giovedì 2 marzo 2017

Switch Me Up: discussing Nintendo's new console on YouTube

This brief article is based upon a response I gave to a YouTube user complaining about the negative sentiment that some people in Italy expresses in relation to Nintendo's new console, the Switch. Our national commenters often manages to be less gentle than the worldwide YouTube average, which prompted a disgruntled reaction from the young Giuseppe (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjKjHQXGauy8up1BOURZdyw):
Comments to this video are really sad, you're just making excuses of any sort to dump shit on a console that has no issues as of today. I've read some people complaining about "too much stuff to plug in and remove"
That's kinda sad, actually, so I decided to step in and clear things up in favour of a device that is not flawless, as many outlets are pointing out in these hours, but has every right to play a good chunk of the match before being dismissed. Here I go:



I'll tell you, Giuseppe, despite having immediate issues with the Nintendo Switch design choices, I've always been possibilist about it. The Wii had a cyclopean success, while its unlucky successor still has some great games that people should go back and play. Saying that the console is flawless, though, sounds a little bit too defensive in light of the opinions of those who already had the chance to test it and share their experiences on YouTube, as opposed to us. 
Speaking of the manifacturing, the console doesn't sound sturdy at all: I've seen the tablet shaking inside the docking station to a worrying amount, and the joycon's fastening at the sides of the tablet doesn't seem keen on accomodating energic solicitations.
The most sensible thing to do would be sitting comfortably on our sofas and wait for the developers to show us what happens when they really settle on making this pretty little harmless looking console sing 
As far as the autonomy outside of the docking station is concerned, the best observed value amounts to 3 hours and half on the OS interface, with the screen always on (75% luminosity) and no games played, before the console died out. Frankly, it is hard to deem this acceptable, improvements are bound to happen in the next firmware updates, but energy consumption is typically hard to improve on the initial figures, so we better not delude ourselves. 
Computing power: the chinese portal Taobao.com already dissected the console to find a Tegra/Maxwell chipset inside, which includes a 1.78GHz CPU, a 921Mhz GPU and 4 GB of shared LPDDR4 RAM, which lines up to a recent leak from Foxconn. Those clock speeds decreases from 15% to 40% in portable configuration, in a developers defined figure that directly impacts battery life. On the technical side, then, the Switch doesn't even try to come close to its direct competitors, and everyone is free to deem this a valid approach or not, depending on what they expect from a console. 
So, is the Switch flawless? It is not, and that's perfectly physiological for any kind of device. But nonetheless, it's way too early to dump shit on the Switch, when the most sensible thing to do would be sitting comfortably on our sofas and wait for the developers to show us what happens when they really settle on making this pretty little harmless looking console sing.

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