RiME has been out for a month at this point. It’s available for the PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One for $29.99. The Nintendo Switch is set to have its own version of the title as well. However, unlike the other three, there is still no word as to when RiME will become available for the Switch. Nintendo fans were initially told that the Switch version would launch in tandem with the others. Then, when that failed to occur, we were told to expect it “soon.” At first “soon” meant sometime in the spring. Yet, spring came and went. Unfortunately, we still don’t have any information on the release date. All we know is that the game is “still being optimized” for the Switch and should launch before the end of the year.
RiME comes from the collaborative efforts of Tequila Works and Grey Box Games. It’s a small indie title that proudly follows in lockstep with other puzzle, adventure, platformers like Journey or The Last Guardian. It is a beautiful game with an equally lovely soundtrack, but requires patience, but reviewers had a mixed opinion of the game. RiME isn’t a rollercoaster of action. It’s a game tailored to those who enjoy softer, more emotional experiences.
In all honesty, it’s hard to wait for a game that is already out. Especially if you own the platforms it’s currently available on. Yet, I continue to wait. At first, waiting for the Switch version of the game might seem like folly. Not only is RiME already out, but the Switch version (at least the hard copy) costs an additional ten dollars. Nintendo and Tequila Works stated that the reason for the price hike is because of the additional costs required to develop RiME on a cartridge instead of a CD. However, in order to make up for this, the hard copy for the Switch also comes with a free download for the soundtrack. The soundtrack is worth ten dollars separately, so it’s reasonable compensation.
There are multiple advantages to getting this game for the Switch. The first, and most obvious one is that the Switch offers a variety of playstyles. It is both a home console and a portable device. There are some games that thrive on a portable platform while others are most at home when you’re on the couch. The Switch allows players to discover which format works best for them. Some games, like Skyrim, even have additional features like amiibo support.
The other major advantage to Switch games is a little less obvious. It’s the cartridges. Games were initially made on cartridges, but switched to CDs because they could hold more information. However, CDs don’t last forever. It’s easy to scratch or break one. They can easily develop rot or mold. In all honesty, most game CDs likely won’t last beyond five or ten years. Even when stored properly, they will eventually degrade. Cartridges don’t last forever either, but they have a greater longevity and are a lot hardier than CDs. Most of the old Nintendo cartridges don’t work because they need a new battery. But once you replace the battery, the cartridge runs just fine. It much harder to break a cartridge and they last longer on average. Plus, they don’t need to be stored in the same immaculate way that CDs do.
Of course, physical storage is only a factor if you buy the physical copy. Sure, a digital copy will outlast a cartridge or CD any day, but I’d prefer to have a physical copy over digital. Call me old school, but I like looking at the shelf and seeing my collection.
Another advantage to waiting is that the Switch version may actually be graphically superior to the PlayStation 4 version. Shocker, I know. Now, the Switch port obviously pales in comparison to the PlayStation 4 Pro; but early screenshots of the PS4 and Switch version demonstrated the Switch’s superior RiME graphics. Additionally, Nintendo games tend to have fewer bugs and framerate issues, so it isn’t unreasonable to expect the same quality from the Switch port.
It is somewhat poetic that a game about patience requires patience in order to obtain. The pros for waiting outweigh the instant gratification that comes with buying it now. However, there might come a point where waiting becomes ridiculous. If we don’t hear any news by fall, I’ll probably go out and buy the PlayStation 4 version instead.