Earlier today, Nintendo released a trailer for their long-awaited console follow-up, codenamed “NX” for months. Now called the “Nintendo Switch,” it’s main feature is a slick blend of the two main console types: home and portable. You can play games – among them a new 3D Mario platformer, an apparent port of Mario Kart 8 with at least one new character, and Skyrim – either as a home console or entirely on the go due to a docking system, with the first use of cartridges in a major home console device since maybe the Nintendo 64. Perhaps the most exciting thing, though, is a wide and deep number of third parties supporting the device. Nintendo has struggled for a long time to have consistent, quality support, and companies with little to no history with them like Dark Souls’ From Software and the Elder Scrolls’ Bethesda is exciting, and enticing.
There’ll be a lot more speculation in the coming days, long before the device’s March release, but we gathered the Source Gaming team together to include some of their preliminary thoughts!
I’m genuinely glad that Nintendo got real third party support for this machine, as evidence by Skyrim and NBA 2K making an appearance, along with the press image of all their partners (although I wouldn’t really trust that all too much). It looks modern, not stupid, and seems to be avoiding most of the pitfalls of the Wii U (to repeat something I’m sure we’ll hear all week: this is what the Wii U should have been). That’s a good thing. It looks to be pretty powerful, especially for a handheld device, so I do worry about its battery life…although really, there are many ways to circumvent that, it’s still an inconvenience.
I will say that the mini Wii-remote-esque controllers look incredibly unfun to play on, and that Nintendo overestimates the general frequency of how often people will be running around with multiple clip-on controllers to bust out a small screen and play with four people. In general, I think a lot of the controllers didn’t look that comfortable…but visual assessment of ergonomics isn’t something that’s usually very accurate. Also, if there really is only 32GB of system memory…sigh. As a person who likes digital games (and greatly fears losing those small cartridges), I would like to have had a built in 500GB hard drive, which seems pretty standard.
Personally, I can’t say I’m really excited– I don’t play games on the go, ever, and I don’t really see the Switch as an absolutely necessary addition to my current console library. For Nintendo’s sake, though, I hope it does well, and I think it will. It looks like we’ll be seeing the underappreciated Wii U library, maybe even in “enhanced” form, at launch, which should provide for a very strong launch window. And this video was just a tease– a perfectly executed one– and I think Nintendo will come out with a very strong Nintendo Direct in the near future (give me them deets, Kimishima).
Welp, I’m excited. This seems like far more immediate a “gimmick” than the bulky Wii U GamePad (something I like, but which clearly struggled to justify itself). I’m just a little concerned that most of what we’ve seen appear to be ports so far, but I also suspect we’ll be seeing more new stuff down the line. The Wii U had the same issue, but it also never had anything as striking as taking a high-definition game and playing it seemingly without restrictions on a slim pad.
Like Soma said, it’ll be good to have a device that can play the Wii U games – for all the console’s issues, it really has some excellent games – and I love the device’s apparent ease of use. The mini “Joy-Con” controller blocks don’t seem too comfortable, and the new Pro Controller doesn’t seem quite as nice as the lovely and ergonomic Wii U equivalent, but it’s cool that there are a number of options from the get-go. Really, that notion of options and ease seems to be a central theme; there might be an attachment to connect the portable version to a car, the trailer frequently showed an immediate move from console to portable without extensive delay, and most multiplayer games seem to not require multiple versions of the system. These are all things that consoles should emphasize to differentiate themselves from PCs; they were always the system for “pick up and play,” local multiplayer, and simplicity. For all the complexity inherent in the Switch, it seems to focus on those traits, which is smart.
Also, portable Skyrim. That’s insane. We can talk about the frustration with getting so many ports up-front, but this is far more exciting than the lame GamePad support we got the last go around for these things.
So, on one hand, the prospect of portable Skyrim and the fact that we are seeing a Bethesda game on Nintendo hardware at all are very good signs. On the other hand, Nintendo launching a new system with ports of years old third party games does give me bad Wii U launch window flashbacks. I am also a bit weary of the system’s actual horsepower… I don’t expect the thing to be a graphical powerhouse but Breath of the Wild did seem to be running a bit choppy, and I really want a system that can at least play Wii U games at parity.
The actual hardware looks really slick, and it seems to be a more fully realized version of the Wii U concept. It’s a true hybrid, as opposed a home console with very limited in home portable functionality. It looks damn good for a handheld in general, and the “switch” from home mode to portable mode seems easy… although I do wonder if repeated usage and wear and tear will become a factor over time. Also, as a Smash Bros. fan, seeing an enhanced port of Mario Kart 8 gives me hope of seeing Super Smash Bros. for Wii U get an enhanced port with new stages and characters. And really, isn’t that what we all want out of a Nintendo console? More Smash?
My first thought is really that this is exactly what the Wii U should have been from the beginning. I was initially worried about how well they’d be able to convey their new system in just a 3 minute video, after the trouble that the initial Wii U presentation had. Luckily they’ve knocked it out of the park.
The console itself looks practically perfect, and the amount of third Party support it apparently has really gives this system as good a shot as possible in getting Nintendo back in the console race.
The big show-stealer here were the games though. Most notably an enhanced port of the Wii U’s Mario Kart 8, as evidence by the new character King Boo and double items. Neither appear in the Wii U version. Splatoon also seems to have new customization options, though I’m a little less reluctant to call that an enhanced port at this time. What other titles could we see given this treatment? Let’s just say that the Smash Bros. ballot timing is making a lot of sense to me right now.
