Why Nintendo Switch’s HD Rumble Is More Innovative Than Anything PS4 Or Xbox One Has Done

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Say goodbye to basic dull controller rumble, Nintendo Switch’s HD Rumble has potential to be not only a great feature for the Switch, but an innovation that changes console gaming forever. It is a unique upgrade of a simple controller feature, but it opens the door for a more immersive gaming experience. It makes you wonder why this improvement was not made earlier by either Microsoft or Sony.

Current and past gaming “innovations” by Sony and Microsoft have not gone well for them, as shown through PSVR and Kinect; hopefully Nintendo can give them some pointers, starting with HD Rumble. It is fitting that Nintendo is making the improvement to the controller rumble feature, since they are the ones that made “rumble” standard in controllers when they released the N64 rumble packs.

HD Rumble has huge potential and could be a tool used to enhance the experience of gamers in every game. Nintendo released a video demonstration where they displayed the HD rumble capabilities. The demonstration showed that the Switch “Joy-con” controllers have the capability to allow gamers to feel ice cubes move in a glass and can even simulate the feel of liquid being poured into a glass. Third party developers could easily incorporate HD Rumble into their games and reap the huge benefit of making their game feel more realistic.

For example, the HD rumble could be utilized in shooters to indicate to the player which part of their body is taking damage. It could also be used in racing games, allowing players to feel where their car is taking damage; there would be a different rumble pattern if a player slams the front of their car into a wall versus if they get hit from behind.

It is likely that for next-gen consoles, Microsoft and Sony will need to ensure that their controllers are updated with HD Rumble. Sony and Microsoft could incorporate the HD rumble into their VR controllers to give gamers an even more immersive experience. The same way Nintendo’s games will benefit from the HD Rumble technology, so will Sony’s and Microsoft’s. VR gamers would be able to feel the vibrations on the handle of an axe or hilt of the sword that they are swinging. Gamers could feel the roar of the chainsaw throughout their controller as they cut through Locust in Gears of War or feel the string of the bow leave their fingertips as they let loose an arrow in Elder Scrolls.

Microsoft’s attempt at innovation came with the Kinect. The Kinect was at best mediocre, it suffered from lack of games and third party support. The upcoming announcement of Xbox’s VR technology for Project Scorpio, should signal the end for any hopes that Microsoft had for the Kinect. Playstation 4’s most recent innovation was the PSVR, the first VR to be brought to console gaming.

The PSVR has done poorly in sales since it first launched, and it has faced similar woes as the Kinect, with lack of games and third party support being major contributors to its lack of popularity. The PSVR still has a chance to bounce back with good games being developed, but Sony was not the first to create a virtual reality headset. HD Rumble will likely be overlooked by gamers at first but it wont be something they forget, HD Rumble is here to stay.

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Isaac Mallett
PS4 & PC Gamer. Former Xbox 360 fanboy who jumped bandwagons. Passion for gaming, producing music, and coffee.

Twitter: @eyesicks
About the author

Isaac Mallett

PS4 & PC Gamer. Former Xbox 360 fanboy who jumped bandwagons. Passion for gaming, producing music, and coffee. Twitter: @eyesicks
  • heavenshitman1

    Nintendo always pushes innovation, and contrary to many’s belief, its very much for the better..
    Whislt most their control innovations don’t wield endless awesome software results. Nintendo isn’t making gimmicks. Devs are just lazy to programme and gamers are lazy to change and adapt.

    Metroid Prime Corruption (and the Trilogy set) isn’t a gimmick! It represents one of the best 1st person shooter experiences ever built on a console..

    Now look at Sony for example. 4 generations and counting, still stuck on dual analogues (the analogue they followed on from Nintendo)
    Sony made the motion controls, (also a reaction to Nintendo) but clearly didn’t support them.

    If not for Nintendo console gaming would still be ‘8-directional pads’ till the year 2020

    • DaFynestRican

      Most gamers won’t give Nintendo the recognition they deserve. They try to expand on the limitations given to us by the ideas and technologies we are used to, with new input methods and features. I like my Xbox One and PS4 just fine, but aside from prettier graphics, what are we getting every new generation? The same games, the same controls, and aside from console-exclusives from Microsoft and Sony, not much to differentiate between the two and no genuine attempts to break away from the “traditional” gameplay we’re used. I am really looking forward to the Switch and what it will bring to the table.

