Nintendo. When you first announced the Switch back in October, the world stood back and watched with wide eyes. Three months on and whilst early optimism has faded somewhat, I’m still really interested to see what they had to offer.
Last night saw the second, and larger of the two reveal events. We got a price, release date, launch line up and a look at the console in person. So how are we feeling this morning?
In the second of two posts, I’ll take a look at how I’m feeling about the Switch. This time, let’s take a look at what’s got me excited.
It’s 2016. Having your video game library locked down by where you live shouldn’t, and thankfully, isn’t a thing you’ll be dealing with on the Nintendo Switch. Meaning you can play all of your slightly disturbing, Japanese schoolgirl dating games on your big TV with none of the good stuff ‘censored’ for the western market. Yay.
Nintendo makes fantastic games. This has been true for almost 30 years, and I fully expect it to hold true over the course of the Switches lifespan. Whilst the games aren’t there for the launch day crowd, you can be absolutely certain that Nintendo will populate their console with enough top quality first party content to make owning a Switch worth it for Nintendo games alone.
In the Switch, Nintendo has a console that offers something entirely different from its rivals. It’s the home console that can be played on a long car drive without having to rig up a series of wires and plugs, its easy. Microsoft and Sony don’t have that sort of flexibility.
Nintendo are never going to compete with Microsoft or Sony in terms of raw power, but what they can do is out-maneuver them; be more original, approach things in ways that they can’t. The Switch shows this to be true, and whilst it might not be perfect, it could offer something truly unique in a market that too often resorts to the status quo.
Play the games you love wherever you are. I think that idea is super, super cool, and I think Nintendo is the company to push that idea to its natural conclusion. I love the thought of playing my ‘big boy’ games whilst I’m out and about. I love the idea that I can (at a moments notice) put down my Switch, pull off the controllers and play some games with my family and friends. If Nintendo can deliver on that promise, they’ll do really well with the Switch.
Is it a gimmick? Yeah, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not a really fucking cool one. One that could appeal to an awful lot of people if they can get it right.
After the failure that was the Wii U, Nintendo needs the Switch to perform well enough to justify them making the next console. Obviously we don’t know one way or another if that’s going to happen just yet, but I think the Switch has some genuinely good ideas. If the marketplace is interested in those ideas is however, another matter entirely.
Nintendo innovates in ways that are almost unheard of in video games. With the Switch they’ve got yet another gimmick, but this time it’s a gimmick that could change the way we play forever. Above all else, I’m really excited to see what Nintendo can do with the Joycons and with the tablet itself.