Let’s get this out of the way: Skyrim on a Nintendo console is amazing. Okay? That was the defining moment for me. Nintendo securing third party support and doing it for a bunch of devs hammered in the fact that yes, this is Nintendo moving away from their past mistakes and doing a damn fine first impression. They’re on a good track to repairing their image. I sincerely hope they make the right decisions and move on from the mistakes that shrouded the Wii U. Of course, one has to keep their expectations in check, but I think my faith is well founded.
Well this is pretty dang cool. I’m “hyping responsibly” as we always say on Source Gaming because I remember this exact excitement and reaction from when the Wii U was shown.
The concept itself is fantastic. Stepping away from the Wii branding (and hopefully backwards-compatibility to save space for more power on the console) is a phenomenal step in the right direction. Of course, I’m certain we’ll still see Wii and Wii U games return through the Virtual Console.
Taking the home console on the go is an awesome “gimmick” that Nintendo probably should have started with the Wii U. It’s easy to explain to the casual market on what this thing does. I love the local multiplayer possibilities it opens up as well. Setting up Mario Kart in the car for one is something that I used to have to do with a CRT, a GameCube, and a portable generator…which wasn’t the safest thing to do, mind you. People should also be talking about the possibilities this opens up for LOCAL WIRELESS PLAY. As seen in the trailer, home console games seem to be able to connect with other nearby Switch units for local wireless play like a 3DS. This means so much. A Call of Duty private match for example. This is something a home console has never been able to achieve, and a portable has never had games of such fidelity.
The games: While some are saying the games in the trailer are just proof of concept, I think that would be a ridiculously stupid move by Nintendo. I could see it if, you know, this thing wasn’t coming out for a year and a half. But this console was supposed to be ready to ship this Holiday season! So I’m 99% sure all games in the trailer are real. Breath of the Wild looks great, Skyrim is awesome to have on the go, and sports game support is great to see. Mario Kart 8.5 (that’s what I’ll call it) is exciting. King Boo and two items in inventory were not in the original Mario Kart 8, which is how we know it’s new. Very excited to see more of this, but I certainly hope we can get a discount if we already owned Mario Kart 8, which is a sentiment I express regarding all of these “ports”.
The new 3D Mario was breathtaking. I personally have a theory that this is a 3D Mario much more in the vein of Super Mario 64. The set pieces look straight out of an HD version of the game! I also see some Spanish-esque vibes from the first level we saw… so I wonder if that’s a theme in the new title? For now, I’m putting my money on us finally getting Super Mario 128.
Splatoon port looks great for those that love Splatoon. If you know me, I cannot stand the game. All my opinion of course, but I find it ridiculously overrated; especially as someone whom plays every top shooter on the market. What made me a wee bit salty here was Nintendo actually putting Splatoon on an eSports stage over Smash. Like, Nintendo, have you seen the viewership levels compared between the games? I also find it funny how a game with no voice chat is given such an eSports presence. But I digress. Looks fun and if it changes enough up then I will pick it up. (Edit: I just now realized that Splatoon will now be able to be played with a normal controller. This might make the game for me this time around)
Overall, the Switch looks really really cool. That’s one word I can certainly use to describe it. I wrote a lot here, which is because I really am interested in what Nintendo has to offer this time around. Hopefully we see a Smash NX reveal soon!
It’s finally here! I was pretty happy that the trailer showed off more than just Breath of the Wild, which is what some people were saying. The device itself looks interesting, it’s essentially what the Wii U should have been (though I guess streaming won’t occur anymore?). I’m interested to see how developers will take advantage of the various controller setups for the device, and what kind of games will come out. I’m excited to see Mario Kart for Switch, and Splatoon for Switch…both which seem to include new content. It’s very likely these are being built off the existing Wii U titles. The new Mario game looks interesting, but there doesn’t seem to be a strong gimmick outright (which can be a good thing — especially if it goes back to a Super Mario 64 style gameplay). Overall, I’m excited, but I’m also waiting for a full direct to see what exactly is coming out, and how much it will cost. Factors that will make or break the system. Right now it seems like Nintendo is heading in the right direction, so I’m glad.
Let’s do something a little different and look at how well the Switch might sell
First, the Switch has the potential to be a huge success. The market is changing. In the mid 90s and the 2000s, the TV dominated people’s lives. With the advent of mobile devices, the TV has become less and less relevant. For instance, you can see this as old media is replaced with new media. The Switch is adapting to a new trend. It’s a transition for Nintendo. The Switch is a handheld that can connect to the TV. Nintendo is making the leap into going 100 percent handheld. You can tell this as the big emphasis was taking the system anywhere from having it on a plane to walking the dog.
The struggle for Nintendo was having two systems. In Japan, their handheld did well while the console didn’t. In the US, the console did well (relatively speaking), but struggled in Japan. Even the Wii struggled to find a place in the Japanese market where the DS didn’t. Moreover, with the Wii U, Nintendo couldn’t get enough games out. This system will be able to succeed globally and is able to have a huge library.
In terms of games, only The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been officially announced. Many of the other games may be proof-of-concept (which Nintendo did for the Wii and the Wii U). The major title it needs is a 2D Mario. Nintendo is able to recapture its Blue Ocean consumers it got from the DS and Wii. Nintendo needs to actually make a good 2D Mario with the quality seen in the 3D games. Nintendo has the potential for one of the best launch lineups in their history.
I’ll talk more about the Switch in the future, but the system marks a change for the console market. Generation 10 will be a huge shift. It will be exciting for sure.