It’s 5:30am, the Nintendo Switch Presentation has been over for the past half hour and I’m still wondering whether or not I’m going to get it. Nintendo and I haven’t had the best relationship, to be honest. Nintendo was my first console, back in the early 90s, but they’ve never really held my attention to the degree of Sony’s Playstation or Microsoft’s Xbox.
For the past decade, maybe even longer it seems like Nintendo have been playing a never-ending game of catch-up with their home consoles, which is quite shocking given the success of the NES, SNES and Nintendo 64 units. Maybe it’s just me though. One of my earliest gaming memories was playing Super Mario, and even a little bit of Duck Hunt. But as soon as the Playstation came out, Nintendo wasn’t such a priority.
I got a Playstation before I got an N64. I got a Playstation 2 (and even a Dreamcast) before I got a GameCube. I got both an Xbox 360 and a Playstation 3 before I got a Wii. It’s always been secondary, maybe even tertiary for my console gaming habits. Motion control didn’t appeal to me, which is why I skipped the Wii for so long. Besides, with it hanging in with the beefier Xbox 360 and PS3 generation and their fancy HDMI ports, the Wii wasn’t really on the priority list.
The same applies to the Wii U, which didn’t grab my attention and it showed when some of the major multi-platform games just didn’t come to the Wii U, or if they did it would be much later than their basic console counterparts.
That all being said, I’m very intrigued by the prospect of the Nintendo Switch. And thank God it’s the Switch and not the Swiitch, or something ridiculous. The Switch is an interesting piece of kit. It’s both a home console and a handheld. Funnily enough, I think it’s taken the concept Sony had for Cross-Play with the Playstation 3 & 4 with the Vita (R.I.P) and improved it tenfold.
With the Switch, you don’t need multiple copies of the same game. You have one copy, and one console. If you put it in the dock, you can play it on your TV. Take it out of the dock and you can take it on the go, with the battery life lasting anywhere from 3 to 6 hours depending on how demanding the game is. It seems way more useful if you’re in a rush, so you don’t have to fuss around with uploading and downloading saves so you can play a stripped-down version of it on your commute (I’m looking at you Borderlands Vita).
Another interesting concept is the controller, dubbed the Joy-Con. It comes in a few different set-ups, either attached directly to the Switch console, one in each hand, attached to a physical Joy Con grip (which makes it look like a puppy with a wonky eye) or one per player. I’m still relatively perplexed by dividing one whole controller into two so your friend can play, considering the number of buttons on a standard controller today, something doesn’t add up, but I’ll reserve judgement until I see it in action.
We haven’t exactly seen how the transition between controller setup or console configuration works in real time yet. Theoretically, it just works. But we all know technology doesn’t play out the way it does in hype trailers.
Games wise, we have quite a bunch to talk about. I’m torn on whether to mention Super Mario Odyssey which initially looked reminiscent of Sonic Adventure, or even worse Sonic 2006 *shudder*; or the trailer for Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which I correctly predicted (just a mere few minutes before reveal) that it would be a launch title.
Sod it. Here’s Mario.
Here’s a regular human.
And now here they are together…
If you didn’t get a Sonic 2006 vibe from this, then I’ll count you among the lucky ones.
In no way am I anticipating a shit show on the level of the turd from 2006, but as far as I know this’ll be Mario’s first venture out of the Mushroom Kingdom onto Earth (that isn’t a shitty movie, either.). It just feels very unsettling.
Legend of Zelda, though. Oh boy. I’m intrigued to say the least when it comes to the latest iteration, since it seems to be becoming more modern, with the reliance on crafting and hunting rather than finding pre-created weapons and replenishing health with hearts. There’s also voice acting too, which is a huge departure from previous games, but we’ll assume Link will be mute as per usual.
The trailer is just wonderful. The game looks like it’ll hold up for generations to come, much like Wind Waker did, even if it wasn’t appreciated in its time. The graphics are just a joy to behold, the music is outstanding as always and I’m not sure how many ways I can express how brilliant the game looks.
Other games shown include a new Shin Megami Tensei game, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Octopath Traveler, 1, 2 Switch, Splatoon 2, and new IP called ARMS.
So far, I’m not 100% sold on getting this for launch. Both for the lack of funds in my bank account and the seemingly sparse launch line-up. We know we’re getting Breath of the Wild and 1, 2 Switch, but what else? Surely Nintendo won’t be releasing a console with 2 launch titles… Right? I don’t want to see Nintendo fall behind again.
The Nintendo Switch will be available on March 3rd 2017 and will retail for $299 or £279.99.