New Nintendo Console: Switch on or Switch off

Note: This article was written before the launch of the Nintendo Switch

New consoles usually create a lot of discussion; the Nintendo Switch has been no different in this regard. The Nintendo Switch will be the seventh console that Nintendo have released and it definitely one of their more ambitious consoles. Lots of the features have been praised and criticised in equal amounts. The announcement trailer had everyone excited, a console you could pick up and take with you with its own battery life and all of the different things that you could do with this feature definitely excited people. Having always been a Nintendo fan, I was sure that this would be a console I would buy on release. As more and more information came out, I began questioning more and more whether or not this console would be worth it.

There are definitely reasons to pick this console up. Nintendo have always managed to create amazing exclusive franchises, two of these being Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda. Both of these franchises would be getting new games for the Nintendo Switch and both look quite different from their predecessors and seem to be trying to switch up their formulas. Since the console and the games have not yet been released, a fair judgement cannot yet be reached. This leads to one of the main issues that I have in deciding whether or not the Switch will be worth it. A new console needs to give you a strong exciting launch of games to entice you into buying it and I do not really see this with the Switch. The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild will be available on launch but the new Mario game will not be available till Holiday 2017. Other games available on launch include; Super Bomberman R, Skylanders: Imaginators, Just Dance 2017 and others. The total confirmed release titles for the Switch is ten. Quite a few of these are games I have personally picked up on Steam in the past for less than £10, for example, Human Resource Machine, World of Goo and Little Inferno. These games were quite enjoyable to play but they do not really entice me towards the Switch. After about a year of being out, the Switch will surely have a much larger library with a lot more enticing games but Nintendo are not doing a great job of convincing me to buy this console on release.

Nintendo have never had the most conventional controllers, they have not made an exception with the Switch. The new controllers called “Joy-Con” seem quite interesting. The system comes with two of these Joy-Cons and they can be used in several ways. You can slip them on to the side of the touch screen and control the Switch like that, you can use one Joy-Con while your friend uses another and you can even connect the Joy-Cons to a Joy-Con Grip to make a more conventional looking controller which would probably be used for more single player action. The idea of having this all as a part of the system you get out the box sounds great to me and I like seeing new ideas tried out. Having a console that you can use in a bunch of different scenarios with relative ease really appeals to me as, I like to game with friends. The Switch seems to be aiming to make local multi-player gaming as simple as possible.

The idea of having a console you can pick up and take with you sounds great but if it has poor battery life or substandard visuals, it just sounds gimmicky. One rather disheartening figure was that the new Zelda: Breath of the Wild would only be playable for “Roughly three hours on a single charge” according to the company. While this may seem like a rather serious downfall it is important to remember that is still a console and the primary way to use it will be through a TV. When you have it plugged in, battery life will not be an issue. Another point to keep in mind is that the new Zelda game is also quite graphically intensive, so if it was another less intensive game, the battery life would probably be longer. The idea seems to be that you can be playing a game, have to go do something and you can take the game with you. Gaming on the go is not a new idea by any standard but Nintendo is really trying to link the gaming at home with gaming on the go.

At this point in time, I think it is hard to say if the Nintendo Switch will be worth it. With the release date of the Switch being less than a month away, time will see whether or not this new console will be a success or end up failing like its predecessor, the Wii U.


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