So finally Nintendo have revealed to us the Mysterious NX as the Nintendo Switch. With a 3 minute trailer we saw the new console in action and it’s fair to say it definitely got tongues wagging and it seems to have been well received overall. So what can we take from yesterdays preview and what did we think about it?
Rumours have been rife for months now about what the next Nintendo would look like and if it would be a normal console. yesterday we had that answered as we were introduced to Nintendo Switch and finally made some sense out of the rumours.
First off I’ll start by saying I really don’t like the name. In fact the more I hear it the more I dislike it, but what’s in a name. It’s a bit of a moo point. With the Nintendo Switch name out of the way it’s time to look at what we learnt.
Well it all starts off well with a console playing the breath taking new Zelda game through the TV. It must be said I do like the appearance of the Switch. I like the look of the plastics and it appears at least to be well made although with out getting hands on it’s hard to tell with any degree of accuracy.
When the chap got up in the trailer you just knew that one of the rumours had been confirmed and that the Nintendo Switch would be a portable hand-held as well as a home console. Attaching two mini controllers either side of the tablet gives you a kind of better looking WiiU gamepad. I’d expect the screen on the tablet to run at 720p which for the size is more than adequate but obviously we don’t know for sure yet.
We also don’t know for sure what function the base unit has apart from holding the hand held and outputting it to the TV. Some sources say it is able to give a performance boost whilst others say that it just charges the tablet portion and outputs the games/media to the TV. Either way so long as the console is able to push out games at 1080p on a TV then Nintendo will be able to claim parity with PS4 and Xbox One.
Another thing to take from the Preview is that they didn’t show any children. They showed young adults playing and we even got a look at a new controller which so long as it has triggers looks quite nice. We got a look at a new Mario game and what looked to be a slightly different Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon games so those are somethings to keep an eye on over the coming months.
Skyrim. Need I say more. Well yes, how about Skyrim whilst on a bus or train or 35’000ft in the air. I mean wow. It looked to be running Skyrim: Enhanced edition although it should be stressed that it was just a tech demo so to speak to represent 3rd party support and no 3rd party games have been confirmed yet. I think it’s a safe bet to get a little excited though.
On the subject of 3rd party support, an area Nintendo have always struggled with, Nintendo have shared a comprehensive list of developers and publishers that will be supporting the Nintendo Switch. Now we can all be forgiven for being sceptical but Nintendo seem to be doing more to highlight 3rd party support so there is certainly a lot of hope.
We know that nVidia have a custom Tegra chip in the Nintendo Switch and that is really where Nintendo have done well. I love nVidia products, I swear by them and they seemed keen to show how much work they’ve put into this custom chip and that really excites me. We’ll have to wait until the full specs are revealed but I’m guessing we are going to see a console with the power of maybe the Xbox One, probably just shy.
So is this all just a gimmick? No not at all. With the Nintendo Switch it will be giving us a powerful home console that we can enjoy Nintendo ip’s on as well as popular 3rd party games. The great thing is that going mobile with the tablet part looks to be delivering the exact same gaming experience which is a huge deal. Obviously I’m guessing it’ll just be single player games when on the move but that to me is very exciting news. whether this will be a feature developers have to enable or can choose to support if they want is unclear but if Nintendo want to woo the 3rd party crowd then they would do well to cater for their needs.
Cartridges are back!! I love cartridges, I grew up with them and have a special place in my heart for them. They basically died out because the cartridges that were being used wouldn’t hold enough space for the top 3rd party games which held back Nintendo consoles in the past. It’s unclear what sort of storage we are looking at with these cartridges but I hope developers aren’t limited to ridiculous small storage spaces. Just look at the size of the games in your game library and you’ll see what I mean. I suspect we are going to see digital downloads feature heavily with the Nintendo Switch which leads me nicely on to my concerns.
So what concerns do I have and what do I want to see from Nintendo now? Big concerns for me are Battery life as the game pad didn’t have particularly good battery life and the Nintendo Switch is bound to be a bit power hungry. Another concern is durability or how well it’s made as there are a lot of moving parts involved in “switching” and it needs to be durable. Storage is a concern and looking at the size of the console I cant see where they’ve stuck any decent amount of storage.
Nintendo really need to up their game when it comes to their Policies and online support. They need to stop harassing youtubers who can promote their games for them and they need a decent online infrastructure to allow friends to play over the internet (when at home obviously). The big decider for me will be cost. I think it would be unreasonable to expect anything less than £200 but it’d certainly be interested if it was priced between £250-£300 and if they do that then I think Xbox Scorpio will have to become a 2018 purchase for me.
This Nintendo Switch truly has me excited. It appears at first glance that Nintendo may have finally learnt lessons from past mistakes. I’m disappointed that we won’t be hearing more about the console for a while as I think it would be wise to capitalise on the interest and I’ll definitely be having my fingers crossed between now and next Spring that Nintendo have returned to form. I can’t wait to hear more about the Nintendo Switch but so far so good, I think we’ve seen enough to give it a thumbs up so far.