[ARCHIVE] Do Not Buy A Nintendo Switch At Launch

[ARCHIVE] Do Not Buy A Nintendo Switch At Launch

I’ve had the idea for this piece bouncing around in my head for a few days now, and just as luck would have it, most of my friends and peers in the industry came out of a recent Switch event absolutely smitten with their experience. So that really makes things a little harder when trying to write something convincing people to potentially rush in a different direction. I don’t think that the Switch hardware itself is the problem, I’m more interested in asking the question “Should you really buy one at launch?” and I think the answer is a very clear and definite no.

So first things first, if you’re a massive Nintendo fan and have already pre-ordered your Switch with zero chance of being dissuaded from a launch day purchase, please ignore this post, I mean it. If you’re happy, then I’m truly happy for you and I’m sure it’s going to make you feel like its Christmas day when it arrives. I really do mean this sincerely, just go continue being happy because being happy is great.

If that’s not you, then I’d like to highlight some major issues with a year-one purchase of the Nintendo Switch and to be honest, most of them should be pretty obvious to anyone paying attention. I want to like the Switch, and I want to see it succeed, this initial period where Nintendo has to prove its worth to the publishers, developers and gamers is important. It’s just that I think you should leave the testing of the waters to the die-hards and not take the risk. Source: The Nintendo Wii U.

So, why should you hang on for at least a year before considering the Switch? Let’s start with the simple ones and go from there.

Launch Games

It’s already hard to swallow that the Switch doesn’t come bundled with anything playable at launch, but it only gets worse when you remember that the launch line-up is so incredibly dry. Let’s take a look at what’s available in our region:

  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Super Bomberman R
  • Skylanders: Imaginators
  • Just Dance 2017
  • 1-2-Switch


That’s… not a great selection of heavy hitters and you’re going to have to wait until at least the end of April before any of Nintendo’s other really big titles like Mario Kart arrive, and even then, let’s not forget that it’s still essentially a game that’s already been out for a long time on the Wii U. It’s going to take a long time for the Switch to really build up a solid library, so to buy one on day one just doesn’t make any sense… unless…

You’re Mostly Buying It For The Legend of Zelda, Right?

Let’s be very honest here, most big Nintendo fans are really just focused on this title to justify a launch purchase. The thing is… We already know Nintendo isn’t known for powerful hardware and cutting edge graphics, so why not just buy Breath of the Wild on the Wii U? It runs at a lower resolution and isn’t quite as pretty, but are you really willing to fork out that much money for a slightly prettier version?

Don’t do it! If you’re not a big enough fan to already own a Wii U, then trust me… you can wait. Oh but maybe you want to buy it because…

You’re Interested In Getting Something That’s Mobile

If you’re a huge 3DS fan that’s played everything great that’s out there, there’s a good chance you’re one of the huge superfans I mentioned at the start. There’s a good chance that most of you aren’t though, and are just interested in what Nintendo has to offer here, and so to you I say “Have you played ALL of the AMAZING games that the 3DS has to offer?”.

If you haven’t, why go and drop all of that money on a new unproven console-slash-handheld? Why take that risk. If you haven’t touched the 3DS much, then even better. Pick up a pre-owned unit with some games and you can have all the fun in the world while the entire gaming industry decides if the Nintendo Switch is really going to be a thing. Why would you be sold on it if…

Major Publishers and Developers Aren’t Even Sold On It Yet


Nintendo have announced that a whole bunch of ’em are onboard, but it would be a big mistake to think that the bigwigs are going to be happy to take big risks to put out new or existing franchises on an unproven console that could potentially suffer the same fate of the Wii U.

Nintendo are also only looking to only sell 2 Million Units by the end of March, and what’s possibly more concerning is that only 50% of developers think that the Nintendo Switch is even going to beat the Wii U’s numbers. That’s really not good when you realise the Wii U only sold around 13 million consoles in a time where the “struggling” Xbox One has sold double that and the Playstation 4 has sold around four times as much.

Why would you put up development time and money for a device with such a small install base? Well, you wouldn’t. Why would you invest into something when you aren’t sure if it’s going to be a success or not. You wouldn’t. They are taking the wait-and-see approach, and you should too.

