With the Nintendo Switch unveiled in a three-minute preview video, we’ve had some time to get our thoughts down quickly for you to consider. I’ve gathered our gaming team and asked them to tell me what they think, and I’ve included my own thoughts as well.
“Despite the fact that almost everything about this system leaked months ahead of time, it’s still a bit of a surprise.” -Eric Frederiksen
It’s a solid, professional looking piece of hardware that looks like a game system rather than a toy, and the games they showed look good despite it being off-screen footage. It looks like Nintendo is aiming the system at adults (who have money) rather than kids, and I think that’s going to be good for the audience. The kids will show up either way.
The two things I’m most wary of, interestingly, are the same things that worried me about the Wii U and Wii: the controller and third party support. Third party support looks good right now with games like Skyrim on the way and a whole list of companies interested. As usual, Nintendo is offering a list of different ways to control the system, though, and it’s not clear which ones come with the system and which don’t. There’s a Pro Controller that looks like a fine piece of hardware, and then there’s the Joy-Con controller that can be used as two discrete controllers for multiplayer, a single disc for single player, attached to a “Joy-Con Grip” controller, or hooked onto the sides of the screen like a Wii U Gamepad. I’m wary of the tiny controllers in my big American hands, and of how easy they might be to lose. I also have to question how good the battery life on the system will be, and whether it’s actually going to make it through the plane ride the guy in the trailer was about to go on.
Despite those concerns, I’m excited to see this system and get my hands on it. It’s the best-looking hardware from Nintendo in a long time.
“This could be my dream machine if it all plays out correctly.”-Ron Duwell
So, in the end, Nintendo Switch turned out to be the console/handheld hybrid it was hyped to be all along. With Mario, Zelda and a surprise visit from Skyrim as well, I can safely say that this is going to be a day-1 purchase. This could be my dream machine if it all plays out correctly, and that’s a risk I’m willing to take after waiting so long for a device that lets me take all of my games with me everywhere.
I still have a million questions regarding battery life, backwards compatibility, price, differences in performance between using it at home and on the go, and how Nintendo is going to handle Virtual Console. But for the three minutes we saw it, Nintendo Switch is a sexy machine that could be the perfect device for those of us losing touch with the direction Sony and Microsoft are taking their high-performance consoles.
“The Nintendo Switch reveal produced equal parts hype and hesitation from me.” -Joey Davidson
Let me be clear: I really like what we’re seeing with this system. The promise of home quality gaming on the go has been sought after for as long as I can remember. The Nintendo Switch is poised to fulfill that promise.
I’m most concerned about system power and battery life. In order to really make this a console that can be played anywhere, Nintendo needs to make use of a battery that lasts longer than four hours. They also need a system that conserves energy while playing great looking games at modern frame rates and resolutions. I hope they’ll meet those tasks, but they’re both tall orders.
The video finished this morning, and Nintendo has me fully excited. That didn’t happen with the Wii U. The Nintendo Switch looks better.