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Topic: Why a Joy-Con-less Switch model is a terrible idea

Posts 21 to 40 of 49

redd214

I will just say as a dad of 2 young kids (10 and 8) if they released a "switch mini" with non detachable joycons at a good price ($200ish) I would sell one of our switches and buy 2 in a heartbeat. I think it would be great

redd214

embison

But a joy-con-less Switch wouldn't be able to play 1-2-Switch. Thinks. I'm OK with this!

The Wii U is still the world's best console. Buy one today!

JasmineDragon

@StuTwo I mean, Nintendo's go-to model for portables since 2001 has been a clamshell design with a hinge that can, and often does, break when dropped or opened too hard, and they've sold hundreds of millions of devices using this design to families with young children (including about six of them that were bought by my family), so I'm not sure you can really argue that it's inevitable Nintendo will go down the single-molded-unit road for sale to kids. Even the 2DS was arguably prompted by the fact that Nintendo themselves were recommending against letting kids under 7 use the 3D, not so much the fragility of the hinge. It's worth noting that the New 2DS is another clamshell design.

Also, those rails are really pretty strong, and I suspect the reason you don't hear a lot of stories about young'uns breaking the Joy-Con is that it just isn't happening very often. I personally haven't heard of that ever happening, and I do have a kid who was 7 when the Switch launched and has been playing on it almost every day since launch, including removing and replacing the Joy-Con pretty regularly, without any damage. Anecdotal, I know, but between my kids and myself we have managed to crack the hinges of one DS Phat and one 3DS.

I can't say "no way the Switch Mini will ever happen" because it's Nintendo, who the hell ever knows what they'll do next? But I don't think it's nearly as inevitable or immediate as some people here think.

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Heavyarms55

@TheMisterManGuy I doubt very highly that Nintendo would ever consider making a pure portable only Switch. Yeah yeah I know there is the whole argument with the 2DS suggesting that Nintendo might, but the key difference I think is that the 3D of the 3DS was never, in any game, truly a core aspect. It was always a visual perk. The hybrid nature is a core aspect of what makes the Switch the Switch.

For that same reason I doubt they'd ever release a Switch that was not compatible with joy-cons. However I could see them releasing a Switch without detachable controls. Such a device could still support the joy-con controllers as an option, but a cheaper, more durable and child friendly Switch is entirely possible. Such a device would have built in controls and joy-con would be separate. But this device would remain compatible with the dock (or possibly have it's own, redesigned dock).

I can see them releasing a Switch without detachable joy-cons, but I cannot imagine them ever taking away the TV functionality.

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TheMisterManGuy

Heavyarms55 wrote:

For that same reason I doubt they'd ever release a Switch that was not compatible with joy-cons. However I could see them releasing a Switch without detachable controls. Such a device could still support the joy-con controllers as an option, but a cheaper, more durable and child friendly Switch is entirely possible. Such a device would have built in controls and joy-con would be separate. But this device would remain compatible with the dock (or possibly have it's own, redesigned dock).

Problem is, why reason would there be to strip away the Joy-Con from the package? They're as integral to the concept of the Switch as the hybrid nature is, and many gameplay styles and games wouldn't be possible without them. It's like selling a Wii without the Wii Remote and Nunchuck, you just kill 90% of the console's appeal at that point. And as many have mentioned, clamshell hinges that can be broken didn't stop the DS line from being child friendly.

I just don't get the obsession with trying to make the Switch a blander, more uninspired console with new iterations. People like the hybrid, they like the Joy-Con, why the hell would they get rid of that?

TheMisterManGuy

StuTwo

@JasmineDragon you see I’d argue that the original 2DS - anecdotally the one I’ve seen most people give to their kids and perhaps the cheapest handheld Nintendo has ever made - did away with the clamshell design. It was a single piece wedge with no moving parts.

I actually think cost was what ultimately drove it. Cheaper to manufacture and cheap enough to take the 3DS into new markets.

