It has been nearly three weeks since the announcement of the Nintendo Switch, and now that the initial shock has been tamed, it may be safer to make observations. When the console was revealed, there were two kinds of people; the ones that whole-heartedly supported the changes and the ones that instantly shunned the idea down for various reasons. The majority of people, myself included, seem to have fallen into the former. Times have changed since then, however, and now taking a step back is necessary.
The console appears to be a more refined Wii U. This is made obvious through the system’s decision to continue using a tablet controller. When reviewing the Switch, try to keep memories of the Wii U close by. The Wii U advertised a tablet that could be used to play games semi-portably while the TV isn’t in use. In reality, this is a feature that people hardly used. Of course, there were a fair amount of practical uses, but none of which were ever necessary. For the most part, the tablet was a limiting factor due to it being both bulky and required in order to play the console. Although it seems apparent that the Switch is fantastic at transitioning between handheld and home-console, the decision between having a truly portable console or a truly grounded console is never revealed. The tablet will need to be usable with zero access to the console, otherwise it risks becoming simply another Wii U where the controller is more a ball and chain than anything.
If the console manages to pull off the portability aspect perfectly, it will become a popular choice. As it stands, the majority of people have portable Nintendo consoles, and this has become kind of an indisputable fact. Whether it is on the bus, colleges, or pretty much anywhere, a person or group of friends lost in their 3DS will undoubtedly pop-up every so often. What this means is that if the Switch manages to pull off perfect portability, then it will naturally become the new staple for a very large demographic of Nintendo gamers. Following this new identity as the Nintendo portable console is precisely what will push the console towards popularity. Keep in mind this is assuming that the 3DS support eventually halts and shifts to Switch support, which most likely will be the case.
In terms of predictions, it is too early to make conclusions about the console. The success of the Switch will depend on its specifics. If the resolution of the tablet is high quality, and the internal hardware is stronger than the new 3DS, with at least a similar battery life, then the console will become a big hit without a doubt. If the console fails at portable gaming, yet keeps a strong and sturdy home experience, then its success is very iffy. The biggest factor for the console’s success relies entirely on how it transitions from being a home console to being a portable one. At the same time, most of the showcased features do seem awesome. It appears as though Nintendo has learned their lesson from their previous flop, and so if they can simply deliver to the buyer exactly what was seen in the trailer, then there is no doubt that the Switch will succeed.
Written By: Mikhael L’Heureux