Without much warning, Nintendo revealed their upcoming console previously referred to as the ‘NX’. The Nintendo Switch (the official name for the console, which is much but better than ‘NX’) blew me away with its design. So far, reception has been positive with the gaming community, and the point has been made that it will bring hardcore gamers back to Nintendo. Personally, I have not been very impressed by Nintendo in recent years. I will always love the classics like the Zelda series, Chrono Trigger, Secrets of Mana, and the other greats. I’ve even owned the 3DS, but never felt the urge to use it for more than Pokémon. Newer titles like Splatoon, and the hardware designs of previous consoles have steered me away from Nintendo recently. I’ve been more excited by games that have come to the Xbox and PlayStation consoles, and my inner child is yearning for Nintendo to get back on the top.
I anticipated my reaction to the Switch‘s reveal to be mostly neutral. However, the console excited me in ways that Nintendo has failed to do in years. While watching the reveal, I could not believe how cool the Switch is. It has a stellar line-up of games, and Nintendo‘s list of partnered developers makes it feel like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild isn’t the only cool game coming to the Switch. In terms of console design, what made the Wii U feel unique is improved upon with the Switch. The things that I was less than thrilled about with the Wii U have been thrown out, and new features take place of the old ones. Here’s what has me feeling so optimistic about the Switch.
The Switch works by sliding the controller sides onto the monitor. While the portability of this design is great, I’m mostly excited about the fact that each of these controller sides can function as their own separate controller (as seen in the picture above). This opens up the possibility of playing together on one console (without having to pay $60 for an additional controller) and encourages the development of cooperative games. Everyone agrees that we need more couch co-op games, and the design of the Switch is perfect for implementing that. Not only will we likely see Nintendo games that use this function, I’m excited to think that we might see other developers taking advantage of this addition. The Switch reveal showed this in action with the new NBA 2k17, and sports games aren’t the only ones that can utilize this feature. 2D platforming games (maybe staring some plumber twins?) would be a great with this set up. I am truly excited to see how Nintendo and other developers will use this option in the future.
With regards to the Wii U, one thing I did like is the ability to play the game on the console monitor without being required to use the TV. I am thrilled to see this feature make a return with the Switch. The Wii U was, by no means, a portable device, but you could use it in a similar fashion. The portability of the Switch is a step in the right direction. Taking a feature that people loved about the Wii U and improving it is the shear essence of innovation. Back in the day, Nintendo were the key innovators of the gaming world. Their designs and ideas grandfathered the gaming scene as we know it today. In recent years, Nintendo has tried to innovate, but never found the right technological niche. The Switch is the right innovation in the right niche, and a key element of that is its portability.
What person isn’t excited about being able to play Skyrim on the Switch? Skyrim is an absolutely massive game with a ton of content to spend time playing. What is cool about this is if Nintendo is able to put a game as large as Skyrim into the Switch‘s cartridge, then we could potentially have a Nintendo console that is able to support some of the biggest multi-console AAA games that are being release. The ability to play games like Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands would be another large selling point for the Switch. It also opens up the possibility of Nintendo releasing exclusive titles that compare to XBox or PlayStation exclusive titles in terms of performance and visual appearance. For example, the unnanouced Mario game looks like the best Mario game I have ever seen. If Nintendo keeps pushing their caliber of gaming standards higher, we will definitely see a return on gamers to the Nintendo fan base.
Those are my thoughts on Nintendo‘s reveal of the Switch. It’s sufficient to say that I have not been as excited by a Nintendo console in recent years as I have been by the Switch. Luckily with a release date of March 2017 we won’t have to wait much longer to get our hand on this intriguing device. Keep your wallets at the ready!
What are your thoughts? In Nintendo headed in the right direction, or is this just one step forward and two steps back? Leave me your thoughts!