That said even with its known flaws the clamshell was easy to market to parents in some ways. Principally it protected the screen - the part that many parents (wrongly) believe their kids are most likely to break.

StuTwo

Switch Friend Code: SW-6338-4534-2507

StuTwo

@TheMisterManGuy but your line of argumentation is like trying to claim that losing the ability to fly has stripped the Kiwi of its unique ability of being able to fly.

If losing the joy cons (though they are blue tooth so can always remain an option) and half an inch off the screen and dropping the dock as a pack in allows Nintendo to cut £100 off the price they can reach a vast market that wouldn’t currently consider buying one.

They might ultimately sell millions more devices capable of playing Switch games by going down that route. Every device out there capable of playing Switch games makes the next big Nintendo software release that bit more successful.

StuTwo

Switch Friend Code: SW-6338-4534-2507

TheMisterManGuy

StuTwo wrote:

If losing the joy cons (though they are blue tooth so can always remain an option) and half an inch off the screen and dropping the dock as a pack in allows Nintendo to cut £100 off the price they can reach a vast market that wouldn’t currently consider buying one.

They might ultimately sell millions more devices capable of playing Switch games by going down that route. Every device out there capable of playing Switch games makes the next big Nintendo software release that bit more successful.

Problem is that you're only looking at this in terms of market potential, how Nintendo can just artificially boost their market share and throw creative integrity out the window. Sure, such a device seems like a good business decision in theory to Nintendo sheep who just want their favorite company to make even more money. But in practice, it strips out the creative appeal of the Switch entirely, and just becomes a bland cash grab. The Joy-Con are as much a part of the Switch design as the hybrid nature is. And don't tell me you can just "Buy Joy-Con to work with it". Sure, ask the parents of these kids to drop $80 on a set of controllers that should come with the system to begin with.

It's a terrible concept, creatively and commercially, and it completely misunderstands the actual reasons the Switch is a hit.

TheMisterManGuy

toiletduck

@Heavyarms55 @StuTwo I also think an entry level model primarily focused on handheld would work. In my opinion it would indeed be a prerequisite to be able to connect to tv and link joycons/pro controllers. It's a solid idea for multiple target audiences: multiple sku's per household, less wealthy countries, portable-first players...

toiletduck

TheMisterManGuy

toiletduck wrote:

@Heavyarms55 @StuTwo I also think an entry level model primarily focused on handheld would work. In my opinion it would indeed be a prerequisite to be able to connect to tv and link joycons/pro controllers. It's a solid idea for multiple target audiences: multiple sku's per household, less wealthy countries, portable-first players...

Those markets can be filled by simply waiting out a price cut and/or releasing a dock-less bundle. There's no reason to take away the core idea of the Switch for no reason.

TheMisterManGuy

link3710

@subpopz You forgot just how bad the Wii Mini was. It most critically removed internet access (so no online gaming, and no access to VC/Wiiware), but also the SD Card slot (used for a variety of small features such as photos), GameCube controller ports (which those controllers were supported in a number of Wii titles), and GameCube BC (not a core feature, but just completing the list). I think that definitely amounts to losing core features.

Of course, the Wii mini didn't release until after the Wii U, so that's a very different situation than something releasing in the height of the system's lifespan.

link3710

skywake

TheMisterManGuy wrote:

Those markets can be filled by simply waiting out a price cut and/or releasing a dock-less bundle. There's no reason to take away the core idea of the Switch for no reason.

Or they could strip back the console AND take advantage of improved processes and drop the price even further. You keep talking as if there's only one particular way to go about things. The reality is there are a lot of reasons why they would do this and a lot of ways they could go about it. And these kinds of cost savings stack. Just because another idea can also achieve the same goals doesn't mean that another can't be used at the same time.

