Nintendo Switch Or Ditch?

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Like the rest of the gaming world I was watching with anticipation for today’s announcement of the Nintendo NX system. Over the months to maybe even year we have herd a lot of interesting and not so interesting thing things about the NX. Well today we got our first look at the system and probably even more importantly Nintendo’s target audience for the newly named Switch.

Let’s start with the name, Switch. I personally like it. Makes sense, easy to market, easy for people who are not gamer to understand with little explanation. Kind of the opposite of the Xbox One name. The design of the system and even the logo I find to be catered to a more mature audience. It’s not aqua green or sky blue or apple white, it’s black. Sure down the line after launch or hell in the next few months they might show other color options but them opening with only showing a more grown up black system is a pro in my book. I have not been a Nintendo fan since the Wii. I think the Wii even with its initial success killed more fans than it gained. Nintendo was for a long time a games company for baby’s and man child’s if you ask me. They made more toys than games. the last few generations but it really looks like they are stepping back and getting on track. If this system in done right it can really bring back Nintendo’s street cred and put a solid dent in the competition. I’m talk from mobile android and iOS to PC gaming. Now I repeat, if done right.

The 3 minute ad we saw was pushing a more mature crowd the whole time. It was cheesy as all hell but we got the point. There were no little kids or grandparents in sight. It was hip, it was cool, it was active and it was Nintendo showing us they know their target audience. Which is the around 20 to 40 year olds. This is the group of people who have the most disposable income to spend on things like games. The group of people who are actively playing games. Lastly and most importantly the group of people they alienated the past few generations. Why be niche when you don’t have to be? Nintendo never had to be niche but in the race for innovation that wasn’t needed they forced them selves into a corner of gimmicks. The Switch by design might also be one of these gimmicks, only time will tell. That being said I’m willing to bet on this gimmick.

No ones going to believe me but this modular console portable hybrid was something I thought would be cool as far back as 10 or so years ago. Believe me or not, I don’t really care. (Ok I care a little.) I’m just glad it’s happening because I really do believe this is the future. We are already seeing similar in PC gaming coming from Alienware and Razer’s gaming laptops. Console gaming has always been slow to adopt or innovate for the most part. If anything that’s what I have to give Nintendo credit for. Even though I didn’t like the Wii and what followed, at least they tried something different and new. I think the Switch might be the one that pays off. 3rd times the charm right?

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They seemed to want to show that they are taking 3rd part support seriously here. Unlike the Switch’s slightly slow and dumb older brothers it doesn’t look like it’s trying to be the second support console anymore. The Switch wants to be the one and only console in and outside the house. I’m happy to see the list of supported 3rd party developers supporting the Switch.

Now let me take off my rose tinted glasses and put my devil horns back on and get real with all you guys. Let’s talk about the potential failing of the Nintendo Switch. A lot of this will be guessing and interpretation so nothing is set in stone. My biggest question to Nintendo is, “What else does it do?” Here’s the thing it’s at home and it’s small and cool and hip and plays games, nice nice nice. Then the moment I take it out with me will I only be able to play games on it? I ask this because I’m a grown man and I really don’t have the time for that sort of thing through most days when I am out and about. It’s portable sure but it’s bigger than some tablets the moment you add the mounted controllers or even the external wireless one. So on top of my tablet, phone and maybe even laptop I have to lug the Switch around so I might be able to play Zelda. I don’t see it for myself and a lot of people. People will say it’s for the hardcore gamers which isn’t true since hardcore gamers aren’t out and about playing basket ball and going to rooftop party’s where they pull out games. Hardcore gamers are in dark room, sitting in gaming chairs with giant headphones on gaming. The portability is not for the hardcore. It’s for the casual and the middle of the ground gamers which are the exact same groups of people I don’t think will buy the Switch or take it with them. Excluding kids.

What I’m basically saying is, if it can do more than just game I would really consider replacing my tablet and bring the Switch with me instead. My iPad mini is my main system of choice at the moment for general tasks at home and when out when my laptop isn’t needed or I don’t feel like bringing it with me . It’s what I’m writing this review on as we speak. If I had the Switch and all it did was play games it would not be a difficult choice to leave it at home for my iPad mini. Games are fun but I have work to do. Even if the additional feature of the Switch were just semi decent I would greatly consider or at least try to make it my main system when out. If not it will simply be a wasted feature/gimmick to me and many other people.

