Where is Our Nintendo Switch Review?

Noticed we don’t have a Nintendo Switch review? We’ll tell you why.

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The embargo for Nintendo Switch reviews lifted last night, but we haven’t posted our score yet. Unfortunately, I can’t with a clean conscience give a review score to the Nintendo Switch with so many questions about the system still lingering. My experience with Nintendo’s new console has been a blast so far, but because of review product availability, I can only really attest that the Switch is a great Zelda machine. I’ll outline some of the questions we still have, ones that will hopefully be answered in the next few days.

What is the Nintendo Switch’s Online Infrastructure Going to Look Like?

Nintendo’s online plans for the Switch on day one are still somewhat sketchy. Until the day one patch, we won’t be able to connect to Nintendo’s servers at all, so we’re as in the dark as the general public. We know that there will be no Virtual Console, but that the Switch eShop will be up at launch. We are aware that you can bring funds forward from a Wii U or 3DS-based account, but we don’t know whether there are additional benefits to linking one of those accounts to your Switch. There are also details about the Nintendo Switch’s online multiplayer service that haven’t been revealed, and whether or not we’ll have access to it at launch is anyone’s guess.

For a lot of gamers, the ability to access a digital marketplace and play online is a make or break feature. We can’t heartily recommend the Nintendo Switch if we don’t know how the online services of the console are going to work in practice.

Will There be Hardware Issues at Launch?

Even though I couldn’t replicate the behavior on my Switch, there are reports that reviewers are experiencing desync problems with the left Joy-Con controller under certain conditions. Nintendo has made it clear that a day one patch for the console would both activate online and solve bugs and issues. However, at this point it’s not known whether the Joy-Con issue is universal or whether it’s hardware or software related. For my experience with the Nintendo Switch hardware to this point, check out our Nintendo Switch preview.

Are the Launch Games Worth It?

As I said above, the Nintendo Switch is an excellent Zelda player. However, we haven’t had much time with any other titles that will comprise the Nintendo Switch’s launch lineup. I received Super Bomberman R and Just Dance 2017 yesterday, and I’ll be getting my hands on 1-2-Switch and Snipperclips, as well as any other title that looks interesting, one way or another on Friday. Also, Zelda doesn’t make use of the Joy-Con controllers in any unique way, so I’m not sure if they’re fantastic, or downright terrible.

When to Expect Our Review

My aim is to have a full Nintendo Switch review ready by Monday afternoon. I’ll have enough time to thoroughly pour over the features I haven’t been able to test up to this point and give it a fair review. So far, I’ve had a blast with the Switch, so don’t cancel your pre-orders just yet, but we can't yet endorse a product that has so many questions surrounding multiple features.

Contributing Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 1, 2017 6:20 AM

    Jason Faulkner posted a new article, Where is Our Nintendo Switch Review?

    • reply
      March 1, 2017 6:57 AM

      Nice try Jason, admit it you're just having fun with Zelda and too lazy to write a boring ass review.
      Give us the damn review, boy.

    • reply
      March 1, 2017 7:20 AM

      So essentially you're not reviewing what YOU have. Look, I don't need this review, but you could have done something. This is just a terrible excuse. You could have talked about the hardware, the UI, or anything. Literally anything.

      I don't even understand why you're using the experience of others as an excuse for YOUR review? You didn't have problems with the joycons by your own admission so why worry about that and factor that? It's YOUR review. Do you need someone else to review it before you do? Why not just talk about your experience with the system you have as is, fuck, don't even call it a review! "But the eShop!" "IGN experience!" Oh man. :(

      /harsh

      • reply
        March 1, 2017 7:42 AM

        I did talk about my experience with the Switch in my Nintendo Switch preview.

        http://www.shacknews.com/article/99160/nintendo-switch-preview

        Following an arbitrary embargo at the possible expense of my integrity and our viewership is not something I'm going to do. As it is, a trusted person with a Nintendo Switch review unit that is affiliated with Shacknews did run into the issue with the Joy-Cons, so I want to check if the day one patch affects the problem. It's my review, but it's my duty to make sure that I experience the full breadth of the system as the public will receive it before I write an article that will inevitably influence someone to make a purchase.

        Or, if you like, I can talk about my "feelings," and how sublime and magnificent of an experience I had with the Nintendo Switch. I figured people wanted an honest and objective review, but maybe I should just bang my head against my keyboard until I get a thousand or so words and give you all the finger. But I won't, because reviews aren't about me, they're about making sure that our readers get the best and most complete information on a product they can before decided to make a purchase.

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          March 1, 2017 7:51 AM

          The JoyCon issue is something we talked about internally, because it appears to be widespread enough that it could be a real problem. Right now we don't know what's causing it, how to avoid it or replicate it, whether the day-one patch will resolve it, or even whether it's hardware- or software-related. We can (and should) absolutely note that we didn't personally experience the issue, but it would be irresponsible not to note the existence of it.

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            March 1, 2017 8:06 AM

            I'm fairly certain the day one patch is NOT going to fix it, because they haven't had enough time since the review units went out. However, I would expect a patch that will fix it soon.

