Over the coming days, weeks, and months, a lot will be said about Nintendo’s new hybrid gaming system, the Switch. These will be important conversations ahead of Nintendo asking consumers to shell out an, as yet, undetermined amount of cash; they will be important conversations for those making games, wondering about the system’s viability; and these conversations will certainly be important to the wider industry, as Nintendo tries to stave off continued erosion of its market share from competitors–both direct and indirect.
One thing is certain, though: There will be a heck of a lot of snark.
Publications, commenters, and even fans will heap on criticism of Switch. Much of it will be productive, the type of conversation that comes from a place of love, while much more yet will be rage for the sake of rage.
Our Internet culture rewards those voices who always call things down. We amplify those voices–well, we don’t, but you know what I mean–to the point that an echo chamber of resent can emerge. Already, a deluge of criticism has emerged against Switch. The amount of nonsensical criticism is mind boggling.
It’s too early to criticize the machine’s price: We don’t know it.
It’s too early to criticize the machine’s games lineup: We know only a smattering of what will be on offer, and what we do know includes The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Just Dance 2017, a Splatoon sequel, a new Mario, and possibly some form of Mario Kart, an NBA game, and maybe even Skyrim. That’s an impressive lineup when you consider only the first of the list. The rest is gravy on top.
It’s too early to criticize how the machine will work: We haven’t touched it yet. It’s possible that, like the Wii before it, everything will just make sense when we get it in our hands.
We can’t criticize the marketing: So far, every aspect has been on point, from the name, to the reveal, to the announcement of early support. This is no Wii U repeat.
But above all else: This is an exciting time for gamers. A Nintendo on its heels is an exciting thing. We will no doubt be treated to some of the best games of the next decade because of the integration of Nintendo’s hardware and software teams and the holistic approach Nintendo takes to development.
Be critical. Challenge Nintendo to do better.
But don’t lose the excitement. A new system is coming and it looks completely unlike anything before it. That’s worth celebrating.