Hopes For: The Nintendo Switch

Is Nintendo dead? Are Nintendo games are too childish? Are Nintendo systems underpowered.

Ha ha, no. Just look at the Switch. Nintendo is still hale and hearty, and they’re not leaving the gaming scene anytime soon.

For all of you who haven’t heard yet, Nintendo officially announced the Nintendo Switch (codenamed “NX”), their new console. Before you continue  reading, I urge that you watch the reveal video, as it really does a great job showing off what this thing can do. (By the way, in only a few days, it became the most viewed video on Nintendo’s YouTube channel!)

To sum it up, this is a console-handheld hybrid. Instead of buying a 3DS and a Wii U like in the past, you can just purchase the Switch. It is a real link between two worlds, in that it allows you to play on an amazingly powerful handheld when on the go, but when you are home, you can mount it onto a docking station to switch to TV mode at any time. This will instantly switch the video display from the handheld to the TV, a very interesting concept from which the Switch gets its name.

With that out of the way, I’d like to give some of my personal thoughts, opinions, and hopes for this brilliant new console.

First off, a console-handheld hybrid is an amazing idea! The Switch may seem like just an updated Wii U, but that’s far from the truth. This time around, Nintendo has packed some serious power into the handheld portion of their next-gen console. Unlike the Wii U gamepad, the handheld portion of the Switch can play games by itself, regardless of how far you are from your TV.

As I said above, Nintendo has gotten plenty of heat for making underpowered systems. This time, Nintendo has gone all out. The Kyoto-centered company has partnered with NVIDIA to provide processors for their systems. This is absolutely amazing, as NVIDIA is one of the top producers of insanely powerful PC graphics cards. And we’ve already seen the power of this system! On an approximately 10.2″ x 5.3″ screen, the Switch can smoothly run Skyrim! I mean, seriously, Skyrim! On a handheld! THIS IS AMAZING!

Furthermore, we also saw a nice looking NBA game running on the system. This is great news, as it means that this time around, Nintendo has secured some solid third-party support. One of the major weak points of the Wii U was its lack of third-party games.

Wait, did I say “some” third-party support? More like a ton, as seen in this list Nintendo has passed around:

Image credit: Wired.

Among the more notable names: Sega, Unity, EA, and Square Enix. This list has many of the same companies that currently are supporting the PS4 and Xbox One.

The next thing I would like to talk about is what this console means for Nintendo. From what we’ve seen, Nintendo has learned from the past, and they’re changing for the better. Nintendo is a multi-billion dollar company, but in recent years, they haven’t been blessed with too much success as far as the Wii U goes. I’m hoping (with great confidence) that this is the change Nintendo has needed. It might sound kinda cheesy, but I feel like the name of this console applies to more than just the switching between console and handheld. It is also representative of Nintendo’s switch in business logic. By no means am I saying that Nintendo is going to start making gritty FPS games and then milking them with DLC (because nobody does that!). They’re actually at a high point of innovation, with their next Zelda game being a prime example of this. However, Nintendo has finally realized that they are no longer the rulers of the gaming industry, and that in order to succeed, they must be open to cooperation with other companies.

A few more miscellaneous thoughts:

Image credit: IGN.
  • There are quite a few controller options for the Switch, which I’ll list here. I think the “Joy Con” (seen above) controllers/remotes seem interesting, though they look to be kind of cramped to use as your only controller. I’ll probably find myself using the Switch Pro Controller more often.
  • It may be somewhat annoying having to share a Switch Console within a household. If one person wants to take it out of the house, that means no home gaming for everyone else.
  • A portion of the Switch reveal trailer showed some e-sport players competing in large stadiums. Although this was most likely just for show, I hope it is hinting that Nintendo will begin to support competitive gaming more.

I could go on and on, but I’ll leave some things for you to think about. What are your opinions on the Switch, and do you think it will be just what Nintendo needs to put them back into the console market? Thanks for reading and keep an eye out for more gaming-related content on the Shield!

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