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              March 1, 2017 8:17 AM

              Well, my Switch hardware was manufactured in 2016, so there is a chance they could already know about it and worked a fix into the day one patch. I don't believe that the hardware wasn't extensively tested during development. Seeing as Nintendo's network infrastructure for the Switch isn't live, they just might not have thought it a big enough deal to activate so some journalists can download a patch and they're certainly not going to admit knowledge of a hardware issue on the eve of the Switch launch.

          • reply
            March 1, 2017 8:20 AM

            I never said that anyone should avoid talking about it, like we're attempting to cover it up or something. But you shouldn't have to wait for a solution (that you may or not get day 1) to be able to write a review of everything else especially since it never affected you. Shit like this happens all the time with video game systems and other hardware. Wired certainly didn't wait. They slammed the shit out of it because of the joycon issue that affected them. And that's fine. That was their experience. A lot of other professional reviews put up big notes about the stuff they couldn't speak to (e.g., Kotaku, Ars) which is honestly what the Shack should have done.

            Arbitrary embargoes, deadlines, and even review scores are what writers and reviewers constantly have to deal with. I just don't see how waiting for the eShop or for someone else's experience is an adequate enough excuse. You want to wait to review it to get the full day one experience? That's fine, but it didn't stop you from putting up this article at the arbitrary deadline. I could have written that and I don't have a Switch. I mean, why even get an early review copy then. It's a shit situation (nature of the business), but the capital T truth is nobody is going to give a damn about your review come Friday.

            Special note: I don't want my posts to come off as if I'm mad at the Shack or something for not having a review, which is quite possibly how they're going to be viewed. I'm not mad at all. I don't even care. :D I'm merely being critical. It's different. More like a review of the Shack's non-review of the Nintendo Switch.

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              March 1, 2017 8:44 AM

              This article was put up as a courtesy to any Shack regulars who were expecting a review. As I said in my statement above, a review isn't exclusively about what affected me personally. I don't believe in wholly personal reviews, especially for products as expensive as the Nintendo Switch. I'm well aware of the need to deal with embargoes, deadlines, and review scores, Shacknews isn't my first rodeo.

              As to whether anyone cares about our Nintendo Switch review when it's posted, people are allowed to choose their interests. I can more than make up any hits we would have gained by breaching our integrity with a single Zelda guide, so it's not like we're hard up.

              You're coming off as being critical for the sake of it rather than any legitimate argument. The truth of the matter is, what we do with our early review copy of any title or piece of hardware isn't any of your concern. You're welcome to look at any number of publications incomplete reviews if it makes you feel better, then you can look at them again Friday or Monday when they update them with the information we'll put in our complete review the first time around.

              • reply
                March 1, 2017 9:47 AM

                Not my concern. Alright then. You be you.

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              March 1, 2017 9:23 AM

              As I see it, the real issue here is that our published review may or may not have issues that the consumer version of the product doesn't. If we published a review now, it wouldn't be an accurate reflection of what consumers will have, so it's not helpful to them. Reviews exist to help consumers make purchasing decisions, and if we're making observations that are rendered irrelevant on launch day, what good does it do?

              This is why most game publishers, when they know a day-one patch is coming, will save the embargo for when the patch is live on the servers for reviewers to test. They recognize that allowing sites to write about information that's no longer relevant doesn't serve anybody's interest. Nintendo didn't do that, so we made the editorial call to wait until we can review the product as it will exist in consumers' hands.

              If you want preliminary impressions without that consideration, that's fine. We published impressions. But a review exists to serve people who are considering whether or not to pay money for a product, so we're waiting until we can give a fully accurate assessment of that product.

      • Zek
        reply
        March 1, 2017 9:42 AM

        The purpose of a review is to tell customers what they can expect from the system when they buy it. This isn't a blog.

    • reply
      March 1, 2017 7:38 AM

      The first two reasons seem sensible. Thanks for the heads up.

    • reply
      March 1, 2017 8:21 AM

      Thank you for not jumping the gun and waiting until you can get the actual experience before reviewing.

    • reply
      March 1, 2017 9:24 AM

      I wish I had a Switch...

    • reply
      March 1, 2017 10:20 AM

      Honestly, I don't find issue with this article. It's clear that Jason likes the system and Zelda and he provides some concise overview of concerns and unknowns. It isn't critical to get another article with a shit ton of close up pictures of a game system I've been lusting after for weeks now or a repeat of the same Zelda details that are everywhere else.

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      March 1, 2017 7:20 PM

      I'm okay with this approach. Yeah, it'll kinda hurt traffic numbers and clicks. But, he's trying to review the system itself, not the launch of the system. This review will hang around for a good while. So, why not have it reflective of the system, and not the launch of the system. The launch conditions, such as anything that can be addressed with a firmware update, are temporary and get addressed immediately. This is even more so for the Switch since system updates propagate across devices in close proximity to each other. No other system can do that.

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      March 2, 2017 7:24 AM

      why not post impressions or your review in progress? no need to actually call it an official review but having nothing instead of releasing content with impressions for your readers doesn't sound better. why can't your complete review be 2 articles over two weeks? what you know now then what you know after. don't even have to call it a review. are people coming to shacknews for reviews? We are just going to look elsewhere and your review will be old news by the time you post it.