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How do indies feel about the Nintendo Switch following its official reveal?

Our Indie Mavens weigh in

How do indies feel about the Nintendo Switch following its official reveal?

Nintendo's big Switch presentation has come and gone, and it brought answers to the numerous questions we all had, as well as quashing a few rumours along the way.

But now that we have all the details on the console, including how much it will actually cost to get one, there's been a bit of a mixed reaction.

Knowing that our Indie Mavens absolutely love talking about anything Nintendo, we turned to them to find out their opinions on the Nintendo Switch and see if they've changed at all since the first teaser reveal.

Specifically, we asked:

  • Are you more or less excited by the Nintendo Switch now that we know what it can do, and not just what it was rumoured to be capable of?
Travis Ryan Studio Head Dumpling Design

'Fanboy Travis' response: had my alarm set for 4am and then got my pre-order in at 7:01am. Watched the Zelda: Breath of the Wild trailer about nine times during breakfast, had a tear in my eye at the Master Sword glade.

Tanya X. Short Creative Director Kitfox Games

If you can throw fictional baseballs and eat imaginary sandwiches, I am full of dread at what heinous acts the new WarioWare might demand I perform on the Switch.

I never thought I wanted a console that asked me to pick my nose, and used technology to track my skill at the task, but here we are in 2017.

As for the battery life, Nintendo knows that two hours of nose-picking is more than enough for my on-the-go lifestyle.

More seriously, I'm deeply comforted that a major console feels local co-op gameplay is a strong business strategy. I hope it pays off in a big way and we see even more amazing co-op experiences developed in years to come.

Nathan Fouts Founder Mommy's Best Games

ARMS looks good and interesting in a classic Nintendo way. Mario Odyssey looks great despite the "please no, why is Sonic--er Mario in the real world" parts. Zelda looks amazing and I want to get lost in it right now.

Despite the first-party support I'm confused at many turns. Skyrim? Why that game when Zelda looks to be *similar* but in a cartoony style? Why not something new from Bethesda? Too big of a specific commitment?

And no real Sega game? Suda 51 was hilarious though - with the way he acted in the presentation I'm surprised he's able to finish making games.

I worry about the price point for Nintendo. I certainly thought it would be more like the Wii at $250. For me Nintendo could have made a much harder game splash with more original IP.

ARMS and the Square Enix game looked good but I was hoping for more "hardware-creative" games than all the sequels. Though I suppose the sequels can utilise Switch characteristics as well, it's just not as evident what makes them so special.

I am happy that the HD quality and general look of it didn't make me feel like the console was behind the times. Didn't blow me away, but didn't hurt it either.

When they talked about 'independent/third party' developers and the EA showed up, I naively thought some actual indies would take the stage hahahaha… aaaaahhhh... they're real tears.

Aaron Fothergill Co-founder Strange Flavour

I'm very glad Nintendo's unashamedly made it a bespoke piece (or pieces) of hardware rather than a PC in a different box.

From a technical standpoint it should be a pretty good platform to create something cool on.
Aaron Fothergill

I had a fun Christmas Day listening to my nephews arguing over which PlayStation game they were going to spend all day downloading the update for when the younger one wanted to play his game.

(If I’d known they were getting PlayStation or Xbox games for Christmas I’d have warned their parents to pre-install them and pre-update the OS).

It does look like it'll be an interesting console, and from a technical standpoint it should be a pretty good platform to create something cool on.

How great it is overall though is going to be down to what games Nintendo manages to get on it and how they treat all developers (not just the big ones).

I really like that Nintendo seem to have put a lot of thought into the design and features of the controllers and having both Joy-Cons have shoulder buttons, tilt sensors, camera sensor, detailed rumble etc. gives a lot of opportunity for some very creative and crazy two-player game design.

So I’d say cautiously optimistic.

Pierre-Luc Vettier CEO Zero Games Studios

Honestly, the Switch presentation was a real disappointment for me and unfortunately, I don't think it will be that successful for many reasons.

Once again, Nintendo shows that they do not care about indies.
Pierre-Luc Vettier

First of all, there will be too few games available at release! Only one is quite interesting: Zelda. But what will you buy if, like me, you don't like adventure games? Nothing.

