On Twitter, Nintendo revealed there will be a Nintendo Switch presentation in January giving full details. The console itself is exactly what the rumors were saying it would be. It’s a handheld/home console hybrid with detachable controllers and a docking station that transmits images to your TV. In the preview trailer, they showcased the versatility of the device and the types of games it could potentially play, ranging from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a new 3D Mario game, or even more shockingly, a Bethesda title on the same caliber as Skyrim.
While I am a fan of what Nintendo is pushing and the direction in which they’re marketing the system, I can’t say that a hybrid device is a choice that I prefer. Like most long time Nintendo fans, I long for the day they get back into the console race with something a little more…traditional. Though not what I’d call an ideal next generation Nintendo machine due to my own nostalgic feelings, it works. Nintendo is making the best choice for them in the long run. And this could possibly be a success.
A concern about the Nintendo Switch is related to the form factor – a tablet – that may be limited graphically largely due to its size. The memory storage has the potential to be scarce as was the case with the Wii U for portability’s sake. The detachable controllers, while functional for social gaming, don’t bode well for heavy gaming sessions – and could possibly be easy to misplace for children. Concerns aside:
- Nintendo shines brightest on the go. It’s no secret that most of Nintendo’s fan base exists on their portable side. Bridging the gap between their segmented fans could be the best solution to increasing their user base.
- The Switch keeps console gaming interesting from Sony and Microsoft’s offerings. I’m not sure if I’m alone in this, but console gaming has been irrelevant to me for several months now. While the promise of more graphical prowess sounds great and is always welcome, the games we’ve been getting, while fun, just don’t excite me as much as they once did. Admittedly a bit jaded, I think console manufacturers are taking more and more focus away from games themselves, which to me, are the most important parts of the conversation. The Nintendo Switch has piqued my interest in console gaming and has interrupted my attention from Steam and PC gaming.
- The hybrid idea could bring Nintendo’s best games on one device. Nintendo may no longer have to choose between their handhelds or their consoles. They can take all of the awesome games they tend to release for just one platform and ensure their accessibility for a singular device you can either play at home or on the go.
- Nvidia. Nvidia is effectively treating the Nintendo Switch with the same veracity as their other products, like their close cousin, the Nvidia Shield tablet.
The Nintendo Switch presentation on January 12th will be the day our questions are answered – hopefully. They will be inviting media partners, financial analysts, and trade partners alike and it will be streamed live globally for fans and onlookers. At this event, they will be discussing the launch lineup, price, and launch date.
While there has been very positive reception to the console, Nintendo has to get their ducks in a row to be taken seriously from the core gaming aspect. They basically have to be perfect in their messaging for the Nintendo Switch presentation.
- They have to dispel the concerns about the graphical fidelity. I’ve voiced on the last episode of E-I-C Speaks, that this thing needs to be at least Xbox One-tier in regard to power. This will ensure that the thing gets some third party multiplatform games. When the Xbox Scorpio and the PS4 Pro are on the market, the original Xbox One, Xbox One S, and original PS4 will still get games (they have a combined user base of approx. 60 million). If the Nintendo Switch could get games comparable what’s on these machines, most people would be content with that. Again, they don’t have to be the most powerful, they just need to be comparable. As for Nintendo themselves, we know for a fact that they know how to get every ounce from their own machines. Hardware at this level would grant us some of the very best looking Nintendo games (and they will mostly be 60fps also). Personally, since Unreal Engine 4 will be compatible with Nintendo Switch, I think it’ll do just fine. At this point, Nintendo just needs to make sure they make it sell well. Also considering Nintendo has a history of making upgrades to their portable devices, I could see this system being pseudo-modular in the future, meaning you could upgrade to a tablet with more processing or graphical power when the hardware is cost effective for them to mass produce.
- DeNA and Nvidia have to be given freedom over their online services. DeNA has to come through with some cloud gaming services, UI and interfacing that is user friendly, and help Nintendo get the best possible server space for online games. They also need to finally throw in a party chat option. This is non-negotiable. The preview trailer showcased that the Nintendo Switch can appeal to adults, so the firmware needs to match the message or there will be an uproar. If Nvidia is as cozy with Nintendo as I think they have been, and if the share button rumor is true, there needs to be a variant of Nvidia Shadowplay on the Nintendo Switch for recording gameplay footage and streaming games to Twitch and YouTube. It’s already a proven service, so why not?
- Memory should no longer be an issue. There are reports that the Nintendo Switch will allow external microSD storage for up to 128gb (internal memory is speculated to be 32gb). While this doesn’t sound like a lot of memory, remember the console is using game cartridges. That means no installs. Everything needed to run the game will be in the cartridge itself. This method is a less clunky way of adding storage (for portable and digital-only gamers) and it’ll take up way less desktop or home entertainment space (for home console gamers). I can’t speak for anyone, while I enjoyed being able to use an external hard drive for my Wii U, I didn’t really care for the appearance (attaching the thing to my console). I would have preferred SD or microSD storage to limit my desktop space. The only thing that stings is that, there are microSD cards out there that do hold more than 128gb of memory. Digital-only gamers will be stuck with buying multiple microSD cards.
- The diversity of Nintendo’s library has to be a thing Nintendo stresses with this console. While I love me a good 3D Mario game and the other platformers Nintendo provides, those can’t be the only types of experiences that are guaranteed on the system. One of the reasons Pikmin 3 is one of my favorite games on the Wii U is because it is very different from Nintendo’s usual schtick. With the Nintendo Switch, we need to see more new IPs like Splatoon (Wii U). We need to see them reimagine old, forgotten IPs like they did with Kid Icarus: Uprising (3DS). They need to ensure we get more sports games. They need to make sure they secure more shooters – first and third person. They need to make sure they secure more action-adventure games. They basically need to be the Nintendo they were during the Nintendo 64 and Nintendo Gamecube era. Upping the genre diversity would be a first step into showing people who abandoned Nintendo, why buying into their product is worth the value.
All in all, I can’t really say I’m hyped for the Nintendo Switch after a 3 minute teaser, but my eyes and ears are definitely peeled and ready to receive further information.
Do you like what the Nintendo Switch is bringing to the table? Do you have concerns of possible shortcomings? What does the Nintendo Switch presentation have to show to win you over for good. Let us know below!