Also something I’m going to go over quickly since it’s fairly self explanatory is battery life. If that sucks and it’s only a gaming system than it becomes a paperweight real fast when outside the house. I don’t think battery life will be that good. Based on what I know about lithium ion battery’s and the graphic capabilities this console seems to be trying to push out based on the ad, it’s not going to last long. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was as little as 2 hours of active game time and would be surprised if It can even pull as much as 5 hours. Battery’s suck. The technology hasn’t changed for decades and I doubt Nintendo figured out a new breakthrough while working on the Switch. Again only time will tell, if they can get it to pull at least 4 hours or more I would consider it a win on the Switch’s part.

The Switch being portable also really makes me wonder what it’s packing for power under the hood. I mean it looked pretty good based on the ad they showed and then being able to take it with you and get similar performance when out. That’s quite impressive. Then again the Vita did look amazing for a handheld and that was what 4 years ago? If the graphics even just match the Vitas I would say they have a solid machine on their hands. Chances are it will be better though.

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My next question is about the dock. Is it just a dock or will it also improve the graphic capabilities of the Switch. If it does then amazing, well done, you should be proud. If it doesn’t than well that was a huge lost opportunity on Nintendo’s part. Being a modular system they wouldn’t have had really make the Switch 2. They could just upgrade the power boosting dock with better specks every year or so to keep up with the needs of the developers and games being made. It would also cost the user less vs getting a brand new system every few years. It also allows people to mix and match builds of different specked tablets and docks catering to their individual needs. They could also offer other size options for people willing to have a smaller Switch when on the go but still want the power when at home. Or options in build. Maybe a more chunky solidly built Switch so you can give it to a kid and not worry about them breaking it.

Overall there is potential here in making this the future of all gaming. Which again the ideas was stolen from my ramblings alone in my room back in grade 9. They must have been listen to me through the Wii. Not only was it a horrible console but it also cost me a multi billion dollar idea. It would be worth it if it turns out to be great, which I hope it does. Only time will tell now. I’ll for sure be keeping a close eye on this one and be preorder one the moment it’s available.

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Panasonic Lumix 25mm 1.7 Lens Review

Shot on the OM-D E-M5 Mark II with the Olympus 17mm f1.8 Unedited

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Shot on the OMD E-M5 Mark II with the Olympus 17mm f1.8 Unedited

I have been using the 17mm (34mm equivalent) Olympus 1.8 with my EM-5II and have been enjoying it. I said this on a few other articles about how versatile the 35mm focal length is but there is something about the 50mm focal length that is special. It is the go to focal length for most people. I would call it the most popular overall focal length of all time. As a street photographer I find myself having a hard time trying to pick between the two. After getting both I would say the 35mm gets more use from me and is what I find to be my preference for street shooting. That being said I would always have my 50mm with me at all times when shooting. I feel when you need a 50mm you really need a 50mm.

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Shot on the OMD E-M5 Mark II with the Panasonic Lumix 25mm f1.8 edited In Lightroom

Build:

The build isn’t the best. You cant expect features like weather sealing and full metal construction here for a lens that costs so little. (It does have a metal mount just in case you were wondering) That being said I have felt much worse which cost much more. The build of this lens isn’t very different from the Olympus 25mm 1.8, but that lens is about $200 more. Having owned that lens I would say the Panasonic Lumix 25mm 1.7 is equal in build quality if not slitty better. It opens up 0.1 more which isn’t huge but counts for something and also comes with a lens hood like the Olympus 25mm.

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Shot on the OMD E-M5 Mark II with the Panasonic Lumix 25mm f1.8 edited In Lightroom

Price:

The Panasonic Lumix 25mm 1.7 is an excellent value for what you get. Honestly just for the price alone I would recommend it. 50mm is a focal length I find is a must. When you need 50mm its difficult to find an alternative for it. That being said you might not be in love with the focal length. Why drop a crap load of cash on something you like but isn’t a must for you? This lens validates a really nice sweet spot when it comes price and function.

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Shot on the OMD E-M5 Mark II with the Panasonic Lumix 25mm f1.8 edited in Lightroom

Image Quality:

The lens is beautiful. Solid sharp images with lots of bokeh if you want it. I find it to be a little softer than my 17mm Olympus when it comes to street photography but there is a lot of movement and timing to account for in street photography. Also the Olympus 17mm is a solid $200 to $300 more. I would expect it to be a little better here and there but it isn’t by much. I would say it comes more down to preference here than anything else when I compare the two focal lengths. That being said I feel the value alone kind of validates this lens.

