, but what do you think? Tell us your thoughts on the Switch in the comments.

Image Credits: Master1305/Shutterstock

Heroic Woman Saves A Pit Bull Being Mercilessly Beaten On The Street


 

Brianne Smith was at work when her attention was drawn to what was going on outside:  a man was savagely smashing a pit bull up to the point that he was covered in blood.  She couldn’t stand idly by, and rushed out to stop him and demand that he give this dog up.  The man took off, but a couple hours later, she found the dog, and is now hoping to adopt him.

“I was very, very, very high emotion after seeing him kick the dog, and his head got slammed in the door of a car… I freaked out,” she told Fox 2.

She begged the abuser to relinquish the dog to her, but he didn’t.  When she threatened to call police, he took off with the dog in tow.  The guy either realized that he should just give him up, or that he would be more likely to be caught if he had the dog, or else the poor thing managed to escape on his own, because the dog was spotted hours later in the same spot where the abuse took place.

Someone alerted Brianne, who was determined to save him for the second time that day, and this time for good.

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“I grabbed some food, and brought him back all the way to this gate, and I wrapped him up in a couple blankets I had in my car from my dog, and I just waited for the rescue to come help him.”

While undergoing surgery, a bullet was discovered to be lodged in the dog’s nose.  He was named Diesel as a testament to the tremendous amount of strength this dog has showed in the face of true hardship.  He is currently in the care of Detroit Dog Rescue as his case is being investigated.  Hopefully the person responsible for his abominable treatment is identified and prosecuted.

Michigan Anti-Cruelty did a fabulous job of wiring Diesel’s jaw and that wire will remain in his jaw for the next 6-8 weeks,” DDR said on Facebook.  “A bullet did enter through Diesel’s nose and then exploded leaving fragments in his head and neck. Those fragments are causing extreme swelling and we are going to determine whether it’s safe to take those fragments out.”

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Brianne is hopeful that she will be chosen to adopt him when the time comes.  When a dog makes the news, there are often dozens, if not hundreds, of people clamoring to adopt them.  But there are plenty of other wonderful animals in need of homes that should be considered, too.  However, as Brianne has saved Diesel twice now, it would seem right for her to save him a third time by giving him the loving home he deserves.  She would need to be screened, and as she has one dog already, they would have to meet to make sure they can get along.

However, a man with the Facebook name Elliot Ness says his name is Elliott Woods, and that he is the real dad of Diesel, whose name is actually Blue.  He says that Blue and his other dog, Cookie, were stolen from him, and that it wasn’t until he saw the news that he found out what happened.  He says that he had gone to different shelters looking for them, and though he is very saddened by what has happened (Cookie has still not been located), he understands the process that must be gone through to determine true ownership.

We will keep you updated as progress is made known by DDR.

Loss Of Arctic Ice Imperils Polar Bear Births

Loss of Arctic sea ice is linked to a decrease in polar bear birth rates in Canada's Hudson Bay, according to new research. If the trend continues, the polar bears in the region could be facing a population crisis.

In fact, if climate change continues unabated, the researchers say, polar bear populations across the entire Arctic will be in serious trouble.

Polar bears rely on sea ice during their hunting season, using the solid floes to reach waters rich with seals — polar bears' main food source.

Researchers at the University of Alberta in Canada examined sea ice data from the 1990s on, and found that as temperatures increased and sea ice levels dropped, so did the number of newborn polar bear cubs .

Polar bear mothers retreat to a maternity den during pregnancy, never once emerging for food. An early spring ice breakup reduces the hunting season, and pregnant females aren't able to amass enough body fat to support them through their 8-month fast, when they must stay hidden in their dens to gestate their young and give birth.

Using mathematical modeling to estimate the impact of a shortened hunting season, the research team found that if ice in the Hudson Bay disappears one month earlier than in the 1990s, between 40 and 73 percent of pregnant female polar bears will not give birth to a surviving cub.

If the ice is gone a full two months earlier, between 55 and 100 percent of pregnant bears will not reproduce.

According to the most recent estimates, Hudson Bay is home to about 900 polar bears, down from 1,200 bears in the past decade.

Since the region's bear population is the world's most southerly, they are the first to be affected by global warming trends.

However, the researchers say that if temperatures across the Arctic continue to rise, much of the global population of polar bears will be at risk.

The research is detailed today (Feb. 8) in the journal Nature Communications.

This article was provided by OurAmazingPlanet, a sister site to LiveScience.