After more than a year of speculation, rumors and pictures of patents releasing, Nintendo finally revealed its newest console. Formerly called “Project NX” it is now named the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo chose to show off the system using a three minute and 37 second trailer. Their idea worked, as it was at one point, the number one trending video on Youtube and has over 13 Million views, as of this writing. The system comes off extremely well in the video and had everyone talking.
However, it leaves not only the media, but the public at large asking various questions. Nintendo later clarified a few of them, but left perhaps the biggest ones unanswered. Anyone asking about price, specs, or battery life received a standard answer.
“We have nothing to announce on this topic. We will make additional announcements about the Nintendo Switch hardware later, before the launch of the product.”
Furthermore, The Wall Street Journal‘s Technology Reporter Takashi Mochizuki confirmed Nintendo wouldn’t say anymore this year on a few things. Hardware specs, including region locking and game titles.
Nintendo: no more official announcement would come this year on 1) game titles 2) spec details, including region-lock status.
— Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) October 21, 2016
Mochizuki may not think this is a big deal, and yes we have waited a long time for news on the system. However, considering how badly things went with the Wii U, it may have behooved Nintendo to be more upfront with details about The Switch. Putting aside skepticism from investors, the reception to the video was largely positive. That being said, our own staff members have their Nintendo Switch Reactions. So, I will try to fill in the gaps, as they describe their thoughts, concerns and interest in the system.
W2Mnet Nintendo Switch Reactions
Marc Morrison (W2Mnet Games Co-Senior Editor, Video Games 2 the MAX Co-Host)
– “I have mixed to increasingly negative feelings on the Switch. While the idea of a tablet you can take on the go, with included controllers, and also play games on your TV via a dock sounds cool. I have reservations about it from a technology and practicality standpoint. On the tech side, the system is powered by an Nvidia Tegra, which is a mobile/tablet GPU. So, even on the outset, the Switch will likely be underpowered compared to the current PS4 and Xbox One. This does not even count the PS4 Pro and Scorpio. Honestly, Nintendo systems haven’t been tech powerhouse systems in quite a while, but the practical side worries me more.
The “Joy-Con”, which sounds like a rip off of JogCon and a sex toy, looks like a terrible controller. It looks to have five buttons on each controller. I’m discounting the minus/plus buttons as I imagine they are for tablet contrast. How exactly are you supposed to play a game like Skyrim with five buttons? Most (if not all) of the Nintendo played games will be fine with 5 buttons. However, games like Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and NBA 2K17? Nope.
I also wonder about battery life, for both the console and controllers. How do the controllers charge? How hot does the system get under load? What about the storage it has? The idea sounds cool and the three minute long trailer was impressive, but it was very light on specifics. Considering how long this NX nonsense has been going on, Nintendo really needed to get stone hard facts out. Especially, if they plan on hitting their March 2017 release date.”
The Dock and Controllers
If Nintendo is even thinking about something like this concept by Ryan Salamanda it would make controllers a thing to have.
Marc brings up great points about all those questions I mentioned earlier being left unanswered. Nintendo indicates the only thing that needs to charge, is the system. The system charges via the Dock, which also serves the purpose of providing a connection to the television. This means the dock may not provide any extra power to the games or the system, but Nintendo of course has nothing to say right now on the matter.
The two “Joy-Con” controllers are mirror images of each other, meaning one has the buttons and analog stick on the right. While, the other has the buttons and analog stick on the left. So, comfort may be an issue when using the smaller controllers. The video also includes a Switch specific Pro controller that looks similar to the Wii U one. The buttons are bigger and have the Nintendo 64 C button configuration, instead of the regular face buttons. It’s also the only controller with a D-Pad, since the Joy-Cons don’t have one.
Daniel Anderson (W2Mnet Games Co-Senior Editor, Real Life Gamer Reviews)
– Starting off, I just want to say that I am initially impressed with Nintendo. In the past, it felt like they were marketing their consoles to parents to buy them for their children. This video, and the games shown, leaves that image behind. We still have some kid geared games (Splatoon and Mario), but we also see games like NBA 2K and the remastered Skyrim. If one of the Wii U’s biggest problems was lack of third party games. This video does a lot to initially set those fears to rest.
The portability of the console is really interesting. In the video, we saw someone playing a game on their TV, playing it on the portable screen, and then groups of people playing games against each other. The controllers that attach on the side of the screen look to have a joystick and four buttons on either side. The controllers seem to be mirror images of each other so when using the joystick on one the buttons will be on the same x-axis. I am not sure how comfortable it will be to hold, but I look forward to finding out. Overall, I feel like Nintendo has come out swinging trying to get some of the console market share they are missing. I cannot wait to see what else they have in store.
A Console and Portable Hybrid
Daniel’s statement about the portability is what rang true the most. The video was littered with instances where the Switch is used in a setting away from home. Whether it was at a park, on a plane, or outside in the yard, each setting showed something different about the system. The man on the plane revealed a kickstand and showed the Joy-Cons can be used similar to the Wii Mote and Nunchuk. The park and car provided multiplayer scenes. While the woman playing at home and then going outside shows how the system can bring casuals into play. This video ultimately felt like bringing back the days of the Wii. A focus on family, friends, and being with people playing Nintendo Switch. This is brought about by the portability of the console, which is going to be a big selling point.
