With the successful release of both the PS4 pro and the Xbox One S, both companies pushed the gaming industry a little bit further. This also means that Nintendo have fallen even further behind. However, on March 3rd, Nintendo will release their new console: The Switch.
It was over four years since the Wii U got released and even then it didn’t “sweep the nation”. A lackluster third party support, some dated looking hardward, even at the time and slow release of even first party games.
With the Nintendo Switch, it feels like Nintendo are finally standing up and saying “This isn’t going to push graphical boundaries; It isn’t a toy for families; but gamers will want this.”
The concept behind this is simple, play your games, and when you have to go, play them on the go. The console is a simple screen and dock, with the screen becoming detachable from your on the go needs. While attached to the dock, you will get Full HD output to your TV. Take the screen on the go and you will have up to 3 hours of gameplay at 720p. Claims are, for optimum conditions, up to 6 hours game time. But we all know that might be a little bit of a stretch.
While on the go, the two controllers dock onto the side of the screen, giving it a beefed up feel from a DS. While playing at home, you can play with the two controllers independently or dock them on the Joy-Con Grip. Each controller can be used by different people to play a game. When used like this, two additional buttons become available for use where the controller docks.
When it comes to Software – Nintendo have gone very minimalistic with their home screen. With games popping up in the middle and different selections along the bottom, with News/Store etc. The actual games available might be the first very big issue with the Switch. A big problem that was always present for the life of the Wii and Wii-U was third party software. Very few games came out for both consoles unless they were developed by Nintendo themselves. A lot of Devs have shown a lot of interest in the Switch, but until we get an idea of how easy it is to port a game over, we won’t really know how much support it is going to get.
Another interesting fact about games, is there will be a shockingly small amount of games available at launch. At my last count, there was less than 15 games available when the console launches. Zelda makes the cut and will launch aside the Switch. But the strangest thing about this whole launch is that Mario Kart 8, Super Mario Odyssey and Splatoon 2 will not launch until at least Q3 of this year. That is a big gap for a new console and for some of their biggest draws, in relation to games. Also, the is some third party support, Skyrim will be making its way to the Switch this year. And third party software support is going to be vital, if the switch is going to draw in different gamers.
The most worrying thing about the Switch, for me, is all the peripherals. When you buy the Switch you get:
- The Nintendo Switch console
- Left and right Joy-Con controllers
- Joy-Con wrist straps
- The Joy-Con Grip
- The Nintendo Switch Dock
- An HDMI cable
- and an A/C adaptor
The following are available to buy afterwards
- Pro Controller (£65/$69.99)
- Additional Joy-Con Controllers Pair (£79.99/$79.99)
- Joy-Con Charging Grip (£27.99/$29.99)
- Additional Docking Station (£85/$89.99)
Which means you will end up sinking a lot of money into it before you even realise. Just to put it into context, the Playstation 4 Pro is currently selling on Amazon for £349/$399. So for the price of the Switch + The Pro Controller will almost get you a Playstation 4 Pro in the US and the UK. It has an online subscription as well, and you will get a NES or SNES game with it. But that has a problem as well. You will get one game a month….. but you will not have access to it after that month! I don’t understand the reasoning for that, but it is going to hurt Nintendo!
Am I going to buy the Switch, yes. Will I own one in March, probably not. I think the possibilities with it are finite but broad. I will more than likely get it so I can even just play it on the go. I haven’t picked up a Zelda game since the original GameBoy. I loved it, but haven’t picked up a Nintendo Console since then. I do think that Nintendo are going to lose a lot of customers just based on the price of peripherals, but I hope I’m wrong with that. I want to see another competitor up against Sony and Microsoft. I want to see branching options for gaming. I don’t see myself as a Playstation gamer or a PC gamer. I see myself as a gamer. I want to have more options for that.
So here is to hoping that the Nintendo Switch is all it can be and I’ll see you on Splatoon 2 some day!