With all of the excitement around the Nintendo Switch and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, I decided to bite the bullet and pick up The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds for my new 2DS. I was trying to hold off to find a deal on it but, since its widely regarded as one of the best games on Nintendo 3DS, I figured it was worth the full price. The fact that all of the desirable 3DS games are still the price they were released at years down the line is an issue for another day.
I’m still pretty excited about the Nintendo Switch. I’ve been reading a ton about it, despite there not being too much info to cover. Their presentation may have soured some of the enthusiasm around the launch, but I’m still intrigued and excited about the potential. I haven’t pre-ordered one, although I’ve thought about it. I might have if it wasn’t so damn difficult to do so. I’m just hoping that we won’t have any of the supply chain issues that have plagued the NES classic.
With all of my interest in the system, I do have some concerns. I love Nintendo as a company. I have a lot of nostalgia for them, like so many others, but I never bought a Wii U and when the Wii I have was relevant, I played way more Xbox 360. I still come to Nintendo for some very specific things though. They ignited my passion for gaming, and still produce experiences like few others can. There’s still no other way to scratch that Mario or Legend of Zelda itch without them. I love their games, and I’m fascinated by the potential of the Switch hardware, but I give no shits about HD rumble.
I love the promise of a single console that I can take with me on a trip, or play on my TV at home. The aspect of adaptability is awesome and widely appealing, but one console for everything instead of a home and portable. The Joy-con seem great whether attached to the tablet or the grip, and provide precise and responsive controls for any kind of game. I also appreciate that they have some motion control features so that we can relive the days of Wii sports with friends, in some facet at least. But, the fact that they crammed enough tech into these joy-con that they need to charge $50 for what is essentially half of a traditional controller is concerning.
I want the function and adaptability of being able to slide them onto the tablet, or a grip, so that I can play on the go or in my living room. At this time, that’s where my interest ends. Not only am I not interested in the features beyond those, I have doubts as to how often they’ll actually provide value to players or developers. HD rumble sounds cool, but how will it actually contribute meaningfully to Mario/Zelda/Nindies? I just really can’t see any function that will interest me for more than a few minutes or make a real impression on gamers or developers. Same goes for the incorporated IR blaster, seems like a fun party trick that will never come up again. I know some Nintendo fans are really into Amiibos, but it seems like they rarely, if ever, use NFC to connect them to enable in-game features and are much more likely put them on display. I’ve never heard of a compelling in-game implementation of an Amiibo. I’m open and interested in their use, I just haven’t ever heard of one. It seems like NFC would be a great accessory attachment, but bundling it makes consumers pay for something that they will likely never use.
Flawless Basics, Flawed Extravagance
I love the look and function of Joy-con as controllers, but the functions beyond that seem kind of shit, and it seems remiss that they’re all bundled into those tiny controllers. Maybe the added functions didn’t add much to the cost of the controllers, we’ll probably never know, but they give me doubts. If they had stuck to the initially appealing gimmick of a hybrid console, and not added so many additional quirky gimmicks, could they have shaved a few bucks off the price and made it a no-brainer? Now that they have those features in place, are they going to put most of their effort into finding mass market appeal with motion control games with gimmicks?
I just wanted a new way to play Nintendo games and some indies, and the hybrid console idea got me excited. Virtual console games would sweeten the pot, and local multiplayer games that could support 2 players by splitting the joy-con seem awesome. Everything beyond that shakes my confidence in their focus. The prices of controllers and accessories make me think they’re just trying to pack too much into what could be a simple and streamlined experience. Maybe they’ll reach new customers with those features, but they could easily alienate just as many.
There’s a huge amount of hype flying around after the less than stellar presentation by Nintendo earlier this week. I haven’t pre-ordered the Nintendo Switch myself yet, although I understand why so many have given Nintendo’s well known supply chain issues. The Switch is set to release in just a few weeks on March 3rd, 2017, and pre-orders are live for not only the Switch, but also for a number of announced titles for the game. Here’s where a certain benefit of Amazon Prime might be even more significant than it is for any other console.
