Aside from the Red Dead Redemption 2 Teaser Trailer from Rockstar, the other biggest news of the day is the announcement of the new console by Nintendo. Previously called the Nintendo NX, it was announced that the new system coming from the makers of Mario and Zelda is the Nintendo Switch. This new system looks to put Nintendo back on the console gaming map, after the flop that was the Nintendo Wii U of 4 years ago. The two biggest takeaways from the reveal this morning were the handheld/home console hybrid nature of the console as well as the large selection and hopefully growing number of 3rd party developers for the platform. The second was a major issue that in part caused the downfall of both the Wii and the Wii U. Hopefully the Nintendo Switch will do exactly as its name says and switch Nintendo back to the forefront of the gaming industry. However, there are a few concerns with the system that will hopefully be addressed as the console comes closer to launch.
The most important aspect when it comes to any sort of potentially mobile device is battery life. Take a look at the New Nintendo 3DS. While the system itself is a solid handheld gaming device, there have always been concerns about the battery life the device had. However there were many factors into that, such as wifi on or off, whether 3d was being used, screen brightness, etc. The big seller for myself with the Nintendo Switch is the idea of playing Legend of Zelda: Breathe of the Wild at home, and then taking the handheld portion with me when I had to go out. Hopefully the battery life will be able to sustain a decent >5 hours of gameplay, otherwise it may not be even worth bothering with for on the go play.
Another glaring issue of the Wii U was its lackluster performance. When it was launched the titles that were lauded to be available to play in the Wii U were simply old xbox 360/PS3 titles redone to take advantage of the gamepad feature. The Wii U, which was released after the 360 and PS3, had technology that was barely within the standards of those consoles, nevermind the fact that the next gen consoles, Playstation 4 and Xbox One would be released as well which were huge upgrades from their predecessors. It’s always seemed with Nintendo that they go for more gimmicky technology than cutting edge powerhouse systems. Which is fine in its own right, but hopefully Nintendo beefs up the Switch making it not necessarily as powerful as the PS4 Pro or the Xbox Scorpio, but a little more in line with now current gen systems.
The Nintendo Switch has a lot of moving parts. From the detachable controllers on the screenpad, to the housing that holdss the screen when not in use, the Nintendo Switch can do alot. The hope is that with so many plugging and and unplugging of peripherals, the parts can hold up after hundreds of thousands of uses. Given Nintendo’s track record there shouldn’t be too much concern, but there also hasn’t been a console quite this complex. We will only know when we finally get hands on with the system.
Third Party Support
As stated before, the Wii U flopped in part because of the lack of third party support. They seem to be changing that up with the Switch. During the reveal they showed Skyrim running on their system. They also included an image of a bunch of logos of companies that are supporting the system. Both Ubisoft and 2K have come out and said they are exicted to work on the Switch. Hopefully these companies stick around. The Wii U had third party support initially, but after a few struggles alot developers back off of the Wii U. We can only hope they stick around this time for the Switch.
With the announcement of the handheld/console hybrid nature of the Switch, it calls into question what Nintendo plans to do with their solid handheld device, the Nintendo 3DS. Could Nintendo be ramping down support for the device, or will it just be another alternative. Games such as Pokemon will have their home on the handheld, so it will be curious to see if Nintendo incorporates the abolity to play 3DS games on the Switch. The Switch most likely isn’t the end of the 3DS, but one has to question why Nintendo went for the portable nature of the Switch while it already has a handheld that many gamers own. As with all things, time will tell
Let us know in the comments below if you have any other concerns for the Nintendo Switch.