Nintendo Switch vs XBox for confused olds
November 26, 2017 10:06 AM   Subscribe

I want to get a videogame system, but I'm pretty out-of-touch with the pros and cons of the current generation of game consoles.

My nieces just introduced me to Rocket League this weekend, and I really want to get a game system to play it on, and play it with them over the Internet (they have an XBox One).

I've been a videogame fan since I was a kid, but my interests have always trended to the more oldschool, 2D games. First-person shooters have always confused me--so it seems like if I got an XBox or PS4, I'd be paying for computing power I'd never really use. I have a Wii, which I use almost entirely for playing the old Virtual Console games.

So it seems like the Nintendo Switch is probably what I'm looking for, but I worry that I'll miss out on the sorts of new games that I'd actually like to play. It seems like independent developers always jump ship really quickly on Nintendo consoles. Examples of recent-ish games I really enjoy: Portal 1 and 2, Her Story, Geometry Wars, Braid, the Bit.Trip series for Wii.

By the way, I also have an X-Arcade joystick that I use to play game emulators. I'd love to be able to use that with my new console too, but based on what I've surmised from Google, getting it to work with the Switch sounds like a pain.

So there you have it. What's the perfect game system for an old Mario kid who wants to keep up with the new indie games too? Thanks.
posted by roll truck roll to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I wouldn't say that indie developers jumped ship quickly on the Wii U; in fact, there were among the last to leave. It's just that there's a smaller subset of developers who have the capital and scale to make a port. That said, the vibe around the Switch is that indies have done well so far on it, so you're likely to see more ports.

In terms of Rocket League, it does have crossplay between Switch and XB1. The one console you want to avoid if you want crossplay is the PS4 since it only has PC crossplay at the moment and I'm not sure that's likely to change.

BUT: FYI, the last time I checked you could not build a party to play Rocket League cross-platform, but Psyonix was hoping to roll that out late this year. I'm not sure where that is at the moment but I don't think it's out yet.

In terms of controllers, the 8bitdo Bluetooth controllers are supposed to work fine, and you can also shell out the cash for a pro controller, although I've heard the D-Pad on that thing is not fantastic. It also supports Gamecube controllers, but again: D-Pad not fantastic.

Anyway, the answer to your question is that yes, you probably want a Switch. If not, buy an XB1 so you can play Rocket League easily with your nieces.
posted by selfnoise at 10:26 AM on November 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

Do you have a Windows computer? Because you can always play a ton of games on there. I am not a gamer either, but I did buy myself a USB controller and played a couple games that are otherwise only available for Xbox or Playstation (not the Switch), like Assassin's Creed.

The Nintendo Switch game selection is a little limited right now, but the library continues to grow since the console has been a hit. Have you taken a look at the game selection? If you want indie games, I think there's plenty and Rocket League was just released on there. I haven't owned a dedicated console since I was a kid and I bought a Switch because I liked that it could be played anywhere. I don't actually even own a TV, so I play it in handheld mode -- on the couch, in bed, on a plane, etc. I recommend Zelda: Breath of the Wild and I plan to buy Mario Odyssey.
posted by AppleTurnover at 10:33 AM on November 26, 2017 [2 favorites]

Unless you have an interest in the first party Nintendo games, you'll probably be happy enough with the Xbox. There are tons of Xbox arcade games from indie and smaller developers that party like old school 2D games. Many are also available on the Switch, so the decision of one over the other is not a really major one. That is, unless you have to have Xbox exclusives or Nintendo IPs.

Or what was said above.
posted by di11ihd at 10:55 AM on November 26, 2017

FWIW: The Switch is fast becoming my platform of choice for games available on multiple systems/PC. Being able to take the game mobile is game-changing. I see a bright future for the Switch, at least for indie games.
posted by Automocar at 12:43 PM on November 26, 2017

Switch is my favorite gaming system of all time. Being able to take a full-fledged game (not a cut-down handheld port) with you is a revelation. I never want to be tethered to a TV again.

Zelda and Odyssey are 2 of the best games of the year. Excellent ports like Skyrim, Doom and LA Noire came out this fall - I think we’re in for an incredible console lifespan.
posted by porn in the woods at 3:02 PM on November 26, 2017

Just to reiterate, you can play Rocket League on the Switch vs your X-Box friends on a private server you create in the game, but to my knowledge you can't create a two-person party and go play random people.
The Switch is worth it just for Breath of the Wind.
posted by starman at 3:06 PM on November 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

Given all your givens, and from the perspective of an Xbox/PC guy, I would get a Switch.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:37 PM on November 26, 2017

If you already have a decent PC, just use that. If you want to play the games on a TV, check out the Steam Link. PC is where you'll find the most indie games and usually better prices as well.
posted by sinfony at 9:38 PM on November 26, 2017

I have been playing Breath of the Wild on my WiiU and every time I have to stop because I have to go and do something else I really wish I had the Switch so that I could take the game with me.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 12:14 PM on November 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

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