It’s More Expensive Than It Looks


A lot of gamers and industry folk were really hoping that Nintendo would be able to deliver a really attractive price of $250 to get us scrambling for our wallets. As most of you know by now, that wasn’t the case when the $300 price tag was announced. That wouldn’t be so bad if it meant the unit was a bit more expensive to cater to some beefier specs and decent battery life right? Well that didn’t happen either unfortunately.

So what does $300 get you exactly? It gets you a Nintendo Switch… and that’s it. That’s right, you can hand over $300 of your money, and still have a device that plays nothing, because as I mentioned before, there are no games bundled in, not one. “But this isn’t a first by far” you might say, but I’m not saying it’s a first, I’m just saying it feels like a pretty good reason to wait until some decent bundles pop up later down the line.

$300 price tag? Already more realistically a $360 price tag, and do not get me started on any of the accessories and their prices at all. Please don’t… just… just don’t.

Okay, One Fun fact: You need a $30 Joy-Con Charging Grip if you want to keep playing on your TV when they go flat without having to stop or switch to handheld mode.

But wait, I can use it for other things too in the meanwhile, right?

Well, if you can’t play games then at least you can watch some Netfl- oh wait nope, wrong again. The Switch won’t support any video apps at launch, so you won’t be able to do that either. You know when it will probably support video apps? That’s right, later on… so there’s another reason to give launch day a good ol’ skip.

Okay so I’m going to stop there, despite knowing that a list like this could go on. As mentioned before I really want the Switch to succeed, I want it to be amazing and most of all, I really want to get one at some point down the line. It’s just seems obvious that the right thing to do is to wait. As someone who loves his 3DS but doesn’t consider himself a huge Nintendo fan, I’m constantly reminded that I did the right thing by waiting to see what would happen with the Wii U.

If you’re made of money, sure thing… go ahead, you’ve got very little to lose. If you, like most people need to protect yourself from bad purchases, I urge you to take a deep breath and let the hype flow out of you.

It’s simple in that if you buy one at launch and its awesome, you get to have a really great time playing Breath of the Wild (or some of the other titles if they are your thing) but will ultimately find yourself frustrated with long waiting period as titles slowly release over the next year or so. If you buy one at launch and things don’t go so well… well just take a look at your Wii U and ask if it was worth owning it from day one.

If however, you wait and the Switch does well, you have so much to look forward to. Bundles could start arriving by Christmas time, and even better ones by the following Christmas. More games will be out, more apps will have support and there will be a whole host of newly announced titles to look forward to while you dive into the existing library. If things don’t go so well, you’ll still be able to get everything that will be available for the first year anyway, except at a way better price and knowing what you’re in for (I bought a PS Vita years on and got an amazing price and a load of cheap games).

When you really think about it, it just makes sense.

(Hey, I told you that if you’re definitely buying it you shouldn’t have kept reading, what are you still doing here?)


  1. Weanerdog February 17, 2017

    I really wanted one, that was until I realised that third party developers were not really going to get on board just like the Wii u. How could they make this mistake again. The launch line up is so poor, this really makes me sad.

  2. Raptor Rants February 18, 2017

    *tips hat* words of wisdom. The hype train is real and people get sucked in. It’s how the industry tries to grow early.

    That being said, if only die hard fans buy and devs see this, won’t they then see it as higher risk and simply pull out? Too little early uptake is just as disastrous.

    • Note5 February 18, 2017

      Another huge concern for 3rd party developers and publishers is Nintendo die hards only buy Nintendo made exclusive games and don’t care about the 3rd party games especially multiplats. Catch 22 again.

      • JJ February 19, 2017

        If the multiplats weren’t watered down with poor online support, they’d sell, but that’s the real problem isn’t it!? I hope that Nintendo is remedying the online situation with the Switch, but Multiplats have to be watered down on modern Nintendo hardware because Nintendo always cheapens out on their home consoles.

        • Note5 February 20, 2017

          No that is not the problem. Not poor online support. The bigger problem is Nintendo’s brand image. They have continuously isolated themselves to a niche family friendly-kiddie friendly-cartoony video game platform that goes the opposite direction where video game progress is going.
          It’s like they have the Peter Pan Syndrome that “Nintendo Never Wants to Grow Up” catch 22 situation.
          Its their strength and at the same time weakness.
          They make so many decisions that kept them stuck in Neverland.
          This is why the games like COD, Destiny, Battlefield and Assassin’s Creed are veering away from Nintendo.

          • JJ February 21, 2017

            That’s only a minor issue compared to the two major ones I stated about the Wii U.