My main point was that it'd be a lower priced SKU that could better fit the hole left by the 3DS. So lets look at the current pricing of all consoles on the stack:

$550AU - XBOne X
$500AU - PS4 Pro
$399AU - Switch
$280AU - PS4
$280AU - XBOne S
$250AU - 3DS XL
$200AU - 2DS XL

Now if they could get the Switch down to $250-300AU? They'd hit another gear. I doubt they're going to reach there anytime soon with natural price drops. Some of it's going to have to come from not including as much in the box. A Switch Mini with built in controls and a "dock & play" kit as a $150AU optional extra makes the most sense IMO. Probably late next year at the earliest.

Edited on by skywake

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TheMisterManGuy

skywake wrote:

Or they could strip back the console AND take advantage of improved processes and drop the price even further. You keep talking as if there's only one particular way to go about things. The reality is there are a lot of reasons why they would do this and a lot of ways they could go about it. And these kinds of cost savings stack. Just because another idea can also achieve the same goals doesn't mean that another can't be used at the same time.

Once again, you only look at it in terms of how much money they can save and how low cost they can get the system. Nintendo products are successful, not because they're as cheap as possible, but because they offer a compelling product and premise at a comparatively affordable price, while still retaining a sense of expensiveness. People will buy a good product if it's reasonably priced for the concept it delivers. The Switch succeeds in doing that, so there's no real reason to introduce a less functional Frankenstein monster that runs counter to why people actually enjoy the Switch.

Now if they could get the Switch down to $250-300AU? They'd hit another gear. I doubt they're going to reach there anytime soon with natural price drops. Some of it's going to have to come from not including as much in the box. A Switch Mini with built in controls and a "dock & play" kit as a $150AU optional extra makes the most sense IMO. Probably late next year at the earliest.

And as I said, a dock-less Switch bundle is enough to get the Switch to handheld adoption rates, while retaining a somewhat premium price. Nintendo killed 3D with the 2DS because 3D had health risks for young kids, was mandated to be optional, and wasn't a particularly appealing feature in the long run, so it was easy to cut. There's no reason nor any way Nintendo will pull this same crap with the Switch, especially when it's already outpacing the 3DS in sales within the same timeframe. What you're proposing just feels far too cynical for Nintendo to do. I know they love profits, but they also are creatively stubborn. They're not going to cut core essential features this early in a system's live just to save some money. I can see this maybe being a thing towards the end of the Switch's life (whenever that is). But not when it's hot like an oven and selling at a rapid pace.

TheMisterManGuy

StuTwo

TheMisterManGuy wrote:

toiletduck wrote:

@Heavyarms55 @StuTwo I also think an entry level model primarily focused on handheld would work. In my opinion it would indeed be a prerequisite to be able to connect to tv and link joycons/pro controllers. It's a solid idea for multiple target audiences: multiple sku's per household, less wealthy countries, portable-first players...

Those markets can be filled by simply waiting out a price cut and/or releasing a dock-less bundle. There's no reason to take away the core idea of the Switch for no reason.

It might take years before Switch gets to the price point that we’re talking about though. By which point it’s not the attractive current technology it is right now. More importantly: how many tens of millions of copies of Pokémon and Animal Crossing have you not sold in the meantime that you could have if you’d been able to offer a sub £200 Switch?

Aside from that what you’re proposing is a complete sacrifice of profit margins for no reason. Introducing a handheld only Switch that is missing features you or I might care about allows Nintendo to hold the mainstream Switch at a slightly higher price (and therefore maintain slightly higher margins). It’s the reason Apple launch multiple iPhones each year and why Sony and Microsoft both introduced premium consoles (doing so allowed them to drop the price of their standard offerings).

A handheld only Switch would retain all of the key features of a Switch at present. It just wouldn’t have the dock packed in or joy cons packed in (but they would still be compatible as wireless controllers).

StuTwo

Switch Friend Code: SW-6338-4534-2507

Trajan

Nintendo eliminated the namesake of their last portable to make a cheaper and more child friendly console (2ds). I'm sure they'll do it now.

