Nintendo Switch Impressions

Nintendo Switch Impressions

Yesterday Nintendo officially announced their new console, the Nintendo Switch. Previously codenamed the NX, the system is a hybrid home/portable console and will allow gamers to play titles from the comfort of their own home or on the go. This 3 minute video does a nice job of showing the design and functionality of the Nintendo Switch:

 

The first thing that strikes you about the console is its appearance and versatility. The controllers (named Joy-Cons as only Nintendo would) can form a controller when combined with the Joy-Con Grip (essentially the middle bit of a traditional controller) or form a handheld when combined with the console itself, essentially the ‘screen’. It’s a neat solution to a hybrid console and if it works as seamlessly as the trailer makes out then it will be mighty impressive. Simply place the console in the dock when playing at home and attach controllers and take with you when on the go. The trailer also shows a Pro controller for those looking for a more traditional experience which closely resembles an Xbox controller with its layout. It also appears the controllers, which are two separate pieces, can be used for local multiplayer (think a mini Wii Remote on its side). There’s a clear evolution of the Wii U going on here and it is perhaps the console that many Nintendo fans hoped the Wii U would be in terms of design and functionality.

Nintendo Switch

A look at the different ways the console can be used.

As far as games are concerned we weren’t show much in the way of new games although we certainly saw what looks to be a new Mario game. The game looks reminiscent of Super Mario 64 or Sunshine but with a camera perspective similar to Super Mario 3D World. Also shown playing on the console was Splatoon, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8. This confirms the rumour that we’ll be getting ports or maybe even enhanced versions of Wii U titles presumably at launch. Nintendo is making a smart move here by breathing new life into what are good games that haven’t reached everybody due to the Wii U’s limited success and simultaneously bolstering the console’s library.

Nintendo Switch

What looks to be a new Mario game.

Perhaps more interesting and significant was the showing of third-party titles such as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and NBA 2K17. Are third-party publishers really ready to get behind Nintendo’s latest effort? See below for a list of the partners for Nintendo Switch:

Nintendo SwitchIt is worth noting that the Wii U had a similar list of partners declared at its launch but didn’t receive nearly as much support as other Nintendo consoles historically. There’s some impressive names on this list including Activision, EA, Bethesda and Square Enix. If Nintendo can really leverage this support into some tangible titles making their way to the console then they will be in a much stronger position than the Wii U was. It was impressive to see Skyrim playing on the portable Nintendo Switch but it is a game that is almost 5 years old and it will be the offerings from third parties moving forward that will speak to how much faith these publishers have in Nintendo’s latest hardware.

On Nintendo’s website, president of Nintendo Europe Satoru Shibata said:

“With this first look at Nintendo Switch, I hope fans are already imagining the possibilities of having the freedom to play when, where, and how they want to.

“Our teams at Nintendo, and many other developers, are all working hard to create new and unique experiences, and we look forward to showing you more.”

There’s still much to learn about the Nintendo Switch. What will the battery life be like? What are the system’s specs? How large will the unit’s memory be? Will the console have online features like achievements to move closer to its competitors? How much will it cost? Nintendo has given us just a glimpse of what they envision their next console to be and has promised more details in the future. We’ll know for certain how Nintendo’s new console is shaping up once it is released in March 2017.

What do you think of Nintendo’s new console? Are you excited for a hybrid console? What games do you hope to play on it?

Let me know your thoughts by commenting below.

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