I consider myself to be a pretty avid gamer, and one who has always followed Nintendo. I grew up playing Nintendo 64 with Super Mario 64 being the first game I completed 100% at the age of 7 years old. With that being said, the past two Nintendo consoles (Wii & Wii U) have left much to be desired. While they were innovative, they just didn’t match up with Sony and Microsoft’s powerhouse consoles. But growing up as a Nintendo fan, the little kid inside of me still got excited when I found out Nintendo would be showing off an announcement trailer for their new console set to release in March of next year.
What Is This New Console?
The Nintendo Switch blurs the line between console and handheld gaming. With this new console, Nintendo wants you to bring your gaming experience anywhere – a bus, a plane, the park or your couch. The console is powered by a ‘tablet’ that you place inside the console. If you want to take it on the go, you simply pop it out and take it with you.
The announcement also emphasized its multiplayer focus. The controller can be pulled apart, be placed on the screen or given to friends to play multiplayer games. In short, this is a console that can be played by anyone, anywhere.
Really, We’re Going To Call It The Nintendo Switch?
Seriously, can Nintendo not come up with good names? Since it’s creation, I’ve hated the name ‘Wii’ and we’ve had to deal with two consoles under that name! Now they have a chance to make up for it with a cool name, and they call it ‘Switch’? Granted, it’s better than ‘Wii’ but it’s still so bland!
Yes, I realize the numbering system of PlayStation isn’t exactly creative, and the third generation of Xbox’s being called ‘Xbox One’ still doesn’t make a lick of sense to me, but Nintendo is THE creative front runners for creative gaming – make a name that shows this! They almost touched greatness with the name ‘Revolution’, but we all know how that ended.
Where’s The Innovation?
This leads me to my next point – where’s the innovation Nintendo? Yes, it’s portable, but the PlayStation 4 has been doing this with the PlayStation Vita for quite some time – though arguably not to the same extent. While yes, this looks like a great feature for a console, it’s just not the innovation that Nintendo is known and loved for.
As I’ve previously stated, I’m not a huge fan of the Nintendo Wii & Wii U. From a gamer’s perspective, outside of the core Nintendo titles there just weren’t many games that appealed to me. I’m also what many call a ‘graphics snob’ so when the original Wii came out with PS2 graphics while the Xbox 360 and PS3 were giving us almost CG-quality graphics, I was very off put.
With that being said, the Wii & Wii U were both extremely innovative for their time. Up until then, motion controls were almost unheard of and the Wii U allowed people to utilize dual screens at home. This completely changed how games played, and no other consoles had this at the time. What does ‘Switch’ have? It forfeited these innovations for portability. Don’t get me wrong, portability in consoles is an awesome idea – but again it’s just not Nintendo. Give us a new way to play games, not just the ability to play them on a bus.
Perhaps The Glass Is Half Full
It may sound like I’m giving Nintendo a lot of grief for the Nintendo Switch, but it’s just because as someone who has grown up with Nintendo consoles, I want to see them succeed. After the Wii & Wii U, Nintendo’s not really in the best of lights with serious gamers. Even large game companies had dropped support for them, and as such the consoles had been missing out on huge AAA titles.
The Nintendo Switch is Nintendo’s chance to redeem themselves with the gamers. It’s a chance to gain the trust back from third party developers and show that they have a console that can redeem past errors. While the presentation was underwhelming, it didn’t show too much of the most important aspect of success – the games.
I want to be excited for the Nintendo Switch. While I’m super excited for a new ‘Super Mario’ and ‘Zelda’ game, a part of me can’t shake off the feeling that this console may be the final nail in Nintendo’s coffin. In time, we’ll learn more about the pricing, features and games – all of which are vitally important aspects for determining the success of this new console.