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Shot on the OMD E-M5 Mark II with the Panasonic Lumix 25mm f1.8 edited In Lightroom

Overall:

If you already have a 50mm and you are happy with it than you are not missing out, but if you don’t than I would have to recommend this lens for your Micro Four Thirds system. Especially if you are a street photographer. I have linked a gallery below of my visit to the Toronto Aquarium which I went to just to test out this lens. There should also be a link to some street photography I did that same day. I hope this article helped, feel free to link this to your friends and read some of my other articles also linked bellow.

Panasonic Lumix 25mm 1.7 Street Photogrpahy Examples

Panasonic Lumix 25mm 1.7 Color Examples

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DarksterMedia.com

OM-D E-M5 Mark II Review

Olympus 17mm 1.8 Lens Review

35mm vs 50mm Photography Comparison

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Shot on the OM-D E-M5 Mark II with the Olympus 17mm f1.8 edited in Lightroom

If you are reading this you are most likely one of a few people, the first being someone looking for their first lens. Another being someone who has either a 35mm or a 50mm and wanted to see what its like to be on the other side. Maybe you are looking for a single prime to take on vacation. Lastly and most likely you might just be one of those gross creepy street photographers like myself. Whoever you might be, I hope I can help you out a little here.

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Shot on the OM-D E-M5 Mark II with the Panasonic Lumix 25mm f1.8 edited in Lightroom

I am a former exclusive member of team 50mm. I still love the focal length and it is still probably my favorite overall focal length. That being said the 35mm focal length is damn good too. I was never really a fan till now where I forced myself to get it and use it. I herd up until this point from other street photographers and other photographers in general about how great the 35mm focal length is. How it’s the perfect all-around focal length and how its great for traveling. If there was anyone lens to do it all it should be the 35mm. I believed it, I just never got the chance. I felt the 50mm was pretty much the same thing but I was able to get more shallow depth of field with the tradeoff of not having as wide a shot. Truly that is what the 50mm is and it is great for that. That is part of why it is considered “Standard”. The 35mm, on the other hand, comes off as much more “normal”. (See what I did there? No? Don’t worry about it.) A better way I would put it is that the 35mm comes off a lot more natural. I feel it covers more ground. Gives you more options including a little bokeh.

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Shot on the OM-D E-M5 Mark II with the Olympus 17mm f1.8 edited in Lightroom

So which is better? Well, I say both. I’m sure thats not what you want to hear so ill go into detail. The 35mm is a swiss army knife, a jack of all trades. It does it all and it does it well. The 50mm, on the other hand, can be a little fancy. It just makes the subject look nice. You cant go as wide sure but on the other hand, you don’t have to go as close to the subject. It’s just at the curve where portrait lenses start so it can double as a portrait lens too. Sure the 35mm can do most of this but you can really make some models uncomfortable with how close you need to get.

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Shot on the OM-D E-M5 Mark II with the Panasonic Lumix 25mm f1.8 edited in Lightroom

Let’s look at it this way. The 35mm is a grey suit and the 50mm is a black suit. This might be going over a lot of heads now since I’m going into fashion territory here but it is openly considered a grey or charcoal suit is much more versatile to wear than a black one. You can mix and match with a grey suit a lot easier than you can with a black one. You can wear a grey (charcoal) suit to a funeral or to a party and not look out of place. All that being said, damn does a black suit just look good. Not as versatile, no. The question is does it need to be? It just looks so good that who cares? So which suit should you buy? For travel get yourself the 35mm grey suit. It will do everything you need it to do and it will do it well. For your first lens? Either one works here. If you plan to take more portraits and such the 50mm black suit. Maybe more into landscapes? Then go with the 35mm grey suit. If you have a 35mm grey suit and you are looking at that 50mm black suit don’t worry you are not missing out. Same goes the other way around. That being said I think all men should have a black suit and a grey suit. To my street photographers. Same deal. You can go either way and be happy but again I think all men should have a black suit and a grey suit.

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OM-D E-M5 Mark II Review

Olympus 17mm 1.8 Lens Review