So not too long ago Nintendo did their reveal for their new console, or is it a handheld? By the looks of it, both. So now that a little time has passed for the initial buzz to calm a bit and for a bit more information to come out, let’s take a look at what could potentially be great and what could potentially be terrible about the Nintendo Switch. First off, if you haven’t seen anything about the Switch yet, watch their reveal video below then continue reading so that you have an idea about what’s going on:
Now after watching the reveal opinions were split between “What the hell is this?!” and “OH HELL YES!”. Personally, I fell somewhere in the middle. Call me cautiously hopeful. Not because I think it isn’t a good idea. In fact I think a console that works effortlessly as a home entertainment system and a handheld is a fantastic idea… providing it works. Therein lies the issue; if it works.
Nintendo, while successful recently with it’s Wii and to a lesser extent the Wii U, has a bit of a reputation in the gaming world for being innovative and daring, but sadly not always to great success.For those old enough to remember, they have had several “innovative” and giant strides forward in the gaming industry and the future of gaming that have fallen flat or just been too out there to be successful. For a prime example, just look at the colossal failure that was the Virtual Boy.
To this day, people still aren’t quite sure what Nintendo were thinking when they came up with the Virtual Boy. Despite being a pretty interesting idea, it doesn’t take a genius to see that brick of a device that is nowhere near as mobile as their Gameboy failing. But this is just what Nintendo do. If I was to give it an analogy I’d say it’s like throwing Spaghetti at the wall until one of them sticks and you know it’s good.
But let’s just imagine for a moment, and it isn’t hard to based on the hype going round, that the Switch sells very well. Will it last? Well, there’s a few things that concern me about this new console. So let’s go through the three big ones that are bothering me.
OK, great, so it is a device that slots in to a hub to become a home console and charges while docked. But how long will the battery last while on the go? Sure, in the reveal we see the handsome young men and beautiful young women out and about with their consoles, playing a basketball game when they were already mid-way through a real basketball game, or going to a rooftop party like all them cool kids do. But how long realistically will that battery last. If it lasts a long time, then great! If not, how are Nintendo intending to deal with that. Are they going to stick their fingers in their ears and pretend they can’t hear people complaining. Nope. What they’ll most likely do is release larger batteries to attach to the console, and what does that mean? Less money for us, and more for Nintendo… yay.
OK great, there’s a variety of controllers. There’s the standard image we have for a controller, the two that slide on and off the sides of the screen, and one that looks like Snoopy’s fat-faced cousin. But that’s a lot of controllers. Variety of choice isn’t always a good thing. Which controller is it that we’re going to get with the console on purchase? All three? Unlikely. What’s more likely judging by images and current information is that it’ll be Snoopy’s cousin. But! That’s not such a bad thing. The snoopy reject is also the two controllers that go on the side, so that’s good, right? Potentially yes, potentially no.
Throughout my entire time watching and re-watching and re-re-watching the reveal, one thing was bugging me; these side controllers are tiny. It was almost comical watching these adults hold this teeny-tiny controller in their hands. What concerns me greatly about this is two things; 1. how durable are they?, and 2. are they practical? I guess only time will tell about this one, but I can see a lot of issues stemming from this odd design.
Nintendo is not known for its top of the line graphics. In fact they have openly come out and said that their concern is more about story and entertainment than appearances. This worked very well for the Wii, but are they going to stick with this standpoint for the Switch? It wouldn’t be a great idea not to invest money into graphics based on the games that are coming out. Consider the announcement that Bethesda’s Skyrim will be one of the games featured on the Switch. Nintendo, as always, is a little late to the party on that one, but its still made Nintendo fans very happy… But will they be happy when they get their hands on it? If the graphics don’t hold up to the graphics on all the other consoles, maybe not.
This constant refusal to improve graphics might have worked for Nintendo in the past, but I’m not so sure that it will continue if they carry it over to the Switch, which seems to be more of the traditional idea of a console than the family-orientated Wii and Wii U. But, again, only time will tell.
Overall, the Nintendo Switch looks like it has the potential to be great and “steal” Playstation and Xbox users from Sony and Microsoft. But it also has the potential to be yet another failure for Nintendo. It will be very interesting to see what happens in March 2017…