Frontier Pop Issue 103: Switched On - C. A. Passinault
PREVIOUS ISSUE: Losing The Plot - CURRENT ISSUE: Switched On - NEXT ISSUE: Lost Frontier



Ah, the Nintendo Switch, which used to be known as the NX, a revolutionary hybrid home and portable console which was supposed to end Nintendo’s failing home console line by infusing its portable gaming dominance into it.
The Nintendo Switch. Frontier Pop Issue 103 Volume 7: Switched On.That is all fine and good, except that the concept is not new, nor is it revolutionary. Then there is the fact that, while Nintendo has created the most powerful portable console ever made, at an expensive price point, there are compromises, because portable consoles can’t compete with current gen home consoles on power. It is physically impossible. An Xbox One or a Playstation 4 reduced to the size of a Switch, although the Switch is hefty for a portable, would result in a console which would overheat and pull a three mile island meltdown, especially as the larger home consoles themselves have notoriously difficult times staying cool, despite the fact that they are actually a generation behind in what they should have been (that 4K Xbox One X, formerly known as project Scorpio? That is what both the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One should have been when they originally launched. Indeed, the One and the PS4 are true 1080P HD consoles, which the original Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 should have been; both of those consoles only being marginally HD at 720p. The Xbox One and the Playstation 4 should have been FOUR times as powerful as they were, keeping in mind the jump in power that they 360 and the PS3 were over their predecessors in line with the generational cycle, but the success of the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo’s adoption of the Blue Ocean market expanding strategy wrecked that vicious cycle, both Microsoft and Sony were probably sick and tired of losing money on early console runs building an install base to convince video game developers to jump on board, and who in the hell wants to pay $700.00 for a cutting-edge consoles with thermal problems? Thermal problems aside that this would have caused with processors cooking because they would be pushing the limits of technology, anyone remember the 3DO?
This isn’t about power, however, not really. It also should not be. It’s really about the games, and Nintendo proved that back in 1989 with the original Gameboy, which mopped the floor with the more powerful Sega Gamegear and the Atari Lynx, which burned through Alkaline batteries like they were cheap, which they were not, back in the days before advancements in Cell Phones and Smart Phones (which also made current Virtual Reality systems possible) made Lithium Ion batteries efficient and cost-effective.
So, Nintendo wanted a portable console which was powerful enough to also be a home console. They came up with the Switch, which is the most powerful portable ever made, but which can’t compete with current generation home consoles.
They should have just stuck with making a good portable, and a fire-breathing, affordable home console which plays great games.
I am getting ahead of myself, though.
Let’s go back a few years ahead of the Gameboy, to the mid 1990's. 1995 to be specific.
Let’s go back to Sega.
Sega, it seems, gave Nintendo a run for their money in the 16 bit home console wars, as battles raged between Nintendo’s refined Super NES and Sega’s scrappy, and faster, Genesis, while Nintendo continued to dominate the portable market with their aging Gameboy. Sega obtained an advantage over Nintendo when it introduced less Draconian third party developer rules and cheaper royalties than they control freak big N, which Nintendo could get away during the 8 Bit generation with the cheap, not-cutting-edge Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES, because Nintendo had the entire market to themselves. Sega tried to compete with their 8 Bit Master System, which couldn’t compete because Nintendo had more developer support and superior first party games, so Sega decided to jump a generation and use 16 Bit PC technology, which had been in use since before Nintendo engineered the underpowered NES in 1983, and which had become cheap in the late 80's, to create a new console, a 16 Bit console. That console was known in Japan as the Mega Drive, and was rebranded the Genesis when it was when it was released in the United States in 1989. Of course, Sega recycled their Master System by slapping on a color LCD screen and used that as their Game Gear to try to compete with the Gameboy, but the Game Gear was a battery hog in a world before affordable rechargeable Lithium Ion batteries, back when Ni Cad batteries and their problems made them impractical to power such a portable console, and this made it extremely tough to compete with a simple black and white (er, green. The dot matrix display of the Gameboy, manufactured cheaply by Sharp, was black and pea soup green. At 160 X 144 pixels, it had a low resolution and a poor refresh rate which caused blurring in action games, but it did the job, and did it cost-effectively, and the game developers learned to work around the limitations of the hardware, which was perfect for Tetris) portable gaming system which could go over 30 hours on a set of 4 AA batteries.
Going back to the Genesis, however, it was cheap to make because it was based upon mature 16 Bit computer, or PC, architecture, using the same Motorola 16 Bit processor that the Apple Macintosh had used. Literally every software developer in the world was familiar with this processor, as it was everywhere, and it did not have the limitations of the 8 Bit NES, the NES being a technologically limited market hole which Nintendo had dug itself deeply into.
When the Genesis launched with its “new”, cutting-edge” 16 Bit technology, it was using hardware that was already 10 years old! This, of course, made it cheap to manufacture and profitable for Sega.
It also opened up with home console market to game developers that were used to developing for the 68000 in the Personal Computer, or PC market.
Developers such as Trip Hawkin’s Electronic Arts, or EA, which had been reluctant to gimp down their games to run on an 8 Bit NES.
So, with less oppressive licensing for game developers and a more powerful PC based architecture which developers had already embraced, Nintendo lost their hold on their developers, and combined with an edgy, hipper market image, that is how they gave Nintendo a run for their money in the 16 Bit console wars.
For a while, Sega and their Genesis was winning.
Except that Sega did not win that war.
You see, Sega started making mistakes, first with the CD ROM add on peripheral platform known as the Mega CD, or the Sega CD, which split the 16 Bit market for Sega, getting consumers to invest in an overpriced add on which was more of a benefit for the developer than it was for the player (more storage, cheaper media than ROM chipped cartridges, less of an investment in manufacturing runs and lead-times, and games at the same prices as cartridges, something which would be more of an all-around benefit during the 32 Bit Playstation generation, but which was bottlenecked in the 16 Bit generation by hardware bandwidth limitations between the CD ROM drive and the aging 16 Bit console; for the price of 2 ½ consoles the player ended up with a Frankenconsole which was like two 16 bit systems trying to work together through a narrow umbilical cord with insufficient RAM to do much with the data being transferred to the console from the CD ROM. In short, the SEGA CD was an expensive add-on which had high costs passed on to the player, with most of the benefits for the developers and very marginal improvements on any 16 Bit performance or “gameplay”).