Edited on by Trajan

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TheMisterManGuy

StuTwo wrote:

It might take years before Switch gets to the price point that we’re talking about though. By which point it’s not the attractive current technology it is right now. More importantly: how many tens of millions of copies of Pokémon and Animal Crossing have you not sold in the meantime that you could have if you’d been able to offer a sub £200 Switch?

The number of sales they'd gain for Animal Crossing and Pokemon with a handheld only Switch is too negligible to even consider the idea. Kids and Casuals are already buying the system in droves. There's not much of a reason to do this.

Aside from that what you’re proposing is a complete sacrifice of profit margins for no reason. Introducing a handheld only Switch that is missing features you or I might care about allows Nintendo to hold the mainstream Switch at a slightly higher price (and therefore maintain slightly higher margins). It’s the reason Apple launch multiple iPhones each year and why Sony and Microsoft both introduced premium consoles (doing so allowed them to drop the price of their standard offerings).

Okay first off, Nintendo is already making a ton of money on Switch hardware and software sales, so they're not sacrificing much of anything. Second, while additional Switch models are always a possibility, probably made with cheaper parts. They Joy-Con concept and they rails they connect to aren't going anywhere and that's that. I'm sorry, but the Joy-Con are the key reason why the Switch is such a successful product. I know people are going to say "Nuh uh, portability is!" Listen, the Switch is only a hybrid because the Joy-Con allows it to be a hybrid. Sure taking it on the go is the main selling point, but the various ways to play and use it thanks to the Joy-Con I'd argue is the bigger star of the show here.

A handheld only Switch would retain all of the key features of a Switch at present. It just wouldn’t have the dock packed in or joy cons packed in (but they would still be compatible as wireless controllers).

Such a device also adds extra barriers to entry. Sure it could still be compatible with those controllers, but if you want to play 2 player games, well you need to pony up $80 for a Joy-Con pair. Eventually those costs add up, and at that point you might as well just buy the regular Switch.

@Trajan Only because the 3DS was struggling in the US, and it's main gimmick was a health hazard to the under 7s. They're not going to do it to the Switch because the concept actually sticks.

Edited on by TheMisterManGuy

TheMisterManGuy

GrailUK

I hope they adopt a more mobile phone model of revisions. As opposed to reworking the existing model, create an upgrade while simultaneously lowering the price of the old model. This to me is a 'family' of consoles, as opposed to a hybrid, a handheld and a home console SKU all not quite managing to do the same thing.

I never drive faster than I can see. Besides, it's all in the reflexes.

Switch FC: SW-0287-5760-4611

TheMisterManGuy

GrailUK wrote:

I hope they adopt a more mobile phone model of revisions. As opposed to reworking the existing model, create an upgrade while simultaneously lowering the price of the old model. This to me is a 'family' of consoles, as opposed to a hybrid, a handheld and a home console SKU all not quite managing to do the same thing.

This is actually a way better approach. Rather than butchering the main premise just for the sake of more money, it's smarter to introduce new systems overtime while gradually phasing out the older models. It ensures the Switch always has a low-priced option, while retaining its core appeal. A handheld only frankentien is simply the wrong way to go about it.

TheMisterManGuy

StuTwo

@TheMisterManGuy I’m not at all sure that Switch is selling “in droves” to kids and casuals yet at this point.

When they get the price below £150 with a game they’ll open up a much bigger audience. The audience they’ll need to sell to if they want to hit 100 million + sales.

Personally I love the joy cons but I don’t think the majority of the audience particularly cares about them. By Nintendo’s own figures about a third of the audience (I.e 10 million players) never play docked and about 1 in 5 never plays outside of the dock.

StuTwo

Switch Friend Code: SW-6338-4534-2507

GrailUK

@StuTwo If you are referring to the poll I think you are referring to, the majority asked said they play both (which is as intended I would think).

I never drive faster than I can see. Besides, it's all in the reflexes.

Switch FC: SW-0287-5760-4611

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