Nintendo just went next-level with its new video game system
Posted October 24, 2016
Nintendo has decided to switch things up for its next-generation video game console.
On Thursday, the multi-international gaming company unveiled the Nintendo Switch, a hybrid gaming device that works as a portable home-based gaming system. It’s a combination of both the Wii U and the 3DS, both current Nintendo video game systems.
The device is mainly for family and friends to game together both at home or on the go, acccording to a Nintendo press release.
“At home, Nintendo Switch rests in the Nintendo Switch Dock that connects the system to the TV and lets you play with family and friends in the comfort of your living room,” according to Nintendo. “By simply lifting Nintendo Switch from the dock, the system will instantly transition to portable mode, and the same great gaming experience that was being enjoyed at home now travels with you.”
As this video shows, the new console can be carried anywhere and turned on at anytime, meaning that gamers will no longer need to schedule Mario Kart night in advance to start playing.
We’ve actually know about the Nintendo Switch for quite some time, just not in its current form. According to the video game website Kotaku, there have been rumors about a device called NX, which was believed to be a handheld Nintendo device with detachable controllers (so, basically, the Nintendo Switch).
It seems reviews have been positive so far, with critics championing Nintendo’s ability to provide a hybrid gaming console that can appeal to all.
“The Nintendo Switch is both a portable and home console, and that's brilliant news. In a year or two — once the Wii U and 3DS are inevitably retired — that means every Nintendo studio will be making games for the same system. Brilliant,” Nick Summers, the associate editor of Engadget, wrote on Thursday.
It also works for anyone who wants to game but has a busy lifestyle, Kris Naudus, senior editor of Database, wrote for Engadget.
“The Switch is a home console that works around your schedule,” she said.
The Switch also succeeds because it is very much the reverse of Nintendo’s current Wii U system, according to Time’s Matt Peckham.
While the Wii U allowed gamers to play on the TV and their mini-Wii U tablet screen as a secondary option, this new system focuses playtime around the actual tablet, making it a crucial part of the device.
Peckham said that this device will resonate with all audiences, something that Nintendo devices haven’t done in recent decades. Devices like the Wii U and 3DS have focused on families and children, whereas this new device appeals to almost all demographics, Peckham wrote.
This specifically raised concerns about how much the Switch will attract children, since the promotional video shows mostly young adults playing with the device, Peckham wrote. Of course, this probably won’t be an issue.
“Though it’s also not nuts to wonder if there isn’t another version of Switch’s debut video lying in wait, somewhere in Nintendo’s vaults, one that illustrates all the ways the new system could comport with younger hands and gameplay tastes,” he wrote.
But critics still have a lot of questions about the new device, like which titles will be included with its release and how appealing it will look on an actual TV and not just the tablet device, according to Peckham.
“What games will it launch with? How much it will cost? What's that screen like? Will it play games on a TV at 1080p? How long will the battery last?” Engadget asked.
Still, it seems Nintendo wants to reinforce its core beliefs about family with this new console.
“This is Nintendo doubling down on its core philosophy: that playgrounds work best when they’re part of our everyday routines, and, crucially, when we’re engaged in them face-to-face with other players,” Peckham wrote. “And that software innovation happens in tandem with hardware innovation.”
Herb Scribner is a writer for Deseret Digital Media.