      • Raptor Rants February 20, 2017

        I’ve never really thought of it in that light, but you make a solid point. Nintendo fans are fairly picky in their choice of games as they have a very specific set of tastes I guess. You don’t pick up Nintendo if you don’t plan on playing with Mario I guess.

        But perhaps that would change if some solid 3rd party titles were available. I dunno

  3. Jay Phantombane February 18, 2017

    I generally travel to different places a lot, so getting to play Breath of the Wild on the go is a dream for me.

    • Nick de Bruyne February 18, 2017

      For someone like you I think that’s going to be pretty fantastic! I still have such s massive 3DS library to get through

  4. Stealth February 18, 2017

    I am getting it at launch. Most of this is false if not downright made up by the author.

    • DaFynestRican February 18, 2017

      Yeah, this is all subjective and meant to dissuade people who are on the fence and might want to buy it at launch. Pieces like this only add to the negativity that imminently preceeds every Nintendo console launch. It becomes a catch-22. The console is full of potential and possibilities, but if people don’t buy it and support it especially at launch then nobody’s going to support it especially not third parties, so in order for us to see those games they have to see that it’s worth putting out because people invest in the system. You don’t buy it nobody’s going to bother making anything for it. We’re already seeing that support is moving in a positive direction and every day somebody’s announcing something new even if most of it is indie. What happened with the Wii being underpowered but unique where it had a decent amount of third-party support and a lot of unique games. I feel like this which is powerful enough and I would like to see more of that wii era support.

      • Nick de Bruyne February 18, 2017

        I completely respect your thoughts and comments on this topic, but I also think it’s fair to say that this isn’t just a subjective piece despite it being an opinion piece, there are a lot of facts at play here as well as historically proven concerns. I think the switch is gonna be great I just think that Nintendo had some what blown is launch strategy a little. The instant drop in share price after the announcement is proud enough of that, not just my opinion.

        • Note5 February 18, 2017

          Its a factinion.

        • disqus_AynbD1DWt4 February 20, 2017

          Some other facts could also be how the console doesn’t come with a charging grip, although you mentioned the need for one I felt so burned by nintendo I thought it would help reiterate your points. Another thing that really gets on my nerves is the fact that the dock is sold separately for 89.99 American. I seriously hope people don’t get fooled by that marketing ploy.

    • Jeremiah February 18, 2017

      The article did seem to have zero objectivity. I’m glad I avoided the WiiU as well but the Switch is clearly going to be a mega hit fro Nintendo. I’m not getting one though but that’s another story.

      • Nick de Bruyne February 20, 2017

        This reply was a rollercoaster of emotions. That twist at the end… This is some gripping stuff.

    • Bilal Prince-Ali February 18, 2017

      what’s false exactly..? :S and whats made up!!!?

    • Note5 February 18, 2017

      It’s a fact based opinion. A factinion in real time context.

      • Dab710 February 18, 2017

        When I’m bored I come up with dumb words to entertain myself too

    • Dab710 February 18, 2017

      Mario Odyssey isn’t even coming out til next Xmas so how is ANY of this false?!?
      Zelda looks almost as good on my Wii-u…why would I need Switch???
      Nintendo has sucked since N64 at launching machines.
      Who cares about console with NO games?
      I’ll wait til it has some games before purchasing…GOOD ARTICLE backed up by FACTS & DATA, and not just fanboy opinion!!

      • Stealth February 20, 2017

        Mario Odyssey is THIS xmas. How can I take you seriously if the first thing you said is false.

        “Nintendo has sucked since N64 at launching consoles.” Yeah because Wii sucked haha

        • chimpmeister February 21, 2017

          But the Wii really did suck, so you have no point (as usual). The Wii may have caught on for a while as a fad, but it ultimately damaged Nintendo’s reputation, when people realized that most of the games on it were shovelware.

    • RinceThis February 19, 2017


    • Overkillwfo February 19, 2017

      Every single bit of what he posted was true…. and in my case, I need to add in the fact that mobile gaming is cancer and I have absolutely no use for it. So, to me, Nintendo traded amazing home graphics for terrible mobile gaming. No. Thank. You. I’m going to have to pass. I may pick it up down the road when it’s selling for $200 with games on Craigslist after people abandon it. $300 for terrible specs and the ability to play on a bus? No.

    • Fabian Fierros February 19, 2017

      what? all of this has been confirmed by nintendo themselves. are you nintendrones that in denial?