      • They make fun of Nin pumping out just Mario but look how many CoD, AC, Mass Effect to name a few that they keep reusing over & over again making number part games & Nin are not allowed to continue their ips but they can? Hippocrite bs I say.

        • DaFynestRican

          I look at Nintendo’s IPs and I think of them as actors which Nintendo casts in different roles, especially Mario. While other companies are churning out sequel after sequel of the same games and rarely change the core gameplay, Nintendo uses it’s stable of characters as the core for different types of settings, genres and gameplay . I.e. Mario Strikers is not the same as Paper Mario, or Galaxy, or Kart, and so on. Vastly different experiences with Characters we have come to adore and are comfortable with. I guess it means nothing if you don’t like the characters, but to those of us who do it’s irritating to hear “oh, look, another Mario game” when none are really the same. Of course, every Kart is a racing game, which can be said for the sequels to most games, but look at what they 8 did with the anti-gravity. They shook up the formula enough to make the experience fresh and exciting. Even if the chances they take don’t always pay off, at least they try to do something different .

          • todd

            Yes I agree, well put.

          • Gman

            Yes well put, but so what? Maybe people are tired of seeing Mario everywhere. Maybe a few games with the same characters, then it gets a bit tiresome. You are talking like other games dont shake it up to make experiences fresh an exciting.

          • DaFynestRican

            I never said no other franchises try to shake things up. I specifically meant this in regards to annual franchises like Call of Duty and Assassins Creed, where the fundamental mechanics rarely if ever change, just the settings. Nintendo tries to introduce new mechanics or sets the gameplay around new themes which in turn changes mechanics. It wasn’t to bash other IP, but it WAS in defense of how I feel the general gaming public attitude is toward new Mario games. Though I probably didn’t need to clarify that for you since just your “so what” response makes pretty clear your take on this. This is, after all, just my opinion.

        • Gman

          Everything was good except your game comparison. Comparing a first party milking VS 3rd party games dont count the same. There are so many Mario games, you cant even count it your hands. FYI there is like 4 Mass Effect games, the 4th one coming out soon. Long Story short lots of people are tired of the same characters and games, thus the sales.

    • I agree, N4G is full of retarded SonyBots that think Nin copied them! The nerve of them saying Switch is a copy of the vita. Damn GameBoy was the first to introduce to the world the ablilty to switch from handheld to tv mode on the SNES using the SuperGameBoy. Then they continued that idea on the GameCube with GameBoyAdvance player. I remember Nin showing off Zelda four swords & using the GBA as a controller to control the game. The reason why it never too off is because of many wires which gamers cried because they wanted it wireless. SonyBots made fun of that but can’t make fun on how their VR setup makes them look like their in a deathbed in a hospital with all those wires huh.

      We can’t forget the N64 trigger Z button can we. Something that is now copied on MS controller. Sony finally caved in & copied DS touch screen with their Psp. Virtual Boy was the first to have dual control but with the d-pad & later Nin set it up on their N64 controller as the C buttons. SNES L+R & Sony adds 2 more on theirs. At the end of the day, Switch is bringing back the ideas Nin did first with GameBoy & SuperGameBoy in a much better looking style & feel. I have the System & lots of accessories pre-ordered for day one release & I’m going to love every sec of it!

      • DaFynestRican

        I am dropping a little over a grand day one (that includes two systems, one for my signifigant other). Crazy as that sounds, and though people think the Switch is a gamble for Nintendo, I’m behind them %100. I’m so excited for the HD rumble, fun control configurations and whatever else they have up their sleeves 😀

        • todd

          Lol nice. I’m almost to a grand. I didn’t check how much total but if I was to guess I’d say around $700 best.

        • heavenshitman1

          Don’t worry, I bought my Vive for 1000AU (bout 300 discount). Its great, but still more excited for my Switch

    • Bilal Prince-Ali

      Are you a dumbass…? looool.. Sony innovated with the first DUAL analogue set up which till today is the optimum choice for gamers! Sony also innovated with the first integrated rumble in a controller! Before saying the N64 had rumble first, which it did.. that was an accessory to add on to the experience an idea they only thought to create because arcades already had rumble features so that argument is flawed because what you’d be saying is ‘Nintendo are allowed to be given credit off of an idea they just improved on but Sony isnt’… Which would just prove your psycho fanboy ways.

