Yesterday Nintendo released this video of their new console/tablet hybrid gaming system called Switch. Set to launch next March, it will replace the Wii U—and possibly the 3DS—as Nintendo’s main gaming platform.
Here’s Nintendo’s text version of how it works, courtesy of Kotaku:
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. 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. The portability of Nintendo Switch is enhanced by its bright high-definition display. It brings the full home gaming system experience with you to the park, on an airplane, in a car, or to a friend’s apartment.
Gaming springs into action by removing detachable Joy-Con controllers from either side of Nintendo Switch. One player can use a Joy-Con controller in each hand; two players can each take one; or multiple Joy-Con can be employed by numerous people for a variety of gameplay options. They can easily click back into place or be slipped into a Joy-Con Grip accessory, mirroring a more traditional controller. Or, if preferred, the gamer can select an optional Nintendo Switch Pro Controller to use instead of the Joy-Con controllers. Furthermore, it is possible for numerous people to bring their Nintendo Switch systems together to enjoy local multiplayer face-to-face competition.
The reactions I’ve read across various websites seem overwhelmingly positive; Engadget‘s editorial staff, for example, are gushing over the thing. And The Verge, where I first saw the video, had this to say:
The most fascinating part of the trailer shows e-sports players practicing Splatoon in a stadium hallway, before taking their consoles to the show floor for a competitive event. The implications of a portable console catering to e-sports are huge, and show a forward-thinking application for the hardware.
The lone dissenting voice comes from iMore’s Simon Sage. Here’s an excerpt from his post, Nintendo Switch shows they still don’t get mobile gaming:
I think the core of the problem is how Nintendo is conceptualizing playing games on the go. It isn’t a social thing that I go to roof parties and bust out, or chat up ladies with, or play after a real basketball game. It’s something I do for 5-10 minutes at a cycle while on the bus, waiting in line, or otherwise have a small gap of time where I have a nominal amount of attention to spare. iPhone wins in this context because the overhead is low. People already have one in their pocket, it’s portable, the games are cheap, and often aren’t very demanding. The Nintendo Switch will lose here because the overhead is high. It’s a big piece of hardware, with multiple moving parts, running expensive, AAA games that require a lot of attention.
What do you think of Nintendo Switch?