      • Stealth February 20, 2017

        haha no it has not

        • Overkillwfo February 20, 2017

          Lol. Like a child with his fingers in his ears, not wanting to hear the truth.

          • Stealth February 21, 2017

            What truth?

  5. Note5 February 18, 2017

    Never will I buy a console at launch.
    As a budget gamer I never ever bpught a console at launch. But I broke that tradition when I bought the PS4. So now I have buyers remose when I saw the white PS4 Slim and the PS4 Pro that fixed many of the day one version. It was overall a better buy. Better hardware and better games at these times.
    Never will I buy at launch window again.

  6. Note5 February 18, 2017

    Knowing Nintendo the will pull a New Switch XXLi latèr anyway. So no scratching the itch.

  7. iofhua February 18, 2017

    The launch line-up is better than Nintendo consoles in the past. Did anyone here live during the N64 launch? It was pretty dry for a while. Having a Zelda at launch is a huge plus. I remember waiting a long, long time to get Ocarina of TIme. It was worth the wait though.

    I’m really excited about the list of publisher already on board with the Switch. Atlus, From Software, Level 5, Namco? This means there will be a whole world of Japanese titles and JRPG’s. This is in addition to big studios like Square and Bethesda. I think it’s going to have a lot of RPG’s on it. Just my gut feeling.

    I’m not getting one at launch because I’m disappointed. I’m not getting one at launch because they are all sold out.

    I think in time the doomsayers will have to accept it’s going to be a success. But lets wait until the end of year 1 to see how it turns out.

    • chimpmeister February 19, 2017

      No, the launch lineup is terrible. One good game, and a handful of shovelware games. Let’s not paint such a rosy picture, the 3rd party support for the Switch looks very poor right now, and Nintendo isn’t able to support the system all by themselves.

    • Nick de Bruyne February 20, 2017

      I damn well hope it’s a success… when the timing is right for me I definitely want one

  8. Andrew February 18, 2017

    If anything don’t read things by this author. What a joke article. You’ve been writing since 2008 and expect people who have been gaming since the 90’s to give a shit about what you write?

    • Nick de Bruyne February 18, 2017

      I’ve been playing games since around 1986 and I’ve written thousand of articles/news posts and covered events like E3 as well as hosting podcasts etc but you’re like, more than welcome to not give a shit about what I write if you like, no one’s forcing you

      • Andrew February 18, 2017

        Obviously you suck at writing if you’re on a nothing site people find while taking a shit and visiting N4g.com. At least what I was doing while reading your article and the quality of the article had something in common.

        • Nick de Bruyne February 18, 2017

          It’s actually just a little side project of mine. Your comments are a sad reflection of your reality and you’re clearly trying to take it out on random people you find on the internet. I hope your fortune changes. Go find something that makes you happy instead of hanging out here.

          • Andrew February 18, 2017

            I always enjoy when people pull the cliche “your opinion is a reflection of your own reality BS” I’m actually very happy, doing well and just think your article sucks. Deal with it.

          • Fabian Fierros February 19, 2017

            i’ll go ahead and say what everyone is thinking about you. andrew. fuck you and your pathetic denial. this man with his experience and credentials has obviously written this article for your own good. enjoy your single game also available on the wii u too, which i own. i hope you buy all the accessories for all 2 notable games this year.

          • Space Janitor February 20, 2017

            Sounds like someone is mad because they likely can’t afford one at launch. I buy all consoles day one regardless. The Switch will likely fail but not because of what the writer said. I’m a gamer and buy things regardless. Zelda is all I need day one to last me a few months because I’m a gamer and have 6 other consoles to tide me over. Switch is sold out everywhere and this article won’t do anything to stop that. P.S- Yes, this is also coming out on the Wii U however with the switch version I can easily take my console to your moms house I’ll enjoy some more wild.

          • DecksUpMySleeve February 20, 2017


          • Nick de Bruyne February 20, 2017

            I just can’t deny how damn much I laughed at the last part of this comment… haha.

          • Space Janitor February 23, 2017

            Very kind of you. Sorry if I ruined your day with my rude comments. I’m a nice guy actually believe it or not.

    • chimpmeister February 19, 2017

      @ Andrew – I’ve been “gaming since the 90’s” and I totally agree with Nick’s article. Maybe you should take off those rose colored glasses, and legitimately analyze the Switch, in terms of hardware (which falls short), pricing (which is massively inflated), and games (which are almost non-existent).

