Nintendo have had a rough decade following the success of their Wii console, as maturing gamers ditched the brand in favour of the adult-friendly PlayStation and Xbox consoles.
The Nintendo Switch will aim to buck that trend, and while it isn’t for everyone, the Switch appears to be a vast improvement on Nintendo’s previous home console, the Wii U. At the very least, it’s certainly worth reading through our Nintendo Switch console guide before you pass judgement on Nintendo’s latest console attempt.
Considered a ‘hybrid’ console by Nintendo, the Switch has been designed to go wherever you do, allowing you to switch between a home gaming console and a handheld, portable system with ease.
The Switch system is made up of a docking system, which will remain connected to your television, as well as the console, which is a device similar to a tablet in both design and function, allowing gameplay via an LCD screen. Alternatively, you can place the console on the dock and pick up where you left off on the big screen.
The Wii U struggled to sell and developers subsequently failed to develop titles for the console. However, Nintendo have pulled out all the stops to ensure that their latest console is a success, with more than 80 titles currently under development ahead of the Nintendo Switch’s 3rd March 2017 launch.
Nintendo Switch Specifications
CPU,4 x Nvidia ARM Cortex A57 cores
GPU,NVIDIA Maxwell 256-core GPU
Storage,32GB built-in (SD card supported)
Wi-fi, Built in
Dimensions,H: 102 x W: 239 x D: 14 mm
Battery Life,2-6 hours (approx.)
Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Controllers
Like the Switch console, the Joy-Con controllers also allow users to switch between two ‘modes’. On their own, the Joy-Cons act much like the Wii Remote, used on Nintendo’s previous consoles, albeit on a smaller scale. They maintain the motion sensitivity of their predecessor, but will also debut a number of new features, including an infrared sensor that can detect shapes and determine distance.
Interestingly, Nintendo have also unveiled a new ‘HD Rumble’ feature, which will be
able to mimic specific sensations. For example, if you pick up a glass filled with ice cubes in a game, shaking your Joy-Con controller will feel like the glass is actually in your hand. It’s certainly an innovative feature, and, if it works well enough, it offers develops plenty of unique opportunities to work with.
While the Wii Remote was perfect for the motion controlled games that made the Wii console so popular, it had its limitations too (Super Smash Bros. Brawl comes to mind). However, Nintendo have covered all the bases this time round – the two Joy-Con controllers can be attached to a ‘Grip’, which transformed them into a traditional gamepad.
Nintendo Switch Online Play
Nintendo have kept the multiplayer focus that served as a major pull with the Nintendo Wii and Wii U consoles, with their new console capable of linking up to eight devices for local multiplayer gaming. However, there is also a bigger emphasis on online play this time round. There will be online multiplayer and eStore services, like on the previous consoles, as well as online lobbies and voice chat features.
However, for the first time in Nintendo’s long history, gamers will be charged to access the console’s online features. Seeking to compete with Sony’s PlayStation Plus and Microsoft’s Xbox Live, Nintendo will use a membership subscription service, which will come with various incentives, such as exclusive offers and discounts and access to free Virtual Console titles.
Mii characters will be sticking around. However, Nintendo have confirmed that they will be ditching the clunky Friend Code system that was previously used to connect with friends via Nintendo consoles.
Nintendo Switch Launch Titles
As with any new console, the games available to Nintendo Switch’s early adopters will be limited. It was originally thought that purchasers would be limited to just five games for the first few weeks, but the number of announced launch titles have now reached double figures.
1, 2, Switch – A collection of multiplayer mini-games, designed to show off the capabilities of the Joy-Con controllers.
I am Setsuna – Follow the sorrowful story of Setsuna, as she battles to save her life from sacrifice to a fiendish being in this Japanese RPG adventure.
Just Dance 2017 – A staple of any Nintendo console, the latest addition to the Just Dance franchise features everything from The Weeknd to Queen to Justin Bieber.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wind – Switch gamers will be treated to the 19th installment of the Legend of Zelda franchise, as they explore, discover and travel across Hyrule.
Skylanders: Imaginators – Throw your Skylanders onto the portal and tackle the threat of Kaos and his evil army.
Super Bomberman R – Unchanged Bomberman action, with enhanced graphics and 3D stages. Place bombs and destroy your enemies in this must-have Switch title.
Part of what makes it so difficult to say no to a Nintendo console is the fact that the company has exclusive rights to so many top franchises. If the likes of Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong or Animal Crossing appeal to you, Nintendo consoles are always a must-have system.
There is no denying that the Nintendo Switch’s launch library is somewhat limited. However, there are plenty of top titles to come throughout 2017, such as Mario Kart 8 (due May 29th), Arms (Q2 2017) and Super Mario Odyssey (Q4 2017). Any true Nintendo fan should have their pre-order pending, waiting eagerly for March 3rd.
With top developers such as Activision, Havok and Telltale Games reportedly working on titles for the new console, exciting times surely lay ahead.
For those that aren’t particularly keen on Nintendo’s exclusive titles, it’s still too early to say whether the Switch will have enough about it to hold its appeal long-term. However, the prospect of playing home system games on the go is something that should turn the head of every console gamer.