by A Graham II
The Nintendo Switch came onto the scene this year and we finally got a chance to take a good look at the system; how it plays, the idea behind it, and most important for a gaming system especially Nintendo, the games.
So how does it fair and what do I think, lets discuss. What I'm going to do is talk about the features that the Switch has, then briefly discuss the good and the bad. My opinion is going to be based on a comparison of the current generation of gaming consoles; the Playstation 4/Playstion 4 Pro and Xbox One S/Xbox One X. I will also take a look at Nintendo's past systems, mainly the Gamecube, Wii and Wii U.
The Switch is advertised as a home console that can be taken anywhere. This is done by removing a tablet-like device which is the Switch’s main system from the docking station which acts as a charger and HDMI display. Unlike what most people would think, the dock is just a dock and the tablet is the actually system.
This makes the Switch a mobile device and like most mobile devices, there is the fear of dropping it breaking your system. Unlike the Wii U gamepad, the tablet is the system. If the Wii U gamepad was broken the memory of Wii U would be unharmed however, but if the Switch is broken your hard-drive is lost.
This is not necessarily an issue for me and I see the tablet as neither a good or bad thing but as a decision that was made and a mechanic that was used. Nintendo claims that the battery can last up to three hours while playing Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild and I assume that a less visually involved game will play even longer.
The game controller called a joy-con are two devices 4 inches with 7 buttons (analog/A/B/X/Y/Z/R/L/ZR/Home). Although this isn't the traditional game controller that most people have known, the joy-con can be use as a pair in a number of ways such as, using them in a similar way to the Wii remote and nunchuck, sliding on a charging grip so it functions like traditional controller, or by connecting to the Switch by sliding to side of the system.
Naturally I'm fine with the traditional playing style and I doubt most people will welcome the other styles of play, I find the multiple methods of the Switch rather intriguing but would understand if someone found them highly unnecessary. A concern of mine is that overtime the railing use to slide the Joy-com into the Switch and the charging grip will become loses and stop connecting, preventing it from syncing and charging.
The Switch is a great improvement over their previous system the Wii U. The Switch delivers on a concept first shown on the Wii U but that was not well executed at all. Nintendo did a terrible job with the marketing of the Wii U and consumer never understood what the system was. The Gamepad was a part of the system but people thought it was just a fancy controller. Even today I see people trying to sell the Wii U without the Gamepad when it is impossible to operate the system without it. So if you think of the Wii U as the Gamecube and the Switch as the Wii then you will get an idea of how Nintendo does when it comes to new consoles.
Now when you compare the Switch to the Playstation 4 Pro or the Xbox One X it will become clear that the Switch is not a powerful device. It isn’t even as powerful as the PlayStation 3 or Xbox One. So if you are a person that wants cutting edge technology then the Switch is not the system for you. But Nintendo has never been about cutting edge technology. They are about games that people want to play and when it comes to games Nintendo is in a class by themselves. They have the top selling gaming franchises in history and they keep bringing out Mario, Zelda, Metroid, and even Pokemon to the Switch.
In the past the Playstation and Xbox could count on have the best 3rd party games like Skyrim and Rocket League but those days are over. While these game will not look anywhere as good on a Switch as they do on a Playstation, Xbox, or PC most Switch players will not notice and will not care. They will be too busy having fun playing the game and at the end of the day that is what a gaming console should do.
The Switch has been a big successful for Nintendo so much so they didn’t even have a Black Friday sale on the system like has been traditional the since forever. They know the demand is high and they are going to ride it out. We didn’t think that Nintendo could recover after the Wii U but you never count Nintendo out.