      Sony has PSMove tech back in 2000.. its not hard to research.. lool

      For every Metroid Prime Corruption examples there’s 2 or 3 examples of Nintendo fucking up with their control schemes/innovations.

      The problem with Nintendo is that they innovate for the sake of innovation without giving a second thought to ‘is this enjoyable for the end user’ which has worked to their detriment to the core following for many years now! Games like Zelda Skyward Sword being given awkward control schemes really harmed the game and Star Fox Zero’s GARBAGE control scheme doesn’t even need mentioning and all this is a testament to Nintendo’s mentality! They innovate for the sake of innovating even if its at the detriment of the experience!

      • heavenshitman1

        You again eh..
        Nintendo got the analogue happening in console technology first. And made one hellava software showcase for it. If you want to discuss who invented all this various tech, anything could be predated to a bygone era via PC, or miscellaneous tech companies that never get these technologies employed on a mass scale.

        In any case, purely as far as consoles and mainstream gaming. Nintendo made analogue happen (Sony’s dual analogue was inspired by Nintendo).
        Nintendo made Rumble (a feature i’ve never cared for, HD rumble may be different) happen.
        Nintendo made point aim controls happen VASTLY superior to the dual analogues of XB1/PS4.
        Its only sad Nintendo and 3rd parties haven’t kept pushing that tech further. As an alternative, Nintendo premiered motion aim in Splatoon, also the default control of choice for all pro players. Yet to be perfected but its another example of how gaming can be pushed further.
        Nintendo invented genres, like fitness and physical active gaming (sometimes great, sometimes, not so).
        Pokemom GO (done by the company Ninty part owns anyways), a smash success for the most part, primarily employing augmented world gaming. Its active, different and saves the couch slouching n stiff muscles that go with it.

        Sony and Microsoft fail to achieve almost anything besides following the standard thats worked well enough. Its been their behaviour forever.

        Defend them all you wish while the PC community continues to laugh at dual analogue gamers in all their shooters n strategy’s.

        • Bilal Prince-Ali

          ahahahhah loooooooooooooooooool!!!!!!!!!!!! wow…. just wow…. this is actually soo much easier to walk away from now… :)… so imma just say ok.

          • Robert Shepard

            Obvious troll is obvious.

  • HAppY_KrAToS

    wii manufacture costs : cheap outdated hardware, less than 70$
    wii u manufacture costs : cheap outdated hardware, less than 80$
    switch manufacture costs : outdated hardware, low power cpu, 16gb memory, 2 tiny slice of plastic, with a tiny board and 2 or 3 components, and 2$ rumble tech. LESS than 90$

    why ? because nintendo counts on the first million sales, to make 200$ net on each sold unit.
    add another 60$ for a game, another 30$ for a charger /only an idiot would spend 30 bucks on a 1$ slab of plastic with a simple charging socket, each customer will give 300$ net to nintendo.

    2017, 4k is here, 1080p visuals are almost Avatar-pixar like, even 6 yo kids can notice if a game looks good and crisp, at high resolution, on the ipad, or if it looks blurred, ugly, simple.

    again, nintendo relies on the nintendo defense task force to praise the system, and praise nintendo, by saying all that matters is innovation, gameplay, and graphics, effects, etc etc, doesn’t count.

    those same nintendo fans, that will still pay 1000$ for any nintendo console, even if it can only display 160×120 graphics with 4 colors : it will be the best console ever, games will be the best games ever.

    worse, nintendo fans are just smart to recognize the switch controllers are tooo small, with buttons 1mm big, that any guy above 10yo with a normal hand won’t be able to handle it properly… nitendo fans know it… but no, they still claim the controllers will be the best ever, bla bla.

    oh man…

  • Bilal Prince-Ali

    this article is fucking hilarious!!! loool

    You Nintendo fanboys are ACTUALLY insane!! i dont know how or why you all keep going soo hard in your defence of Nintendo…. all they have priven is they dont care about you all time and time again but you still somehow think you can save this dying company in this gaming industry… they will eventually just go like Sega and be a software company because this hardware thing really isn’t for them anymore.

    You all need to relax because its looking desperate now guys. really… HD rumble is what you’re all banking on loooool…. you sound like all those cringey 80’s/90’s add campaigns where they use buzzwords to make things sound cool and sell the product to kids!

  • L

    The Xbox One already has impulse triggers.