When we heard about the Nintendo Switch OLED in July, I rushed to get my pre-order ASAP. Considering that even the standard Nintendo Switch hasn’t always been easy to find over the past year or so, I assumed an updated model would sell out in seconds.
While order books haven’t filled up as quickly, the Nintendo Switch OLED still seems to be joining the PS5 and Xbox Series X this holiday season as an item everyone wants, but no one can actually buy. . However, yesterday – after much deliberation – I hit the cancel button on my pre-order. Then I hit the confirm button for good measure.
As the console’s October 8 launch date approached, I had already considered canceling several times. I play almost exclusively on my current Nintendo Switch in handheld mode, so a bigger OLED screen is a big upgrade in my books. But the introductory price of $ 349 and the lack of performance improvement left me unsure if I really needed it.
This week, Nintendo released a long Nintendo Direct live stream. I was sure we would see a slew of enticing new Switch games and double my pre-order. Instead, the Nintendo Direct had the opposite effect. Almost immediately after the live broadcast ended, my finger was already hovering over the cancel button. After a little more thought, I pressed it.
Where are all the games?
I’ve written before about how the Nintendo Switch suffered from a serious lack of flagship games. I had hoped that the latest Nintendo Direct would rectify this situation. This is not the case.
For years now, it feels like Nintendo has been resting on its laurels when it comes to powerful Switch software. This year has been particularly bad. In 2021, Mario Golf: Super Rush and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD are all Switch gamers that had to get excited – and neither of those games are very good.
This year, PS5 gamers have enjoyed exclusives like Returnal, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart and Deathloop, while Xbox gamers have Forza Horizon 5 and Halo Infinite to look forward to this winter. In comparison, on Nintendo Switch, there isn’t much to do. Another undercooked Mario Party? Meh.
While the most recent Nintendo Direct showed Splatoon 3 and Bayonetta 3, I can’t say I was particularly impressed with either. Both look disappointingly like their predecessors and hardly worth the extra $ 349 just to play them on a slightly better screen. Certainly, on the other hand, Kirby and the Forgotten Country piqued my interest.
If Nintendo had given us more details on Breath of the Wild 2, finally confirmed a Super Mario Odyssey follow-up, or announced Mario Kart 9, then maybe I would sing a different tune. Sadly, the lack of flagship Switch games is an issue Nintendo is unable or unwilling to address.
Not the best place to play
My decision to cancel my Switch OLED pre-order wasn’t just due to the disappointing software lineup. The sad truth is that of the three major console platforms, the Nintendo Switch is by far the worst place to play.
As Microsoft continues to develop its Game Pass service and Sony has the much underrated PlayStation Plus Collection, what is Nintendo offering? Some classic N64 and Sega Genesis titles, which you can effectively rent rather than buy.
I’m not a graphics snob, and I love classic games. In fact, Banjo-Kazooie on N64 was the first video game I played and I will buy any re-release on any system. But Nintendo doesn’t even give me the option to buy it. Instead, Banjo-Kazooie will be available as part of the Nintendo Switch Online service.
This lackluster service is already lagging behind Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus in terms of connection quality and overall functionality. On top of that, Nintendo has had the nerve to announce that access to its library of N64 / Genesis games will require additional membership fees. It’s a terrible value proposition.
The Nintendo Switch has always been the least feature-rich console on the market. Year after year, this gap seems to be widening rather than narrowing. I guess I should at least be thankful that Nintendo recently turned on Bluetooth audio – but why did it take four years for that to happen?
The Nintendo Switch is such a nifty little machine for gaming, but almost everything outside of actual games needs some attention. I just can’t justify buying another Switch when Nintendo doesn’t seem willing to cheer me on.
I’m happy with what I have
There were still plenty of great titles on Nintendo Direct. For starters, I’m excited about the arrival of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic on the platform. I can’t wait to buy this game for the fourth time. (Maybe I’ll finish it on Switch?)
There is still some value in the Nintendo Switch as a whole. It’s a great device that has become a travel essential for me. However, the Switch has never been able to rise above being an additional console. I will always choose to play on PS5 or Xbox Series X first and then Switch.
That’s why I decided it was time to cancel my Switch OLED pre-order. It just doesn’t make sense to me to spend such an expense on something that would spend more time in its carrying case than out of it. I’m happy to continue playing on my standard Nintendo Switch for now.
If Nintendo can come out next year with several high impact titles, maybe I’ll reconsider. But if the company really wants me to spend more money on another device, how about a suitable Nintendo Switch Pro?
- Nintendo is bringing N64 and Genesis games to Nintendo Switch Online, but they’ll cost more
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- Nintendo Switch OLED – should you wait or buy a Switch now?
- Nintendo Switch Online gets “expansion pack” with N64 and Genesis games
- Nintendo considers price hike for Switch Online, but adds tier for N64 and Sega Genesis games