Ah the Switch, whats not to love about it? The portability, numerous ways to play, the ability to also be a home console. The Nintendo Switch surely has outdone itself and with Nintendo Labo having just been released this has opened up new possibilities of playing. But it’s all well and good that the Switch is making strides with it’s exclusives, but what about games that are currently out for the rest of the consoles and PC? Does a game being on the Switch make it inherently better or are we just fantasists?
Clarice here back with another discussion and my thoughts and opinions on the subject of the Switch.
Delving into the Switch when it was first announced, I can safely say that for me I never believed something like this could actually become a reality… But here we are a year into the Switch’s life and already it has surpassed the Wii U’s sales whilst also dominating monthly sales against the Xbox One and PS4… But why is that?
Why are we all dying to eat up everything Nintendo is throwing at us? Why are we bombarding developers to put games from previous consoles onto the Switch? The amount of times I have seen Reddit threads saying “This would be perfect on the Switch” (And I can admit I too have said this in the past…) is both surprising and equally ridiculous at the same time… But let’s dive into the topic, and see just why people are so keen to have past games put on the Switch.
Let’s start with the obvious point. The portability. Anything portable over the years has been a huge hit simply because you are able to play games whilst on the move; why do you think mobile gaming is now booming? With the Gameboy through to the 3DS, and even the PSP and PSVita, all the games we have experienced have usually been exclusives (Apart from the obvious ports of classic games from the NES, PS1 and others on their relevant handhelds), and the reason is simply because handhelds aren’t powerful enough to run games that have been released on more modern consoles and PC; so, with the announcement of the switch the general thoughts of developers and gamers alike turned to realising that we may actually be able to have what we play at home on the move with us – Naturally this sounded extremely attractive to us, but was it possible? Could Nintendo and their slew of talented developers and partners really achieve this? Well, yes, due to some very talented people such as Panic Button for example, we are able to have DOOM of all games on the Switch and even with the first announcement of the Switch, it was a huge focus that Skyrim would be ported to the Switch with little to no compromise on the PS3 & Xbox 360 versions (Damn you Todd Howard for trying to make me sell my soul again..!!).
No-one could quite believe it, and I certainly couldn’t during the first announcement; however, after getting hands on with the device at Nintendo’s London Hammersmith unveiling event, my fears were put to rest – For me, one of the main reasons why I bought a Switch initially was for the portability of games that I love to play when I am traveling or just want to sit in another room; this was especially important to me as I travel a lot naturally.
…But there must be a deeper reason as to why a mass of people are buying a Switch? Not everyone does a lot of traveling nor do some people even want a handheld device, and some can even argue “What’s the point? I’ve got my games on -insert platform- and I’m happy with that!”. It’s a fair enough response really, but let’s look at some of the games that are exclusive to the Switch – You’ve got Breath of the Wild, Fire Emblem Warriors, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, ARMS, Mario and Rabbids, and those that are yet to be released such as the 8th Generation Pokemon Games, Octopath Traveller, Shin Megami Tensei V, Smash 5 and, of course, the upcoming Yoshi and Fire Emblem titles. All of these amazing games will be exclusives to the Switch, and I suspect to those who aren’t fussed about the portability of the Switch are definitely looking forward to the line up of first-party and third-party Switch Games; not to mention it is a great platform for family but I believe I will hold that discussion for another time.
Lastly, back to the origins of this article… Why do we love the ports of games when in reality they don’t run or look as good compared to their much stronger versions on home platforms? Let’s put this in to perspective by tying this in with the portability aspect.
If someone said to me “Clarice -insert game- is coming out on every platform; which would you go for?” my response would most likely be the Switch versions; I know I sound like a right fangirl, but due to all the traveling I do and the fact that I can constantly be on the move, sometimes it feels like I don’t have the time for home platforms or that I just want to play with the console in my hand, but however this as I have stated previously, doesn’t mean that the game will be a much prettier or more fluent of a game on the Switch when compared to it’s alternative counterparts – This begs the argument that a Switch version of a game won’t be the better version or the superior version simply due to the downgrades of the graphics or portability; some have even said that a games like Stardew Valley and Darkest Dungeon have been more well received on the Switch than others just due to the fact these games feel more like a handheld experience rather than a “sit at your desk or couch” experience, and since they aren’t demanding games I personally have seen no difference in quality – However, if we compare a more intensive title, for instance an intense game like DOOM to its PS4 or PC versions, you can see often where they had to downgrade and had to remove certain textures in order for it to run smoothly, and unlike the PS4 or PC versions, the Switch can suffer from frames dropping, to audio glitches, so really in reality the alternative versions are superior to the Switch (And the PC being superior to everything else inherently due to hardware.).
However, if you are like me and graphics don’t make or break the game and you can still enjoy the game then really it’s all up to your preference of which you platform you want to play on.
If you want the TL;DR version here it is… Switch games aren’t the better version.
They are just preferred due to the portability and different ways of playing.
What do you think about my opinion? Do you agree or disagree or you couldn’t care and just want to play something? Let us know!