I’ve been keeping an eye on the Nintendo Switch ever since it was first revealed back in October 2016. It’s been more than six months since the launch of the console and here I am, still without a Switch of my own. Despite having an awesome game library barely a year into it’s lifespan, I have yet to get a Switch. The guy who has owned a Famicom, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance SP, Gamecube, Wii, DS Lite, and two kinds of 3DS consoles (the slab 2DS and the New Nintendo 3DS XL) is refraining from purchasing a Switch.
My reasons for not getting a Switch vary from personal reasons to reasons that are (or should be) legitimate concerns for any consumer. Let me enumerate them and tell me – am I right in holding off on a purchase?
The Initial Purchase is Very Expensive
One thing that is definitely keeping me from even considering getting the Nintendo Switch as an impulse buy is how costly it is. Maybe I’m not used to buying consoles; it’s been a long time since I last bought a home console during it’s peak. But I’m not just looking at the Switch’s SRP of $299.00 – of course I’ll need to buy at least two games, plus all the required accessories: carrying case, screen protector, and a decent memory card. When I first did an estimate of how much I’ll need to buy a Switch, I calculated a budget of $450-$500. I can’t afford to spend that much without adjusting my daily/monthly budget; I need to be prepared for it.
And I’m not exactly sure that spending $500 is worth it. I mean, the Switch seems like it’s a great console with awesome games, but why would I need to spend $500 if…
I’m Still Having Fun with the Nintendo 3DS
Call it a mistake on Nintendo’s end if you want but, them not killing off the 3DS as soon as they could have was great for a 3DS owner like me. I just bought a copy of Metroid: Samus Returns and Fire Emblem Warriors 3DS; I have yet to play my copy of Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. And I’m still considering getting a copy of Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology and Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux – two yet to be released games on the 3DS. Not to mention that I have yet to do second playthroughs of some of my current 3DS games like The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, a Master Quest playthrough of Ocarina of Time, and so on.
I’ve managed to build a collection of 42 different 3DS titles and I’m considering reaching for 48, especially since there are some older 3DS titles that I want to play like Code Name S.T.E.A.M. and even Shin Megami Tensei IV. If I’m still enjoying my Nintendo 3DS this much, why would I need to spend $500 on a Switch now? Why rush?
Currently No Save Game Backups
Maybe I’m behind the times but I’m used to my game saves being saved in removable game cards (hello Play Station 1/Game Cube) or within the actual cartridges themselves (DS and 3DS carts). So I’m not too worried about my game consoles breaking down – accidents happen and sometimes these can lead to my consoles getting busted. At least for the 3DS, most games have their save data stored on the cartridges themselves, so I only need to buy another 3DS if my current one breaks down (it’s another story for DLC).
But the Nintendo Switch stores your save data in it’s internal memory. The latest firmware update now allows save data to be transferred, but not copied – transferring it would mean only the destination Switch would have a copy of the game save. And you can only do this if the source is functioning well enough – if your Switch breaks, you’re out of luck.
If/when I get a Switch, I know that I’ll be playing games like Breath of the Wild and Skyrim that require players to invest a lot of their time. I don’t necessarily want to do that just yet, knowing that freak accidents could mean wasting all of that time investment.
The 3rd Party Storage Issue
For what feels like the first time in a very long time, a Nintendo console will get some of the mainstream multiplatform releases and I’m hyped. Sure Doom is a year old but to be able to play it on a handheld is awesome. When was the last time we saw a WWE or NBA 2K title get released on a Nintendo console? The Switch already has NBA 2K18 released at the same time as the XBox One/PS4 versions, but it comes at a price – even if you bought the physical cartridge, you would need an extra 17 GB of storage for additional downloads and 5 GB of storage for each save file. WWE 2K18? Even if you get the physical cartridge, you’ll need to download an additional 24 GB. Doom? Just an additional 9 GB needed if you want to play online multiplayer.
Am I that behind on the times? I mean, I just played Metroid: Samus Returns on the 3DS, a game released just two months ago, and that game didn’t require any additional download. I thought you played console games because they were plug and play – put the cart/disc in and you’re ready to go. It wasn’t supposed to be like PC games with messy installations and all that. What gives?
I guess this is part of the evolution of video games and I’ll need to go along with it, but the naive part of me is hoping for a new iteration of the Switch. Nintendo is known for releasing multiple iterations/versions of their consoles, especially their handhelds, and the Switch is definitely not exempt from this. Maybe Nintendo will release a Switch version with larger internal memory next year? Maybe I should wait a little longer to see what Nintendo has in store for us and be ready for a better version? Which brings us to…
I’m Waiting for a Cheaper, Handheld-only Version of the Switch
Right now, I don’t have much need for the home console functionality of the Switch. If I get a Switch now, I’m going to play it in portable mode 99.99% of the time, guaranteed. With the 3DS nearing the end of it’s lifespan, one good candidate for a successor is a cheaper, handheld only Switch version – without removable JoyCon, possibly smaller size, better battery life, and so on. I bet there’s another Switch version that’s coming, if not next year then the year after that. Nintendo has been known to release budget versions of their consoles (the Nintendo 2DS and New Nintendo 2DS XL being the most recent examples), who’s to say that that’s not coming next year?
And there you have it, five reasons why I have yet to buy a Nintendo Switch. The release of Doom and Skyrim, not to mention Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 already being available is really making me think about buying a Switch but all the reasons above have convinced me to wait a little longer before I make the “switch”.
So, should I wait a little longer? Or am I overthinking things and should just buy a Switch this December? Give me some advice – leave a comment or two below!