So I think I will not buy it despite great promise. The other games don't seem to be good enough to spend €60/€70 on! It would have been great for Nintendo to propose a great indie games catalogue at release.

Indie devs would have been delighted to work on this new hardware and they would have been able to offer a bigger game choice to players at release.

But once again, Nintendo shows that they do not care about indies, and it's a real shame as it was the perfect opportunity to prove the contrary and enhance their portfolio for release.

The others planned released for the rest of the year seems a bit light too. A new Mario... OK (but again, if you don't like adventure games, that will be a problem...). A new Splatoon that looks like identical to the first one and a Mario Kart that is almost identical to the previous one too.

Message from Big N: be ready to buy the same games you bought on Wii U!

Skyrim is great, but it's a five year old game! And the Switch seems to be a console where all third-party games will be quite old games.

And the price is too expensive! €330 alone, without any games! So with one game and some accessories, it will be close to €450.

For this price, you can get an Xbox One bundled with a nice game, then buy another controller and also another game. (On a console which has definitely more choice).

Sorry Switch, I'll wait a bit more to know if you can become more interesting, but I really doubt I will change my mind. Too bad because I'm a Nintendo & Sega fan...

Kepa Auwae Business / Design RocketCat Games

Making Zelda the launch title surprised me, I thought they'd make everyone wait. I feel like we buy Nintendo consoles for one specific game at this point, maybe two if we're lucky.

I am absolutely going to pay hundreds of dollars for a new Zelda. That's how they get you!

Matthew Annal MD Nitrome

Personally I would love to make games for it. I never had that feeling about the WiiU.
Mat Annal

I'm in love with the Switch concept and the reveal showed all the crazy sensors and touch screen are in there that were rumoured in a nice harmonious way.

So from the machine point of view I'm still super thrilled with it. I was hoping for VR as it seems a no-brainer but I fully expect that will still come down the line too.

Initially I was very disappointed with the software lineup. Mario in particular went from rumoured launch to the holidays and no other major Nintendo IPs were announced that we didn't know about which made the first year and launch look a bit sparse.

Once the dust settled though two of the new IPs (Snipper Clips and ARMS) looked great and made thrillers to see innovation over the same old thing. Ignoring Mario the first few months look to have titles I actually would pick up... that's more important to me than how many titles were there.

Overall I have a good feeling about the console and personally I would love to make games for it. I never had that feeling about the WiiU.

Molly Heady-Carroll Co-founder & Lead Artist Arcane Circus

I ignored all the rumours, haha! As a side note, why the hell do people get angry at Nintendo that a rumour wasn't true? It's the equivalent of trusting information from Jimmy on the playground whose "dad works at Nintendo".

Anyway, on to the Switch!

Nintendo's continuing reveal of the Switch feels very calculated. It seems to me that they are carefully addressing criticism of the Wii U while reassuring its audience that the good aspects of that console are continuing on with the Switch.

In less capable hands it could have so easily ended like something off a design challenge in an episode of The Apprentice.
Molly Heady-Carroll

Local co-op multiplayer was one of the strongest aspects of the Wii U because it offered something that Xbox and PlayStation weren't servicing. The way the Switch is being marketed and the launch titles suggest Nintendo not only want to continue this trend, but enhance it.

Games like 1-2-Switch and Snipperclips reinforce this idea. (The latter being a launch title, which also communicates that Nintendo wants to support smaller studios. Always appreciated!)

Skyrim is an interesting choice as a title. It subconsciously communicates that this is a valid gaming console that can play "real games" to those who were disappointed that the Wii U was graphically weaker than other consoles, or that Nintendo was not supporting large third-party developers.

Skyrim is five years old but it has recently been remastered, making it somewhat relevant again. Yes, Skyrim is an odd choice, but it is more about what it communicates about the Switch rather than the game itself.

I have heard people speculate that the Switch may be gearing up for VR because of the force feedback in the controllers. I agree that Nintendo appear to be keeping their options open.

The launch line up is exciting to me. A nice balance of new and old IPs and lots of variety. There's a new Mario and Zelda, competitive games, RPGs, staple kid's games (Lego, Minecraft and Skylanders), quirky indie games, sports games, party/casual games and "core" games.

