There’s barely a handful of days until the release of Nintendo Switch since Iwata revealed the new concept codenamed NX: speculation, rumours and hype have been rife throughout the gaming community. Who couldn’t help but indulge in the hype and speculation? most of us, debating and retweeting hooked on every crumb. And now with the release imminent and my perspective much deliberated over, I have an inclination to share my views on both Nintendo and their upcoming Home/Portable hybrid console.
(Also I haven’t posted in a while…like 5 months to be exact.)
I would be lying if I said wasn’t hyped from the word go… As soon as the Nintendo Switch reveal trailer dropped, I felt my already empty wallet getting emptier. However, even then my feelings about the Switch were still very much open to change. The appeal of Skyrim didn’t do much for me and I’m British with a penchant for books and a preference for Rugby, Football and Badminton; so NBA2K…(honestly, just give me FIFA) doesn’t give me any warm and fuzzies. Therefore all major selling points were obviously the 1st party titles. At the time just glimpsing: Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, had me stunned and at one point even speechless.
During the months that followed, bystanders and less speculative journalists, watched as the internet erupted ablaze with rumours. While punches and tonnes shit were hurled on Twitter; certain individuals suffered onslaughts of abuse and criticism. Meanwhile, some friends and I, speculated in Pubs and Chinese restaurants, about whether Nintendo should even be making the Nintendo Switch. Full disclosure, I consider myself quite a big Nintendo fan. The majority of friends on the other hand, not so much. We’ve on numerous occasions gone, back and forth, arguing the advantage and disadvantages of Nintendo hardware; praising the greatness of their software, but just as often criticising the shortcomings of their hardware.
And while I knew all along that I was going to purchase the Nintendo Switch, I have often felt that maybe the future of Nintendo isn’t in the hardware business.
While I’ll support Nintendo products without much thought. I’m not the sort of person to purchase blindly; I’ll only consider parting with my hard earned cash, after critical and careful assessment. After much debating and the agonising process of weighing up the pros and cons. I had decided before the Nintendo Switch Event early this year; that no matter the circumstances I would invest in their latest console, day one. Yet somehow even now I can’t help but be contemplative wondering about the potential success of Nintendo Switch and future of the Nintendo’s hardware market.
Nobody could deny that Nintendo drives innovation, however, this comes with certain notable drawbacks and one in particular; most developers and publishers aren’t too keen on creating games for Nintendo systems. The announcement of games such as Skyrim, I Am Setsuna and FIFA, as well as the hefty list of developers and publishers who have declared their support for the system; has many hardcore Nintendo fans excited. Yet many and especially some of the most notable voices in the game industry have had more tempered responses.
Many of the biggest developers and publishers deserted the Wii U, leaving many Nintendo fans disappointed and feeling apprehensive about 3rd part support for Nintendo Switch. The fallout after the event in January is that 3rd parties will be there but in limited supply with many bringing ports of games from years yonder. The publishers’ representatives have hinted their all biding their time, preparing for the potential success of the Switch but not jumping on the bandwagon. While many of the offerings may seem drab there are a few that Nintendo fans are certain to be looking forward too; namely Dragon Quest Heroes 1&2, Disgaea 5 complete, a New Shin Megami Tensei, Project Octopath Traveller and let’s not forget Suda51 is cooking something up as well.
With over 80 games in development for Nintendo Switch, the relationship between Nintendo and Independent developers seems to be great than ever. The likes of Has-Been Heroes, Rime and Snipperclips all confirmed for the system proves that games aren’t in short supply. And if Nintendo is able to further harness those relationships, we should hopefully see more great Indie titles in the coming months and years.
(Personally, I’m hoping: Ikenfell, Battle Chef Brigade and Knights and Bikes, get confirmed for Nintendo Switch. These three games look stupendously awesome and would be amazing additions any Nintendo console.)
When thinking about hardware those of us with; hyperbolic imaginations and exaggerated expectations should have known from the outset that Nintendo was never going to make a super powerful console. This for years has not been their M/O and if the Nintendo Switch is a success they will continue to push for great design within the confines of limited hardware. And honestly, I feel this is Nintendo’s greatest advantage over their competitors. Why try and compete in terms of specs when you can innovate on concepts?
This is exactly what makes me such a big Nintendo fan, not only is their software typically amazing but their willingness to experiment and try to push innovation in terms of the way we play. And with that we’re at the most controversial point, the Joy-Con are the natural evolution of the Wiimote and so much more. I like motion controls and Nintendo usually makes good use of the control scheme in their games: Super Mario Galaxy and Splatoon being the principal examples.
In many ways the Nintendo Switch is pure essence of Nintendo; a combination of innovation, invention and something just a bit mad. And as many have said previously this is what the Wii U should have been. As a Nintendo fan, I’ll support my favourite hardware and software maker but as a rational individual, I can’t help but concede that this purchase mightn’t be the smartest.