For those out of the gaming loop, the Nintendo NX finally got its official reveal this week. The actual name of the console will be the Nintendo Switch and yes, it is the rumoured console/handheld hybrid that we have been hearing about for quite some time now.
Here’s Nintendo’s official debut trailer for the new console:
There’s a lot to talk about in that video, but for me personally, there’s actually not that much that really grabbed my attention.
I’ve said it before, the idea of a console that can double as a handheld gaming experience doesn’t intrigue me whatsoever. I drive everywhere I go, I maybe take the bus or train a few times the entire year. If I’m not home, I’m somewhere else where a TV is available so I can just bring my console with me. I also don’t have kids or anyone else to take the control of the TV away from me. So altogether, the need for a console that can double as a handheld, it doesn’t exist for me personally. So the gimmick of this console is completely lost on me.
However, to say it’s a useless gimmick is not true, it’s certainly got more potential than the Wii U ever had. I mean think about it, you could potentially play Skyrim (assuming that it is 100% a thing on this console) in the car, you could play the new Zelda game on the train, you could play some major console titles in the same places you’d play (what I think are) shitty mobile games like Candy Crush, Clash of Clans and Angry Birds. The idea of mobile gaming potentially expanding to console-level games is very interesting, that’s for sure.
This gamepad also looks a million times better than the Wii U Gamepad, not to mention the detachable controllers make it infinitely better. The idea that not only can they split off the sides and attach to another controller, but they can separately be used as two controllers for more simple games is actually really cool. But what really grabs my attention with the new controller is the potential of gimmick controllers for specific games. Think about if a new Pokemon Snap game came out, you could have a special controller with a zoom wheel, a button in a similar place like a real camera. How about a trivia game, where you could have a buzzer-like controller to attach to it? These are just two examples off the top of my head as I’m typing this out, there’s a lot of possibilities much smarter people in the gaming industry that could think of some really interesting ideas.
But what makes this console really stand out, is simply the idea that a large majority of games that would never be on the Wii U could finally be coming to a Nintendo console. Obviously Skyrim appears to be one of them, but what about other major titles? Is it possible Grand Theft Auto V could get a port to Nintendo Switch? What about the recently announced Red Dead Redemption? The idea that major titles like the Final Fantasy series, Call of Duty, all EA Sports titles and many more could be released on the Nintendo Switch is huge, something that the company has been needed for years and years. Because Nintendo games are always really good, but after Mario, after Zelda, how many good games are left? On the Wii U, I bought a total of 12 games over 3 years of owning it and that’s counting digital. On my PS4 alone that number is at least triple that and I’ve had the console for one less year than the Wii U. There’s not much good beyond Nintendo games, so the chance that this will change with the Switch, that’s a huge upgrade if that’s the case.
So what are my overall thoughts on the Switch? Will I be getting it?
Honestly, I’m impartial at this point in time. I think the console could be very good, but in my opinion the console has nothing to do with it at this point. I think the gimmick is useful to a select number of gamers, not all of them, I think the console will be capable to handle a lot more than the Wii and Wii U ever could’ve hoped to, but there’s one big issue I have with it and it stems from two console generations where Nintendo failed time and time again to produce a consistent number of good games, let alone games in general. The release lists for Nintendo consoles have been shorter and shorter the past few years and that’s a problem. You can’t keep gamers invested in your console if you can’t keep a steady flow of games going.
So if the console can keep a consistent release of games, I think it’ll do well. Will it do as good as the current generation of consoles are? I doubt it, I think Nintendo has a lot of good will to recuperate after a horrendous generation with the Wii U. But all in all, the console at best, it’s okay. I just hope it’s not another bust.