Nintendo is switching up their game plan with the reveal of their new hybrid console, the Nintendo Switch.
Based on the teaser, the Nintendo Switch is set to replace Nintendo’s handheld 3DS, and their home console, the Wii U. In the past, Nintendo has done best financially with handhelds, so it was only a matter of time before they combined their successful handheld team with their console team. Take into account that Nintendo is still around after its origins in the days of Sega and Atari.
Nintendo has a history of innovation. The company created the first 3D handheld, backlit the Gameboy SP and perfected motion controls for the Wii.
That isn’t to say they haven’t fumbled or even fallen. For example, the Virtual Boy was considered a virtual reality failure. It had two colors, and it physically hurt people’s eyes to play. Nintendo typically launches consoles that under perform against their competition, but they use the processing power of their consoles to their limits.
Then there’s the Switch, which in the system’s trailer is running “Skyrim Remastered” in its handheld form. That is enough power to compete with the sharp graphics and FPS of both the Xbox One and the Playstation 4.
This is going to be the start of a golden era for Nintendo, especially since, once again, they made it to this innovation first. There have been other versions of this concept. You can play Gameboy games on the the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It is also possible to use remote play features to play Xbox games on a windows phone. Or if someone was so inclined, they could go out of their way to buy a Sony Ericsson, and experience versions of PlayStation games on a controller doubling as a phone. The Ericsson was considered a good idea that was executed as poorly as possible.
At the time of speculation, when all I knew was Nintendo’s new system was called the NX, plenty of people thought it was a phone. After the popularity that “Pokemon Go” had, it made even more sense. The Switch wouldn’t work as a phone, partially because that would drain the life of most phones and handhelds. Most phones have short battery lives, and they are fragile. Plus, the 3DS has a six hour max battery life, so those things don’t seem to mix.
That is a common complaint about the Nintendo Switch, it feels exposed.
That being said, most don’t know what material it is made of, and there is speculation that cases will be made. It is all speculation, but I am concerned about the battery life of the Switch as well. It is pulling in enough power to play “Skyrim,” and it has vents on the top. These are my main concerns.
The console itself is a completely new design. It isn’t the Wii U, which resembled the Wii already and had a similar name. This is part of why the Wii U did poorly at its initial release, because it looked like a Wii with a gamepad added. The gamepad itself was bulky, about the size of an original Wii and slightly uncomfortable to play for long periods of time.
As far as journalists have said, the Switch has none of these problems. It is distinct. It is the most streamlined console Nintendo has ever had on the market.
Nintendo has been criticized of getting stuck in the loop of making the same console again and again. When Nintendo transitioned from the GameCube to the Wii and from the Gameboy to the 3DS, their popularity skyrocketed.
Lastly, the Joy-Con. The Wii Remote looks odd, especially when attached to the nunchuck, but critics praised its performance. The comments on the Joy-Con’s performance are similar, but its design is also well-praised. It’s a versatile design. The system uses two controllers which can be used in a multitude of ways. Each controller can fuction as its own controller in multiplayer settings, but both of them can be connected to function as a larger controller for single player experiences. It is modular and sleek, and one of the most interesting aspects of the Switch.