One of the rumors clearly confirmed in the video was the return of cartridges to Nintendo home consoles. However, don’t expect that cartridges means one would be able to play 3DS games. Nintendo says the architecture inside the Switch prohibits playing Wii U or 3DS titles. There is no spot on the system for an optical disk and the cartridge for the Switch is bigger than the 3DS.
Another thing Daniel and Marc both mentioned, are the games shown in the trailer. It started with Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild gameplay.
Next, Skyrim on both the TV and on the portable. The interesting thing, is that Bethesda won’t confirm what version of Skyrim was shown.
Then, it transitions to Mario Kart 8, which probably means Switch versions of some of the Wii U’s big games.
After that, NBA 2K played at a park, which 2K also won’t confirm if there’s a special version for that too.
One more game shown is an unannounced Mario game, which goes back to Nintendo saying they wanted a true Mario game at launch.
Finally, in the spirit of E-Sports competition a Switch version of Splatoon played at a big tournament with Switch consoles put down for every player.
Perhaps Third Parties are lining up for the Nintendo Switch this go around, but it will be on Nintendo to make sure they keep putting out quality games.
Stephanie Diaz (W2Mnet Game Reviewer, Saki Let’s Plays, Foxy and Squid Podcast Host)
– After months of hearing just rumors, I was pretty happy about finally getting something concrete. Watching the trailer for the Nintendo Switch does have me hyped, and to see that it is a hybrid of the Nintendo Wii, WiiU, and the 3DS systems, I’m very impressed. The sleek design of it also intrigues me, because of how portable, and seemingly easy it is to use. I imagined myself playing Pokemon on this. Not to mention, other classics I missed out on as well.
I do have a little bit of hesitation. One of the reasons I didn’t buy the Wii U was because I remember buying the Wii when it first came out and feeling all the hype was for nothing. I also ran into several bugs with it too. I found a limited amount of games that I actually liked on there. So as far as buying the Switch, I’ll most likely wait until post launch, unless games like Kingdom Hearts 3 or a Final Fantasy game release for the console. Hopefully, the price won’t be crazy either, but by the looks of it, my pockets won’t be emptying anytime soon.
The Price Matters
Price is going to be a key factor in how well the Nintendo Switch sells. Stephanie and Marc’s concerns are not unfounded in this regard. Considering the console won’t have the power of the PS4 Pro or its 4K capabilities. Nintendo also has a history of only really caring about games, so the video 4K of the Xbox One S probably isn’t in the cards either. Nintendo has to start at a low price point. Somewhere close to the regular PS4 and Xbox One.
Back when the Wii U initially launched, they had two SKU’s. Nintendo may have to do this again to give hardcore and casual gamers an affordable entry point. Provide a base system with a smaller amount of memory and include the system and dock for $249-299.
Then you can add a SD card with more memory, a game, and something like this Joy-Con grip to justify the higher cost. If the grip comes standard, perhaps a Pro Controller added into the deluxe package brings that SKU up to the $350-399 range.
Freedom to Play
Right now, we have no idea when Nintendo plans on delivering more information on The Switch, but hopefully these fine details come available by the Holiday season. Even if Nintendo does wait until January to announce anything else, the fact is, they do want gamers to make another switch in how they look at video games. Perhaps the most outstanding prospect of the Nintendo Switch is its freedom of play.
Cedric Colon (W2Mnet Wrestling Staff, Co-Host of Jobber’s Court Podcast)
– “I may not have been one of the lucky ones to enjoy Nintendo since it’s early days. However, I can say I am lucky to see what it has become. But don’t take my word for it. I asked the gentleman next to me to watch the video and let me know what his thoughts were.
He says “it’s an enhanced version of a Wii-U”, “it can do what my tablet can’t when it comes to gaming.” “I can play on my TV and on the go”, “it could be a revolution for gaming”.
I personally summarize it with one word, freedom. Freedom to play by myself at home or anywhere else. The freedom to play with multiple friends or Nintendo aficionados. Freedom to choose between original or multi-platform titles. Freedom to SWITCH between large screen or small screen, handheld or Wii-style controllers. Overall, the freedom to enjoy playing games again.”
Strong words from the gentleman and Mr. Colon. Time will tell on the ultimate fate of the Nintendo Switch. There’s no doubt Nintendo needs this system to succeed. It all depends on several factors, many of which have been outlined in this article. The correct price, the right specs, a better way to play online, and most of all a steady stream of great games. These are all things Nintendo has gotten right in pieces, but they’ve never been able to put it all into one package correctly. The Nintendo Switch needs to be that all-in-one complete package. The Switch is a tremendous idea that if done right could change the way we all play games. The question is, can Nintendo catch lightning in a bottle twice and make that happen.
Ultimately, this isn’t just about the five people that have given their opinions in this article. This is also about the gaming public at large. What do you think of the Nintendo Switch? Are you interested in the console? Let us know through social media or in the comments below.