Lack of a D-Pad on the left JoyCon.

JoyCon wrist straps get stuck when put on backwards.

Pro Gamepad wrecks portability.

Amiibos give normal item drops, and need cards.

System log is not accurate.

No streetpass.

Game saves to system.

No system transfer. Hope that the system holds up.

Battery, power supply, and portable battery “solution”.

Power port on bottom wrecks charging during portable mu,tiplayer.

System crashes.

The little fan, heat, and a system crash inside the carrying case.

No price difference between most physical and digital download copies of games.

PREVIOUS ISSUE: Losing The Plot - CURRENT ISSUE: Switched On - NEXT ISSUE: Lost Frontier

Frontier Pop. You Know things.

08/21/17/0624 - 08/27/17/0146 - 08/29/17/0414

© Copyright 2017 Frontier Pop. All rights reserved.







It's Frontier Pop! A publication of the Cypher Society and C. A. Passinault, AKA DJ Frontier.

Frontier Pop. You Know Things.

© Copyright 2010-2023 Frontier Pop. All rights reserved. Presented as-is, with no guarantees expressed or implied. Informational use only. Frontier Pop is not legally liable for the content on this web site, and use of any content waives us from liability. Anyone using the content on this site, or attempting anything described on this site, assumes all legal and civil liability. Please be familiar with your local laws before using this site. Information on Frontier Pop is not to be taken as legal advice, or advice which may be covered under any licensed or regulated profession. Opinions expressed on this web site are those of the individual contributor, and may not be shared by other contributors, or businesses, who may be involved with this web site or our online community. Frontier Pop is a free, no-obligation monthly online publication covering entertainment, lifestyles, cyber culture, cyber life, and a wide range of other subjects. Frontier Pop is also a resource web site, and it is operated, and published from, Tampa, Florida. For more, please read our Disclaimer.

Pioneer Class Web Site by Aurora PhotoArts, a Passinault.Com company. Pioneer Class 0001, commissioned 072010.0800 hrs.

Web Site Design by Aurora PhotoArts. Webmaster and Pioneer Class by C. A. Passinault. Main Tampa photography by Aurora PhotoArts Tampa Bay Photography and Design.



CLICK UPDATE HISTORY LINK ABOVE FOR DETAILED SITE UPDATE HISTORY. SITE CSS TEMPLATES UPDATED AND ALL DIRECTORIES REFRESH ON SERVER: 07/17/10 - 07/20/10 - 07/22/10 - 07/27/10 - 10/01/10 - 11/11/11 - 03/02/12 - 03/10/12/0233 - 05/04/12/1600 - 01/17/13/0900 - 08/03/13/0800 - 05/02/14/1028 - 02/04/15/1258 - 02/04/15/1359 - 07/06/16/0521 - 12/27/16/0407 - 07/07/17/0535/0546 - 07/28/17/0325 - 01/07/18/2138 - 01/04/23/0321

© Copyright 2010-2023 Frontier Pop. All rights reserved.