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Topic: Do you think Nintendo should have released a portable console and a home console that played the same games and had the same OS, instead of the Switch?

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shadow-wolf

Sorry for the long title!

Prior to the release of the Switch, there were many rumors about the NX stating that it would consist of separate consoles - one home and one portable - that would play the same games and run the same OS. Thus, developers would be able to make one game and have it run on all devices that ran this Nintendo OS (the home console and portable console).

This would have allowed the home console to be more powerful than the Switch (since it could be a dedicated home console), while the portable console could focus on aspects such as battery life.

Do you think Nintendo should have released a portable console and a home console that each ran the same OS and played the same games (using cartridges as the physical media for both), or do you think Nintendo was right to release the Switch (a hybrid that is both a home console and a portable console)?

Also, what are your preferences between the two? (This may have a different answer than the one to the question above.)

Edit: I mean two separate consoles BUT they play the same games. So for example, arguments about Nintendo not being able to support both the 3DS and Wii U don't apply here because both of the consoles would play the same games. Think something like an iPhone and iPad or the difference of an iPhone 5s to iPhone X (both play the same games but one does it better but is home-only, while one does it a bit worse but is mobile).

Edited on by shadow-wolf

shadow-wolf

EvilLucario

No, they shouldn't have. Both Nintendo and Sony proved it's extremely hard to maintain two platforms at once. Nintendo failed with the GameCube and Wii U, and Sony failed with the Vita, and you can even argue that even the 3DS has suffered in terms of games. Catching lightning in a bottle like with the Wii/DS and the PS3/PSP is not easy, and while it may seem risky due to putting all of their eggs in one basket, when pulled off right you get the Switch and PS4.

Condensing everything into one platform is one reason why Sony has been dominating this generation, and why Nintendo has the potential to just have the best Nintendo library ever with the Switch. Instead of half-assing two platforms, they can give all of their efforts on one platform to better sell people on it.

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Peace-Boy

@EvilLucario The GameCube failed because of lack of faith after the N64 failing, which was due to the cartridges thing, then the mini discs were controversial as well. The Wii U failed due to marketing issues mainly as well as bad hardware. As for the Vita, that was due to the memory card pricing and maybe a couple of other more complicated things. The reason the PSP did so well was because how it was easy to hack, if you look at software sales, you'll see a big difference between that and the PSP's sales.
So yeah, none of the examples you gave had issues relating to bad management because of 2 systems existing.

That being said, managing one console is much better and easier than managing two, regardless of how well the DS and Wii did, which was probably the only 2 consoles Nintendo succeeded both with in one generation.

Peace-Boy

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shadow-wolf

@Peace-Boy @EvilLucario Sorry if I didn't clarify this originally, I edited the post to reflect clarifications.

I mean two separate consoles BUT they play the same games. So for example, arguments about Nintendo not being able to support both the 3DS and Wii U don't apply here because both of the consoles would play the same games. Think something like an iPhone and iPad or the difference of an iPhone 5s to iPhone X (both play the same games but one does it better but is home-only, while one does it a bit worse but is mobile).

shadow-wolf

EvilLucario

@Peace-Boy Fair enough, but I would argue that the Vita also didn't even get any support from Sony. They had some games at the launch, then literally gave up afterwards. They literally didn't care after the initial launch. And I stand by my initial statement that supporting two systems isn't feasible, and that goes double with today's climate with more complicated game development than in the past.

@shadow-wolf In that case, then that just seems like an overcomplicated way of just saying "let's have a Switch Mini/XL".

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Peace-Boy

@EvilLucario They actually did support it after launch, there was this one game called Murasaki Baby which they published in 2014 and was advertising for it. After that, they gave up.

