It’s been a long time coming, but yesterday morning Nintendo finally gave the world its first look at its latest console, the Nintendo Switch. Speculation had been rampant in the run up leading to the reveal, and many of the most credible reports– such as the fact that the system would feature detachable controllers and be a hybrid handheld/home console– turned out to be true, but that did little to diminish the impact of Nintendo’s “preview” trailer, which did a remarkable job of introducing the new platform. Now that we’ve had time to process the news, what do the Nintendojo staff think of the Nintendo Switch?
Let’s get this out of the way: the “gimmick” of Nintendo’s newest system has been the worst kept secret I can ever recall for a video game console. That said, I was still blown away by today’s trailer. From design to games to even the name of the console, I am really floored by what Nintendo put out there today.
“Switch” is such a simple name. After the ludicrously confusing “Wii U,” Switch tells potential buyers everything they need to know. It switches from console to handheld. It’s probably the easiest name to understand since the Super Nintendo.
They chose an excellent lineup to showcase, too. Yes, the teases were brief, but Breath of the Wild, a new Mario, Skyrim, an NBA game, and either enhanced ports or new versions of Splatoon and Mario Kart? That’s an excellent way to tease a new console, and definitely a bold step in the right direction.
There’s just something about Nintendo. They’re a company you want to root for. It’s the reason a lot of us write for this website. After seeing this trailer, I can honestly say the future looks brighter for this company than it has in a very long time. Now tell us a price so I can plunk down my money.
Marc, you and I had some quick takes on the NX– er, the Switch– earlier this morning, and I think we’re in the same headspace. (Although I might be significantly more tired, waking up on the other side of the country for this.)
Watching the video in my grogginess, my thought process went from “this is just the Wii U again” to “wait, he removed the controllers??” to “they’re playing more than five feet away from the dock???” to “THEY’RE PLAYING IN THE CAR???” to “OMG CONSOLE LAN PARTY.” Which is definitely an evolution from the poor Wii U that I am frantically excited for.
Game-wise, I’m not so excited yet, but only because we always know third-party support comes in waves when it comes to Nintendo. Skyrim on the system is all well and good, but Nintendo also has plenty of last-gen games that appear on its latest platforms– Mass Effect 3, anybody?.
Still, I’m optimistic, if only for the massive local play opportunities this gives. In fact, that’s what I’m most excited about. Somewhere along the way we’ve lost this idea of being able to play face-to-face with our opponents (or teammates), or kept it only in small doses. Even Halo 5 cut splitscreen wholesale. To have a major video games company churn up a system that seems tailor-made for local play is just
tremendous awesome. And I’m so, so excited for that return to form.
The real question is– what’s the tagline going to be? “Time to make a switch?” “Switch it up?” Whatever it is, I hope they keep that switch logo animation forever. It’s great.
While most of the rumors and leaks have proved to be true, they didn’t seem to quell the “wow!” factor for me once I saw the video reveal for the Switch. Indeed, I had to watch the video several times due to the fact that many of the revelations in the video acted as sand traps for my imagination as I pondered the possibilities. I can always count on Nintendo to be a disruptor and agent of change. They are the Apple of the console industry– without the luxury tax.
The Nintendo Switch is everything Wii U should have been. In fact, if the Switch was released in lieu of Wii U several years ago, Nintendo’s current market share would be drastically different. Here’s my pro/con breakdown of the reveal:
- Hybrid portable/home console
- First and third-party game reveals: Mario, Skyrim, Splatoon, Mario Kart, Zelda, an NBA title
- Emphasis on local multiplayer– both split screen and wireless lan
- Multiple controller options– a traditional controller and a hybrid convertible pack-in that can be used both on and off console and by two separate gamers
- The return of cartridges– most would count this as a con; but I loathe long load times and day-one patches/updates; quality assurance was also better with carts
- Battery life
- Lots of delicate parts waiting to be either lost or damaged
Advice: Buy Nintendo stock now!
There are so many ways that Nintendo could have revealed the console, and I think they did an admirable job at it really. It didn’t show off much that we didn’t already know, but I came away from it with a real sense of excitement about the console and Nintendo as a whole.
The trailer shows off so many more opportunities for the “switch” aspect of it (on the fly multiplayer with friends, anyone?) and the hardware itself looks sleek and modern. I’m unsure how comfortable those side pieces will be when used as main controllers, but we’ll have to see more of them in action before that becomes apparent. The trailer itself had so many small details that I think an in-depth analysis is needed to really unpack everything that it showed.
Also, is it just me, or does the main “docked” controller have a strong resemblance to the WaveBird, arguably one of Nintendo’s best controllers? That’s not the only incidental retro throwback: has anyone else noticed that the name Nintendo Switch can be shortened to “NS,” which sounds surprisingly similar to NES?
In terms of third party support, I agree with Andrew in– the Wii U also promised a strong third party presence before launch. This is something that only time will tell. Considering how little gameplay was shown, though, I’m incredibly optimistic about the Switch (NS?). As expected, I’m now just clamoring to see more!
I think it goes without saying that we’re excited; but we are the type of people who would likely be totally cool with Nintendo revealing the NX was just a re-release of the GameCube. However, the fact that all the recent rumors were dead on has spoiled some of the initial surprise and wonder.
That being said, the reveal video has done quite a bit to illustrate just how beneficial this concept will be for gaming. For example, while I imagined Nintendo would continue focusing on the joys of local multiplayer, I never imagined that the two controller halves would actually be usable as two separate, NES-like, controllers. And of course the presence of Mario Kart in any form instantly makes it the reigning champion of local multiplayer.
On the subject of games, I’m going to wait a bit before commenting too much. I imagine that there is a lot more in the works from third parties and that what we saw, such as Skyrim, was shown off primarily because it really wasn’t surprising. Publishers are probably waiting for more than a three minute teaser to announce their big projects.
Then of course there is the question of how successful it might be, and that is anybody’s bet. Wii and DS were bigger successes than anyone could have imagined, 3DS started out slow but then took off in a big way, and Wii U kind of flopped despite Nintendo and its partners making some of the best, most innovative games in recent years. At the very least, this video seems to suggest that Nintendo is making a strong effort to clearly define the Switch for all the people who were confused by Wii U.
What do you think of our first look at the Nintendo Switch? Let us know in the comments!