  9. OptimusPrime February 18, 2017

    Nonsense piece of writing. You sound like a Nintendo hater. Pre-order day one for me!

  10. ruefrak February 18, 2017

    The other thing that needs to be considered is what the competition is offering. If you look at the Switch in a vacuum, then it’s not all that bad of a deal. $300 for a home console that can also be used as a portable is a pretty good deal. Except for the fact that PS4/XB1 are available for $250 and also include a game. They also have a large library of titles to choose from with a guarantee of more games to come in the future. “But the Switch is also a portable” is the argument, but does anyone really care? Yes, there are a few of us who want the full gaming experience on the go but for most of the world, the iPhone they’re already carrying in their pocket is more than enough.

    Nintendo is making all the mistakes Sony made with the Vita and just doubling down on them. The only difference here is that Switch has a new Zelda game which everyone wants to play. That may just blind enough people to get them to buy it. But at $360, that’s too much for most to play just one game.

  11. Brad Marcus Kirchhoff February 18, 2017

    Fuck mobile games as a whole. Its gotten to the point that kids are so fucking lazy they cant even get off the screen even when outdoors. Want to play games? Play them at home. Quit giving ppl ways of not being attentive in public.

  12. Mark Baldwin February 18, 2017

    Omg cry more why dont you….. did nintendo break your favorite toy…. do they really need to prove them self since 90 pct of there ideas ends up appearing on the HD twins…. personaly there idea is revolutionary in concept and to be honest im happy to get on bored with that. For 300 dollars you get an advancement in gaming technology. Silm streamline system thats designed as a gaming system.. not to be a media center… like all those wining little brats cried when ps4 didn’t do it at launch… i remember… when ps4 died. The hardware was shit and they needed to fix it..and the weeks waiting to get it back………….. these days there is no difference between pc… ps4… and xbox…. they all offer the same experience visuals over game play… thats untill something like stardew Valley rocks everyones world and people realise hey its not allways grapics thats sells games.. its the quality of game play…. and no matter what nintendo system will come out that game play has allways been there… thanks rant over

    • Dab710 February 18, 2017

      I love how I read both the article and your post, and YOUR post sounds ALOT more like CRYING?!?
      At least at end you acknowledge as a rant

    • Nick de Bruyne February 18, 2017

      “So first things first, if you’re a massive Nintendo fan and have already pre-ordered your Switch with zero chance of being dissuaded from a launch day purchase, please ignore this post, I mean it. If you’re happy, then I’m truly happy for you and I’m sure it’s going to make you feel like its Christmas day when it arrives. I really do mean this sincerely, I do, and you can even stop reading. Just go continue being happy because being happy is great.”

  13. chimpmeister February 18, 2017

    Really good advice for people to wait a year or so before deciding to buy a Switch. The launch lineup is very thin (one good game, plus a few shovelware games), the system and its accessories are overpriced, and 3rd party support looks very shaky right now. And the hardware itself isn’t very powerful in many ways (including a very short battery life).

  14. Yojimbo February 19, 2017

    Best time to buy the Switch this year is probably Black Friday sales 2017. Just wait a bit and even if hardware not on sale software will be with a bigger selection.

  15. GeekGI February 19, 2017

    An informative and great article Nick! You hit it right on the head, my friend.

  16. Kony Tornheiser February 19, 2017

    What an awful article. I want my penny back.

    • Nick de Bruyne February 19, 2017

      Your request is under review 😉

  17. Dyinglight February 19, 2017

    Can’t agree more.
    Let’s wait and see.

  18. Stealth February 20, 2017

    The bottom line is this article is generalized and slanted. It is in no way factual.

    You say people should not buy Breath of the Wild on Switch because it is on Wii U, but REALITY showed us that 5-1 more people bought Twilight princess on Wii than Gamecube. People buy Zelda games on the newer systems. That is reality.

  19. Graeme Selvan February 20, 2017

    Great points, I bought it for Zelda only. I am hoping they re-release the remastered version of Wind Waker on it too as I would like to play that again on the go. Other than that I am ok waiting a few months for my next switch purchase. I did not play Mario Kart, Xenoblade 2 or Splatoon so should have some goodies to keep me busy. I also have two other consoles to keep me occupied. Yes I have a problem but many people know this.

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