Peace-Boy

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subpopz

No. Why would I want to buy 2 machines to do what 1 machine is doing now? Switch already does things differently docked than it does portable and developers would still have to make the games able to run on the lesser of the two like they do now (when they have to get them to run portable). If anything, an expansion of this within one system would make far more sense than having 2 machines out there doing the exact same thing only slightly better or worse than the other. Or even having a home dock that beefs up the 1 system makes more sense than having 2 separate ones.

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Buizel

No. While it probably would've been better than the traditional (e.g. 3DS/Wii U) situation, I think by doung this Nintendo would be much worse off than they are with the Switch.

First of all, it would be massively detrimental to anyone planning on playing handheld and at home. Having to buy two systems, potentially different accessories/controllers, etc. Having to worry about game downloads / storage for both systems / having to switch cartridges between two systems. And not having the seemless transition from handheld to TV, which IMO is one of the major benefits of the Switch (compare with the Vita/PSTV which was a lot more of a hassle!)

Secondly, it would be a lot more difficult to market. The Switch is very intuitive. Trying to explain that you have two systems that play the same games? It might be intuitive to hardcore gamers but maybe not so to everyone. We don't need any more confusion as with (New) 2/3DS (XL) and the Wii (U). Plus, while the concept of a shared ecosystem is very convient, it's much less exciting. Remember the buzz around the Switch trailer?

The only benefits I can see are (i) a lower entry price for the ecosystem (the Switch is expensive but it doesn't really seem to matter at the moment!), and (ii) having a more powerful home experience, as mentioned (however, as @subpopz mentioned, there's nothing stopping them from doing that now - why not offer a dock upgrade somewhere down the line?)

Edited on by Buizel

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LuckyLand

No. Switch is a much better solution than two different consoles compatible with each other.

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DanteSolablood

No, Nintendo definitely should not have released two separate systems with a shared OS - at the time Nintendo was developing the Switch they were not in a good place and needed to consolidate all their resources into ONE system to make it a success.

-Two systems would be harder to market, diluting each others messaging.
-Two systems would cost a LOT more upfront increasing losses had they failed.
-Two systems would have lost the uniqueness that helped sell the Switch.

There are a lot more points to add, but it's gone midnight here and I need sleep, but I certainly think Nintendo needed to merge their handheld and console together this generation to make sure it was a success. Launching two consoles (handheld & home) and failing could have critically injured Nintendo. The last thing we need is for Nintendo to go the Sega route (and for all those saying they want Nintendo on Sony/Microsoft consoles... let us look at how good Sega games are nowadays now they have to compromise...).

@Peace-Boy I disagree that the PSP was a success because it was easy to hack, the huge hacking scene grew up a little way into the handheld's life, well after it was established. I think the main reason that it did succeed was the amount of money Sony poured into it and because it was seen as an actual competitor to Nintendo, something fresh. Sony certainly tried to support the PS Vita for as long as they could, but their attempts to kill the game cloning scene that arose on the PSP (such as deliberate memory card price inflation) choked sales early on & the numbers never really recovered.

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Anti-Matter

@shadow-wolf
A Hybrid machine that can be played with and without TV is More than enough.
Keep stick on Switch.
That's your answer.

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skywake

I don't remember it being a rumour but I definitely remember being one of the people pushing this idea. Even so, I think the Switch is a better solution. The main reason why I thought this would be a good idea was because I knew that Nintendo both needed to and wanted to stop splitting their resources between home console and portable. However I didn't think a competitively priced portable system would be capable enough to compete as a home console. Clearly I was wrong given how well the Switch is doing and how capable it is.

Really, the Switch is just as good a solution for getting developers behind one platform. The difference is that if you had two platforms, even if they could run the same software, you still end up with an audience where some people are on the TV and some aren't. Even less people would have brought both if the libraries were identical so it would've even been worse than previous generations in that regard. Having two systems doesn't really make anything better for the consumer. The Switch solves the two platform issue for both developers and consumers rather than just for developers.

Edited on by skywake

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Peace-Boy

@DanteSolablood I dunno man, I kept reading before that the PSP's success was due to it being easy to hack, and because of that, the software sales for it were very low because of piracy. Feel free to look it up.

