Nintendo just revealed the Nintendo Switch OLED, and as you may have heard, the internet personalities are less than impressed. While the cheap seats are being won over with the typical edgy skepticism, I know the real reason for their disappointment, and it’s nothing for them to be proud of.
Yeah, I’m about to step on some toes. But before that, I’ll get into my first impressions based on the trailer, shown here:
The system is basically the same as the classic Nintendo Switch model, but with a big 7-inch OLED display for portable mode, and the dock has been given a slicker design with rounder edges. It looks hot, but it’s not that big a deal for me, as I do much of my gaming with Switch on my TV, and when I’m doing that, it’s the TV that gets the attention, not the dock.
Much of the trailer shows stock photo models doing things that they could already do with the classic Switch system, so my impression based on this is that I’m not going to be missing out on much if I were to give this one a pass.
The adjustable wide stand is just what many players have been asking for for a long time, but that’s another thing that’s not going to make much difference to a person who mainly plays on their TV.
There’s also a wired LAN port (cable sold separately). That’s great for those who care about it, but wasn’t wireless ad hoc already a thing on Nintendo Switch? While the data exchange rate would likely be better with wired LAN, it’s hard to imagine many players would actually use this at family get-togethers over the system’s simple wireless connection. Revealing a wired LAN port for the Nintendo Switch this late in the game is like if they revealed a new model of Nintendo DS (their first Wi-fi enabled system) with an ethernet port.
It seems the point of the Nintendo Switch OLED is to appeal to those who haven’t purchased a Switch yet. I already have a Switch, so for me, it’s an easy pass. Having said that, I’m not terribly disappointed. While it’s not much of a surprise that Nintendo has revealed a new model of their system, my expectations weren’t very high.
On the other hand, the web personalities are collectively disappointed. That’s to be expected when someone spends time listening to rumors and treating them as anything but just rumors.
So, you believed that the new Switch would be called the “Switch Pro”. Why was it collectively accepted that that would be the official name, when it originated as a fan term? So, you believed that the Switch would have an upgraded processor replacing the NVIDIA Tegra that they’ve been using. Did Nintendo reveal this information, and I missed it? Or how about my favorite one: that Nintendo would use happy-magical spacekitties technology to somehow enhance the graphics to old Switch games as they are being played in real time. That sounds suspiciously like some kid’s wish, which might be a hint to where that rumor originated from.
It’s difficult to avoid rumors. And they are tempting to scope out, considering that sometimes the alleged-leakers actually call it. But if people believe rumors just because they appeal to their fanciful thinking, or even if they sound believable enough, they’re usually just setting themselves up for disappointment.
When it comes to games and hardware, speculation can be fun, but it can turn into disappointment when people use what’s speculative to cultivate their expectations. You can board the hype train if you want, but you should want to get off before it takes you too far. If you consume what comes from the rumor mill, don’t be surprised when you’re left with a sour taste. Try not to blow your load before the big presentation.
I know why the major content creators spend as much time as they do on the rumor-mill: they want to seem more connected, especially with their pride on the line, and considering how hard they already have to work to maintain the audience that they have. Also, there’s the pressure to maintain scheduled content, which plays a huge part in holding people’s attention. When the news is slow, it’s hard to avoid commenting on rumors that are going around. It might even be productive, if to cast skepticism on what is plainly ridiculous.
Speculation is part of the fun, but can we be more careful about accepting rumors as fact? Odds are, some guy on YouTube doesn’t have an insider connection to Nintendo, and might just be posting video commentary, just the same as anyone else can.