I recently received a Nintendo 2DS for Christmas from my sister, I’m having a great time, but there is a catch. As with any Nintendo system, they don’t annualize games, so there is one version of Smash and one Mario Kart. These titles are great, my system came with Mario Kart 7, but they also never get any cheaper. Games that have been out for years are still $40 on the 2DS, and the system itself was only $80. As a Nintendo fan who skipped the Wii U, and the 3Ds until recently, this can be a hard pill to swallow. Here’s where Amazon Prime comes in to vacuum up even more of your dollars.
20% is a Hefty Discount on Nintendo Titles
Amazon Prime offers 20% off pre-orders of games. Pre-orders are huge in the video game industry, for the business side at least, but not very consumer friendly. There aren’t any bearings for the quality of the games that you’re giving companies a free loan for. Marketing alone often sells pre-orders and then gamers often feel burned by the final product. As such, I’m generally against it unless you personally feel that the game is a sure thing. I pre-ordered Dark Souls 3 so I could pre-load it and had no regrets The last game I pre-ordered prior to that was the original Call of Duty: Black Ops though, and that was just to guarantee a physical copy in the days before easy digital sales.
Here’s where I’m going with all of this
Amazon is offering the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for 20% off if you pre-order it. I’m not alone in saying that this is as close to a sure thing as you can get in gaming quality. This game has been delayed for years and become a launch title for what could be the last Nintendo console if it flops. Nintendo is betting big on the Legend of Zelda, and hopefully, it’s for good reason.
With this in mind, this could be the cheapest you can possibly buy a copy of Breath of the Wild at retail for years. I remember Skyward Sword going for $50 at retail long after the Wii was relevant, and being hard to find on top of that. 5 years later, it’s still $43 and change on Amazon. So, if you pre-order Breath of the Wild, you’re only spending $5 more than a 5 year old game, that’s how Nintendo games work. If you’re excited about the Switch and Zelda, this might be the most appropriate time to pre-order ever.
The Nintendo faithful received some rough news this morning, and some nice insight. At an investor meeting, Nintendo revealed that the Legend of Zelda for Wii U has been delayed into 2017. I haven’t bought a Wii U yet, but I have been tempted a few times by experiences like Splatoon and the Smash Bros. I haven’t jumped on it yet and might not now. The reason being, at that same meeting they announced that the Nintendo NX will ship worldwide in March 2017 and a version of the new Zelda will come to the NX simultaneously with the Wii U. Among the storm of rumors, this could spoil every potential Wii U sale this year.
Nintendo is Putting the Wii U Out to Pasture
I’m committed to the Legend of Zelda and that might have been my system seller, and I am not at all alone in this regard. A ton of fans already bought the system with the promised next Zelda installment in mind and hopefully this news doesn’t invalidate the purchase in their eyes. My other curiosities about the Wii U are predominantly Splatoon, Smash, and Mario Kart, only the first of which I haven’t been able to play yet. Rumors have been circulating for weeks about a strong launch lineup from Nintendo for the NX, including ports of current versions of Smash Bros and Splatoon. Now that the NX has a release date and the new Zelda has been confirmed for it, my interest in the Wii U has almost completely withered.
I don’t buy too many console games and the Wii U has a strong enough first party library to meet my interests, along with my PC. Now that the NX is confirmed for early next year though, I’m not sure I’m into buying games with an almost certain potential of replacing them with better versions on a better system within a year. Even if the NX is delayed, *fingers crossed it’s not* it would be hard to justify the purchase when something that is hopefully far superior is right over the horizon and the current product almost certainly will lose support.
The NX Could Be Incredible, if I Only Knew Anything About it…
That being said, I am chomping at the bit for legitimate NX news, now more than ever. Now that we know that Zelda is bridging the gap between systems, what else will? Will the rumors of Smash and Splatoon be confirmed as launch titles? That’s about all it would take, along with some actual specs and demonstrations of the hardware, to guarantee this is the first game console I ever pre-order.
Nintendo also confirmed that Zelda Wii U will be the sole focus of their E3 coverage. It’s nice to hear we’ll finally see more of the game, but I know I’m not the only one who wants to hear just about anything from them about their new console. It’ll be less than a year away by E3, and it would be nice to put the flood of rumors to bed and get some actual news. 2016 looks like it might be a rough year for all the Nintendo fans out there, but 2017 could be the start of something awesome and completely new from one of our favorite companies.