Nintendo have finally pulled the curtain on the elusive NX, confirming it to be a hybrid between a home gaming console and a handheld that can be taken on the go, hence the new name; the Nintendo Switch. Besides blowing everyone’s minds upon being announced, the Switch finally takes Nintendo, and gaming consoles in general, back to a focus on actual gaming- rather than trying to emulate PC’s. The Switch looks absolutely fantastic and there are so many good things to say about it, even if all we’ve seen so far is three minutes.
The first and most obvious thing to notice about the Switch is the console itself. Made up of one smaller screen that projects to the T.V, this sleek system appears to run much more powerful hardware than any previous Nintendo console before it, appearing to run the Skyrim: Special Edition remaster that is also coming to PS4 and Xbox One this year. This appears to imply that the console itself will be at least much more powerful than the Wii U and maybe as powerful as the current PS4 and Xbox One. The actual design of the console is very high tech as opposed to the rather simplistic Wii and Wii U, a core part of the new appeal that Nintendo is clearly going for. In terms of controllers, the Switch comes with every kind of setup you could ask for, either being a handheld or a home console with a true controller. The actual console itself finally ditches any touchscreen or motion control gimmicks and really seems like it’s focusing on actual games and powerful hardware.
One of the key draws of any Nintendo console is the exclusive games that are produced for each system. Within this small glimpse of the Switch, we’ve already seen what look like advancements on Splatoon and Mario Kart 8 and the brand new 3D Mario game that has been teased for a while now. These three exclusives, as well as The Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild really sell the console as focused on delivering true Nintendo experiences. The new 3D Mario game especially looks like it will be a hit, appearing to combine the core elements of Galaxy, World and Sunshine. Without a doubt, this new console has the potential to deliver the best looking and best playing Nintendo games to date.
It wouldn’t be a Nintendo console without some sort of unique hook and in the case of the Switch, it’s the ability to take your game on the go with the tablet like controller. Besides the Wii U’s ability to play games on a second screen, the concept of the Switch has never really been done anywhere else for consoles. This means that the Switch really stands out against consoles like PS4 and Xbox One, which, besides their exclusives, are very similar to one another. The possibilities of a hybrid console like this are so numerous- could we finally see a HD Pokemon game? How about a new Metroid Prime on the move? Nintendo really have the opportunity to wow the gaming audience with their lineup.
The final nail in the coffin for the Wii U was the lack of third party support for the system. This meant that the only games that people had to look forward to were Nintendo’s own games and, with the focus on developing the Switch, this was very hard to fulfil for a full-fledged home console. In the case of the Switch, it was made immediately clear that it would be fully supported by other big developers with the appearance of Skyrim and even NBA, making it seem as if the Switch will be able to compete with the PS4 and the Xbox One. Whilst competing with other consoles was never Nintendo’s idea of gaming, it was obvious that there disregard for this left them in big trouble with the Wii U- a mistake they have clearly learnt from this go around.
Above all else, the Switch, with all its innovations and games, looks like it’s going to be a whole bunch of fun. The focus on fun, combined with the power of newer consoles and backing by third parties, means that the Nintendo Switch may actually be the comeback of true game-focused consoles. Not trying to have the best graphics with no substance, not trying to sell you DLC with each step you take and certainly not becoming marred by games that aren’t technically capable within the system. The Nintendo Switch could be the best thing to happen to gaming in a long while- and it’s clear that everyone is just as excited as I am.