I am one confused cookie. A cookie with very little understanding of my own emotions, my own feelings. The thing is that – by all logic – the Nintendo Switch should be a "pointless" system in my eyes. Thus, considering how pointless it is (I will get into this a bit later), how could I possibly love it so much?
I mean, growing up on Nintendo is certainly part of it – but if I'm honest (and this is going to get a lot of hate), Zelda is one of my favorite gaming franchises, but Breath of the Wild is vastly over-rated. This, in itself, should be the topic of its own column, but here's a brief summary: Breath of the Wild is the tedious parts of Skyrim, combined with a Zelda art-style and some really half-baked mechanics.
Wow, that was bloody brutal, wasn't it? Yup. To be honest, though, I will stand by that assessment 'til the day I die.
Anyway, back to the point at hand...
So, to return to what I was trying to say – I grew up on Nintendo, I grew up on Zelda, on Mario, on Pikmin, on all of those games. I have owned every system since the GameCube. I love my Switch, despite the disappointment of Breath of the Wild. Despite the lack of high-quality multiplayer functionality. Despite it being stuck so far in the past and so far up its own ass that it may be developed by an American company.
It's no secret, sure, that Nintendo has been behind the times for decades at this point. The original PlayStation used a disc-drive, and the Nintendo 64 continued to use cartridges. In other words – being stuck in the past is what you kind of expect from Nintendo, but they still need to stay somehow relevant.
The success of the Nintendo Switch, compared to the disaster of the Wii U, is down to two particular factors. The first is that the Nintendo Switch features, and launched with, some truly stellar titles that took the world by storm. Sure, I don't like Breath of the Wild, but everyone else seems to (for reasons still unbeknownst to me). The system has some great games, and that's just the fact of the matter. The second reason is probably the most important aspect of its success: the Nintendo Switch itself.
The Nintendo Switch is, obviously, portable. That is the console's main selling point. It doesn't have very powerful hardware, it doesn't have great performance, but it is both a handheld and a home console, and this has been a huge strength for the now nearly half-decade-old console.
The problem? It's also the console's biggest weakness.
The reason why I hate that I love my Switch, is one of the core problems with Nintendo – they always have potential, but they always bugger it up. The Nintendo Switch was unique when it launched, but it isn't anymore. You're interested in the rumored Nintendo Switch Pro? Well, why? We have Game Pass now, and whilst it doesn't have those classic Nintendo franchises, it has a whole lot more than the Nintendo Switch, is much cheaper, and in many ways is higher quality.
This is the big problem – I bloody love my Switch, and it is the best way to play tons of games, from Octopath Traveler to last year's Immortals: Fenyx Rising. It's also a console that set me back like $500 AUD back when I bought it on launch day in early 2017. Yes, those are Australian Dollars. Do the maths.
I hate that I love my Switch because it is such an outdated and antiquated console that no longer has the one advantage it gave itself – its portability. I hate that I love the Switch because I know that my love is nostalgic, it's about my own personal experiences with those legendary games of the past, and not about the merit of the new system itself.
The Switch has now been out for almost as long as the Wii U was out before it was replaced, and it has been one hell of a success. Can it be replicated? Well, maybe. Nintendo has the skills and abilities to create that success, for sure. Will it be replicated? I, sadly, have my doubts.
Other Columns that you should check out...