Technology has had a major impact on the speed we process and react to new information. In the past, things were shown to a small number of people, who would write articles that would go out weeks to months later, with little to no discussion in between. With the rise of the internet and social media, this conversation starts within moments of the reveal. Most companies have changed as a result of this, but others still have ways to go.
While it’s hard to deny that the Nintendo of today is different from the Nintendo that released the Nintendo Wii U around 4 years ago, their approach still needs work. One of the biggest criticisms of the Switch reveal was the focus on experience, instead of facts and details. This makes sense given Nintendo’s approach, but with the way the world currently moves, it’s one that causes a lot of negativity.
The problem isn’t that people don’t care about games or the experience, but rather, the lack of details leaves the community to define them, when Nintendo should be the one to define them. In many ways this is why paid online was met with so much negativity.
Beyond the obvious dislike for paid online, Nintendo has left us to speculate the meaning to a number of things. The most notable being price, something that they later revealed will likely launch for ¥2,000 to ¥3,000 or $17.5 to $26.2 a year, which caused many to expect a price closer to PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live. Even though one question has been answered, we’re still in the dark with a couple of others, a problem that is quite concerning considering the Switch is set to release in about 2 weeks.
Every mention of online lobbies and voice chat on the official page talks about a smart device app. This strongly implies the system will lack said feature, a choice that makes absolutely no sense, but the problems go even deeper. Based off the smart phone apps Nintendo has released, smart device might refer to iOS and Android, leaving Windows Phone and Windows tablets out.
The same problem appears twice with the monthly game download. The first is whether or not the free games are free for the duration of the subscription or a monthly rental. According to Wired writer, Chris Kohler, the games will be rentals, based off his interview with Nintendo of America president and Chief Operation Offer, Reggie Fils-Aime. However, his question and the response don’t quite equal rental.
“Nintendo’s online service for Switch will charge a monthly fee and one of the incentives is one free classic game ‘per month.’ Does that mean you lose access to that game after a month,” asked Kohler. “Correct. It means that essentially you’ve got access to that game for a period of time, and then after the month there’s a new selection. You’ll have the opportunity to buy it, but [after] that month we’ve moved on to another game,” answered Fils-Aime.
Depending on how you look at it, the question and answer could be interpreted as the way Games with Gold and PlayStation Plus work. The question could be read as asking if previously offered games will be swapped for new titles, which makes sense given the answer. You have access to that game, which you have a month to “buy,” with a new game offered the following month.
On the other hand, Nintendo Switch developer, Syrenne McNulty, stated the free games work like PlayStation Plus. While it’s important to note she was wrong about there being analog triggers and she could be mistaken about this, said information doesn’t contradict the Wired article, it actually further implies the question and answer are being misinterpreted.
Sadly, Nintendo’s silence on the matter strongly suggests this is just wishful thinking and the games are, in fact, rentals.