Nintendo is trying to assure its players that it is going to support all kinds of different gamers.

The Switch offers a control system with lot of options to developers without being too confusing or gimmicky. I find the design of the Switch elegant, I am really impressed!

The concept is quite complex and they have designed and communicated what the console is very well. In less capable hands it could have so easily ended like something off a design challenge in an episode of The Apprentice!

I hope this will make the Switch an attractive system to developers to port to or even develop exclusive games that explore the new controls. (I am in the latter category).

Most importantly of all, the Switch feels thoroughly "Nintendo". It is offering quirky hardware that differs a lot from other consoles and has a lot colourful, varied games.

I understand people's scepticism and excitement about the Switch. Personally, it has my attention, both as a gamer and a developer. All we can do is speculate at this point, we will have to see what gamers think. That's what really matters in the end.

Dan Menard CEO Double Stallion

I will surely be getting a Switch shortly after launch. A few people in our office already reserved theirs.
Dan Menard

I'm still very excited about the Switch. I haven't run out to pre-order one mostly because I picked up a 3DS over christmas (here's hoping they will continue to support that ecosystem).

Overall I still think the fundamentals of the system are good and they are positioning themselves totally differently from PlayStation and Xbox which is exactly what they need to do.

I don't think the Switch should be sold on its technical merits, but more on its ability to be portable, bring people together and allow for fun experiences you just can't get on other consoles. I'm excited to see what we can do with those little controllers.

The new Zelda game looks absolutely breath-taking. I will surely be getting a Switch shortly after launch. A few people in our office already reserved theirs. I'd say I'm no less excited than when they announced it.

Travis Ryan Studio Head Dumpling Design

I’m going to excuse the fanboy from the table, he’s sugared-up on the prospect of new Nintendo goodies.

So, they really did make the Nintendo box didn’t they? Part GameCube, Part Game Boy, Part Wii, It feels like a greatest hits of Nintendo Hardware, suitable for every type of play imaginable. But is this lack of focus going to be its undoing?

It’s hard to ignore the fuss around pricing, the line-up of games or the lack of a compelling pack-in titles.
Travis Ryan

The Joy-Cons look adorable with ton of interesting utility to design with - conceptually they offer Apple a perfect solution to ‘doing games’ proper.

The focus on motion is puzzling; not having a ‘Switch Sports’ on day one fails to capitalise on one of Nintendo’s biggest recent successes - and audience - or help to introduce that tech in a relatable way - 1-2-Switch is too abstract - as with Nintendo Land on Wii U it sends a message to both players and developers; 'we haven’t figured this out yet'.

Or perhaps, the fidelity of HD Rumble coupled with a device that could easily facilitate a Google Daydream/Gear-VR style headset are a tantalising hint at Nintendo’s VR play?

There’s clearly a welcomed push for ‘together’ gaming with local multiplayer, but offloading online multiplayer handling to a separate app is either genius recognition of actual online behaviour, or a complete oversight resulting in feature/player fragmentation.

The lack of StreetPass and Miiverse at an OS level removes one of Nintendo’s biggest mainstream wins of the past decade and is baffling given the nature of the devices TV and Handheld modes.

Touchscreen seems more utility than a focus, when you consider its complete absence in ‘TV mode’ it’s going to be difficult to design for specifically.

It’ll be interesting to follow Nintendo’s stance on touch-based apps migrating to Switch, or whether the feature is reserved for some form of back-compatibility, or a new Mario Maker.

All that being said, the biggest concern right now is audience. It’s hard to ignore the fuss around pricing, the line-up of games or the lack of a compelling pack-in titles - all of which are impacting mainstream perception and exclude it from being a day-one impulse purchase it needs to be.

Of course there’s plenty of time between launch and Holiday 2017 to iron all of this out and I’m confident of the Switch’s success outside of its ‘Early Access’ launch.

Dumpling are committed to making something cool and fun for it.


Ric is the Editor of, having started out as a Staff Writer on the site back in 2015. He received an honourable mention in both the MCV and Develop 30 Under 30 lists in 2016 and refuses to let anyone forget about it.