Nintendo’s latest console switch is pretty darn exciting
Nintendo has finally and officially revealed their latest upcoming console the Nintendo Switch (formerly the NX) today, and man am I hyped! With as excited as I am over the big announcement it would be pretty easy to assume that I’ve been looking forward to this this for some time now, but that actually isn’t the case. With new consoles from all kinds of companies being announced as frequently as they are in today’s world, I generally never succumb to console hype; not even from my favorite companies. In fact, I had completely forgotten that Nintendo was launching their video today. It wasn’t until a friend on Twitter asked me what I thought of the Switch that I decided to lazily scroll on over to the reveal trailer; but once I saw it I was sold. Somehow that 3-minute video managed to hit me in all of the right places, and I can now say with confidence that I haven’t been this excited for a new system in quite a long time. That’s probably a little to vague, though, right? Well, let’s break things down: here are the five reasons why I’m hyped for the Nintendo Switch.
1. The Design and Functionality
Nintendo is definitely taking a step into unknown territory by releasing a console/portable hybrid, but they have my undying support on this. I grew up with Nintendo; original NES excluded, I’ve consistently been getting every new Nintendo system, both handheld and console, as they’ve been released and have thoroughly enjoyed all of them. As I have gotten older however, I have found myself gravitating more and more toward mobility in terms of pretty much everything. I don’t being forced to stay cooped up at home all day, or even in one part of my house (I prefer different places depending upon the time of day), just because I want to play on a system with nicer graphics or more power. The Wii U Gamepad was a step in the right direction because it let you play console games on a handheld-like device, but its numerous shortcomings still meant that you were tethered pretty heavily to a home console. I’m a nerd. I like being able to take my video games with me; on long train rides, to friends’ houses, to school, or to Starbucks – especially to Starbucks. Like, I play video games at my local Starbucks a lot. Is that weird? That’s probably really weird.
Anyway, my point is that, while the portable market has an awesome lineup of games, it’s sometimes frustrating to not be able to take some of the big-name console games with you. I also feel like a lot of companies see handhelds as “lesser” gaming systems. I’m fully aware that handhelds are very much outclassed by consoles in terms of hardware, but I still feel as though they could have used a bit more love all this time. With the introduction of the Nintendo Switch, I’m hopeful that companies will start taking the handheld industry more seriously – even if they don’t, so long as they support the Switch then I’ll be getting my way.
2. The Peripherals
Not only is the Nintendo Switch set up to allow for both console and handheld play, but the way in which it does so has already been shown to be quite varied. While Nintendo and gimmicks go hand-in-hand at this point, time has shown that “different” and “good” aren’t always synonymous. Fortunately, it looks like they may actually be this time around. While I’ve obviously never had the chance to play the Switch, I’m feeling pretty optimistic about the new Right and Left Joy-Con controllers (or is it just Joy-Cons?) that have been implemented. As we have seen they’re made to be quite versatile, allowing for use as both one unit and two separate controllers. In writing it may seem kind of basic, but I can’t remember a time where I could essentially break my controller in half so that I could play with a friend. Of course using half of a controller as opposed to the whole also means fewer buttons which, in turn, can mean more limited functionality overall (I’m excited, but I’m still realistic). Regardless, I still think that it has huge potential for a variety of games; maybe I won’t be able to play Super Smash Bros with one half of the Joy-Con, but it certainly won’t stop me from playing games like Mario Kart with my buddies.
It isn’t just the Joy-Con that has the ability to be broken apart and put back together – the entirety of the Nintendo Switch is essentially just a big set of peripherals that can be set up to match a variety of locations and gaming needs. Being able to go from playing a game at my house on a console-like setting to taking the very same game with me
to Starbucks anywhere I’d like seems, as dorky as it’s going to sound, pretty liberating.
3. The Games Already Shown
More specifically, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Apparently as of earlier today, despite it appearing on the trailer, it’s not “officially confirmed” (boo), but I’m seriously so excited by the prospect of playing Skyrim on a handheld that it’s a little too late for me to let go of that idea. I had always thought that it would be cool to play a Fallout title on the Wii U and use the gamepad as a Pip-Boy and, while this isn’t exactly the same, it’s… well actually it’s better I guess, according to my own standards.
But hey, even if we don’t get Skyrim for some reason (which would be pretty awful considering how prominently it was featured), the Nintendo Switch highlighted several other games including those from the Mario Kart and Splatoon franchises, a possible new Super Mario game and some more gorgeous footage from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I know that we didn’t get to see a lot, but what we did get to see certainly looked nice in my opinion.
4. The Games Yet to Come
Do I even need to go into this? Look at all of the companies that have already thrown their hat into the ring for developing games for Nintendo’s upcoming system – and this is supposedly just a sampling. Even without knowing what exactly each of these companies can and will bring to the table, the fact that the Switch has over twice as many initial partners as the Wii U did is incredibly promising. Not only that, but several big names are here this time around including Bethesda, who has never previously worked with Nintendo. Of course, that isn’t to belittle those who aren’t new at all; with an incredibly solid range of returning third-party developers such as Capcom, Sega, and Atlus, I doubt that anyone will complain about Nintendo’s “lack of third-party support” for much longer.
While this is pure speculation (I guest most of this is speculation, actually), I also feel as though having more partners will encourage companies that have been working with Nintendo for a while to do even better. Surely not wanting to be outdone by their new competition, pre-existing Nintendo partners will hopefully be kicking things into high gear to make sure that they crank out solid content at a (hopefully) decent pace. Not only would this mean more quality games for Nintendo Switch users to play, but increased profit for those parties involved as well; a win-win!
5. The Marketing
This one is a bit more obtuse because it doesn’t technically directly relate to the Nintendo Switch itself, but I feel as though it’s a very valid point to make regardless. Think about today’s reveal video for a minute. Who did it feature? Adults. Literally everyone playing the Switch in the video was an adult; there were no children whatsoever. Nintendo knows that video games are as popular now as they have ever been. Those children who spent countless hours in the 80s and 90s playing games such as Duck Hunt or Yoshi’s Island have since grown up – but many of them haven’t stopped gaming. I fit this description perfectly, and I’m sure most of you reading this do too. We’re past the age where people thought that video games were a “kid’s thing”, and everyone knows it. While Nintendo has always been incredibly family-friendly, which it should continue to be, it seems to be slowly-yet-surely realizing that its adult demographic is just as important as its child demographic, perhaps even more so in some ways.
There are a lot of adult gamers out there, and we want to be noticed too. The fact that the Switch reveal video was primarily aimed at an older audiece is a huge compliment and made me happy beyond words. I think that Nintendo’s effort to include gamers of all ages is incredibly promising on their part, and says a lot about the fact that they ultimately seem to want to appeal to a wider demographic of people beyond children as a whole. They want to be taken more seriously on all fronts and realize that, while kids will always be around to buy video games due to the fact that they’re kids, adults often need to be coaxed a bit more into doing so. We’re less likely just to jump on the bandwagon just because it’s “cool”, and Nintendo seems to know that now.
So, there you have it. That’s why I’m so excited about the Nintendo Switch. March 2017 is still a bit far away, but now that Nintendo has finally gotten the ball rolling we’ll surely be getting more and more information on the system as the release date draws ever-closer. I’m not afraid to admit that I’m still largely in the dark about the Switch – we all are at this point – but if things keep heading in this direction then I can only get even more hyped from here on out.