Peace-Boy

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StuTwo

No.

They may still get to that point but they’ll get there from a position of strength. In the mean time they’ve given themselves maximum flexibility and maximised the potential audience for things like Labo.

StuTwo

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electrolite77

@Peace-Boy

PSP certainly had a piracy problem but so did the DS, which doubled PSP sales. The main problem PSP and Vita had were Sony not supporting them well enough, due to focussing on their home systems.

The Wii/DS and PSP/PS3 are anomalies in terms of both systems finding success (though PSP didn't sell as many as Sony hoped and PS3 will be their worst selling home system). GB/SNES are the only other example where one or the other hasn't flopped and it was a very different market then.

Given the complexity of game development and the commensurate time and money required to develop games now compared to previous eras, supporting two systems simply isn't feasible. Nintendo don't want another system selling Wii U, GameCube or N64 numbers. Sony don't want another system selling Vita levels and appear to have given up. One system is the way forward.

Edited on by electrolite77

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Agriculture

EvilLucario wrote:

No, they shouldn't have. Both Nintendo and Sony proved it's extremely hard to maintain two platforms at once. Nintendo failed with the GameCube and Wii U, and Sony failed with the Vita, and you can even argue that even the 3DS has suffered in terms of games. Catching lightning in a bottle like with the Wii/DS and the PS3/PSP is not easy, and while it may seem risky due to putting all of their eggs in one basket, when pulled off right you get the Switch and PS4.

Condensing everything into one platform is one reason why Sony has been dominating this generation, and why Nintendo has the potential to just have the best Nintendo library ever with the Switch. Instead of half-assing two platforms, they can give all of their efforts on one platform to better sell people on it.

it had nothing to do with "maintaining two platforms at once". That had been done many times before. It had everything to do with changing consumer behavior. The PSP was successful, and the PS Vita wasn't. The difference is that the iPhone had come out when the PS Vita got released. People just don't want to carry around a second device, unless it brings a significant value in terms of games, like the Switch does with real actual console games.

If Sony released a PS Vita 2 in 2020, that had a Tegra Xavier and could run the latest triple-A games, then people would probably buy it, especially if it had a tv-out/dock, like the PSP-2000 and Switch has.

With this said however, it would of course present tons of problems if there was a home-only Switch, like how some games wouldn't work due to a lack of touch screen. The gains would be few, sure it might be a little cheaper, but that's about it in terms of advantages to the original Switch.

Agriculture

Agriculture

I don't understand where any of you got the idea that the PSP was a failure. It's the third most sold portable game console of all time, coming in after just the original Gameboy and the Nintendo DS. It has sold more than the 3DS.

When it came out in 2004 it was among the only handheld multimedia devices you could get. You listened to music, watched movies and played great games on it. It wasn't until 3 years later than the iPhone came out and it started to become common with those capabilities in phones.

Agriculture

FragRed

@Agriculture It’s considered a failure because though it sold decently hardware wise, a lot of that is down to it being incredibly easy to hack. Actual game sales were low and movie sales were even lower. I remember shops trying practically give them away.

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Agriculture

FragRed wrote:

@Agriculture It’s considered a failure because though it sold decently hardware wise, a lot of that is down to it being incredibly easy to hack. Actual game sales were low and movie sales were even lower. I remember shops trying practically give them away.

I see. It still doesn't fit the "Sony tried to keep two consoles at once" mantra. Sony is probably thinking about doing their own hybrid console.

Agriculture

TheTetrisGuy

Interesting question... pretty much every one here is in agreement Nintendo made the right choice unifying there handheld and console market, but if we had never heard of the Switch, I might of been ok with a separate console and a handheld. Don’t get me wrong, in a world with the Switch that would be a bad idea, but in a world where the Switch never came out, I would probably be ok with that idea.

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